2020 Military Ball

The Military Ball celebrates Columbia’s distinguished veteran student community, uniting them with the leaders and scholars of New York City and the world. Established in 2010, the Military Ball continues to be regarded as the premier event uniting veterans across the University community. Proceeds help underwrite academic and career transition programming for all veterans and military family members nationwide, financial aid for veteran students at Columbia University, and veteran student and alumni programming.


Columbia University founded the School of General Studies (GS) in 1947, in large part to meet the needs of GIs returning from World War II. By further building on these origins over the past 20 years, establishing close relationships with military bases across the country and supporting student veterans in their transition to civilian and campus life, GS has firmly established itself as the pre-eminent destination for veterans seeking an Ivy League undergraduate education. Today there are nearly 500 veterans enrolled at GS—a number many times greater than that to be found at any other elite institution. 

These decades of experience gained by the School of General Studies in working with, and supporting, military service members led directly to the founding of the Columbia University Center for Veteran Transition and Integration, a national center of excellence focused on providing access to world-class programming and support, ensuring veterans throughout the country have the tools to maximize their potential as they transition into higher education and the workforce.

Student engagement plays a significant role in veteran support at Columbia, as well. The U.S. Military Veterans of Columbia University (Milvets) was originally formed in 2002 by a group of students at GS to foster camaraderie and networking among veterans, joining a long tradition of veteran scholars at Columbia. Milvets provides military veterans with resources, opportunities, and support at Columbia University, in order to facilitate a successful education and provide a strong foundation that will endure well past graduation.

Currently the largest student veterans organization in the Ivy League, Milvets membership includes individuals from every branch of the armed forces who have served in countless operations worldwide, and members use their experience to promote diversity and understanding while striving to close the gap between our nation’s military and the society it serves. Milvets hosts multiple events and opportunities both on and off campus, and works to address veterans’ issues while highlighting opportunities for social, academic, pre-professional, and philanthropic engagement.

Hosted in Collaboration




  • One ticket to the event for a current student of Columbia University

Purchase Student Tickets

Recent Alumni


  • One ticket for a recent graduate (2014-2019) of Columbia University

Purchase Recent Alumni Tickets



  • One ticket for an alum of Columbia University or a guest

Purchase Contributor Tickets


Philanthropic commitments to the Military Ball will impact tens of thousands of veterans and military family members annually while also strengthening the University’s support services for its 700+ veteran students and military family members campus-wide. Proceeds from the event will directly support:

For more information, or to purchase a table, email militaryball@columbia.edu or call 212-851-7878.

Platinum Shield


  • Recognition on one online educational program delivered to veterans nationally (12 months)
  • Special recognition in the dinner program
  • Two premium tables

Gold Shield


  • Recognition on one online educational program delivered to veterans nationally (6 months)
  • Special recognition in the dinner program
  • One premium table

Silver Shield


  • Special recognition in the dinner program
  • One premium table


General Joseph F. Dunford, Jr.

General Joseph F. Dunford, Jr. served as the 19th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the nation’s highest-ranking military officer, and the principal military advisor to the President, Secretary of Defense, and National Security Council from Oct. 1, 2015, through Sept. 30, 2019.

Prior to becoming Chairman, General Dunford served as the 36th Commandant of the Marine Corps. He previously served as the Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps from 2010 to 2012 and was Commander, International Security Assistance Force and United States Forces-Afghanistan from February 2013 to August 2014.

A native of Boston, Massachusetts, General Dunford graduated from Saint Michael's College and was commissioned in 1977. He has served as an infantry officer at all levels, to include command of 2nd Battalion, 6th Marines, and command of the 5th Marine Regiment during Operation IRAQI FREEDOM.

General Dunford also served as the Assistant Division Commander of the 1st Marine Division, Marine Corps Director of Operations, and Marine Corps Deputy Commandant for Plans, Policies and Operations. He commanded I Marine Expeditionary Force and served as the Commander, Marine Forces U.S. Central Command.

His Joint assignments include duty as the Executive Assistant to the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Chief of the Global and Multilateral Affairs Division (J-5), and Vice Director for Operations on the Joint Staff (J-3).

A graduate of the U.S. Army Ranger School, Marine Corps Amphibious Warfare School, and the U.S. Army War College, General Dunford also earned master’s degrees in Government from Georgetown University and in International Relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.