A young community member learns about veterinary care at the annual Employee Celebration at Barton Hall.

Employee Celebration rallies despite rain

More than 1,000 staff, faculty, retirees and relatives gathered on campus Oct. 14 for the annual Employee Celebration, which included athletic events, a community dinner – and, for the first time, family rock climbing, bowling and a scavenger hunt.

“We ask a lot of our employees, and this event is entirely focused on acknowledging and appreciating their commitment to the institution and their hard work,” said Christine D. Lovely, vice president and chief human resources officer.

The community cheers on the Big Red women’s hockey team to cap off the annual Employee Celebration.

Employees and their guests gathered in Barton Hall for entertainment throughout the day, including appearances from Touchdown and Crossroads the Clown, the Cornell Juggling Club and music by DJ ha-MEEN, also known as Ben Ortiz, collections specialist of the Cornell Hip Hop Collection.

“It’s a great way to get wrapped up in the Cornell spirit,” said Ashley Miller, employee recognition program manager. “Employee Celebration is the perfect opportunity to introduce families to the unique aspects of campus, and the dinner offers a chance to connect with old and new faces. It’s also a great way to volunteer, meet new people and contribute to a fun-filled day on campus.”

Tickets included entrance to the men’s football and women’s ice hockey athletic events, as well as family friendly activities.

Many colleges and units purchased complimentary tickets for their faculty and staff to attend. Sage Peake, director of human resources and talent management in Alumni Affairs and Development, was among those who helped provide tickets for their divisions.

Community members enjoy bowling at Helen Newman Hall as part of the Employee Celebration.

“We hope our colleagues not only enjoyed the Cornell campus, athletics and excellent food but also found deeper meaning in celebrating and connecting with one another,” Peake said. “Our goal was to strengthen the sense of community and demonstrate our appreciation. Celebrating our Cornell colleagues cultivates a positive and supportive work environment, acknowledges each other’s contributions and strengthens our sense of unity and shared purpose.”

Leah Dodd, director of Olin and Uris libraries, attended with her spouse and one of her daughters for the second year.

“My daughters hear a lot about Cornell, and it’s nice to be able to show them around and explore different parts of the campus with my family,” Dodd said. “Cornell has great people. I work with dazzling students, dedicated instructors, world-changing researchers and outstanding colleagues. I knew we were in for a great day.”

Employee Celebration was sponsored by Cornell Athletics, Cornell Dining, Cornell Outdoor Education’s Lindseth Rock Climbing Center, Cornell Physical Education’s Helen Newman Bowling Alley, the Cornell University Police Department, the Division of Human Resources, Facilities and Campus Services and Pepsi Co.

Media Contact

Lindsey Knewstub