Egalitarian Cornell

Egalitarian Cornell

Justice Ginsburg praised Cornell's egalitarian tradition, which reaches all the way back to Ezra Cornell. In particular, she cited a letter that Cornell wrote to his granddaughter in 1867.

My Dear Grand Daughter

Your little letter came duly to hand and I was very glad to hear from you, and grand Ma was also very glad to hear from.

I shall be very glad when I get through with the business here so I can go home and see you and your little brothers, and have you and them go with me up on the hill to see how the workmen get along with the building of the Cornell University where I hope you and your brothers and your cousins and a great many more children will go to school when they get large enough and will learn a great many things that will be useful to them and make them wise and good women and men. I want to have girls educated in the university as well as boys, so that they may have the same opportunity to be come wise and useful to society that the boys have. I want you to keep this letter until you grow up to be a woman and want to go to a good school where you can have a good opportunity to learn, so you can show it to the President and Faculty of the University to let them know that it is the wish of your grand Pa, that girls as well as boys should be educated at the Cornell University.

Ezra Cornell Papers, Cornell University Archives.