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Lilly Kwon / Staff Illustrator

Welcome to the third season of The Ear, The Eye’s podcast dedicated to documenting, detailing, and excavating Columbia’s history!

This week’s episode is the first in a two-part series about the historical role of chaplains at Columbia. Reporter AJ McDougall investigates the legacies of John D. Cannon and Bill Starr, Episcopal priests who shaped organizing efforts in the ’60s and ’70s. She explores their impact on Columbia student groups, including the Student Homophile League (the first LGBTQ college student group in the United States) and Students for a Democratic Society; discusses their participation in 1968; and reflects on why Starr, in particular, is seemingly left out of Columbia’s institutional history.

In this episode, Mark Rudd’s email was read by Jared Rush. Philip Zabriskie was voice acted by Sal Volpe, Bill Starr by Francisco Alvidrez, Stephen Donaldson by Adam Glusker, David Truman by Gus O’Connor, Grayson Kirk by Will Cagle, Cindy Read by Oona Mackinnon-Hoban, and John D. Cannon by Xander Browne.

Our reporting on the chaplaincy will continue in two weeks. In the meantime, read up on Columbia’s religious history and listen to past seasons of the Ear.

Starr’s Wars

Act I: Cut from the Same Cloth (00:53)

Act II: Columbia’s Administration and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Gays (10:39)

Act III: Harlem is Burning (16:15)

Act IV: Columbia’s Holy Terrors (28:42)

Enjoy leafing through our first issue!

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Chaplains Starr Cannon LGBT 1968 Episcopal Ear