IC Celebrates 125th Anniversary


For many, the highlight of the weekend was Saturday night, at a boisterous community celebration that drew more than 3,000 guests and included everything from icons to ice cream. Alumni, local community members, faculty, staff, students, and their families watched as alumni—such as Q. Smith ’00, who is in the Tony-nominated Broadway show Come from Away—performed on stage. Many students also took their turns showcasing talent.

Lauren Astor ’19 was part of an African Drumming and Dance Ensemble performance. She posted the following on Instagram: “[IC is an] incredible school that has been my home for over two years now. I’m truly honored to be part of the IC community, and yes, it’s a great day to be a Bomber!”

The evening also featured the unveiling of the top 25 Ithaca College icons, as nominated by the community. Individuals such as former president Peggy R. Williams were honored, as were events such as Senior Splash and the Cortaca Jug, and iconic campus monuments such as the Textor Disc and the Towers. (Turn to page 24 for descriptions of all of the icons.)

“When I saw that [former head football coach] Jim Butterfield was one of the icons, I got tears in my eyes,” said Cynthia Vogel ’77. “Overall, I thought the icons were an amazing cross-section of the college’s history.”

All that celebrating must have caused participants to work up an appetite. More than 1,800 scoops of a brand-new flavor of Purity ice cream, created especially for the weekend by owner Heather Lane, MBA ’10, were doled out to the crowd. The chocolate-based ice cream included cherry swirls, brownie chunks, and pecans, and the name of the blend— Chocolate Cherry Bomber—was chosen by a vote.

“The energy in the room that night was to the ceiling and beyond,” said Anne Woodard ’81, who has worked at the college for 45 years. “The camaraderie was wonderful, and everyone was gushing about it. It honestly felt like we were all related. I’m a third-generation Bomber, so Ithaca College is like family to me. To be a part of a weekend like this was unbelievable. Talking about it now gets me excited all over again. I’ll never forget it.”



Shirley M. Collado was inaugurated as the ninth president of Ithaca College on November 4. Collado is the second woman and the first person of color to hold the office. She is also the first Dominican American to be named president of a college in the United States. IC Board of Trustees chair Tom Grape ’80 formally installed Collado, placing the symbolic medallion of office around her neck. 

In her inaugural address, Collado envisioned an Ithaca College that continues to be a trailblazer in the shifting landscape of higher education and empowers all of its students to learn, grow, and serve the public good. 

“All of us here have the power to create an exceptional future for higher education and for this country,” Collado said. “This is an incredible opportunity, and we cannot let it pass us by. Let’s work together to advance a vision that affirms our humanity. Let’s be daring. Let’s be confident. And let’s step arm in arm, boldly into the future.” 

Collado’s inauguration was attended by a variety of distinguished guests, including writer Julia Alvarez, a 2013 recipient of the National Medal of Arts whom Collado cited as an inspirational figure, and Freeman A. Hrabowski, president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, whom Collado credits as a mentor. Her husband, A. Van Jordan, a poet and the Robert Hayden Collegiate Professor in the Department of English Language and Literature at the University of Michigan, recited a poem he wrote specially for the inauguration, titled “How to Celebrate a Revolution.” 

As part of the inauguration, two additional events took place: the “Circle of Fifths” in Ford Hall, where renowned authors paired with current students to present poetry, fiction, and music of celebration, and a symposium titled “Conversation: Started,” which featured thought leaders from around the country as well as IC faculty and staff.

Regional Events

The party kept rolling long after the Weekend on South Hill festivities were over, with celebrations in New York, Boston, and Chicago in February and March. Regional events in each of these cities brought together alumni and celebrated the college’s history.

New York City’s historic Gotham Hall was the location of the first event on February 2. More than 200 people attended, and many were left in awe by a three-dimensional replica of the college’s iconic Dillingham fountains. The highlight of the evening was a 360-degree tour of the campus, which not only brought viewers back to their alma mater’s picturesque campus, but brought tears to their eyes as well. The evening left a lasting impression on attendees.

“The IC 125th celebration was one to remember,” said Sam Gelman ’13. “Gotham Hall looked even better with the IC logo shining on its walls. It was truly moving. It helped me remember why I love giving back to [the college] and that we are all part of a family.” On March 1, another regional event took place at Boston’s State Room. There President Collado took the stage in front of 175 guests and spoke about how relationships among cohorts will be vital for the college’s success.

“As we begin to shape the next chapter of IC together— faculty, staff, students, and alumni—these connections will be one of the richest sources of inspiration and imagination we can draw upon,” she said. “We must not only encourage these connections but also make deliberate spaces for them to occur.”

On March 20, a third event took place at the Art Institute of Chicago, attended by 76 people people, and a fourth and final regional event took place June 14 at The Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California. Bob Iger ’73, the CEO of The Walt Disney Company, hosted the event.