Monday, March 23, 2015

Cornell University

Cornell University (/kɔrˈnɛl/ kor-NEL) is an American private Ivy League and federal land-grant research university located in Ithaca, New York. Founded in 1865 by Ezra Cornell and Andrew Dickson White, the university was intended to 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, a popular 1865 Ezra Cornell quotation: "I would found an institution where any person can find instruction in any study."[1]
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.[7] 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.[8]
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.[5][9][10] The student body consists of nearly 14,000 undergraduate and 7,000 graduate students from all 50 American states and 122 countries.[11]


Cornell 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.[12] The university was inaugurated on October 7, 1868, and 412 men were enrolled the next day.[13]
Cornell's founders
Cornell continued to be a technological innovator applying its research to its own campus as well as to outreach efforts. For example, it was one of the first university campuses to use electricity to light the grounds from a water-powered dynamo in 1883.[14] Since 1894, Cornell has included state-funded statutory colleges[15] and has also administered research and extension activities that have been jointly funded by state and federal matching funds.[16]
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.[17] The school also increased its breadth of course offerings. Today the university has wide-ranging programs and offers more than 4,000 courses.[18] Cornell received national attention in April 1969 when African American students occupied Willard Straight Hall in protest over alleged racism.[19][20] The crisis resulted in the resignation of President James A. Perkins and the restructuring of university governance.[21]
Since 2000, Cornell has been expanding its international programs. In 2004, the university opened the Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar.[22] It continues to forge partnerships with major institutions in India, Singapore, and the People's Republic of China.[23][24][25] Former president Jeffrey S. Lehman called the university, with its high international profile, a "transnational university".[26] On March 9, 2004, Cornell and Stanford laid the cornerstone for a new Bridging the Rift Center located on the Israel–Jordan border.[27]


The Arts Quad on Cornell's main campus with iconic McGraw Tower in the background
Overlooking Ho Plaza from atop McGraw Tower, with Sage Hall and Barnes Hall in the background
Sage Chapel hosts religious services and concerts, and is the final resting place of the university's founders
Beebe Lake waterfall from the Thurston Bridge

Ithaca campus

Cornell's main campus is on East Hill in Ithaca, 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.[28] 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.[28][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.[29][not in citation given] Collegetown contains two upperclass residence halls[30][31] and the Schwartz Performing Arts Center amid a neighborhood of apartments, eateries, and businesses.[32]
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.[33] 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.[34] Because the terrace plan was dropped, McGraw Hall appears to face the wrong direction, facing Libe Slope rather than the Arts Quad.[citation needed]
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.[35] In September 2011, Travel+Leisure listed the Ithaca Campus as among the most beautiful in the United States.[36]
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).[37] 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.[38]
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.[39][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.[40] The facility meets 15% of campus electrical needs,[41] and a university-run, on-campus hydroelectric plant in the Fall Creek Gorge provides an additional 2%.[42] 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.[43] In 2007, Cornell established a Center for a Sustainable Future.[44] Cornell has been rated "A-" by the 2011 College Sustainability Report Card for its environmental and sustainability initiatives.[45]

New York City campuses

Weill Cornell

Weill Medical Center overlooks the East River in New York City.
Cornell's medical campus in New York, also called Weill Cornell, is on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, New York City. It is home to two Cornell divisions, Weill Cornell Medical College and Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences, and has been affiliated with the NewYork–Presbyterian Hospital since 1927.[46] Although their faculty and academic divisions are separate, the Medical Center shares its administrative and teaching hospital functions with the Columbia University Medical Center.[47] These teaching hospitals also include the Payne Whitney Clinic in Manhattan and the Westchester Division in White Plains, New York.[48] Weill Cornell Medical College is also affiliated with the neighboring Memorial Sloan–Kettering Cancer Center, Rockefeller University, and the Hospital for Special Surgery. 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.[49] From 1942 to 1979, the campus also housed a Cornell school of nursing.[50]

Cornell Tech

Main article: Cornell Tech
On 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).[51] 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.[52]

Other New York City programs

In 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.[53] 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.[54] 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.[55] 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.[56] 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.[57]

Qatar campus

Main article: Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar