U.S. Postal Service commemorates Toni Morrison, Ruth Bader Ginsburg through 2023 postal stamps

The United States Postal Service will honor trailblazing Cornell alumnae Toni Morrison M.A. ’55 and Ruth Bader Ginsburg ’54 through new postage stamps set to be issued in 2023. Morrison and Ginsburg’s stamps were revealed on October 24, alongside the Postal Service’s preliminary list of new designs. The stamps celebrate two of Cornell’s most prominent graduates. As Forever stamps, these commemorative works will always represent the existing price of one ounce First-Class Mail postage. 

A Pulitzer Prize-winner and the first African American Nobel Prize-winner for literature, Morrison was an accomplished author best known for her works like The Bluest Eye, Sula, Song of Solomon and Beloved. 

“Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison was truly a genius and among the preeminent authors of world literature who helped to theorize and revolutionize American literature, while consistently reflecting on its history and culture in her vast body of writing,” Prof. Riché Richardson, africana studies, wrote in an email to the Sun. 

Morrison’s stamp, designed by USPS art director Ethel Kessler, features a photograph of Morrison taken in 2000 by Deborah Feingold. 

Alyiah Marie Gonzales grad did not know about Morrison’s new stamp but is excited to add a meaningful touch to her letters. “​​Toni Morrison both exploded my world and shined a brilliant light on all of the different worlds I’ve been living in,” Gonzales wrote in an email to the Sun.

MEHLER | Happy Birthday Toni Morrison

None of us had put together that we happened to visit Morrison Dining on Toni Morrison’s birthday, but it led us down a conversation of the names on buildings and how they came to be there. There has been plenty of discussion around how buildings are named, and even more articles about their origins, but the most important conclusion we landed on was that the names of buildings matter. While nowhere close to a nuclear physicist myself, I know more about Hans Bethe than I do about any other scientist after living in his namesake dorm for the past two years. ILR’s founding dean Irving Ives, Human Ecology’s founder Martha Van Rensselaer, and other notable Cornellians continue their legacies through building names across campus.

Freshman Housing Histories and Legacies

Cornell freshmen are all too familiar with these scenes: leaving their cozy rooms on Saturday night and tumbling back into soft beds (very) early Sunday morning, or throwing their backpacks next to their half-spilling closets before tiredly climbing up into the top bunk. Freshmen dorms represent more than just a shelter for many students, which is why I think it’s important for us to learn about the legacy and history that surround North Campus.  

Curating a Summer Reading List

If you, like me, are looking forward to some reading this summer, let’s embark on this ill-fated journey together. Will we achieve our reading goals? Almost certainly not. Will we still enjoy the act of resistance that is leisure in a society that values only productivity? We must — or perish.

Behind Cornell’s Celebration of ‘The Bluest Eye’

On Thursday, Cornell held a virtual day-long reading of The Bluest Eye to celebrate the amazing career of author Toni Morrison M.A. ʼ55 and the 50th anniversary of the book’s publication. This event was the beginning of a year-long celebration of Toni Morrison as part of the College of Arts and Sciences’ Arts Unplugged Series.  Morrison, one of Cornell’s most notable alumni, published The Bluest Eye, her first novel, in 1970. While the pandemic delayed this event from its original planned date last spring, there are some benefits to the virtual format. “The advantage of doing it remotely is that thousands of people everywhere can hear it, can see it,” said Professor Anne Adams, Africana Studies. “There’s more of a consistency to the experience of watching it than there would have been if we were going between live readers and readers being brought in remotely,” added Professor Roger Gilbert, English.