For 55 years, CAU has been creating the "Best. Summer. Ever." for alumni, family, and friends on the Cornell campus in Ithaca, New York. Now, as you are about to embark on your own "Best. Summer. Ever," start your learning adventure with a history lesson about how this legendary program grew from an earnest dream (pun intended, for those of you who already know this cherished tale) into the vibrant, full-scale experience you are about to share with participants from all over the world.
This intriguing story will be revealed in installments, so check back frequently to learn more!
Here's our first installment!
CAU is celebrating 55 years of learning! It’s 2023, and many of the trends of the 1970s like bell bottoms are back in style! Fondue restaurants are popping up in chic cities again. Throwback Atari games can be downloaded for your iPhone. And of course, kids are still solving Rubik’s cubes in record speed.
As trends come and go, one thing never goes out of style: learning at CAU! Some might think that learning in the ’70s was a much different experience than it is today. Back then, you had to rely on textbooks, encyclopedias, and lectures to get your information. Fast forward to today, and learning looks much different. You can search the internet and even have artificial intelligence (AI) do the thinking for you. But even with all the advances in technology, there are still some similarities between learning in the ’70s and learning today.
Learning today is the same as it was in the ’70s in the sense that, no matter the era, some students will find themselves dozing off in class. In the ’70s, students may have been caught snoozing in geometry, while today's students may be found snoozing in AP Calculus. Seriously though, going to class, engaging in learning through discussions, active learning, and exchanges within your classmates and professors is a timeless classic.
Active engagement is a necessity for learning and gaining knowledge, while styles come and go with the changing times. CAU has been providing the opportunity for deep, rich lifelong learning since 1968, and CAU’s fundamental mission has remained steadfast and steady.
Whether you're interested in taking a course in art history, mastering a new skill, or exploring the world of finance, CAU has something for you. CAU classes are taught by world renowned professors, and CAU faculty are passionate about their work and dedicated to the art of lifelong learning.
With a variety of topics and classes, you’ll be sure to find something that piques your interest. Discover the power of learning. We are thrilled you will be with us this summer to share the experience that so many before us have loved and cherished. At CAU, learning never goes out of style!
Here’s your second installment!
What was happening in the world while CAU hosted the first CAU Summer in 1968? Lots! In sports news, Billie Jean King won the Wimbledon Ladies’ Singles tennis competition and the United States brought home 107 medals in the Olympic Games in Mexico City! (Who can forget seeing the Fosbury Flop for the first time?!) Charlene Mitchell became the first Black woman to run for president, and Democrat Hubert H. Humphrey was leading Republican Richard M. Nixon in the polls by 46% to 35%.
And here in Ithaca? CAU launched the first CAU Summer with one week-long residential course! Over the next ten years, CAU Summer grew to five or six courses each week for four weeks In 1973, CAU was among the first American universities to offer alumni, family, and friends the chance to travel together with Cornell faculty who are specialized in each destination. In 1980, CAU led its first tour to China—a huge milestone—Over the years, CAU grew from offering weekend birding excursions with Cornell ornithologists to making it possible for you to learn on location around the globe with acclaimed scholars, You’ve been traveling with CAU ever since!
Fifty-five years later, CAU is still focused on providing vibrant, engaging, faculty-driven content for people who are smart, active, curious, and driven to learn more. Like you! So far in 2023, CAU participants have experienced Egypt, Hawaii, and Greece with leading Cornell faculty. To learn more about traveling with Cornell faculty in 2023 and 2024, go here .
It’s not too late to invite your friends to join CAU Summer 2023! Stay tuned for another installment of the history of CAU!