History of Cornell
Cornell University was founded in 1868 by Ezra Cornell and Andrew Dickson White with a dream of creating a university dedicated to the education of the common man in any discipline desired. The central elements of the campus were built on Cornell’s farm, and a total endowment of half a million dollars was established to begin the school. White became the University’s first President. Integral to the establishment of Cornell was the Merrill Act that granted public lands to educational institutions. This Act and the endowment donated by Cornell made Cornell University an unusual institution because of the mix of public and private funds. Finding the faculty was the next duty for White. He combed the world looking for a wide variety of individuals to teach the wide variety of subjects which made up the proposed curriculum in little Ithaca, NY. In 1873, Cornell graduated its first female graduate and, in 1897, its first African American student. The Graduate School was developed in 1909 to organize the advanced studies that have been a part of the campus since its inception.