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Cornell University

Support Cornell Outdoor Education

A couple backpacking on a trail


Cornell Outdoor Education thrives on the generous support of former program participants, instructors, and alumni with a passion for personal growth through adventure and exploration. Your gift supports our three key fundraising priorities: the annual cost of operations, the elimination financial barriers to participation, and the growth of our long-term program endowment. 

Your Gift Supports...

Canoeing Class

An Oasis of Wellness

COE provides PE classes for over 1000 students.  99% of our students report that their PE class contributed to their mental well-being and ability to manage stress. COE also provides an opportunity to make new friends in a welcoming environment for people from all backgrounds. Those strong ties help students to feel a sense of belonging and inclusion in what can be an intimidating institution.

Rock Climber

Outdoor Skills and Experience

COE has more diverse course offerings that any university based outdoor program in the country. Students can experience the classics, like hiking, backpacking, and canoeing, or take a walk on the wilder side with white water kayaking, traditional lead climbing, or even Circus Skills. Some offerings, like high angle rope rescue, and Redwoods Tree Climbing are unique.

Wilderness First Aid

Leadership Development

Our alumni often tell us that the leadership skills they learned while instructing COE programs significantly impacted their professional careers. While there are many different types of leadership experiences available at Cornell, few of those involve the level of supervision and care involved in the outdoor environment. At COE, student leaders have responsibility, not only for educating their students, but also for their physical and emotional safety in what can be a very stressful environment.

Trail Maintenance

Environmental Stewardship

Our classes and programs foster a life long connection to the natural world. That connection will only become more important as environmental issues rise to the forefront of our daily concerns.  


The COE Annual Fund

COE is a self-funded unit of Cornell University. For 50 years, we have successfully grown our program by charging course fees and renting gear & equipment. Still, a significant percentage of COE’s annual budget is dependent on recurring yearly gifts made by hundreds of alumni, ex-instructors, parents, and friends. Contributions to the annual fund help keep costs at bay for classes and outdoor experiences, which otherwise would be too expensive to offer to our students. Part of the fund is used to provide much-needed maintenance to our facilities and program equipment, guaranteeing a world-class experience for our students. Simply put, COE could not have the impact it has if it weren’t for the commitment and generosity of supporters like you!

  • To make an online gift to the COE Annual Fund today using our secure site.

  • If you would like to make a gift by phone, you may contact us at 607-255-6183, Monday through Friday, from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm ET.

  • You may also send your gift by mail. Please make checks payable to Cornell Outdoor Education and write Annual Fund Gift on the memo line.

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Click Here to Donate

You may mail your form and gift to:
Cornell Outdoor Education
Phillips Outdoor Program Center

B01 Bartels Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853

The COE David Moriah Endowment for Program Access

In mid-2019, active supporters and former COE Advisory Board Members, Julie and Jay Carter, generously provided a leadership gift to establish and launch the David Moriah Endowment for program access. Annual proceeds from the endowment provides financially disadvantaged students with assistance to cover COE course fees, promoting equal access and reducing financial barriers to participation in COE programs. 

To learn more about the David Moriah Endowment, download the Case for Support. To help us reach our fundraising goal, please contact COE’s Co-Director Karel Hilversum.