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From the publisher

It's a cliché, but also true – universities are idea factories. At Cornell this has been the case for nearly a century and a half – beginning with Ezra Cornell's grand idea to found an entirely different kind of university.

Students come here to exchange thoughts, conduct research, make discoveries and learn to manipulate knowledge. They come to study with world-class faculty and work in state-of-the-art facilities. They arrive eager to learn more of the world. They leave well prepared to succeed in it.

This issue profiles just a few of the incredible students graduating this year. They hail from across Cornell's colleges and schools with interests and plans as diverse as their own life stories. To add to the diversity of perspectives that shape this great institution, we continue our question-and-answer series with another four of our university's deans, learning about their challenges, successes and plans for the future; we also have a special profile of College of Arts and Sciences Dean Peter Lepage, who is stepping down after a decade of leadership and achievements to return to the classroom.

The university has just passed a huge milestone – $4 billion raised for the "Cornell Now" campaign – and we are already seeing evidence of this success: New buildings, like the nearly complete Gates Hall, are going up on campus. But our growth is also about our people and their programs, not just buildings: The dozens of newly hired faculty and the young scholars and students joining our community are already lending a hand in shaping Cornell's future.

Our university is morphing and evolving under our eyes. You can easily see it, but you can hear it, too, in the thoughts and ideas that are shared here. Take Professor Fredrik Logevall, for example, whose book "Embers of War" won the Pulitzer Prize for History earlier this spring. What makes his book special, beyond the content, is his own voice: When you read it, you're listening, not reading.

Here at Ezra, we'll keep listening for your stories to share.

Thomas W. Bruce

Vice President, University Communications

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