State University of New York at Cortland

State University of New York at Cortland
State University of New York College at Cortland
Established 1868
Endowment $11.7 million[1]
President Dr.Erik Bitterbaum
Provost Dr. Mark Prus
Students 7,200
Location Cortland, New York, USA
Campus 211 acres (0.85 km2)
Colors red and white
Nickname Red Dragons
Mascot Blaze

The State University of New York College at Cortland, also officially called SUNY Cortland or informally known as Cortland State, is a coeducational university located in Cortland, New York. Cortland is located off of Interstate 81, between Syracuse and Binghamton.



The State University of New York College at Cortland was founded in 1848 as the Cortland Normal School, which included among its earliest students inventor and industrialist Elmer A. Sperry of Sperry Rand Corp. fame. It became a full 4-year college in 1868

Over time, the campus continually grew, and in 1941, by an act of legislature and the Board of Regents, the institution officially became a four-year college providing courses leading to the bachelor's degree and soon was widely acknowledged as Cortland State Teachers College. In 1948, Cortland was a founding member of the State University of New York.

Today, approximately 7,000 students are pursuing degrees within the College's three academic divisions — arts and sciences, education and professional studies. Twenty-eight academic departments with a faculty of more than 500 offer the SUNY Cortland student body 63 majors and 44 minors from which to choose.

The College's main campus covers 191 acres (773,000 m²) and includes 30 traditional and modern buildings. Fourteen of these structures are residence halls providing on-campus housing for approximately 3,000 students. SUNY Cortland also operates its Outdoor Education Center at Raquette Lake in the Adirondacks, the Hoxie Gorge Nature Preserve outside Cortland, and the Brauer Education Center on the Helderberg Escarpment near Albany.

The U.S. Department of the Interior in 2004 designated Camp Pine Knot, now known as the Huntington Memorial Camp and part of its Outdoor Education center at Raquette Lake, N.Y., as the first and only National Historic Landmark within the State University of New York (SUNY). Camp Pine Knot was the first Great Camp of the Adirondacks and the birthplace of what is now known as the Adirondack style of architecture. SUNY Cortland has 55,000 alumni living in all 50 states and in more than 40 countries.

SUNY Cortland is also home to one of the oldest local sororities in the country, Nu Sigma Chi (NEX or Nu Sig) founded in 1928 . The house located at 52 Prospect Terrace, is the original house that was built for the purpose of being a sorority house hence its unique structure. The other three sororities on campus live in converted old Victorian style houses.

Notable alumni

  • George T. Breen, Olympic Swimmer

Notable faculty


  • NBA star Dikembe Mutombo received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters (L.H.D.) degree from SUNY Cortland on May 15, 2004 for his philanthropic efforts in his native country, the Democratic Republic of Congo and other African nations.


Dragon Statue in College Library, Fall 2006
  • School of Arts and Sciences
  • School of Education
  • School of Professional Studies


The Cortland Red Dragons are the athletic teams for SUNY Cortland. The college competes in NCAA Division III in the State University of New York Athletic Conference for most sports - women's ice hockey plays in the ECAC West, football plays in the New Jersey Athletic Conference and wrestling competes in the Empire Collegiate Wrestling Conference, as those sports are not offered by the SUNYAC.

SUNY Cortland has had the most nationally successful men's and women's intercollegiate athletics program in New York over the past decade. In 1995, the Sears Directors' Cup was established to gauge and recognize the most successful intercollegiate athletics programs in the nation. SUNY Cortland is one of only five colleges and universities in the U.S. to have finished every year among the Top 20 NCAA Division III programs. Cortland placed 16th out of approximately 440 schools during the 2010-11 competition that is now known as the Learfield Sports Directors' Cup. The competition is sponsored by USA Today, the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics, and Learfield Sports. The standings are based on schools' national finishes in different sports.

The Cortland Red Dragons annually play Ithaca College Bombers for the Cortaca Jug, which was added in 1959 to an already competitive rivalry. The match-up is one of the most prominent in Division III college football.It was called the "biggest little game in the nation" by Sports Illustrated in 1991. Since the inception of the Cortaca Jug, Ithaca College has owned SUNY Cortland, with a record of 34-17.

Cortland snapped Salisbury University's 69-game win streak to capture the 2006 NCAA Men's Lacrosse Div. III National Championship. The team reached the 2007 and 2008 national championship in rematch games against Salisbury University. The lacrosse team cemented its spot as a premier team with their second Division III national championship in 2009, defeating Gettysburg in the finals.

In 2006 as part of its Silver Anniversary of sponsoring women's sports, the NCAA named the SUNY Cortland women's cross country program as its top cross country program of the past 25 years. The Cortland women captured seven NCAA Division III national championships in a nine-year span between 1989 and 1997 (1989, 1991–95, 1997). In addition, the Cortland men's cross country team won the 2008 NCAA Div. III championship.

In all, Cortland teams have won 23 national titles, including 17 NCAA crowns. Along with the titles mentioned above, the field hockey team won NCAA Div. III titles in 1993, 1994 and 2001, the women's outdoor track and field team won an NCAA Div. III title in 1985 and the women's indoor track and field team was the 1991 NCAA Div. III champion. The men's lacrosse squad won the NCAA Div. II title in 1975 and the USILA College Division championship in 1973. The women's soccer won the 1992 NCAA Div. III tournament and captured the first-ever U.S. National Women's Soccer Championship in 1980, defeating UCLA in the finals. The men's gymnastics team won USGF Div. II-III titles in 1986, 1987, 1989 and 1990.

Records and rankings

  • Kiplinger's ranked SUNY Cortland among its 100 Best Values Among Public College and Universities in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010.
  • Home to the largest teacher education program in the Eastern United States and the fourth largest in the nation.
  • SUNY Cortland has one of the nation's largest undergraduate programs in physical education.
  • SUNY Cortland has been named to the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010.
  • SUNY Cortland, with its 28 academic departments, offers 61 undergraduate majors, 33 graduate majors and four certificates of advanced study.
  • Current enrollment is 7,234 students (Fall 2009)
  • SUNY Cortland has over 100 student clubs and organizations.


  1. ^ As of June 30, 2009. "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2009 Endowment Market Value and Percentage Change in Endowment Market Value from FY 2008 to FY 2009" (PDF). 2009 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments. National Association of College and University Business Officers. Retrieved February 2, 2010. 

External links

42°35.820′N 76°11.363′W / 42.597°N 76.189383°W / 42.597; -76.189383Coordinates: 42°35.820′N 76°11.363′W / 42.597°N 76.189383°W / 42.597; -76.189383

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