Soup and Hope

Soup & Hope postponed to March 23

The Soup & Hope talk that was to be held March 16 at noon in Sage Chapel has been postponed until March 23 at noon in Sage Chapel. Frances Yufen Lee Mehta, senior lecturer of Chinese Mandarin in the Department of Asian Studies, will be the presenter.

The last Soup & Hope talk of the 2017 season will be March 30, Kimerly Cornish speaking.

Majani at Soup and Hope: From homeland to home

Linda Majani at Soup and Hope, 2015

According to her daughter’s eighth-grade classmates, Linda Majani’s story of immigrating to the United States, is “not really exciting.” But in Sage Chapel at the final 2015 Soup and Hope March 18, Majani shared her emotional journey – the obstacles and doubts she overcame to make the move, her adjustments to Cornell and the Ithaca area, her feelings of loss and her acceptance of life on its own terms.

Kelechi Umoga '15 finds hope through a radical love

Kelechi Umoga '15

Five years ago, Kelechi Umoga ’15 would have had to turn down an invitation to speak at Soup and Hope, because he would not have had answers to the question, “Where do you go for hope and encouragement when faced with a tragic loss?”

“Hope is fairly easy to talk about when things are going great,” Umoga said at the March 12 Soup and Hope event in Sage Chapel. “However, when you are faced with tragedy, hardship or suffering … hope can be elusive and farfetched,” he said.

Lessons learned

Ella Diaz at Soup and Hope

At the Feb. 26 Soup and Hope in Sage Chapel, Ella Diaz, assistant professor of English and Latino Studies at Cornell, spoke of the lessons her struggles have taught her: 1) Live on life’s terms. “I am not the ruler of the universe and learning to breathe and accept life on life’s terms actually can be a relief … I am not in charge, it’s not all about me.” 2) Thine will, not mine. “I don’t think one has to be a religious person to trust in the idea of a power greater than one’s self … More than humility, this is about feeling connected to the world and its people.” 3) Be of service.

Soup and Hope begins Jan. 15

Soup and Hope, the eighth annual winter series of stories to nourish a spirit of hope, kicks off Jan. 15, 2015, with Mayor Svante Myrick speaking at Sage Chapel at noon. As in the past, Cornell Dining will provide soup and bread for those who attend. All are welcome. Free and open to the public.

Challenge, resilience and hope: Gretchen Ryan '97

Gretchen Ryan '97

Visitors to the McGraw bell tower know her as chimesmaster, and students as a source of wisdom and caring; her friends jokingly compare her to Hermione in the Harry Potter books: pursuing knowledge, seeking social justice and overcoming all obstacles with strength and perseverance.

At the Soup and Hope event Jan. 30 in Sage Chapel, Gretchen Ryan ’97 – widowed at age 28, overcoming her own health concerns in her 30s and now wife to Leah O’Connor and mother to twins – told an audience of about 175 that, in her life, “hope has become intertwined with challenge and resilience.”

Cornell roots spur Santi’s international service

Photo: Alexis Santí speaks at Soup and Hope in Sage Chapel.

Photo gallery

What does it mean to identify as an Ithacan and son of a former Cornell professor and how do those identities inform one’s later travels around the world? And what is it like to then return to Ithaca?

Out of loss comes perspective, says final Soup and Hope speaker

Mar Pérez speaks at Soup & Hope in Sage Chapel.

Before Mar Pérez moved with her husband to Ithaca in 1996 – leaving her family, pets and belongings in her hometown of Macuto, located between the mountains and coastline of Venezuela – she packed up everything she didn’t need to bring with her and numbered and color-coded the boxes.

With song and sound, Keane weaves a narrative of hope

Anthropology major at Cornell, Kai Keane ’14 speaks at Soup and Hope in Sage Cha

The thump of the heart and swoosh of an unborn child in the womb … the first cry of a newborn … the sounds of a playground … cheers along a sports field – Kai Keane ’14 connected hope to the recordings of these sounds in what he called an “auditory journey” at the Soup and Hope talk March 14 in Sage Chapel. Like sound, hope is “a dynamic quality that fluctuates throughout our life cycle,” he said.


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