Lisa Jervey Lennox, Assistant Director for Communications
Cornell Institute for Public Affairs
Punctuated by lighthearted competition between alumni and current classes and entertaining videos of faculty staff taking pies to the face when pre-set donor milestones were reached, Cornell’s Giving Day 2019 was a rousing success for the CIPA program, breaking all previous records for both donor participation and total funds raised.
Professors and CIPA Core Faculty members (l to r) Nancy Brooks, Pete Loucks, Rick Geddes, and Sharon Tennyson, prepare to take pies to the face when donations reach the $23,000 milestone. See the CIPA YouTube page for the full range of videos showing the before and after!
Thanks to the generosity of alumni, students, faculty, staff, and friends of the program, CIPA also exceeded its fundraising goals for this year’s Giving Day, setting an impressive benchmark for future years. By day’s end, donors blew past the program’s $25,000 goal, raising a grand total of $35,319. The 175 individual donor participation goal was also surpassed, with 236 total donors contributing to the day’s success.
This year, gifts to CIPA were put toward seeding two new fellowship programs that support promising women leaders and leaders from developing countries:
Women's Leadership Scholarship: Women make up half the population but are much less well represented in leadership positions in both business and government. This scholarship will provide support to exceptional female applicants with the potential to become tomorrow's leaders.
Global Leaders Fellowship: The world faces numerous policy challenges, many of which are exacerbated in countries with more limited economic resources. This fellowship will support a promising applicant from the developing world whose goals include working to improve economic and social conditions in the developing world.
Held March 14, Giving Day coincided with international Pi Day, which served to inspire CIPA’s “pie” challenge. To motivate and reward donors for their gifts, CIPA faculty and staff enjoyed a pie to the face when milestone goals were met. Virtually everyone from Lecturers Derek and Laura Cabrera and John Foote, to staff members Jennifer Evangelista and Judy Metzgar, to core faculty members Nancy Brooks and Rick Geddes, were involved. Even former CIPA Director David Lewis, current Director Maria Fitzpatrick, and Interim Dean of the College of Human Ecology Rachel Dunifon took a good natured pie to the face. All of the videos are still available for viewing on the CIPA YouTube channel.
Several of our previous CPAS presidents and vice presidents participated in the event by serving as Giving Day Champions, leading their respective class’s fundraising efforts. These champions included:
Jonathan Cummings - Class of 2018
Hill Wolfe and Isabel Band - Class of 2016
Nicholas Zuba - Class of 2015
Alvaro Salas-Castro - Class of 2014
Nicole Majestic - Class of 2012
Alison Cathles - Class of 2009
Among them, the overall coveted “Class Cup Winner” was the Class of 2012 led by Nicole Majestic, who raised $2,143.38 from 23 donors.
Another competition—this one between current classes of 2019 and 2020—added to the fun of the day. Claudia Ro, CPAS president '19, and Arbias Llolluni, CPAS president '20, led their respective cohorts in the effort to get the most participation. When final numbers were tallied, the Class of 2019 was declared the winner, with 66% of the class participating. The Class of 2020 was very close behind, with 64% of the class participating.
For the win, the Class of 2019 received a $500 gift from CIPA Fundraising Chair Ron Rigores, which goes toward their graduation week activities. CIPA also hosted them for an ice skating party on April 12 at Lynah Rink.
Members of the Class of 2019 enjoy their Giving Day prize—an ice skating party at Lynah Rink--for the highest participation of a current class.