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Cornell University

Cornell Institution is a private Ivy League and statutory land-grant research university in Ithaca, New York. Ezra Cornell and Andrew Dickson White created Cornell University in 1865 to teach and contribute to all fields of knowledge, from the classics to the sciences and from the theoretical to the practical. Numerous significant and powerful positions in politics, the media, and science have been held by Cornell alumni and allies.

Cornell University


Cornell University was established on April 27, 1865, when the New York State Assembly designated it as the state's land grant university. Senator Ezra Cornell provided his farm in Ithaca, New York, as a location and an initial grant of $500,000 from his fortune. The institution opened on October 7, 1868, with 412 men enrolling the next day.

Cornell grew as a technologically forward-thinking university that applied its findings to its campus and outreach activities. It was, for example, one of the first university campuses to use electricity generated by a water-powered dynamo to light the grounds in 1883. Cornell has incorporated state-supported institutions that meet legislative criteria since 1894 and research and extension activities jointly sponsored by state and federal matching programs.

Since the first courses, Cornell has had active alumni. Cornell has incorporated state-supported institutions that meet legislative criteria since 1894, as well as research and extension activities that are jointly sponsored by state and federal matching programs.


Cornell University is located on East Hill in Ithaca, New York, with views of the city and Cayuga Lake. Since its inception, the institution has grown to over 2,300 acres, encompassing both the hill and most of the surrounding countryside. Central Campus houses labs, administrative offices, and nearly all academic buildings, sporting facilities, auditoriums, and museums on campus. Transfer students are occasionally housed at the Townhouse Community. North Campus has eight housing halls, the majority of which are occupied by first-year students. The West Campus House System is made up of five main residence halls and additional Gothic-style buildings known as "the Gothics" on West Campus.

The main campus has an uneven plan and a diverse range of architectural styles, including grandiose Collegiate Gothic, Victorian, and Neoclassical structures and more sparse international and modernist architecture. The most ornate structures predate WWII in most cases. When architectural styles embraced modernity, the student population quadrupled from 7,000 in 1950 to 15,000 by 1970. The university's multiple, ever-changing master plans for the campus were the source of these oddities.

Several 'green' initiatives have been implemented at the university. According to the company, a new gas-fired combined heat and power facility replaced a coal-fired steam plant in 2009, decreasing carbon emissions by 7% below 1990 levels and 75,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year. This facility serves 15% of the campus's electrical needs, with the remaining 2% supplied by a university-run hydroelectric plant in the Fall Creek Gorge. When opposed to standard cooling systems, the college features a lake source cooling project that uses Cayuga Lake to cool campus buildings, saving 80 per cent on electricity.

Since 2007, the university has pledged to attain net carbon neutrality by 2035, compared to baseline 2008 emissions, making it the first Ivy League institution. Cornell's Ithaca campus will be powered by six solar farms from 2020, with 28 megawatts. In addition to lake source cooling, Earth Source Heating, a mid to low-grade enhanced geothermal system, will be developed to meet heating needs. The geothermal system is expected to meet 20% of the campus's heating needs in the future.

Student Life

Cornell Outdoor Education

Cornell has one of the country's largest undergraduate outdoor education programs, with over 20,000 participants each year. Among the 130 courses provided by the programme are caving, hiking, rock and ice climbing, wilderness first aid, and tree climbing. Outdoor Odyssey, one of the largest student-run pre-freshman summer programmes, is overseen by COE. The majority of classes are exclusively taught by paid student instructors and count toward the Cornell physical education graduation requirement. One of Cornell Outdoor Education's most spectacular facilities is the Lindseth Climbing Wall. The climbing wall was renovated in 2016 and now covers 8,000 square feet, up from 4,800 square feet before.


Cornellians refers to the university's traditions, tales, and folklore. Slope Day, held on the last day of courses in the spring semester, and Dragon Day, which features the burning of a dragon made by architecture students, are two Cornellian traditions. One of the school's oldest traditions, Dragon Day, has been held every year since 1901, usually around St. Patrick's Day. The architecture students build the dragon in secret, and insulting messages are left for the engineering students for the week leading up to Dragon Day. The dragon is paraded through the Arts Quad and then set ablaze on Dragon Day.

Suppose a virgin crosses the Arts Quad at midnight. In that case, tradition has it that the sculptures of Ezra Cornell and Andrew Dickson White will rise from their pedestals, meet in the Quad's centre, and shake hands, congratulating themselves on the students' innocence. Another urban legend claims that if a couple crosses the North Campus suspension bridge and the young woman refuses her partner's kiss, the bridge will collapse. If the kiss is accepted, the couple has a bright future.

Various student pranks are also common at the university. For example, the institution has awoken to find something strange atop the 173-foot tall McGraw clock tower on at least two occasions?once a 60-pound pumpkin and once a disco ball. Because the spire atop the tower is inaccessible, how the artefacts were placed remains a mystery. For Halloween, the lights on McGraw Tower turn orange, and for St. Patrick's Day, they turn green. The clock tower plays music as well.


North Campus, West Campus, and Collegetown are the three parts of university accommodation. Cornell began experimenting with co-ed dormitories in 1971, and the campus administration maintained the practice of residential advisers (R.A.s). Since a 1997 residential effort, West Campus has housed transfer and returning students, while North Campus is nearly filled by first-year students and sorority and fraternity houses.

Cornell also has several housing options for graduate and professional students. Many single-family homes in the university's East Hill areas have been converted to apartments off-campus. Private developers have erected several multi-story apartment buildings in the Collegetown district.


Students at Cornell have access to several professional and peer counselling options. Cornell Health, formerly known as Gannett Health Care until 2016, provides on-campus outpatient health services, with emergency and residential treatment supplied by Cayuga Medical Center. Cornell offered residential medical treatment for sick students for most of its history, including at the renowned Sage Infirmary. Specialised reproductive health and family planning services are available at Cornell. A student-run Emergency Medical Service (EMS) agency is also on campus. The squad responds to medical crises on Cornell's campus and university-owned assets in the surrounding area.


The institution spent $984.5 million on research in the 2016-17 fiscal year. With a total investment of $438.2 million, the federal government is the greatest source of research funding. The Department of Health and Human Services and the National Science Foundation, which account for 49.6% and 24.4 per cent of total government investment, respectively, are the agencies that contribute the most. Cornell was one of the top ten universities in the United States for getting patents in 2003 and one of the top five for launching start-up companies. Cornell received 200 invention disclosures in 2004-05, submitted 203 US patent applications, finalised 77 commercial license agreements, and paid out more than $4.1 million in royalties to Cornell units and inventors.


According to Q.S. World University Rankings and Times Higher Education World University Rankings Cornell was ranked 7th in the United States in 2020. U.S. News & World Report's National Universities rating has ranked Cornell 12th on average during the last 30 years.


As of August 2008, Cornell has 245,027 live alumni. Cornell has 34 Marshall Scholars and 31 Rhodes Scholars among its alumni, and it is the only university with three female Nobel Prize winners (Pearl S. Buck, Barbara McClintock, and Toni Morrison). Many Cornell graduates keep in touch with the university through Homecoming's reunion weekend, Cornell Magazine, and the Cornell Club of New York. Cornell was ranked 5th in the nation for alumni donations and bequests in 2015.

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