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Rendering of Cornell Tech campus with executive education center

Rendering of Cornell Tech campus with executive education center. Image: Kilograph.

$50M Verizon gift names Cornell Tech executive ed center

A $50 million gift from Verizon to Cornell Tech will support the Verizon Executive Education Center, Cornell Tech officials announced in February.

The center will be a gathering space for the tech community and will leverage the campus's impact on technology beyond its degree programs. It will be part of the campus's first phase being built on Roosevelt Island.

Rendering of Cornell Tech campus with executive education center

Rendering of Cornell Tech campus with executive education center. Image: Kilograph. See larger image

"This is a transformative gift that will help enormously to advance our mission of bringing academia and industry together," said Cornell President David J. Skorton. "The campus will welcome everyone interested in using technology to advance the economy and to make the world a better place, and the Verizon Executive Education Center will be at the center of it."

The gift will facilitate direct collaboration between companies and Cornell Tech students to bring cutting-edge ideas to market. The center's programs and events also will allow Verizon to develop customized programs for its executives and customers.

"Cornell Tech is a place for technology innovators and leaders in New York City and around the world, and we are thrilled that Verizon is joining with us to create an executive education center built to provide novel educational and collaborative programs focused on the digital age," said Cornell Tech Dean Daniel Huttenlocher.

Verizon's partnership with Cornell includes philanthropic support and recruitment of students into internships and full-time positions.

"Our donation to Cornell Tech is an investment in the future and fits perfectly with our mission to use communications technologies to solve big challenges and make people's lives better," said Verizon Chairman and CEO Lowell McAdam '76. "The Verizon Executive Education Center will be a magnet for developers, entrepreneurs, educators and innovators across all industries, building on the great talent and creativity we already have in the tech sector here in New York City."

The Cornell Tech campus will span 12 acres on Roosevelt Island and house approximately 2,000 students and hundreds of faculty and staff.

'Jennie's Will' staged on campus

Two performances of the musical "Jennie's Will" were staged on campus Feb. 7 and 8, telling the story of Cornell benefactor Jennie McGraw (McGraw Hall, McGraw Tower, the Cornell Chimes) and her controversial 1880 marriage to Cornell's first librarian, scholar Willard Fiske.

The cast of

The cast of "Jennie's Will." Image: Chad Dumont. See larger image

The production was commissioned by the town of Dryden in 1997 to celebrate its bicentennial; the music was composed by Mark Simon, DMA '85, with libretto by Pamela Monk. The revival was staged in Barnes Hall by the Cornell Savoyards as part of Cornell's School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions' celebration of the university's sesquicentennial; a Cornell Chimes concert preceded both performances.

Several Cornell alumni were among the show's company, including "Jennie," played by Karen Dumont, DVM '02; "Mrs. Fiske," Kristen Park, M.S. '99, who reprised her role from the 1997 production; stage manager Ellie Hobbie '74; and music and orchestra director William Cowdery '73, M.A. '81, Ph.D. '89.

"What fun to share all the inside Cornell jokes with a savvy crowd," said director Rachel Hockett. "It was a joy to collaborate on an operatic production, and to work with this stunning company of actors and artists, to bring Pamela Monk and Mark Simon's exquisite piece to our community."

What difference did one day make?

Giving Day logo

Cornell's first-ever giving day – a 24-hour online fundraising sprint conducted March 25 – aimed to be the single biggest day of philanthropic participation in the university's 150-year history. It also introduced friendly competition between colleges and units for various pots of special challenge money.

Ezra went to press before Cornell Giving Day, but you can learn about what amazing things were (and will be) made possible by the power of the crowd joining together to provide support: Visit or check out #cornellgivingday on Twitter.

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