Van Amringe Quadrangle and Memorial

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Van Am Quad and Memorial

The Van Amringe Quadrangle, popularly known as Van Am Quad, is located between Hamilton and John Jay Halls, immediately in front of Wallach Hall, Hartley Hall and the Taint Gate. The quadrangle is named after John Howard Van Amringe, the popular Dean of Columbia College. It consists of two lawns separated by the Van Amringe Memorial, a rotunda housing a bust of Van Amringe flanked by inscribed benches.

The area around the rotunda and Taint Gate is considered one of the most picturesque spots on campus. Bright-eyed first years and also smokers congregate at the rotunda to live out their Cambridge fantasies. The gate itself is topped by a working clock donated by the Class of 1906.

Until very recent decades, Columbia College Class Day was held here rather than on South Field.

In 2011, the lawns, where grass had struggled to grow for years, were re-landscaped with sand-colored gravel and picnic tables and benches were added.[1]


  • The Rotunda is ringed with the dedication "Honored and Beloved by Generations of Columbia Students, His Life and Influence Will Be Example and Inspiration to Those Who Come After".
  • The floor inside the rotunda (surrounding the bust of Van Amringe) reads: "John Howard Van Amringe / Beloved Dean of Columbia College / The Light He Leaves Behind Him Shines Upon the Paths of Men".
  • The Rotunda is flanked to the north and south by benches, each with a heavily weathered carved quotations from speeches by Van Amringe. The quotes are getting harder and harder to read. The north bench reads "Religion and Learning are Justified of Their Children / To Extend and Intensify Their Elevating And Twice Blessed / Power This College and University Avowedly Exist." On the south bench is carved "Be Brave Faithful and True By Precept and Example / Stand Always and Everywhere for Rectitude of / Conduct and Righteousness of Life."
  • On the lawn directly south west of the rotunda is stone marker recognizing the College Class of 1952's 35th Anniversary gift to restore the Van Amringe Memorial.

External links


  1. Spectrum post with picture, written by a student who thought the space needed a new name. To be fair, "Alexanderplatz" is pretty clever.