From faculty and philanthropy to family and friends, there is much to enjoy and discover during our Family Fellows events.

In Spring 2021, we offered a variety of virtual events, and that virtual programming is listed below. The 2020 Family Fellows Spring Weekend on-campus program is listed below for you to get a sense of the unique activities typically offered when we are on campus.

Cornell Family Fellows Spring Semester 2021

The Cornell Family Fellows are invited to Ithaca each spring for a special weekend program that offers personal interaction with university leadership, seminars of substance from top faculty in diverse fields, and activities with their children. In 2021, the program consisted of online opportunities spread out over the semester, which are listed below. A look at a typical on-campus Family Fellows experience is provided at the bottom of the page.

June 8, 2021, 12:00 pm (EDT)
Transforming the Student Experience
presented by Student and Campus Life (SCL)

Vice President Ryan Lombardi and members of his leadership team discussed new ways Student & Campus Life will support students in the year to come, and how they foster a sense of belonging. At the heart of the student experience, Student & Campus Life inspires transformation in all Cornell students so they may thrive in and out of the classroom, and well beyond their time on the Hill.

Ryan Lombardi has served as the Vice President for Student & Campus Life (SCL) since August 2015.  Ryan’s leadership, and the work of this division, impacts virtually every student at Cornell and strives to create a campus environment that enables student transformation.  The Division of SCL is composed of Athletics and Physical Education, Office of the Dean of Students, Campus and Community Engagement, Cornell Health, Campus Life Enterprise Services, Cornell Career Services, and the Office of the Vice President.

May 3, 2021, 6:00 pm (EDT)
The Buzz on Birding
presented by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology

This past year, as we spent more time outdoors, did you become curious about bird activity and nature around you? Have you or your Cornell student visited or wondered about the Lab of Ornithology? Bird migration is about to get (even more) exciting in much of the country. Please join us, whether you are a birding novice or expert, to learn about the Lab and the joy of birding.

Jennifer Fee, an experienced naturalist at the lab, explained how any yard can provide a front row seat to the spectacle of migration.

April 10, 2021, 3:00 pm (EST)
Family Fellows Wine Tasting, presented by the Cornell University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

There are many ways to enjoy a glass of wine. In early April, we did so with the expertise of Cornell’s viticulture and enology department and an alumna whose family owns one of the premier wineries in the Finger Lakes. In partnership with the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Family Fellows offered a wine tasting with Dr. Konstantin Frank Winery, named by Wine & Spirits as one of the top 100 wineries of 2019 and whose founder was the pioneer of the Eastern United States’ vinifera movement.

After registering, guests received a shipment of three bottles of Dr. Frank’s best vintages to enjoy during the program. Gavin Sacks of the Food Science department and Head of the Sacks Research Lab spoke about how viticulture and enology is taught at Cornell’s teaching winery and Meaghan Frank ’11, MPS ’16, vice president of Dr. Konstantin Frank Winery provided insights into the wines tasted, as well as the growth of the industry in the Finger Lakes.

March 17, 2021, 7:00 pm (EST)
From Robots and Pipettes to Rolled Up Sleeves:
An Inside Look at Cornell’s COVID-19 Testing Lab and How the Veterinary College is Fighting the Pandemic Statewide

Cornell’s scientific expertise, testing strategy, on-site labs, and use of data and modeling help keep students safe on campus last year. Senior leaders on the front lines in the Veterinary College took us behind the scenes and offered insights into the pandemic.

For any questions, please email,

Friday, March 6, 2020

  • 5:30–7:00 p.m. Reception for parents, students, and their honored guests

    Location: Atrium, Physical Sciences Building

    Meet university leaders, faculty, and staff at the opening reception hosted by Provost Michael Kotlikoff. Each family may also honor a faculty member, coach, advisor, or staff person important to their student’s Cornell experience by inviting them to the reception.

  • 7:00 p.m. Dinner with your student

    Enjoy a free evening and dinner on your own with your student.

Saturday, March 7, 2020

  • 9:15–10:15 a.m. Bridging the virtual and the real

    Location: Room 196, Beck Center, Statler Hall

    Kavita Bala, professor and chair, Computer Science Department, Computing and Information Science and founder of GrokStyle

    From classroom to boardroom, Kavita Bala bridges the academic and the applied. Her research spans computer vision, computer graphics, and human perception. Her remarks will touch on her experience as a founder of a Bay Area start-up and the responsibility of higher education to prepare students to enter the workforce.

  • 10:30–11:30 a.m. Bones Around My Neck: The Life and Exile of a Prince Provocateur

    Location: Room 196, Beck Center, Statler Hall

    Tamara Loos MA '94, PhD '99, professor and chair, Department of History, College of Arts & Sciences

    Professor Loos teaches in the department of History and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Studies Program. Her research and writing covers Thailand and Southeast Asia, gender and sexuality, emotions and social history, auto/biography and history, travel, and extreme sports. She will discuss her most recent book, Bones Around My Neck: The Life and Exile of a Prince Provocateur.

  • 11:45 a.m.–1:15 p.m. Luncheon: Birds, beasts, and biomes

    Location: The Carrier Ballroom, Statler Hotel

    John Fitzpatrick, professor; Louis Agassiz Fuertes Director, Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology

    Steven Osofsky, Jay Hyman Professor of Wildlife Health & Health Policy in the College of Veterinary Medicine; Director, Cornell Wildlife Health Center

    Catherine L. Kling, Tisch University Professor in the Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management and faculty director at the Cornell Atkinson Center for Sustainability

    Cornell faculty speak about ecological pathways and interactions between humans and nature.

  • 1:30–2:30 p.m. Digital platforms and data markets: How can you sell something you cannot own?

    Location: Room 196, Beck Center, Statler Hall

    Aija Leiponen, professor and director of the Master in Professional Studies in the Applied Economics and Management, Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, Cornell SC Johnson College of Business

    In the age of digital platforms and big data, we are often oblivious to what happens to all the information in the background. Professor Leiponen will discuss the economic and legal nature of the data that fuels the digital economy. Data being fundamentally different from other types of intellectual assets, markets for data will require new types of business models and new regulatory solutions. We will all be participants in these data market solutions.

  • 2:45–3:45 p.m. Do we know how much influence we have over others?

    Location: Room 196, Beck Center, Statler Hall

    Vanessa Bohns, associate professor, Department of Organizational Behavior, School of Industrial and Labor Relations

    We often search for ways to become more influential. Professor Bohns' research on social influence, compliance, and consent suggests that in our search for ways to gain influence, we fail to recognize the influence we already have. Bohns will talk about the misperceptions that can make us feel as if we have little impact when, in fact, people see us, listen to us, and agree to do things for us more often than we realize—for better and worse. This lack of awareness can cause us to miss opportunities for influence or to be careless with the influence we do wield.

  • 4:15–5:15 p.m. A Taste of Cornell: Cornell Dairy

    Location: Stocking Hall Conference Center

    Did you know that Cornell's Dairy Plant supplies much of the milk, yogurt and, of course, ice cream on campus? Did you know that each fall students in Food Science 101 compete to have their ice cream flavor offered at the Dairy Bar? That the Dairy Plant is the only kosher-certified dairy plant on a college campus? Take a tour of the plant and sample some of our favorite flavors at this special, decadent reception.

  • 6:00–8:30 p.m. Reception and Dinner: From Cornell to Carnegie: Ezra's Philanthropic Legacy

    A parents-only event.
    Location: Memorial Room, Willard Straight Hall
    Ryan Lombardi, Vice President for Student and Campus Life
    Corey Ryan Earle '07, visiting lecturer, College of Arts & Sciences

    Along with co-founding Cornell University, Ezra Cornell influenced a generation of philanthropists including Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller. Join Ryan Lombardi and Corey Ryan Earle ’07 in the historic Memorial Room within Willard Straight Hall where they will teach us about Cornell’s unique history through stories of philanthropy and its impact on campus.

The sun sets over west campus. Shot from Libe Slope.

Join Cornell Family Fellows

With an annual gift of $15,000 or more, you join the Cornell Family Fellows. By investing further in Cornell, you extend your support to all Cornell students. Family Fellows gain a special perspective about the campus and community.

Make a gift online