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The Campaign for Cornell

A Historic Campaign for Cornell's Future



In a banner year for fundraising, Cornell University raised $672.9 million in fiscal 2015 that ended June 30, vaulting the Cornell Now campaign above $6 billion and setting new records for dollars raised and participation. Cash giving to the university totaled $590.6 million, surpassing last year’s record $545.4 million.


To date, the campaign, which began in 2006, has raised $4.2 billion for the Ithaca and Cornell Tech campuses and $1.9 billion for Weill Cornell Medical College (WCMC). It concludes in December 2015. 

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Our Priorities: Supporting Faculty

Faculty Renewal: Faculty are the life-blood of teaching, research, and mentorship at Cornell. To revitalize our ranks, we plan to hire as many as 100 new faculty members per year through a $100 million Cornell Faculty Renewal Fund (with $50 million in private gifts and the other half in matching university funds). Learn more.

Faculty Diversity: Faculty turnover represents a tremendous opportunity to accelerate hiring that strengthens Cornell's inclusiveness and diversity. By gathering faculty with various interests, expertise, and backgrounds, we will further expand and deepen the intellectual and cultural wisdom of our community of scholars. Cornell is raising $20 million for this priority. Learn more.

Educational Excellence: To nurture, support, and challenge Cornell's thought leaders, we are raising $55 million for excellence-in-education funds across the colleges and units, including support for the Center for Teaching Excellence. Learn more.

Our Priorities: Advancing Students

Undergraduate Scholarships: With an enduring commitment to need-blind admissions and need-based financial aid, Cornell continues to attract and welcome exceptional students, regardless of their means or origins. Our scholarships have become even more crucial in challenging financial times.To strengthen our need-based undergraduate financial program, we have set a fundraising target of $157 million. To further expand educational access, we also seek to raise $25 million in financial aid funds specifically for international undergraduate students. Learn more.

Graduate School Fellowships and Professional School Scholarships: Graduate and professional school students, alongside faculty, help pave the way for innovations in their fields. Cornell hopes to raise $100 million to attract and support these outstanding students. Because only a fraction of Cornell’s graduate students are funded by external sources, and because the majority of them receive direct, merit-based aid from the university, the Graduate School faces the enormous challenge of providing support packages to compete against those of our peer institutions. Similarly, scholarships in our colleges of law, management, and veterinary medicine increase Cornell's ability to compete for the best students. Learn more about graduate school fellowships and other priorities at the Graduate School. Learn more about professional scholarships for the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management, Cornell Law School, and the College of Veterinary Medicine.

Student and Academic Services: Cornell’s vibrant environment for living and learning is sustained by a variety of programs and services that challenge, encourage, and support students' health, diversity, and academic and personal growth. These include academic and career services; athletics and physical education; housing and dining; health services; and programs that stimulate public service and engagement. To fortify and develop these programs and services, Cornell is raising $15 million in private support. In addition to this general campaign goal, we aim to further support specific initiatives:  the Award Match Initiative, which matches the level of need-based financial aid packages that scholar-athletes are offered by competing colleges and universities; the West Campus House System, the Carol Tatkon Center on North Campus, and the Rawlings Presidential Research Scholarships. Learn more about Student and Academic Services.

Our Priorities: Strengthening Ties Near and Far

Engaged Cornell: Public engagement and service-learning are hallmarks of a Cornell education and are integrated into all fields of study at the university. For the campaign, we are raising $20 million in private support for engagement endeavors by the Office of the Provost, the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, the Cornell School of Hotel Administration, the College of Human Ecology, the ILR School, the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the Cornell Law School, the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, and the Division of Student and Academic Services. Among our highest priorities, we will energize community-engaged learning and research, translational research, and public engagement programs stemming from our land-grant mission. Learn more.

International Programs: Requiring major new investments to respond to the rise of new global possibilities and the decline in federal support for international research and teaching, Cornell must raise $30 million for international programs, in addition to fundraising goals established for the support of international students and the recruitment of international faculty members. Our efforts will further advance the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies, Cornell Abroad, Cornell International Institute for Food, Agriculture, and Development, and language instruction. Learn more.

Ithaca–Weill Connections: Synergies between the Ithaca campus and Weill-Cornell Medical College in New York City lead to many far-reaching breakthroughs. To further stimulate and foster innovative interdisciplinary and inter-campus work in critical areas, Cornell is raising $5 million in support of academic, medical, and scientific collaborations between these two campuses. Learn more.

Our Priorities: Sustaining Our Yearly Vitality

The Cornell Annual Fund: Annual Fund dollars are flexible, unrestricted resources that benefit Cornell in all-encompassing ways—including providing for research stipends, service-learning experiences, equipment upgrades, increased student scholarships, and competitive faculty recruitment packages.

We had originally set a campaign goal of at least $30 million annually until 2015—a figure that we have surpassed in recent years, thanks to the remarkable support of alumni, parents, and friends.We remain committed to sustaining this growth and raising a total of $165 million for the Annual Fund during the Cornell Now campaign.  In doing so, we plan to build upon our record-breaking achievements in Annual Fund giving and to set the Cornell Annual Fund on a course to reach $40 million annually in the future. With continued support of this powerful resource, Cornell can continue to remain alert and responsive to emerging needs and opportunities.

Learn more about the Cornell Annual Fund and different ways to give. You can also make a secure online gift now.

Our Priorities: Bolstering Academic Focus Areas

Business and Management Sciences: With a goal of raising $75 million in private support, Cornell aims to galvanize interdisciplinary research and teaching for undergraduate and graduate programs in the business and management sciences. This endeavor builds upon the collective strength of five colleges and schools: the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management, the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, the School of Hotel Administration, the College of Human Ecology, and the ILR School. Along with developing Cornell University Library’s business and management sciences collections, this effort aims to further elevate top-level finance programs that include banking and asset management, marketing, real estate, labor economics, sustainable global business, entrepreneurship, hospitality, health care, and human resources. Learn more.

Economics: In 2011, Cornell gathered fifty economists from across campus under the unified cross-college Department of Economics, merging the entire College of Arts and Sciences economics and ILR School labor economics departments and including a jointly appointed group of distinguished senior faculty from the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management, the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, and the College of Human Ecology. In support of people and programs in economics, Cornell is raising $35 million in private gifts. Learn more.

Humanities and the Arts: To stimulate and support humanistic and creative activity and inquiry for our community of scholars, Cornell has set a target goal of raising $100 million in philanthropic contributions for the humanities and the arts. As part of this endeavor, the College of Arts and Sciences expects to hire, over the next decade, more than 100 outstanding humanists at various points in their careers.  Learn more here and here.

Life Sciences: The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Engineering, the College of Human Ecology, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, and the College of Veterinary Medicine are all working together to raise $30 million for boosting Cornell’s excellence in the life sciences. Across different disciplines that include computer science, physics, engineering, biology, and chemistry, support for the life sciences will benefit faculty renewal and recruitment, research, graduate fellowships, and facilities. Learn more.

Social Sciences: Dedicated to a collaborative, multi-perspectival approach to investigating and solving serious local and global issues, Cornell has set a $10 million fundraising target for the social sciences. This endeavor supports people, programs, and initiatives in disciplines relevant to the social sciences, including economics, psychology, sociology, and government. Learn more.

Sustainable Development, Energy, and the Environment: To advance Cornell as a world leader in sustainability education, research, and practice, we seek to raise $40 million in private support. This wide-ranging endeavor involves, in particular, the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, the College of Engineering, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management, and the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management, the School of Hotel Administration, and the David R. Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future. Through support of faculty teaching and research, graduate fellowships, current-use and seed-grant funds, and a variety of initiatives and programs, Cornell aims to galvanize sustainable development, energy, and the environment to engage and benefit communities near and far. Learn more.

Ways to Give: Annual Unrestricted Gifts

Yearly, current-use and unrestricted gifts provide immediate and flexible support for the university and its colleges, schools, and units. With these powerful Annual Fund dollars, provosts, deans, and directors can act quickly on new opportunities and urgent needs. With its unique flexibility, the Annual Fund is a vital current-use resource to support Cornell where its impact is most felt.

Learn more about the Cornell Annual Fund. You can also make a secure online gift now.

Ways to Give: Endowment Gifts

Cornell's overall endowment provides a stable, permanent source of funds. Increasing the endowment is critical to the campaign and the continued excellence of the university. Endowment gifts allow Cornell to preserve its signature strengths while funding its current priorities and meeting its future goals. The endowment is not a cash reserve that Cornell can draw upon at will. Instead, virtually all endowed funds are invested, and a portion of the earnings is released each year to support the university and the purposes specified by donors. Over time, the principal grows as a result of reinvested earnings.

Donors may choose to establish endowments for student scholarships, graduate fellowships, faculty positions, programs, and other purposes such as library collections or athletic team funds.

Learn more about Cornell's endowment.

Ways to Give: Planned Gifts

Gift planning allows you to select ways to give that help you meet your goals—and Cornell's. You can:

  • Earn income, pay fewer taxes, and secure your retirement
  • Enhance your net estate
  • Create a personal legacy
  • Get more from your real estate

Committing upfront cash is not the only way to make a charitable gift. Today's benefactors can also choose to employ one or more of a variety of giving techniques that offer a number of advantages.

Cornell's Office of Trusts, Estates, and Gift Planning offers alumni, parents, and friends personal and confidential service that is of the highest quality. Professional advisors will work with you, and with your financial advisors if desired, to help you select the giving tools and techniques to meet your individual goals, secure your family's future, and strengthen Cornell—all at the same time. Services are provided without cost or obligation.

All individuals who choose to make a planned gift become a member of the Cayuga Society.

Ways to Give: Recognized Levels of Giving

Making an annual gift at one of the giving society levels allows you to play an important role in the financial health of Cornell and make a powerful statement about how much you value a Cornell education.

Giving Societies:

Ezra Cornell Circle $100,000 and up
President's Circle $25,000 to $99,999
Dean's Circle $10,000 to $24,999
Tower Club $5,000 to $9,999 ($2,500 to $4,999 for alumni within 10 years of graduation)
Quadrangle Club $1,000 to $4,999
Charter Society $500 to $999
Ivy Society $250 to $499 (for alumni within 10 years of graduation)
Cayuga Society Planned giving
1865 Society Two or more consecutive years of giving

Learn more about giving circles.


Campaign-Related News

The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation has awarded a $5 million grant to the School of Hotel Administration in support of …
The Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council has won $500 million over the next five years in New York's …
Lois S. Gray, the ILR School's Jean McKelvey-Alice Grant Professor Emerita of Labor Management Relations, donated $1 …
By JULIA GREENBERG With a gift from Larry Fuller ’60 and Nancy Fuller ’62, Cornell’s Lab of Ornithology established an …
In a banner year for fundraising, Cornell University raised $672.9 million in fiscal 2015 that ended June 30, vaulting the …
Outlet: TechCrunch Cornell Tech is introducing a new way for its master's students to...
Researchers at the Caryl and Israel Englander Institute for Precision Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College use …
The family of Stanford H. Taylor ’50, Chem.Eng. ’51, is continuing his legacy with a $5.2 million gift supporting …
On Roosevelt Island, with the Manhattan skyline in the background, Cornell Tech announced a $100 million gift from …
A decade after its creation, the Department of Biomedical Engineering has received a $50 million gift that will expand and …
At Reunion 2015, June 4–7, Cornellians returned home to campus, often with friends and families in tow. We caught up with …
David Atkinson '60 has announced that he and his wife Patricia, have endowed the Francis J. DiSalvo Director of the …
A recent gift of $1 million from James Morgan ’60, MBA ’63, and Rebecca Quinn Morgan ’60, will expand the Atkinson Center …
In March, Trustee Emeritus Sam Fleming ’62 and his wife, Nancy Fleming, made a $5 million gift to create new graduate …
In celebration of Cornell University’s Sesquicentennial, alumni around the world came together to perform the world’s …
At first it was more of a joke than a plan: Visit Ezra Cornell's birthplace on the date of his birth, Jan. 11. "Ezra …
The university's campus master plan, adopted in 2008, established Cornell's commitments to support the academic mission, …
From naming a sailboat to sponsoring a 12-month mentoring program for veterans with disabilities, your gift can make a …
In January, six months after meeting a previous "Cornell Now" campaign goal of $4.75 billion, Cornell surpassed its …
Tucked away in Olin and Kroch libraries are tiny, spartan rooms that host some of Cornell's greatest thinkers.
On its first-ever Giving Day, March 25, the university received donations from more than 9,600 people totaling $6.97 …
A $50 million gift from Verizon will support the development of the Verizon Executive Education Center on the Cornell Tech …
Weill Cornell Medical College announced Dec. 4 that it has received a $25 million gift from Gale and Ira Drukier to …
Small, interesting sample of giving opportunities from throughout the university--from Chemical Engineering to Phi Beta …
16 stories on the generosity of Cornellians, from the Class of 1979 to the doctor who helped a stranger by being in the …
Janette and Ronald Gatty plan to leave a legacy for the future of the Cornell Southeast Asia Program. She, a beautiful …
He is Cornell University's biggest donor. Through The Atlantic Philanthropies, the charitable foundation he seeded with …
Physicist Séamus Davis has received a $2 million, five-year grant to explore new ways to study “quantum materials” like …
The university has set a new “Cornell Now” campaign goal of $5.75 billion to be achieved by December 2015.
Engaged Cornell - a groundbreaking, $150 million, 10-year initiative to establish community engagement and real-world …
Cornell has surpassed its 'Cornell Now' campaign goal, thanks to a record year of giving in 2014. Funds raised …
A five-year, $20 million National Science Foundation grant will allow chemists from Cornell and other institutions to …
The College of Architecture, Art and Planning's New York City program, AAP NYC, will have a new expanded location in lower …
A gift from Hans (B.Arch. '80) and Roger '78 Strauch will fund a visiting critic who focuses on issues of environmental …
Creative ways to make a difference at Cornell University through giving, including sponsoring an elephant family, helping …
The Atkinson Center is a promising place to invest philanthropically, says DiSalvo, based on its track record of research …
Today, parents of Cornell's 14,196 undergraduate students can text, email or call their children any time. They receive a …
Jan Rock Zubrow ’77 fulfilled a lifelong dream in December with a year-end gift to Cornell’s Department of Economics to …
The gift from the Dyson Foundation will create a faculty chair for a new MBA program at Cornell NYC Tech.
"The annual fund is timeless," says Paul Salvatore '81, J.D. '84, named in July the new national chair for the Cornell …
Lambda Chi Alpha alumni have raised $125,000 to establish a memorial fund in memory of a brother, Matthew Patrick Omans '10.
Weill Cornell Medical College has received a $75 million gift from Sandra and Edward Meyer ’48 and the Sandra and Edward …
Last month, international software design company Autodesk gave Cornell one of the largest gifts-in-kind it has ever …
The McCormick family – James ’69, M.Eng. ’70; Marsha ’70; and son James Jr. ’05, M.Eng. ’06 – longtime supporters of …
The Martin Y. Tang International Scholarship Challenge has raised $4.39 million in endowment gifts from 12 families, …

Campaign Contacts

Annual Giving:

Joe Lyons '98
Senior Director, Cornell Annual Fund


Colleges and Units:

Jon Denison
Associate, Vice President for Colleges and Units


Corporations and Foundations:

Kristen M. Ford
Assistant Vice President, Corporate and Foundation Relations/Colleges and Units




Gift Planning:

Chip Bryce
Director, Office of Trusts, Estates, and Gift Planning


Major Gifts:

Lindsay Ruth
Assistant Vice President, Major Gifts

Jeremy Weaver
Associate Vice President, Major Gifts



Continue reading...

Campaign Contacts: Colleges, Schools, and Units

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Margaret Ann Bollmeier
Associate Dean


College of Architecture, Art, and Planning

Tim Mahar
Assistant Dean, Alumni Affairs and Development

College of Arts and Sciences

David Whitmore
Associate Dean




College of Engineering

Mike Moyer
Assistant Dean, Alumni Affairs and Development


College of Human Ecology

Marybeth Tarzian
Assistant Dean, Alumni Affairs and Development


College of Veterinary Medicine

Kevin Mahaney
Assistant Dean, Alumni Affairs, Development, and Communications


Computing and Information Science

Marrie E. Neumer
Director of Development


Cornell Law School

Peter Cronin
Associate Dean, Alumni Affairs and Development 


Cornell Lab of Ornithology


Scott Sutcliffe
Director, Annual Fund and Stewardship 

Cornell Plantations

Beth Anderson
Director, Development


Cornell University Library

Jennifer Sawyer
Director, External Relations


Department of Athletics and Physical Education

John Webster
Director, Alumni Affairs and Development


Division of Student and Academic Services

Debra Hurley
Director, External Relations 


Graduate School

Elizabeth N. Ellis
Director, Communications 


Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art

Matt Braun
Director, Development


ILR School

Jennifer Thurston
Assistant Dean, Alumni Affairs and Development 


Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management

Sean Scanlon

Assistant Dean


School of Hotel Administration

Meg Keilbach '88
Associate Dean, Alumni Affairs and Development


Weill Cornell Medical College

Larry Schafer
Vice Provost, Development

Lucille Ferraro
Campaign Director, Development

Cornell Tech

Sharon Marine

Vice President, Development




Campaign Contacts: Leadership

Vice President for Alumni Affairs and Development:

Currently vacant.

Campaign Co-chairs:

The "Cornell Now" campaign is co-chaired by Robert Appel '53, Stephen Ashley '62, MBA '64, and Andrew Tisch '71.

Robert Appel '53 is a trustee emeritus of the Cornell University Board of Trustees and a presidential councillor. He serves as campaign chair for "Discoveries That Make A Difference," the campaign for Weill Cornell Medical College. Read more.

Stephen Ashley '62, MBA '64 is a university trustee and co-chair of "Cornell Now." He is president and CEO of The Ashley Group. Read more.

Andrew Tisch '71 is co-chair of "Cornell Now," a member of the Cornell University Board of Trustees, and co-chair of Loews Corp. Read more.

Major Gifts Committee:

The Major Gifts Committee is co-chaired by Ann Bowers '59, Ned Morgens '63, and Harold Tanner '52. The committee includes some 117 additional members.

Ann Bowers '59 is chair and founding trustee of the Noyce Foundation, a nonprofit foundation she and her late husband, Robert Noyce, created to stimulate system-wide improvement in K-12 public schools. She is a trustee emeritus of the university and a presidential councillor.

Ned Morgens '63 is on the board of Wayside Technology Group, Inc., and overseer and executive committee member of Weill Cornell Medical College. He is also a trustee emeritus and presidential councillor.

Harold Tanner '52 is president of Tanner & Co., Inc., a private investment banking firm, and former managing director of Salomon Brothers, Inc. He is a chairman emeritus of the Cornell University Board of Trustees.

Sesquicentennial Chairs:

Peter C. Meinig '61, chairman emeritus of the Cornell University Board of Trustees, and his wife Nancy '62 are leading Cornell's celebration of its sesquicentennial in 2015. As co-chairs of the sesquicentennial, the Meinigs work with Vice President for University Relations Glenn Altschuler, whom Skorton has appointed to chair a Sesquicentennial Committee responsible for planning major events leading up to 2015.

Additional members of the committee are:

  • Rosemary Avery, chair of the Department of Policy Analysis and Management
  • Tommy Bruce, vice president of the Division of University Communications
  • Joseph Burns, professor of astronomy and the Irving Porter Church Professor of Engineering
  • David Feldshuh, professor in the Department of Theatre, Film, and Dance
  • Isaac Kramnick, the Richard J. Schwartz Professor of Government

Read more.