Cornell University was chartered in 1865. Opening Day ceremonies were held on October 7, 1868; the total enrollment was 412 students.
Once called "the first American university" by educational historian Frederick Rudolph, Cornell University represents a distinctive mix of eminent scholarship and democratic ideals. Adding practical subjects to the classics and admitting qualified students regardless of nationality, race, social circumstance, gender, or religion was quite a departure when Cornell was founded in 1865.
Today's Cornell reflects this heritage of egalitarian excellence. It is home to the nation's first colleges devoted to hotel administration, industrial and labor relations, and veterinary medicine. Both a private university and the land-grant institution of New York State, Cornell University is the most educationally diverse member of the Ivy League.
On the Ithaca campus alone nearly 20,000 students representing every state and 120 countries choose from among 4,000 courses in 11 undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools. Many undergraduates participate in a wide range of interdisciplinary programs, play meaningful roles in original research, and study in Cornell programs in Washington, New York City, and the world over.
Cornell's main campus is in Ithaca, New York, but it also has medical campuses in New York City and in Doha, Qatar, and research, study, and outreach stations and programs throughout the world.
Ithaca is a small but cosmopolitan city about 60 miles southwest of Syracuse, in the scenic Finger Lakes region of central New York State.