James Brander Matthews CC 1871 Law 1873 was the first professor of dramatic literature in the United States. Matthew began teaching at Columbia in 1891, and was offered a professorship by Seth Low the next year. In 1899 he was appointed to the first chair of dramatic literature in the nation, a position he held until retirement in 1924.
The former Brander Matthews Hall was named after him.
Dean Austin Quigley currently holds the chair in dramatic literature that now bears Matthews' name. Quigley also keeps the bust of Matthews that once sat in the lobby of Brander Matthews Hall in his office. (You can see it from the window on College Walk).