Community-campus collaboration to be celebrated at 2016 TOGO Awards

WHAT:          The sixth annual Town-Gown Awards (TOGOs)

WHEN:          Saturday, Nov. 19, 9 to 11 a.m.

WHERE:        Kulp Auditorium, Ithaca High School

MEDIA:         The event is free and open to the public. Media members are asked to RSVP to John Carberry in Cornell’s Media Relations Office at 607-255-5353 or


ITHACA, N.Y. – Taxes and development often make headlines, but the complete story of town-gown relations in Ithaca and Tompkins County includes scores of partnerships and local leaders dedicated to serving the community.

On Saturday, Nov. 19, from 9 to 11 a.m. at Ithaca High School’s Kulp Auditorium, Cornell University’s Office of Community Relations will host its sixth annual TOGOs, an informal ceremony designed to celebrate the best of town-gown cooperation. This year’s TOGOs will include remarks from Cornell Interim President Hunter Rawlings III, as well as spotlight five town-gown partnerships and offer a tip-of-the-hat to local leaders leaving high-profile posts after careers dedicated to the community.

Recognizing town-gown partnerships will include:

  • The Hospitality Employment Training Program, Cornell Dining and the Statler Hotel
  • Cayuga Medical Center and Weill Cornell Medicine
  • Ecovillage, Engaged Cornell, the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future, and the Department of Communication
  • The Cancer Resource Center of the Finger Lakes and the Public Service Center’s Translator Interpreter Program
  • The Downtown Ithaca Alliance and Cornell downtown interests

Local leaders to be recognized:

  • Charlie Trautmann – Sciencenter
  • Kate Supron – Cayuga Heights mayor
  • Steve Griffin – Foodnet Meals on Wheels
  • Amy Trueman – Tompkins Cortland Community College dean of student life
  • Gwen Wilkinson – Tompkins County district attorney
  • Nathan Shinagawa – Tompkins County legislator
  • Jennifer Engel – Ithaca Public Education Initiative, Kids Discover the Trail
  • Albert and Cindy Smith – Longtime owners of Shortstop Deli and community leaders
  • Dammi Herath – Women’s Opportunity Center

This celebratory event is free, informal, and designed to be inspiring and fun. As is tradition at the event, the TOGOs include a holiday food drive led by Cornell students – attendees are asked to bring a can of food or other nonperishable items for donation to local organizations.

For more information about the TOGOs, contact Gary Stewart, Associate Vice President for Community Relations, at or 607-255-4666.

The Office of Community Relations works to connect the campus and the local community and support proactive, equitable ideas about shared challenges and opportunities in one of America’s greatest college towns. Community Relations staff works with community and campus leaders on matters of mutual interest on a number of issues tied to Tompkins County’s quality of life – including area infrastructure, sustainability, public schools, economic development, transportation and planning.


Cornell University has television, ISDN and dedicated Skype/Google+ Hangout studios available for media interviews.