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From the publisher

What are we talking about when we talk about diversity? Ezra Cornell was committed to diversity when he founded this university in 1865 with the idea of "any person … any study." Carrying out this idea is an ongoing process that does not belong to any single moment in time.

I recently met with our five diversity officers on campus, and it was an inspiring – and concerning – experience for me. I realized how much work has been done, how big the challenge is, how thoughtful we are as a community but yet, with an awareness that there's still much to do.

I had my own "Aha!" moment when A.T. Miller, associate vice provost for academic diversity, explained how diversity is excellence and excellence is diversity; that concept helped me understand, on a new level, the goal of Cornell's diversity and inclusion work.

I hope you will have your own eye-opening moments reading this issue of Ezra, from the cover story on diversity and the feature on the upcoming Cornell University Gay and Lesbian Alumni reunion to the End Note by trustee Sheryl Tucker '78, on the role alumni play in Cornell's diversity.

Cornell provides eye-opening experiences for its students, as well. My daughter, a sophomore, took the Intergroup Dialogue course (described in our cover story) last fall.

She came to Cornell to study animal science. The dialogue course looked intriguing to her and satisfied a requirement – and she says it was the best class she has ever taken and that she learned more in conversations during that course, about herself and others, than she imagined possible.

Even more importantly, she is applying what she learned in that class outside the classroom: how to view things from other perspectives, including those of people with different experiences than her own.

Her realizations, and mine, about diversity's role in excellence are similar to the goals of Cornell's internationalization initiative, covered in our previous issue, which seeks to dramatically increase students' international experiences, creating cross-culturally aware global citizens who apply their talents in an increasingly diverse world.

Tracy Vosburgh

Assistant Vice President, University Communications

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