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Founding Principle

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.

This founding principle can be used as a complete statement:

I would found an institution where any person can find instruction in any study.

or in an abbreviated form, which should be punctuated exactly as shown:

... any person ... any study.

Modifying or repurposing the founding principle is discouraged. If you have any questions, please consult with the Brand Communications team in University Relations.

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.