Student walks the ped mall outside of Cole Library.

Report to the community: Hilltop to Main Street

Cornell College is proud to be part of one of America’s Coolest Small Towns. Mount Vernon and Cornell are so deeply intertwined it’s hard to imagine one without the other. Here are the ways we engaged with the community during the 2016-17 year.


  • 277 employees makes Cornell College the largest employer in Mount Vernon
  • Founded in 1853, Cornell is Mount Vernon’s oldest employer
  • 126 Cornell students and 25 faculty-staff volunteered for community events through the Mount Vernon-Lisbon Community Development Group (Source: CDG)
  • 5 students served on Mount Vernon-Lisbon Emergency Medical Services
  • 600 Cornell students volunteered 15,200 hours of their time for community service, most of it locally, for a value of $366,928
  • 7,087 visitors came to Mount Vernon for Homecoming (1,000), Commencement (1,787), and campus visits (4,300)
  • 40,000 fans attended 150 home Cornell athletic events



  • Cornell shared its baseball field, soccer field, tennis courts, indoor track, and outdoor track with the Mount Vernon Mustangs


  • Cornell’s Cole Library operates as Mount Vernon’s public library
  • City residents made up 46% of Cole Library’s active users and check out 45% of the materials
  • The city pays 8% of the Cole Library budget
  • Cole Library is open 97.5 hours a week when Cornell is in session and 52 hours a week during the summer
  • Cole Library hosted 312 community events and activities

First Street Community Center

  • Cornell Theatre and Dance Department rents space for classes


  • Cornell Lunch Buddies paired 67 Cornell students with Washington Elementary students
  • 10 Cornell students provided weekly tutoring at Mount Vernon Middle School


  • Bon Appétit dining services are open to the community (and available for catering)

Events and activities

  • The Small Multi-Sport Center hosted more than 50 events involving Mount Vernon-Lisbon communities, including sports camps
  • The college offered 50 free guest lectures and performances, 33 free music concerts, four mainstage theatre productions, and 2 dozen other theatre department events
  • Cornell hosted the first Cornell Summer Dance Institute for 13-to-18-year-olds and One Course Summer Institute for high school juniors and seniors
  • Students held the annual Relay for Life with community partners, raising over $17,000
  • Cornell students hosted four blood drives
  • Cornell, the CGD, and businesses created a student discount program for local businesses and a welcome campaign to further the connection between downtown businesses and Cornell students, faculty, staff, alumni, and visitors
  • Bon Appétit paid local farmers nearly $220,000 for farm-to-fork products
  • Bon Appétit’s Harvest Festival celebrated local food producers and drew hundreds of residents
  • New Student Orientation included a night in Uptown for students to learn about businesses
  • Admission held two progressive dinners in Uptown for visiting high school counselors
  • Cornell’s Rotaract Club, sponsored by the Mount Vernon-Lisbon Rotary, had 15 members who create local community projects and partners