[INSPIRING MUSIC] Corey Earle: Building names tell a story, and I think of the five names selected for these new buildings each amplify different aspects of Cornell's history. And they tell us something about the university's values and its founding and the values that we still uphold today.
We thought about Ezra Cornell's founding commitment to any person, and we wanted to choose names that reflected that inclusive philosophy.
Muhun Kang: They represent a little bit of Cornell that most of us just wouldn't recognize or be aware of when we are walking around campus.
Corey Earle: Something really unique about these names is that they were solicited from alumni from students from faculty and staff. And the committee had all those constituencies represented.
Muhun Kang: We were able to engage with the wider community to really understand the pulse and the atmosphere of the campus in terms of the people whom we wanted to celebrate. Our student experience can be enhanced by really embracing all of Cornell's identity. Diverse and unique communities on this campus are well-represented.
Corey Earle: Names like Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who obviously was a very well-known pioneering Cornellian in law and public service. Toni Morrison Hall will be the first building at Cornell named after a woman of color and honors her phenomenal career as a novelist and author. Barbara McClintock Hall is a great opportunity to honor arguably one of the most notable scientists to graduate from Cornell. Hu Hall, named after Hu Shih, class of 1914, will be the first building at Cornell named after an alumnus of Asian descent, and the first building named after an international alumnus.
The fifth building, Ganedago: Hall, is using a Gayogohó:no' word for on a hill. It's a term that the indigenous community has used for Cornell. And it reflects Cornell's historic connections with indigenous communities that go all the way back to Cornell's founding.
It was really exciting to be part of a process to think about how we choose the names on buildings and what stories we want to tell when we select those names. And I hope future students will learn about the names behind these buildings and it will inspire them to live up to the ideals that they represent.
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Corey Earle ’07, chair of the North Campus Residential Expansion Building Naming Committee, and committee member Muhun Kang ’21, discuss the significance of naming new residence halls in honor of Nobel Prize winner Barbara McClintock (B.S. 1923, M.A. 1925, Ph.D. 1927), Chinese scholar and diplomat Hu Shih (B.A. 1914) and the Cayuga Nation.