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Serving Cornell and beyond

  Faculty Profile  

Gordon Urquhart (left) and Richard Peters (right) were named emeriti professors at commencement in May.

Retired professors Gordon Urquhart, economics and business, and Richard Peters, education, made their mark in the classroom and beyond.

Urquhart has assisted economic development efforts, including economic impact studies, in several communities. Before his 20-year Cornell career and a three-year stint at Kirkwood Community College, he taught in England and worked as a marketing economist for the multinational corporations United Brands and Rockwell International. He will continue to teach international business and marketing.

“I owe a lot to Gordon for helping me establish an internship and encouraging me to attend the statewide economic development conference,” says Brandon Burnett ’94, an international business major who used those connections to land his first job. He now works for a West Des Moines company that provides marketing strategies using technology.

Peters is a former Mount Vernon mayor and city council member, a member of state committees for improving education, and a longtime Sunday school teacher. His 40-year career included 23 teaching high school history and social studies. He was named Iowa High School Teacher of the Year and awarded an honorary degree by Cornell. More than 400 students became teachers during his time at Cornell.

“Dick is the teacher we all strive to be, someone who doesn’t just teach facts—although he does know above and beyond his share of those—but also teaches life,” says Jamie Messer ’01, a secondary education and Spanish major teaching at a high school in Alton, Ill.

Peters will continue lecturing at Cornell’s Chautauqua program and in the fall will monitor two Cornell students fulfilling their student teaching requirements in Iowa communities some distance from campus.

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