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We are brand storytellers and we believe that clear, purposeful messaging is crucial. The following texts can be used verbatim or adapted to inform broader communications.

The division of University Relations communicates within the AP Style guidelines. To consult the AP Stylebook, you may gain access via the Cornell University Library.

Brand Position

Cornell is a community of scholars engaged in deep and broad research, teaching tomorrow’s thought leaders to think otherwise and creating and disseminating knowledge with a public purpose.


Cornell is a private, Ivy League university and the land-grant university for New York state. Cornell’s mission is to discover, preserve and disseminate knowledge, to educate the next generation of global citizens, and to promote a culture of broad inquiry throughout and beyond the Cornell community. Cornell also aims, through public service, to enhance the lives and livelihoods of students, the people of New York and others around the world.


Cornell aspires to be the exemplary comprehensive research university for the 21st century. Faculty, staff and students thrive at Cornell because of its unparalleled combination of quality and breadth; its open, collaborative and innovative culture; its founding commitment to diversity and inclusion; its vibrant rural and urban campuses; and its land-grant legacy of public engagement.

Founding Principle

"... any person ... any study."

The founding principle of Cornell University was originally spoken by Ezra Cornell on October 7, 1868, at the official dedication of Cornell University and the inauguration of its first president, Andrew Dickson White – "I would found an institution where any person can find instruction in any study."

The concept of “... any person” meant that people from all walks of life, all income levels, races, religions and genders could attend Cornell University. Similarly, “... any study” underscored the freedom to pursue academic interests wherever they lead. For more than 150 years, talented scholars representing the full, diverse spectrum of humanity have come to Cornell for a world-class educational experience unlike any other.

Public Engagement

Cornell’s commitment to public engagement was established at the foundation of the university. As the designated land-grant institution for New York state and the only land-grant university in the Ivy League, Cornell is uniquely positioned to apply world-class expertise to solving real-world problems. This ambition lies at the heart of our land-grant status and drives work in our labs, classrooms and in the field to pursue knowledge with a public purpose.