Reunion ’22 Photo Tour: The Hill Is Alive with Big Red Spirit

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Under (mostly) blue skies, alumni relish in-person festivities and embrace beloved traditions

By Joe Wilensky

Following two years of virtual gatherings, Reunion returned to the Hill last weekend—drawing more than 6,000 alumni and their guests for a joyous Big Red celebration.

Touchdown joins alumni and guests at the celebrations at Cornelliana Night
Touchdown joins in the Cornelliana Night fun.

Alumni traveled from 48 states and 20 countries, coming from as far away as Australia and Saudi Arabia. The Class of 1952 broke the attendance record for a 70th Cornell Reunion with 24 members returning, and Reunion fundraising totaled $173.9 million from some 6,400 donors.

While there were concerns about potential thunderstorms going into the weekend, balmy temperatures and picturesque skies graced the Hill for nearly the entire event, with only a brief flirtation with rain and clouds on Saturday afternoon.

Among the weekend’s highlights was an appearance by “Science Guy” Bill Nye ’77—attending his own 45th Reunion—who drew an eager crowd to Schoellkopf for a presentation about his solar noon clock, the joy of discovery, and the importance of confronting climate change.

A Reunion attendee captures the vantage point from atop McGraw Tower
Capturing the view from atop McGraw Tower.

Brooklyn-based artist Olalekan Jeyifous, BArch ’99, gave the annual Olin Lecture; he discussed his architectural training and how it has informed his work, which often comprises large-scale installations in public spaces.

Current and past members of the Cornell University Chorus celebrated their centennial with a gala concert in Bailey Hall, in addition to singalongs and other gatherings marking the milestone throughout the weekend.

In a tradition founded by the Class of ’31—as a way to pass the torch from the most senior Reunion celebrants to the newest—a special gathering brought together the classes of 1947 and 2017.

A glow stick lights the face of one Reunion attendee at the tents on the Arts Quad Saturday night
A festive mood in the Arts Quad tents on Saturday night.

For her annual Reunion panel, President Martha Pollack led a conversation with two current students and a 2022 alum about their experiences as undergraduates, and how they plan to take the University’s “knowledge with a public purpose” mission into their lives and careers.

Many other Reunion favorites were back, too—including the 5K run, canoeing on Beebe Lake, performances by the Big Red Marching Band, walking tours of the gorge, Cornelliana Night, and (of course!) tent parties on the Arts Quad.


Scroll down for a photo tour of Reunion ’22—and share your own memories in the comments!

Reunion attendee takes a selfie with the bear cub statue outside Teagle Hall that pays tribute to the first Big Red mascot, Touchdown
A selfie with the iconic bear statue outside Teagle Hall.
“Science Guy” Bill Nye ’77 enthralls a Reunion audience at Schoellkopf Stadium
“Science Guy” Bill Nye ’77 enthralls his audience.
Drone photo view of the Arts Quad and the Fun in the Sun festival during Reunion Weekend
A bird’s-eye view of the festivities.
Reunion attendees take in a Cornell Chimes concert performance in McGraw Tower
Far above, the Chimes make beautiful music.
Alumni and family members canoe on Beebe Lake during Reunion Weekend
Canoeing on Beebe Lake.
a cappella performance at a Reunion event
A cappella performances remain a Reunion favorite.
Participants in the Cornell Reunion 5K begin the run that loops through the Cornell Botanic Gardens Saturday morning of Reunion Weekend
Racing in the annual 5K.
1950s classmates share wine and laughter at the Statler Hotel Ballroom
Classmates from the 1950s share wine and laughter.
A child enjoys the Fun in the Sun festival on the Arts Quad during Reunion Weekend
A future Cornellian enjoys the Fun in the Sun festival on the Arts Quad.
A Reunion attendee enjoys Cornell Outdoor Education’s rappelling activity on the side of Schoellkopf Stadium
Rappelling down Schoellkopf, under the guidance of Cornell Outdoor Education.

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Touchdown helps alumni celebrate an engagement during Reunion Weekend
Touchdown gives his paw of approval to a Cornellian couple.
Reunion attendees at the tent parties on the Arts Quad during Reunion Weekend
Revelry and relaxation amid the Arts Quad tent parties.
Phil Krasicky MS '75, PhD '80, performs “Phabulous Physics Phun Phest” demonstrations at Reunion
Phil Krasicky, PhD '80, a senior lecturer on the Hill, presents his “Phabulous Physics Phun Phest.”
At the “Passing It Forward” Reunion ceremony, members of the oldest class attending present their class banner to the newest Reunion attendees
A ceremony in which the oldest attending class presents its banner to the newest Reunion celebrants.
A guided bird walk is led by a Cornell Lab of Ornithology staffer along the Sapsucker Woods trails
A guided bird walk through the Lab of Ornithology’s Sapsucker Woods.
Candle-lighting at the Reunion Service of Remembrance at Anabel Taylor Chapel during Reunion Weekend
Honoring departed classmates at the Service of Remembrance in Anabel Taylor Chapel.
Students and alumni perform at Cornelliana Night outside Schoellkopf Stadium
Students and alumni join in song at Cornelliana Night.
Reunion attendees on a walking tour of Cascadilla Gorge near campus
A walking tour of Cascadilla Gorge.
The Big Red Marching Band, complete with colorguard, performs on the Arts Quad during Reunion Weekend
A performance by the Big Red Marching Band, complete with color guard.
A group of Reunion attendees pose together atop Libe Slope
Friends reconnect atop the Slope.
Alumni and guests dance at the tents on the Arts Quad Saturday night during Reunion Weekend
Dancing in the tents.
A crowd watches a presentation by “Science Guy" Bill Nye ’77 at Schoellkopf Stadium during Reunion
An eager crowd in Schoellkopf.
Members of the Big Red Marching Band, students and returning alumni, perform at Reunion
The Marching Band sets the Reunion rhythm.
Reunion attendees take in the views from the Slope
On a picture-perfect Ithaca day, taking in the view.

Top photo: A family selfie on the Slope. (All images in this story by Cornell University photographers Lindsay France, Noël Heaney, Sreang Hok, Jason Koski, and Ryan Young.)

Published June 14, 2022


Do you have a Reunion memory you'd like to share?

Comments

  1. Jeanne Arnold Schwetje, Class of 1978

    Singing in the Cornell Chorus Centennial Concert, hanging out talking and laughing at the CRC lounge in Mews, brunch at Simeon’s, dancing in the tents, hearing the chimes as I was rushing to Chorus rehearsal, a great lunch in Statler, seeing the sunset standing by the Clock Tower. Walking down College Ave, crossing Thurston Ave bridge, power walking down and up Libe Slope. It was wonderful! I’ll be back next year for my 45th!

  2. Stuart Baron, Class of 1982

    I have attended all eight class of ‘82 reunions and had the most fun at this one. We had an amazing turnout of Sperry Hall folks, including 6 of the 19 living residents of my corridor on the fourth floor, and at least 20 overall out of roughly 400 attendees!

  3. Ileana Betancourt, Class of 2012

    Visiting the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, listening to Bill Nye’s talk, seeing friends and familiar faces from my years at Cornell, stopping by Mann Library, and crossing the bridges and seeing the waterfalls!

    • Eveline Ferretti

      Hey Ileana–Thanks so much for stopping by Mann Library during your Reunion visit. We loved, loved, loved connecting and chatting with the alums who dropped in!

  4. Steven Ludsin, Class of 1970

    I had a wonderful 50th Reunion, albeit 2 years later than planned due to the pandemic. I was able to stay at Flora Rose Hall and that made the weekend even better. I retraced by paths when I was a student and it was a sentimental journey. I met friendly people on campus and at the tent parties. I was flattered by a comment from one of my classmates who said I have spent my life speaking to new people. He confirmed the fact that I refined my schmoozing skills when I was an undergraduate at Cornell and that was a vital part of my education. I’m still schmoozing!

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