As Columbia College President Dr. Scott Dalrymple stood on the first step of the Whitcraft-Schiffman Memorial Amphitheater, gazing out at the crowd of more than 100 people who had come out to help him christen the college’s new Quad, he couldn’t help but think back to when the project was merely an idea.

“We envisioned the Quad as a place to celebrate the college’s past, present and future,” Dalrymple said. “Since 1851, we have been proud to provide lifelong education in a student-centric environment. That heritage is on full display today.”

Columbia College opened up its Family Day and Homecoming festivities with a Dedication and Ribbon Cutting ceremony for the Quad on the sun-splashed afternoon of Oct. 7, letting the assembled students, faculty, staff and guests try out the myriad features the $1.9 million project has to offer as well as extending a note of gratitude to everyone who had a part in helping make it a reality.

The Whitcraft-Schiffman Memorial Amphitheater, named for longtime friends of the college Althea Whitcraft Schiffman ’41 and John A. Schiffman (Hon. 2004), is a space for students to gather, learn, perform and exchange ideas. The Hulett Family Campus Safety Office serves as a centrally located place for students to interact with the officers that help keep the campus secure. The Alumni Fountain honors more than 83,000 Columbia College alumni worldwide, from the campus in Columbia, Missouri, as well as the school’s 36 Nationwide locations. The Christian College Garden reflects on the school’s history as an institution that provided learning opportunities in an era in which there weren’t many for female students. The pavilion provides comfortable outdoor seating for students who want to unwind.

Aesthetics mixed with practicality. Modern amenities mixed with tradition. Honoring where the college has been while also keeping an eye on where it is headed.

“The pride and passion my family shares for this college is woven into the fabric of our lives, and has been for more than 65 years. I know it has had a similar impact on many of you here today and throughout the community,” Columbia College Board of Trustees chairman Web Bixby ’82 told the crowd. “I have observed the evolution of the college since stepping onto campus as a freshman in 1978, and I can truly say these are some of the more exciting times that I have witnessed. We look to the future with optimism, and we continue to carry out the college’s mission.”

Members of the Schiffman and Hulett families were in attendance for the ceremony as well as representatives from the Columbia Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors, who helped with the ribbon cutting. The Hulett and Schiffman families manned the scissors with Dalrymple and Bixby, while Ambassadors Jolene Marra Schulz ’61 — secretary of the board of trustees — and Dan Scotten — a trustee emeritus — held the ribbon.

“Projects like the Quad don’t just happen. They take concerted effort from a number of people, and that’s what has happened here,” Dalrymple said after the ceremony. “From the design of the Quad to actually building it, to maintaining it, to promoting it, it’s been fantastic. I really want to thank everyone involved in every aspect.”

Check out the gallery below for pictures from the Dedication and Ribbon Cutting ceremony.