Ithaca, N.Y. — Cornell announced a $150 million initiative today with “the overarching goal” of making every student involved in work within the community, according to the university.

The 10-year initiative seeks to have 100 percent of Cornell undergraduates in what it calls “experienced-based learning opportunities” by 2025.

That could include work within the global community, NYC, Ithaca or on campus.

“Through its ‘Engaged Cornell’ initiative, Cornell students will be empowered to become active citizens and to tackle critical challenges by participating in hands-on, practical learning experiences in communities at home and around the world,” a press release said.

The Einhorn Family Charitable Trust — headed by Cornell alumni and hedge fund manager David Einhorn and Cheryl Strauss Einhorn — donated $50 million for the effort. (David Einhorn is the president of Greenlight Capital.)

Here are some of the stated goals the new program aims to achieve by 2025:

— To “elevate student participation in community engagement to 100%.”

— To prepare 500 professors for “community-engaged research and teaching.”

— To develop 480 community-university partnerships.

— To position Cornell “as a recognized educational leader in community engagement.”

— To “establish university wide learning outcomes to instill shared values across Cornell curricula, student life, and campus culture.”

— To “launch a new engaged-learning leadership development program, available to all students across colleges,” called “Leadership for the Greater Good.”


How does it do that?

The “Engaged Cornell” initiative will be spearheaded by Judith Appleton, Cornell’s vice provost responsible for land-grant affairs.

Appleton will strengthen engagement resources by giving competitive grants to different university departments.

“The scale, commitment and comprehensive nature of Engaged Cornell is visionary,” said Appleton said in a statement.

Robert S. Harrison, chair of the Cornell Board of Trustees and chief executive officer of the Clinton Global Initiative, said in a statement that he hopes “the university’s many champions will meet the challenge of raising $100 million in additional philanthropy to empower Engaged Cornell fully.”

Among the different university departments involved with the plan will be: The Cornell Abroad office, the Cornell Outdoor Education team, the Office of Institutional and Research Planning and the Public Service Center.


Cornell’s presentation of the initiative identifies 3 “strategic areas:”

This news is breaking. We will provide updates.


Follow The Ithaca Voice on Facebook | Twitter

Jeff Stein

Jeff Stein is the founder and former editor of the Ithaca Voice.