The Cornell Alumni Association introduced the CAA Cup in 2012 to recognize alumni groups and leaders for specific programs created in the name of Cornell. A volunteer committee of peers reviews the entries.
2017: Cornell Class of 1981
At CALC 2017, Class of 1981 officers decided to use Cornell Giving Day 2017 to create post-Reunion enthusiasm and philanthropy by making a play on “Pi” Day (3.14, or March 14) by having one of their classmates, Steven Ritchey ’81, take a pie in the face on camera if the class reached a certain level of Giving Day class participation. The fundraising team got to work. First, an email was sent encouraging all classmates to join the class social media sites. Next, a “Pie in the Face” challenge video went out, as well as teaser posts and follow-up emails. Third, updated posts went out throughout Giving Day. And last, out went the final video, showing class officers on Steven’s doorstep delivering the pie-to-face service! This one-time promotion over three weeks produced record class social media engagement: 87 Giving Day donors, a 10-30 percent improvement over other Reunion year cohorts. The class will continue to search for new and innovative ways to leverage their combined strength.
2016: Big Red Bands Alumni Association
The Big Red Bands Alumni Association saw Cornell’s first-ever Giving Day as an opportunity to raise additional gifts from alumni and friends, to support the needs of the students and meet the budget challenges facing both the marching and pep bands. Working with the bands’ student leadership, we developed a social media campaign for Giving Day that was able to engage alumni in a unique way, bringing them together to share memories of their times in the bands. The campaign was a huge success, responsible for more than 25% of all gifts made to Athletics during Giving Day 2015. We were able to build on this success and saw even more impressive results for Giving Day ’16.
2015: No CAA Cup given
2014: Cornell Class of 1995
The Class of 1995 was the audience for Frank Rhodes’s final commencement speech in which he professed that “Cornellians dream bigger dreams.” As their 20th reunion approached in 2015, the class created the blog “Cornell ’95 Faces,” which featured a profile of a member of the class of 1995 each week for 95 week starting in August 2013 and counting down to Reunion in June. Reaching the audience was challenging, but thanks to class communications and word-of-mouth, each post received hundreds of visits and the site has was viewed nearly 30,000 times.
2013: Alumni Duff Ball Committee
For last six years leading up to 2013, graduating classes enjoyed a prom-style event during Senior Week in Duffield Hall, with proceeds benefiting the United Way of Tompkins County. The Alumni Duff Ball Committee pitched Student and Young Alumni Programs on the possibility of holding a similar “red tie” event in NYC to benefit Cornell. The SYAP team, believing in the vision, worked for two years in aligning the appropriate stakeholders. On March 2, 2013 Bob Harrison, Susan Murphy, and Kent Hubbell joined over 400 young alumni ranging from the classes of 1999 to 2014 at the Bowery Hotel. It turned out to be the largest young alumni fundraiser in Cornell’s history, raising $45,000 for Student and Academic Services.
2012: Cornell Class of 2002
The Class of 2002 CACO Board created Non-Reunion Reunion (“NRR”) in 2007 as a strategy to keep classmates engaged with Cornell every year, not just every five years when the class meets in Ithaca. NRR helped the class address two priorities: (1) build excitement for the 10-Year Reunion, and (2) re-invest dues into classmates to keep Cornell on their minds, particularly during non-Reunion years. NRR events were hosted in six cities: Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, D.C., NYC, and Chicago.
Get ready for 2018 entries!
How to enter:
- Produce a 2-minute video or self-running PowerPoint highlighting a specific activity of which your group is particularly proud.
- Post the video or PowerPoint on your group’s YouTube page.
- Complete this short entry form. The call for 2018 entries will go up soon.
Some groups have found these tutorials helpful:
Voting and Awards Timeline
- A volunteer committee of peers determines the top 3 entries.
- Voting begins in late April during National Volunteer Appreciation Week. The video or PowerPoint with the most votes wins.
- The recipient name is added to the cup, which is displayed in the offices of Alumni Affairs and Development in Ithaca.
- The winner will be announced at the end of National Volunteer Appreciation Week in April.
Any Cornell alumni or parent volunteer organization—including regional clubs, classes, affinity groups, undergraduate and graduate school alumni boards, diversity groups, and CAAAN—is eligible to submit an entry.
Videos can showcase any activities your organization produces, including events, membership drives, recruitment videos, campaigns, etc. We’re not looking for an overview of what you’ve done–just tell us about one specific program that is unique and recognition-worthy. The program must have been executed between September 2016 and December 31, 2017.
Share this information. We encourage all Cornell groups to submit entries!
For questions, please contact Carole Quealy in the Office of Volunteer Programs.