Columbia College is planning a series of celebrations in 2023 to mark its 50th anniversary of educating adult learners and military-related students through the Columbia College Global network.

Columbia College Global is comprised of more than 40 locations across the United States and in Cuba, about half of which are connected to military installations, in addition to the college’s Online Program. Columbia College Global primarily serves non-traditional students, providing a flexible education model to students balancing work, family and school. More than 8,000 students were enrolled within the network in 2022.

The kickoff event, which will be open to the public, is scheduled for 3 p.m. on Thursday, March 23, on main campus in Dorsey Gym. Attendees can also join via Zoom. Directors from locations across the country will be in Columbia for the celebration. The hourlong event will include remarks by President Dr. David Russell, a proclamation reading and refreshments.

“The 50th anniversary of Columbia College Global provides a great opportunity to honor our past, celebrate the present and envision our future,” says Russell.

“The 50th anniversary of Columbia College Global provides a great opportunity to honor our past, celebrate the present and envision our future.”

Columbia College President Dr. David RUSSELL

The concept of nationwide locations at Columbia College began in March 1973, with evening instruction at Troop Support Command Headquarters in St. Louis. A separate civilian location in St. Louis opened in October 1973; it remains the college’s longest-running nationwide location. In January 1974, the college began operations at Fort Leonard Wood, CC’s oldest continuing military location. The college established its landmark Evening Program in March 1975, forever changing the trajectory of both the college and the lives of thousands of adult learners. In October 2000, the college became a pioneer as one of the first schools to offer college instruction over the internet.

“We place a high priority on providing easily accessible education to all adult learners, including our active-duty men and women serving in the military, veterans and their families,” says Dr. Shadel Hamilton, vice president of Columbia College Global. “There is support every step of the way. This is all part of the commitment we have worked to fulfill over the course of the past five decades of serving adult learners.”

Below is a list of Columbia College Global locations across 15 states and Cuba:

Founded in 1851 in Columbia, Missouri, Columbia College has been helping students advance their lives through higher education for more than 170 years. As a private, nonprofit institution, the college takes pride in its small classes, experienced faculty and quality educational programs. Students can enroll in Day, Evening or Online classes. The college is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Columbia College has more than 97,000 alumni worldwide. For more information, visit