JAN./FEB. 2005 VOLUME 107 NUMBER 4 Alma Matters

The Choice is Yours | Vote in Cornell's 126th Annual Alumni Trustee Elections

In 1878, Cornell became one of the first universities to hold popular elections for its alumnielected trustees. To vote in the early years, all alumni had to assemble in Ithaca on a specific day, but now the election period lasts nearly two months, from early February until April 1, and can be completed by mail. Even today, few of Cornell's peers are fortunate enough to have full voting members in their governing bodies who have been directly elected by their alumni. Two of the University's eight alumni-elected trustees, Karen Rupert Keating '76 and Celia Rodee '81, are finishing up their terms; the upcoming election gives you the chance to choose their replacements.

The Committee on Alumni Trustee Nominations, chaired by John Quinones '87 and comprising twenty-three alumni selected from a variety of constituencies, met throughout the fall to review dozens of nominations. Candidates were selected based upon contributions to and leadership in alumni activities, professional experience, accomplishments in their communities, and other attributes that would contribute to the Board's geographic, age, gender, and ethnic diversity. The following four alumni were endorsed as candidates for the 2005 Alumni Trustee election: Jeffrey Berg '79 (Goldens Bridge, New York), Abe Tomas Hughes '84 (Highland Park, Illinois), Jill Lerner '76 (New York, New York), and Dale Rosenthal '78 (Bethesda, Maryland). Two of these four alumni will be elected to serve four-year terms from July 2005 to June 2009.

In accordance with prior practice, the nominees have provided answers to questions posed by the Board of Trustees' Alumni Affairs Steering Commitee. Questions and statements will appear on ballots sent to all alumni; pictures and statements are also online at www.alumni.cornell. edu. Classes who graduated between 1989 and 2004 are able to vote online this year.

Alumni-elected trustees provide a strong, clear voice on behalf of all alumni in the ongoing governance of the University. During the past several years, trustees have hired the Cornell president, made tenure decisions, set tuition, counseled and advised President Lehman on the results of his Call to Engagement, and interacted directly with alumni and students through town-hall meetings, mentor programs, and seminars. They've also worked to improve campus life (through the Committee on Academic Affairs and Student Life) and monitored how your gifts to Cornell are utilized through audits and evaluations of development efforts. The current trustees are Mort Bishop '74 (Portland, Oregon), Martha Coultrap '71 (New York, New York), Cheryl Francis '76 (Burr Ridge, Illinois), Bob Harrison '76 (New York, New York), Bob Huret '65 (San Francisco, California), Karen Rupert Keating '76 (New York, New York), Marcus Loo '77, MD '81 (Scarsdale, New York), and Celia Rodee '81 (Glen Ellyn, Illinois).

The issues facing Cornell are complex and varied; a strong board is a must for effective leadership and support for the administration. It's important for the alumni-elected trustees to be selected by a broad spectrum of alumni, to enhance their mandate. This is a critical time for higher education in the United States, with continuing limitations on state and federal support. Please plan to vote when you receive your ballot in early February.

If you have any questions about voting, please call the Office of Alumni Affairs, (607) 255-6176.

By Martha Coultrap '71

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