Cornell Slope Day

May 6th Cornell Slope Day

The Slope Day is a celebrated held at the Cornell University during the last day of regular undergraduate classes. Although in 2014, the day has been moved to the following day of the last date of the regular classes. Now, it falls on the Thursday after the final day of classes on the university campus. The organizer of the event is the Slope Day Programming Board. They are responsible for managing the activities held for the celebration as well as the selection of artists. Many developments have been made with regards to the celebration proper. The event now focuses more on music and the catering of food and beverages on the slope.

Cornell Slope Day

About the Cornell Slope Day

The Cornell Day is a special day for the students of Cornell University. Every month of May each year, before the start of the final exams, thousands of students gather on the Libe Slope to participate in a day full of music, fun, and celebratory activities. This event is the largest outdoor student gathering activity in the university. It has become a tradition in the campus for over 100 years. It started in 1902 when the university declared the Spring Day as a campus wide holiday. With live music by popular, nationally known artists, Slope Day continues to grow and change with the times.

You, along with many other Cornellians, can also enjoy Slopefest, a carnival held the same day on Ho Plaza. This non-alcohol based, fun activity area offers food, beverages, and fun activities before, during, and after the main-stage music attractions.


The origin of the Cornell Slope Day can be traced back to 1890 when the annual Navy Ball began in the university. The Navy Ball was held in October on the day before a major regatta on Cayuga Lake. It was an evening dance with a musical band. The event aimed to raise funds to support the Cornell University crew and their other athletic programs. The tradition of students was to skip the classes on the next day. That is why in 1901, the Navy Ball was moved from October to May. A committee including John L. Senior, Willard Straight, and Henry Schoellkopf arranged the event and entertainment.

Attendance in classes on the following day was dismal, and in 1902, the university declared the following day a holiday called Spring Day. The annual Spring Day festivities involved a wide range of activities, from mock bullfights to circuses, typically on the Arts Quad. Spring Day remained a Cornell tradition for over 50 years. However, during the 1960s and 1970s, official Spring Day celebrations were considered an anachronism, as Cornell was in the midst of Vietnam-era protests and civil unrest.

As time passed by, the Cornell Slope Day celebration became a day that students looked forward to. It was a day for them to have lots of fun before they arm themselves in a stressful finals week ahead.


As mentioned earlier, the Cornell Slope Day is always held on the Thursday after the final day of undergraduate classes in the university. This means that the upcoming Slope Day will be held on May 6, .

Why Celebrate

If you are a student of the university, then it is all the more reason for you to celebrate. It would be good if you can find time to relax before the major examinations. You can bond with your friends and meet other students. It can even be an opportunity for you to build relationships that could be turned into study groups later on. Thus, celebrating this day can be very beneficial to you and hence, you must do so.

Celebration Ideas and Activities

The following are the best things to do to make your celebration of the Cornell Slope Day as best as it can be:

Join the Slope Fest

SlopeFest is a carnival type event accompanying Slope Day. In the past, this event has included various raffles, an airbrush tattoo artist and inflatable games. Started in 1999 by concerned students of the Slope Day Programming Board, SlopeFest was held on West Campus and hosted carnival-style games, food, and live musical performances. Starting in 2004, SlopeFest was incorporated into the main events of Slope Day and held inside the event perimeter. SlopeFest is now held on Ho Plaza. The Slope Day Programming Board, composed of students, plans all aspects of SlopeFest. If you want to experience all the fun activities during the day, then you should join the SlopeFest.

Join the Music Festivities

You can also make your celebration all the more fun by joining the music festivities. Talented artists are invited by the organizers of this event in order to give the crowd good performances. If you are lucky enough, you may also witness your favorite artists on the scene.

Celebrate on Social Media

You can also take your celebration of this day on social media, you can, for instance, use the hashtag #CornellSlopeDay to let your friends and followers know that you are also participating in the celebration of this fun day.

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