Wednesday, June 26

  • Registration open

    9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
    Location: Statler Hotel conference foyer

  • Casual colleague networking by role

    10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.
    Location: Barnes Hall 1st Floor, Cornell Career Services

    Arriving in Ithaca early? Meet counterparts from other schools who have similar roles. This will be a casual session. Let us know you’re coming and we’ll be sure to have colleagues for you to chat with.

  • Geek-out! Pre-conference digital meet-up

    10:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m.
    Location: Amphitheater, Statler Hotel
    Attendance capacity: 30 (Full)

    Digital disruptors unite! This pre-conference session and luncheon will light up your brain with new ideas that break the mold. Come ready to share one thing you're excited about.

  • Tours + get outside ☀️

    2:00–3:00 p.m.

    Historic Campus Tour


    Take a stroll around Cornell’s central campus with our unofficial university historian (and development colleague) Corey Ryan Earle ’07. He’ll share fun facts and some Cornell history to help orient you to Ithaca and what makes the Big Red unique.

    Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art Permanent Collections Tour


    Led by our Coordinator for Student Engagement and Public Programs, your tour will begin in the Appel Lobby and will feature our permanent collections, with examples of how we activate our more than 40,000 global works of art for teaching and learning. We’ll conclude on the 5th floor of the Museum, where you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy sweeping views of Cornell University and the surrounding Ithaca landscape. Those unable to attend the tour are welcome to pick up a self-guided tour program at the Appel Lobby welcome desk.

    Tour of Cornell Dairy Plant


    Each year, Cornell’s dairy facilities provide fresh milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream and more across campus—providing fresh products to students, staff, and visitors. Join us on a tour of our Dairy Plant in Stocking Hall and get a first-hand look at how these products are made—from the delivery of the milk from our College of Veterinary Medicine a half-mile away to its processing right on campus. And, of course, we’ll be treating you to some freshly made Cornell ice cream at our Dairy Bar (yes, ice cream made just yards away from where it’s produced—yum!).
    Led by Matt Stratton, food science director. Limited to 15 people.

    2:00–3:30 p.m.

    Kroch Library, level B2


    Visit Cornell’s rare book and manuscript library to see highlights from our collection—including Cornell treasures such as E. B. White’s manuscripts, selections from our extensive Witchcraft Collection, and even the original telegraph receiver! Explore the exhibits "Dr. Joyce Brothers: Mother of Media Psychology," and "Solar Eclipses Across the World." Please note that no food or drink is permitted in the Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections. This activity is limited to the first 30 registrants.

    Explore on your own!

    See our favorite Ithaca-area highlights—from the best places to eat to hiking trails and more.

  • Ivy+ Conference kick-off

    4:00–5:00 p.m.
    Location: KG70, Klarman Hall
    Speakers: Michelle Vaeth, Cornell
    Fred Van Sickle, Vice President of Alumni Affairs and Development, Cornell
    Allison Cole, Yale
    Howard Wolf, Stanford
    Zack Langway, Brown

    Welcome to the Ivy+ Conference for Alumni Relations Professionals! Join us as university leaders kick off this year's ‘Upstate Retreat’ with encouraging remarks. Expect an interactive experience with time to connect with others who work in similar roles at different institutions. Get ready to network and make valuable connections that will enhance your conference experience and support you beyond this week.

  • Welcome reception

    5:30–7:00 p.m.

  • Team dinners + after hours

    7:00 p.m.

    Enjoy a free evening for dinner on your own or with team members. Information about after-hours gatherings coming soon!

Thursday, June 27

  • Breakfast + registration open

    8:30–9:15 a.m.

  • 9:00–9:45 a.m.
    Location: Room 196, Statler Hall

    Elizabeth "Beta" Mannix, PhD
    Ann Whitney Olin Professor of Management
    SC Johnson College of Business, Cornell University

  • Morning breakout session I

    10:00–10:45 a.m.

    Making Connections: Building Graduate, Professional, and College Communities 🧩

    Location: Room 198, Statler Hall
    Speakers: Alexandra Alfstad, Yale
    Renee Hirschberg, Stanford
    Jennifer Guarino, MIT

    How do you create a sense of belonging to a college, graduate, or professional school within a bigger university ecosystem? How do you partner with other schools or work with a central alumni engagement program to ensure success for both the school and the entire university? Hear case studies from our panel and share your experiences during the open discussion.

    Building Trust and Relevancy with Next-Generation Alumni Communities 🤝

    Location: Room 196, Statler Hall
    Speakers: Christianna Casaletto, Harvard
    Michelle Badger, Stanford

    Join us for an engaging panel session! Our speakers will discuss initiatives that meet recent graduates where they are in life and in their connection to our institutions. From wide-lens strategic planning to tactical communications and support offerings, we'll share insights, experiences, and effective approaches to ensure all alumni feel valued and connected long after they leave campus.

  • Stretch break 🙌

    10:45–11:00 a.m.

  • Morning breakout session II

    11:00–11:45 a.m.

    Global Perspectives: Building International Alumni Communities 🌎

    Location: Room 196, Statler Hall
    Speakers: Katherine Bussiere, Yale
    Nureen Das, MIT

    Explore strategies to foster meaningful engagement and connection among alumni from diverse cultural backgrounds. Discover how to create programs and initiatives that celebrate diversity, promote inclusivity, and empower alumni to thrive as global citizens in an interconnected world. Leave equipped with practical insights to strengthen your alumni network and promote cross-cultural understanding.

    Lessons from Across Campus: Leveraging Student Affairs Experience to Enhance Our Work 🧑‍🎓

    Location: Room 198, Statler Hall
    Speaker: Jamie Hom, Cornell

    In alumni relations, we can learn a lot from student development theory and student affairs best practices—no matter what generation of alumni we work with. Whether you've come to our field from a student affairs background, or you're a current alumni relations practitioner seeking fresh perspectives, join us for a panel presentation and interactive case studies. This session will offer valuable insights to help you learn from the mindset and values of our colleagues in student affairs.

  • Networking lunch

    12:00–1:00 p.m.

    Keep your morning conversations going! Lunch tables will match the morning break-out sessions.

  • Ice Cream Social 🍦

    1:00–2:00 p.m.

    Take a break on the Arts Quad, with Cornell Dairy Bar ice cream from the Ice Cream Bike and a visit from Cornell Companions therapy dogs.

  • Afternoon breakout session I

    2:00–3:00 p.m.

    Holding the Line: Setting Clear Boundaries for Volunteer Success ❤️

    Location: Room 198, Statler Hall
    Speakers: Abby Hutton, Harvard
    Tim Mansfield, MIT

    Join us as we share experiences, explore strategies, and find solutions to navigating challenging volunteer interactions. You’ll leave with actionable insights and practical leadership tips to create stronger, more harmonious alumni communities.

    Get Creative with AI in Alumni Relations 🤖

    Location: Room 196, Statler Hall
    Speakers: Jack (John) Cashman, Harvard
    Andrew Gossen, Cornell
    Adam Miller, Stanford

    Explore inventive ways to utilize artificial intelligence tools to foster meaningful connections, drive participation, and enhance alumni experiences. From personalized outreach to predictive analytics, discover how the fusion of AI and alumni engagement strategies can empower institutions to cultivate stronger, more vibrant communities.

    Weathering the Storm Together: Effective Crisis Communication for Alumni Relations in 2024 ☔️

    Location: Amphitheater, Statler Hall
    Speaker: Jennifer Campbell, Cornell

    During the 2023-2024 academic year, our Ivy+ cohort gained new insights into navigating crises with confidence and engaging with alumni in ways that reinforce trust and authenticity. In this interactive session, we’ll:

    • Reflect on some of the good that came out of our experiences
    • Share predictions for the next academic year and beyond
    • Identify some top readiness steps and plans for next year

    Whether you feel like you have a lot to say or a lot to learn, you’ll get something out of this session that can help shape your perspective and your work plan.

  • Stretch break 🙌

    3:00–3:15 p.m.

  • Afternoon breakout session II

    3:15–4:15 p.m.

    Unlocking Alumni Engagement and Philanthropic Connections 🔓

    Location: Room 198, Statler Hall
    Speakers: Carolyn Gray Kimberlin, Dartmouth
    Daina Troy, Penn
    Krystal Augustine, Yale
    Nicole Cook, Cornell

    Dive into the transformative power of alumni engagement in fostering lifelong connections and philanthropic partnerships. Learn strategies to cultivate relationships with alumni, leveraging their expertise, networks, and passion to drive meaningful giving initiatives. Discover actionable approaches to nurture a culture of philanthropy within your alumni community, empowering individuals to make a lasting difference.

    Back to Basics: Reconnecting with Alumni Through Low-Fi Engagement ✏️

    Location: Room 196, Statler Hall
    Speakers: Sara Graham, Harvard
    Lauren Graham Garcia, Cornell

    An alum raises their hand. They want to get involved and do something accessible, impactful, and easy. What do you tell them? Join us for an interactive brainstorming session aimed at re-engaging alumni through simple, low-fi methods. We will work through case studies together and share best practices to bring back to our own institutions.

    Nurturing Lifelong Learning 📚

    Location: Amphitheater, Statler Hall
    Speakers: Imee Diego DuBose, Stanford
    Sharon Small, Yale
    Lizzie Army, MIT

    Speakers will unveil the success stories of their lifelong learning programs from over a decade of dedication and innovation. Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, these programs have blossomed, offering a platform for alumni to delve into scholarly pursuits and reconnect through courses, outings, and events. Discover how strategic adaptation, donor-funded scholarships, and alumni-led teaching sustained and invigorated these alumni engagement efforts.

  • Free time + tours ☀️

    4:30–6:00 p.m.

    Cornell University Insect Collection

    Location: Comstock Hall

    Just a quick walk from the Statler Hotel is one of the largest insect collections in the country (second only to Harvard’s, among academic institutions). With more than 7 million samples (no, they’re not alive), it represents about 20% of the world’s known insect fauna. Get a peek at some of the samples, including Vladimir Nabokov’s famed butterfly collection, and hear some of the questions New York State residents ask our experts about what they find in their homes, gardens, and farms.

    Explore on your own!

    See our favorite Ithaca-area highlights—from the best places to eat to hiking trails and more.

    4:30–5:45 p.m.

    Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source (CHESS) Tour


    \Wilson Synchrotron Laboratory is home to one of the most powerful accelerators in the world, producing high-energy X-rays for the Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source (CHESS), and is operated by the Cornell Laboratory for Accelerator-based ScienceS and Education (CLASSE). CLASSE is a federation of research centers that leverage shared scientific, technical, and administrative expertise and infrastructure to advance the frontiers of beam science. CLASSE’s vision is to understand the behavior of matter and fields at all scales of distance and time to sustainably advance science and benefit society.

    4:30–5:30 p.m.

    Sound Bath Meditation

    Location: The Statler Hotel, Yale Room

    Join Dr. Maureen Alexander, DACM, for a sound healing journey to deep relaxation and meditation through the harmony of alchemy crystal bowls, chimes, tuning forks, harp, gong and more! This one hour immersion will invite you to quiet the mind and help let go of daily stressors through resonance and vibrations. Please wear comfortable clothing and bring an extra blanket and eye pillow for maximum comfort.

  • Reception and dinner

    6:00–8:00 p.m.

  • After hours

    8:00 p.m.

    Information about after-hours gatherings coming soon!

Friday, June 28

  • 🎉 Spirit Day 🎉

    Don't forget to wear your best school spirit gear today!

  • Breakfast

    8:00–9:30 a.m.

  • 8:45–9:45 a.m.
    Location: Statler Ballroom

    Alex Susskind, PhD
    Professor of Food & Beverage Management, Cornell Peter and Stephanie Nolan School of Hotel Administration; Senior Director of Programs, Nolan School; Director, Cornell Institute of Food and Beverage Management

    What can the hospitality industry teach us about connecting with our alumni? Keynote speaker and restaurant industry expert Professor Alex Susskind will reveal the secret ingredients for success in alumni relations. Through a menu of examples, Professor Susskind will share the 10 dimensions of service quality and how consistency, communication, and customization create a recipe for loyalty. Get ready to reimagine your approach and serve up excellence in alumni relations!

  • Breakout sessions

    10:00–11:00 a.m.

    The Power of Presence: Making Your Mark on the Conference Circuit 💪

    Location: Room 222, Upson Hall
    Speakers: Elise Betz, Penn
    Ashley Budd, Cornell
    Max Claman, Yale

    Learn how to navigate the conference circuit like a pro. Hear strategies to elevate your presence, from refining your speaking skills to establishing yourself as a thought leader in your field. Discover the art of effective networking, maximizing your time at conferences, and the crucial post-conference follow-up needed to solidify connections.

    Career Evolution: Embracing Change and Reinventing Your Professional Path 📈

    Location: Room 206, Upson Hall
    Speakers: Steve Blum, Yale
    Alexea Benros, Brown

    Join us for a panel discussion on career growth featuring three different perspectives and experiences. Our speakers will share their journeys: one will share strategies for advancement within alumni relations, another will explore the nuances of transitioning within a university and industry (and back again), and the third will offer invaluable insights on navigating a complete career pivot. Gain actionable tips and inspiration to chart your own path to professional success.

    Navigating the Modern Workplace: Insights for Alumni Relations Professionals 🧑‍💻

    Location: 142, Upson Hall
    Speakers: Kellie Celia, Harvard
    Ilana Dimbleby, Cornell

    Exploring the dynamics of the modern workplace for alumni relations professionals. We'll delve into the challenges and opportunities presented by the multi-generational workforce and discuss strategies for fostering collaboration and understanding across different age groups. Plus, we'll discuss how to navigate the evolving landscape of hybrid and remote work life. Our speakers offer insights to enhance alumni engagement programs and support flexibility in today's workplace.

  • Stretch break 🙌

    11:00–11:15 a.m.

  • Conference closing: Passing the torch

    11:15–11:45 a.m.
    Location: Room 101, Phillips Hall
    Speakers: Michelle Vaeth, Cornell
    Cheryl Bascomb, Dartmouth
    Corey Earl, Cornell

    Join us for the closing session of this year's conference for alumni relations professionals, where leaders will deliver remarks reflecting on our time together and the future of alumni engagement. We will also witness the symbolic passing of the torch! Conference planning responsibilities will shift from Cornell to Dartmouth, marking a new chapter in our collaborative efforts. Don't miss this inspiring conclusion to our event as we celebrate our shared commitment to strengthening alumni communities.