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Date Posted: 19:42:13 01/10/17 Tue
This year Cornell drew nearly 17,000 fans for Homecoming in September. Granted we're not Clemson, but we're also not going to get many alums to come back to campus for a lecture or an art symposium. College football is a very social activity with tailgating, marching band, fraternity parties and other post game activities. For example, unlike most of the other Ivies, Cornell is a four to six plus hour drive or flight for the vast majority of our alumni. Most of our alumni only come back to campus for events like football games and reunion. When Frank Rhodes was president you saw him at nearly every home football game and he was often networking with alumni. That's why Rhodes was not only one of our best presidents, but also one of our most successful fund raisers.
In comparison today, our administration is usually absent at athletic events and then they complain our endowment is smaller than most of the other Ivies. In addition, our football team sucks a lot of money out of the athletic department simply because we do nothing to improve attendance for most home games. Like it or not, football and basketball are supposed to be "revenue producing sports" and while improving attendance may not have a huge impact, every dollar we raise in ticket, concessions, and parking is money we can definitely put to good use.
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