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Campus Digest: In Brief

New alumni director chosen

Mt. Vernon native Lisa White has been named to replace Alumni Director Ruth Keefe Miller '65, who is retiring in Devember after 8 1/2 years at Cornell.

White came on board in mid-October to transition into the position. Previously she was marketing and tourism director in Mount Vernon-Lisbon. She is president of the Mount Vernon High School Alumni Association Board and has been an adjunct voice instructor at Cornell. She and Todd White '91, director of admission at Cornell, and their two children live in Mount Vernon.

Lisa White

Stromer estate gift benefits endowments

Cornell received a gift of $475,638 from the estate of Walt Stromer, professor emeritus of speech, who is credited with encouraging the career path of his one-time student, Hall of Fame baseball announcer Harry Kalas.

"Dr. Stromer was a tremendously positive influence to me as a young man at Cornell College," said Kalas, an announcer for the Philadelphia Phillies. "In his class, I recall him encouraging me to pursue a career in broadcasting when he commented, 'with your voice, you could get a job in radio.'"

Stromer taught at Cornell from 1953 until his retirement in 1985, and then remained a fixture on campus as an avid participant in Cornell's Chautauqua program for older adults and at other lectures. He died in 2005.

"He did love Cornell, and he thought Cornell had given him an excellent opportunity because not just anybody would hire a man who was blind," said Ed Hill, professor emeritus of mathematics.

Stromer had been blinded in World War II. Vivian Stromer was the eyes of her husband, who had said she was "loving, devoted, and had the patience of an angel." She died in May 2006.

The estate gift will be applied to Cornell's endowment.

Walt Stromer

Cornell a charter member of consumer database

Cornell is one of the original participants in a Web-based project to help prospective students and their families research and compare colleges to find the best fit for them.

The University & College Accountability Network (U-CAN) is accessible free of charge at Hundreds of private colleges and universities have joined the site, which provides information on admissions, academics, demographics, graduation rates, most common fields of study, accreditation, class size, tuition and fee trends, financial aid, campus safety, and more.

Cornell President Les Garner chairs the board of directors of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU), which coordinates U-CAN. He participated in a press conference to launch U-CAN.

"U-CAN is the result of our conversations with families, members of Congress, and the Department of Education, who all expressed a growing need to find better college consumber information," Garner said. "NAICU is at the forefront of a trend in higher education to meet this need, and ultimately to provide greater institutional transparency."

President Les Garner

Local residents get in free

Cornell's new Purple Pass allows free admission to home athletic contests, Music Mondays concerts, and campus lectures for residents of Mount Vernon and Lisbon and families with children in either school district.

"We hope the Purple Pass will provide a very cost-effective was--particularly for families--to enjoy a variety of public events at Cornell," said John Harp, vice president for student affairs.

The Purple Pass was made available Sept. 1, and by mid-October nearly 200 community members had registered.