For new Cornell students, orientation isn’t just an introduction to campus life – it could be their first personal school experience in 18 months.
“It’s normal to be nervous when you come to campus, but especially given what everyone has been through around the world, we will help them cope and answer any question,” said Jennifer Grell, ‘ 22, Co-Chair of the Steering Committee for Orientation. “We want this to be a special experience for them, so that they can look forward to being Cornellians and feel like they really belong here.”
Residential Life and Orientation staff across campus are ready to welcome new and returning Cornell students to campus when the move begins on August 19th.
A student receives a hand as they move into Clara Dickson Hall.
“All of our student RAs are settled in and ready to welcome their residents, and we look forward to a great semester of engagement with the wonderful faculty and residential staff in our shared apartments,” said Tim Blair, Executive Director of Housing and Living.
Beginning August 21st, the Orientation will include a range of activities and programs aimed at introducing new students to the Cornell community and campus resources, from a first year festival of bouncy castles, carnival games and prizes to workshops with research tips through to painting courses and discussion sessions to familiarize students with valuable campus resources.
The five-day program – the first full personal orientation event since January 2020 – culminates in the New Student Convocation on August 25, 4 p.m. for students on Schoellkopf Field and in the live stream for families, followed by a picnic on Crescent Lot and a concert in the Schöllkopf from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
“I always look forward to the fall semester,” says Ryan Lombardi, vice president of student and campus life. “The students bring enormous energy and our campus really comes to life. When they return to Ithaca in the next few days, I look forward to seeing familiar faces and meeting the newest members of our community. “
New and returning students are also greeted by the highly anticipated opening of two new North Campus buildings: Toni Morrison Hall and Ganędagǫ: Hall.
The new dormitories with space for 800 students are the first of five new buildings to be opened as part of the Campus Nord residential expansion, which will offer students a more robust living experience, take into account the planned growth in student numbers and ease the burden on the surrounding districts of the real estate . Toni Morrison Hall includes the Crossings Cafe, multi-purpose communal and study rooms, and a fitness center; Morrison Dining will open in January 2022.
“I’m excited to see how many Cornell students on campus find a sense of belonging and community in these new spaces,” said Lombardi.
Additional welcome events include First Night on North, August 20, from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. on the Court-Kay-Bauer Quad; Night at the Johnson for new transfer students at the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art on August 24, 9:00 pm to 11:00 pm; and Field Day with touchdown on the Court-Kay-Bauer Quad August 24th from 8:30 pm to 10:30 pm
Students can also take part in dozens of First 30 Days events and ReWelcome programs to help build community as they settle into the fall semester.
“The orientation is an excellent opportunity for students – and their families – to transition into college life in Cornell,” said April Overstreet, interim director of New Student Programs. “We’re excited to be hosting some new events during the Family Orientation to connect with the newest members of our Cornell family. We also look forward to welcoming sophomores and returning transfer students to our ReWelcome to Cornell program. “
The Family Orientation, held August 19-21, provides additional opportunities for high school students and their families to learn about Cornell, its traditions and resources. Events include the Big Red Welcome Fest on Ho Plaza (August 19-21, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.), tours of the Uris and Olin libraries, and university-specific open days. All visitors and students, as well as faculty and staff, must follow campus COVID safety guidelines, including masking indoors, unless they are in a private, non-shared space or while eating.
This year, for the first time, smaller orientation groups will mix students from different colleges and help them connect with peers across the university. The varied offer, from Spirit Nights to focused discussions in small groups, ensures that there is something for everyone.
“Whichever way you choose orientation, the only thing I hope is that you can make something of it. Make it a priority to learn or meet someone, ”said La’Treil Allen ’22, co-chair of the steering committee. “This is the only time when you and all of your colleagues are not in a class and can only focus on getting ready to take off. It is a really important time to invest in yourself and take care of yourself. “