Columbia College, Chicago is a higher education institution in the state of Illinois which specialises in visual and performing arts, and media.
It was founded as the Columbia School of Oratory in 1890 by Mary Ann Blood and Ida Morey Riley, both teachers of elocution and expression. For decades, it was a communications-centred institution, teaching mostly radio, broadcasting and drama courses. The 1960s witnessed a transition into a liberal arts-based college under the leadership of long-serving president Mike Alexandroff, whose tenure saw the institution’s size multiply from 200 students to 7,000. Master’s programmes include creative writing, photography, music composition for the screen and journalism.
The third largest American city, Chicago has a lower cost of living than New York City and Los Angeles, the only cities it trails in population terms, and is arguably less frenetic. Its spectacular skyline rivals that of any city, as does its range of galleries, theatres and shopping options, and its varied music scene that has produced all kinds of rock, jazz and R&B stars over the years. The birthplace of the hot dog, Chicago also has more than 20 Michelin-starred restaurants.
Home to the Chicago Bulls (basketball), Chicago Bears (American football), Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox (both baseball), the Windy City, as it is nicknamed, is home to centuries of sporting history, including historic Wrigley’s Field, which celebrated 100 years as the venue of the Cubs in 2016.
Rapper Kanye West briefly attended. Other celebrities who are CCC alumni include actor Scott Adsit, best-known for starring as Pete Hornberger in 30 Rock, and Mauro Fiore, who won the Best Cinematography Oscar in 2010 for his work on Avatar.