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Cornell College
Cornell College seal.png
Motto DEUS ET HUMANITAS (God and Humanity)
Established 1853
Type Private
Endowment $68.7 Million[1]
President Leslie H. Garner, Jr.
Faculty 119
Undergraduates 1,155[2]
Location Mount Vernon, Iowa, USA
Campus rural, 129 acres (522,044 m²)
Colors Purple & White
Nickname Rams
Affiliations United Methodist Church
This article is about the liberal arts college in Mount Vernon, Iowa. For the unaffiliated Ivy League university in Ithaca, New York, see Cornell University.

Cornell College is a private liberal arts college in Mount Vernon, Iowa. 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 (founder of Cornell University in Ithaca, New York). Cornell College was recently ranked by Forbes as one of the top 25 Liberal Arts Colleges in the US. Cornell College also has the top 16th theater program in the country as well.



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. Colorado College in Colorado Springs, Colorado; Quest University in Squamish, British Columbia; Tusculum College in Tusculum, Tennessee; Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa; and The University of Montana - Western are the only other colleges operating under this academic calendar.

From the beginning, 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.

King Chapel, Cornell College


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.[1]

Cornell has achieved its greatest success in wrestling. Cornell wrestlers have won eight individual national titles, and in 1947, the wrestling team won the NCAA Division I and AAU 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.[2]

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.[1]

Cornell's football rivalry with Coe College 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 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.[3]

Greek Life

Cornell College has 15 unique non-national Fraternities and Sororities.

  • Alpha Chi Epsilon "AXEs
  • Alpha Sigma Pi "ARROWs"
  • Beta Omicron "OWLS"
  • Delta Phi Delta "Delphis"
  • Delta Phi Rho "Delts"
  • Phi Kappa Nu "Newts"
  • Phi Lambda Xi "Phi-Lambs"
  • Phi Omega "Phi-Os"
  • Gamma Tau Pi "Gammas"
  • Kappa Delta Chi "KDChis"
  • Kappa Theta "Thetas"
  • Mu Lambda Sigma "Milts"
  • Rho Zeta Omicron "The Rhozes"
  • Sigma Kappa Psi ("Skys")
  • Sigma Tau "Taus"

Academic Statistics

  • Student Faculty Ratio: 11:1
  • Total Faculty: 97 (88 with PhDs)
  • Most Popular Majors: Economics, English, Psychology
  • Most Frequent Class size: 10-19[4]

Applicant Statistics

  • Average GPA of applicants: 3.44
  • Middle 50% ACT: 24-29
  • Middle 50% SAT: 1070 - 1330 (on 1600 scale)[5]
  • Percent of applicants admitted: 45%

Student Statistics

  • Enrollment: 1,083
  • Male/Female: 49/51
  • In-state/Out-of-state: 29/71


Notable alumni

Harry Kalas Philadelphia Phillies noted broadcaster 1954-1955

Notable faculty

Notable staff

  • Matt Hoover -- Second season winner of NBC's "The Biggest Loser"
  • Lisa Stone -- 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


  1. 1 endowment  "The Power of Endowment". Cornell College. Retrieved April 8 2006.  
  2. 2 enrollment  "Cornell College at a Glance". U.S. News and World Report. Retrieved April 8 2006.  

Coordinates: 41°55′34″N 91°25′33″W / 41.92611°N 91.42583°W / 41.92611; -91.42583



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