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KENKARE | A Love Letter to North Campus

My freshman year at Cornell was probably the best year of my life so far. I stayed up until 5 a.m. every night participating in hallway-wide gossip sessions, proudly strode into Sunday RPCC brunches in pajamas and last night’s mascara and never, ever called home — because when you’re 18 and having the time of your life, why would you? The sheer novelty of the college experience, the number of smart-mouthed, like-minded people I met at Cornell, definitely contributed to my incredible year. But upon reflection, I realize there was another factor. Although I’m sure the creators of North Campus meant to construct another damp and depressing group of dorms (West Campus reminds me forcibly of J.K. Rowling’s Knockturn Alley), they somehow stumbled upon the formula for a home, a community unto itself.

On April 5, 1967, a fire erupted in the Cornell Heights Residential Club, killing nine Cornellians. Fifty-two years after the horrific incident, the University dedicated a memorial to the victims at a ceremony outside of Sage Chapel on Thursday.

52 Years Later, C.U. Honors the Nine Cornellians Who Perished in A Dormitory Fire

“For too long, all of you have felt unheard and your memories unacknowledged,” Cornell President Marth Pollack said in a speech at the event. “No one can take away the pain of what you experienced. But what we can do is hear your stories and become accustomed, become the custodians of your memories with this memorial, which will remain here in the heart of campus for as long as the University stands.”