Messenger Lectures

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Cornell's Messenger Lecture series was established in 1924 by a gift from Dr. Hiram Messenger, a Cornell graduate of 1880 and a longtime teacher of mathematics. The terms of the original gift established "a fund to provide a course of lectures on the Evolution of Civilization for the special purpose of raising the moral standard of our political, business, and social life." Dr. Messenger's bequest provided for "twelve lectures per year, delivered by the ablest non-resident lecturer or lecturers obtainable." (Note: There are not twelve Messenger Lectures per year now, see below.

The Messenger Lectures are one of the most important of the Cornell extracurricular activities. The scope of Dr. Messenger's original charter for the lecture series and the generosity of his gift have enabled Cornell to bring to the campus some of the world's leading scholars and public figures. Traditionally, the Committee designates one Messenger nominee each semester to present a series of either three or six lectures.


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