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Robin Davisson and David Skorton

Davisson and Skorton.

A few of our favorite Cornell things

They're not "raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens," but our eight and a half years at Cornell have given us a long list of "favorite Cornell things." Here are our top four:

students crossing campus

Students crossing campus. See larger image

Getting stopped by students as we cross the campus

One of us (David), in his address to new students each year, invites students to stop and say "hello" when they see us on campus. It's always enjoyable when they do that – we like to think they actually listened to the speech – and it gives us a chance to ask how things are going and get a glimpse of their lives at Cornell and beyond. Of course, often they have absolutely no idea who we are and just need directions. We're happy to oblige!

Cornell Plantations

scene from Cornell Plantations

Scene from Cornell Plantations. See larger image

One of the university's jewels is Cornell Plantations, especially for Robin. No other major research university can claim a mature botanical garden and arboretum and a diverse network of nature preserves, all woven seamlessly into the campus and larger community. We go there to walk, run, snowshoe, do yoga, and just find space for quiet contemplation in inspiring surroundings. A visit to Cornell Plantations can change the trajectory of even the most stressful day. At least it does for us.

Senior tent at Commencement

Robin Davisson and David Skorton meet with families after a Cornell Commencement

Davisson and Skorton meeting with families after a Cornell Commencement ceremony. See larger image

The annual Senior Convocation, with a distinguished invited speaker, and the Commencement ceremony the following day bookend a favorite Cornell event – the reception for graduates and their families under the big tent on the Arts Quad, which we host with the Cornell Board of Trustees. We meet some of the remarkable people, from beloved grandparents to children, who have contributed to the graduates' success, and we pose for many photos. Occasionally, we even get to eat some of the Cornell ice cream!

Literary Lunches

scene from a recent Literary Luncheon

Scene from a recent Literary Luncheon. See larger image

We are both scientists by training but humanists at heart. We love good books, healthy local food and opening our home to the campus and local communities. Several times each semester we invite a local author and the first 25 people who sign up to join us for a locally sourced lunch and conversation at our home. From Téa Obreht, M.F.A. '09, whose debut novel "The Tiger's Wife" captured worldwide attention a few years ago, to professor Thomas Seeley, who last spring read from his fascinating book "Honeybee Democracy," we've had a wonderful range of authors and equally interesting guests!

Professor Robin Davisson is the Andrew D. White Professor of Molecular Physiology. David J. Skorton is president of Cornell University.

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