J is for the Junto that’s gen’rally
We’ve honed the spirit academic to a fare-thee-well.
Except for mis’rable weather, it’s the opposite of hell,
So for those who end their studies here, it’s hard to say farewell.
A junto is supposed to be a small, often secret, group united for a
common interest. However, when he was 21, Ben Franklin formed The Junto,
a discussion group with a “spirit of inquiry and a desire for self
improvement”. Members were expected to love truth for truth’s
sake and to endeavor impartially to find and receive truth themselves
and communicate it to others. Members sincerely declared that they loved
mankind in general, regardless of profession or religion.
In that spirit, Cornell is a junto —but a large one. Started in
1865 as a place where “any person can find instruction in any study”,
Cornell now has seven undergrad colleges and four grad and professional
colleges, and you can indeed find courses in just about anything, from
wine making to mushroom picking to computing in the arts. Cornell was
one of the first universities to admit women (1870) and build a residence
for women (Sage Hall, 1875). Today, “Cornell is committed to act
responsibly and forthrightly to maintain an environment that opens doors,
opens hearts, and open minds.” The open-minded spirit of inquiry
does indeed flourish here.
The graduate-field structure has made it easy to engage in multidisciplinary
work, and you’ll find more of it than in any other place. CS itself
gives degrees in three colleges and has research connections with more,
and all CS students will find it easy to learn about multidisciplinary
It’s a pretty perfect place.
And the weather is great in the summer.