Henry S. Coleman

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Henry S. Coleman
Henry Coleman held hostage during the student occupation of Hamilton Hall during the 1968 protests

Henry S. Coleman CC '44 SEAS '46 was a former administrator, who served as the acting dean of Columbia College from 1967-1968 and dean of students from 1972-1979. Coleman also served as an assistant to dean during the 1950's and served as dean of admissions to Columbia College from 1960 until his appointment as acting dean of the College. He was awarded the John Jay Award in 1996.

Coleman probably survived more misfortunes than any Columbia administrator. He was famously barricaded in his Hamilton Hall office during the 1968 protests. His office was occupied again during the protest advocating conversion of the ROTC lounge to the Malcolm X Lounge.

On July 25, 1972, Coleman was shot six times (in the chest, the neck, the right wrist, the left upper arm, and twice in the right upper arm) in his office by a suspended student. He was rushed to the hospital by Columbia's volunteer EMT service (forerunner of CAVA) where doctors said he was "dangerously close to death." He required four hours of surgery and 12 pints of blood. In a display of utter badassery, Coleman held regular office hours three weeks after the shooting, telling the Spectator that he was "feeling fine." He refused to comment on the search for the shooter, saying that he didn't "believe in trying a person outside of court", and refused to comment on the alleged shooters academic status, saying that the student's academic records were not public.

He passed away on January 31, 2006.

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Preceded by
David B. Truman
Acting Dean of Columbia College 
1967-1968
Succeeded by
Carl Hovde
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