“A good one! For I say, things hard to bear might chance to mean good luck — if, by some chance they turn out straight.”
Thus, Creon reintroduces himself to Oedipus after a long journey, bearing significant news. His report is of course not good. This I the first thing I said as I walked onstage for three nights, in the recent Classics department production of Sophocles’ Oedipus. This circular, beguiling phrase, swollen with hope and deceit, has come to haunt me.
As I left Trump Tower late this morning, I was overwhelmed by how much spirits had been bolstered among a group that had never expected to come out the winners in a brutal election cycle that seemed like an uphill battle from the beginning. With the fresh taste of victory on their tongues, they had but a single question remaining: now what? The election of Donald J. Trump was the final cry for help from an increasingly desperate working class that could no longer be ignored. The President-elect’s coalition is built up of people who are overqualified and underemployed, voters whose swelling dissatisfaction with their downward economic spiral exploded into a populist movement that few pundits anticipated. A message of returned greatness did not echo for them thoughts of the 1950s or the pre-civil rights era; instead, it was a promise of once again being able to feed your family without working so long that you never got to see them.
Hundreds of students, faculty, University dignitaries, alumni and staff filled the Arts Quad on Friday morning for the installation ceremony of Cornell’s 13th president, Elizabeth Garrett. The ceremony began with a performance by Yamatai — Cornell’s taiko drumming group— immediately followed by the procession of the undergraduate and graduate colleges and professors. Former Cornell presidents Frank Rhodes, Jeffrey Lehman ’77 and David Skorton were in attendance, as well as Kathleen Hochul, New York Lieutenant Governor and representatives from 84 universities and colleges across the globe. Directly before Garrett’s speech. Robert Harrison ’76, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, gave an introductory speech and led the Investiture of The President, a formal presentation of symbols related to the president’s responsibilities.