Yule Log Ceremony
The Yule Log Ceremony is one of Columbia's oldest traditions. Taking inspiration from a similar event early in Columbia's history, when it was still known as King's College, then-president Nicholas Murray Butler began the event in 1910 for students unable to return home for the holidays.
The ceremony begins immediately after the much more recently conceived Tree Lighting Ceremony. A Yule Log is carried around campus by students dressed in Colonial costumes, and eventually arrives in John Jay Hall. The John Jay lounge fireplace is lit, and then some readings are recited:
- the ROLM Phone Lady reads Clement Clarke Moore's (CC 1798) "A Visit from St. Nicholas"
- someone reads Francis P. Church's (CC 1859) "Is There a Santa Claus?", the most reprinted English-language newspaper editorial in history
- The Dean of the College reads Dylan Thomas's "A Child's Christmas in Wales"
The Columbia University and Barnard College presidents also offer holiday messages.