The university is broadly organized into seven undergraduate colleges and seven graduate divisions at its main Ithaca campus, with each college and division defining its own admission standards and academic programs in near autonomy. The university also administers two satellite medical campuses, one in New York City and one in Education City, Qatar. Cornell is one of three private land grant universities.[note 1] Of its seven undergraduate colleges, three are state-supported statutory or contract colleges, including its agricultural and veterinary colleges. As a land grant college, it operates a cooperative extension outreach program in every county of New York and receives annual funding from the State of New York for certain educational missions. The Cornell University Ithaca Campus comprises 745 acres, but in actuality, is much larger due to the Cornell Plantations (more than 4,300 acres) as well as the numerous university owned lands in New York.
Since its founding, Cornell has been a co-educational, non-sectarian institution where admission is offered irrespective of religion or race. Cornell counts more than 245,000 living alumni, 34 Marshall Scholars, 29 Rhodes Scholars and 44 Nobel laureates as affiliated with the university. The student body consists of nearly 14,000 undergraduate and 7,000 graduate students from all 50 American states and 122 countries.
Main article: History of Cornell UniversityCornell University was founded on April 27, 1865, as the result of a New York State (NYS) Senate bill that named the university as the state's land grant institution. Senator Ezra Cornell offered his farm in Ithaca, New York as a site and $500,000 of his personal fortune as an initial endowment. Fellow senator and experienced educator Andrew Dickson White agreed to be the first president. During the next three years, White oversaw the construction of the initial two buildings and traveled around the globe to attract students and faculty. The university was inaugurated on October 7, 1868, and 412 men were enrolled the next day.
dynamo in 1883. Since 1894, Cornell has included state-funded statutory colleges and has also administered research and extension activities that have been jointly funded by state and federal matching funds.
Cornell has had active alumni since its earliest classes and was one of the first universities to include alumni-elected representatives on its Board of Trustees.[note 2]
Cornell expanded significantly, particularly since World War II, with its student population in Ithaca growing to its current count of about 20,000 students. The faculty also expanded, and by the century's end, the university had about 3,000 faculty members. The school also increased its breadth of course offerings. Today the university has wide-ranging programs and offers more than 4,000 courses. Cornell received national attention in April 1969 when African American students occupied Willard Straight Hall in protest over alleged racism. The crisis resulted in the resignation of President James A. Perkins and the restructuring of university governance.
Since 2000, Cornell has been expanding its international programs. In 2004, the university opened the Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar. It continues to forge partnerships with major institutions in India, Singapore, and the People's Republic of China. Former president Jeffrey S. Lehman called the university, with its high international profile, a "transnational university". On March 9, 2004, Cornell and Stanford laid the cornerstone for a new Bridging the Rift Center located on the Israel–Jordan border.
Ithaca campusIthaca, New York, overlooking the town and Cayuga Lake. 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.[not in citation given] Since then, it has swelled to about 2300 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.[not in citation given] Central Campus has laboratories, administrative buildings, and almost all of the campus' academic buildings, athletic facilities, auditoriums, and museums. The only remaining residential facility on Central Campus is the Law School's dormitory, Hughes Hall which is scheduled to be renovated and converted to office space in the near future. 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.[not in citation given] Collegetown contains two upperclass residence halls and the Schwartz Performing Arts Center amid a neighborhood of apartments, eateries, and businesses.
The main campus is marked by an irregular layout and eclectic architectural styles, including ornate Collegiate 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 Park, outlined a "grand terrace" overlooking Cayuga Lake. Because the terrace plan was dropped, McGraw Hall appears to face the wrong direction, facing Libe Slope rather than the Arts Quad.
The university is home to several buildings on the National Register of Historic Places, including the Andrew Dickson White House, Bailey Hall, Caldwell Hall, Comstock Hall, Morrill Hall, and Deke House. At least three other historic buildings—the original Roberts Hall, East Robert Hall and Stone Hall—have also been listed on the NRHP, despite their demolitions in the 1980s. In September 2011, Travel+Leisure listed the Ithaca Campus as among the most beautiful in the United States.
The Ithaca Campus is among the rolling valleys of the Finger Lakes region and, atop East Hill, provides a view of the surrounding area, including 38 miles (61.4 km) long Lake Cayuga. Two gorges, Fall Creek Gorge and Cascadilla Gorge, bound Central Campus and become popular swimming holes during the warmer months (although the university and city code discourage their use). Adjacent to the main campus, Cornell owns the 2,800 acre (11.6 km²) Cornell Plantations, a botanical garden containing flowers, trees, and ponds along manicured trails.
Cornell has adopted a comprehensive sustainability action plan, and has a number[vague] of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified buildings on the Ithaca campus.[not in citation given] In 2009, a new gas-fired combined heat and power facility replaced a coal-fired steam plant, resulting in a reduction in carbon emissions to 7% below 1990 levels, and to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 75,000 tons per year. The facility meets 15% of campus electrical needs, and a university-run, on-campus hydroelectric plant in the Fall Creek Gorge provides an additional 2%. The university has a lake source cooling project that uses Lake Cayuga 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 "A-" by the 2011 College Sustainability Report Card for its environmental and sustainability initiatives.
New York City campuses
Main article: Cornell TechOn December 19, 2011, a bid by a consortium of Cornell University and Technion-Israel Institute of Technology won a competition for rights to claim free city land as well as $100 million in subsidies to build an engineering campus in the city. The competition was established by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg in order to increase entrepreneurship and job growth in the city's technology sector. The winning bid consisted of a 2.1 million square feet state-of-the-art tech campus to be built on Roosevelt Island on the site of the Coler-Goldwater Specialty Hospital. Instruction began in the fall of 2012 in a temporary location in Manhattan (111 Eighth Avenue in space donated by Google). Thom Mayne of the architecture firm Morphosis has been selected to design the first building to be constructed on Roosevelt Island. Construction would begin in 2014 with a target completion for the start of the 2017 academic year.
Other New York City programsIn addition to the tech campus and 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 NYS College of Human Ecology and the NYS 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 NYS School of Industrial and Labor Relations' 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 addressed to both financial applications and public health logistics planning. The College of Architecture, Art, and Planning has a facility on West 17th Street, near Union Square, to provide studio and seminar space for students and faculty.