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CEAA endowment will support student teams, achievement awards

The Cornell Engineering Alumni Association recently created the CEAA Legacy Endowment Fund with a donation to the college of more than $180,000. Income from the fund will be used for awards recognizing outstanding achievement by faculty and students. It also will sponsor grants to student teams.

2009 solar  house

University Photography file photo

Cornell Solar Decathlon Team members work at the High Voltage Lab to complete construction on its house in August 2009. The 2009 team received support from the CEAA Legacy Endowment Fund and is an example of the kind of sponsorships to student teams the fund will continue to offer.

CEAA President Bill Bruno '69, M.Eng. '71, says a grant to the Cornell Solar Decathlon team, which competed last October in Washington, D.C., was an example of the kind of team sponsorship the fund would support. Additional grants to student teams are planned for this year, he says.

The fund also will cover numerous achievement awards, such as a $1,500 award to individuals who enhance undergraduate education outside the classroom, who are not tenure-track faculty members.

The donated money came from fees collected for lifetime membership in the association, formerly known as the Cornell Society of Engineers. In 2007 the CEAA Board of Directors voted unanimously to eliminate membership dues, making all alumni members free of charge.

"The CEAA wants to increase alumni involvement," explains Bruno. "Participating in CEAA activities will enhance your connection to Cornell, its students and faculty and other alumni."

CEAA-sponsored conferences are one way to get involved, says Bruno. In November, the association helped organize a conference in Philadelphia titled "At the Leading Edge: Improving Lives Through Biomedical Engineering." Speakers included Claudia Fischbach-Teschl, assistant professor of biomedical engineering, and C.C. Chu, the Rebecca Q. Morgan '60 Professor of Fiber Science and Apparel Design in the College of Human Ecology. They were joined by Cornell trustee David R. Fischell '75, M.S. '78, Ph.D. '80, founder of nine biomedical device companies.

"All who attended had a great time exploring new thoughts, meeting old friends and making new friends," says Bruno. "Participants said that reconnecting with other engineering alumni was as wonderful as the program itself."

In addition to giving alumni a way to get together, the CEAA provides many ways to connect with Cornell engineering students, Bruno says, such as opportunities to speak on campus, mentor students, assist job seekers and sponsor Master of Engineering projects. "We also host dinners for co-op students so that they may meet alumni and their fellow students," he says.

News updates, details of future conferences and information on how to become involved in the CEAA can be found at

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