As a proud member of Cornell’s Class of 1974, I bring a unique and important perspective to life on the Hill in this second decade of the twenty-first century.

The old racial paradigm, in which “engaging across difference” was viewed through a black/white lens, has given way to a new generation of young adults who bring their own experiences and ideas, which are impacting campus culture and redefining how students connect with each other. The millennials are pushing boundaries, breaking down barriers, and driving positive change.

Asia Night, the Leadership Roundtable, and Passover Freedom Seder share a common theme: students are engaging across difference and working together to build a cross-cultural campus community.

The future of diversity is now.

Moving around campus and observing students coming and going makes it remarkably evident that demographic shifts—changes that are reshaping the nation’s social fabric and politics—are reflected in our student composition. In many ways, Cornell is a microcosm of the evolving American mainstream, and the class of 2016’s profile reflects this reality:

41.3% Caucasian
16.9% Asian American
12.0% Hispanic/Latino
9.2% unknown (not reported)
5.8% Black/African American
2.2% Bi/Multiracial
0.5% Native American/Hawaiian

A truly diverse community is the foundation for the thoughtful and in-depth exchange of ideas.

A truly diverse community is the foundation for the thoughtful and in-depth exchange of ideas. It’s a place where cross-cultural skills are developed and enacted among diverse campus constituencies, with campus partners, and within the classroom and workplace. And it’s an opportunity for everyone to contribute to our intellectual community all that is distinctive and unique about their individual perspectives while expanding horizons, blazing new trails, pursuing new knowledge, and sharing what they have to offer.

Your sons and daughters will experience the rich variations in intellectual approaches, individual backgrounds, cultural nuances, and demographics (race, religion, class, gender, sexual orientation) that make our community a wonderfully diverse place to study, live, and grow. As students settle in and eventually hit their stride, they will have numerous opportunities to embrace the vibrancy, energy, and richness of diverse experiences that are central to a Cornell education.
We support the holistic development of students, both within and beyond the classroom, and to that end, a plethora of resources and supportive services are in place to ensure that all students can maximize their time on the Hill to the best of their ability.

Cornell Diversity and Inclusion: