Cornell Tree Climbing Institute

Support COE

Support COE

Help Cornell students succeed in “Higher Education!”

A premed student from the Cornell Qutar Medical College takes a leap of faith. Credit: T. Miner

We at Cornell Outdoor Education would like to formally thank everyone for their generous philanthropy and for helping this program to become the largest and most comprehensive collegiate outdoor education program in the country.

Founded in 1972, Cornell Outdoor Education (COE) serves the broad membership of the Cornell community: students and student instructors, faculty and staff, alumni and friends, local community and outside groups. We enhance academic performance and success in the workplace by developing leadership, teamwork and personal achievement through experience-based education in the outdoor environment at Cornell University and around the world. COE uses challenge, adventure, and outdoor experiences, with reflection and analysis, to help individuals and teams learn and grow. COE classes and programs, by complementing academic and classroom offerings, provide students with real world leadership and team opportunities.

Our Mission:
Cornell Outdoor Education develops teamwork, leadership, and growth through outdoor experience. We do this by:

  • Empowering individuals and groups to move beyond self-imposed limits.
  • Connecting individuals and building community.
  • Teaching outdoor skills, judgment and self-reliance.
  • Developing leaders through hands-on learning opportunities and challenges.
  • Inspiring stewardship and action for the environment and natural world.
  • Making learning fun!


COE's Spring Break Southwest Backpacking in Utah. Credit: COE Staff

2008 - 2012 Strategic Plan Goals

  1. Make Cornell Outdoor Education a core part of the Cornell experience.
  2. Expand our reach to touch every Cornell student.
  3. Enhance leadership training and development for COE student instructors and other Cornell student leaders.
  4. Invest in people and infrastructure to achieve quality, sustainability, innovation and efficiency.
  5. Strengthen financial base by increasing operating budget, growing endowment and diversifying revenue streams.

Why does Your Support Make a Difference?

Cornell Outdoor Education receives only 15% percentage of its budget directly from the University. The great majority of our funds come from student and participant fees, alumni gifts, and friends of the organization. Each year, more students participate in COE courses. In our efforts to serve every Cornell student, we are constantly expanding our program, which in turn requires additional funding.

The Impact of Your Gift

Every gift matters:

  • Your gift of $50 buys a student a half day program with the Team and Leadership Center, helping her or him to develop leadership skills and to work better as a part of a team.
  • Your gift of $100 buys a new climbing rope for the Lindseth Climbing Wall or the Hoffman Challenge Course, ensuring student access to state of the art adventure facilities.
  • Your gift of $250 provides a student a free COE physical education class, helping to create a healthy, well-balanced student body.
  • Your gift of $500 pays for an additional leadership seminar, helping prepare tomorrow’s leaders through active learning and application
  • And your gift of $1800 allows COE to offer a free Outdoor Odyssey (pre-freshman orientation) trip to half a dozen incoming first year students.

How to Support COE?

If you would like to donate to Cornell Outdoor Education, you may do so over the phone by calling the Cornell Fund at 1-800-279-3099 and specifying “Cornell Outdoor Education.” Or, go on line to

Thanks again for your continued support and we hope to see you in the great outdoors. Your generosity is making a difference!