Columbia University in the City of New York (commonly known as Columbia University) is a private university in the United States and a member of the Ivy League. Columbia's main campus lies in the Morningside Heights neighborhood in the borough of Manhattan, in New York City. It was founded in 1754 as King's College by royal charter of King George II of England, and is one of only two United States universities to have been founded under such authority. Columbia is the oldest institution of higher learning in New York State, and the sixth oldest in the United States. After the American Revolutionary War, it was briefly chartered as a state entity from 1784-1787. The university now operates under a 1787 charter that places the institution under a private board of trustees. Columbia annually grants the Pulitzer Prizes, and more Nobel Prize winners are affiliated with the University than with any other institution in the world. Notable alumni and affiliates include four United States Presidents, nine Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States, 96 Pulitzer Prize winners, and 78 Nobel Prize winners.
Most of Columbia's graduate and undergraduate studies are conducted in Morningside Heights on Seth Low's late-19th century vision of a university campus where all disciplines could be taught in one location. The campus was designed along Beaux-Arts principles by acclaimed architects McKim, Mead, and White.
Butler Library is named for former Columbia President Nicholas Murray Butler.
Columbia's main campus occupies more than six city blocks, or 32 acres (132,000 m²), in Morningside Heights, a neighborhood located between the Upper West Side and Harlem sections of Manhattan that contains a number of academic institutions. The university owns over 7,800 apartments in Morningside Heights, housing faculty, graduate students, and staff. Almost two dozen undergraduate dormitories (purpose-built or converted) are located on campus or in Morningside Heights. Columbia University has an extensive underground tunnel system more than a century old, with the oldest portions predating the present campus. Some of these remain open to students, while others are closed to the public.