The Cornell in Washington (CIW) program, proposed by Theodore Lowi, the John L. Senior Professor of American Institutions, launched in the spring of 1980 as a small pilot program for six students in DC.

By 1983, under the direction of Arch Dotson, professor of government, the program enrolled more than 55 students and offered nine courses, student research experience, and internships.

In spring 1985, Cornell President Frank H. T. Rhodes formally opened the center's permanent home at 2148 O Street NW. Supporters celebrated the occasion by transplanting ivy from the Cornell Botanic Gardens on the walls of the building and soaking it with water from Beebe Lake. The Dupont-neighborhood building was renamed the Cornell University Wolpe Center in 2003.

Today, CIW is a highly respected center for experiential-learning and a model for innovative, Washington-based university programs.

From the beginning, CIW focused on helping students engage personally with the experts who teach its unique courses, the supervisors who host substantive internships, and the opportunies found only in DC. As an extension of Ezra Cornell's vision, CIW provides an unparalled opportunity for any student to find instruction in any study.

Read the Cornell Alumni Magazine profile of CIW from January 2013.