August 23, 2000

Time Names Cornell 'College of the Year'

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Time magazine and The Princeton Review issued a publication Monday naming “The Best College for You,” and for those attending Cornell, the magazine may only confirm good taste. Cornell was deemed a “College of the Year.”

The distinction comes as a result of the University’s leadership in the field of writing. Cornell’s Knight Writing Program implements the University’s unique emphasis on writing in numerous introductory courses and across curricula spanning the entire university.

“We are delighted with the recognition,” said Vice President of University Relations Henrik N. Dullea. “[The writing program] has been a hallmark for the Cornell curriculum for many years.”

The Knight Program originated in 1986, a product of a $5 million memorial grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The program was conceived as a single grant but was expanded over the years, spurred by the success and expansion of the innovative approach to writing.

“The recognition is a tribute to the commitment and effectiveness of faculty and graduate students who teach in the program,” said Associate Dean Jonathan Monroe, director of the John S. Knight Institute for Writing in the Disciplines, formerly the Knight Writing Program.

The Institute, traditionally known to serve freshmen with writing seminars, also offers over 30 courses under the category called “writing in the majors” that are directed at upperclassmen.

In addition, new seminars and courses that will serve as a gateway into Cornell’s various majors will be phased into the University curriculum by the Institute, classes offered to sophomores only. Five new courses will be introduced annually over a six-year time period.

The Knight Program has grown to include a national university model, and last December, with the support of a new grant it morphed into the John S. Knight Institute for Writing in the Disciplines.

Since 1997, fifteen colleges have participated in another of the Institute’s programs, the Consortium for Writing in the Disciplines. Universities from across the country attend the consortium for two years to examine and discuss the writing programs of the Knight Institute, and last summer the Consortium welcomed its first international partners, the University of London and the American University of Paris.

Three other universities were recognized in the Time/Princeton Review magazine.

Clemson University was honored among public universities in the magazine. Sarah Lawrence, a liberal arts school, and Longview Community College received similar distinctions as well.

Archived article by Matthew Hirsch