Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)/Columbia University



Portland, Oregon

Columbia University, formerly known as Portland University, is located on the east bank of the Willamette River in northern Portland, and is conducted by the Congregation of Holy Cross, whose mother-house is at Notre Dame, Indiana. In 1898 Portland University, conducted by a local Methodist association, failed and was obliged to close its doors. For three years the buildings were unoccupied. In 1901 the schools buildings and property of this institution were acquired by most Reverend Alexander Christie, D.D., Archbishop of Oregon City. For one year the school, now called Columbia University, was conducted by the diocesan clergy. In 1902 Archbishop Christie appealed for teachers to Rev. J.A. Zahm, then provincial of the Congregation of Holy Cross, who at once sent some of his religious to take charge of the new institute. In 1909 the university was incorporated under the laws of Oregon, and empowered to teach collegiate and university courses and to confer certificates, diplomas, honours, and degrees in the arts, sciences, philology, literature, history, mathematics, and other university branches. To meet the need of a thorough preparatory school in the North-West an academic department was founded at Columbia. The first faculties organized were those of arts and letters and science. To-day, besides the college department and preparatory school, Columbia has chairs of philosophy, history and economics, mathematics and languages. There have been three presidents of the university. Rev. E. P. Murphy, of Portland, was chosen as first president; Rev. Michael Quinlan, C.S.C., and Rev. Joseph Gallagher, C.S.C., were his successors. At present (1912) about two hundred students are registered. The faculties are made up of twenty professors including a few laymen. The erection of Christie Hall, recently, has made accommodations for an additional one hundred and fifty students.

J.C. McGINN