University newspaper buys off-campus office

    ITHACA, N.Y. (AP) -- The Cornell Daily Sun Alumni Association has purchased a downtown Elks Lodge to house the student-run newspaper.
    The alumni association purchased Elks Lodge No. 636 for $260,000 in a deal that was finalized Friday, association president Stan Chess said Tuesday. The 123-year-old paper had been leasing space in an off-campus building.
    "Ever since the Sun was founded in 1880 it has looked to make a purchase," said Chess, a 1969 Cornell graduate and former Sun editor-in-chief. "The problem, of course, has been the economics. College newspapers are not amazingly profitable."
    The Sun's primary audience is the Cornell campus, but it has always been financially independent from the university. Its alumni association formed about four years ago, attained not-for-profit status and began fund raising, Chess said.
    The association will raise money to make renovations to the building by June 1, when Sun staff is scheduled to move in, Chess said.
    The Sun has 20 editors and about 100 staffers, including six full-time, non-student employees, Sun editor Beth Herskovits said. Famous former Sun staffers include authors E.B. White and Kurt Vonnegut and sports journalist Dick Schaap.