A Message from President Kwang-Wu Kim
Much of the common work of the Columbia College Chicago community in the 2017-18 academic year centered on two initiatives that promise to have a transformative effect on the Columbia student experience. Thanks to the sustained focus of our faculty and senior academic leadership, we are nearing the end of a comprehensive, multi-year overhaul of our curriculum that, once fully implemented, will ensure that our academic programs are current and relevant, offer the necessary rigor and subject matter depth, and are structured so that students can get the classes they need to graduate on time. Construction also began in earnest on our new 115,000-square-foot Student Center—scheduled to be completed in the summer of 2019—at the corner of 8th Street and Wabash Avenue. As its design and programmatic features emerge in their final form, I am more convinced than ever that it will truly become a site for creative collaboration and the gathering place for students, faculty, and staff that the college has needed for so long.
"...I am more convinced than ever that [the Student Center] will truly become a site for creative collaboration and the gathering place for students, faculty, and staff that the college has needed for so long." - Kwang-Wu Kim, president and CEO
Several of Columbia’s programs and affiliated entities reached major milestones in 2018. The Dance Center celebrated its 45th anniversary, the American Sign Language program its 25th, and ShopColumbia, the college’s retail showcase for student and faculty work, its 10th. Meanwhile, the Theatre Department marked a new beginning in late October when over 150 alumni, faculty, staff, students, and members of the greater Chicago theatrical community gathered to celebrate the formal reopening of the remodeled Getz Theater Center, with its redesigned mainstage and upgraded technical facilities.
Together, these developments affirm the fundamental importance of the college’s efforts to, in the words of our 2015 strategic plan, “strategically position the college around its distinctive value and raise the bar of our collective aspiration” as we educate students who will author the culture of their times.
President and CEO