We are united by a common purpose
As we look forward to 2022, we wanted to take a few moments to celebrate 2021. This was a year in which many Cornellians transitioned back to in-person learning and work. We were grateful for the power of science and for the researchers who developed lifesaving vaccines and treatments—in record time—to protect us, our families, and our communities. Here on campus, we were asked to be more mindful of the impact our actions can have on members of vulnerable populations, and we have continued to use science to make decisions about campus safety. We came together safely to celebrate the Class of 2020, and we launched an ambitious campaign to ensure that Cornell continues to educate the next generation of leaders.
As 2021 draws to a close, we hope you’ll pause to peruse a selection of Cornell stories that will make you proud. Read about Cornell students who inspire us with their ability to navigate the challenges of a post-pandemic world, faculty members who continue to innovate and find new ways to keep their students engaged, and alumni who believe in Cornell’s mission and support our campaign To Do the Greatest Good.
As of December 7, we have raised more than $2.8B toward our five-year $5B campaign goal. Your generosity is helping to ensure that Cornell will achieve its ambitious plans to increase affordability and socio-economic diversity.
We are proud of our community—a worldwide network of Cornellians who are committed to tackling the challenges of our times—from climate change, to health inequities, to deep political and racial divides. Enjoy these stories that capture the best of our Big Red spirit. To savor more Cornell moments, we encourage you to check out the full selection of alumni news and giving stories.
We carry the Cornell ethos into the world
The Class of 2020 embarked on their postbaccalaureate careers in a time of huge uncertainty, in the midst of a global pandemic. Read their stories of resilience as they learned to do what Jelani Taylor ’20 calls, “play it different.”
David Einhorn ’91 made a $50M gift to Cornell to launch the community-engaged learning initiative and ensure that every undergraduate has the opportunity to work with a partner to solve a community problem.
Lamin Johnson’s superpower is bringing people together. Lamin has performed two spoken word pieces for Cornell audiences, including a poem composed in honor of the launch of Cornell’s university-wide To Do the Greatest Good campaign.
We are energized by a passion for problem solving
When Cornell shifted from in-person classes to virtual instruction in March 2020, Cornell faculty members quickly pivoted to implement new technologies and strategies for keeping students engaged. They share what this experience taught them and how these insights have led to lasting innovations in their classrooms.
When Olivia Adams ’14, MEng ’15 saw that people in Massachusetts were having a difficult time signing up for COVID-19 vaccine appointments, she built a solution.
Benjamin Z. Houlton, Ronald P. Lynch Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, is on a mission to use science to find solutions to climate change. Houlton’s work involves capturing carbon from the sky and putting it into the soil, where it can remain locked up for thousands of years or longer.
We are generous in our contributions to one another and the world
When we asked Cornell alumni to share insights with current students, you responded generously to the call—sharing everything from which winter boots to bring to campus, to advice for prioritizing mental health and discovering new, unexpected passions by taking classes outside major requirements.
As technical lead for COVID-19 response for the World Health Organization, Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove ’99 provides regular updates on the pandemic and answers questions about the virus for members of the press. “We coordinate the response around the world to suppress infection and save lives—that’s our mission,” she said, adding, “It’s been quite a year.”
Donald A. Rakow, associate professor of plant science at Cornell and director of the NatureRx@Cornell program, has good news to share: people of all ages benefit from spending time outdoors in nature. As little as 10 to 20 minutes two or three times per week can make a difference.
Will Yoon ’01 and Renee Choi ’06 believe in the power of education—and the power of giving back. The couple recently established the Eliana Kim & Choi Family Memorial Scholarship with a gift of $100,000 to support current students.
Together, we are fulfilling the Cornell promise
In the past three years, more than 142,000 Cornellians worldwide have attended a Cornell event, shared their time, talent, and treasure, or engaged with our Big Red community. Your participation reflects the success of our efforts to create programming and content that is useful, relevant, and comes to life in various formats, across many different platforms. From snowflake paper crafts to our Snack Bar chock-full of the latest Cornell content, to alumni career support, to history happy hours, to the moving story of one man’s journey from rural Afghanistan to a Cornell degree—we have delivered.
In return, you have delivered for our students. As of December 7, we have raised more than $2.8B toward our five-year $5B campaign goal. Your generosity is helping to ensure that Cornell will achieve its ambitious plans to increase affordability and socio-economic diversity.
Thank you for all that you do in service to Cornell—so that our university continues to be an educational beacon, a source for solutions, and a bridge to the world.