cornell giving day

cornell university giving dayMy alma mater, Cornell University, has designated tomorrow as “Cornell Giving Day“.

Cornell was a wonderful experience for me, and I try to give back when I can. Truthfully, though, I’ve instituted a hard rule of “no giving $ until I finish paying for the first time around”. And yes, I’m still working on those lovely student loans — grad school will do that to you. One day I hope to help Cornell students in financial need the way I was helped, and until then, I donate my time and energy as a volunteer.

To this end, and with that disclaimer, I’m boosting the signal here, for any interested fellow alums and Cornell supporters:

What is Cornell Giving Day?

Cornell Giving Day is a festive and inspiring virtual coming-together of alumni, parents, friends, and Big Red fans all over the world to raise support for Cornell over 24 hours. All gifts made on March 25, 2015, between 12:00 a.m. and 11:59 p.m. EDT, will count toward Cornell Giving Day.

What makes my contribution on Cornell Giving Day special?

On March 25, your contribution has an even bigger impact than usual, thanks to a handful of generous supporters who will be providing $300,000 in challenge money to various Cornell colleges, schools, and units. By making your gift, you can boost the area you care about and help it win the challenge amount. Throughout the day, leaderboards will show progress by college and unit in real time, and games and contests will sustain the fun and suspense.

Where does my gift go and where do the challenge funds go?

100 percent of your gift goes directly to where you designate it: your college or school or in support of areas like undergraduate scholarships and athletics—you name it. The challenge funds will go to the annual fund of the winning college or unit.



far above cayuga’s waters

I was in Ithaca for my 20th college reunion this past weekend, but only accidentally. We had already planned a trip to our favorite B&B in the Finger Lakes when I realized we’d be in the area at the same time as Cornell’s Reunion Weekend.  I didn’t officially attend, having too many other plans and things we wanted to do, but since we were there we drove through campus (well, where we could — there were roads closed for construction, which is always true), had lunch in Collegetown, and visited the dorm.

Katie and Streaker in close proximity.

Katie and Streaker in rare close proximity.

Risley was hosting the Class of 2004, so we were able to slip inside and, unabashedly, sneak past the now-keycard-entry-only upper floors. I wanted to show Dave the place I’d been talking about for so long, the first floor, Cowcliffes, the CLR (um, where’s the Persian rug that was in the CLR?!), Dining. I wished we could see Risley Theatre, but it was locked up tight, of course, as was Tammany. So we went down 2nd Lost where I’d once lived and visited Karin’s amazing Muppet murals for the first time in years.

That's me with Superman on my shoulder. It's a long story.

That’s me with Superman on my shoulder. It’s a long story.

Then we swung by the 2ndfloor mural of Fall of 1990 residents and I remembered far fewer names than the last time I’d been there. Lastly, we headed to my last and favorite old home at Risley, 352, up on the 3rd floor where Streaker and Katie once roamed, where fondue parties were held, where Darielle used to fall asleep in the shower, and where Paula and I searched for lost catnip mousies.

It’s fun to peek in the old stomping grounds every once in a grand while, but I try not to get too nostalgic about it. Those were some great years, but mostly because of the people I shared them with. The people and I have moved on elsewhere, and the building belongs to two decades’ worth of others who’ve come after me now (as well as those who came before). I hope they enjoyed living there as much as I did.