Founders and the Founding
This succinct and engaging history of the founding of Cornell University traces the institution's origins within the educational climate of mid-nineteenth-century America. Originally delivered as six lectures celebrating the seventy-fifth anniversary of the opening the university, this book was first published by Cornell University Press in 1943.
Beginning with a survey of collegiate education prior to the Civil War, Carl L. Becker details the history of the Morrill Land Grant College Act that made possible the establishment of Cornell (among other universities); deftly portrays the lives of the Ezra Cornell, who supplied the essential idea and funding for the university, and Andrew D. White, who, as legislator, lobbyist, and first university president, made Cornell's dream a reality; and desrcibes the events surrounding the incorporation and opening of the university in 1868.
Also included in this book are fifteen documents pertaining to its founding, as well as Becker's 1940 lecture, "The Cornell Tradition: Freedom and Responsibility."