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Prison Education Program
Cornell University
300 Kennedy Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853


Video/Photo Gallery

2016 Commencement Video

October 20, 2016 – The Cornell Prison Education Program celebrated 15 students who completed their Associate’s degree at Auburn Correctional Facility. This was the third commencement at the prison, hosted by Cornell University in partnership with Cayuga Community College. In addition to the conferral of degrees, the ceremony included the Sunshine Lady Award (for academic achievement) and the Ricardo Callender Award (for student mentorship). Award recipients gave speeches to over 200 audience members in attendance, who joined the graduates for a special lunch with family and friends.

We interviewed members of the graduating class about their experience in the college program and the significance of completing their degree — this video is the result.

2016 Graduation Photo Gallery


Academic Processional lines up before the ceremony...
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Students Reflect on Teaching in Prison

June 10, 2015 – Each year more than fifty Cornell undergraduates serve as teaching assistants in courses that are offered inside prison walls. We asked a few of them to reflect on their experience with the Cornell Prison Education Program, and this video is the result.

While we have often emphasized the dynamic classroom dialogues and against-all-odds achievements of our students inside prison walls, we have increasingly witnessed the accomplishments of our undergraduate and graduate volunteers in their work with the program. This feature of our work—the education of students both in prison and on campus—distinguishes the Cornell Prison Education Program.

2014 Commencement Video

December 10, 2014 – The Cornell Prison Education Program community convened for a heartwarming ceremony to confer A.A. degrees to our second graduating class at the state prison in Auburn, New York. Our students together with their families, their teachers, dignitaries from Cornell University and Cayuga Community College, and the prison administration created an afternoon of shared humanity. It transpired in the auditorium and mess hall of Auburn Correctional Facility. Students told stories of the transformative power of education and of mutual support and caring. And as one of our key supporters put it, this day was a living testament to the endurance of the human spirit.

The photos below attempt to convey the joy attending this graduation. In this season of miracles, this one transcended the boundary between our communities–those within and those outside those prison walls.

2014 Graduation Photo Gallery


Group Photo
Cornell Prison Education Program graduating class of 2014 pose for a group photo.
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2011 Video about Michael Johnson