Columbia University (also known as Columbia University in the City of New York and Weaver Hall University) was the location where Dr. Stantz, Dr. Venkman, and Dr. Spengler worked before going into business for themselves.
In the early 1980s, Egon, Ray, and Peter worked in the Department of Psychology located at Weaver Hall on the upper west side of campus. However, the Board of Regents decided to terminate their grant and had them removed in 1984. Dean Yeager went to their room and waited for them while the Removal Men cleared their effects out. Peter, Ray, and Egon had returned to Columbia after their encounter with the Library ghost and walked through campus alongside the Low Library. Peter laughed and teased Ray about his plan to "get her." Ray admitted he just got overexcited. He thought about what it could mean to the university. Egon was a few steps behind them performing calculations on his PC-4 Calculator. Peter remarked it was going to be bigger than the microchip. Egon shared the news that the new readings he took verified they had an excellent chance of actually catching a ghost and holding it indefinitely. The gears turned in Peter's head and he hurried up to them. Ray hoped the ionization rate was constant for all ectoplasmic entities. Peter asked Egon if he really was serious about catching a ghost. Egon stated he was always serious. Peter got in front and stopped. He got out a Crunch bar. He told Egon he was going to take back some of the things he said about him then told him he earned it. Peter was about to hand the bar to Egon but hesitated then gave it. Ray grinned and chuckled as Egon looked at the bar.
Peter found their layoff preposterous and demanded an explanation. Yeager stated Columbia was no longer continuing any funding of any kind for their group's activities. Peter countered the kids loved them. Yeager continued that Columbia believed the purpose of science was to serve mankind but Peter seemed to regard science as some kind of dodge or hustle. He critiqued Peter's theories as the worst kind of popular tripe, told him his methods were sloppy, and thought his conclusions were highly questionable. He called Peter a poor scientist. Yeager concluded he had no place in the department or in the university. Yeager stood back up and turned away. Ray paced outside while Peter lied on stone left of the exterior of the Low Library and drank a swig from his liquor. Ray thought it was a major disgrace and uttered they should forget employment at MIT or Stanford, who wouldn't touch them with a ten-meter cattle-prod. Peter remarked he was always so concerned about his reputation and pointed out Einstein did his best stuff when he was working as a patent clerk. Ray asked Peter if he knew how much a patent clerk earned. Peter was not aware. Ray explained he liked the university because they gave them money and facilities and they didn't have to produce anything. He pointed out Peter was never out of college and didn't know what it was like out there. Ray reminded Peter he worked in the private sector and they expected results. Peter got on his feet, placed his arm on Ray, and walked him to the top of the stairs. He told Ray for whatever reasons, call it fate, call it luck, call it karma, he believed that everything happened for a reason. He believed that they were destined to get thrown out of this dump. He walked Ray over to the top of the stairs looking out at the courtyard. Ray asked for what purpose. Peter answered it was for them to go into business for themselves. He offered Ray a drink. Ray drank and calmed down. He stated the ecto-containment system that he and Egon had in mind was going to require a load of bread to capitalize. He asked Peter where they were going to get the money from. Peter drank then replied twice that he didn't know.
Egon was back on campus in 1989 working in the Institute for Advanced Theoretical Research. In late November, Dana Barrett went to see Egon at the Institute to look into the strange incident on First Avenue involving her son Oscar.
In the 1970s, Peter, Ray, and Egon attended Columbia University. Peter met Egon in a Women's Studies course the latter was mistakenly assigned to. Peter convinced him to stick with it to teach him to be more comfortable with people. Peter also met Ray. They took Professor Tonick's Esoteric Literature course in their freshman year. A few years later, they all heard about Columbia's Parapsychology pilot doctorate program. One winter day, Ray called out to Peter to tell him about the program. Egon already told him about it but he realized he should introduce the two of them to each other. Ray asked Egon how he met Peter and he relayed the story. Peter put his arms around their shoulders and assured them the pilot program was their meal ticket. He believed no one was doing anything with the field and if they got the degrees, they would have the inside track to tenured positions, and no one would care about results as long as they kept the experiments going since there was no precedent. Ray recalled MKUltra and MKOften. Peter reminded him all those files were destroyed. He struck up a conversation with two women while Ray and Egon talked. Ray asked Egon what his interest in Parapsychology was. Egon replied "all-consuming" and revealed he was working on a device to track and measure alternate forms of sentient energy. Ray inquired if he was alluding to psychokinetic energy, to Egon's surprise. Ray wanted to know his opinion about something but Peter interrupted and informed them he was going out for pizza with the Women's Fencing team. Peter co-authored several papers with Egon and Ray and supposedly published more than one on his own about the "effectiveness of the behavioral vs. humanistic approach when dealing with the average skell in the five boroughs" through the Mason-Wolf Journal of Tentative Psychology.
For her book about the Ghostbusters, Rebecca Morales went to Columbia University a few weeks after Gozer was defeated and interviewed Jennifer Adams and Bob Douglas in a cafeteria. Jennifer told Rebecca how Peter took a great interest in her and her psychic gifts but she was saddened when he left the University. Bob called the Venkman experiment the worst experience he ever had even though he also pledged at Delta Tau Chi. He called Peter a maniac and claimed the electrocutions he suffered left him having weird dreams like one the previous night about a giant painting trying to kidnap a baby. He asked Rebecca if she was still paying him for the interview. Rebecca then met with Dean Yeager in the Low Memorial Library. Yeager confirmed he fired Peter, Ray, and Egon and stood by the decision. He believed Peter remained a poor scientist and a poor influence on better men. He admitted Peter proved to be a shrewd promoter and the Ghostbusters' popularity was responsible for a resurgence of interest in science that had, in turn, increased alumni donations to the program. He remarked it was a no-lose situation for the University. During an interview with Rebecca, Ray told her about the day he met Egon for the first time.
- Male Student
- Dr. Ilyssa Selwyn
- Degree Earned: Ph.D. in Anthropology
- Rachel Unglighter (IDW Canon only)
- Peter Venkman
- Degree Earned: Ph.D. in Psychology
- Date of Graduation: June 14, 1980 (IDW Canon only)
- Molly (Cryptozoic Canon only)
Known Sections of the University
Note: This is in canon only.
Real Life Location Facts
King's College was founded in 1754 by royal charter of George II, the king of Britain at the time. After the American Revolutionary War ended in 1783, King's College briefly became a state institution and was renamed Columbia College in 1784. In 1787, a charter put Columbia under the auspices of a private board of trustees, then in 1896 it was renamed again to Columbia University. It grew into a prestigious Ivy League research private university. Eventually, the campus moved from Madison Avenue to Manhattan's Morningside Heights neighborhood.
Ghostbsuters (1984) Trivia
- Peter, Egon, and Ray are employed at Columbia University from the September 30, 1983 draft and on. In previous drafts, they were employed at New York University.
- In the July 6 and August 5, 1983 draft, Peter Venkman appeared before a university funding committee. Dean Yeager was up for a Nobel in Stockholm the previous week but didn't win. Peter slyly rubs it in. He presents research done so far: structural damage to a house caused by unknown hyperkinetic forces in a poltergeist incident in Vermont, rashes, bites and welts from a case they studied in Northern Quebec, a double exposure of a Polaroid photo showing people who were not there, a bent spoon. He reveals they are convinced that such events are about to increase to seriously uncomfortable proportions. He shines a pocket flashlight on his own face, providing spooky lighting and begs the question of will the world be ready. All the while, Ray is outside the glass door of the meeting room and tries to get Peter's attention to tell him about the Library ghost sighting.
- In the September 30, 1983 draft and on, Peter's ESP experiment appears for the first time in the drafts and takes the place of the university funding committee scene.
- Although the University is never given a name in the film, the scenes shot at the University were filmed at Columbia University in New York.
- Although permission was granted for the production unit to shoot on the Columbia University campus, it was with the understanding that the school not be identified as such in the film.
- The 10/7/83 final shooting script mentions the Paranormal Studies Laboratory is located in the basement of Weaver Hall.
- There is no actual Weaver Hall at Columbia University. It stands in for Avery Hall, where the School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation is located.
- The Paranormal lab scenes were also filmed at Columbia.
- Columbia is a namesake of the movie's production company, Columbia Pictures.
- The Nobel Prize Aspirations scene was filmed on the first day of principal photography and took 17 takes. It ended up getting cut from the final version of the film anyway.
- In "The Ghostbusters Storybook", the narrative oddly refers to the University as Weaver Hall University. Weaver Hall is taken from the name of the building that the Paranormal Studies Laboratory occupies at the beginning of the movie.
- In the novelization, The University is known as Columbia University.
Ghostbusters II Trivia
- In the Ghostbusters II August 5, 1988 draft, an entomologist from Columbia comments on the insect plague on the Upper East Side.
- In Ghostbusters II, Dana walks through Columbia University campus near Low Library, like Peter, Ray, and Egon did after they encountered the Library ghost in the first movie.
- The Institute for Advanced Theoretical Research building is a stand-in for where Avery Hall is located on the Columbia University campus like how Weaver Hall stood in for Avery in the first movie.
Ghostbusters: Afterlife Trivia
- Callie Spengler, Phoebe, and Trevor losing their apartment at Anderson East Estates and getting wrapped up in a paranormal event mirrors how Peter, Egon, and Ray were fired from Columbia University in the first movie.
- At the 45:30 mark, one of Egon's degrees reveals he graduated from Columbia on October 29, 1969 with a degree in Psychology in the faculty of Psychobiology.
IDW Comics Trivia
- On page 21 of Ghostbusters Volume 1 Issue #6, Rachel Unglighter's college I.D. card appears.
- On page 18 of Ghostbusters Volume 2 Issue #1, Peter's Doctorate of Psychology is more legible and it is revealed he graduated on June 14, 1980.
- On page 5 of Ghostbusters Year One Issue #1, in panel 4, Columbia University has an ad in the newspaper Winston reads.
- On Cover B of Ghostbusters Year One Issue #2:
- The bottom part of the classifieds seen on Ghostbusters Year One #1 Cover B has a reference to Columbia University.
- There is a Columbia University business card for Dean Yeager left of the Post It.
- On page 1 of Ghostbusters Year One Issue #2, Dana Barrett alludes to Columbia University.
- On page 1 of Ghostbusters Year One Issue #2, Bob remarks he pledged the Delta Tau Chi fraternity – a nod to the fraternity in the movie "Animal House," starring the late John Belushi.
- On page 2 of Ghostbusters Year One Issue #2, based on the location of the Alma Mater Sculpture, Dean Yeager is interviewed inside the Low Memorial Library.
- On page 4 of Ghostbusters Year One Issue #2, Ray runs out of Columbia University's Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, located near the Department of Psychology.
- On page 6 of Ghostbusters Year One Issue #2, Ray reveals the nuclear material used for the Proton Packs was left over from a previously approved experiment.
- On page 1 of Ghostbusters Year One Issue #4, Ray talks about when they were walking through Columbia University after the first encounter with the Library ghost, seen at the end of Chapter 3.
- Ray partially quotes Egon's line, "According to these new readings, I think we have an excellent chance of actually catching a ghost and holding it indefinitely."
- Ray alludes to when Peter gave Egon a Crunch bar.
Primary Canon Appearances
- Ghostbusters II
Secondary Canon (Expanded Universe) Appearances
Secondary Canon Appearances
- Cryptozoic Entertainment
- Columbia.edu website
- Aykroyd, Dan & Ramis, Harold (1983). Ghostbusters (Final Shooting Draft June 7, 1983) (Script p. 2). Line reads: "Students are entering and leaving a neo-Gothic building on the University's upper west side campus. A sign identifies the building as: Weaver Hall -- Department of Psychology.""
- Rebecca Morales (2020). IDW Comics- "Ghostbusters Year One Issue #3" (2020) (Comic p.6). Rebecca Morales says: "From my research, during your time at the University, you co-authored several papers with Drs. Spengler and Stantz, who also published individually – but as far as I could find, you didn't publish any papers on your own."
- Peter Venkman (2020). IDW Comics- "Ghostbusters Year One Issue #3" (2020) (Comic p.6). Peter Venkman says: "Sure I have. It was a condition of employment. I published more than one about the effectiveness of the behavioral vs. humanistic approach when dealing with your average skell in the five boroughs. That was in the Mason-Wolf Journal of Tentative Psychology."
- Atari: Official Character Factsheet 3/20/09 via Spook Central See: 2009 tab
- Peter Venkman's Doctoral Degree (2013). IDW Comics- "Ghostbusters Volume 2 Issue #1" (2013) (Comic p.18). Diploma reads: "Given at Columbia this fourteenth day of June in the year nineteen hundred and eighty."
- Shay, Don (November 1985). Making Ghostbusters, p. 35 annotation. New York Zoetrope, New York NY USA, ISBN 0918432685. Paragraph reads: "Although permission was granted for the production unit to shoot on the Columbia University campus, it was with the understanding that the school not be identified as such in the film. Neither Weaver Hall nor a 'Paranormal Studies Laboratory' actually exists at Columbia."
- Joe Medjuck (2005). Ghostbusters- Commentary (2005) (DVD ts. 02:40-02:44). Columbia TriStar Home Video. Joe Medjuck says: "There's no Weaver Hall but this is Columbia University. "
- Ivan Reitman (2005). Ghostbusters- Commentary (2005) (DVD ts. 02:45-02:47). Columbia TriStar Home Video. Ivan Reitman says: "Even this was at Columbia, wasn't it? "
- Joe Medjuck (2005). Ghostbusters- Commentary (2005) (DVD ts. 03:39-03:54). Columbia TriStar Home Video. Joe Medjuck says: "And this was actually a room at Columbia University, we should have--we were planning to shoot this on the set but were moving so fast in New York that we went to our cover sets that John De Cuir aged it but otherwise it's in the basement somewhere in Columbia. "
- Shay, Don (November 1985). Making Ghostbusters, p. 35 annotation. New York Zoetrope, New York NY USA, ISBN 0918432685. Paragraph reads: "Though the interiors could just as easily have been shot on a soundstage back in Los Angeles, a university building was dressed as a lab set by production designer John DeCuir as a hedge against inclement weather. Thus, if the location film crew -- was unable to shoot outdoors, they could readily proceed with the lab scenes rather than lose a day in the schedule."
- Shay, Don (November 1985). Making Ghostbusters, p. 35 annotation. New York Zoetrope, New York NY USA, ISBN 0918432685. Paragraph reads: "The Weaver Hall interior was shot on the first day of principal photography. Apparently, it took awhile for all concerned to hit their stride since seventeen takes were needed to get the relatively straightforward scene onto film. Ultimately, it was deleted during editing."
- Digby, Ann (February 1985). "The Ghostbusters Storybook", p. 2. Scholastic Inc., New York NY USA, ISBN 0590336843.
- Mueller, Richard (August 1985). "Ghostbusters: The Supernatural Spectacular," p. 15. Tor Books, New York NY USA, ISBN 0812585984.
- Aykroyd, Dan & Ramis, Harold (1988). Ghostbusters II (August 5, 1988 Draft) (Script p. 51). "Ray Stantz says: "An entomologist from Columbia estimated about ninety million insects--every known local species."
- Narrator (2015). Cryptozoic Entertainment- "Ghostbusters: The Board Game" (2015) (Comic p.2). Narrator says: "Molly had first heard about the book during a parapsychology class she had taken as a joke her freshman year at Columbia; the teacher had been fired before the end of the term, but his last class had mentioned the Incantatoribus, and the title had taken root in Molly's mind and made itself at home."