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Cornellians getting together out west

Whether you want to try out your startup's elevator pitch on a roomful of fellow Cornellians or you feel like taking in a Dodgers game with classmates, Cornell's alumni programming on the West Coast can help. The infrastructure encompasses regional clubs, college and affinity groups (including Johnson School alumni clubs, CUGALA and Asian Alumni Association groups) and university-led programs including the signature Cornell Silicon Valley program. Arizona, California, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon and Washington all have club and programming activity.

With the help of hundreds of volunteers and a small handful of university staff, Cornellians gather together for more than 200 events in the course of any given year – everything from a night at the opera to Cornell faculty talks on research; from sesquicentennial galas with confetti and trumpet players to a simple hike in the woods.

Events that bring intellectual content from Cornell to alumni where they live are popular. For instance, professor Angela Gonzales recently treated Cornellians in Santa Fe and Albuquerque to a presentation on her research. A noted scholar in the Department of Development Sociology in CALS, Gonzales conducts community-based research within American Indian communities.

"I always like featuring faculty members in the region," says Nancy Abrams Dreier '86, who staffs the region and consequently attends more Cornell events in the west than any other person, "and the new student send-offs are a terrific way to welcome new students and their parents to the Big Red family. While some areas may have just a few students headed off to Ithaca, others send more than 100 students to campus and send-off events may have more than 200 guests in attendance.

Cornellians in the Bay Area had two Charter Day events to choose from this past April, and alumni in Las Vegas gathered for their own Charter Day celebration as well.

"We are always looking for more people to be more involved," Dreier says.

To find out more, visit for a complete listing of regional clubs, college and school associations, as well as diverse affinity associations. The site is also home to a complete listing of upcoming events and volunteer opportunities.

– Emily Sanders Hopkins

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