The joke goes that when Ezra Cornell proposed in 1868 the university that now bears his name he said he wanted to provide an institution where anyone could find instruction in any study.
An associate said “But you will be flooded with students.”
Cornell replied, according to the joke: “Wait to you see where I am going to put it.”
Five Costa Ricans will find out. In addition to one of the best educations in the world, they also will learn about snow, perhaps skiing, long, demanding hills and the Ivy League tradition.
Casa Presidencial said Monday that Vice President Ana Helena Chacón will travel to New York to finalize a deal whereby five Costa Ricans will get full scholarships to Cornell.
Financing by the university for each student will be in excess of $100,000, said Casa Presidencial. The emphasis will be on the hard sciences and math. Also making the trip is the minister of Ciencia y Tecnología, Marcelo Jenkins.
Not to be confused with another Ivy League institution, Columbia, the main Cornell campus is not in New York City amid museums, fancy restaurants and urban living. The campus is in the hills overlooking Ithaca, New York, some 250 miles (400 km) northwest of New York City, notes a university Web site.
Despite the remote location, the American Institute of Economic Research several years ago named Ithaca as the best college town in America. The town is geared for a large student population, and the Upstate New York region is heavily forested and sliced by deep gorges. The university sits, as the song goes, high above the waters of Lake Cayuga.
Cornell seems to be anxious to have Costa Rican students.
Casa Presidencial said that the air tickets and housing are being paid by the university.