Friends of the Heyman Center

The Friends of the Heyman Center, under the direction of Gareth Williams, Violin Family Professor of Classics and Chair, Department of Classics, comprises people who help ensure the advancement and vitality of the Heyman Center for the Humanities. For more than twenty-five years, tuition and donations from the Friends colloquia have contributed to a variety of activities, most significantly, the Lionel Trilling Seminar, which is free and open to the public.

The Friends of the Heyman Center offers discussion courses led by Columbia's most renowned teachers and scholars to alumni and friends of the University who wish to continue organized education without the need for academic credit. These colloquia, titled the Carl Hovde Colloquia, are planned as active discussions rather than lectures, and the faculty leaders are among the best teachers in the University. No papers or examinations are required. We charge only a small fraction of normal tuition, and after expenses, these funds help both to improve our programs and maintain the building -- one of the most congenial on campus.

If you would like to donate to the Friends of the Heyman Center, you can do so here. Please enter “Friends of the Heyman Center” in the comment box so that your donation is properly credited.  Thank you!

Fall 2019 Colloquia

Higher Education in the United States: Where Are We Now and Where Are We Going?

Roger Lehecka
Thursdays, 6:00pm-8:00pm

American higher education seems to be at a moment of crisis for many reasons: its
financial model may not work; demographic trends threaten to drive many colleges out of
business; a growing number of other countries have a higher percentage of their
population graduating from college than the United States does; there is no consensus
about the purpose of higher education; and a diminishing percentage of the society trusts
what goes on in colleges and universities. The goal of this colloquium is to help all of us
to understand, through reading and discussion, more about how we got to this point,
what is really happening in higher education, especially selective private colleges (often
different from what we learn in the media), and what all that means for Columbia
College. We can expect vigorous debates about goals and values even as we gain a more
accurate understanding of what really happens in our colleges.

Download Syllabus and Schedule

The Fall 2019 Colloquium will be held on Thursdays from 6pm - 8pm. It will take place in the Heyman Center for the Humanities at 5 p.m. For directions to the Heyman Center, please visit:

Books for both courses can be purchased at Book Culture, 546 West 112th Street (formerly Labyrinth Books), located on 112th St. between Broadway and Amsterdam Ave, and can be reached by phone at 212-865-1588. These courses are not listed in the regular University Bulletin; if there is confusion, ask for the text-book department.


Additional support beyond our fees is very much appreciated and brings notices of the Thursday Lecture Series at the Heyman Center. All support beyond the course charge is fully tax-deductible. A gift of $25 or more also brings a subscription to the Columbia University Record. Acceptance is on a first come, first served basis, and you will be notified of your registration status upon the Heyman Center's receipt of your registration form with payment.

To register for one or both of this semester's colloquia, download, complete, and return the:

Registration Form (pdf)

Please contact Ms. Lisette Oblitas-Cruz with any questions ([email protected]; tel.: 212-854-4631).

$500 Brings admission for an individual to one colloquium

$750 Brings admission to one colloquium for registrant and guest (spouse, friend).