From David Skorton

Farewell and best wishes from David Shorten and Robin Davisson.

With this essay, David concludes nine years of bimonthly columns in Cornell Alumni Magazine. As much as we are looking forward to new adventures when we move to Washington, D.C., on July 1, both of us are going to miss the wonderful faculty, staff, students, and alumni who have become dear friends during our time at Cornell.

With this essay, David concludes nine years of bimonthly columns in Cornell Alumni Magazine. As much as we are looking forward to new adventures when we move to Washington, D.C., on July 1, both of us are going to miss the wonderful faculty, staff, students, and alumni who have become dear friends during our time at Cornell.

We also look forward to Beth Garrett’s leadership as Cornell’s thirteenth president, and we hope you’ll extend to her and to her husband, Professor Andrei Marmor, the warmth and enthusiasm you’ve shared with us. Beginning with the next issue of Cornell Alumni Magazine, these columns will appear under Beth Garrett’s byline.

Looking back at our time at Cornell, we recall so many memorable occasions we have shared with alumni. Reunion Weekend 2006, before we were officially on board, was our first large-scale introduction to the Cornell spirit. Immersed in a sea of red and white (and mud!) and chatting with so many alumni and their guests from across the generations and around the world, we were sure we had come to a very special place. That turned out to be a huge understatement!

We’ve seen the Cornell spirit again and again—at subsequent Reunions, at Homecoming, at each Sy Katz ’31 Parade (“the shortest parade with the longest history in New York City”), and most recently at events on campus and around the world to celebrate the Sesquicentennial. We have no doubt that you’ll keep the Big Red spirit alive and well in the Garrett administration.

Cornell alumni love a good party as much as anyone, but you also devote a tremendous amount of time and talent to our great institution. We’ve been privileged to attend meetings of the Cornell Association of Class Officers, for example, and each time we’ve been inspired by the eagerness of officers and others to spend a weekend learning how to better meet the needs of their classmates and the University as a whole.

Just last month alumni, parents, and friends joined us in Ithaca for Charter Day Weekend. We are especially grateful to the many talented alumni—including an impressive roster of writers, financial experts, media personalities, and many others—who collaborated with faculty, staff, and students to present an unforgettable “Festival of Ideas and Imagination.” Alumni engagement and achievement are wonderful things to celebrate, and we are certain you’ll continue to be generous in sharing your ideas, intellect, constructive suggestions, and guidance.

Robin broke new ground for a Cornell president’s spouse by being a tenured faculty member here, as she had been at the University of Iowa. As The Andrew Dickson White Professor of Molecular Physiology, with laboratories in the College of Veterinary Medicine and at Weill Cornell Medical College, she also played a major role in developing the Graduate Research and Teaching Fellowship Program to train grad students to become more effective teachers. Year after year during Reunion Weekend, one of our favorite events was a reception for returning veterinary alumni, including some of Robin’s former students, who were far more excited to see her than David!

Like Robin, Andrei Marmor is a distinguished faculty member. He currently is professor of philosophy and Maurice Jones Chair of Law at the University of Southern California, director of the USC Center for Law and Philosophy, and editor of the Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy. At Cornell, he will have faculty appointments in the Law School and the Department of Philosophy in the College of Arts and Sciences. We know he will be a spectacular addition to the faculty.

For us, it has been a wonderful nine years. We have learned so much from you and have made so many remarkable friends. We look forward to staying in touch after our move to Washington, and we know that you’ll be as welcoming to Beth and Andrei as you’ve been to us.

— President David Skorton & Professor Robin Davisson
david.skorton@cornell.edu; robin.davisson@cornell.edu

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