Cornell College
Cornell College is a private liberal arts college
Liberal arts colleges in the United States
Liberal arts colleges in the United States are certain undergraduate institutions of higher education in the United States. The Encyclopædia Britannica Concise offers a definition of the liberal arts as a "college or university curriculum aimed at imparting general knowledge and developing general...

 in Mount Vernon, Iowa
Mount Vernon, Iowa
Mount Vernon is a city in Linn County, Iowa, United States, adjacent to the city of Lisbon. The city's population was 3,390 when the 2000 census figures were released, but that number was later revised to 3,808 because the Census Bureau had incorrectly reported that 418 residents of a Cornell...

. Originally called the Iowa Conference Seminary, the school was founded in 1853 by Reverend Samuel M. Fellows. Four years later, in 1857, the name was changed to Cornell College, in honor of iron tycoon William Wesley Cornell, who was a distant relative of Ezra Cornell
Ezra Cornell
Ezra Cornell was an American businessman and education administrator. He was a founder of Western Union and a co-founder of Cornell University...

 (founder of Cornell University
Cornell University
Cornell University is an Ivy League university located in Ithaca, New York, United States. It is a private land-grant university, receiving annual funding from the State of New York for certain educational missions...

 in Ithaca, New York
Ithaca, New York
The city of Ithaca, is a city in upstate New York and the county seat of Tompkins County, as well as the largest community in the Ithaca-Tompkins County metropolitan area...



Cornell students study one course at a time (commonly referred to as "the block plan" or "OCAAT"). Since 1978, school years have been divided into nine "blocks" of three-and-a-half weeks each (usually followed by a four-day "block break" to round out to four weeks), during which students are enrolled in a single class; what would normally be covered in a full semester's worth of class at a typical university is covered in just seventeen-and-one-half Cornell class days. While schedules vary from class to class, most courses consist of around 30 hours of lecture, along with additional time spent in the laboratory, studying audio-visual media, or other activities. Colorado College
Colorado College
The Colorado College is a private liberal arts college in Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States, in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. It was founded in 1874 by Thomas Nelson Haskell...

 in Colorado Springs, Colorado
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Colorado Springs is a Home Rule Municipality that is the county seat and most populous city of El Paso County, Colorado, United States. Colorado Springs is located in South-Central Colorado, in the southern portion of the state. It is situated on Fountain Creek and is located south of the Colorado...

; Quest University
Quest University
Quest University Canada is a private non-profit liberal arts and sciences university in Squamish, British Columbia, Canada. The university opened in September 2007 with an enrolment of 74 students; its current enrolment is 300. Quest University is located on a mountain-top campus on the edge of...

 in Squamish, British Columbia; Tusculum College
Tusculum College
Tusculum College is a coeducational private college affiliated with the Presbyterian Church , with its main campus in Tusculum, Tennessee, United States, a suburb of Greeneville...

 in Tusculum, Tennessee
Tusculum, Tennessee
Tusculum is a city in Greene County, Tennessee, United States. The population was 2,004 at the 2000 census. It is the home of Tusculum College, the oldest university in Tennessee and the 28th oldest in the United States...

;and The University of Montana - Western are the only other colleges operating under this academic calendar.

From its inception, Cornell has accepted women into all degree programs. In 1858, Cornell was host to Iowa's first female recipient of a baccalaureate degree, Mary Fellows, a member of the first graduating class from Cornell College. She received a bachelor's degree in mathematics. In 1871, Harriette J. Cooke became the first female college professor in the United States to become a full professor with a salary equal to that of her male colleagues.

Campus buildings

The most widely recognizable building on Cornell's campus is King Chapel. The chapel is the site of the annual convocation at the commencement of the school year as well as the baccalaureate service in the spring for graduating students. The chapel contains a large organ (over 3000 pipes) and is often the site of musical performances. No classes are held in the chapel, and religious services are held in the nearby Allee Chapel.

Old Sem, for a short while the only building of the original college, now houses administrative offices of the college.

Cornell contains 9 academic buildings. College Hall (also sometimes called "Old Main"), the second-oldest building of the college, houses classrooms and offices of several social science and humanities departments. South Hall, originally a male dormitory, houses the Politics and English Departments. Prall House contains offices and classrooms of the Philosophy and Religion Departments. The Merle West Science Center houses the Physics, Biology, and Chemistry Departments. West Science contains the schools only stadium seating lecture-style classroom, with a capacity around 100. The Norton Geology Center contains both an extensive museum and classrooms for geological sciences. Law Hall includes the Math, Computer Science, and Psychology Departments, and also is the computing hub of the campus. McWethy Hall, formerly a gymnasium, now contains the studios and offices of the Art Department. Armstrong Hall and Youngker Hall are adjoining fine arts buildings. Armstrong Hall is the location of the music department, while Younger Hall contains the Theatre Department, including Kimmel Theatre. In addition, the Small Sport Center and the Lytle House contain classrooms of the Kinesiology Department.

Cole Library serves both the college and the Mount Vernon community.


Cornell College fields 19 intercollegiate athletic teams, all of which compete in NCAA Division III sports. It is a member of the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference
Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference
The Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference is an College Athletic Conference which competes in the NCAA's Division III. As the name implies, member teams are located in the state of Iowa.-History:...


Cornell has achieved its greatest success in wrestling
Collegiate wrestling
Collegiate wrestling, sometimes known in the United States as Folkstyle wrestling, is a style of amateur wrestling practised at the collegiate and university level in the United States. Collegiate wrestling emerged from the folk wrestling styles practised in the early history of the United States...

. Cornell wrestlers have won eight individual national titles, and in 1947, the wrestling team won the NCAA Division I and AAU
Amateur Athletic Union
The Amateur Athletic Union is one of the largest non-profit volunteer sports organizations in the United States. A multi-sport organization, the AAU is dedicated exclusively to the promotion and development of amateur sports and physical fitness programs.-History:The AAU was founded in 1888 to...

 national championships. Sixty-Two Cornell wrestlers have been named NCAA All-Americans, and seven have been elected to the National Wrestling Hall of Fame. Seven wrestlers have also been in the Olympics.

Twenty-five Cornell students have earned NCAA Postgraduate Scholarships, awarded annually to students in their final year of eligibility who excel both athletically and academically. Cornell ranks in the top 15 Division III colleges in recipients of this award.

Cornell's football
American football
American football is a sport played between two teams of eleven with the objective of scoring points by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone. Known in the United States simply as football, it may also be referred to informally as gridiron football. The ball can be advanced by...

 rivalry with Coe College
Coe College
Coe College is a private, four-year, liberal arts college in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Founded in 1851, the institution is historically affiliated with the Presbyterian Church . Its current president is James R. Phifer. It is one of the smaller universities to have a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa...

 dates to 1891, making it the oldest intercollegiate rivalry west of the Mississippi. Coe currently holds the lead in the series, 60-51-4.

Cornell's mascot
The term mascot – defined as a term for any person, animal, or object thought to bring luck – colloquially includes anything used to represent a group with a common public identity, such as a school, professional sports team, society, military unit, or brand name...

 is a Ram. In 1949 the Royal Purple, the school's yearbook, offered a $5 prize for someone who could come up with a new mascot to replace either the "Purples" or "Hilltoppers." A sophomore came up with the idea for the ram.

Intercollegiate Mock Trial

A very young program, having existed for only four years, the Cornell College Mock Trial
Mock trial
A Mock Trial is an act or imitation trial. It is similar to a moot court, but mock trials simulate lower-court trials, while moot court simulates appellate court hearings. Attorneys preparing for a real trial might use a mock trial consisting of volunteers as role players to test theories or...

 team has seen tremendous success, currently ranked 16th in the nation. Competing against over 700 teams in the nation including: Yale university, Princeton University, New York University and Washington and Lee University, the Cornell Mock Trial team finished sixth in the nation at the 2010 AMTA (American Mock Trial Association) Nationals.

The Cornell Team has seen success throughout the year seeing victories in Mac II hosted by Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, the Bluejay Invitational hosted by Creighton University, the Fantastic Flyer Invitational hosted by Lewis University in Oak Brook, Illinois, and St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota and the AMTA Opening Round Championship held in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Cornell Mockers have received numerous individual awards including two All-American attorney awards at the Gold Round National competition in April 2010.

Greek life

Cornell College has 13 officially recognized unique non-national Fraternities and Sororities.
  • Mu Lambda Sigma "Milts"
  • Beta Omicron "OWLS"
  • Alpha Chi Epsilon "AXEs"
  • Alpha Sigma Pi "ARROWs"
  • Delta Phi Delta "Delphis"
  • Delta Phi Rho "Delts"
  • Phi Kappa Nu "Newts"
  • Phi Lambda Xi "Phi-Lambs"
  • Phi Omega "Phi-Os"
  • Gamma Tau Pi "Dinks"
  • Kappa Theta "Thetas"
  • Rho Zeta Omicron "The Rhozes"
  • Sigma Kappa Psi "Skys"

Academic statistics

  • Student Faculty Ratio: 12:1
  • Most Popular Majors: Economics
    Economics is the social science that analyzes the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. The term economics comes from the Ancient Greek from + , hence "rules of the house"...

    , History
    History is the discovery, collection, organization, and presentation of information about past events. History can also mean the period of time after writing was invented. Scholars who write about history are called historians...

    , Psychology
    Psychology is the study of the mind and behavior. Its immediate goal is to understand individuals and groups by both establishing general principles and researching specific cases. For many, the ultimate goal of psychology is to benefit society...

  • Most Frequent Class size: 10-19

Applicant statistics

  • Average GPA of applicants: 3.44
  • Middle 50% ACT
    ACT (examination)
    The ACT is a standardized test for high school achievement and college admissions in the United States produced by ACT, Inc. It was first administered in November 1959 by Everett Franklin Lindquist as a competitor to the College Board's Scholastic Aptitude Test, now the SAT Reasoning Test...

    : 24-29
  • Middle 50% SAT: 1070 - 1330 (on 1600 scale)
  • Percent of applicants admitted: 39%

Student statistics

  • Enrollment: 1,191
  • Male/Female: 47/53
  • In-state/Out-of-state: 19/81
  • International: 4.95%

Notable alumni

  • John Q. Tufts
    John Q. Tufts
    John Quincy Adams Tufts was an American Republican politician from Iowa and California.The son of Servetus Tufts and Emily , John Q. was born near Aurora, Indiana or Wilton, Maine , Tufts moved to Muscatine County, Iowa, with his parents in 1852...

     late 19th century — Congressman from Iowa's 2nd Congressional district (1875–1877)
  • Leslie M. Shaw 1874 — Governor
    A governor is a governing official, usually the executive of a non-sovereign level of government, ranking under the head of state...

     of Iowa
    Iowa is a state located in the Midwestern United States, an area often referred to as the "American Heartland". It derives its name from the Ioway people, one of the many American Indian tribes that occupied the state at the time of European exploration. Iowa was a part of the French colony of New...

    , U.S. Secretary of Treasury
  • Charles Atherton Cumming 1880 — American painter
  • Robert G. Cousins
    Robert G. Cousins
    Robert Gordon Cousins was an eight-term Republican U.S. Representative from Iowa's 5th congressional district...

     1881 — U.S. Congressman from Iowa (1893–1909)
  • William Wallace McCredie 1885 — Judge, U.S. Congressman from Washington (1909–1911) and Baseball Executive
  • Edgar J. Helms 1889 — Founder of Goodwill Industries
    Goodwill Industries
    Goodwill Industries International is a not-for-profit organization that provides job training, employment placement services and other community-based programs for people who have a disability, lack education or job experience, or face employment challenges...

  • Burton E. Sweet
    Burton E. Sweet
    Burton Erwin Sweet was a four-term Republican U.S. Representative from Iowa's 3rd congressional district, then a wide but short chain of counties in north-central and northeastern Iowa, in the shape of a monkey wrench....

     1895 — U.S. Congressman from Iowa (1915–1923) and unsuccessful Senate Candidate (1922, 1924)
  • Lester J. Dickinson
    Lester J. Dickinson
    Lester Jesse Dickinson was a Republican United States Representative and Senator from Iowa. He was, in the words of Time magazine, "a big, friendly, white-thatched Iowa lawyer." In early 1936 he dreamed of winning the presidency...

     1898 — U.S. Congressman (1919–1931) and Senator from Iowa (1931–1937)
  • Walter Thornton
    Walter Thornton
    Walter Miller Thornton was an American Major League Baseball player who played from through for the Chicago Colts/Orphans....

     1899 — Major League Baseball
    Major League Baseball
    Major League Baseball is the highest level of professional baseball in the United States and Canada, consisting of teams that play in the National League and the American League...

  • Erwin Kempton Mapes
    Erwin Kempton Mapes
    Erwin Kempton Mapes , was an American scholar of Spanish-American literature and Hispanist, renowned for his work on the Hispanic Modernists....

     1909 — renowned scholar of Spanish-American Literature
  • Lee Alvin DuBridge
    Lee Alvin DuBridge
    Lee Alvin DuBridge was an American educator and physicist.DuBridge was born in Terre Haute, Indiana, and graduated from Cornell College in 1922, and then began a teaching assignment at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, from which he received an M.A. degree in 1924 and a Ph.D. in 1926...

     1922 — President of the California Institute of Technology
    California Institute of Technology
    The California Institute of Technology is a private research university located in Pasadena, California, United States. Caltech has six academic divisions with strong emphases on science and engineering...

    , science advisor to U.S. President
    President of the United States
    The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

     Richard Nixon
    Richard Nixon
    Richard Milhous Nixon was the 37th President of the United States, serving from 1969 to 1974. The only president to resign the office, Nixon had previously served as a US representative and senator from California and as the 36th Vice President of the United States from 1953 to 1961 under...

  • Hubert Stanley Wall
    Hubert Stanley Wall
    Hubert Stanley Wall was an American mathematician who worked primarily in the field of continued fractions. He is also known as one of the leading proponents of the Moore method of teaching....

     1924 — mathematician
  • Orin D. Haugen
    Orin D. Haugen
    Orin D. Haugen was a Colonel in the United States Army and Commanding Officer the 511th Parachute Infantry Regiment. Orin D. Haugen was killed during World War II during the Battle of Manila.-Other sources:...

     1925 - Colonel in the United States Army during World War II
  • Winifred Van Etten 1925 — Best selling novelist
  • Leo Beranek
    Leo Beranek
    Leo Leroy Beranek is an American acoustics expert, former MIT professor and a founder and former president of Bolt, Beranek and Newman ....

     1936 — Co-founder of Bolt, Beranek and Newman
  • James Daly 1941 — Emmy Award
    Emmy Award
    An Emmy Award, often referred to simply as the Emmy, is a television production award, similar in nature to the Peabody Awards but more focused on entertainment, and is considered the television equivalent to the Academy Awards and the Grammy Awards .A majority of Emmys are presented in various...

    -winning actor
  • Maryann Mahaffey
    Maryann Mahaffey
    Maryann Mahaffey was born in Burlington, Iowa. She served on the Detroit City Council from 1973 until 2005, from 1990 to 1998 and from 2001 to 2005 as council president. She died on July 27, 2006 from leukaemia, aged 81....

     1946 — Detroit City Council
    Detroit City Council
    The Detroit City Council is the legislative body of Detroit, Michigan, United States. The City Council consists of nine members elected for a four-year term in a single election conducted on an at-large and non-partisan basis...

  • Nancy Price (author) 1946 — Author, Sleeping with the Enemy
    Sleeping with the Enemy (novel)
    Sleeping with the Enemy is a novel written by Nancy Price and published in 1987. It served as the basis for Sleeping with the Enemy, a 1991 film starring Julia Roberts....

  • Don E. Fehrenbacher
    Don E. Fehrenbacher
    Don Edward Fehrenbacher was an American historian.-Biography:Born in Sterling, Illinois, he was a well known historian of 19th century United States history. He wrote on politics, slavery, and Abraham Lincoln. In 1979, he won the Pulitzer Prize for History for his book about the Dred Scott Decision...

     1948 — Pulitzer Prize for History
    Pulitzer Prize for History
    The Pulitzer Prize for History has been awarded since 1917 for a distinguished book upon the history of the United States. Many history books have also been awarded the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction and Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography...

  • Dale O. Thomas
    Dale O. Thomas
    Dale O. Thomas was the head coach of the Oregon State wrestling team at Oregon State University from 1957–1990, and is a National Wrestling Hall of Fame member....

     1948 — Wrestler and coach
  • Herbert L. Hoover, adopted nephew of the former President, retired businessman, and inventor of patented lace stitching technique (did not graduate).
  • Don Weiss 1949 — Sports writer and NFL executive known as Mr. Super Bowl
  • Richard Cross
    Richard Cross (bass-baritone)
    Richard Cross is an American bass-baritone who had an active international opera career from the late 1950s through the 1990s. Possessing a rich and warm voice, Cross sang a broad repertoire that encompassed works from a wide variety of musical periods and styles...

     1957 — opera singer
  • William Taylor 1961 — Chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
    Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
    The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation is a United States government corporation created by the Glass–Steagall Act of 1933. It provides deposit insurance, which guarantees the safety of deposits in member banks, currently up to $250,000 per depositor per bank. , the FDIC insures deposits at...

  • Mike Conklin 1969 — Feature writer and columnist, Chicago Tribune
    Chicago Tribune
    The Chicago Tribune is a major daily newspaper based in Chicago, Illinois, and the flagship publication of the Tribune Company. Formerly self-styled as the "World's Greatest Newspaper" , it remains the most read daily newspaper of the Chicago metropolitan area and the Great Lakes region and is...

  • David Hilmers 1972 — NASA Astronaut and medical doctor
  • Rob Ash
    Rob Ash
    Robert W. "Rob" Ash is an college football coach, currently the head coach at Montana State University, and the current president of the American Football Coaches Association....

     1973 — Head football coach at Montana State University
  • Michael J. Graham
    Michael J. Graham
    Michael J. Graham, S.J. is an American Jesuit and educator who is currently the president of Xavier University.-Early life and education:Michael Graham was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Graham graduated from Cornell College with a Bachelor of Science...

     1975 — President of Xavier University
    Xavier University (Cincinnati)
    Xavier University is a co-educational Jesuit university in the United States located in Cincinnati, Ohio. The University is the sixth-oldest Catholic university in the nation and has an undergraduate enrollment of about 4,000 students and graduate enrollment of 2,600 students. Xavier is primarily...

  • Richard Kirkham
    Richard Kirkham
    Richard Ladd Kirkham is an American philosopher. Among his published works are the much-cited Theories of Truth , "Does the Gettier Problem Rest on a Mistake?" Mind , and "On Paradoxes and a Surprise Exam" Philosophia . Kirkham graduated from Cornell College in 1977 and received his Ph.D...

     1977 — Philosopher
  • Felecia Epps 1980 - Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and Professor of Law. University of Arkansas at Little Rock
    University of Arkansas at Little Rock
    University of Arkansas at Little Rock , is a public research university located in Little Rock, Arkansas, United States, and the second largest university by enrollment in the state of Arkansas....

  • Chris Carney
    Chris Carney
    Christopher P. "Chris" Carney is the former U.S. Representative for , serving from 2007 until 2011. He is a member of the Democratic Party and was a prominent member of the conservative Blue Dog Coalition....

     1981 — Congressman from Pennsylvania's 10th Congressional district
  • Alan Krugman 1985 — CEO of Sprehe-feinkost, a German frozen food company.
  • Tanja Kozicky-Manrique 1988 — Hennepin County District Court Judge, Minneapolis, 1998–2010
  • Travis Hauser 2001 — Philanthropist and Mensa of America member, 1997–2001
  • Chad Hepperly 2006 — Probation Officer and Mensa of America member, 2002-2006

Notable faculty

  • Joseph M. Bachelor
    Joseph M. Bachelor
    Joseph Morris Bachelor also known as Joseph Morris was an American author, poet, editor and educator....

     — author
  • Charles Atherton Cumming — American Artist
  • Glenn Cunningham
    Glenn Cunningham
    Glenn Cunningham may refer to:*Glenn Cunningham , American runner, Olympic Games medalist*Glenn Cunningham , American politician, mayor of Omaha, and congressman for Nebraska...

     — Silver Medalist 1500 meters run, 1936 Olympics
  • Robert Dana
    Robert Dana
    -External links:Links to poems*, poetry by Robert Dana including "Heat", "A Short History of the Middle West", and "Beach Attitudes" on The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor*, poetry by Robert Dana including the poem "Rapture" on Anhinga Press....

     — Poet Laureate of Iowa
  • Charles Wesley Flint
    Charles Wesley Flint
    Charles Wesley Flint was an American Bishop in The Methodist Church, elected in 1936.Prior to his election to the Episcopacy, he was involved in educational work. He was the President of Cornell College in Iowa , then was the fifth Chancellor of Syracuse University from 1922 until his election as...

    , President (1915–1922), Methodist bishop
  • Bruce Frohnen
    Bruce Frohnen
    Bruce P. Frohnen is an Associate Professor of Law at Ohio Northern University, Pettit College of Law. Prior to this he taught at Ave Maria School of Law in Ann Arbor, Michigan. In addition he is a Senior Fellow at the Russell Kirk Center for Cultural Renewal....

     — academic
  • Lynda Hakken - Internationally renowned organist
  • Leroy Lamis
    Leroy Lamis
    Leroy Lamis was an American sculptor, digital artist and art educator known for his work with Plexiglas. His works have been exhibited throughout the United States and Europe and are in the permanent collections of numerous institutions including the Whitney Museum of American Art and the...

     — American sculptor
  • Jim Leach
    Jim Leach
    James Albert Smith "Jim" Leach is a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Iowa. In August 2009, he became Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities ....

     — former Republican congressman, taught as a visiting professor.
  • David Loebsack
    David Loebsack
    David Wayne "Dave" Loebsack is the U.S. Representative for , serving since 2007. He is a member of the Democratic Party. The district is located in southeastern Iowa and includes Cedar Rapids, Iowa City and Ottumwa...

     — Congressman from Iowa's 2nd District
  • Todd Knoop — Economist, author of "Recessions and Depressions: Understanding Business Cycles"
  • Carol Enns — Psychologist, Theorist

Notable staff

  • Matt Hoover — Second season winner of NBC's "The Biggest Loser"
  • Lisa Stone
    Lisa Stone
    Lisa Stone is the former head coach of the Wisconsin Badgers women's basketball program. On March 21, 2011, it was reported that Stone had been fired after 8 seasons with the Badgers....

    — Head Coach, University of Wisconsin Women's Basketball

Lecturers, speakers, and performers

Despite Cornell's small size and location in a small town, many nationally and internationally prominent speakers and performers have visited Cornell, including the following:

External links

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