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aerial view of campus in the fall

Aerial view of campus in the fall.

Favorite places and things

The rigor, the library

"Paradoxically, my 'favorite' thing at Cornell has been the extraordinarily high standard of excellence required by my professors. The rigorous requirements for success also mean that we have a really strong library community (if you're not at Mann Library on a Tuesday or Wednesday night, don't even bother going to the bars on a Friday night)."

scene from Law Library

Scene from Law Library. See larger image

– David Fischer '15

"This is hard, but I guess I would have to say the top of Libe Slope. I love views, and the view from up there is pretty amazing. It kind of puts everything in perspective ... I have always felt so honored and privileged to be able to sit up on the slope and admire that view.

"Also, the yearbook collection in Uris Library and The Cornell Daily Sun archives in Olin Library. My parents are both Cornell alumni, and it's really special for me to be able to look through those yearbooks and newspapers and essentially dig up my own family history."

– Ariel Cooper '15

"My favorite place on campus is Mann Library, from its gorgeous Art Deco façade, to the refurbished lobby with warm wooden panels contrasting the steel and marble. It's a warm, friendly place, with the best resources of the Cornell Library, ease of access in the Ag quad and a great place to study and collaborate with classmates.

"Also, the long-standing tradition of 'any person … any study' in all senses of the phrase. From allowing me, a Latino immigrant, admission, to the inclusivity of ... the Big Red Band, to the continuous strive for inclusivity in admissions, staff, subjects, professors, vendors, investors, political belief, religion and thought. While Cornell may not be perfect in all those aspects, as a school we certainly try hard to improve and continue to allow anyone to follow their dreams."

– Kevin Milian '15

The atmosphere, the natural beauty, the infrastructure

"The gardens … the Japanese gardens by the Johnson Museum of Art, the Azalea Garden along Tower Road, Minns Garden and the A.D. White Garden are some of my favorites.

Japanese rock garden outside Johnson Museum

View of Japanese rock garden outside Johnson Museum. See larger image

"The investment in microfarming and larger-scale farming on campus is so great! Dilmun Hill, the student-run farm off [Route] 366, and the fairly new student garden outside of Kennedy are great places for hands-on learning in the truest sense of the phrase. There's also a nut orchard and experimental mushroom production.

"Also: the bell tower concerts, the Cornell Events Calendar, and the Omniride bus system. I love the snowy mornings that I can get to campus – for free – faster than it would take me to clean my car."

– Sonya Nahid Islam, extension associate in nutritional sciences

"Cornell's community! I know every time I cross campus I'll see a friend or make a new one."

– Adam Kirsch '15

The food, the traditions

"My favorite place on campus is the Cornell Dairy Bar in Stocking Hall. Obviously it makes amazing ice cream on campus but it is also attached to the Cornell dairy plant that students are free to walk by and observe the factory in action. It's a unique way to experience the food you are eating. I've been there a few more times than I care to admit.

overhead view of dining on campus

Overhead view of dining on campus. See larger image

"My favorite part of Cornell, and the reason I chose to attend this university, is the sense of pride that is so apparent when you are on campus. You can see that when students tailgate for the Homecoming game, hurry to finish the 161 [things to do] list before they graduate and revert back to old habits when they visit as alumni."

– Kim Bernstein '15

"The Big Red Barn [the recently renovated graduate student center]. When I first arrived at Cornell, I was lured to its 'TGIF' events; nothing beats dollar beers and free popcorn on a Friday afternoon! … Over the years, as I navigated through my Ph.D. program, I gained a deeper appreciation for the BRB, grabbing a quick lunch between classes, gaining self-confidence in the dissertation writers' retreat, [and] meeting new friends as an employee. The BRB has become my safe haven.

"Last, but not least, I met the love of my life at a BRB speed dating [event] two years ago."

– Kristen Davis, graduate student in animal science

"My absolute favorite thing is the list of '161 Things You Have To Do Before You Graduate.' It is a way of uniting every single Cornell student with common events, tasks and generally hilarious to-dos."

– Rachel Minton '15

It's not your grandfather's university (even if it is)

Trustee Ezra Cornell with statue of university's founder Ezra Cornell

Ezra Cornell '70, trustee and great-great-great grandson of Cornell University founder Ezra Cornell (pictured with his great-great-great grandfather's statue). See larger image

"Right at the top of the list, my favorite thing is that ever-renewing element of the university. I think it is obvious that our founder knew this university would forever be changing, growing, never complete, always seeking and offering opportunities to learn. [He] knew that for America's democracy to succeed, for the liberty of its people to last, there needed to be an extraordinary private research university that educates hardworking students of all backgrounds, and gives back practical and useful knowledge to the people of New York and the nation.

"I like walking the campus; I enjoy feeling and sensing the energy of Cornell students and faculty. And I love Big Red sports! For 48 years I have been among the Lynah Faithful. I am a fan if our students are playing lacrosse, volleyball, football, wrestling, crew or basketball; they deserve our support.

"I continue to enjoy opportunities to wander into a large classroom, sit in the back and listen to amazing Cornell professors such as Mary Beth Norton speak about American history, or Bryan Danforth talk about bugs … I have favorite places and people in each of our colleges.

"I have been on the board of trustees' Buildings and Properties Committee for a few decades. I enjoy the architectural diversity of the campus [and] I encourage our maintenance and grounds people who work hard to take care of things … I also know the people and facilities of Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City.

"I like to go for walks around Beebe Lake or through the Plantations. As many do, I pause at the top of Libe Slope and smile at the sunsets. Sage Chapel – it's just a beautiful place to contemplate."

– Ezra Cornell '70, trustee and great-great-great grandson of founder Ezra Cornell

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