Risley in 1976

A Description of Risley from 1976

Risley Residential College is an organization of about 200 people who share a special interest in the creative and performing arts. Our group is drawn from all levels of the Cornell community, from freshmen to graduate students, to our Resident Professor Harry Silver and his wife Connie. There is an equal number of men and women residents.

While we share a general interest in the arts, we are by no means a dorm full of art majors. Indeed, the people who get the most out of living in Risley are often those who are not specialist in the arts at all, but who do wish to keep up, or develop, amateur interests. We have sought, above all, to foster an atmosphere in which creative endeavors are socially encouraged - a place where people can find others easily who share common interests. We make a special effort to overcome the anonymity of living in a large dormitory. Risley members take two meals together five days a week in our own beautiful dining hall. This affords many opportunities for getting acquainted.

All members elect a committee each semester, which administers the college, and pay an activities fee (currently $30 per year). In the past we have had activities like weekly musical desserts, theatrical productions for the Cornell Community (as well as for the college alone), Medieval Fairs, the Free Film Series, annual open readings of Handel's Messiah, belly dancing classes, figure drawing, baroque music ensembles, jazz every weekend in our night club-- "Tammany Hall", intramural sports -including a super hockey team, gourmet banquets, numerous dances, our famous bi-monthly professor series, and an infinitude of other projects large and small.

We have also developed a number of unique facilities which are available 24 hours a day. There is a new theatre, a dark room, a music room, a listening room, music practice rooms with good pianos, a library, a ping-pong room, silk screen facilities, a print shop, and a wood shop. All these facilities are the fruit of many students' labors. Anyone with new ideas and time to commit has ample opportunities to pursue his or her own projects and interests.

As a residential college, we welcome those who will bring with them fresh perspectives and an active commitment to our community. After all, it is the residents who enrich the college and make it what it is. Many people have found life in Risley College to be an intensely rewarding experience. If you join us, we hope you will too.

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