Yesterday, the Membership Committee (which I chair) of the Cornell University Council met to review candidates for membership. (We met in at the Cornell Club of NYC, not in Ithaca, as suggested by the photo. But it’s nice to recall the beauty of the Ithaca campus, even at this snowy time.) CUC is a wonderful organization of 440 distinguished alumni and friends of Cornell. Our charge as the Membership Committee is to review the hundreds of nominations we received this year to recommend new and readmitted members to a 4-year term on Council.
Being named to Council is an honor bestowed by the Cornell Trustees to individuals who have demonstrated leadership and exemplary service to Cornell, distinction in their profession, or contributions to society. While it’s a lot of work to review the nominations, it’s also inspiring to learn of so many who are truly notable in what they have done for Cornell, in their careers, and in their communities.
The only responsibilities of Council membership are to try to attend the annual Trustee-Council Annual Meeting in Ithaca each October and to learn more about Cornell. In that extended weekend, we learn more about the important and exciting work Cornell is doing. Of course we also get to meet Cornell faculty, staff, students, and other Council members – all notable individuals, given the criteria for membership – but also the friendliest people I’ve had the pleasure to get to know. It’s a real joy to get back to campus to meet old friends and make new ones among such a distinguished yet really folksy crowd.
Of course, to know more about Cornell (and other Cornellians) is to love it more. And that inspires most of us to do more for Cornell, or in representing it well in our work and society. And hopefully, those additional activities will earn us another term on Council!