Commencement Plans, Vaccine Clinic, Wellness Days

April 22, 2021

Dear Cornellians,

Along with President Pollack, I continue to grieve the senseless loss of George Floyd’s life and so many others. While Tuesday’s verdict was a critical step for our nation and for accountability in our justice system, we must continue our advocacy for racial justice. I acknowledge the weight of historical and present injustices that many of you carry, and I will continue to use my voice to push for meaningful reform in our campus community and beyond.

I know that this semester has been incredibly challenging and there is still a bit more to go. With wellness days on April 23-26, I encourage you to stop by Big Red Pride Days to take part in many in-person, physically distanced events each day. Additionally, new weekly wellness programming has also started on North Campus and will run through May 16.

Come make some new Cornell memories with your friends while taking some needed time to rest, relax, reconnect and focus on self-care. I’ll be out there with members of my team – we can’t wait to see you!


Ryan Lombardi
Vice President for Student and Campus Life

Commencement Planning

May Commencement plans and deadlines

As President Pollack announced April 6, Cornell plans to hold in-person Commencement ceremonies to celebrate May 2021, December 2020 and August 2020 graduates on Saturday, May 29, at Schoellkopf Field. Graduates will be honored in three identical ceremonies, grouped by colleges and schools, and participants must follow health and safety precautions. No guests, including family members, will be permitted to attend; however, the ceremonies will be livestreamed. Monitor the Commencement website for further updates.

Cap and gown orders due May 5

Class of 2021 graduates who wish to order keepsake cap and gowns must do so by May 5. Materials will be shipped directly to your preferred address. No gowns will be available for pickup on campus; orders must be placed by the deadline for arrival by May 25.

International graduation reception

The Office of Global Learning is pleased to invite all international students to this year's virtual graduation reception to celebrate the international Class of 2021! Join us on May 7 at 9 a.m. EDT to hear from Cornell's leaders and fellow students, including the winners of our Cornell Global Citizen awards.

Campus Updates, Events & Resources

On-campus vaccination clinic April 23

There will be an on-campus student vaccination clinic on Friday, April 23 in Bartels Hall. Cayuga Health System (CHS) and the Tompkins County Health Department (TCHD) will manage the clinic, which will administer first doses of the Moderna vaccine. Students who wish to participate in the on-campus clinic can schedule an appointment through the state health department website. 

Big Red Pride Days

The Campus Activities Office, along with student organizations and offices, will mark April wellness days with physically distanced, in-person events leading up to Cornell’s 156th Charter Day on Tuesday, April 27. Individual activities include tie-dye, lawn games, inflatables, succulent giveaways and more!

Movies on the Arts Quad (MOTAQ)

Each Thursday on the Arts Quad, you’re invited to gather with your friends for a safe and physically distanced outdoor movie screening! Seating begins at 7:30 p.m., followed by the start of the film at approximately 8 p.m. Free MOTAQ blankets are available for the first 100 participants at each show. You can also join us for an extra MOTAQ on Saturday, April 24, at 8 p.m. to celebrate wellness days.

Tomorrow: Sean Evans from Hot Ones with special guest Ryan Lombardi

The Cornell University Programming Board and Class Councils present a virtual interview and Q&A with Sean Evans from Hot Ones tomorrow, April 23, at 7 p.m. – featuring a special guest appearance from Ryan Lombardi, vice president for student and campus life, who will be interviewed while eating increasingly spicy chicken wings. Sign up for this virtual event!

Big Red Bucks expire at the end of the spring semester

Cornell Dining’s declining debit accounts, Big Red Bucks (BRBs), operate on an academic year basis, thus any unused funds expire at the spring semester’s end. Remember, students can use BRBs to buy your meals at any campus dining rooms (if you’re out of meal swipes) or for food, drinks or snacks at any Cornell Dining retail cafés or convenience stores, the Ice Cream Bike or Hot Dog Cart and vending machines that take BRBs. For most students, BRBs expire after May 26; graduating students may continue to use them through May 31. (Eateries will have limited hours on Commencement Weekend, so plan ahead by checking

Academic Support & Career Planning

Explore the career development toolkit

Cornell Career Services' toolkit offers self-guided career tips for Cornell students and alumni on a range of topics, including networking, career exploration, resumes and cover letters and interviewing. This set of Canvas modules offers interactive tools designed to help you understand yourself, your career options and how to meet your career goals. Join today with the toolkit self-enrollment link and then make a career advising appointment for personalized advice.

FGSS alumni share career paths after Cornell

Join an alumni mentoring workshop on Monday, April 26, at 4:30 p.m. to hear how feminist and queer studies have shaped graduates’ lives. They’ll offer specific career advice and other life lessons, followed by opportunities to match students with an alumni mentor for ongoing networking.

Positions available with Cornell Fitness Centers and Cornell Intramural Sports

Applications for fitness monitors, who support Cornell Fitness Centers facilities during operating hours, are open for the 2021-22 academic year. These positions help to ensure a safe environment for participants, provide customer service and enforce facility policies. Cornell Intramural Sports is also hiring for sports officials and supervisor positions.

Learning Strategies Center video resources

Visit the Learning Strategies Center’s YouTube channel for videos on a range of topics, from preparing for exams and taking good notes to time management strategies and finishing the semester strong.

Health, Wellness & Recreation

Let's get outside!

Stay active with free weekly programming on North Campus through May 16. All events are drop-in; however, you may be asked to wait or return at another time if the event capacity has been reached. Students must wear masks and maintain physical distancing. Complete your Daily Check prior to attending any event and bring your Cornell ID.

Mental health support

Need someone to talk to? Students can call 607-255-5155 and press #4 to speak with a licensed therapist from Cornell Health’s on-call service 24/7, or they can consult informally with a CAPS counselor through Let's Talk Monday – Friday. 24/7 support is also available through local and national hotlines and text lines, including options especially for students of color and LGBTQ students. Find more resources for support on Cornell’s Caring Community website.

Take in spring at Cornell Botanic Gardens

Time in nature restores and resets. Spring is showing off its blooms in Cornell Botanic Gardens’ arboretum, gardens and natural areas. Take a peek in a short video, then wander and explore for a wellness break that makes a difference!

Keep your guard (and mask) up

Even as more people get vaccinated, it’s important to keep following public health guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Wear a well-fitting mask, keep your distance from people you don’t live with, avoid large groups and socialize outdoors when you can. Find tips for what to say if a friend isn’t taking COVID-19 seriously.

Free virtual fitness classes throughout wellness days

Virtual group fitness classes are free to students on student wellness days, April 23-26. View the complete schedule of class offerings.

Public Service & Engagement

Mentor and teach high school scholars through Cornell Upward Bound

The Cornell Upward Bound summer program offers an introduction to college for first-generation and/or low-income high school students. This six-week program is supported and facilitated by Cornell students who are looking to build a positive community, offer academic support, foster a sense of belonging and support students as they achieve their best. Applications are open through May 15.

Serve in Place: Sharespace and Skillbuild workshop

Are you searching for ways to serve your home community during the pandemic? On April 28 at 5 p.m., join a workshop where you’ll learn how to find in-person and remote service opportunities in your hometown and beyond – including ones led by Cornell alumni – and how to prepare for ethical action and critically reflect on your experience and purpose.

Additional Resources