We hope you will celebrate with us at our 65th birthday party over Cornell Reunion June 8-11. Deadline to register is May 31 and details are at the end of this email.
Commencement takes place Sunday in Schoellkopf Stadium. At President Martha Pollack’s first Cornell Commencement, she will give the traditional presidential address that has been part of Cornell’s graduation ceremony for decades. The Cornell president is the only keynote speaker at Graduation. No famous folks giving the Commencement address—our president does that. This means the focus is on Cornell students and the event is brief. No one complains! Typically, each undergraduate college holds its own separate ceremony shortly after the larger university event.
Cornell does not, however, lack star power on Commencement weekend. Former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden will be Cornell’s Convocation speaker on Saturday. Past Convocation speakers include James Franco, Rudy Giuliani, Nancy Pelosi, Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly, Cory Booker, Michael Bloomberg, Ed Helms (Andy Bernard on “The Office”), Soledad O’Brien, Bill Clinton, Maya Angelou and Janet Reno. The Convocation speaker is chosen by a committee of undergraduate students.
Speaking of students, this spring a program at Cornell called Breaking Bread, led by classmate Renee Alexander ‘74, received the James A. Perkins Prize for Interracial and Intercultural Peace and Harmony. Breaking Bread brings together various members of the Cornell community for dialogue over dinner; recent groups have included Cornell Democrats and Republicans, trustees and students, and fraternities and sororities, often around matters where there are differing opinions.
At a recent Breaking Bread dinner, a small group of Muslim, Jewish and Christian undergraduates talked about current challenges on campus regarding different religions and cultures. In a microcosm of what’s happening nationally, students expressed concern about the polarization of attitudes while also conveying hope and identifying steps they’ve taken to keep communications open. The students talked about the need for better education, the importance of keeping an open mind, and the willingness to learn and perhaps change your opinion. To learn more about Breaking Bread and Renee’s work, click here.
Finally, please join us at our 65th birthday party in Ithaca June 8-11. We’re holding two class dinners and classmates can stay in Cornell housing in Collegetown. For details and to register click here. Contact Bob Baldini at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
President [Notable] Class of ’74