Ancell Plaza is the open space on the elevated plinth between East Campus and Jerome Greene Hall. The space was dedicated in honor of Columbia Law School alumnus Nathan S. Ancell's wife, Enid G. Ancell, in a show of appreciation for a donation towards the East Campus Residence Hall. The area of the plaza in front of IAB is sometimes referred to separately as SIPA Plaza.
In 2010, Ancell Plaza was home to the graduation ceremony for Barnard College, since the construction of the Diana Center caused Barnard's open lawn (Lehman Lawn) to be too small to host the ceremony.
Students of South Asian descent often use the plaza for cricket games...or did, before heavy picnic tables and benches were strewn across it in Spring 2007.
The Hindu Students Organization holds its annual Holi festival on the plaza, usually in mid to late April. This festival involves lots of people throwing paint (?) at each other, staining the plaza in the process. Like the following video but on a smaller scale:
- Sovern, Michael I. Letter to Nathan S. Ancell. 8 Sept. 1980. Columbia University Archives Box 859, f. 17