New light has recently been shed on the character of one of Cornell’s jeweled alumni and benefactors: Goldwin Smith, as revealed through his own and others’ writing, was an influential anti-semite.
Professors Glenn Altschuler, american studies, and Isaac Kramnick, government, verified these findings in a co-authored Cornell Alumni Magazine article last month.
Smith was a renowned intellect and professor at Oxford University at the time of Cornell’s inception. He left his post in 1868 to help launch Cornell’s humanities department and teach English and constitutional history, giving the new University instant credibility.
It was in Toronto, Canada, where Smith moved after only three years in Ithaca, that he became publicly active in expressing his anti-semitic views.