Morill Hall on Libe Slope

Cornell Begins – Cornell Commences

October 24, 2018 – September 13, 2019
Michael T. Sillerman ’68 Rotunda
Carl A. Kroch Library

Cornell University began with its Inauguration Day ceremonies and its first day of classes in October 1868. At the end of the first academic year, it held its first Commencement exercises in July 1869.

In his Inauguration Day remarks, Ezra Cornell acknowledged that his new campus might still look much like the cow pasture it had once been, but he also noted, “We have not invited you to see a university finished, but to see one begun.” This exhibition documents these early events in Cornell’s history and celebrates their 150th anniversary.

View the online exhibition