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Risley Residential College

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Prudence Risley Residential College for the Creative and Performing Arts, commonly known as Risley Residential College, Risley Hall, or just Risley, is a program house at Cornell University. Unlike most other dormitories on campus, Risley is a residential college; house members, or "Risleyites," have some say in the administration of the residence hall, can continue to reside there as long as they are enrolled at Cornell, are encouraged to eat together at the in-house dining hall, and participate in educational activities such as guest lectures within the dormitory. The building houses 192 students, chosen by Risleyites from a number of applications, as well as one or two Artists-In-Residence , who live in the building and organize regular programs in which the house members participate. Currently, Risley's Artist-In-Residence is Adam J. Boggs. Previous AIRs include Patrick Gray, Carolina Osorio-Gill, Natalie Tyler, Abraham Burickson, Gregory Halpern, and Brandon Bird. Many famous people have visited the house for intimate discussions with the Risleyites, such as Anthony Rapp, John Cleese, who hosted a question and answer session after the showing of his film A Fish Called Wanda, and Samuel R. Delany who continues to collaborate with Risley alumnus Kenneth James. .
In 1911, Mrs. Russell Sage donated $300,000 to the University for the construction of a women's dormitory. At her request, the building was named after her husband's mother, Prudence Risley. The building was opened to students in 1913. It was unusually luxurious, with sculptures and expensive furnishings in common areas, many of which were donated by Cornell co-founder Andrew Dickson White.


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