2021 Family Weekend Schedule


Family Weekend Check-In

Visit check-in as soon as you arrive on campus to complete the required health check and receive your campus access wristband for the weekend. You can pick up your Family Weekend registration gift, learn about Ithaca and the surrounding area, and receive answers to any Family Weekend questions.


Big Red Family Campus Services Fair

Join us to learn more about campus resources and opportunities for your student as well as pick up fun freebies. Staff members will be available to answer questions about housing, student life, and more.

AAP Academic Department Open House

Stop by your student’s academic department and see their work, learn about the curriculum, and explore the displays/info sessions put forward by our departments. Spaces will be open for exploring following COVID protocols and guidelines set out by the university.

Anthropology Collections and Human & Animal Bone Laboratory Open House

Families are invited to see two research and teaching facilities of the Anthropology Department. In the Anthropology Collections, meet the curator and see selections from the 20,000+ pieces including artifacts from the past million years of human (and related) activity, from prehistoric stone tools to 20th-century pieces from West Africa, the Philippines, and other traditions. Visit the HABLab and talk with archaeologists and students who work with bones: How do archaeologists study skeletal remains of humans and animals? What can they learn from these remains? For those interested in Cornell’s history, the Anthropology Collections space also preserves elements of the original University Museum, which was housed in McGraw Hall.

Arts & Sciences Family Welcome

The College of Arts & Sciences (A&S) advising deans along with student ambassadors will have a table at the Big Red Family Campus Services Fair in Barton Hall on Saturday. We look forward to meeting families and answering any questions about the college, advising, academics, and life as an A&S student. Don’t miss out on A&S giveaways!

Back to School with Dean Colvin

What’s it like to be an ILR student? Get a sneak peek of your student’s classroom experience by joining ILR dean Alex Colvin for a special lecture, “Conflict Resolution in the Individual Rights Era.” After sharing key ILR updates and priorities, Dean Colvin will speak briefly about his most recent research into mandatory arbitration and the role it plays in our everyday lives. Seating is limited. The lecture will be recorded and made available after the event.

Bird Walk at Sapsucker Woods

Start your morning in beautiful Sapsucker Woods. Though geared toward beginning birders, the walks are free and open to all. Binoculars are available to borrow. Guides are members of the Cayuga Bird Club. Binoculars are encouraged. Please note that there are no comfort facilities at this location until after the Visitor Center opens at 10am.

Botanic Gardens Self-Guided Tours

Welcome (back) to Cornell Botanic Gardens! There are two options for exploring Cornell Botanic Gardens on your own using your mobile device or cell phone. The free “Pocket Sights Tour Guide” app provides a Google-driven map along with images and information at points of interest along each of several tour routes available, including Fall Creek and Cascadilla Gorges, Beebe Lake, the Nevin Welcome Center Gardens, and more. You can also look for signs posted throughout the gardens around the welcome center and the F. R. Newman Arboretum, which provide a phone number to call and listen to short narratives at each point. (Or, you can visit cbg.oncell.com from anywhere to use this web-based app to guide you to each location and listen to each narrative).

CALS Apple Picking at Cornell Orchards

This event is free and open to all CALS students and their families. Enjoy an apple picking experience with your student at Cornell’s orchard. You’ll be picking Empires, one of New York State’s most famous apples created at Cornell and released in 1966. Visit with CALS staff members while picking. This is an outside event so dress accordingly. We are excited to meet our CALS families!

CU Music: Brahms Chamber Music

Miri Yampolsky and Xak Bjerken will welcome guests Steven Doane (cello), Xiao-Dong Wang (violin), and Colin Brookes (viola) for a concert featuring Brahms piano trios and quartets.

Catholic Mass

Celebration of Holy Mass with the Cornell Catholic community.

Chorus Twilight Concert

Sarah Bowe, director. Cornell University’s acclaimed treble choir will present its annual Twilight performance, showcasing repertoire across the chorus’s past and present. This concert marks the beginning of the chorus’s live centennial-year celebrations. Parents and families are warmly welcomed. The program will conclude with traditional Cornell songs. Tickets available for purchase presale or at the door. Presale tickets: $17/adults, $7/students (including applicable service fees). Tickets at the door (cash only): $20/adults, $10/students (including applicable service fees).

Additional Fee

College of Architecture, Art, and Planning Welcome Reception

Join Admission and Student Services staff members for coffee, hot apple cider, and a fall treat to start your day. Learn about our programs in Rome and New York City, talk about diversity and inclusion in AAP, and explore opportunities for your student in career and internships. Drop in, say hi, and enjoy a treat!

College of Human Ecology DEA Breakout Session

Families of current Human Ecology students are invited to join faculty for a breakout session to learn more about the Design + Environmental Analysis academic department.

College of Human Ecology DNS Breakout Session

Families of current Human Ecology students are invited to join faculty for a breakout session to learn more about the Division of Nutritional Sciences (including the Global and Public Health Sciences major, the Human Biology Health and Society major, and the Nutritional Sciences major).

College of Human Ecology FSAD Breakout Session

Families of current Human Ecology students are invited to join faculty for a breakout session to learn more about the Fiber Science and Apparel Design academic department.

College of Human Ecology Faculty Panel

Families of current Human Ecology students are invited to join us for a Faculty Panel comprised of the directors of undergraduate study from each of our academic majors. Staff members from Student and Career Development will also be available to answer questions.

College of Human Ecology HD Breakout Session

Families of current Human Ecology students are invited to join faculty for a breakout session to learn more about the Human Development major.

College of Human Ecology PAM/HCP Breakout Session

Families of current Human Ecology students are invited to join faculty for a breakout session to learn more about the Policy Analysis and Management major and the Health Care Policy major.

Community Engagement

Community engagement and public service are hallmarks of the Cornell experience. Learn more about the newly established David M. Einhorn Center for Community Engagement and how you can get involved in community-engaged learning. This event will be recorded and shared with registrants after Family Weekend.


Confession with Father Daniel McMullin, priest-director of the Cornell Catholic community (Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester)

Cornell Chimes Concerts

Cornell’s renowned bells, played by student chimesmasters, have been ringing out since the university opened its doors in 1868. McGraw Tower is closed to visitors, so listen to this concert from Ho Plaza, the Arts Quad, or any relaxing spot on central campus. Did you know that each spring, students try out to become Cornell chimesmasters?

Cornell Health Information Booth

Stop by the info booth at our main entrance to learn about medical services, mental health care, and support available to students at Cornell Health.

Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Did you know that Cornell is world renowned for its study of birds? Just a 15-minute drive from campus, the visitor center is filled with science exhibits and artwork, nestled in a 230-acre sanctuary with four miles of trails for exploring. Trails are open from dawn to dusk. No dogs or bikes permitted.

Cornell and the Local Area with City and Regional Planning (CRP)

Join CRP faculty member, and director of undergraduate studies, Tom Campanella, to learn about the Ithaca and surrounding areas. Grab your coffee first and join other folx from the CRP community!

Discover Tatkon: Opportunities for First-Year and Transfer Students

Come learn about the Tatkon Center for First-Year Students, a unique Cornell program dedicated to providing support for new students throughout their first year. The Tatkon Center is staffed by older students who help new students make connections and discover important campus resources and opportunities. Tatkon offers free, peer tutoring in addition to a full year of events focused on academic and career exploration, academic support, health and wellness, and social networking. This event will be recorded and shared with registrants after Family Weekend.

Dyson Family Welcome

Meet the dean of the Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, Jinhua Zhao, as well other Dyson faculty and staff members. Families can take photos in front of our Dyson backdrop and receive a special Dyson frame. Feel free to drop by any time between 3 and 5pm.

Ecology House Cider Pressing and Open House

Join Ecology House students, staff members, and faculty fellows for delicious apple cider straight from the cider press. Tour our program house, which supports environmental justice and sustainability and offers students of all years in all majors opportunities to engage in outdoor adventure, environmental education, and campus outreach to help promote the just coexistence of humans and our natural world. Find out why our residents (and their pets) say we’re worth the walk. (Event will take place in the backyard if weather is acceptable, and will be moved inside if necessary.)

Faculty Lecture: From Fine Wine to Elephant Ivory—The Power of Stable Isotopes in Solving Crimes

Turn on the television any day and watch a scientist make a measurement suggesting the victim was killed elsewhere or track a compound found at the crime scene back to a particular manufacturer. How close is this to reality? Join Professor Jed Sparks, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, who will explain the state of this science and how labs at Cornell and elsewhere use stable isotopes to help police departments determine the identity of victims, test that expensive bottle of wine to see if it really came from France, or determine whether an elephant tusk seized in Asia was from an animal killed in Kenya or South Africa. This event will be recorded and shared with registrants after Family Weekend.

Fall 2021 Exhibit Expo and Open House at Mann

Wood-carved and woven renditions of Finger Lakes landscapes, hidden messages in flower bouquets, exquisite 19th-century glass sea life sculptures, and dramatic stories of suppressed science—Mann Library has kicked off the Fall 2021 semester with a lively roster of exhibits in our fully reopened library. Stop by our welcome table on Friday afternoon to meet our exhibit curators and learn more about the fascinating back stories to our installations. Then browse our exhibits on your own or join us for formal tours of the library and discover all it offers to today’s Cornell students. Exhibits include “Landscape Sculptures: Conversations with Land and Water” by Finger Lakes artist June B. W. Szabo (Mann Gallery, 2nd floor); “Written in Petals: The Language of Flowers in Victorian Europe” (virtual and physical, Top Shelf Gallery, 1st floor); “Out of the Teeming Sea: Invertebrate Glass Sculptures by Rudolf and Leopold Blaschka” (virtual and physical, 2nd floor); “Cultivating Silence: Nikolai Vavilov and the Suppression of Science in the Modern Era” (Mann Lobby).

Fall Fest

Celebrate the season with free games, activities, and crafts. Cornell University Class Councils is excited to host its annual Fall Fest again this year. Student organizations and performance groups will take over the Arts Quad with a fun event you won’t want to miss!

Fall Open House—Botanic Gardens

Celebrate fall at Cornell Botanic Gardens! Explore our collections through a self-guided tour and join us for seasonal botanical crafts and activities. Meet students in the Learning by Leading™ program, tour the Ecological Calendars exhibition in the Welcome Center, and discover what the plants are up to this time of year.

Family Weekend at The Cornell Store

Visit The Cornell Store during Family Weekend for everything Cornell, including apparel and gifts for everyone in the family. During Family Weekend, get a free Cornell tote bag with any in-store purchase of $100 or more (while supplies last). Enter to win a Cornell Store gift card in-store. The Cornell Store is your convenient one-stop shop for clothing, gifts, computers, academic materials and textbooks, school supplies, and personal care items. Café Jennie, located inside The Cornell Store, has gourmet sandwiches, snacks, and Peet’s Coffee. Family Weekend hours: Friday, 8:30am–6pm, Saturday, 10am–5pm, and Sunday, 10am–3pm.

Get Moving with Big Red Rec

Use the virtual link to access outdoor self-guided activities to do with your family or friends anytime.

Getting a Head Start: Opportunities for Internships and More

Cornell Career Services helps students make decisions about their career direction, teaches them how to conduct job searches, and provides guidance for applying to graduate and professional schools. An important way for students to explore and clarify career directions is to gain practical experience through opportunities such as internships, externships, and summer jobs. Hear about the programs and support services that help with that process. This event will be recorded and shared with registrants after Family Weekend.

Global Learning: Learn, Engage, Go.

Cornell University shapes global citizens and promotes global learning through education, service learning, and research. Study abroad encourages diverse interactions with peers, faculty members, and communities—building global networks that open opportunities across the world long after graduation. In this session, moderated by the Office of Global Learning, students will talk about their experiences abroad and how they found their place in the world. This event will be recorded and shared with registrants after Family Weekend.

Gun Violence in America—Cornell Brooks School Lecture

Gun violence is a uniquely American problem among the rich nations of the world; a major cause of life expectancy gaps between the United States and other developed countries; and, within the United States, between minority and white communities. For the past 50 years we have attempted to address this problem by growing our prison system, now the world’s largest. The main alternatives proposed involve some combination of addressing persistent income poverty and additional regulation of firearms. Yet none of these policies have been, or will be, sufficient to end the public health crisis of gun violence. So what might help solve the problem? The answer, as will be argued from both a research and front-line practitioner perspective, is perhaps surprising: behavioral science. Panelists include Evelyn J. Diaz, president of Heartland Alliance for Human Needs and Human Rights, and Jens Ludwig, Edwin A. and Betty L. Bergman Distinguished Service Professor of Public Policy, University of Chicago and Pritzker Director of the University of Chicago Crime Lab. This lecture is supported by a gift from Jennifer Koen-Horowitz ’93 and Mark Horowitz. It is co-sponsored by the Cornell Jeb E. Brooks School of Public Policy, the Sloan Program in Health Administration, and the Cornell Institute for Public Affairs. The event is hosted by Rosemary Avery, professor, and Max Kapustin, assistant professor, Jeb E. Brooks School of Public Policy.

Health and Well-being

Learn about the comprehensive services provided by Cornell Health and the Office of the Dean of Students, including self-care resources to help students thrive, informal consultation and support options, disability services, and clinical care to support students’ medical and mental health.

Historical Walking Tour of Uris Library

Meet in the plaza outside the university’s first library, built in 1891. The tour will trace its history from the days of Cornell’s first president, A. D. White, to its current life as a vibrant center for scholarship. Hear stories behind the emergence of Cornell University Library as one of the world’s premier academic research libraries. Not all portions of this tour are wheelchair accessible.

Housing Expo

Join us at the Big Red Family Campus Services Fair to learn about the new residency requirement and housing options for the 2022-2023 academic year. The Housing Expo will offer you the opportunity to meet representatives from each area of campus that houses upper-level students: South Campus, West Campus, Program Houses, North Campus Sophomore Village (Townhouses, Dickson & McLLU, Ganedago: & Toni Morrison Hall), RA Selection, Co-Ops, Sorority & Fraternity Life, and Off Campus Living. The Residential Student Congress will also have representation at the event- to invite students to learn more about their opportunities for connection to residential student leadership.

Human Ecology - Meet the Deans

Families are invited to meet the deans of the College of Human Ecology and the Jeb E. Brooks School of Public Policy in an informal setting.

Ithaca Weather 101

Parents and students are invited to learn about the patterns, hazards, and intricacies of Ithaca’s weather from the students of Cornell’s Weather club.

MGFC Yard Show

The Multicultural Greek and Fraternal Council (MGFC) is home to Cornell’s historically Black, Asian, and Latinx/e sororities and fraternities. We will host a step and stroll exhibition that highlights the uniqueness of our organizations. Stop by and watch as you explore campus. We hope to see you there! Rain location: Memorial Room, Willard Straight Hall.

Majoring in Biological Sciences

Join faculty, students, and staff members from the Office of Undergraduate Biology to learn about opportunities, resources, and support available to your student in the biological sciences major (offered in both A&S and CALS).

Mann Library Tour

Why do our students tell us the Albert R. Mann Library is their home away from home? Join our tour to find out! Explore one of the country’s best library collections in life sciences, human ecology, and related disciplines, and discover all the tools we offer. While Mann Library has been a beloved landmark on the Cornell Ag Quad since 1952, as your visit will show you, time does not stand still in this 21st-century library.

Men’s Football vs. Princeton

Show your Big Red spirit by cheering on the football team in this Ivy matchup. Cheer extra loudly—the game will be televised on ESPNU! Purchase tickets at bigredtix.com: $10/adults, $5/Cornell staff, seniors, and children 12 and under. Free for students with Big Red Sports Pass.

Additional Fee

Men’s Ice Hockey vs. University of Alaska at Fairbanks

Cheer on the Big Red and become part of the “Lynah Faithful” as they take on the University of Alaska in storied Lynah Rink. Tickets will go on sale October 26. Families wishing to sit with their student are encouraged to purchase tickets in sections D/E (when available).

Additional Fee

Mid-Semester Check-in for Families of First-Year Engineering Students

Join us for a mid-semester check-in. Learn about the academic initiatives that have taken place for first-year students since Orientation and those planned for the remainder of the semester. Topics will include faculty advisor meetings, ENGRG 1050: Engineering Seminar, major information sessions, pre-health and study abroad resources, prelim exams, early intervention, and course enrollment for spring. The associate dean of undergraduate programs, associate dean of student services, director of advising, and current Engineering students will be available to answer your questions. Seating is first-come, first served. This event will be recorded and shared with Engineering families.

Money Matters

Receive an overview of the student billing process, including payments, refunds, and deferments. Also, learn about financial resources available to support students during their college career at Cornell.

Nolan School of Hotel Administration Family Welcome

Nolan School of Hotel Administration dean Kate Walsh invites Hotelie families to attend an informal breakfast and open house. Members of the Office of Student Services will be available to answer questions about first-year curriculum and student opportunities. Light breakfast and refreshments (pre-packaged) will be provided.

Office of Academic Diversity Initiatives Welcome and Open House: How to Engage with OADI

Staff members and students in the Office of Academic Diversity Initiatives (OADI, pronounced “wah-dee”) welcome all students and family members to the Cornell community. Learn about the many resources and programs that help build community and support students’ academic success. OADI is a centralized academic resource and support hub for students who are traditionally underrepresented and under-served in higher education. OADI values and celebrates the unique strengths and experiences students bring to Cornell. We hope you will stop in and meet the team as we take this journey together.

Opportunities to Develop Career Readiness Competencies in the College of Engineering

This session is for the families of students in their second through fourth year of study. Developing a satisfying career plan for life after graduation requires engagement and participation in professional development opportunities during college. We will discuss the career readiness competencies employers desire in new hires and ways students can develop these skills in the College of Engineering. Representatives from a variety of college offices will be available at this panel discussion of their programs and offerings. Seating is limited and first-come, first served.

Paint Cornell Workshop at the Johnson Museum

Inspired by the many landscape works INSIDE the museum, let’s enjoy the OUTSIDE of our famous I. M. Pei building—and the many other amazing spots on campus—as the leaves turn color and we truly begin to enjoy the fall season. Explore the Johnson Museum’s many artworks, including the Chinese inked landscapes on our fifth floor, and see what inspires you! On a 17th-century hanging scroll from our collection, artist Sheng Maoye wrote: “In front of the gate, falling leaves float on autumn waters/ Outside the fence, the mynah bird brings forth the sun.” What will you add to yours? Pick a Cornell spot you enjoy, and come paint with us as we enjoy one last outdoor art session in Ithaca’s beautiful fall weather.

Rare and Manuscript Collections (RMC) Open House

Visit the research facilities of Cornell University Library’s principal repository of rare books, manuscripts, and archival materials. View our current exhibitions, “Electrifying Music: The Life and Legacy of Robert Moog” and “More Than Reported: Images of Black Women from the Cornell Hip Hop Archives.” Staff members will talk about our research, instruction, and outreach services for undergraduate students. At the Herbert F. Johnson Museum, a new exhibition titled “Visions of Dante” features numerous volumes from RMC’s Fiske Dante Collection, the largest collection of Dante books in North America.


Rosary prayer following 5:15pm mass in chapel with the Cornell Catholic community

Sorority and Fraternity Life

Cornell is home to over 50 social sororities and fraternities. Learn more about the sorority and fraternity community at Cornell during this informational session. Cornell staff members from the Office of Sorority and Fraternity Life and current student leaders who are members of sororities and fraternities will share more details about the community and the process of joining as well as answer any questions. This event will be recorded and shared with registrants after Family Weekend.

Tours of Engineering Project Team Experiential Learning Lab

Join a student led tour of the Engineering Learning Lab space and learn more about the college’s student run project teams. Tours are limited to groups of 18 (first-come, first served). Participants should wait outside of the entrance to the Experiential Learning Lab (ELL) for their tour guide.

Trivia Night

How well do you know trivia? Join other Cornell family members and students for a night with ThinkFast trivia game! Groups of any size are invited. Doors open at 6:45pm. First- through third-place prizes will be awarded to the teams with the most points.

Visit the Johnson Museum of Art

The Johnson Museum of Art is open to everyone from 10am to 5pm (closed Mondays) and admission is always free. Our Fall 2021 exhibitions are “(Re)collecting Southeast Asian Art at Cornell,” “Art and Environmental Struggle,” “Visions of Dante,” and “Women Making Their Mark.” Permanent collection galleries will also be on view.

Women’s Field Hockey vs. Harvard

Show your Big Red spirit by cheering on the women’s field hockey team in this matchup against this Ivy rival!

Women’s Polo vs. Garrison Forrest

Cheer on the Big Red in the fast-paced game of polo.

Women’s Volleyball vs. Brown

Show your spirit by cheering on the women’s volleyball team in this Ivy matchup!

Women’s Volleyball vs. Yale

Show your Big Red spirit by cheering on the women’s volleyball team!

You’re Cornell Family: 10 Things You Should Know About Being a Cornellian

Join Cornell University storyteller Corey Ryan Earle ’07 for this interactive presentation on Cornell history, trivia, and fun facts as he shares essential components of the Cornellian identity and what makes Cornell unique as “the first American university.” This event will be recorded and shared with registrants after Family Weekend.

“Cryptozoo” by Dash Shaw

“Cryptozoo,” an animated feature about a sanctuary for mythological creatures, is director Dash Shaw’s sophomore film, and it contributes strongly to the powerful name he is making for himself in animation. Shaw’s unique, psychedelic animation style immerses viewers in a fantastical yet violent world of magical creatures in “an overwhelming combination loaded with giddy, infectious creativity at every turn” (IndieWire).

Additional Fee

“Ecological Calendars: Finding Hope in the Face of Climate Change” (Exhibition)

This exhibition interprets and explains the significance of the Ecological Calendars and Climate Adaptation Project. Learn how the calendars were created using a photographic narrative of the research project, prints of the ecological calendars created by the respective communities and the research team, and two installations of art inspired by the research. The exhibits explore the potential of ecological calendars to adapt to increasing uncertainty caused by climate change. Two art installations inspired by and based on the research and knowledge of project participants are part of the exhibit. Werner Sun, an artist and particle physicist who works with folded paper and digital prints, will suspend his mobile art piece from the ceiling of the Nevin Welcome Center lobby. The mobile incorporates images from the project and displays images of project participants as well as plants and animals of the project areas to communicate how ecological calendars visually represent the inseparable relationship between people and their habitat. Natani Notah, an interdisciplinary artist and educator from the Navajo Nation, combines both natural and synthetic materials to serve as a metaphor for coexistence, i.e., the latter cannot exist without the former. Through her sculpture, Notah addresses the role of the human hand in responding to climate change. All the materials for the sculpture have been ethically sourced or collected over time. Once combined they form an abstracted representation of an ecological calendar. Color, shape, and repetition in the sculpture’s design mimic patterns in nature including symmetries and spirals visible in the overall structure as well as the detailed application of beadwork. The Nevin Welcome Center is open Tuesday through Sunday, 11am to 4pm.

“Mandabi” by Senegalese director Ousmane Sembene

Master Senegalese filmmaker Ousmane Sembene’s first full-length feature, the satirical “Mandabi” (The Money Order), released in 1968, concerns an elderly family patriarch, a likably self-centered man of the old world with fragile pretensions to social distinction, who receives a money order from Europe, only to find himself faced with a maze of bureaucratic red tape to cash it. Shown in a new digital restoration. An excellent and authentically Senegalese motion picture.

Additional Fee

“Reach for the Sky”

Written by Cole Romero ’22 with music by Luke Ellis ’24. “Reach for the Sky” is an original experience with music that follows Sky as they journey through their mind and learn to accept themself. The show takes an honest look at gender and what it means to be human. Seating is first-come, first served.

“Shaun of the Dead” by Edgar Wright

Perfect for Halloween weekend, “Shaun of the Dead” is part “Dawn of the Dead” parody, part charming romantic comedy. It’s “the most original comedy from either side of the pond in years” (Austin Chronicle). Patrons who arrive at the box office in costume will be admitted for just $4. We’ll provide treats as patrons leave the theater at the end of the screening.

Additional Fee