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Campus Digest: In Brief

Forbes top 25

New rankings featured in the May 19 issue of Forbes magazine from the Center for College Affordability and Productivity place Cornell 21st on the list of all liberal arts schools.

The study—which utilizes student rankings of professors,graduation rates, student awards, and vocational success—purports to “review the meal” as opposed to the “ingredients” based rankings from U.S. News & World Report, according to the article.

Cornell boasted the greatest increase over the U.S. News rankings of any school that made the list, improving 76 places. The top four schools in the U.S. News rankings—Williams, Amherst, Wellesley, and Swarthmore—stayed in the top four in the new study.

Cornell is also one of the “40 Colleges That Change Lives” and was named one of the
New York Times’ 20 “stealth powerhouses.”

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Small elected to Wrestling Hall of Fame

Richard P. Small ’50 has been inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in Stillwater, Okla.

Small received the Order of Merit award, given for contributions that further the sport. He was a high school wrestler in Illinois and a member of the legendary 1947 Cornell wrestling team that won both NCAA and AAU national team championships. He was a Midwest Conference champion at Cornell at 165 pounds in 1949.

Small served many years on the Board of Governors of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum. His leadership has helped the Hall of Fame raise substantial funds to expand its facility, exhibits, and endowment fund.

Small, a past chair of the Cornell Board of Trustees, and his wife Norma Thomas Small, honorary alumna and trustee, are Cornell’s most generous benefactors.

RAGBRAI rolls through campus

No, it’s not Cornell’s first-year class arriving in town. It’s RAGBRAI, the Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa. Dozens of faculty, staff, and students wearing Cornell purple greeted 15,000 cyclists as they breezed past campus on July 25. Popular were our glow-in-the-dark “One Hill of a Ride” wristbands, free Internet café, the Rams-All- Around display, and a special “Ramchop” bike created by Art Professor Tony Plaut ’78.

See a larger image as it appeared on the back cover the of the Cornell Report, or view a RAGBRAI photo gallery in the news center.

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Two Dana poems become fixtures

Within two days, two Robert Dana poems became permanent fixtures in two Iowa cities.

Dana’s poem “In Praise” was part of the dedication of the Iowa Workers Monument in Des Moines on May 30. The poem is attached to the monument honoring Iowa laborers. The following day, the Coralville Public Library held its dedication ceremony. Dana’s poem “Library” is displayed in bronze in the foyer of the building.

“I’m honored to be asked to write poems for these two important occasions,” said Dana, poet-in-residence and English professor emeritus, as well as Iowa’s Poet Laureate. Dana taught at Cornell from 1954 to 1994.

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Faculty make the grade

Professor of History Robert Givens (left) was named a Fulbright Scholar and will travel to St. Petersburg, Russia, from September through January 2009. During this time he will be teaching at the School of International Relations, St. Petersburg State University, where he taught as a Fulbright Scholar in 1999–2000. Givens will also research changing interpretations of the Stalinist period.

Associate Professor of Economics and Business Todd Knoop (right) has published his second book, Modern Financial Macroeconomics: Panics, Crashes, and Crises. The book examines the role of financial markets and institutions in modern macroeconomics, a role that has, until lately, been largely downplayed. It also reviews historical and contemporary macroeconomic theory, examines governmental influence on moderating economic fluctuations, and discusses empirical and theoretical links between financial systems Todd Knoop and economic performance.

Robert GivensTodd Knoop

Alumni get personal

After racking up frequent flyer miles hosting large events in Japan, Phoenix, Chicago, and Des Moines last winter, the Alumni Office staff chose to bring back some smaller, more intimate gatherings.

On May 10 Todd Watson ’93 and Kate Schlemmer Watson ’95 hosted a Dallas-area reception in their home for nearly 25 alumni. Vice President for Alumni & College Advancement Peter Wilch ’94 gave an update on the college, and alumni had the opportunity to ask questions as well as share thoughts on how well Cornell and One- Course-At-A-Time (OCAAT) prepares students for life after college.

Then, in August, Cornell got personal. On Aug. 14–15, C’YA (Cornell Young Alumni) hosted events all over the country in bars, taverns, or restaurants where young Hilltoppers made merry. A few days later, the Chicago Club hosted Cornellians at the Ravinia Music Festival.

But if you missed any of these extraordinary events, simply mark your calendar with one of these three events coming in the next year, or check out alumni/area-events.

Nov. 15, 2008: Minneapolis Area Interlachen Country Club

March 14, 2009: St. Louis Area Windows On Washington

April 25, 2009: Washington, D.C., Area Home of John McGrane ’73 and Marty Benson McGrane ’73

Alumni gathering

Cornell community book

This fall Cole Library will sponsor “One Book, One Campus, One Community,” with the goal of creating opportunities for life-long learners to come together to talk about a fantastic book.

This year’s selection is The Horizontal World: Growing Up Wild in the Middle of Nowhere by Debra Marquart. The library will host a wide variety of events for campus and community, including book discussions, lectures, and a film festival. Marquart will be on campus Sept. 18 to discuss her work. She will also visit with students and perform with her jazz and blues band.

The Horizontal World is what Marquart calls “a biomythography about an agricultural childhood in the rural Midwest.”

“We chose this book as our inaugural read because of its great potential for community and campus connection, as students often grapple with issues surrounding home, identity, and sense of place,” said Jennifer Rouse, consulting librarian for the arts and humanities.

Horizontal World cover

Faces New and Old

Almost as soon as Cornell was welcoming a new face to campus, it had to say goodbye to two familiar ones.

Mark Zinkula, Cornell College’s treasurer and chief financial officer since April 2006, resigned from Cornell to become CEO of Legal and General Investment Management America (LGIMA), a subsidiary of a leading London-based asset management firm.

Meanwhile, Brenda Tooley, vice president for academic affairs and dean of the college since July 2005, is on leave pursuing other opportunities.

“We appreciate what both Mark and Bren have done for Cornell,” said President Les Garner. “Mark has done a wonderful job as chief financial officer, and this is a terrific opportunity for him. Bren has brought a fresh and enthusiastic perspective to academics at Cornell, and I wish her the best in her endeavors.”

The end of their time, however, marked the beginning of a new era for Cornell athletics, as John Cochrane, former commissioner of the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, took over as director of athletics. Cochrane beganis duties on June 16 and was excited to jump right in.

“I hope to build on the momentum from a facilities standpoint that has been established the last two years. I believe there are a lot of exciting opportunities down the road,” said Cochrane.

Chris Carlson, professor emeritus and director of special projects in academic affairs, stepped in as interim dean. Carlson was a professor of sociology from 1980 until 2007.

Iowa smoking ban

On July 1 the Smokefree Air Act went into effect across Iowa. As of that date smoking became illegal on any and all Cornell College property, including outdoors, inside vehicles parked on campus, as well as on any college-owned property. The Cornell campus, like the rest of Iowa, is now smoke free.

No smoking symbol

Cornell news gets techy

Want more Cornell news right now? Want to stay up to date on the speakers, events, and happenings? Of course you do! The new, updated Cornell News Center at allows you to stay on top of trends and stories out of the Hilltop minuteto- minute. Visit the Web site and sign up for RSS feeds to have Cornell news delivered directly to your computer, and never miss breaking news again.