From its humble beginnings as a music conservatory in downtown Ithaca with eight teachers, Ithaca College has grown to become a prestigious liberal arts college with more than 60,000 alumni. This November, the IC community will honor all the college has accomplished over the last 125 years, while also celebrating its future.
Join alumni, faculty, staff, students, and community members for the Weekend on South Hill, from November 3-5 for a three-day campus-wide celebration to commemorate the college’s 125th anniversary, the inauguration of Shirley M. Collado as Ithaca College’s ninth president, Alumni Weekend, and Family Weekend.
Organizers have designed events on campus and downtown that celebrate many facets of Ithaca College’s distinctive strengths and culture. Dozens of staff, faculty, and students from departments across the college have participated in the planning and execution of the weekend.
David Prunty, the college’s executive director of auxiliary services, believes the Weekend on South Hill may be the biggest weekend-long event the college has put on during his 30-year tenure. “It’s the product of a year and a half of planning,” he said. “Putting something of this size together required involvement from people in every department, and we all had critical roles to play. We’re excited to show the finished product of all that work.”
Saturday will begin with a landmark event in the college’s history: the inauguration of Shirley M. Collado, the ninth president of Ithaca College. Taking place at 10 a.m. in Glazer Arena, the ceremony will feature President Collado’s inauguration address, in addition to an academic procession, performances by the Ithaca College Jazz Ensemble and the Ithaca College Choir, and words from Collado’s husband, renowned poet A. Van Jordan, poet and novelist Julia Alvarez, and Freeman A. Hrabowski, president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. The inauguration will include a new arrangement of the school’s Alma Mater by Christopher H. Harris, M.M. '15. Doors open at 9 a.m., and the public is encouraged to arrive early and record a message for the president.
As part of the inauguration festivities, a symposium titled “Conversation: Started” will take place from 1:00 to 5:30 p.m. Glazer Arena. This symposium will feature three sessions, each focusing on a different topic.
The first session will feature presentations by faculty, staff, students, and alumni on topics including: scientific discovery, punk rock, and global health. The second, moderated by Eve Burton, senior vice president and general counsel of the Hearst Corporation, will focus on cross-institutional collaboration and innovation in higher education; and the third, moderated by Leilani M. Brown, chief marketing officer of Starr Companies, will feature a discussion on ways to identify and cultivate student leadership and talent.
On Saturday Jordan will moderate an event called “Circle of Fifths: Words and Music in Celebration of the 125th,” in Ford Hall from 2 to 3 p.m. During the event, Ithaca College students will pair with accomplished writers from around the country to present poetry, fiction and music of celebration.
A full list and biographical information of participants in both the symposium and Circle of Fifths can be found here: ithaca.edu/president/inauguration/guests/.
Closing out Saturday is the weekend’s largest event: the IC125 Community Celebration, which takes place from 6 to 9 p.m. at Glazer Arena. Highlights include:
• A special performance by alumna Q Smith ’00, who is currently starring in the Tony-nominated Broadway production of “Come from Away”
• Demonstrations and performances from more than 200 faculty, students, staff, and local community members
• The naming and tasting of a new Purity ice cream flavor in honor of the college thanks to owner Heather Lane, MBA ’10
• The unveiling of the top 25 icons in the history of Ithaca College.
A weekend this big can’t be contained to campus. That’s why the college partnered with the Downtown Ithaca Alliance to create a series of events throughout downtown. There will be Welcome Back events at various locations downtown, with many businesses offering live music, discounts and refreshments. Locations include:
• The Ithaca Marriot
• Center Ithaca
• The History Center
• Sunny Days Marketplace
• Buffalo Street Books
• Various downtown galleries
Following the Welcome Back events, alumni and their significant others will gather for individual reunion parties.
The college’s associate director of alumni relations, Kristin Van Ormer, says the downtown events are the result of collaboration between the college and the Downtown Ithaca Alliance. “The Alliance has rolled out the red carpet and been incredibly welcoming of the IC community,” she said. “The result is something that our alumni, family and friends will enjoy, and also a nice recognition of the college’s downtown roots.”
Most events are free and open to the public. To reserve your spot, or see the full listing of events, speakers, and performers, visit 125.ithaca.edu/weekend.