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Legacy? My mom's maiden name is on a building

fsadreamerfsadreamer Registered User Posts: 31 Junior Member
edited September 17 in Cornell University
This is a dumb question. An ancestor of mine (mid 19th century) has his name on a building at Cornell. He donated lots of buildings to many schools and is not an alumnus himself of Cornell. Will admissions notice in reading the family section of my application that my mom shares his name? Should I say something? How would I do that subtly so I don't appear a brat?

Replies to: Legacy? My mom's maiden name is on a building

  • fsadreamerfsadreamer Registered User Posts: 31 Junior Member
    @bjkmom alrightie no need to be rude or was just a question. All I was asking about was name recognition. I am already an actual legacy.
  • NYmommabearNYmommabear Registered User Posts: 146 Junior Member
    I actually think it is an interesting fact, and that if you want to mention somewhere that dreamer hall is named after your great great great uncle, it wouldn't hurt a thing.
  • GnocchiBGnocchiB Registered User Posts: 1,626 Senior Member
    I actually think it is an interesting fact, and that if you want to mention somewhere that dreamer hall is named after your great great great uncle, it wouldn't hurt a thing.
    I disagree - there's absolutely no reason to bring it up. It makes you seem desperate.
  • ColoradomamaColoradomama Registered User Posts: 875 Member
    I think you should research this relative of yours and write an essay about him. He sounds inspirational. Find out what he did for a living, why he chose Cornell and it will make a GREAT essay and a great idea to learn about him. He sounds generous. He might be a guy you want to emulate in your life. Don't worry too much about Cornell or any other college, write a great essay and you can get into a great school. Widen your list and just relax. Put some medium reaches and get busy on this essay. If you get rejected at Cornell, remember it rains there every single day. Its kind of moldy! But yes, its also green and pretty if you do get in and like upstate NY.
  • bjkmombjkmom Registered User Posts: 4,389 Senior Member
    edited September 18
    Not attempting to be rude-- with the last response or this one. But I'll respectively disagree with the last post.

    You only get 650 words. I think you need to spend them telling the reader why YOU would be a great addition to his campus. Period. That's the purpose behind this essay-- to sell your application.

    Writing about someone who lived 150 years ago, regardless of bloodlines, simply won't do it in my opinion.

    My personal opinion-- and remember, you asked for opinions-- is that namedropping weakens your application. It implies that all your qualifications and accomplishments aren't enough, and that you need to piggyback on someone else's success.

    Write a killer essay that will showcase all the reasons they want YOU-- not your bloodlines-- on their campus.
  • PetraMCPetraMC Registered User Posts: 167 Junior Member
    If there is someone else to say it for you, that's a better way to go.
  • oldfortoldfort Registered User Posts: 20,933 Senior Member
    edited September 18
    This is what you would do. Have your mother or father (whoever went to Cornell, even your grandparents), call the alumni affair office and let them know that you are applying to Cornell and you would like to visit the school. They will offer a Red Carpet treatment because of your connection and because they do that for many other alum's kids. You will get a private tour, meeting with an admission person and meetings with professors. When you meet with the admission person, you can mention your connection. Your parents can also bring it up with the school in their conversation (email) with the alumni affair office. They have a "special folder" where they put applications they want to give special considerations to. Just make sure your application is in that folder.

    Of course, let's hope your parents (family) have been active with Cornell. It doesn't necessary mean giving money, the school values volunteer work and local involvement.

    In your "why Cornell" you can also mention the connection in one sentence. My younger daughter mentioned all her visits to Cornell to visit her older sister and she knew that's where she wanted to be. She also talked about how she was going to contribute to Cornell, whether through academic or ECs. It is good to write about what you could do for Cornell rather than what Cornell could do for you (they know what they could do for their students already).

    If you want to use your legacy card, you should apply ED.
  • monydadmonydad Registered User Posts: 7,427 Senior Member
    edited September 18
    I agree with #9.

    FWIW, one approach you might *not* want to take, to make your connection known, is to write an an article about it for the alumni magazine. There is precedent to suggest that this approach is not foolproof. At least for someone whose building name goes further back, is not due to donation, and whose academic qualifications may be evaluated as less than astounding.


  • preppedparentpreppedparent Registered User Posts: 2,116 Senior Member
    I think you can mention it somewhere; it makes you interesting and stand out. But your essay should be about you, for sure.
  • oldfortoldfort Registered User Posts: 20,933 Senior Member
    I was going to mention that alumni magazine article. It was infamous and unfortunate. Cornell is like all other top tier schools, they would bend their standard a bit for students with special hooks, but if your stats are totally out of range, there is only so much they could do. They want to make sure you could succeed at Cornell too.
  • ColoradomamaColoradomama Registered User Posts: 875 Member
    A good essay can be about why one is inspired. If your relative inspires you, write about him. Its not about YOU at all, most colleges are bored with the essays today. Think out of the box. If your essay stands out, you may get in. But chances are, with a school like Cornell, unless you apply binding early decision, you simply will not get in. Don't worry too much. Its just not that critical to go to Cornell.
  • fsadreamerfsadreamer Registered User Posts: 31 Junior Member
    @oldfort that's what I was planning to do. My dad is an alum... but my mother's maiden name is on the building (she didn't attend Cornell). Who should call? Should I tell my guidance counselor? I'm not planning to write about it in my essay... perhaps additional information? I have other interests and assets that I would like to discuss primarily. You can read more about my stats if you click on the chance me link on my page! I would never dream of writing for the CAM about the admissions process—that seems like a truly terrible idea!
  • oldfortoldfort Registered User Posts: 20,933 Senior Member
    Your father should contact the alumni affair office. He may want to start with an email. In the email he can mention even though his wife didn't to Cornell, there has a been a long history between her family and Cornell. He can then let them know that you would like to visit the school, and as a legacy (through him) would it be possible to arrange a private tour of the campus, meet few professors/adcom, etc.
    Anyone from your mother side's family who may still be involved with Cornell? If so, he/she can also contact Cornell.

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