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From the publisher

Change can foster innovation or follow in its wake; often it goes both ways, and at Cornell, a passionate place full of inquisitive, creative people, we are always dealing with change in one way or another.

In late March we welcomed new Vice President for University Relations Joel Malina, who oversees both Government and Community Relations and University Communications. Joel is in the midst of a crash course in everything Cornell and is enjoying meeting Cornellians. If you see him on campus or at an event, introduce yourself.

Another change for us will be when President David Skorton leaves Cornell to become secretary of the Smithsonian Institution next year. When the Presidential Search Committee, led by Jan Rock Zubrow '77, held an alumni webinar in April, more than 90 participants shared their ideas with Zubrow and board of trustees Chairman Bob Harrison '76. Get updates on the search at

And, speaking of change, this issue of Ezra teases a coming redesign for the magazine, most visible within our 16-page cover story on "Eureka!" moments, ideas and innovation. Let me know what you think!

When I was new to Cornell, Associate Vice President Jeff McCarthy shared a copy of a biography of Chuck Feeney '56 that describes how Feeney, as a poor School of Hotel Administration student, put himself through Cornell by buying white bread and baloney and selling ready-made sandwiches to students. To me he defines what I now understand to be the Cornell spirit. Decades later, Feeney's Atlantic Philanthropies is the foundation behind the Cornell Tech campus's transformative $350 million gift (and nearly $1 billion in giving to Cornell over the years).

Feeney's drive makes me think of the ideas in this cover story package, which at Cornell come from undergraduates and graduate students, faculty and staff. Did you know that Cornell's "Beyond Coal" initiative, which decommissioned the Ithaca campus's coal-burning Central Energy Plant in 2011, was staff-inspired and -driven?

There are many more "Eureka!" moment stories to be told. As you read this issue, I'm sure many of you will think of your own stories, and I'd love to hear them. Send me an email at and maybe we can feature your story online.

Cornell, across its campuses in Ithaca, Geneva, New York City and Qatar is an amazing place - an engine of innovation that will continue to fuel ideas, passion and "Eureka!" moments.

Tracy Vosburgh

Assistant Vice President, University Communications

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