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From The Publisher

From the publisher

Elizabeth Garrett at the State of the University in Statler Auditorium.

President Elizabeth Garrett delivers the State of the University in Statler Auditorium. See larger image

We were well into the process of producing this issue of Ezra when we learned the tragic news that President Elizabeth Garrett had died of colon cancer March 6.

As Bob Harrison '76, chairman of the board of trustees, says so well in the End Note in this issue: "Elizabeth Garrett was the quintessential Cornellian – for devoting her life both to the pursuit of knowledge and to public service."

From the time Beth was announced as Cornell's 13th president through the eight months of her presidency, we were inspired by her thoughtful, brilliant leadership.

Remembrance events in the days following, from a moment of silence and Cornell chimes concert on the Arts Quad to a candlelight vigil on Ho Plaza and a memorial gathering in Bailey Hall, as well as similar gatherings of Cornellians in other locations and on other campuses, helped us to process our grief, share memories and begin moving back to our roles inside and outside Cornell.

The theme of this issue is transformation: How the recently completed capital campaign has already transformed and will continue to transform Cornell on multiple levels, and how the new home for the humanities in Klarman Hall is strengthening the university's commitment to humanists, their research and, therefore, the role of the humanities in studying the complexity of a rapidly changing world.

Transformation was something that Beth embraced, in both her own personal aim of lifelong learning and in her role as Cornell's leader.

Elizabeth Garrett.

Elizabeth Garrett. See larger image

In her inspiring inaugural speech just last September, she launched the themes of her presidency: excellent faculty, the student experience, support and partnerships for research and creative work, cross-campus connections, and engaged global experiences. She also described her drive to lead the university to improve continually; to commit to collegial excellence; to "heed the call to continue to be radical and progressive"; and to propel Cornell toward innovation and new applications. Her vision was a perfect fit for our future.

While her time as president has been cut short, she already has left a lasting mark on this university – and on those with whom she interacted on campus and elsewhere.

Beth captured the energy, passion and pride that had grown throughout the university community during our sesquicentennial celebration year, and she was leading the way in shifting that momentum into Cornell's next era.

I know that so many Cornellians feel that energy and will join us in carrying it forward.

Joel Malina

Vice President for University Relations

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