October 25, 2020

LETTER TO THE EDITOR | Help Name the North Campus Residences

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Letter to the Editor:

On Oct. 8, President Martha E. Pollack announced that two of the residence halls under construction on North Campus will be named after two of Cornell’s most accomplished alumnae: Ruth Bader Ginsburg ’54 and Toni Morrison M.A. ’55. In the coming years, new students at Cornell will be reminded daily of the legacies left by these outstanding women.

Buildings at colleges and universities are often named for donors whose generosity enabled their construction. But occasionally, such as with debt-financed residence halls, universities have the opportunity to select names that recognize distinguished individuals or represent our core values. Nearly twenty years ago, Cornell chose to recognize five eminent faculty when naming the five houses on West Campus.

The North Campus Residential Expansion includes five new buildings, leaving three yet unnamed. Vice President Ryan Lombardi has appointed a committee with representatives of Cornell’s various constituencies – students, faculty, staff and alumni – to name these remaining halls. In order to represent the voice and values of the broader Cornell community, this committee is seeking your input. Collectively, we have the opportunity to have a lasting impact on Cornell’s history and to elevate the memory of potential namesakes.

Names matter. They present the opportunity to connect with Cornell’s founding and current values while also reflecting our aspiration for an inclusive campus residential environment. I encourage Cornellians to consider the values most meaningful to them and how they can best be embodied through these three building names. We welcome your thoughts and suggestions. Building name recommendations can be submitted online.

Corey Ryan Earle ’07
Chair, North Campus Residential Expansion Building Naming Committee