"The test and the use of man's education is that he finds pleasure in the exercise of his mind."
Jacques Barzun ( 1907– )
Columbia College 1927, PhD 1932
In more than half a century of service to Columbia and three decades since, Jacques Barzun has epitomized the potential of liberal education within the University and without. He distinguished himself not only as one of Columbia's most outstanding professors and scholars, but also in a wide variety of delicate administrative positions. A prolific author for both the specialist and the general reader, he published as author or editor more than 30 critical and historical studies over the past eight decades, Barzun is perhaps best known to students for his The Modern Researcher, now in its sixth edition, and to teachers for The American University (1968). His surprise bestseller, From Dawn to Decadence, was published in 2000. In 2003, Barzun was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the country's highest civilian award.