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From the publisher

This issue of Ezra is one that makes me proud to be part of the Cornell community in a powerful way. It is about caring and giving, and it is about excellence. The alchemy of good character, good education and a good sense of giving back creates the types of individuals that you will read about in these pages.

We feature a collection of amazing, heartwarming stories of giving - of time, energy, effort, financial support and professional guidance - by students and faculty, staff, parents and alumni. Their shared experiences and friendships grew over time with so many paying it forward in different ways for the next generation.

Most of you will recognize Chuck Feeney '56 on the cover. But this is not just a photo of Chuck or a traditional or formal portrait. This is an illustration of a Cornellian who embodies the good that he and others have done, are doing and will do to make the world a better place. It is this greater sense of good and giving back that you will read about in small and large ways throughout this issue.

We chose Chuck Feeney to represent this issue's theme of giving because of his selfless generosity and commitment to helping others, first anonymously and now as part of the Giving While Living Pledge that Warren Buffett, Bill Gates and others have signed to encourage others. We commissioned artist and Cornellian William "Bill" Benson '72 to create a charcoal depicting what we call the giving spirit that Chuck embodies and shares with others.

Bill was selected because he brings together both remarkable representation and the abstract in his portraits. We met with him in his studio and shared photos and stories about Chuck, discussed various styles of creating the portrait and described what we wanted to convey. When we saw an early sketch that captured the spirit we wanted, we left Bill to create our cover. What you see is simply magic.

Enjoy this issue, and, as always, send me your thoughts at

Tracy Vosburgh

Assistant Vice President, University Communications

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