Your December 2022 Reads: Big Red Books, Perfect for Gifting

Stories You May Like

In the Wake of War, Alum Works to Ensure There’s ‘No One Left Behind’

Doctoral Alum Has Devoted His Career to Saving Lemurs

The Notable Lives Behind (Seven More) Big Red Buildings

Need a last-minute item for the Cornellian on your list? Here are titles on University history and songs, famous alums—even recipes!

Did you know that Cornell has an online book club? Check it out here!

And for more books by Big Red authors, peruse our previous round-ups.

the cover of "Songs of Cornell"

Songs of Cornell

Various incarnations of the Cornell songbook have been compiled and sold over the decades, offering lyrics and sheet music to familiar Big Red tunes such as the “Alma Mater,” “Give My Regards to Davy,” “Fight for Cornell,” and the “Evening Song.”

The latest version, bearing a carnelian red cover with gold embossing, is available from the Glee Club. There’s even a 15-song companion CD, released in 2005, recorded under the aegis of legendary director Thomas Sokol.

the cover of "Touchdown"


If you’ve ever snapped a selfie with the bear cub statue near Schoellkopf, you’re aware that the Big Red’s original ursine mascot didn’t involve a costume—or even a human.

In this paperback subtitled The Story of the Cornell Bear, John Foote ’74 unspools the tale of the quartet of cubs—Touchdowns I through IV—who served as the football team’s mascot in various seasons from 1915 through the 1930s, and their many antics (like climbing the goalposts at halftime).

The 100-page volume also revisits the early 20th-century heyday of Big Red football—when it was not only an athletic powerhouse but a center of student social life.

Forever Faithful

This 280-page coffee table book from 2017 is subtitled Celebrating the Greatest Moments of Cornell Hockey. It does just that, focusing on 24 memorable games that the men’s and women’s teams have played, from the opening of Lynah Rink in 1957 to the book’s publication six decades later.

The cover of "Forever Faithful"

It includes an early history of playing on Beebe Lake; coverage of traditions and rivalries; and reminiscences of games by players and coaches. Written by Jim Roberts ’71—former editor-publisher of Cornell Alumni Magazine and a longtime hockey fan—with veteran Lynah announcer Arthur Mintz ’71, it boasts a foreword by legendary Big Red and NHL goalie Ken Dryden ’69.

the cover of "Big Red Recipes"

Big Red Recipes

The campus group then called Cornell Students for Hunger Relief compiled this 2013 recipe collection, whose sales benefit efforts to combat food insecurity in Tompkins County.

It comprises more than 100 dishes from faculty and staff in 40 departments across campus.

They include such comestibles as cabbage crunch salad (by then-CALS dean Kathryn Boor ’80) and spiced French toast (by Barbara Knuth, then dean of the Graduate School), as well as apple puff pancakes, jalapeño cheese cornbread, ginger-glazed mahi mahi, spicy basil chicken, chocolate cake, and much more.

More than 30 recipes are vegetarian, and there are numerous options for other special diets such as vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free.

the cover of "Cornell: Tradition, Inspiration, and Vision"

Cornell: Tradition, Inspiration and Vision

Striking, digitally enhanced photographs of East Hill as seen throughout the seasons fill this coffee table book from 2013.

It also features “reflections and observations” by then-President David Skorton and President Emeritus Frank H.T. Rhodes.

A successor to the volume Images of Cornell, it was created in partnership with the Cornell Store and offers views of Sage Chapel, the Slope, McGraw Tower, the Johnson Museum, the A.D. White Reading Room, the gorges, Schoellkopf Field, and much more.

Stories You May Like

In the Wake of War, Alum Works to Ensure There’s ‘No One Left Behind’

Doctoral Alum Has Devoted His Career to Saving Lemurs

The cover of "A History of Cornell"

A History of Cornell

Originally published in 1962, this official history was written by Morris Bishop 1913, PhD 1926, a professor of Romance literature and the University historian.

It traces Cornell from its founding through its first 75 years of existence—detailing the unlikely partnership between Ezra Cornell and A.D. White; the assembly of the early faculty and the construction of buildings; the toll of World War I; and much more.

It also highlights a host of notable characters, from naturalist and lecturer Louis Agassiz Fuertes 1897 to notorious student prankster Hugh Troy 1926—and even beloved campus dog Napoleon, a familiar passenger on Ithaca streetcars.

the cover of "Cornell: A History, 1940–2015"

Cornell: A History, 1940–2015

Famed faculty members Glenn Altschuler, PhD ’76, and Isaac Kramnick teamed up for this quasi-sequel to Bishop’s oeuvre, which traces the University’s evolution from the post-World War II era to the then-present day (2015, Cornell’s sesquicentennial year). As they write in their preface: “The history of Cornell since World War II, we believe, is in large part a set of variations on the narrative of ‘freedom,’ the removal of restriction and regulation, and its partner, ‘responsibility,’ the obligation to others and to one’s self to do what is right and useful, with a principled commitment to the Cornell community—and to the world outside the Eddy Street gate.”

The book chronicles not only the University’s continued growth but the impact on the institution of the Cold War, the civil rights and women’s rights movements, the war in Vietnam, and more.

the cover of "Cornell 101"

Cornell 101

Billed (on the cover) as “the required primer for every future Cornellian age 1 to freshman,” this board book for infants and toddlers features sturdy kid-resistant pages, simple text, and many images celebrating the University and its campus and traditions—from the Chimes and Dragon Day to the Ezra statue and beyond.

As one five-star review on Amazon puts it: “A nice idea for a shower or new baby gift for a fellow alumnus, and a great way to start brainwashing your own child from the beginning.”

the cover of "The 100 Most Notable Cornellians"

The 100 Most Notable Cornellians

Altschuler and Kramnick joined forces with American studies colleague R. Laurence Moore to compile this 2003 coffee table book.

It profiles 100 undergraduate alumni who were among the most accomplished people in their respective fields and eras.

The diverse list ranges from Barbara McClintock 1923, PhD 1927 (science Nobelist), and Frank Gannett 1898 (newspaper mogul) to Joyce Bauer Brothers ’47 (psychologist and TV personality), Janet Reno ’60 (U.S. attorney general), and Christopher Reeve ’74 (movie star).

Among the few notables still living today are Peter Yarrow ’59 (folk musician) and Sanford Weill ’55 (financier and University benefactor).

the cover of "Cayuga’s Daughters"

Cayuga’s Daughters

This round-up of “100 notable women of Cornell” was penned by Michael Turback ’66.

Its single-page profiles cover a number of bold-face names, such as Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg ’54; former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, MRP ’97; actor Jane Lynch, MFA ’84; photographer Margaret Bourke-White 1927; news anchor Kate Snow ’91; bestselling novelist Lauren Weisberger ’99; and retired New York Times health columnist Jane Brody ’62. There are also women whose monikers grace East Hill buildings, including Olive Tjaden 1925 and Martha Van Rensselaer 1909—plus a host of others whose bios many readers will be encountering for the first time.

the cover of "Cornell: Glorious to View"

Cornell: Glorious to View

The University’s history is explored in words and pictures in this hardcover volume by Carol Kammen, a longtime local historian and retired University lecturer. It features documents and images from Cornell’s Rare and Manuscript Collections, as well as a foreword by eminent historian and professor Walter LaFeber.

“Cornell began as a university in a country of colleges,” Kammen writes in the first chapter, going on to observe that “Cornell was at the beginning complex, diverse, and somewhat contrary—words that still fit the institution we know today.”

Published in 2003—as Cornell had just entered a new century—it contemplates the institution’s 19th-century roots in the Land Grant Act and Ezra’s determination to use his fortune to benefit society, and ponders such 20th-century issues as racial tensions and the end of in loco parentis rules.

Published December 14, 2022

What's your favorite book about Cornell?


  1. Logan M. Cheek III, Class of 1960

    Anne Emanuel, “Elbert Parr Tuttle: Chief Jurist of the Civil Rights Revolution”, University of Georgia Press, 2011. A comprehensive biography by his former law clerk of Judge Elbert P. Tuttle BA, 1918, LLB 1922, and chief judge of the US circuit court in Atlanta during the civil rights era. What Martin Luther King, Jr., inspired, and Lyndon Johnson engineered into law, Elbert Tuttle as leader of the “four horsemen” on the bench in Atlanta made happen. Also enjoyed other incarnations as a decorated war hero in WW2, brigadier general, leader of the Republican Party in Georgia who engineered the nomination of Dwight Eisenhower in 1952, name partner of the Atlanta law firm he co-founded, and Cornell trustee and president of his national fraternity.

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