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My favorite Cornellian is ...

Who is your favorite Cornellian? A classmate? An inspiring professor? A historic figure from the university's early years? We asked a handful of alumni, students, staff and faculty to name their favorites, and here's what they said.

Richard Adie

Richard Adie See larger image

"Mr. Richard Adie ['75], general manager of the Statler Hotel. He's the consummate Hotelie. After completing a successful career in the industry, he has returned to the school and has dedicated his time to opening doors and creating opportunities for current students – including myself."

Alice Katz Berglas

Alice Katz Berglas See larger image

– Kathryn Perkins '15

Alice Katz Berglas '66, president of the Class of 1966. "Alice's boundless enthusiasm for Cornell is inspiring. From the Sy Katz parade tradition to her dedication to Reunion and mentoring students. A Cornell treasure [who] brightens the lives of all she interacts with."

Jon Conrad

Jon Conrad See larger image

– Richard Adie '75

"My favorite Cornell person is Jon Conrad, Dyson School professor, because he introduced me to my wife."

– John Saylor, associate university librarian for scholarly resources and special collections

Tomas Mapua

Tomas Mapua See larger image

Barbara Holden-Smith

Barbara Holden-Smith See larger image

"My favorite Cornell person is probably Tomas Mapua. He was in that first generation of Filipino students to come to Cornell in the early 1900s. He went back to the Philippines, became the first registered architect in the Philippines, and started a college! The Mapua Institute of Technology is a big deal in the Philippines. … my father studied engineering at MIT and remembers Mapua. ... The wildest part is that I didn't know about this Mapua/Cornell connection until I saw some exhibit with this information in Manila about five years ago.

Who knew?"

– Cheryl Beredo, director of the Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives

Jennie McGraw Fiske

Jennie McGraw Fiske See larger image

"[Law] professor Barbara Holden-Smith is the sharpest and toughest professor at Cornell Law School – but she is the kindest and most supportive, too. She cares about her students outside the classroom, whether we come to her for [advice on] jobs, extracurriculars or even social life, and she never turns down a question for help. All you have to do in return is try to survive her questions in class!"

– Nathna Koskella, Law '16

"My favorite Cornell person is Jennie McGraw Fiske. I am fascinated by the story of her marriage to Willard Fiske and the Supreme Court lawsuit over her estate. Every time I enter Uris Library, I must stop and read the plaque outside … with its subtle but very lasting dig at the controversy. Salacious!"

– Wendy Wilcox, access services librarian for Olin, Kroch and Uris libraries

Carter Dredge

Carter Dredge See larger image

"Carter Dredge, MHA '11, director of Healthcare Transformation. He is the next big cheese, I'm telling you. He was on campus in September to teach a Sloan practitioner-led intensive course on alternative financing."

– Julie Carmalt, associate director of the Sloan Program in Health Administration

Dr. Mark Pecker

Dr. Mark Pecker See larger image

"Dr. Mark Pecker is a hardworking, generous and kind attending [and professor of clinical medicine] at Weill Cornell Medical College. He is an excellent physician who takes compassionate care of his patients. He is also a wonderful teacher who spends several hours with M.D./Ph.D. students who are on leave from their clinical work twice per month. He goes through cases with us in a patient, coherent nonjudgmental manner to help sustain our clinical knowledge. He also provides expert and thorough clinical advising to students."

– Nicole Ramsey, M.D./Ph.D. candidate

Joe Thomas

Joe Thomas See larger image

Joe Thomas [professor and former Johnson dean] is always doing whatever is needed for Johnson, Cornell University and everyone; all the alumni who are doing so much to help Cornell Tech; and Deborah Estrin [professor of computer science] – the first faculty member at Cornell Tech – she does it all."

Deborah Estrin

Deborah Estrin See larger image

Jeremy Fierstien

Jeremy Fierstien See larger image

Corey Earle

Corey Earle See larger image

– Doug Stayman, associate dean of Cornell Tech in NYC (and an associate professor of marketing at Johnson)

Of all the people I've met in my entire life, [then-Cornell teacher of literature] Vladimir Nabokov had the best command of the English language. He knew the right word for every occasion you could think of. My biggest regret was that after I took the course, the girl I was dating asked if she could borrow my notes. ... the marginal notes I made were the things that he would say that had nothing to do with the content. Asides. Like: "The human spine is like a candle, with the brain like a flame." Things like that. I can't even remember the name of the girl."

Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov See larger image

Joyce Muchan

Joyce Muchan See larger image

– Peter Thaler '56

"My favorite person at Cornell is Joyce Muchan in the Public Service Center. She cares so much about the success of the programs and the personal development of their executive boards and volunteers."

– Michael Jalkio '15, computer science, engineering

"Rabbi Jeremy Fierstien. He is the assistant director of Cornell University Hillel. He is one of the nicest and funniest people I have ever met, and he is always there to offer guidance, assistance or support in any way that is needed."

– Rachel Minton '15, Human Ecology

"It would have to be Corey Earle ['07]. I really admire his dedication to Cornell and hope that I will be able to maintain as strong a connection to this school as he has. Besides, you know you're awesome when over 500 students sign a petition to save your class!"

– Ariel Cooper '15, Arts and Sciences

grounds and maintenance staff

Grounds and maintenance staff at Cornell See larger image

"I think kudos are well-deserved by the grounds and maintenance staff who make the sidewalks, stairs and all other walkable surfaces safe for us (especially during the winter months)."

– Sonya Nahid Islam, extension associate

Ezra Cornell

Ezra Cornell See larger image

"Ezra Cornell, who started our democratic enterprise where any person can find instruction in any study."

– Elisabeth K. Boas '71

"Ezra Cornell. We wouldn't have this glorious university without him."

– Charles W. Jermy Jr., associate dean of the School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions

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