Cornell trivial pursuit

"In the beginning was 'Elder' Bowman," Bill Heywood wrote in Cornell College: A Sesquicentennial History. As a Cornellian, you have likely heard the legend of the Rev. George Bryant Bowman checking his horse on the Hilltop and envisioning an institution of higher learning. But how deep does your knowledge of Cornell trivia run? Do you know Cornell's connection with the sinking Titanic? With two actors from "Gunsmoke"? With a New York City landmark? Test your Cornell IQ with this multiple choice quiz and find out how you score.

Questions are based on Charles Milhauser's Cornell College: 150 Years from A to Z as well as Cornell College: A Sesquicentennial History by Bill Heywood and Richard Thomas.


  1. Which department lost a shipment of books aboard the Titanic?

    a. History
    b. Classics
    c. English
    d. French

  2. How much does The Rock weigh?

    a. 5,000 lbs.
    b. 1,000 lbs.
    c. 500 lbs.
    d. 10,000 lbs.

  3. What was tuition, room, and board for a year in 1854?

    a. Nothing: trustees sponsored tuition for the first class as long as students exhibited “moral character.”
    b. $314
    c. $86
    d. $25

  4. When was the first Coe-Cornell football game?

    a. 1854
    b. 1891
    c. 1924
    d. 1961

  5. How was Ink Pond named?

    a. The nickname came from all the love letters written near the pond.
    b. A 1976 reenactment of the Boston Tea Party created a strange dark color in the pond.
    c. Named in honor of Raymond Peter Ink, class of 1897 and founder of Delta Phi Rho.
    d. The pond was named prior to 1853 and no one knows why it got the name.

  6. Where can you find the moose?

    a. Pizza Palace
    b. Law Hall
    c. The Commons
    d. Under the Gingko Tree

  7. What is the oldest building on campus?

    a. The President’s House
    b. Old Sem
    c. College Hall
    d. King Chapel

  8. What sport officially began intercollegiate athletics at Cornell?

    a. Field Hockey
    b. Football
    c. Wrestling
    d. Baseball

  9. Which of the following lectured or performed in King Chapel despite a power outage?

    a. Frank Lloyd Wright
    b. Chicago Symphony Orchestra
    c. Carl Sandburg
    d. Bob Woodward

  10. In addition to Cornell, which other college or university houses a library that also serves as its community’s public library?

    a. San Jose State University
    b. Denison University
    c. Albion College
    d. Centre College

  11. What actor was trained at Cornell as a Navy cadet in 1943?

    a. James Daly
    b. Dennis Weaver
    c. Gregory Peck
    d. Burt Lancaster

  12. Which two made their first major public speaking engagements at Cornell?

    a. Grant Wood
    b. Carl Sandburg
    c. Andy Warhol
    d. Ross Perot

  13. Cornell is the first college west of the Mississippi to (choose more than one):

    a. Grant women the same rights as men
    b. Award a bachelor’s degree to a woman
    c. Award a female professor the same salary as a male
    d. Realize that if you can’t go to college, go to Coe

  14. Cornell’s first African-American graduate worked for this man, whom he met on campus:

    a. Martin Luther King Jr.
    b. Booker T. Washington
    c. Frederick Douglas
    d. W.E.B. DuBois

  15. What movie director nearly enrolled at Cornell?

    a. Francis Ford Coppola
    b. John Barrymore
    c. John Houston
    d. Orson Welles

  16. William Cornell, for whom the college is named, built this New York City landmark:

    a. The New York Stock Exchange
    b. Brooklyn Bridge
    c. Park Row Building
    d. Flatiron Building

  17. Which was the first location to receive electricity, in 1897?

    a. King Chapel Auditorium
    b. Bowman Hall Dining Room
    c. Literary Society rooms in College Hall
    d. Library in College Hall

  18. Which Cornell landmark was built to include an armory for the Cornell cannon?

    a. Norton Geology Building
    b. Law Hall
    c. King Chapel
    d. College Hall

  19. Which is the only building on campus designed by an alum?

    a. Cole Library
    b. South Hall
    c. Merner Hall
    d. McWethy Hall (formerly Alumni Gym)

  20. What was allowed on campus for the first time in 1926?

    a. Women
    b. Smoking
    c. Dancing
    d. Alcohol

Check your answers here