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Cornell University School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions


CAU launches its 2016 summer programs for adults, youth, families

School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions, March 23, 2016

Whether your passion is history, cooking, gardening, photography, birding, or tennis, Cornell’s Adult University (CAU) has a program to challenge and inspire you this summer.

Adults can spend a week on the Cornell campus this July attending one or more of CAU's thirty weeklong classes, designed and led by Cornell faculty. Every summer singles, couples, and groups of friends tell us they find the immersion in a subject exhilarating and the company of fellow participants enormously engaging.

CAU also offers robust programming for youth ages three to fifteen, so plenty of participants bring along their children or grandchildren for an intellectually and socially engaging family vacation. Alum Diane McLaughlin Halliday '87, who attended CAU with her kids last summer, wrote, "We couldn't decide who was having the most fun, learning the most, or enjoying Cornell's riches the most: my children or Mommy. Next, year Daddy wants in, too!"

This year’s programs will take place between July 3 and 30, 2016, with seven or eight different offerings for adults each week. Registration is always well under way by early spring—and one program, the ever-popular Wines Course taught by restaurateur and vinophile Abby Nash, already has a wait list.

Some of the programs focus on politics and current events, such as The U.S. and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (July 3–9) led by Ross Brann, the M. R. Konvitz Professor of Judeo-Islamic Studies; Putin's Russia: The Soviet Past, the Democratic Experiment, and the Return of Dictatorship (July 17–23), led by Valerie Bunce, the Aaron Binenkorb Professor of International Studies; and Ten Great American Trials (July 24–30), led by Glenn Altschuler, the Thomas and Dorothy Litwin Professor of American Studies, and Faust Rossi, the Samuel S. Leibowitz Professor of Trial Techniques.

Other programs focus on literature and the arts, such as "Only Connect": E. M. Forster's Howards End and A Passage to India (July 3–9), led by David Faulkner, senior lecturer in the Department of English; Hip Hop: Its History, Music, and Culture (July 10–16), led by celebrated DJ and producer Rich Medina and Katherine Reagan, the Ernest L. Stern Curator of Rare Books and Manuscripts in Cornell Library’s Division of Rare and Manuscript Colleges; and The Art of Video Production (July 17–23), led by Micah Cormier, the award-winning producer and director who created the sesquicentennial film about Cornell, Glorious to View.

Cooking classes have enjoyed great popularity at CAU, and this year two are offered: The Harried Gourmet: Tasty Meals in an Hour or Less (July 3–9), led by chef extraordinaire David D’Aprix; and Small Eats: An International Culinary Exploration (July 10–16), led by Therese O’Connor, Cornell Dining’s manager of staff training and professional development. Also popular are the many sports offerings, including rowing, golf, and tennis clinics, two biking programs, and an exciting new offering, Paddle Boarding and Kayaking the Finger Lakes (July 10–16), led by staff from Cornell Outdoor Education.

In the youth and teen programs, youngsters get a taste of college life at Cornell while experiencing the fun and friendships of a terrific camp. Supervised by caring, trained counselors, children enjoy well-organized daytime and evening activities, stimulating field trips, and healthy meals. Children accompanying a registered resident adult attend as residential campers—and many area youth attend as commuter campers, enjoying daytime activities from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Adult classes meet each day until 3:30 p.m., leaving plenty of time to enjoy all that Cornell and Ithaca have to offer, from the Lab of Ornithology and the Johnson Museum to free concerts and lectures, performances of Shakespeare plays at the Plantations, the region’s “gorgeous gorges” and beautiful area parks, and the wine trails around Seneca and Cayuga Lakes.

“CAU offers a unique opportunity for terrific courses, stellar instructors, and interesting classmates,” wrote alumna Catherine Hunter ’71, “with intellectual and cultural stimulation . . . while having fun! Who could ask for more?” And travel guru Arthur Frommer, who attended CAU in 2011, described it as "exhilarating" and "an eye-opening experience." "Among competing vacations," he wrote, "this was one of the great values."