Back in full swing for the first time in three years, the annual Fall Employee Celebration drew nearly 1,000 staff, faculty, retirees and relatives to campus Nov. 5 for a community dinner, athletics events and family activities.
Employees gathered in Barton Hall for the family-style dinner as nearly 100 volunteer staff, university leaders, retirees and students helped serve and steward the day.
“What an amazing experience,” said Christine D. Lovely, vice president and chief human resources officer. “Family is very important to me, so seeing so many of our employees enjoying a day on campus with their children, partners and spouses, warms my heart. I couldn’t have asked for a better introduction to the Cornell campus community.”
“This day is all about building community and showing our gratitude for our employees,” said Ashley Miller, employee recognition program manager in Lovely’s division.
Family-friendly entertainment included student performances by Cornell Lion Dance and the Juggling Club, and a local favorite, Crossroads the Clown. Barton Hall was filled with music by DJ ha-MEEN, also known as Ben Ortiz, assistant curator of the Cornell Hip Hop Collection, which is part of Cornell University Library’s Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections. The collection is the world’s most extensive research archive on hip hop music and culture with an estimated quarter-million artifacts.
Also in attendance were Cornell University Police and their K9 partners, as well as Cornell Environmental Health and Safety.
Tickets for the day included entrance to the women’s ice hockey and men’s football athletic events. “Athletics has been our partner in Employee Celebration for many years,” Miller said. “It’s a nice way for us to offer families a day’s worth of activities for a reasonable price. What makes it even more accessible is that many of our colleges and units purchase complimentary tickets for their faculty and staff.”
This year, the Cornell Store donated raffle prizes and offered a one-day 20% off sale for faculty, staff and retirees in person and online.
“I really can’t thank our university leadership, students and campus partners enough. We’re so grateful to the dining and facilities staff who worked hard so others could enjoy the day – without all of them, this event would not be possible,” said Miller.
The 2022 Fall Employee Celebration was sponsored by Guthrie, Pella Windows and Doors and PepsiCo.