Sources: Cornell Wins NYC Tech Campus Contest
Posted by Alfonse Muglia on December 19, 2011
On the first day of classes this fall semester, President David Skorton grabbed national attention by publishing an Op-ed in the New York Times asserting that “National fraternities and sororities should end pledging across all campuses.” After a semester of students trying to figure out exactly what that meant, the first day of winter recess has brought a new, attention-grabbing headline to Ithaca, courtesy of President Skorton and his friends in NYC.
According to multiple sources, including the Wall Street Journal which broke the story early this morning, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg will announce this afternoon that Cornell University has won the much coveted contest to build an applied-science campus on Roosevelt Island.
Following months of effort by the administration, Board of Trustees, public relations department, and others in the University to build support for the initiative, it appears that the efforts have paid off.
It was believed that the apparent frontrunners in the contest were Cornell and Stanford, which both submitted revolutionary proposals before the October 28 deadline. Columbia, New York University, and Carnegie Mellon were also considered to be in the running, but their proposals received far less media attention. (Cornell’s winning proposal)
With Stanford’s sudden, unexpected announcement that it would be dropping out of the contest last Friday, many suspected that the path had been cleared for a Cornell victory. Then, an hour after Stanford’s departure, Cornell announced a $350 million donation from an anonymous donor to be put toward the new campus. The mysterious gift is the largest in school history.
Support for the “Tech Campus” as it has been commonly called, was high among the student body in Ithaca this semester. The Student Assembly unanimously passed a resolution in mid-October announcing student support. They also formed an “NYC Tech Ad-Hoc Committee” in early September.
At the same time, little information was shared with the student body as to how the campus will actually enhance the college experience of the current undergrads. The good publicity that will come to the University following the announcement, however, is undoubtedly beneficial for all. The $2.1 billion campus is expected to take up to 30 years to be built in its entirety. Cornell has promised to have initial classes running by next September.
A press conference with Mayor Bloomberg and President Skorton will be held at 2:30PM today.