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The fireworks from Homecoming 2017.

Homecoming 2018 promises favorites, surprises

The past and present will be celebrated at Cornell Homecoming, Sept. 21-22, with a mix of new surprises and time-honored favorite offerings.

“Since its inception in 1920, Cornell Homecoming weekend has grown to encompass the spirit of Cornell,” said Lauren Graham Garcia, associate director of Homecoming and special interest programs. “This year, the event will showcase our vibrant and diverse campus and bring the Big Red family – including alumni, students, faculty, staff and parents – together with people from the Ithaca community and beyond.”

The Homecoming website provides a full schedule of events, as well as a guide to transportation, parking, dining and lodging.

Friday night features the popular fireworks and laser light show. Free and open to all, the event draws more than 18,000 people and this year will add new elements, said Garcia. “3D projections, a musical time machine and live performances take this show to new heights,” she said.

On Saturday, the Cornell Chimes celebrates 150 years of music with a Chimesmasters’ reunion and communitywide celebration on Ho Plaza. A concert and festivities at 11 a.m. will mark the sesquicentennial of chimes at Cornell.

The Cornell Glee Club is also celebrating a 150th anniversary during Homecoming weekend with a special concert, with the Cornell Chorus, from 7–9 p.m. on Saturday in Bailey Hall.

In the main athletic event on Saturday, Cornell football plays Yale at Schoellkopf Field, with kickoff at 3 p.m. Tickets are free for Cornell students with a Big Red Sports Pass. General admission tickets can be purchased at; on game day, tickets can be purchased at the Bartels Hall ticket office with credit card or at the Schoellkopf Field gate with cash.

Saturday will also feature several public events, including:

  • Homecoming 5K, 8:30 a.m., F.R. Newman Arboretum. Registration is required; proceeds benefit the United Way of Tompkins County.
  • Return to the Classroom: “I Have Feelings, Too – How Can Robots Communicate an Emotional Response?,” a lecture by Guy Hoffman, the Mills Family Faculty Fellow and assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, and Rob Shepherd, assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, at 11:30 a.m., Hall of Fame Room, Friends Hall. Registration is required, and a livestream is available.
  • Big Red Fan Festival, noon-3 p.m., Crescent parking lot, with tailgate parties, free music, rides and college showcases.
  • Homecoming Concert, featuring DNCE, 8 p.m., Barton Hall; tickets at the online Homecoming planner.

In addition to these public events, Cornell’s colleges and units, Greek organization, clubs and athletic teams plan special events and programs, said Garcia: “It’s the perfect fall weekend to gather together and showcase Cornell’s campus in full swing.”

For more information, visit, email or call 607-255-6012.

Kate Klein is a writer for Alumni Affairs and Development.

Media Contact

Lindsey Hadlock