Graduation Issue
May 26, 2016

Four Years at Cornell: Top News Stories That the Class of 2016 Lived Through

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Courtesy of Cornell University

As the graduating members of the Class of 2016 ready themselves for Commencement, we took a look at the top stories from the past four years at Cornell. Read more in our special graduation issue.

Spring 2016: President Elizabeth Garret Dies at 52, Less Than One Year After Assuming Office 
Cornell’s first female president died of colon cancer on March 6. “She was the quintessential Cornellian,” Board of Trustees chair Robert Harrison ’76 said.

 

Fall 2015: Administration Proposes College of Business to Unify Hotel, Dyson and Johnson Schools

Cornell’s mid-December announcement of its College of Business plans was met by widespread alumni and student backlash. The Board of Trustees authorized establishment of the college on Jan. 30.

Ithaca College garnered national headlines when hundreds of students and faculty members staged a walk out in November, protesting I.C. President Tom Rochon.

Joon Lee / Sun Assistant Sport Editor

Ithaca College garnered national headlines when hundreds of students and faculty members staged a walk out in November, protesting I.C. President Tom Rochon.

  • Oct. 31 — A.D. White Statue Defaced: The statue of Cornell’s first president was spray painted with the word “Divest, which a cleanup crew later removed. Students criticized the defacement on the “Overheard at Cornell” Facebook page.
  • Nov. 11 — Hundreds Stage Ithaca College Walkout: Students, faculty and staff poured into Ithaca College’s academic quad, calling for the resignation of I.C. President Tom Rochon for his handling of racial tensions on campus.
  • Nov. 23 — Garrett Approves Anabel’s Grocery: In the midst of a vibrant campus debate about how to tackle food insecurity, President Elizabeth Garrett gave final approval for plans to open a student-run grocery store in Anabel Taylor Hall.
  • Dec. 31 — Dunbar’s Closes Doors After 36 Years in Collegetown: The popular watering hole shut its doors. It followed the steps of a number of local bars to close in recent years, including Pixel Lounge and Stella’s.

 

President Garret sings the alma mater with President Emeritus David J. Skorton and Chairman of the Cornell University Board of Trustess Robert Harrison on Charter Day.

Cameron Pollack | Sun Photography Editor

President Elizabeth Garret sings the alma mater with President Emeritus David J. Skorton and Board of Trustess chair Robert Harrison ’70 on Charter Day.

Spring 2015: Cornell Celebrates Sesquicentennial as Charter Weekend Culminates With Barton Ceremony

Honoring the 150th anniversary of the signing of the University’s charter, major Cornell figures came together to celebrate numerous facets of the Cornell experience, from the intellectual vibrancy of campus to the strength of the faculty body.

  • Feb. 19 — Students Occupy Day Hall in Protest of $350 Health Fee: Over 100 students occupied Day Hall for at least four hours, clashing with administrators as they packed offices and opposed the new mandatory health fee that was announced Feb. 5.
  • April 14 — Morning Blaze Destroys Iconic Chapter House Pub: Smoke billowed from the 400 block of Stewart Ave. on the morning of April 14 as an early morning blaze destroyed a multi-story complex housing the iconic Chapter House pub and a neighboring apartment building. No injuries were reported in connection with the incident.

 

Fall 2014: Elizabeth Garret Named 13th President of Cornell 

The Board of Trustees unanimously appointed Elizabeth Garrett — the provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at USC — to serve as the Cornell’s president.

  • Dec. 4 — Ruloff’s Bar and Restaurant to Reopen After Sudden Closing: After closing its doors in early September — a move that shocked Cornellians and employees of the restaurant alike — Gregar Brous, owner of Collegetown Bagels, purchased the Collegetown staple with plans to reopen its doors in the spring semester

 

Spring 2014: Skorton to Depart Cornell to Head Smithsonian

President David Skorton joins Billy Joel on stage in Barton Hall on Dec. 2, 2011 to showcase his jazz flute skills.

Jason Koski / Cornell University Photography

President David Skorton joins Billy Joel on stage on Dec. 2, 2011, showcasing his jazz flute skills.

Skorton’s eight-year term included pivotal moments for Cornell, including navigating the financial crisis, winning the New York City tech campus competition, raising money to build the University’s first new humanities building in a century and launching Cornell’s first massive open online courses. He currently serves as the secretary of the Smithsonian museums.

  • Jan. 23 — Return of Cornell Dairy Pleases Campus: After three years on ice — during which the Stocking Hall Dairy Bar closed for remodeling, then reopened without Cornell Dairy ice cream — the popular treat returned to campus.

 

Fall 2013: University Advances Efforts for International Studies

Two years after President David Skorton said Cornell should aim to “ensure that no less than 50 percent of Cornell undergraduates have an international experience,” University officials say they have seen rising enrollment in abroad and foreign exchange programs and an increased number of international students attending Cornell.

 

Spring 2013: Cornell Celebrates Removal of Fences

Following a string of suicides in 2010, Cornell installed seven fences on its bridges. These fences came down in May 2013, which marked a three-year-saga that provoked debates over how to best prevent suicides from happening in the City of Ithaca’s iconic gorges.

Klarman Hall is home to the Department of Romance Studies, some members of the Department of Comparative Literature and the advising and admissions offices for the College of Arts and Sciences.

Cameron Pollack / Sun Senior Photographer

Klarman Hall opened its doors in 2016 and is home to the Department of Romance Studies, some members of the Department of Comparative Literature and the advising and admissions offices for the College of Arts and Sciences.

 

Fall 2012: Cornell Community Rattled by String of Sexual Assaults

A string of reported attacks, one that CUPD later ruled false, spurred student protest of the University’s sexual assault policy. Police urged students to “take prudent and necessary safety precautions,” after two sexual assaults and one incident of harassment were reported in one early September weekend.

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