|Beranek receives National Medal
President Bush presented Leo Beranek '36 with the National Medal of Science at the White House in November. Beranek is considered the pioneer of modern acoustic technology and an important figure in the early development of the Internet.
The former Cornell College trustee earned a PhD from Harvard University and headed a team to improve voice communication in WWII military bombers and tanks. He later taught at Harvard and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, ran a television station in Boston for 11 years, and wrote seven books. In 1948, he and two MIT colleagues created the acoustical consulting firm Bolt Beranek & Newman. They filled concert halls with clarity and quieted buildings (including the United Nations building), jet engine test cells, submarines, and naval ships.
Beranek has said his beginning at Cornell "had a little bit of heavenly luck." In August 1931, in the midst of the Great Depression, Leo went to withdraw his life savings of $500 to pay his first year's tuition and books at Cornell. The teller hesitated, summoned the manager, and after learning Beranek was entering college, gave it to him. The next morning the bank didn't open. It had failed.
In addition to being Cornell's 150th year, 2003 was also the year of sesquicentennial celebrations for Steinway & Sons pianos and for a grassy area in New York the locals like to call Central Park.
Since 1853 Steinway has made it its purpose to craft the finest pianos. Since that same year, Cornell has tried to craft the finest minds. Need a stronger connection? In 1870, William Steinway wrote to his dealers that the Steinway piano forte would be the exclusive piano of the Theodore Thomas Grand Orchestra (renamed the Chicago Symphony in 1913). Then, from 1903 through 1963, that same orchestra made yearly visits to perform at Cornell.
Central Park and Cornell College share a closer connection. It's possible to look at Central Park's 26,000 trees, 58 miles of pathways, 843 acres, and 25 million visitors a year and believe it has little in common with Cornell College. But 150 years of history have brought them together. Cornell and Central Park share in the bond of being recognized by the National Register. Central Park is a National Historic Landmark, while Cornell was the first campus listed in its entirety on the National Register of Historic Places.
Senate sends a message
Student Senate has donated $5,000 to the college endowment, earmarked for faculty and staff salaries.
"We wanted to send a message to the board of trustees and administration," said Senate president Liz Ditlevson, a junior from St. Cloud, Minn. "The faculty are very good and we feel they should be compensated accordingly."
President Les Garner called the donation "a very generous act." Cornell faculty salaries rank ninth out of 13 colleges in the Associated Colleges of the Midwest who reported salaries.