About the summit

AI’s moment has arrived. Cars are driving themselves. We're speaking directly to interfaces like Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa. AI is finding its way into applications that seem less exotic and more accessible.

Technologies are fusing massive data sets with behavioral and predictive algorithms. New user interfaces are being powered by machine learning. These innovations are creating exciting and practical applications for AI. Emerging tools are sure to change core engagement, fundraising, and communications functions in advancement offices.

The AI in Advancement Summit is hosted by Cornell University's Division of Alumni Affairs and Development. Cornell has partnered with Ithaca College, Keuka College, Skidmore College, Syracuse University, Union College, and Virginia Tech to make this event possible. The summit is supported by an award from the CASE District II Venture Capital Fund.

Have a question about the summit? Email Emily Gustafson.

What to expect

  • As an attendee, you'll gain an understanding of basic AI concepts. You'll learn about the current state of the field and explore emerging trends.
  • Leave the summit with the knowledge you need to follow developments in AI from an informed perspective. You'll begin recognizing opportunities. And, you'll have the skills to decode jargon that pervades media coverage and marketing materials.
  • During the summit, you can join breakout discussions. Help us identify advancement functions that might be enhanced or transformed by AI. Breakout groups are intended to simply jumpstart these conversations. Groups will form the nucleus of a community of professionals that will grow over time.

The summit is open to CASE District II members, as well as staff from other CASE member institutions and technology partners.

February 16, 2018

Ithaca, NY

100 expected attendees

6 speakers



Registration & Breakfast

Ballroom Foyer

Arrive on campus with plenty of time for breakfast and pre-summit banter. Registration and all sessions will take place at The Statler Hotel. Located in the heart of Cornell's campus, The Statler provides luxury accommodations. Onsite parking is available for overnight guests. Those arriving Friday morning should note the campus ParkMobile parking lots.


Welcome & Opening Remarks from President Pollack

Carrier Ballroom

We couldn't be happier to open the summit with a few words Cornell's President, Martha Pollack. President Pollack is a computer scientist with research expertise in artificial intelligence. She earned Masters and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Pennsylvania. Her doctoral dissertation explores natural-language processing by computers. She has published research on automated planning, temporal reasoning, and constraint satisfaction. A special focus of her work has been the design of intelligent technology to assist people with cognitive impairments, a topic on which she testified before the US Senate Subcommittee on Aging in 2004.


Morning Keynote: Artificial Intelligence 101

Carrier Ballroom

What is Artificial Intelligence? Where did it come from? How did we get to where we are now? Why is AI beginning to boom? This opening keynote will cover a general background of AI. Attendees will start the day having gained a common conceptual framework and vocabulary.

David B. Shmoys is the Laibe/Acheson Professor of Business Management and Leadership Studies in the Department of Computer Science at the School of Operations Research and Information Engineering here at Cornell.



Ballroom Foyer

Let all that new knowledge soak in along with a few snacks. Join us for a quick break with light refreshments, coffee, and tea.


Industry Panel

Carrier Ballroom

Our panel of industry and academic experts will provide concrete examples of AI in practice. Hear how AI works in various industries, academia, and the consumer marketplace.

We’re fortunate to have our panel moderated by Kim Infanti, executive director of digital engagement and communications from Syracuse University Office of Alumni Engagement.


Lunch Keynote

Carrier Ballroom

Is your database a system of record or a system of intelligence? Fundraising is an art and a science. Learn how technology can support prospect and volunteer management.

Adam Martel is a former major gifts fundraiser. While at Babson College he recognized how AI could transform the scope and impact of his work. He is now CEO and Co-founder, Gravyty Technologies, Inc.


Breakout Workshops

Statler breakout rooms

How might AI impact work in various advancement program areas? Each workshop will be co-facilitated by an industry professional and an advancement professional. Learn how to apply concepts covered in the morning sessions to your work. Join discussions that focus in on fundraising, alumni relations, and communications.


Summit Wrap Up

Carrier Ballroom

Wrapping up the day, attendees are invited to share observations from the workshops. Participants from each advancement program area will share next steps. Summit organizers will reveal plans to keep the conversation going online.


Cocktail Reception

Regents Lounge

Join us for a post-summit cocktail in the Statler Hotel’s Regents Lounge. Summit organizers are seeking a co-sponsor for this event. Contact Ashley Budd if you are interested.




Ithaca is in the Finger Lakes region of central New York and is easy to get to by car, train, plane or bus. Learn more


The Statler Hotel at Cornell University

We have secured a room block at The Statler Hotel for February 15-17. The rate is $212.00/night. Reserve before Thursday, January 25th, 2018.
Reservations: 1(800)541-2501
Email: statler_reserve@cornell.edu


Hotel overnight guests will have access to valet. All other attendees can park in visitor areas on campus.