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Columbia UniversityThe President's Report 2002-2007
Athletics
Columbia’s varsity sports have enjoyed increased competitive success. In 2006-2007, Columbia teams won five Ivy League championships. The team titles in women’s soccer, men’s fencing, women’s fencing, women’s golf, and men’s tennis were the most in a single academic year for Columbia in the first fifty years of formal Ivy League competition and the third most of any school in the league last year.

The University’s intercollegiate athletics program has undergone a significant transformation in recent years. In 2004, President Bollinger appointed M. Dianne Murphy as the new director, of Physical Education and Intercollegiate Athletics, reporting directly to the president. Murphy oversaw the development of the Strategic Plan for the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics and Physical Education, a roadmap for achieving and sustaining quality and excellence throughout the department. It addresses eighteen functional areas including: increasing operating budgets for varsity sports programs; enhancing gender equality; increasing salaries for select coaches; and improving resources dedicated to student-athlete well-being.

Student-Athlete Well-being
Columbia student-athletes succeed both academically and athletically. The composite grade-point average has consistently exceeded 3.0 since 2002-2003—and about a hundred student-athletes make the deans’ lists each semester (93 in fall 2006 and 108 in spring 2007). And 4.0 GPAs are well represented among student-athletes—most recently, 11 students had GPAs of 4.0 in fall 2006, as did 16 in spring 2007. Since 2004, five Columbia student-athletes have received NCAA Post-graduate Scholarships.

Facilities Upgrades
Since 2002, Columbia has made a series of improvements to athletics facilities including state-of-the-art surface installations at the Baker Field Athletics Complex. Find out more about our enhanced athletics facilities. >

Alumni Relations and Development
Columbia Athletics has played a central role in alumni relations and outreach over the last five years. In October 2007, Columbia launched a $100 million fundraising initiative, The Columbia Campaign for Athletics: Achieving Excellence, and announced two leadership pledges, more than $10 million from University Trustees Chair Bill Campbell (CC ’62, GSAS ’64) and $5 million from Trustee Emeritus Robert K. Kraft (CC ’63), chair and CEO of the Kraft Group and owner of the New England Patriots of the National Football League.

In February 2006, the first-ever class of the Columbia University Athletics Hall of Fame was inducted. Twenty-nine individuals and one team were honored as inductees, celebrating the best of the best in Columbia Athletics history. Alumni financial support, as well as University support for the department has also greatly increased in recent years. Read more about alumni development initiatives. >

A New Tradition of Athletic Success View Slide Show >

Building the Coaching Staff
Dianne Murphy has attracted a roster of accomplished head coaches to Columbia since her arrival in 2005, including hiring Norries Wilson in December 2005 as the Patricia and Shepard Alexander Head Coach of Football.

Other recent coaching hires include:

Work/Life Balance
Athletics has steadily increased participation in Columbia’s fifteen varsity women’s sports programs. The number of student-
athletes on Columbia’s women’s rosters grew by 16.4% (from 336 to 391) from the 2002-03 to the 2006-07 academic years.

Initiatives to improve gender equity include:

  • increased compensation for select head and assistant coaches of women’s teams

  • improved competition and practice facilities for women’s teams, including field improvements for field hockey and softball at the Baker Field Athletics Complex

  • increased funding of women’s sports program for recruiting, team travel, contest expenses, and equipment


Women’s teams are strengthened by the presence of Barnard College students, who play alongside Columbia undergraduates as members of University-wide athletic teams. This arrangement, known as a “consortium” under NCAA rules, is one of just three in the nation.
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