Cornell University (/kɔːrˈnɛl/ kor-NEL) is a private and statutory Ivy League research university 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 founding principle, a popular 1868 quotation from founder Ezra Cornell: "I would found an institution where any person can find instruction in any study."
- Cornell remains remarkably true to its founders' vision of what a university in Ithaca should be. What has been constant at Cornell is its democracy, its orientation toward the future, its commitment to a balance between research and teaching, the individual responsibility of its faculty and students, and its freedom of inquiry. Its faculty still considers itself underpaid, the landscape remains thrilling, the weather- rain, snow, sun, cold, heat, wind- is still known as "ithacation" and always unpredictable. A university is a living entity. "One cannot be precise about Cornell," Dale Corson observed wryly, for it is an institution that "refuses to hold still." So true."I believe that we have made the beginning of an Institution which will prove highly beneficial," said Ezra Cornell. He understood that the institution he and Andrew Dickson White created would always be in the process of becoming. As long as this university remains a work in progress, it will be doing its job. It is this tradition of independence, egalitarian creativity, and personal responsibility that has shaped Cornell and will guide it forward.
- Carol Kammen, Glorious To View: Cornell (2003), p. 230
- Far above Cayuga's waters,
With its waves of blue,
Stands our noble Alma Mater,
Glorious to view.
- Archibald Croswell Weeks & Wilmot Moses Smith, "Far Above Cayuga's Waters" (1870), first verse
- Far above the busy humming
Of the bustling town,
Reared against the arch of heaven,
Looks she proudly down.
- Archibald Croswell Weeks and Wilmot Moses Smith, "Far Above Cayuga's Waters" (1870), second verse
- Lift the chorus, speed it onward,
Loud her praises tell;
Hail to thee, our Alma Mater!
Hail, all hail, Cornell!
- Archibald Croswell Weeks and Wilmot Moses Smith, "Far Above Cayuga's Waters" (1870), refrain