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Cornell Engineer magazine

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The Cornell Engineer magazine was the student-written, student-edited magazine published monthly by the students of the Cornell University College of Engineering. It was incorporated under the laws of the state of New York.

The Cornell Engineer in its various forms existed at Cornell for perhaps 100 years. It began as the Sibley Journal of Engineering and the Cornell Civil Engineer, publications of the Sibley school of civil engineering dating back to before 1915. The Cornell Engineer was one of the magazines in the Engineering College Magazines Association, or ECMA. The umbrella organization held an annual convention at which editorial awards were presented in areas including best cover, best editorial(s), and best feature articles.

The office space was a single expansive room, encompassing the entire basement level of Carpenter Hall on the engineering quadrangle of the Cornell campus.


The magazine had an editorial and business staff. The former consisted of, at the top of the masthead, the editor-in-chief, the business manager, and the managing editor. The masthead in addition listed the positions which existed for a particular issue such as the feature editor, associate editor, treasurer, illustrations editor, publicity manager, advertising manager, business coordinator, office manager, and circulation manager, as well as the staff members, alumni advisors, faculty-technical advisors, and relevant members of the administration of the College of Engineering. The business staff sold advertising and managed the accounting. A yearly dividend was paid to those on the masthead. They were often honored by selection into the Cornell chapter of the journalism honorary, Pi Delta Epsilon.

An annual faculty-student staff banquet would was held at the end of each academic year. As part of the evening, a faculty or staff member would be honored for its support of the magazine and a notable faculty member would be asked to present the after-dinner speech. Cornell luminaries who spoke included astronomer Frank Drake.

Some Notable Alumni

The editorial department was recruited by word of mouth and by approaching freshmen in the engineering school who had received top grades on the advanced placement test in English as high school seniors. Editors who went on to successful careers as writers include Mary Ann Huber, Stan Schlozman, Les Golden, Christine Lewin, and Howard Bales. From the business side, Peter Meyer and others went onto successful careers in engineering.

Later History

Beginning with the January 1966 issue the Cornell Engineer became a quarterly magazine.[1] The college of engineering under the direction of assistant dean Donald Berth began publication of the professionally-staffed Cornell Engineering Quarterly, published not by students of the college but by the College of Engineering itself. This would feature the research activities of the Cornell engineering faculty, directed to professional engineers. The Cornell Engineer itself then became a quarterly as well, directing itself wholly to the students. Golden received one of the four proof copies of the first issue from Berth as token of appreciation at the annual Cornell Engineer faculty-student staff banquet, held in 1966 at Sylvan Hills restaurant following a blinding snow storm.


  1. (1966) Golden, Leslie M., “A Fork in the Road,” Cornell Engineer, January, p. 9 (editorial)