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Cornell’s Twelve Presidents

Inaugurating the Presidents

Andrew Dickson White, 1868
Charles Kendall Adams, 1885
Jacob Gould Schurman, 1892
Livingston Farrand, 1921
Edmund E. Day, 1937
Deane W. Malott, 1951
James A. Perkins, 1963
Dale R. Corson, 1969
Frank H. T. Rhodes, 1977
Hunter Ripley Rawlings III, 1995
Jeffrey Sean Lehman, 2003

Inaugurating the Presidents

Jacob Gould Schurman, 1892

The inauguration of Jacob Gould Schurman took place on Friday, November 11, 1892 at 10:30 a.m. in Armory Hall. The university suspended all activities for the day. The procession of students, faculty, officers, and Trustees, numbering about 1000, proceeded from the Arts Quad to the Armory, led by the University Band. The procession entered the hall to the “Austrian Army March,” played by Gartland’s Orchestra of Albany, NY. Addresses were given on behalf of the students, alumni, faculty, and Trustees. Henry W. Sage, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, presented the Charter and Seal to the President. President Schurman used his inaugural address to retell the story of the Morrill Act, and to excoriate the state of New York for not having given one cent of support to its fledgling land-grant university. He asked for an annual appropriation from the state of “not less than $150,000!” He also listed special needs, such as faculty salaries, dormitories and scholarships, for which he would seek private support.

President and Mrs. Schurman hosted a reception at Armory Hall.

The hall was suitably decorated and the music was furnished by Gartland’s Orchestra of Albany. The reception was largely attended by the trustees, members of the corps of instruction, their families, students and friends of the University and was a very successful social event.

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Blueprint for seating at Schurman's inauguration
Schurman's Inaugural Address, November 11, 1892.

“In the name of equity and expediency, and for the sake of her meritorious sons and daughters whom we educate free of tuition, I ask of the State of New York an annual appropriation to Cornell University of not less than $150,000!”