Cornell volunteers, lift the chorus, everywhere, all year round!
New or seasoned, you can stay connected, and explore exciting volunteer resources and opportunities!
A Big Red Difference with Just a Few Clicks
Cornell has created CUVolunteer, an online portal that will help you find different ways to volunteer, tailored to your location, interests, skills, and time. Create your own profile or sign in if you're a returning user.
Honoring the Best of the Best
Two alumnae recently won the most votes to join the Cornell University Board of Trustees! Meet your new alumni-elected leaders.
The Frank H. T. Rhodes Exemplary Alumni Service Award recognizes Cornell's most dedicated individual volunteers! Meet the awardees.
The Cornell Alumni Association introduced the CAA Cup in 2012 as a prize to honor alumni groups and leaders for outstanding programs. See what group won the vote this year.
The Volunteer Toolbox
The toolbox is a collection of resources that will help build and grow your volunteer organization. Have a look.
Upcoming Volunteer Events
Shelley Akabas '51
New York, NY
Favorite Cornell Spot: The suspension bridge. Used to walk it every morning from my sorority house to campus and see the beautiful gorge in different seasons and weather.
Favorite Cornell Tradition: The playing of the chimes and hearing them ring out across the campus
Cornell Volunteer Communities Experience: 1951 class officer (President, fund chair, membership chair and reunion chair), CACO Board, CAU board (founding member), Hillel trustee, ILR Advisory Committee (member and chair), Cornell University Council member, Women's School Break NYC Dinner project. I also initiated an early attempt to organize ILR women in a feminist caucus, as a result of which I was honored in 1995 as a Judge William B. Groat Award Recipient by the ILR School.
First Cornell Volunteer Experience: President of Women's Class of 1951. In those days the women and the men were in separate organizations.
Most Recent Cornell Volunteer Experience: Trustee of Cornell Hillel and Chair of the Board Development and Nominations Committee
Most Impactful Cornell Volunteer Experience: Being a founding member of the CAU Board. Curt Reis and Ernie Stern had this idea of offering an alumni summer session that would be housed in the dorms and utilize Cornell faculty to offer the intellectual program. Both the dorms and the faculty were underused during the summer when alums would take vacation, and they felt that this would be an exciting program to offer alums interested in returning to campus. They invited me to be on the founding board and I quickly accepted, believing that the idea was brilliant and no other institution offered such an opportunity at the time. Many colleges and universities have copied us and the Cornell program has grown into an enormous success, offering four weeks of programming every summer to both alums and others, and providing a wonderful children's program and a worldwide travel program led by Cornell faculty. I believe that I had an important role in establishing the program and have been its fan ever since, serving on its board multiple terms and benefiting from participation in its offerings. It has been an exciting journey (no pun intended).
Beth Anderson '80
Arts & Sciences
Favorite Cornell Spot: It is a hard choice, but I'd choose the gorge path behind the Engineering Quad.
Favorite Cornell Tradition: I love reunions as an occasion for Cornellians of many generations to share their similar but unique reflections and experiences—especially when it is warm and sunny.
Cornell Volunteer Communities Experience: CAAAN high school interviews, class fundraising, Annual Fund phonathons, Library Advisory Council (CULAC), Major Gifts Committee representative for the Library, Cornell University Council, Cornell Alumni Magazine board, Class of 1980 nominating committee, member of the Cornell Alumni Advisory Board (CAAB). I have also helped the Library in their acquisition of some materials.
First Cornell Volunteer Experience: As an alumna, I started volunteering with CAAAN interviews in the Bronx before it was called CAAAN! But years before that, I helped Mom (Arlie Anderson '47) with the Rochester Cornell Club annual cheese sale, loading crocks into the garage.
Most Recent Cornell Volunteer Experience: I helped to manage the Library's crowdfunding project to raise money for the A.D. White Library.
Most Impactful Cornell Volunteer Experience: I was in my mid-20s at a phonathon and called an alumna who told me she'd been waiting for a call in order to arrange to give her entire estate to Cornell. It certainly was a great example of the power of outreach!
Carol Aslanian '63
New York, NY
Favorite Cornell Spot: The gorges
Favorite Cornell Tradition: Slope Day
Cornell Volunteer Communities Experience: New York City Cornell Club; Class of 1963 Member of the Board and Class President; Cornell Council Member Emeritus; College of Human Ecology Advisory Committee; Cornell Alumni Advisory Board; Recipient of the Frank Rhodes Award; Member and President of CACO
First Cornell Volunteer Experience: In the late 60's, I volunteered with the Cornell "Women's" Club of New York City!!
Most Recent Cornell Volunteer Experience: President of the Class of 1963
Most Impactful Cornell Volunteer Experience: As a member of the Class of l963, where we worked hard to involve as many member of the class in activities throughout the year. Also, the relationship with the Cornell Alumni Magazine was challenging, as times changed and new generations wanted, I believe, new ways of relating and getting involved with their alma mater.
Mary Falvey '63
Arts & Sciences
San Francisco, CA
Favorite Cornell Spot: The Ivy Room at the Straight—so many fun times having coffee, playing bridge, and meeting new people!
Favorite Cornell Tradition: Singing the alma mater at all events, which brings to the surface, over and over again, my deep love for Cornell. Being with people who all stand and sing with gusto makes me truly feel part of something global, and at the same time, warm and genuine.
Cornell Volunteer Communities Experience: Presidential Councillor; Trustee Emeritus; active trustee for 11 years; member of Advisory Councils of the Cornell Silicon Valley, the Arts & Sciences college, Johnson Graduate School of Management (JGSM), Entrepreneurship at Cornell, and Fraternities & Sororities; Executive-in-Residence, JGSM; Co-Chair of Special Gifts Committee for the university's 1990-95 Capital Campaign; member of the Renaissance Committee to support renovation of Lincoln Hall; and member of PCCW since its founding. I also volunteered in various capacities for my class reunions.
First Cornell Volunteer Experience: Telethon in NYC my first year after graduation
Most Recent Cornell Volunteer Experience: Presidential Councillor; Cornell Silicon Valley Advisory Council; hosting events for women students and alumni
Most Impactful Cornell Volunteer Experience: As a Trustee and a member of the Advisory Council of the College of Arts & Sciences, I was asked to chair a task force on the freshman housing assignment process to assess its effect on racial dynamics on campus. Task force members were alumni, students and staff of the university's residence life department. This was a sensitive and important issue and we faced it head-on with its complexities and its emotional and political aspects. Our report became part of the thinking that led to creation of North Campus housing for the entire freshman class. I believe that our work made a difference both in surfacing the substance of the issue and in working to maintain civilized civil discourse among diverse constituencies in a challenging situation—which is essential to a free and democratic society.
George Gull '72
West Danby, NY
Favorite Cornell Spot: The Big Red Barn and surrounding gardens
Favorite Cornell Tradition: Graduation
Cornell Volunteer Communities Experience: Graduation, convocation, 150th celebration, inaugurations of new presidents, faculty fellow, talks on astronomy to various groups, advisory council to the Cornell University Glee Club
First Cornell Volunteer Experience: 2015 Graduation
Most Recent Cornell Volunteer Experience: Inauguration of Elizabeth Garrett
Most Impactful Cornell Volunteer Experience: Faculty Fellow, able to help several students who were in situations that needed some adult guidance and input
Peter '61 and Nancy '62 Meinig
Favorite Cornell Spot: Suspension Bridge
Favorite Cornell Tradition: Singing of the Alma Mater at every Cornell event
Cornell Volunteer Communities Experience: Together, Pete and Nancy served as co-chairs of the Parent’s Fund, the National Tower Club, and most recently the Cornell Sesquicentennial. They have a long history of both serving in leadership roles for their respective ’61 & ’62 classes and Reunion campaigns, and are currently Presidential Councillors. Pete is chairman emeritus of the Board of Trustees, and has served on the Major Gifts Committee, as chair of the eCornell Board of Directors and the Trustee Special Advisory Committee on Distance Learning, and as co-chair of the Scholarship Campaign. Pete also serves on the Weill Cornell Board of Overseers, the Meinig School of Biomedical Engineering Advisory Council, and is a special advisor to the Dean of Engineering. Nancy is a life member of the Cornell University Council, has been a member of the President’s Council of Cornell Women, and is now serving on the Johnson Museum of Art Advisory Council.
First Cornell Volunteer Experience: Interviewing prospective students while living in Mexico
Most Recent Cornell Volunteer Experience: Co-chairing Cornell's Sesquicentennial celebrations
Most Impactful Cornell Volunteer Experience: Pete: Chairing the Board of Trustees, which enabled me to be involved in a wide range of university matters. Nancy: Co-chairing the Sesquicentenial celebration, which gave me the opportunity to work on the Sesquicentenial Grove project and to meet Cornellians from around the world.
Jean Pearson '48
Favorite Cornell Spot: The fifth floor of the Johnson Museum
Favorite Cornell Tradition: Chimes and Cornelliana night at Reunion
Cornell Volunteer Communities Experience: My work has been with my class since its 15th reunion.
First Cornell Volunteer Experience: 15th reunion. I was asked to be the financial officer.
Most Recent Cornell Volunteer Experience: Receiving the 2016 Vanneman Award, which was a very great and pleasant surprise.
Most Impactful Cornell Volunteer Experience: A small group of classmates in Ithaca have taken over planning for reunions, much to the joy of our classmates. I want to single out Martha Mapes, who has been our incredible idea person, such as for our 60th, which we devoted to the large number of veterans in our class. Fifty-two of our vets answered a call to write a page about their WWII experiences, which are now in the Cornell Archives.
Diane Shakin '83
Agriculture & Life Sciences
Los Angeles, CA
Favorite Cornell Spot: Beebe Lake
Favorite Cornell Tradition: Apple-tasting at the orchard; a visit to the Johnson Museum of Art; a walk through Sage Chapel; and a moment hovering above the gorge from the Suspension Bridge
Cornell Volunteer Communities Experience: Cornell Club of Los Angeles, Scholarship Co-Chair (past and current); CAAAN Chair, West Los Angeles (past and present); CAAAN Advisory Council (past and present); Cornell Alumni Advisory Board (present); Cornell University Council; Cornell Alumni Association Director from the Region
First Cornell Volunteer Experience: Los Angeles Fundraising Phonathon; CAAAN Volunteer
Most Recent Cornell Volunteer Experience: All of the above!
Most Impactful Cornell Volunteer Experience: I love my work with CAAAN because I am able to be involved in bringing so many different communities together: alums, high school students, parents, Cornell staff and administration. It's gratifying to match up applicants with enthusiastic alums who are able to reconnect by sharing their experiences with the next Cornell class of student hopefuls. It always reminds me how diverse and engaged our alumni community is, and continues to be. I also enjoy building relationships with CAAAN volunteers, alums who, year after year, stay tethered to Cornell through their participation.