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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

Frank H. T. Rhodes, 1977

Three Presidents Emeriti (Malott, Perkins and Corson) were among more than 7,000 guests gathered in Barton Hall on November 10, 1977, for the inauguration of Frank H. T. Rhodes. On the previous day, Carl Sagan, the David Duncan Professor of Astronomy and Space Sciences, had moderated a panel on “Spaceflight and the Future.” On Thursday morning, delegates from major colleges and universities, Trustees, executive staff, and special guests assembled at the Statler and marched to Barton Hall. Faculty assembled at Uris Hall. Because of worries about November weather, the procession was entirely within Barton with preludes and fanfares by the Cornell bands and the Cornell Orchestra. Robben W. Fleming, President of the University of Michigan, delivered remarks. Robert W. Purcell, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, presented the University Mace to President Rhodes.

In his inaugural address, “...And Perhaps Cornell,” Rhodes enumerated his goals as president:

We must reaffirm, first, the power of reason; second, the strength of community; third, the priority of research; and, fourth, the wider partnership of Cornell.” He emphasized that major research universities are “a national asset, whose well-being is of paramount importance to the nation’s welfare, security, prosperity, and health. . . . the great reservoir on which the fulfillment of all our hopes and larger social aspirations must draw. . . . humankind’s best hope against the stark alternatives of the future.

At 1:00 p.m. there was an Inaugural Luncheon. In the afternoon, there were two-hour receptions with exhibits by Cornell authors and artists - past and present - at the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Olin Library and Mann Library, and Dr. and Mrs. Rhodes attended each to receive guests.

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Inauguration of Frank H. T. Rhodes
Presidents Frank H. T. Rhodes, Dale Corson, James Perkins, and Deane Malott (left to right).


Ceremonies in Barton Hall for the inauguration of Frank H. T. Rhodes.