Ithaca, N.Y. — A group of protesters took over the stage at an event meant to celebrate the legacy of President David Skorton, who is leaving the university in June.


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Skorton, who has been president of Cornell since 2006, is being honored Friday by the university in an event at Barton Hall called “Bow Ties & Goodbyes — Celebrating President David J. Skorton and Professor Robin L. Davisson.”

A little after noon on Friday, the event began with a group of protesters — who had earlier closed the street outside of Duffield Hall — taking over the podium.

At least one swore at Cornell’s police chief. Others shouted and prevented the event from starting.

The protesters have expressed a range of grievances, ranging from the university’s treatment of its staff to broader criminal justice issues. One carried a sign that said, “Solidarity with Baltimore.”

By 12:30 p.m., the event had begun and the protesters were moved to the side of the stage.

See related: Traffic rerouted as protesters entered intersection

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Kyle Friend

A senior at Cornell University, Kyle covers the affordable housing crisis for the Ithaca Voice. Reach him through e-mail: