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Town-gown awards to recognize community partnerships

ITHACA, N.Y. – Focusing on campus-community initiatives, the ninth annual Cornell Town-Gown Awards (the TOGOs) will be held Dec. 7, 9:30-11:30 a.m. in Kulp Auditorium, Ithaca High School. The TOGOs are free and open to all.


An informal and fun celebration, the TOGOs highlight notable town-gown partnerships and recognize community members retiring from high-profile elected or appointed positions. Cornell President Martha E. Pollack and Ithaca City School District Superintendent Luvelle Brown will give welcoming remarks.


Town-gown partnerships that will be recognized this year include:

  • Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport: Big Red Consultants – made up of first-year Cornell graduate students – engage with the airport on issues tied to flight service and community engagement. One of Big Red Consultants’ goals is to have 50% of its projects support organizations in Tompkins County;

  • Finger Lakes Independence Center: Cornell’s connections with FLIC include the university’s Deaf Awareness Project and the ILR School’s Introduction to Disability Studies class. Cornell also sponsors FLIC’s annual job fair – designed for people with disabilities – which will celebrate its 25th year in 2020; and

  • Downtown Ithaca Alliance, CU Downtown: Since 2016, Cornell’s Carol Tatkon Center, for first-year students, has partnered with the Downtown Ithaca Alliance to bus first-year students from campus to downtown Ithaca for a festival soon after they arrive on campus.