Posse Program

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About the program

Founded in 1989, the Posse Foundation is a student opportunities and youth leadership program that matches promising high school students with top-tier colleges and universities across the United States. Each year these students enter college in a multicultural cohort (Posses) of 10. The Posse Foundation helps colleges and universities diversify their student body and create an inclusive, welcoming campus. Additionally, the Posse program empowers the scholars to excel in their academic pursuits while being active leaders on their respective campuses. 

Cornell alums Barton and Susan Winokur, both Class of 1961, were instrumental in bringing the Posse program to Cornell in 2013. A group of alumni, Ron McCray ’79 and Dennis '65 and Joyce '66 Black, recently announced a major challlenge grant to provide funding for the program for at least the next five years.

The Posse Challenge is a 1:1 challenge match for current-use gifts, with a minimum qualifying gift of $1,000 a year and a maximum gift amount of $250,000 a year. The challenge will began Dec. 1, 2018 and will conclude on Dec. 31, 2020. For questions about the Posse challenge, contact Julie Albertson, director of development for the College of Arts & Sciences, at julie.albertson@cornell.edu

Goals of the Posse program

  1. To expand the pool from which top colleges and universities can recruit outstanding young leaders from diverse backgrounds.
  2. To help these institutions build more interactive campus environments so that they can be more welcoming for people from all backgrounds.
  3. To ensure that Posse Scholars persist in their academic studies and graduate so they can take on leadership positions in the workforce.

Cornell Posse members in the news

Posse scholars reflect on four years of growth

First Posse graduates reflect on their journeys

Posse members explore theme of 'Us vs. Them' at annual retreat

First Posse shares their 'incredible gifts'

Third Posse group thriving at Cornell

Posse Scholars

Posse One

Faculty mentor: Linda Nicholson, professor of biochemistry and physical biochemistry

Posse 1 members

Posse Two

Faculty mentor: Derek Chang, associate professor of history and Asian American studies

Posse 2 members

Posse Three

Faculty mentor: Vivian Zayas, associate professor of psychology

Posse 3 members

Posse Four

Faculty mentor: Kelly Zamudio, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology

Posse 4 members

Posse Five

Faculty mentor: Paul Sawyer, professor of English & Stephen H. Weiss Presidential Fellow

Posse 5 members

Posse Six

Faculty mentor: Darlene Evans, senior lecturer and director of writing outreach, John S. Knight Institute for Writing in the Disciplines.

Posse 6 members