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Message Framework

Themes

Critical Issues

  • Access and Affordability
  • Academics and Research
  • Student Life
  • Health and Well–Being

Positioning Taglines

  • Cornell's students work hard, get ahead, and give back
  • The best research university for undergraduate education
  • Learning anchored in research
  • Living–learning community
  • A caring community

Key Facts and Concepts

  • Our best scholars teach freshmen
  • Need–blind admissions
  • Freedom with responsibility
  • Curiosity and passion
  • A diverse community of people and ideas
  • Broad perspectives
  • Boundless exploration and discovery
  • Cultivating scholars and citizens
  • Advancing a caring community
  • Hands–on learning
  • Academic breadth and depth
  • Multidisciplinary and collaborative scholarship and research
  • Synthesis of ideas
  • Education that blends theory with practice
  • Initiative
  • An embrace of public engagement
  • Life–changing experiences
  • Land–grant mission
  • Catalysts for change
  • Real–world solutions
  • Ivy League

Cornell's culture of intellectual freedom and collaboration across disciplines stimulates a sense of larger purpose for researching, teaching, and serving, throughout New York and around the world.

Critical Issues

  • Faculty retention and renewal
  • Cross–discipline collaboration
  • Increased diversity
  • Intellectual engagement
  • Support for research, scholarship, and creativity
  • High academic standards

Positioning Taglines

  • A tradition of world-class excellence; a legacy of global engagement
  • Innovative. Imaginative. Interdisciplinary. International.
  • Collaborative. Creative. Community. Cornell.
  • Cornell: Where tradition meets tomorrow

Key Facts and Concepts

  • Faculty has great colleagues within their fields who have similar research interests
  • Faculty has the opportunity to do research with real-world impact
  • Faculty has the opportunity to teach some of the best students
  • Faculty has access to some of the world's most respected scientists
  • Faculty has the ability to collaborate with people dedicated to serving the public good and fulfilling Cornell's land grant mission
  • Interdisciplinary collaboration is encouraged and practiced
  • Faculty members are integral to the many unique and unusual university programs
  • Faculty has access to the infrastructure and support systems that are necessary to advance their research
  • Faculty accomplishes great things that have a lasting and positive impact on the world
  • Spirit of exploration
  • Research with a creative edge
  • Faculty conducts research that is relevant and of high quality, but usually with an element of "counterculture" to the conventional wisdom/approaches used in the discipline.
  • Open, supportive, and uniquely interdisciplinary
  • Where tradition meets tomorrow
  • Faculty has freedom with responsibility
  • Faculty members are part of a diverse community of people and ideas
  • Curiosity and passion
  • Brimming with innovation
  • Broad perspectives
  • Boundless exploration and discovery
  • Catalysts for change
  • Real-world solutions
  • Ivy League
  • A place where cultures meet, share, and learn
  • Unfettered partnerships
  • An atmosphere where anything is possible

Through places and spaces we celebrate Cornell's community and campuses – virtual and concrete. From the remarkable buildings that respect tradition and inspire innovation, to the stunning natural landscapes both open and intimate, to the sophisticated networks connecting Cornellians and colleagues around the globe. Cornell's sense of larger purpose is deeply rooted in its dramatic natural beauty and evolving built environment.

Related Brand Elements

The following key elements from the brand book most closely relate to this year's theme:

  • Direct impact, local and global
  • Commitment to inclusivity
  • Special place
  • Vibrant community
  • Supporting Language
  • Sense of place
  • High on the hill with our feet on the ground
  • Communities devoted to discovery
  • Glorious to view
  • Without boundaries
  • Rich with tradition
  • Living, learning laboratory
  • Sustainable by design or sustainable living and learning

Cornell's strategy of engagement is to guide the future of Cornell's historic land-grant mission.

As New York State's land-grant institution, Cornell University is distinguished by its deep commitment to developing knowledge that benefits communities in the state and around the world. This commitment is rooted in its land-grant mission and the proposition that a land-grant university should be "expansive, endlessly adaptable and always relevant to the needs of society." In the 150 years since the Morrill Act was signed into law by Abraham Lincoln in 1862 creating the land-grant system of universities, Cornell University has welcomed diverse students and scholars to create and extend knowledge and innovation to communities from central New York to central Asia and beyond.

Guiding Quotes

"Cornell is the land-grant university for New York State. ... We are in all 57 upstate counties and in all five boroughs of the city. This is the 150th anniversary of that [Morrill] Act in Congress in 1862. I bore you with all of that because this [CornellNYC Tech] was a natural for us. This was a perfect match to our DNA. We are here to serve the people of New York and a chance to do that in New York City, where we already have a pretty big presence, was just irresistible." Cornell University President David J. Skorton, Charlie Rose (July 16, 2012).

"As the land-grant university of New York State, Cornell has a mission of public engagement -- a mission to use the wide variety of skills and knowledge within the university to serve the needs of people around New York State and beyond." Cornell University Senior Vice Provost Ron Seeber remarking on the land-grant mission at the Cornell Prison Education Program graduation ceremony June 5, 2012. Susan Kelley, "With hard work, prisoners graduate at historic ceremony," Cornell Chronicle (June 8, 2012).

Related Brand Elements

The following key elements from the brand book most closely relate to this year's theme:

  • Intellectual rigor, theoretical and applied
  • Direct impact, local and global
  • Commitment to inclusivity

Supporting Language and Concepts

  • Cornell is reigniting the American Dream through its research, innovations, and inclusive participation.
  • Cornell students, faculty, and staff engage in work to improve the lives of people within New York State and across the planet while that same work shapes their own scholarship, teaching, and commitment to understanding humanity.
  • As our land-grant university and for over 140 years, Cornell has attracted faculty, staff, and students who want to use their knowledge to improve people's lives in New York State.
  • Cornellians "...create and disseminate knowledge with a public purpose."
  • Knowledge with a public purpose.
  • There is but one Cornell, and we are local everywhere.
  • Cornell is "the land-grant university to the world."
  • Cornell is a caring community that cares about building communities.
  • Cornell: expanding the world's collective knowledge.
  • Interdisciplinary collaboration is encouraged, practiced, and facilitates research with real-world, global impact.
  • Cornellians are a diverse community of people and ideas who are dedicated to serving the public good and fulfilling Cornell's land-grant mission.
  • Public engagement ... expresses the university's commitment to search for knowledge-based solutions to societal and world problems. Public engagement is an interpretation of the university's outreach mission that emphasizes being proactive (actively engaged) and having a public impact. It implies a broadening of the historic land-grant mission of the university.(Cornell University Strategic Plan)

Cornell University cultivates progressive, influential innovators who, through individual ingenuity and inspired teamwork, have profound, positive impacts in New York State and around the world.

"Thinking otherwise" is a Cornell tradition and a consequence of a Cornell education. Our founders challenged contemporary ideas about the purpose and nature of higher education and in doing so created the modern American university, the model to which the rest of the world aspires. We continue to produce a community of leaders who are inspired and motivated by Cornell's land-grant mission, where old and new ideas can be challenged in service of producing and disseminating knowledge with a public purpose that improves the quality of life and changes the world for the better.

Related Brand Elements

The following key elements from the brand book most closely relate to this year's theme:

  • Outstanding, accessible faculty
  • Intellectual rigor, theoretical and applied
  • Direct impact, local and global
  • Vibrant community

Guiding Quotes

The following expressions offer examples of how Cornell cultivates thought leadership.

"Cornell can be a different experience for anyone. The motto about any person and any study appears to be true –it's hard to think of something that's not going on here. It is fantastically energizing." -Steven Stucky, Pulitzer Prize-winning composer

"We've been given the freedom to iterate, making changes on a short time frame. And we have Cornell behind us, so we know it will be a high quality program. That's very liberating." -Rajit Manohar, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Cornell Tech

"There is a lot of Cornell history in the space program. Tommy Gold and Apollo, Carl Sagan, Joe Veverka and Viking, the Voyager missions...In my junior year I took a class with Joe Veverka. I came out of that class knowing exactly what I wanted to do." -Steven Squyres, principal investigator for the Mars Rover project

"Questions about inequality and the future of capitalism are right at the forefront of everyone's mind, and this is a great place to be to contribute to the national conversation." -Louis Hyman, professor, Industrial and Labor Relations

Supporting Language and Concepts

  • Mastery of their content areas.
  • Recognize opportunities, set a clear course, and motivate others to follow.
  • Keep up with new developments in their fields and make contributions that stand the test of time.
  • Recognized as "go-to" authorities by colleagues, students, and practitioners.
  • Believe in changing the world.
  • Use their expertise and talent to improve life around the globe.
  • Meaningful impact.
  • A challenge to address the big issues and solve the major questions.
  • Researchers and scholars, driven to teach and learn, to satisfy curiosity and push the frontiers of discovery.
  • Know that the status quo is rarely a catalyst for change; think about conventional wisdom in unconventional ways; and convey those habits of thought to their students, who carry them forward as alumni.
  • Students who learn how to think on their own when the answers aren't there.
  • Alumni who are gold-standard leaders in their industries and professions.
  • "Radical collaboration" among those who excel in their fields, producing a distinctive combination of depth, breadth, reach, and boundary-spanning connectivity among disciplines, locations and institutions.
  • Students who think independently in and outside the classroom, across intellectual, personal, and social development, enabling those who are naturally creative and visionary in their thinking to emerge and grow.