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Campaign nearing goal

With a year left in the Extraordinary Opportunities campaign, the college is fast approaching its goal of $92 million with the help of several gifts over the summer and fall.

In September, the Lee and Dorothy Whitson Trusts added $2.5 million to the Frank N. Whitson Memorial Scholarship Fund in memory of Frank Whitson ’70.

Headshot of Whitson Frank Whitson '70

Frank Whitson graduated from Cornell with a degree in economics and went on to attend graduate school at the University of Iowa in hospital administration, before he died of leukemia in 1974. His father, Lee, was involved in Boy Scouts and owned WR Medical Electronics Co., a medical device manufacturer in St. Paul, Minn., until his death in 2002.

Frank’s mother, Dorothy, was an executive officer for the Camp Fire Girls in New York and Minnesota and worked for the American Red Cross overseas during World War II. She continued her volunteerism throughout her life. She died on Aug. 13, 2008.

Also in September, Linda and Truman Jordan gave $60,000 to help endow the college chaplain and to provide for wireless headphones for the hearing impaired. Truman, emeritus professor of chemistry and an honorary alumnus, funded the chaplain as a way to honor his father and mother.

Headshot of JordanTruman Jordan, professor emeritus of chemistry

And though the campaign runs through the end of 2009, it’s already bearing fruits. On Oct. 24, Cornell dedicated the Peter Paul Luce Admission Center at Wade House. The expansion and renovation of the Peter Paul Luce Admission Center was made possible through a generous $1 million gift from Peter and Betsy Luce. The improvements enhanced the professional work environment for staff and created a more inviting reception area for visitors. New offices for interviews were built and the reception space doubled in size.

Meanwhile, the Richard and Marlene Williams Fund brought Capitol Steps, a political sketch comedy group, to the Hilltop on Oct. 1 where they injected some much-needed levity into the presidential race and the politics of the current government. The Williams Fund was also responsible for bringing to campus Debra Marquart, author of this year’s “One Book, One Campus, One Community” selection Horizontal World: Growing up Wild in the Middle of Nowhere.