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Cornell University ( ) is a private university located in Ithacamarker, New Yorkmarker, USAmarker, that is a member of the Ivy League.

Cornell was founded in 1865 by Ezra Cornell and Andrew Dickson Whitemarker as a coeducational, non-sectarian institution where admission was offered irrespective of religion or race. Its founders intended that the new university would teach and make contributions in all fields of knowledge—from the classics to the sciences and from the theoretical to the applied. These ideals, unconventional for the time, are captured in Cornell's motto, an 1865 Ezra Cornell quotation: "I would found an institution where any person can find instruction in any study."

Following the spirit of its motto, Cornell offers a curriculum in traditional liberal arts studies as well as in fields like engineering, agriculture, hotel administration, and city and regional planning. The university is organized into seven undergraduate colleges and seven graduate divisions at its main Ithaca campus, with each college and division defining its own academic programs in near autonomy. Cornell is one of two private land grant universities, and its seven undergraduate colleges include four state-supported statutory or contract colleges. The university also administers two satellite medical campuses, one in New York Citymarker and one in Education Citymarker, Qatarmarker.

Cornell counts more than 255,000 living alumni, 28 Rhodes Scholars and 41 Nobel laureates affiliated with the university as faculty or students. The student body consists of over 13,000 undergraduate and 6,000 graduate students from all fifty states and one hundred and twenty-two countries.


Cornell University was founded on April 27, 1865 by a New York State Senate bill that named the university as the state's land grant institution. Senator Ezra Cornell offered his farm in Ithaca, New Yorkmarker, as a site and $500,000 of his personal fortune as an initial endowment. Fellow senator and experienced educator Andrew Dickson Whitemarker agreed to be the first president. During the next three years, White oversaw the construction of the initial two buildings and traveled about the globe, attracting students and faculty.

The university was inaugurated on October 7, 1868, and 412 men were enrolled the next day. Two years later, Cornell admitted its first women students, making it the first coeducational school among what came to be known as the Ivy League. Scientists Louis Agassiz and James Crafts were among the faculty members.

Cornell expanded significantly in the 20th century, with its student population growing to its current count of about 20,000 students. The faculty expanded as well; by the century's end, the university had more than 3,400 faculty members. Along with its population growth, Cornell increased its breadth of course offerings. Today, the university has wide-ranging programs and offers more than 4,000 courses.

Since 2000, Cornell has been expanding its international programs. In 2001, the university founded the Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar, the first American medical school outside of the United States. It continues to forge partnerships with major institutions in India, Singaporemarker, and the People's Republic of China. The university, with its high international profile, claims to be "the first transnational university".

In addition, the university is home to many historic buildings. These buildings range from the first president's house to fraternity buildings.


Main campus

Cornell's main campus is on East Hill in Ithaca, New Yorkmarker, overlooking the town and Cayuga Lakemarker. When the university was founded in 1865, the campus consisted of 209.5 acres (0.85 km²) of Ezra Cornell's roughly 300 acre (1.2 km²) farm. Since then, it has swelled to about 745 acres (3.0 km²), encompassing both the hill and much of the surrounding areas.

Some 260 university buildings are divided primarily between Central and North Campuses on the plateau of the Hill, West Campus on its slope, and Collegetown immediately south of Central Campus. Central Campus has laboratories, administrative buildings, and almost all of the university's academic buildings, athletic facilities, auditoriums, and museums. The only residential facility on Central Campus is the Law School's residential college, Hughes Hall. North Campus contains freshman and graduate student housing, themed program houses, and 29 fraternity and sorority houses. West Campus has upperclass residential colleges and an additional 25 fraternity and sorority houses. Collegetown contains the Schwartz Performing Arts Center and two upperclass residence halls, amid a neighborhood of apartments, eateries, and businesses.

The main campus is marked by an irregular layout and eclectic architectural styles, including ornate Gothic, Victorian, Neoclassical buildings, and less decorative international and modernist structures. The more ornate buildings generally predate World War II. Because the student population doubled from 7,000 in 1950 to 15,000 by 1970, grandiosity was neglected in favor of less expensive and more rapidly constructed styles. While some buildings are neatly arranged into quadrangles, others are packed densely and haphazardly. These eccentricities arose from the university's numerous, ever-changing master plans for the campus. For example, in one of the earliest plans, Frederick Law Olmsted, the designer of Central Parkmarker, outlined a "grand terrace" overlooking Cayuga Lakemarker. Because the terrace plan was dropped, McGraw Hall appears to face the wrong direction, facing the Slope rather than the Arts Quad.

The Ithaca Campus is among the rolling valleys of the Finger Lakesmarker region and, atop the Hill, commands a panoramic view of the surrounding area. Two gorges, Fall Creek Gorge and Cascadilla Gorge, bound Central Campus, and become popular swimming holes during the warmer months (although the university discourages their use). Adjacent to the main campus, Cornell owns the 2,800 acre (11.6 km²) Cornell Plantationsmarker, a botanical garden containing flowers, trees, and ponds along manicured trails.

Cornell has adopted a comprehensive sustainability action plan, and has a number of LEED certified buildings on the Ithaca campus. A new gas-fired combined heat and power facility replaced a coal-fired steam plant, resulting in a reduction in carbon emissions to 7 percent below 1990 levels. It meets 15 percent of campus electrical needs, and a university-run, on-campus hydroelectric plant in the Fall Creek gorge provides an additional 2 percent. An award-winning lake source cooling project uses Lake Cayugamarker to air condition campus buildings, with an 80% energy saving over conventional systems. In 2007, Cornell established a Center for a Sustainable Future. Cornell has been rated "B" by the 2010 College Sustainability Report Card for its environmental and sustainability initiatives.

New York City campus

Weill Cornell Medical College, often called Weill Cornell, is on the Upper East Sidemarker of Manhattanmarker, New York Citymarker. It is home to two Cornell divisions, Weill Medical College and Weill Graduate School of Medical Sciences, and has been affiliated with the New York-Presbyterian Hospital since 1927. Although their faculty and academic divisions are separate, the Medical Center shares its administrative functions with the Columbia University Medical Center. Weill Medical College is also affiliated with the neighboring Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Centermarker, Rockefeller Universitymarker, and the Hospital for Special Surgerymarker. Many faculty members have joint appointments at these institutions, and Weill Cornell, Rockefeller, and Memorial Sloan-Kettering offer the Tri-Institutional MD-PhD Program to selected entering Cornell medical students.

In addition to the medical center, New York City hosts local offices for some of Cornell's service programs. The Cornell Urban Scholars Program encourages students to pursue public service careers with organizations working with New York City's poorest children, families, and communities. The College of Human Ecology and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences provide means for students to reach out to local communities by gardening and building with the Cornell Cooperative Extension. Students with the School of Industrial and Labor Relations'marker Extension & Outreach Program make workplace expertise available to organizations, union members, policy makers, and working adults. The College of Engineering's Operations Research Manhattan, in the city's financial district, brings together business optimization research and decision support services aimed at strengthening industry and public sector collaboration. The College of Architecture, Art, and Planning has a facility on West 17th Street, near Union Squaremarker, to provide studio and seminar space for students and faculty.

In 2006, the NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center opened a $25 million cogeneration facility that generates 100 percent of its base electrical needs from waste heat in its steam plant. The medical campus has a undergone a comprehensive energy-reduction retrofit.

Qatar campus

Weill Medical College in Qatarmarker is in Education Citymarker, near Dohamarker. Opened in September 2004, it was the first American medical school outside the United States. The college is part of Cornell's program to increase its international influence. The College is a joint initiative with the Qatar government, which seeks to improve the country's academic programs and medical care. Along with its full four-year MD program, which mirrors the curriculum taught at Weill Medical College in New York City, the college offers a two-year undergraduate pre-medical program with a separate admissions process. This undergraduate program opened in September 2002 and was the first coeducational institute of higher education in Qatar.

The college is partially funded by the Qatar government through the Qatar Foundation, which contributed $750 million for its construction. The medical center is housed in a large two-story structure designed by Arata Isozaki. In 2004, the Qatar Foundation announced the construction of a 350 – bed Specialty Teaching Hospital near the medical college in Education City. The hospital is currently under construction and is slated to be completed in the next few years.

Other facilities

Cornell University owns and operates many facilities around the world. The Arecibo Observatorymarker in Puerto Rico, site of the world's largest single-dish radio telescope, is operated by Cornell under a contract with the National Science Foundation. The Shoals Marine Laboratorymarker, operated in conjunction with the University of New Hampshiremarker, is a seasonal marine field station dedicated to undergraduate education and research on 95 acre (0.4 km²) Appledore Islandmarker off the MainemarkerNew Hampshiremarker coast.

Many Cornell facilities focus on conservationism and ecology. The New York State Agricultural Experiment Station, operated by the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, is in Geneva, New Yorkmarker, 50 miles (80 km) northwest of the main campus. The facility comprises 20 major buildings on 130 acres (0.5 km²) of land, as well as more than 700 acres (2.8 km²) of test plots and other lands devoted to horticultural research. It also operates three substations, Vineyard Research Laboratory in Fredoniamarker, Hudson Valley Laboratory in Highlandmarker and the Long Island Horticultural Research Laboratory in Riverheadmarker.
The Cornell Laboratory of Ornithologymarker in Sapsucker Woods in Ithaca, New Yorkmarker, performs research on biological diversity, primarily in birds. In 2005, the lab announced that it had rediscovered the Ivory-billed woodpecker, long thought to be extinct. The Animal Science Teaching and Research Center in Harford, New Yorkmarker, and the Duck Research Laboratory in Eastport, New Yorkmarker, are resources for information on animal disease control and husbandry. The Arnot Teaching and Research Forest, a 4,075 acre (16.5 km²) forest 20 miles (32.2 km) south of the Ithaca campus, is the primary field location for faculty and student training and research related to professional forestry. The mission of the Cornell Biological Field Station in Bridgeport, New Yorkmarker, is "to provide a center for long-term ecological research and support the University's educational programs, with special emphasis on freshwater lacustrine systems." In addition, the university operates biodiversity laboratories in Punta Canamarker, Dominican Republicmarker, and in the Amazon rainforest in Perumarker named the Cornell University Esbaran Amazon Field Laboratory.

The university also maintains offices for study abroad and scholarship programs. Cornell in Washington is a program that allows students to study for a semester in Washington, D.C.marker, in research and internship positions while earning credit toward a degree. Cornell in Romemarker, operated by the College of Architecture, Art, and Planning, allows students to use the city as a resource for learning architecture, urban studies, and art. The College of Human Ecology offers the Urban Semester Program, an opportunity to take courses and complete an internship in New York City for a semester. As well, the Capital Semester program allows students to intern in the New York state legislature.

As New York Statemarker's land grant college, Cornell operates a cooperative extension service with its agents spreading knowledge in every county of the state. Cornell also operates New York's Animal Health Diagnostic Center.


Cornell, a research university, is ranked fourth in the world in producing the largest number of graduates who go on to pursue PhDs in engineering or the natural sciences at American institutions, as well as fifth in the world in producing graduates who pursue PhDs at American institutions in any field. Research is a central element of the university's mission; in 2006 Cornell spent $649 million on research and development. In 2007, Cornell ranked fifth among universities in the U.S. in fund-raising, collecting $406.2 million in private support.


College/school founding
College/school Year founded

NYS College of Agriculture and Life Sciences 1874
College of Architecture, Art, and Planning 1871
College of Arts and Sciences 1865
College of Engineering 1922
School of Hotel Administration 1875
NYS College of Human Ecology 1925
NYS School of Industrial and Labor Relationsmarker 1945
Graduate School 1909
Cornell Law School 1887
S.C.marker Johnson Graduate School of Managementmarker 1946
Weill Cornell Medical College 1898
Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences 1898
NYS College of Veterinary Medicine 1894
Cornell is a non-profit institution, receiving most of its funding through tuition, research grants, state appropriations, and alumni contributions. Three of its undergraduate schools/colleges and the graduate-level College of Veterinary Medicine are called "statutory colleges" or "contract colleges". These colleges receive significant partial, ongoing funding from the state of New York to support their teaching, research, and service missions. For 2007-08, these colleges will receive $167.7 million in SUNY appropriations. Residents of New York enrolled in the statutory colleges pay reduced tuition. Furthermore, the New York State Governor, the Speaker of the New York State Assembly, and the President Pro Tem of the New York State Senate all serve as ex-officio members of Cornell's Board of Trustees. The statutory colleges are an integral part of the State University of New York. Despite some similarities, Cornell's contract colleges are not public or state schools—they are hybrid and mostly private institutions that Cornell operates under statutes, appropriations and contracts with New York State.

Cornell is decentralized, with its colleges and schools exercising wide autonomy. Each defines its own academic programs, operates its own admissions and advising programs, and confers its own degrees. The only university-wide requirements for a baccalaureate degree are to pass a swimming test, take two physical education courses, and satisfy a writing requirement. Although students are affiliated with their individual college or school, they may take courses in any of the colleges, provided they have fulfilled the course prerequisites. A handful of inter-school academic departments offer courses in more than one college.

Seven schools provide undergraduate programs and an additional seven provide graduate and professional programs. Students pursuing graduate degrees in departments of these schools are enrolled in the Graduate School. The School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions offers programs for college and high school students, professionals, and other adults. Of the 13,515 undergraduate students, 4,251 (31.5%) are affiliated with the largest college by enrollment, Arts and Sciences, followed by 3,153 (23.3%) in Agriculture and Life Sciences and 2,680 (19.8%) in Engineering. By student enrollment, the smallest of the seven undergraduate colleges is Architecture, Art, and Planning, with 515 (3.8%) students.

Several other universities have used Cornell as their model, including the University of Sydney in Australia and the University of Birminghammarker in the United Kingdom; the latter on the recommendation of one of its financiers, Andrew Carnegie. The university also operates eCornell, which offers both certificate programs and professional development courses online.


For the undergraduate class of 2013, the admission rate was 19.1%. For the undergraduate class of 2012, the admission rate was 20.4%. Of those admitted, the average SAT Verbal score was 700, while the average SAT Math was a 720. Also, 92% of admitted students for the Class of 2011 were in the top 10% of their graduating high school class. In 2008, the most selective undergraduate college was the College of Architecture, Art, and Planning, which admitted only 15.48% of applicants. For the class of 2009, 33.8% enrolled through early decision. Of enrolling students, 67% scored above 650 on the SAT Verbal exam and 82% scored above 650 on the SAT Math exam. Sixty-eight percent of new undergraduate students hailed from public high schools.Cornell enrolls students from all 50 U.S. states and more than 120 countries. The Class of 2010 has representatives from all states except for Arkansas. As of Fall 2005, 28% of undergraduate students identified themselves as members of ethnic minority groups. Ninety-six percent of first-year students return for their second year.

Legacy applicants receive a slight advantage in the admission process .

In 2005, the Graduate School accepted 21.6% of applicants, the Law School accepted 20.6%, and the Veterinary School accepted 10.9%. The Weill Cornell Medical School accepted 4.3%. In 2008, the Johnson School of Managementmarker accepted 19% of its applicants.

Financial Aid

At the time of its founding, Cornell University was considered revolutionary because its founder, Ezra Cornell, was committed to access for all students, regardless of economic circumstance. Together with Cornell's first president, Andrew Dickson White, he opened the institution's doors "to applicants for admission... at the lowest rates of expense consistent with its welfare and efficiency, and without distinction as to rank, class, previous occupation or locality." The University Charter provided for free instruction to one student chosen from each Assembly district in the state. Within the first 10 years of operation, the university admitted women and underrepresented minority students and provided financial aid for many students, using a combination of grant, loan and work-study opportunities. The university awarded need-based grants as early as 1879, and its first endowed scholarship fund was created in 1892.

Starting in the 1950s Cornell coordinated with other Ivy League schools to provide a consistent set of financial aid. However, in 1989, a consent decree to end a Justice Department antitrust investigation ended such coordination. Even after the decree, all Ivy League schools continue to award aid on financial need without offering any athletic scholarships.

In 2007-2008, Cornell has budgeted $116.8 million of its own resources on undergraduate financial aid, 94 percent of which will be spent on grant aid. Sixty-four percent of all Cornell students receive some financial aid.

On January 31, 2008, Cornell announced a new financial aid initiative to be phased in over the next two years. In the first year, 2008-09, Cornell will eliminate need-based loans for undergraduate students from families with incomes under $75,000, and cap them annually at $3,000 for students from families with incomes between $75,000 and $120,000. The following year, 2009-10, the program will take full effect by eliminating need-based loans for students from families with incomes up to $75,000, and capping annual loans at $3,000 for students from families with income between $75,000 and $120,000. The initiative will cost an additional $14 million per year when fully implemented. Although Cornell's endowment dropped 27% in the second half of 2008, its President announced that the financial aid initiative will continue by withdrawing an additional $35 million from the endowment for undergraduate financial aid in 2009 -10.


For the August 2005 to May 2006 academic year, Cornell University had 1,594 full-time and part-time academic faculty members affiliated with its main campus. The New York City medical divisions count 1,005 faculty members and Qatar has 34. In total, 40 Nobel laureates have been affiliated with Cornell as faculty or students. Notable former professors include Carl Sagan, Charles Evans Hughes, Norman Malcolm, Vladimir Nabokov, M.H. Abrams, Hans Bethe, Richard Feynman, Kip Thorne, Archie Randolph Ammons, Peter Debye, Allan Bloom, Paul de Man, and Jacques Derrida.

Cornell's faculty for the 2005–06 academic year included three Nobel laureates, a Crafoord Prize winner, two Turing Award winners, a Fields Medal winner, two Legion of Honor recipients, a World Food Prize winner, an Andrei Sakharov Prize winner, three National Medal of Science winners, two Wolf Prize winners, five MacArthur award winners, four Pulitzer Prize winners, two Eminent Ecologist Award recipients, a Carter G. Woodson Scholars Medallion recipient, four Presidential Early Career Award winners, 20 National Science Foundation CAREER grant holders, a recipient of the National Academy of Sciencesmarker Award for Initiatives in Research, a recipient of the American Mathematical Society's Steele Prize for Lifetime Achievement, a recipient of the Heineman Prize for Mathematical Physics, three Packard Foundation grant holders, a Keck Distinguished Young Scholar, two Beckman Foundation Young Investigator grant holders, and two NYSTAR (New York State Office of Science, Technology, and Academic Research) early career award winners.

In 2008 and 2009, Cornell was named a "Great College to Work For" by The Chronicle of Higher Education. This recognition was based upon Cornell's excellent ratings in several factors such as compensation and benefits, connection to institution and pride, faculty-administration relations, job satisfaction, and post-retirement benefits, as determined by a survey of the faculty, staff, and administration of the university.

International programs

Cornell offers undergraduate curricula with international focuses, including the Africana Studies, French Studies, German Studies, Jewish Studies, Latino Studies, Near Eastern Studies, Romance Studies, and Russian Literature majors. Cornell was the first university to teach modern Far Eastern languages. In addition to traditional academic programs, Cornell students may study abroad on any of six continents.

The Asian Studies major, South Asia Program, Southeast Asia Program, and the newly launched China and Asia-Pacific Studies (CAPS) major provide opportunities for students and researchers in Asia. Cornell has an agreement with Peking Universitymarker allowing students in the CAPS major to spend a semester in Beijing. Similarly, the College of Engineering has an agreement to exchange faculty and graduate students with Tsinghua Universitymarker in Beijing, and the School of Hotel Administration has a joint master's program with Nanyang Technological Universitymarker in Singaporemarker. The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences has signed an agreement with Japan's National Institute of Agrobiological Sciences, as well as the University of the Philippines, Los Bañosmarker, to engage in joint research and exchange graduate students and faculty members. It also cooperates in agricultural research with the Indian Council of Agricultural Research.

In the Middle East, Cornell's efforts focus on biology and medicine. The Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar trains new doctors to improve health services in the region. The university is also developing the Bridging the Rift Center, a "Library of Life" (or database of all living systems) on the border of Israelmarker and Jordanmarker, in collaboration with those two countries and Stanford Universitymarker.

Cornell has partnered with Queen's Universitymarker in Canada to offer a joint Executive MBA. The innovative program includes both on-campus and videoconferencing-based, interactive virtual classroom sessions. Graduates of the program earn both a Cornell MBA and a Queen's MBA.


university ranked 15th in the 2010 U.S. News & World Report National Universities ranking (between Johns Hopkins University and Brown Universitymarker), tied for 5th with Stanford Universitymarker, Columbia University, and Brown Universitymarker in the 2009 U.S. News & World Report High School Counselor rankings, and 12th globally in an academic ranking of world universities by Shanghai Jiao Tong Universitymarker in 2006. Britain'smarker THES - QS World University Rankings ranked Cornell 14th in the world in 2005 and 15th in 2006. Cornell was ranked seventh nationally and first among Ivy League universities in The Washington Monthly's 2007 ranking of universities' contributions to research, community service, and social mobility. In its 2009 rankings of "America's Best Colleges," Forbes magazine ranked Cornell 207th out of 600 U.S. universities. In 2006, The Princeton Review reported that Cornell ranked ninth as a "dream college" for high school students and their parents. Newsweek named Cornell the 'Hottest Ivy' in its 2007 listing of America's 25 Hot Schools. Instead of using the traditional school ranking methods, Newsweek offers a snapshot of today's most interesting colleges according to high school counselors, admissions officers, consultants, students, and parents, who noted Cornell for its emphasis on "problem-solving as well as scholarly debate" and "variety on campus" among other things.

In its annual edition of "America's Best Architecture & Design Schools", the journal DesignIntelligence has consistently ranked Cornell's Bachelor of Architecture program as number one in the nation (in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2009). In the 2009 survey, the program ranked first and the Master of Architecture program ranked sixth. In 2009, DesignIntelligence also ranked Cornell's undergraduate and graduate landscape architecture programs as 4th and 3rd respectively, in the nation.

Among business schools in the United States, the Johnson Graduate School of Managementmarker was ranked 7th by BusinessWeek in 2004, 9th by Forbes in 2005, 14th by U.S. News in 2008, and 18th by The Wall Street Journal in 2005. Worldwide, the school was ranked 17th by The Economist in 2005 and 36th by the Financial Times in 2006.

The Undergraduate Business Program at Cornell University (or Applied Economics and Management program) ranked 4th Nationally in BusinessWeek's Best Undergraduate Business Programs for 2008.

U.S. News ranked the Weill Cornell Medical School as the 15th best in the United States in its 2007 edition. The College of Veterinary Medicine was ranked first among national veterinary medicine graduate schools. The Cornell Law School was ranked as the 12th best graduate law program among national universities. In 2005, The National Law Journal reported that Cornell Law had the sixth highest placement rate at the top 50 law firms in the U.S. among law schools with recent graduates.

Among graduate engineering programs, Cornell was ranked 9th in the United States by U.S. News in 2008. In 2006, Cornell was ranked 1st in the United States and 4th in the world in producing the most graduates who went on to receive engineering or natural science Ph.D.'s at American universities. In its 2006, 2007, and 2008 ranking of undergraduate engineering programs at universities in the United States, U.S. News placed Cornell 1st in engineering physics. In 1954, Conrad Hilton called the Cornell School of Hotel Administration "the greatest hotel school in the world."

According to the latest ranking of National Research Council in 1995, Cornell ranks sixth nationally in the number of graduate programs in the top ten in their fields. Cornell had 19 ranked in the top 10 in terms of overall academic quality. Also National Research Council ranked the quality of faculties as 5th in Arts and Humanities, 6th in Mathematics and Physical Sciences, and 5th in Engineering.


The Cornell University Library is the eleventh largest academic library in the United States, ranked by number of volumes held. Organized into twenty divisions, in 2005 it held 7.5 million printed volumes in open stacks, 8.2 million microfilms and microfiches, and a total of 440,000 maps, motion pictures, DVDs, sound recordings, and computer files in its collections, in addition to extensive digital resources and the University Archives. It was the first among all U.S. colleges and universities to allow undergraduates to borrow books from its libraries. In 2006, The Princeton Review ranked it as the 11th best college library.

The library plays an active role in furthering online archiving of scientific and historical documents. arXiv, an e-print archive created at Los Alamos National Laboratorymarker by Paul Ginsparg, is operated and primarily funded by Cornell as part of the library's services. The archive has changed the way many physicists and mathematicians communicate, making the e-print a viable and popular means of announcing new research.


The Cornell University Press, established in 1869 but inactive from 1884 to 1930, was the first university publishing enterprise in the United States. It was established in the College of the Mechanic Arts (as mechanical engineering was called in the 19th century) because engineers knew more than literature professors did about running steam-powered printing presses. From its inception, the press has offered work-study financial aid: students with previous training in the printing trades were paid for typesetting and running the presses that printed textbooks, pamphlets, a weekly student journal, and official university publications.

Today, the press is one of the country's largest university presses. It produces approximately 150 nonfiction titles each year in various disciplines including anthropology, Asian studies, biological sciences, classics, history, industrial relations, literary criticism and theory, natural history, philosophy, politics and international relations, veterinary science, and women's studies. The press's acquisitions, editorial, production, and marketing departments have been located in Sage House since 1993, and the financial department is on Cascadilla Street in downtown Ithaca. Cornell also publishes Administrative Science Quarterly, an A-level business journal.

Student life


For the 2006–07 academic year, Cornell had 901 registered student organizations. These clubs and organizations run the gamut from kayaking to full-armor jousting, from varsity and club sports and a cappella groups to improvisational theatre, from political clubs and publications to chess and video game clubs. They are subsidized financially by academic departments and/or the Student Assembly and the Graduate & Professional Student Assembly, two student-run organizations with a collective budget of $3.0 million per year. The assemblies also finance other student life programs including a concert commission and an on-campus movie theater. The Cornell International Affairs Society sends Cornellians to collegiate Model UN conferences across North America and hosts the Cornell Model United Nations Conference each spring for over 500 high school students. Student organizations also include a myriad of musical groups that play everything from classical, jazz, to ethnic styles in addition to the Big Red Marching Band, which performs regularly at football games and other campus events. Organized in 1868, the oldest student organization is the Cornell University Glee Club.

Cornell is home to two secret honor societies called Sphinx Head and Quill and Dagger that have maintained a presence on campus for well over 115 years.

Cornell hosts the second largest fraternity and sorority system in North America, with 66 chapters involving 28% of male and 22% of female undergraduates. Alpha Phi Alpha, the first intercollegiate Greek-letter organization established for African Americans, was founded at Cornell in 1906.

During the 2004–05 academic year, the Greek system committed 21,668 community service and advocacy hours and raised $176,547 in philanthropic efforts. However, the administration has expressed concerns over student misconduct in the system. In 2004–05, of 251 social events registered with the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs, 37 (15%) resulted in a complaint. In that same year, there were five reported instances of property destruction, five reports of bias, three hazing incidents, and various other allegations. Student misconduct is reviewed by the Judicial Administrator, Cornell's justice system. However, students accused of academic and conduct code violations at Cornell are entitled to representation in the Cornell justice system by the Office of the Judicial Codes Counselor. Judicial Codes Counselors are usually Cornell Law students appointed by the University president to advocate for students accused of academic and conduct code violations. In addition to the right to representation, Cornell students have the right to not self-incriminate during Judicial Administrator investigations, which is an unusual (though very important) right in college justice systems.

Press and radio

  • The Cornell Daily Sun is the oldest continuously independent college daily newspaper in the United States, having published since September 1880. In 1912, it became the first collegiate member of the Associated Press. The Sun currently publishes print and online editions five days a week while classes are in session and publishes content online during all school breaks. The Sun is distributed on Cornell's campus, around Ithaca and can be subscribed to outside of Ithaca.
  • The Cornell International Affairs Review (CIAR) is a biannual peer-review student-run organization and journal focused on politics and international relations.
  • The Cornell Lunatic, founded in 1978, is the campus humor magazine, published once a semester and distributed for free.
  • The Cornell Chronicle, published by the Division of University Communications with a print edition distributed Fridays during the academic year and an online edition updated daily, is the university's newspaper of record, containing news and features about university programs, research, students, faculty and the administration, and a calendar of events.
  • The Cornell Review is a conservative tabloid newspaper published by students every two weeks. The Review incorporated in 1986 as The Ithaca Review, Inc. While the ideological makeup of its staff shifts over the years, the paper has generally maintained a critical stance toward Cornell's perceived left-wing politics and political correctness. The Review has received national attention for its articles on occasion, including one that discussed a proposal to sell vibrators at Gannett Health Center on campus.
  • WVBRmarker is an independent commercial FM radio station owned and operated by Cornell students, but not affiliated with or controlled by the university. During the week, it plays mostly rock music, and switches to specialty shows and community programming on the weekend. It also provides coverage of both Cornell and national sports.
  • Kitsch Magazine is Ithaca's premier feature magazine, serving Cornell University and Ithaca College with feature articles, opinions and commentary on topics ranging from politics and science to fashion and entertainment. It receives funding from both Cornell and Ithaca College and comes out twice a semester.
  • Ivy Journal of Ethics is an annual journal of applied bioethics published by the Bioethics Society of Cornell. Research and discussion based articles are published primarily from undergraduate students at schools throughout the US, Canada, and Europe. In the past, it has published submissions from notable faculty members, such as Nobel Laureate Roald Hoffmann.


University housing is broadly divided into three sections: North Campus, West Campus, and Collegetown. Since a 1997 residential initiative, West Campus houses transfer and returning students, whereas North Campus is almost entirely populated by freshmen.The only options for living on North Campus for upperclassmen are the program houses: Risley Residential Collegemarker, Just About Music, the Ecology House, Holland International Living Center, the Multicultural Living Learning Unit, the Latino Living Center, Akwe:kon, and Ujamaa. Of these, only Ujamaa, Akwe:kon, and the Latino Living Center remain controversial, due to their dedicated racial or ethnic themes.

In an attempt to create a sense of community and an atmosphere of education outside the classroom and continue Andrew Dickson White's vision, the university has undertaken a $250 million residential college project on West Campus. The Class Halls were demolished and rebuilt as five residential colleges named after notable deceased Cornell professors. The first, Alice Cook House, was opened to students in 2004, followed by Carl Becker House in 2005. The third house, Hans Bethe House, opened in January 2007, with the final houses, William Keeton House and Flora Rose House, opening in August 2008. The idea of building a house system can be attributed in part to the success of Risley Residential Collegemarker, the oldest continually operating residential college at Cornell. Like Risley, the new houses have their own dining halls, student governments, in-house lectures, house trips, and crests.
Additionally, Cornell has several housing areas for graduate and professional students. Of these, Schuyler House and Hughes Hall are designed similarly to dormitories, while Maplewood Apartments, Hasbrouck Apartments, and Thurston Court Apartments are apartment-style, some even allowing for family living. Unlike many undergraduate dormitories, the graduate housing areas are largely located either on the outer border of campus, or off-campus on university-owned land.

Off campus, many homes in the East Hill neighborhoods adjacent to the university have been converted to apartments. Several high-rise apartment complexes have been constructed in the Collegetown neighborhood. Nine percent of undergraduate students reside in fraternity and sorority houses, although freshmen are not permitted to live in them. Housing cooperatives or other independent living units exist, including Watermargin, Telluride House, Triphammer Cooperative, the Center for Jewish Living, and the Wait Cooperative.

In its 2007 rankings of college campus food, The Princeton Review ranked Cornell's dining services eighth overall. The university has 31 on-campus dining locations, and a program called the Cross Country Gourmet Guest Restaurant Series periodically brings chefs, menus, and atmosphere from restaurants to Cornell's eight all-you-care-to-eat dining halls.


Cornell has 36 varsity sports teams that are known as the Big Red. An NCAA Division I institution, Cornell is a member of the Ivy League and ECAC Hockey and competes in the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC), the largest athletic conference in North America. (Note that ECAC Hockey is no longer affiliated with the ECAC.) The men's ice hockey team is the most historically successful of the varsity teams and is the university's most intently followed sport. Cornell's varsity athletic teams currently are highly successful within the Ivy League and consistently challenge for NCAA Division I titles in a number of sports, including men's lacrosse and men's ice hockey. Because of the Ivy League athletic agreement, the university is not permitted to offer athletic scholarships for athletic recruiting.
Cornell University's football team had at least a share of the national championship four times before 1940 and has won the Ivy League championship three times, last in 1990. The sprint football team has won the CSFL title six times. The men's ice hockey team has been NCAA champion twice, ECAC champion 11 times and Ivy League champion 19 times, and recorded the only undefeated season in NCAA Division I Hockey history in 1970. The men's lacrosse team has been NCAA champion three times and Ivy League champion 21 times. The men's Lightweight rowing team varsity 8+ has won the IRA regatta four times since 1992 (1992, 2006, 2007, 2008). The women's polo team has won the National Women's Polo Championship 11 times and the women's hockey team has been Ivy League champion 8 times. In total, Cornell's varsity athletic teams have been champions of the NCAA, ECAC, or Ivy League 114 times.

Cornell maintains athletic rivalries with other collegiate institutions. The men's ice hockey team has a historic rivalry with Boston Universitymarker, but since BU left what became ECAC Hockey to join Hockey East, rivalry with Harvard University has become predominant. Following tradition, when Harvard plays the men's ice hockey team at Cornell's Lynah Rinkmarker, some Big Red fans throw fish on the ice.

Cornell and the University of Pennsylvaniamarker are long-time rivals in football. With more than 114 games played since their first meeting in 1893, this is the seventh most-played rivalry in college football. Cornell's football series against both the University of Pennsylvania and Dartmouth Collegemarker are tied for second longest uninterrupted college football match-ups in history, both dating back to 1919. In polo, the men's and women's teams maintain rivalries with the University of Virginiamarker and the University of Connecticutmarker.

In addition to the school's varsity athletics, club sports teams have been organized as student organizations under the auspices of the Dean of Students. Cornell's intramural program includes 30 sports. Beside such familiar sports such as flag football, squash, or water polo, such unusual offerings as "inner tube water polo" and formerly "broomstick polo" have been offered, as well as a sports trivia competition. Cornell students also often participate in the International Rutabaga Curling Championship, held annually at the Ithaca Farmers' Market. Cornell also has a rich history of martial arts on campus, particularly Sport Taekwondo. Since 1987, Cornell Sport Taekwondo has competed in the Ivy-Northeast Collegiate Taekwondo League (INCTL). In 2007 after a 4 year slump, Cornell Sport Taekwondo defeated MIT Sport Taekwondo to take the INCTL Cup.


Cornelliana is a term for Cornell's traditions, legends, and lore. Cornellian traditions include Slope Day, a celebration held on the last day of classes, and Dragon Day, which includes the burning of a dragon built by architecture students. Dragon Day is one of the school's oldest traditions and has been celebrated annually since 1901, typically on or near St. Patrick's Day. The dragon is built secretly by the architecture students, and taunting messages are left for the engineering students for the week before Dragon Day. On Dragon Day, the dragon is paraded across the Arts Quad and then set afire.

According to legend, if a virgin crosses the Arts Quad at midnight, the statues of Ezra Cornell and Andrew Dickson Whitemarker will walk off their pedestals, meet in the center of the Quad, and shake hands, congratulating themselves on the chastity of the University. There is also another myth that if a couple crosses the suspension bridge on North Campus, and the young woman doesn't accept a kiss from her partner, the bridge will fall. If the kiss is accepted, the couple is assured a long future together.

The university is also host to various student pranks. For example, on at least two different occasions the university has awoken to find something odd atop the 173-foot (52.7 m) tall McGraw clock tower—once a 60-pound (27 kg) pumpkin and another time a disco ball. Because there is no access to the spire atop the tower, how the items were put in place remains a mystery. The colors of the lights on McGraw tower change to orange for Halloween and green for St. Patrick's Day.

The school colors are carnelian (a shade of red) and white, a play on "Cornellian" and Andrew Dickson White. A bear is commonly used as the unofficial mascot, which dates back to the introduction of the mascot "Touchdown" in 1915, a live bear who was brought onto the field during football games. The university's alma mater is "Far Above Cayuga's Waters" and its fight song is "Give My Regards to Davy". People associated with the university are called "Cornellians". "Cornellian" is also used as an adjective and as the name of the university's yearbook.


For the 2004–05 fiscal year, the university spent $561.3 million on research. The primary recipients of this funding were the colleges of Medicine ($164.2 million), Agriculture and Life Sciences ($114.5 million), Arts and Sciences ($80.3 million), and Engineering ($64.8 million). The money comes largely from federal sources, with federal investment of $381.0 million. The federal agencies that invest the most money are the Department of Health and Human Services and the National Science Foundation that make up, respectively, 51.4% and 30.7% of all federal investment in the university. Cornell was on the top-ten list of U.S. universities receiving the most patents in 2003, and is one of the nation's top five institutions in forming start-up companies. In 2004–05, Cornell received 200 invention disclosures, filed 203 U.S. patent applications, completed 77 commercial license agreements, and distributed royalties of more than $4.1 million to Cornell units and inventors.

Since 1962, Cornell has been involved in unmanned missions to Mars. In the 21st century, Cornell had a hand in the Mars Exploration Rover Mission. Cornell's Steve Squyres, Principal Investigator for the Athena Science Payload, led the selection of the landing zones and requested data collection features for the Spirit and Opportunity rovers. Jet Propulsion Laboratorymarker engineers took those requests and designed the rovers to meet them. The rovers, both of which have operated long past their original life expectancies, are responsible for the discoveries that were awarded 2004 Breakthrough of the Year honors by Science. Control of the Mars rovers has shifted between NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory at Caltechmarker and Cornell's Space Sciences Building. Further, Cornell researchers discovered the rings around the planet Uranus, and Cornell built and operates the world's largest and most sensitive radiotelescopemarker located in Arecibo, Puerto Rico.
The Automotive Crash Injury Research project was begun in 1952 by John O. Moore at the Cornell Aeronautical Research Laboratories, which spun off in 1972 as Calspan Corporation. It pioneered the use of crash testing, originally using corpses rather than dummies. The project discovered that improved door locks, energy-absorbing steering wheels, padded dashboards, and seat belts could prevent an extraordinary percentage of injuries. The project led Liberty Mutual to fund the building of a demonstration Cornell Safety Car in 1956, which received national publicity and influenced carmakers. Carmakers soon started their own crash-test laboratories and gradually adopted many of the Cornell innovations. Other ideas, such as rear-facing passenger seats, never found favor with carmakers or the public.

In 1984, the National Science Foundation began work on establishing five new supercomputer centers, including the Cornell Center for Advanced Computing, to provide high-speed computing resources for research within the United States. In 1985, a team from the National Center for Supercomputing Applications began the development of NSFNet, a TCP/IP-based computer network that could connect to the ARPANET, at the Cornell Center for Advanced Computing and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaignmarker. This high-speed network, unrestricted to academic users, became a backbone to which regional networks would be connected. Initially a 56-kbit/s network, traffic on the network grew exponentially; the links were upgraded to 1.5-Mbit/s T1s in 1988 and to 45 Mbit/s in 1991. The NSFNet was a major milestone in the development of the Internet and its rapid growth coincided with the development of the World Wide Web.
Cornell scientists have researched the fundamental particles of nature for more than 70 years. Cornell physicists, such as Hans Bethe, contributed not only to the foundations of nuclear physics but also participated in the Manhattan Project. In the 1930s, Cornell built the second cyclotron in the United States. In the 1950s, Cornell physicists became the first to study synchrotron radiation. During the 1990s, the Cornell Electron Storage Ringmarker, located beneath Alumni Field, was the world's highest-luminosity electron-positron collider. After building the synchrotron at Cornell, Robert R. Wilson took a leave of absence to become the founding director of Fermilabmarker, which involved designing and building the largest accelerator in the United States.

Cornell's accelerator and high-energy physics groups are involved in the design of the proposed International Linear Collider and plan to participate in its construction and operation. The International Linear Collider, to be completed in the late 2010s, will complement the Large Hadron Collidermarker and shed light on questions such as the identity of dark matter and the existence of extra dimensions.


Graduates of Cornell are known as "Cornellians". As of August 2008, the university counted 255,449 living Cornellians. Many are active through organizations and events including the annual Reunion Weekend and Homecoming, weekend festivities in Ithaca, and the International Spirit of Zinck's Night. For the 2004–05 fiscal year, Cornell ranked third for gifts and bequests from alumni, and fourth for total support from all sources (alumni, friends, corporations, and foundations) among U.S. colleges and universities reporting voluntary gift support. In October 2006, Cornell made public a 10 year capital campaign "Far Above..." to solicit alumni and raise $4 billion to improve the undergraduate experience, attract and retain faculty, and expand the physical plant. Information about Cornell graduates, most of which is submitted by the graduates themselves, is available in the Cornell Alumni Magazine. The magazine is currently published 6 times a year.

Cornellians are noted for their accomplishments in public, professional, and corporate life. Taiwanmarker's former President Lee Teng-hui, former President of Cubamarker Mario García Menocal, and former Iranianmarker Prime Minister Jamshid Amuzegar all graduated from Cornell. In the United States, numerous Congressmen and Cabinet members, including Paul Wolfowitz and Janet Reno, and one Supreme Courtmarker justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, have been Cornellians. After his Cornell education, David Starr Jordan went on to become the president of Indiana Universitymarker and subsequently founding president of Stanford Universitymarker after former Cornell president Andrew Dickson Whitemarker turned down the position. M. Carey Thomas founded Bryn Mawr Collegemarker and was its second president. Lieutenant Colonel Matt Urban is the most decorated serviceman in United States history. Arnold Tremere was appointed as the Canadian International Grains Institute Executive Director.

Cornellian-founded and/or headed businesses include Alamo Rent-A-Car by Michael Egan, Carrier by Willis Carrier, Citigroup by Sanford Weill, Coors Brewing Company by Adolph Coors, Gannett by Frank Gannett, Grumman Aerospace Corporation by Leroy Grumman, by David Litman and Bob Diener, Palm by Jeff Hawkins, PeopleSoft by David Duffield, by Jay Walker, Qualcommmarker by Dr. Irwin M. Jacobs, Staples by Myra Hart, and Tata Group headed by Ratan Tata. Reginald Fils-Aime is President and CEO of Nintendo of America and Dan Hesse is the CEO of Sprint Nextel.

In medicine, Dr. C. Everett Koop was the Surgeon General under Ronald Reagan, Dr. Robert Atkins developed the Atkins Diet, Dr. Henry Heimlich developed the Heimlich maneuver, and Wilson Greatbatch invented the first successful pacemaker. Dr. James Maas, both an alumnus and current faculty member, coined the term "power nap". Cornellians also include medical personalities Dr. Benjamin Spock and Joyce Brothers, as well as the Nobel laureate maize geneticist Barbara McClintock. Dr. Jack Szostak, professor of genetics at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, was awarded the 2009 Nobel Prize in medicine for discovering a key mechanism in the genetic operations of cells, an insight that has inspired new lines of research into cancer.

A number of Cornellians have been prominent innovators, starting with Thomas Midgley, Jr., the inventor of Freon. Jeff Hawkins invented the Palm Pilot and subsequently founded Palm, Inc. Graduate Jon Rubinstein is credited with the development of the iPod. William Higinbotham developed Tennis for Two in 1958, one of the earliest computer games and the predecessor to Pong, and Robert Tappan Morris developed the first computer worm on the Internet. The most direct evidence of dark matter was provided by Vera Rubin. Jill Tarter is the current director of the SETI Institute and Steve Squyres is the principal investigator on the Mars Exploration Rover Mission. Eight Cornellians have served as NASAmarker astronauts. Bill Nye is best known as "The Science Guy".

Both female American Nobel Laureates in Literature studied at Cornell. Nobel Prize in Literature winner Toni Morrison wrote Song of Solomon and won a Pulitzer Prize for her novel, Beloved. The Nobel Prize in Literature was also awarded to Pearl S. Buck, author of The Good Earth. E. B. White, author of Charlotte's Web and Stuart Little, co-wrote the influential writing guide The Elements of Style with fellow Cornellian William Strunk Jr. Other Cornellian writers include Junot Diaz, Laura Z. Hobson, Thomas Pynchon, William Irwin Thompson, Kurt Vonnegut and Lauren Weisberger, author of The Devil Wears Prada. Cornellian journalists include Margaret Bourke-White, Allison Danzig, Dick Schaap, Kate Snow, radio personality Dave Ross, and political commentators Ann Coulter and Keith Olbermann.
Christopher Reeve is best known for his role as Superman, while comedian Frank Morgan is best known to younger generations as The Wizard of Oz. Howard Hawks is widely regarded as one of the most prominent directors of the classic Hollywood era, directing His Girl Friday and The Big Sleep among many other films. Stand-up comedian Bill Maher, host of the HBO series Real Time with Bill Maher is said to have been Politically Incorrect even as an undergraduate at Cornell. John Kerwin, hosts The John Kerwin Show, a talk show featuring celebrity interviews, based in Los Angeles. Jimmy Smits, best known for his roles on L.A. Law, The West Wing, and in the Star Wars films Episode II: Attack of the Clones and Episode III: Revenge of the Sith earned his MFA from Cornell. Charlie Bucket was played by future Cornellian Peter Ostrum, and alumnus Robert Smigel is the puppeteer behind Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog. Cornellians have won Academy Awards and been enshrined on the Hollywood Walk of Famemarker. Mack David wrote "Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo" from the 1950 film Cinderella. Robert Alexander Anderson wrote the Christmas song "Mele Kalikimaka". Greg Graffin of the band Bad Religion, Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul and Mary, singer-songwriter Harry Chapin, pop star Huey Lewis, and modern composers Steve Reich, Christopher Rouse, and Steven Stucky, all attended Cornell. Ronald D. Moore created the Battlestar Galactica remake that debuted in 2004. Carla Gallo played Lizzie in Undeclared.The Empire State Buildingmarker and Grauman's Chinese Theatremarker were designed by Cornell architects Richmond Shreve and Raymond M. Kennedy, respectively. Edmund Bacon is best known for reshaping Philadelphiamarker in the mid 20th century. Contemporary architects Richard Meier and Peter Eisenman are also Cornellians.

In athletics, Cornellians have won Olympic and World Championship medals, been inducted into sports halls of fame, include Gary Bettman, current commissioner of the National Hockey League, led numerous teams as general managers and coaches including Glenn "Pop" Warner, and Bruce Arena, former head coach of the United States men's national soccer team. Kevin Boothe played offensive guard for Cornell and the Super Bowl XLII champion New York Giants. In addition to playing a regular on Hill Street Blues, Ed Marinaro was the runner up for the Heisman Trophy, played in two Super Bowls (VIII and IX) and was named to the College Football Hall of Fame. Ken Dryden was a six-time Stanley Cup winning hockey goalie. Joe Nieuwendyk was a Conn Smythe Trophy winner with the Dallas Stars in the 1999 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Cornell Alumnus Bryan Colangelo is now the President and General Manager of the Toronto Raptors of the NBA.


  1. The other is the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
  2. Retrieved 2009-09-05.
  3. Retrieved 2009-09-05.
  4. State Budget
  5. NYS Education Law §§ 350(3), 352(3) and 357
  6. Retrieved 2009-01-08.
  7. The Carnegie Committee, Cornell Alumni News, II(10), November 29, 1899, p. 6
  9. University Charter § 9. quoted in at 3-4.
  10. Facts about Cornell
  11. Retrieved 2009-01-28.
  12. [1]—A 2006 ranking from THES - QS of the world’s research universities.
  13. 1995 National Research Council Report on Quality in Ph.D. Education in the U.S.. UC Berkeley Graduate Publications. Accessed July 6, 2006.
  14. Retrieved 2009-10-19.

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