Cornell Tree Climbing Institute

Moriah Fund

The Moriah Fund


The Moriah Fund, Cornell Outdoor Education's annual giving fund, provides direct financial assistance to COE and the students it serves. 

COE develops teamwork, leadership, and growth though outdoor experience. Founded in 1972, the program serves three thousand Cornell students annually and is one of the nation's leading collegiate outdoor education programs. Cornell alumni and staff members, as well as Ithaca community members and youth, also take part in COE programs.

COE is naming its annual fund the Moriah Fund to honor its founding director, David Moriah '72. Dave's vision was to provide an "oasis" where Cornell students could have leadership experiences in the outdoors. Thirty-five years later, students are still enjoying life-changing COE experiences, COE programs are still running in the Finger Lakes, the Shawangunks, and even in Costa Rica, and Dave is still active with COE. The Moriah Fund ensures that Dave's founding vision and spirit continue to be integral to COE. 

The Need

More than 80% of COE's revenue comes directly from participants-individual students, student groups, Cornell staff, alumni or community members-who enroll in COE courses and programs. Additional funding is provided by the COE Advisory Board, alumni, and the University. COE's annual budget is $1.25 Million.

COE has an ongoing need for additional funds: for financial aid, for staffing, for pilot projects such as the program's pioneering tree-climbing program, for equipment upgrades, and for transportation. In addition, the recently-completed COE five-year strategic plan includes three ambitious goals: 

  • Make COE a core part of the Cornell Experience
  • Expand our reach to touch every Cornell student
  • Enhance student leadership training

To reach these milestones, we need to increase the number of donors to the Moriah Fund.

The Impact of Your Gift

Every gift matters:

  • A gift of $50 buys a student a half day program at the Hoffman Challenge Course.
  • A gift of $100 buys a new climbing rope.
  • A gift of $250 provides a student a free COE physical education class.
  • A gift of $500 pays for an additional leadership seminar.

Collectively, just 30 alumni and friends giving $50 each would provide a free Outdoor Odyssey trip for 10 incoming students. Over time, 100 COE donors giving $200 each would cover the cost of a half-time program coordinator, allowing more mentoring and student leadership development. That same amount could be used to provide free teambuilding programs for 500 Cornell students. Or to provide seed money for a one year-long pilot program providing in-depth leadership expeditions. As the Moriah Fund grows by attracting gifts from alumni, parents, friends and each year's graduates, COE will be able to provide its transformational experience-and magic-to ALL Cornell students.

The Goal

Currently, COE receives annual gifts from about 60 alumni. Our goal is to add 100 new alumni donors over the next year, and to have each member of the graduating class make a Moriah Fund donation.


To Make A Gift Call the Cornell Fund at 1-800-279-3099 or by going to Be sure to specify "Cornell Outdoor Education." Thank you for your interest and support!