Liz O'Dell Wehling and her yellow lab “Yale” were posted outside the doors of Willard Straight Hall on Giving Day 2019, loving the job of greeting students.

Big Red Philanthro-pie!

Liz O’Dell Wehling has helped with all five Cornell Giving Days, in her role as a staff member with annual giving in Cornell’s division of Alumni Affairs and Development. She and her yellow lab “Yale” were posted outside the doors of Willard Straight Hall on Giving Day 2019, loving the job of greeting students.

Since Giving Day began in 2015, students have taken on a larger role in the day’s activities. This year, students were invited to stop by Giving Day stations across the Ithaca campus and at Cornell Tech, hosted by individual colleges and schools.

Karinna Browning, Class of 2017, works as a program assistant in the School of Hotel Administration, and her Giving Day job was to share goodwill, donuts, apples, and coffee with students on their way to morning classes.
Karinna Browning ’17 works as a program assistant in the School of Hotel Administration, and her Giving Day job was to share goodwill, donuts, apples, and coffee with students on their way to morning classes.

Karinna Browning ’17 feels that Giving Day is a great opportunity to raise awareness among students about the importance of giving back. “It’s not about how much you give,” she said, “but that giving in any amount has an impact.”

Students in the College of Engineering were invited to take a selfie at the Giving Day table in Duffield Hall, and post their photo on Instagram or Twitter with the #CornellGivingDay hashtag. They were then gifted with free pizza.

Students in the College of Engineering were invited to take a selfie at the Giving Day table in Duffield Hall.
“I missed out on breakfast,” said Will Gao ’22, “so this was perfect!”

At the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management, there were coffee and donuts aplenty, along with an opportunity for students to make a donation to the Social/Environmental Impact Internship Fund. Class of 2020 MBA students donate to support living expenses for their classmates who choose to do low- or no-compensation summer internships with positive social or environmental impacts. The fund supported three students in 2017 and five students in 2018 for summer internships at the National Park Service, National Public Radio, an impact investing group, and other similar organizations.

Jeremy Snyder, Class of 2020, contributed to the Social Impact Internship Fund on Giving Day 2019.
“There are 273 members of the 2020 class, and we know all our classmates,” said Jeremy Snyder ’20, who contributed $5 to the fund on Giving Day 2019. “I feel it’s important to support my classmates,” said Snyder, “and I know they would do the same for me.”

In Willard Straight Hall, members of the Senior Class Campaign invited their fellow graduating seniors to make a donation on Giving Day. The seniors came up with the idea in the fall of 2018, and this was the group’s first appearance at Giving Day events on campus. Seniors who made a donation of $5 or more received a red and white braided cord to wear at commencement in recognition of their gift.

Senior Camila Sarmiento, Class of 2019, made a $20 gift to CALS, which was matched by an $80 donation by an anonymous donor.
Senior Camila Sarmiento ’19 made a $20 gift to CALS, which was matched by an $80 donation by an anonymous donor.

Will Gusick ‘19, a member of the Senior Class Campaign Executive Committee, said, “We want to encourage seniors to get in the habit of giving before they leave Cornell, so they will carry this habit forward as alumni.”

Students were also invited to create handwritten thank-you cards to Giving Day donors. Throughout the day, hundreds of students gathered at tables in the Straight to express their personal thanks.

First-year student Fridrik Diehl, Class of 2022, writing thank-you cards to Giving Day donors.
“I wanted to thank the people who have a vested interest in the future of Cornell students,” said first-year student Fridrik Diehl ’22.

“It’s really nice to feel like we’re a part of what is happening,” said Kerry Wong ’22. “It feels like we’re part of a community when we get to personally thank the donors,” Wong said, “rather than just standing by doing nothing.”

Everyone who stopped by the Straight to make a donation, give thanks, or help out was given free snacks from Cornell Dining and a taste of Cornell Dairy’s newest flavor: Big Red Philanthro-pie. This apple-pie inspired ice cream was made especially for the big day, to celebrate the spirit of giving at Cornell.

A volunteer scooper shared Big Red Philanthro-pie ice cream with the crowd.
A volunteer scooper shared Big Red Philanthro-pie ice cream with the crowd.

Related stories

A timely investment: supporting student health

A timely investment: supporting student health

August 5, 2020

$5M gift launches Duffield Family Cornell Promise Scholarship

$5M gift launches Duffield Family Cornell Promise Scholarship

July 31, 2020

A&S alumnus establishes scholarship for Black students

A&S alumnus establishes scholarship for Black students

July 10, 2020