The Presidency

Symbols | Inaugurations

Martha E. Pollack

2017 –

A computer scientist and expert in artificial intelligence, Martha E. Pollack became president in April 2017.

Elizabeth Garrett

2015 – 2016

Elizabeth Garrett, the university’s first woman president, was a dynamic leader who launched key initiatives before her untimely death.

David J. Skorton

2006 – 2015

A distinguished cardiologist and biomedical researcher, David J. Skorton enhanced Cornell’s strengths, not only in science and technology but also in the humanities, arts, and social sciences.

Jeffrey S. Lehman

2003 – 2005

The first alumnus to become president of Cornell, Jeffrey S. Lehman had been  dean of the University of Michigan Law School.

Hunter R. Rawlings III

1995 – 2003

Hunter R. Rawlings III came to Cornell with a vision for organizing the remarkably diverse parts of the university to work more effectively together.

Frank H.T. Rhodes

1977 – 1995

During his 18-year presidency Frank H.T. Rhodes was a nationally recognized advocate for research and education.

Dale R. Corson

1969 – 1977

Dale R. Corson led the university through the final years of the Vietnam War and student activism, and through the economic recession of the 1970s.

James A. Perkins

1963 – 1969

Academic innovations were a hallmark of James A. Perkins’s administration.

Deane Waldo Malott

1951 – 1963

Deane Waldo Malott’s term as Cornell’s sixth president represents the largest period of building in the history of Cornell University.

Edmund Ezra Day

1937 – 1949

Edmund Ezra Day became Cornell’s fifth president in 1937 and later led the university through the turbulent years of World War II.

Livingston Farrand

1921 – 1937

A physician and public health advocate, Livingston Farrand presided over a period of growth but also the challenges of the Great Depression.

Jacob Gould Schurman

1892 – 1920

Jacob Gould Schurman came to Cornell as professor of Christian ethics and moral philosophy, and soon became head of the Susan Linn Sage School of Philosophy.

Charles Kendall Adams

1885 – 1892

Charles Kendall Adams, a former student of Andrew Dickson White’s, continued to build upon White’s legacy.

Andrew Dickson White

1865 – 1885

A radical idea in American education was born when Andrew Dickson White and Ezra Cornell crossed paths in the New York State Senate.