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ITHACA, N.Y. – The dedication of Cornell University’s new humanities building, Klarman Hall, will be held on May 26 from 1 – 5 p.m. Cornell’s interim president, Hunter R. Rawlings III, and Gretchen Ritter, the Harold Tanner Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, will welcome the Cornell and Ithaca community to a celebration that will include music, poetry, faculty panels, an open house with tours of the building, and a dedication ceremony featuring a new poem by Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon, associate professor of English, commissioned for the event.

Also included will be the unveiling of the contents for the Klarman Hall time capsule, which tell the tale of life as we know it in 2016 and were selected by a faculty committee and designed by a group of students with contributions from faculty members, students and alumni.

The dedication is the capstone of a semester filled with events celebrating a New Century for the Humanities at Cornell, presented by the College of Arts & Sciences.

“The dedication of Klarman Hall symbolizes Cornell’s commitment to the arts and humanities at the center of the university,” said Rawlings, who also is Cornell president emeritus and professor emeritus of classics. “The perspectives of philosophers, artists, musicians and other humanists are vital as we seek to understand one another and address our most pressing problems.”

Schedule of events on May 26:

“History of the U.S. Constitution,” an academic panel
Rawlings Auditorium, Klarman Hall, 1 – 2 p.m.
“Transformative Humanities: Faculty Reflections on Life-Changing Creative Works,” faculty panel
Rawlings Auditorium, Klarman Hall, 2:15 – 3:15 p.m.
Open house
Klarman Hall, 3:15 – 4 p.m.
Dedication ceremony
Groos Family Atrium, Klarman Hall, 4 – 4:45 p.m.

The university broke ground on Klarman Hall in May 2013 during a ceremony attended by Seth and Beth Klarman, principal supporters of the project, for whom the building is named.

Klarman Hall is one of the few buildings on campus built entirely through philanthropy. In addition to the Klarmans, more than 100 donors contributed to the project. The building is the first new humanities building on central campus in more than 100 years.

Klarman Hall has a 7,700-square-foot central atrium and café, a 330-seat auditorium and 120 academic spaces, including individual faculty offices, seminar rooms and seven offices accommodating up to 35 graduate teaching assistants. The building is the new home of three units in the College of Arts and Sciences – the Departments of Romance Studies and Comparative Literature and the college’s Academic Advising and Admissions Office.

Michael Smith

Michael Smith reports on politics and local news for the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached via email at, by cell at (607) 229-0885, or via Google Voice at (518) 650-3639.