A Message from Chairman McGrane
In July I rode with Cornell’s team on RAGBRAI (The Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa) into Mount Vernon and by campus. More than 60 members of the Cornell community clad in purple T-shirts welcomed thousands of cyclists as they rode by the Hilltop. The excitement coming from the sidelines on campus was as tangible as from the bikers themselves. Cornellians from President Jonathan Brand and his family to students, faculty, staff, and alumni, eagerly connected with riders as they passed campus, with the same enthusiasm and energy that they apply to the rest of the Cornell experience.
It is a privilege to serve as chair of the Cornell College Board of Trustees, and work directly with an energized and engaged campus community. Students, faculty, and staff are inspired to be their best and to move Cornell forward. With a renewed mission and vision—and the wonderful support of alumni, parents, and friends as documented in this report—the college is confidently entering a new year.
Cornell students continue to achieve extraordinary success, and national acclaim, with three Fulbright Grants awarded to Cornellians, and a mock trial team that again competed at nationals. So many alumni have contributed to the education of our students, and one example is Sheryl Atkinson Stoll ’70, who helped the college establish the Center for Law and Society, which sponsors mock trial. She has assisted at mock trial events and funded a challenge grant to the Center for Law and Society that raised more than $60,000. Others provided similar important support to Cornell students and initiatives.
The residential liberal arts education provided by Cornell is not possible without a strong base of support. I am grateful for the gifts shared by 3,778 alumni, parents, and friends in 2011-2012. Together they gave a total of $1.7 million toward the Annual Fund and $10.9 million overall. We need to meet and exceed these levels as we strengthen Cornell and fulfill our goal of re-imagining the liberal arts experience.
During the month of October we doubled the number of young alumni donors. This is important, as one-fourth of our alumni graduated within the past 10 years. In addition, we formed the Parents Executive Committee with parents who have agreed to advance the goals of the Parents Fund. It was a parent, in fact, who last year gave Cornell one of its largest gifts ever. The gift of more than $5 million from the estate of James Russell, father of Dr. Jean Russell ’65, was earmarked for renovating and expanding the Thomas Commons and endowing a scholarship in Jean’s name. The newest residence hall has been renamed Russell Hall in honor of the family.
We’ve accomplished a lot, but there is much that remains to be done. The energy and momentum on campus are palpable, and we look forward to your continued support for Cornell.
John McGrane ’73
Chair, Cornell College Board of Trustees