To do the Greatest Good

Building the Future of Arts & Sciences

Welcome alumni and friends

Greetings alumni and friends,

I am proud to be serving as the Interim Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. The college lies at the nexus of discovery and impact; our mission is deeply rooted in advancing research, fostering education, and making a positive and long-lasting impact on society.

The campaign to do the greatest good is an opportunity to propel the College of Arts and Sciences to new heights of excellence. Join us as we invest in cutting edge discovery and creative endeavors; and developing curious minds open to learning and exploration. Together we will shape the future of the College of Arts and Sciences and ensure our legacy for the next 150 years.


Rachel Bean
Interim Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences

To Do the Greatest Good

Bold Aspirations

A history of bold aspirations

History makers in Arts & Sciences

Throughout our history and today, students and faculty in the College of Arts & Sciences set high expectations for themselves. We follow our curiosities to solve the world’s greatest challenges, create impactful creative works and pursue research that helps us understand each other. We also share that knowledge to improve our world. Here are just a few of our most notable alumni and faculty.

Cornell C filled in with image of earth and space

Philanthropy that has built the heart of Cornell

As we support our faculty and their groundbreaking research, we also challenge, mentor and inspire our students as they experience a world-class education. As our buildings form the cornerstone of campus, so our research crosses colleges and disciplines to bridge discovery and impact.

To do this excellent work, we rely on the generous gifts of alumni, parents and friends. From historic building projects to investments in postdoctoral fellowships to scholarship support, gifts to the college allow us to fulfill our mission to foster and share life-changing research and to guide students on their transformational journeys.

Twenty students took part in the summer program at Cornell Tech, the first summer that Milstein students were able to study in person in the city. The Milstein program combines a liberal arts education in Cornell’s College of Arts andSciences with cutting-edge coursework at Cornell Tech. The summer program includes mentored workshops, guest seminars, group projects, “civic innovation” challenges and real-world engagements in New York City.

The Greatest Good

To Do the Greatest Good

As the nexus of discovery and impact, our faculty and students share their research with the world to solve our biggest challenges.

Strategic investments in Cornell’s future

As we move into the next decade, the College will continue to focus on several key areas that are vital to our continued growth and excellence: faculty renewal and support; research and scholarly impact; academic innovation; and student support and public engagement.

Support A&S Faculty

Faculty renewal and support

Enriching the wellspring of research and teaching

From the College’s senior-most researchers leading the charge to address the biggest questions of today to our newest thinkers beginning to shape the scholarly landscape of tomorrow, faculty members are at the heart of our academic enterprise. They are the wellspring from which all initiatives flow. Thus, faculty recruitment, renewal and support is the core of our campaign plan. Philanthropic investments in endowed professorships at all levels, funds for recruitment and retention and postdoctoral fellowships will ensure our faculty remain among the best in the world.

Give to A&S faculty renewal and support

Emmy-nominated filmmaker Jeffrey Palmer, assistant professor of performing and media arts in the College of Arts and Sciences, tells Native Americans’ untold stories while pushing the limits of documentary film.

Support Scholarship

Enhancing research and scholarly excellence

Illuminating and enriching the human experience

The College has the depth of disciplinary expertise and breadth of cross-disciplinary collaboration to drive discovery, spur innovation and help shape the ways in which humans respond to the challenges and opportunities we face today and tomorrow. Some of our faculty members are involved in missions to explore planets beyond Earth and examine the prospects for life in the universe. Others are leading investigations into the science of the very small — pushing the frontiers of nanoscience and quantum materials that will enable transformative advances in computing, telecommunications, medicine and more. Yet others are addressing possibly the biggest global challenge today — our changing climate — and the great migrations that will result from it.

We lead the way in pushing the frontiers of knowledge, fueling technological progress and working to ensure moral and democratic ideals. Funding for bold, high-potential faculty research in their early stages, through the A&S New Frontier Grants, and enabling interdisciplinary, cross-college research initiatives, institutes and centers in the College are among our greatest priorities.

Support research and scholarly excellence

Nexus of Discovery and Impact

Life, learning and research at the nexus of discovery and impact

Academic innovation at A&S

A step ahead

Arts & Sciences has long been a leader in pedagogical innovation, pioneering the active learning approach now adopted across Cornell’s campus. The College seeks to build on this impact through sustained investment in new tools and emerging technologies, approaches and teaching strategies to facilitate vibrant, challenging and reflective learning experiences.

Support academic innovation

Julia Thom-Levy discusses the Active Learning Initiative

Student Experience

Nurturing the physical and intellectual heart of Cornell

As the largest college at Cornell, Arts & Sciences has significant budgetary needs related to undergraduate financial aid. Scholarship support, especially for lower- and middle-income students, will play an important role in ensuring a diverse student body and learning experience in the College. In addition to undergraduate scholarships, we seek significant support for the highly-coveted Summer Experience Grants for off-campus internships and the newly created Nexus Scholars program for undergraduate research — to enable all students, regardless of financial circumstances, to make the most of their Cornell experience. To help our students shape their path within the College and beyond, we are also prioritizing investments to enhance our advising and career services offerings. 

Support the student experience

Public engagement

Expanding the impact of Arts & Sciences

Public engagement remains a distinctive priority for Arts & Sciences and a cornerstone of Cornell. From bringing accomplished journalists to Cornell to interact with faculty, researchers and students through the Distinguished Visiting Journalist program to special event programming, such as the signature Arts Unplugged series, to engage the Cornell community and the public at large in new ways, the College is forging unique and high-impact public engagement initiatives. In the last year, A&S events reached a collective audience of more than 30,000, and media hits related to our faculty expertise have risen by a factor of five in just three years. To build upon these innovations, we seek support for our public engagement mission, to bring Cornell to the world in meaningful, positive ways.

Support public engagement

Carole Boyce Davies discusses Toni Morrison

Ways to Give

Doing the Greatest Good

The Cornell Annual Fund for Arts & Sciences gives Dean Ray Jayawardhana the flexibility to respond to changing needs, such as providing funds to attract and retain world class faculty, and to purchase and enhance  classroom technologies. The Cornell Promise Annual Fund for Arts & Sciences provides much needed support for scholarships to students who may otherwise be unable to afford a Cornell education.

Thank you for supporting all that we do in the College by giving to the College of Arts & Sciences Annual Funds.

Campaign Funding Needs:

As we embark upon this historic campaign To Do the Greatest Good, we will be asking our community to invest $400M in the future of the College, including:

  • $115M Faculty Renewal and Support
  • $90M Research and Scholarly Excellence
  • $155M Academic Innovation, Student Experience and Public Engagement
  • $40M Annual Fund