Bomb threats reported at Cornell University, other Ivy League schools

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Cornell Law School, one of the buildings named in the bomb threat. Photo by Megan Zerez.

Updated 11/7/2021 9:47 PM

ITHACA, NY (WSKG) — A bomb threat at Cornell University on Sunday led to the evacuation of four buildings on the Ithaca campus. Students and staff were told to avoid the main campus. Police later concluded the bomb threat was a hoax, according to a statement released by the university Sunday evening.

Tompkins County emergency services received an anonymous call from a person who claimed to be inside a building on the campus with automatic weapons, according to a statement from the university. The caller also claimed that explosive devices had been placed in several buildings on the campus.

Federal Bureau of Investigation and New York State Police were involved in the investigation, along with campus and local police, according to the statement.

The affected buildings included the law school, an engineering school building, a humanities building and a multi-use building that houses lecture halls and one of the university’s dining halls.


The bomb threats at Cornell coincided with similar threats at other Ivy League schools over the weekend, including Columbia, Yale and Brown, according to messages sent by the schools’ campus safety departments. The bomb threats at the other universities do not appear to be credible.

On Friday afternoon, a single anonymous caller told police that bombs had been placed in eight buildings on Yale’s New Haven, Conn. campus, according to A.P. reports.

Yale’s student newspaper reported that some 40 bombs had been reported on their campus. Yale got the “all-clear” from campus police at around 7 p.m. on the same evening. 

Three buildings on Columbia’s campus were evacuated around 2 p.m. on Sunday and were reopened about three hours later after the New York City Police Department searched the building.

The incident at Brown occurred just after 4 p.m. The bomb threats at Columbia and Brown occurred at around the same time as the incident at Cornell University.

So far, no injuries or fatalities have been reported at any of the schools.