Making History

Skip to content Skip to main navigation
Teachers College, Columbia University
Printer-friendly Version
Teachers College, Columbia University Logo


Teachers College: The first 125 Years…and counting

The world in which Teachers College was created in 1887 faced challenges much like those of today. 

Industrialization and technology were creating both vast wealth and deep economic uncertainty. A vast new influx of people was pouring into U.S. cities from rural areas and from other nations around the world. Communities were grappling with complex new problems of health, race relations, education and crime. 

Reflecting the collective consciousness of the era’s leading scholars, philanthropists, social reformers and public-minded citizens, Teachers College was conceived to meet all of these challenges. The result was an institution that, through the dynamic linking of theory and practice , not only met but also anticipated the needs of subsequent eras, serving as an ongoing and trusted source of solutions to which the nation has turned again and again. Or as The New York Tribune wrote in a 1915 obituary of the philanthropist Grace Hoadley Dodge, who was perhaps the single most important driving force in the College’s creation: “It was said of her that she had the 100-year look – that is, she looked ahead a century and made her plans accordingly.”

A History of Teachers College