Cascadilla School and Cornell University

A long-standing relationship.

The outstanding group of schools and universities located in Ithaca, New York, has long nourished a rich cultural and academic life for which Cornell University serves as the anchor institution. Since 1876, Cornell University’s policy of sharing its advantages and resources with the public has allowed Cascadilla students and teachers especially to benefit from the first-rate infrastructure of this famous Ivy League University. For over 130 years, The Cascadilla School’s location only three hundred feet from the entrance to Cornell has provided Cascadilla students with some truly exceptional opportunities. The School continues today to avail itself of many of these opportunities.

Library Resources

The Cornell University Library, one of the top-ten academic research libraries in North America, is but a five to ten minute walk from the School’s grounds. In its nineteen individual libraries, Cornell houses millions of books and thousands of journals. The Rare and Manuscript Collections alone include 400,000 rare books, over 7 million historic manuscripts, and over one million photographs, paintings, and prints. While high school students who need to complete a serious research project must plan a special trip to a major library, Cascadilla students have at their fingertips every day at Cornell over 8 million books, 65,000 journals, magazines, and newspapers, and over 100,000 digital resources, including subscription-only databases, electronic journals, and e-books. All Cascadilla students learn how to use the Cornell Libraries


There has always been a close connection between the teachers at Cascadilla and Cornell. Throughout its history, the Cascadilla School has taken advantage of the academic community centered around Cornell by employing people who have come to study and work at Cornell. Accordingly, the expert faculty at Cascadilla has often been drawn through the years from the ranks of Cornell students, graduates, graduate students, and their spouses. In the 1890s, the founder of the school, Lucien A. Wait, could walk directly from his classes in the Mathematics Dept. at Cornell to teach a math class at Cascadilla. A fundamental quality of the faculty ever since has been this close connection with Cornell.

Teaching Resources

Students can also visit many of the same world-famous science laboratories, research institutes, and computer facilities that are used by Nobel Prize-winning professors at Cornell. Teachers at the Cascadilla School regularly incorporate these rich teaching resources at Cornell into many of their basic and advanced classes.

Cornell Dining

Cascadilla boarding students are enrolled in a customized meal plan provided by Cornell Dining, recently ranked as the number one college dining facility in the country. Students have the choice of over thirty dining locations on the Cornell campus plus a wide variety of local restaurants in Collegetown.

Culture & Entertainment

Just as close as the Library are the many lectures, exhibitions, and cultural and sporting events that are open to the public on the Cornell Campus. Students are encouraged to attend these events individually and as class trips.

The Cornell Botanical Gardens

Included in the Cornell campus are the beautiful Cornell Botanical Gardens, an extensive arboretum and botanical garden that provides dozens of theme gardens as well as ponds, green hills, and woodland walks. The Plantations also manages the Cascadilla Gorge as a natural area with picturesque walks and trails adjacent to the Cascadilla School.