Cornell United Religious Work, the university’s religious center, comprises 29 affiliated faith communities.
Jerome Heartwell ("Brud") Holland, BSc 1939, MA 1941 was the first African American to play on Cornell’s football team and to sit on the board of the New York Stock Exchange.
Cornell employees, Lin Farley, Susan Meyer, and Karen Sauvigne, formed Working Women's Institute which was one of the pioneer organizations to bring sexual harassment to public attention in the late 1970s.
In 2012, Cornell’s director of the Farmworker Program was honored by the White House's Office of Public Engagement as a Cesar Chavez "Champion of Change."
Cornell’s Diversity Programs in Engineering received the 2011 Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring.
Cornell has been recognized as a best employer by Working Mother magazine, AARP, the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.
Cornell was the first university to teach modern Far Eastern languages.
In 1936, Cornell University was the first to award a Ph.D. to an African American woman: Flemmie Kittrell.
Cornell University was founded on the principle of diversity in 1865: “I would found an institution where any person can find instruction in any study.”
The nation’s first African American fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha, was founded in 1906 at Cornell.
The Ivy League’s first Asian fraternity, Rho Psi, was established in 1916 at Cornell.
In 1929, Cornell University was the first university to have an interfaith department for religious affairs.
Cornell's Upward Bound program mentors high school students toward higher education in the rural communities of Tompkins County.
Cornell is committed to extending its legacy of recruiting a heterogeneous faculty, student body and staff; fostering a climate that doesn't just accommodate differences, but engages with them; and providing rich opportunities for learning from those differences. Toward New Destinations provides a broad institutional framework for diversity, asserting the centrality of diversity and inclusion to the university’s values and excellence.