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Symbols of the University

The Cornell Mace and Baton
Cornell University Charter, 1865
The Great Seal

The Cornell Public Library

Cornell’s Twelve Presidents

Inaugurating the Presidents

Symbols of the University

Cornell University Charter, 1865

On April 27, 1865, New York State Governor Reuben E. Fenton, in his chambers in the old State Capitol in Albany, signed the bill that constitutes the charter of Cornell University. Cornell University celebrated its first inauguration on October 7, 1868 in the Cornell Library, Ithacaís first public library. At the ceremonies, Lieutenant Governor Stewart L. Woodford administered the oath of office to President White and presented him with the Charter, Seal, and keys of the university. For all of Cornellís early inaugurations, the Charter and Seal represented the symbols of office. Ezra Cornell, a direct lineal descendant of the founder of Cornell University and a Life Trustee, will carry the original Charter (housed in the Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections of the Cornell University Library) at the Inauguration of President Lehman.

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The Cornell University Charter
The charter for the Cornell University was signed into New York State Law on April 27, 1865.