When the pandemic forced Cornell to temporarily suspend classes and move all instruction online in March 2020, many students returned home, leaving behind the familiar sights and sounds of campus: the McGraw Tower bell chimes, the sprawling Libe Slope, the serenity of Beebe Lake and other go-to spots for studying, socializing and dining.
While many students opted to return for in-person classes this fall, others continued with virtual learning — in many cases, miles away from campus. Thanks to an innovative effort by a group of students and recent alumni, any person who wants to experience Cornell, from any background, can do so anywhere — virtually, of course.
The result is “CornellCraft” – a stunning virtual replica of Cornell’s Ithaca campus built in the “sandbox” gaming series Minecraft – which has attracted more than 1,000 builders and players from around the globe since it launched earlier this year.
Jamie Crow is a communications specialist in the Office of Strategic Communications.