A little face-lifting, or face-saving, of the recently beleaguered presidio on Morningside Heights in a collection of 33 pieces by grateful graduates and eminent (also emeritus) professors of Columbia University. All of them assert a humanitarian heritage received in earlier, more halcyon days (the Depression notwithstanding) and only one, a very funny piece by Arnold Beichman, returning after thirty years for graduate work, puts down the recent campus ""seas culottes."" There's Mark Van Doren on another influential teacher and Lionel Trilling on mentor Raymond Weaver who discovered Melville; while poets Louis Simpson and John Berryman. Thomas Merton and Clifton Fadiman all pay handsome tributes to Mr. Van Doren, Norman Cousins, Alfred A. Knopf, Jacques Barzun, Joseph Wood Krutch, Paul Gallico and Corey Ford are among the better known celebrant-contributors, almost all of whom deal with the period which extends from the '30's to the '50's. ""A great university is measured by the caliber of the men it can attract and maintain in a free community of scholars""--a manifesto proved here, likelier to reassure the older generation than realign the young.