"The great city can teach something that no university by itself can altogether impart: a vivid sense of the largeness of human brotherhood, a vivid sense of man's increasing obligation to man; a vivid sense of our absolute dependence on one another."
Seth Low (1850–1916)
New York City Leader
University President 1890–1901
Low saw as clearly as anyone the deep connection between Columbia and New York City. From 1881 to 1885, while in his early 30s, he served as mayor of Brooklyn, which at the time was the third-largest city in the United States. In that role, he greeted the politicians that opened the Brooklyn Bridge on May 24, 1883, forever linking Brooklyn to Manhattan. Having graduated from Columbia College as valedictorian in 1870, just twenty years later he was named Columbia's eleventh president. In that role he led the critical move of the University from Midtown Manhattan to Morningside Heights, underwrote the construction of the first building on the site with a one million dollar gift in memory of his father, oversaw the construction of its campus by the firm of McKim, Mead, and White, and secured trustee approval to change the name of the institution from Columbia College to Columbia University, while retaining the locational identification, "in the City of New York."