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Cornell University is an American private Ivy League and federal land-grant research university located in Ithaca, New York. Founded in 1865 by Ezra Cornell and Andrew Dickson White, the university was intended to teach and make contributions in all fields of knowledge — from the classics to the sciences, and from the theoretical to the applied. These ideals, unconventional for the time, are captured in Cornell’s motto, a popular 1865 Ezra Cornell quotation: “I would found an institution where any person can find instruction in any study.”
The university is broadly organized into seven undergraduate colleges and seven graduate divisions at its main Ithaca campus, with each college and division defining its own admission standards and academic programs in near autonomy. The university also administers two satellite medical campuses, one in New York City and one in Education City, Qatar.
Cornell is one of three private land grant universities in the nation and the only one in New York. Of its seven undergraduate colleges, three are state-supported statutory or contract colleges through the State University of New York (SUNY) system, including its agricultural and veterinary colleges. As a land grant college, it operates a cooperative extension outreach program in every county of New York and receives annual funding from the State of New York for certain educational missions. The Cornell University Ithaca Campus comprises 745 acres, but is much larger when the Cornell Plantations (more than 4,300 acres) are considered, as well as the numerous university-owned lands in New York City.
Since its founding, Cornell has been a co-educational, non-sectarian institution where admission has not been restricted by religion or race. Cornell counts more than 245,000 living alumni, and its former and present faculty and alumni include 34 Marshall Scholars, 29 Rhodes Scholars, 7 Gates Scholars, 44 Nobel laureates, and 14 living billionaires. The student body consists of nearly 14,000 undergraduate and 7,000 graduate students from all 50 American states and 122 countries.
Cornell is a large, primarily residential research university with a majority of enrollments in undergraduate programs. The university has been accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education since 1921. Cornell operates on a 4–1–4 academic calendar with the fall term beginning in late August and ending in early December, a three-week winter session in January, and the spring term beginning in late January and ending in early May. Cornell and Oregon State University are the only two institutions which are members of the Land Grant, Sea Grant, Space Grant, and Sun Grant programs.
In 2015, Cornell ranked 8th domestically and 10th internationally in the CWUR rankings. The university ranked 15th in the 2016 U.S. News & World Report National Universities ranking, and 13th globally in an academic ranking of world universities by Academic Ranking of World Universities in 2015.