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From the publisher

Tommy Bruce

Tommy Bruce

In his State of the University Address on Oct. 21, President David Skorton announced a new goal for Cornell's expanded fundraising campaign of $4.75 billion, to be raised by our 150th birthday in 2015. By reaching these twin milestones, we hope that one of the defining characteristics of Cornell in 2015 and beyond will be that of a university able and willing to leverage the breadth and depth of its expertise to effect substantive solutions to the world's most pressing challenges. Cornell is already hard at work addressing one of the most vital concerns – the health of the planet.

That challenge rests crucially on the issue of sustainability – limiting fossil fuel emissions through "clean" energy research, reducing levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, conserving endangered species, and alleviating poverty and providing adequate nutrition to huge numbers of people threatened by ecosystem destruction. These challenges are as great as any university researchers have ever faced.

That's why much of this issue's cover story on sustainability is devoted to our researchers detailing, in their own words, what they believe are the future threats, what they are doing about them and how they are embracing the challenge of ensuring the planet's health through research and education. Much of their work is centered in Cornell's Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future, founded by David Atkinson '60 and wife Patricia.

Our cover package also details how Cornell is putting its ideals into practice at home with a Climate Action Plan that calls for no carbon footprint on the Ithaca campus by 2050.

All this, of course, is only one aspect of our ambitious campaign goals. In future Ezra issues we will be exploring others that show how the breadth of our canvas is quickly expanding. As trustee Andrew Tisch '71, our campaign co-chair, points out in his essay at the end of this issue, "Cornell is blessed with an excess of opportunities from which to choose how it will move forward."

Thomas W. Bruce

Vice President, University Communications

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