Cornell Annual Fund gifts are unrestricted, current-use funds that the Provost, Deans and Directors direct to where need is the greatest. These gifts support financial assistance for students, faculty recruitment and hiring, program development, and the infrastructure of the University in a variety of ways each year. Gifts made to the Cornell Annual Fund at any of the giving society levels provide essential support each year and help keep Cornell's educational and cultural offerings as diverse as its student body.
President's Circle ($25,000 and Up)
President's Circle members give gifts of $25,000 to $99,999 and are truly Cornell's philanthropically dedicated. Gifts at the President's Circle level help to fund innovative new programs, bringing a breadth of experience to students and prestige to the university. Last year some of these gifts helped make it possible for the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art to captivate more than 7,000 K-12 students from about 50 central New York schools using new technology to enhance their exploration of original works of art.
Dean's Circle ($10,000 to $24,999)
Gifts at the Dean's Circle level can help keep Cornell on the cutting edge of research and discovery. New faculty are at the heart of the promise of education for undergraduate and graduate students. They are also central to creating significant advances in science, which means continuing to recruit faculty members of the highest caliber is one of Cornell's highest priorities. At the College of Arts & Sciences, for example, gifts at the Deans Circle level helped to make it possible to recruit three exceptional new, diverse, faculty members to research and teach in the critical STEM field of chemistry. Your gift can make a difference as work to retain the best and brightest faculty for Cornell.
Tower Club ($5,000 to $9,999)
Founded in 1961, the Tower Club recognizes the leadership of donors giving between $5,000 and $9,999. Gifts at the Tower Club level can provide seed funding for new programs across the campus. Even when there is a clearly defined need, funding the start-up of a new program can be challenging and Annual Fund gifts are utilized to bridge the budgetary gap between conception and implementation of a new program. One example of such a program is the Game Design Initiative founded in Computing and Information Sciences where they created the nation’s first undergraduate Ivy League program in Game Design. Students work in multidisciplinary teams to design and develop original games. The Game Design Initiative at Cornell (GDIAC) has forged strong ties in the Ithaca community, and has partnered with local organizations to provide area youth with the opportunity to apprentice with a game in development. It is through your generous gifts that programs like these are made possible.
Quadrangle Club ($1,000 to $4,999)
Established in 1978, the Quadrangle Club recognizes alumni and friends supporting Cornell at the $1,000 level. Gifts to the Annual Fund at the Quadrangle Club level can help the University expand the breadth of the student experience by fostering intercollegiate student organizations like the Cornell Speech and Debate Program hosted by the ILR School. Last year, over 190 Cornell students participated on the speech and debate teams. One of these teams, the Cornell Forensics Society, received international recognition last winter and was ranked as the fourth best parliamentary debate team in the world by the International Debate Education Association.
Charter Society ($500 to $999)
The Charter Society, established in 1972, takes its name from Ezra Cornell's charter gift of $500,000 to found Cornell. Charter Society gifts enable Cornell to admit the best students, regardless of their finances, and prepare them for a rapidly changing world. Generous private support from giving society members helps Cornell continue to be a world-class university.
Gifts at the Charter Society level make a lasting impression. Last spring Annual Fund gifts at this level helped to support an undergraduate trip to Cleveland, Ohio to study "Re-Imagining a More Sustainable Cleveland," a collaborative effort to address the issues of persistent population decline and large-scale urban vacancy while positioning the city for sustainable future development. When you give to the annual fund you are not only changing the life of a student by making it possible for them to achieve their potential at Cornell, you are also funding programs that teach students how to help build stable and sustainable communities.
Ivy Society ($250 to $499)
Established in 1997, the Ivy Society is the first Cornell giving club created specifically for young alumni. All young alumni within ten years of their graduation (including those in their 10th reunion year) who make an annual gift of $250 or more are recognized as members. Gifts at this level to the Annual Fund helped support the Cornell’s inaugural Engineering & Technical Startup Career Fair, where students got face time with 42 different start-ups in various stages of development, from stealth mode to burgeoning on IPO.
Members of the Ivy Society have taken the lead among their generation to maintain Cornell's tradition of academic excellence, research, and public service through their support of programs like these.
Cayuga Society (Planned Gift)
When you make a planned gift to Cornell, you will be invited to become a member of the Cayuga Society. This society recognizes generous donors who have established charitable annuities, life income agreements, bequest intentions, or other planned gifts to benefit Cornell University. Click here to visit the Office of Gift Planning.
These examples are just one of the many exciting ways Cornell Annual Fund gifts are used each year. Your giving society gift could help support student projects, like the study Re-Imagining a More Sustainable Cleveland, provide supplemental scholarship funds to a needy student to help support Cornell's need-blind admissions policy or help recruit a top-notch faculty member who might otherwise go to another, better funded, program elsewhere. The possibilities are endless.
For more information
If you have comments or questions about any of these giving levels, contact email@example.com by e-mail or call 1.800.279.3099.
Please see How to Make a Gift for details about different ways to give.