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Lion on Thornybush Game Drive
Japanese island of Naoshima, home to world-famous Benesse Art Site designed by Tadao Ando
Family Scotland program at the Aigas Field Center
The Flavors of Tuscany
August Feature: Regional Volunteers
Alice Katz Berglas '66
Arts & Sciences
New York, NY
Favorite Cornell Spot: I have a secret, quiet walk that I take each time I am on campus. While I won’t share all its "stops," it always begins on Olin Terrace, looking out over the glorious, quiet dignity of the Arts Quad, and includes Willard Straight Hall’s "girl's" bathroom (looks the same; antiseptic smell is the same). Everything “Cornell” for me began equally with these.
Favorite Cornell Tradition: Spirit of '31 Banner Ceremony, "Pass it Forward." One of Cornell’s newest traditions, initiated at the first-ever 80th (EIGHTIETH!) Reunion of the Cornell Class of 1931 ("Thirty-Wonders"). The most senior returning Reunion Class formally hands the Fifth Reunion its Class Reunion banner.
Cornell Volunteer Communities: Cornell University Council (CUC); Class of 1966 (President and Reunion Co-Chair); Arts and Sciences Advisory Council; Sy Katz '31 Parade; Sphinx Head Society; A.D. White Greek Leadership Conference; Cornell NYC Sesquicentennial Advisory Committee
First CU Volunteer Experience: 15th Reunion Co-Chair. My wonderful friend and sorority sister, Lorrie Silverman Samburg, called me and said: “Will you help me? We’ll have FUN!” And we did (and so much more), but I never imagined it would be a life-defining moment.
Most Recent CU Volunteer Experience: Cornell NYC Sesquicentennial Advisory Committee—sharing with multi-generational alumni the ideas and diverse lenses as to how best to honor and capture the meaning of Cornell at its 150th milestone. The individual lenses and uniquely personal experiences behind those ideas were a Cornell education itself.
Most Impactful CU Volunteer Experience: Class of 1966 Reunion Chair. My class remains my link to Cornell; my starting-off point, and the one that has taken me through years of wonderful old and new friendships, and ever new opportunities; a jumping point to the University and its wonders. From the first car ride with my freshman trunk up Buffalo Street to our soon 50th Reunion, most impactful: working together with The Cornell Class of 1966.
Sarah Binder '01
Agriculture & Life Sciences
New York, NY
Favorite Cornell Spot: The new Cornell Dairy Bar
Favorite Cornell Tradition: Slope Day!
Cornell Volunteer Communities: CALSAA, NYC Cornellians, Class of 2001 Annual Fund Representative
First CU Volunteer Experience: Class of 2001 Annual Fund Representative
Most Recent CU Volunteer Experience: Founding the NYC Cornellians Book Club - my favorite alumni activity.
Most Impactful CU Volunteer Experience: Class of 2001 Annual Fund 10th Reunion Campaign - my partner and I were able to break every fundraising record previously held for a 10th reunion!
Kimberly "Kim" Bixler '91
Arts & Sciences
Manhattan Beach, CA
Favorite Cornell Spot: Rulloff's in Collegetown, where I met my husband, Tim Bixler (Law '93), and the suspension bridge, location of my first kiss (not my first kiss ever, just my first kiss with Tim!)
Favorite Cornell Tradition: Dragon Day
Cornell Volunteer Communities: Cornell Club of Los Angeles (Programming Chair); Cornell's Adult University (Board Member)
First CU Volunteer Experience: Young Alumni Programming, Cornell Club of Atlanta
Most Recent CU Volunteer Experience: I love to program with a theme. Last year, several programs for the Cornell Club of Los Angeles revolved around outer space: private tours of SpaceX, the Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL), the Robinson Helicopter Factory, and the Space Shuttle Endeavor. This year's theme is animals and art, with events scheduled at the Gibbons Conservation Center, Shambala (Tippi Hedren's exotic animal preserve), the Chivas Goat Farm, and The Exotic Feline Breeding Compound, commonly known as The Cat House. The art events include tours of Watts Tower, the Pageant of the Master's Living Art Show, the Frederick R. Weisman art collection, and the Getty Villa.
Most Impactful CU Volunteer Experience: I was one of the founding members of the Cornell Club of the Berkshires since they didn't have a club when I arrived. Serving on a variety of volunteer alumni boards has been a lifesaver for me. Since graduating, I have lived in Atlanta, Western Massachusetts, Northern California, and now Southern California. After the boxes are unpacked I track down the local alumni Cornell and jump right in: make new friends, have adventures, network, and explore my new surroundings!
Shane Dunn '07
Agriculture & Life Sciences
Favorite Cornell Spot: Ho Plaza. For all three years I went to Cornell (I transferred in sophomore year), I worked and volunteered at the Cornell Public Service Center every weekday (not kidding). Whether walking to or from the Public Service Center, there was always something on Ho Plaza, whether a rally, protest, dance performance, chalking, or a festival of some kind. That central part of campus really represented, for me, all that was and is great about Cornell: its commitment to freedom, openness, acceptance, and diversity of expression and community. Not to mention the view from Ho Plaza, overlooking Libe Slope, West Campus, and Cayuga Lake in the distance: pretty spectacular!
Favorite Cornell Tradition: Hockey games at Lynah Rink, specifically singing the Alma Mater before the start of the third period.
Cornell Volunteer Communities: Cornell Club of Boston (President; formerly Senior Vice President and Programming Chair); Class of 2007 Class Council (President; formerly 5th Reunion Co-Chair, 5th Reunion Class Gift Committee Chair, Northeast Regional Chair); Cornell Alumni Association (Director-at-Large; formerly Director-from-the-Region); Cornell Annual Fund National Campaign Committee; Cornell Alumni Admissions Ambassador Network (CAAAN) Volunteer; Cornell University Council (CUC); Sphinx Head Society Alumni Board
First CU Volunteer Experience: Planning young alumni happy hours in Boston right after I graduated. That's where it all began for me!
Most Recent CU Volunteer Experience: Can't really identify the most recent experience—all of my roles are ongoing leadership roles that make Cornell a daily activity for me :). But one I'm really excited about is convening a group of volunteer alumni leaders from several Boston-based school and affinity groups to talk about collaboration, communication, and engagement of all alumni in the Boston area.
Most Impactful CU Volunteer Experience: I've had the good fortunate of volunteering for Cornell in a number of diverse roles, but the most memorable, impactful alumni volunteer experience for me was serving as the Co-Chair of my 5th Reunion in 2011-2012. Although I estimate it was a 1,000+-hour job over the course of the year, it was worth every second of planning. The experience leading up to Reunion and working with my fellow Reunion chairs and Council members was nothing like the thrill of breaking Reunion records and being back on campus with 700+ classmates, both old and new friends alike. And President Skorton and his wife stopped by -- their first visit to a 5th Reunion up to that point! Thanks to everyone who made it so memorable, and who makes every Cornell alumni volunteer experience worth every minute!
Jonathan Kaplan '73, MBA '74
Favorite Cornell Spot: The tranquility inside Sage Chapel
Favorite Cornell Tradition: Hearing the Alma Mater played on the Uris Library Tower chimes
Cornell Volunteer Communities: I just finished my sixth term on the Cornell University Council, having served these past two years as Vice Chair of the Council Ambassador program. I continue, without interruption since graduation, as the lead Development (fundraising) officer of the Class of '73. Similarly, again without interruption since graduation, I continue to be what is today known as a Cornell Alumni Admissions Ambassador.
First CU Volunteer Experience: As a student, I was a charter member of the Cornell Student Ambassadors as well as an officer of the Class of '73 while an undergraduate. As an alumnus, in my first months out of Cornell, I volunteered to be President of the Cornell Club of Michigan. A whole host of people were willing to fill different leadership roles in the club, but were paralyzed by the fact that no one wanted to be President. So, I said I would be President and they all went to work!
Most Recent CU Volunteer Experience: Vice Chair of the Cornell University Council Ambassador Program. Cynthia Kubas '77 was Vice Chair for the northeast and north central regions. I was Vice Chair for the rest of the U.S. and the rest of the world. It was so impressive to have conference calls with Geo Team Leaders in Singapore, Japan, England and across the U.S., all participating despite the incredible difference in time zones.Most Impactful CU Volunteer Experience: Most impactful both for Cornell and myself has been my lifetime work as the lead Development (fundraising) officer for the Class of '73. We have never had a quinquennial reunion campaign where we did not set Cornell records for one or more of total dollars raised, number of classmates participating, or number of Tower Club donors. For our 10th reunion year campaign, we quintupled Cornell's prior record and broke the equivalent national record for 10th reunion year campaigns at any college or university by 50%.
Karen Kao '88
Agriculture & Life Sciences
Palo Alto, CA
Favorite Cornell Spot: Suspension Bridge. Who can deny the suspense of walking across this bridge?
Favorite Cornell Tradition: Dragon Day. I love the suspense of "the dragon is coming" with the footprints all over campus!
Cornell Volunteer Communities: I just stepped down as Cornell NorCal Board events director after three years of service. Now I am member-at-large and planning two fall events! Cornell Asian Alumni Association
First CU Volunteer Experience: I planned an ill-hatched happy hour with Jing Shan (later treasurer) and Charles Wu, then NorCal president and events mentor. We forgot to reserve a room. We could not meet at the start time of happy hour, so Charles Wu left work early to start our event. We met in the aisle of a pub in South Bay. What an embarrassment!
Most Recent CU Volunteer Experience: Cornell scholarships and work/study jobs made it possible for me to attend. Although I can't donate a thousand dollars, I thought why not give back to Cornell with service? In San Francisco, I look at the San Francisco club calendar and try to plan events in the pockets that seem underserved. Two years ago, the underserved pockets seemed to be community service, family, and singles age 35+. My adage was "Never plan an event alone!" So as a team, we planned two beach cleanups, two soup kitchens, and one food bank event a year.
Most Impactful CU Volunteer Experience: I think that attending the West Coast Leadership Conference and planning the Intel Museum event were my most impactful Cornell volunteer experiences. At the WCLC, I learned to problem-solve about how to plan events for niche target audiences. It was such a help to have an environment of cross-pollination to exchange ideas. The recently scheduled Intel Museum Event/ Lab targeted 7-17 year olds. From that event, I realized that the parents were as fascinated about learning as the children. It made me vow to develop more science-based famly events....with a little help from my friends!
Leora Lanz '85
Agriculture & Life Sciences
Favorite Cornell Spot: There are so many, but I guess when I visit Cornell I always go to my sorority house. It's my home on campus. While I only lived in it for one year, it represents four years of memories AND lasting friendships through today. The sisters of my year have also been making efforts over the years to organize get-togethers. We met most recently at Stout in NYC for a Saturday lunch last December, and nearly 25 of us joined in on the storytelling and laughing and squealing and hugging. It was really terrific.
Favorite Cornell Tradition: My first kiss on the suspension bridge. Most recently I took my teenage daughter to visit Cornell and I had to kiss her on the cheek and give her a hug for her kiss on the bridge, and she was furious with me. I do remember my first kiss on that bridge—a dear friend who was never a boyfriend—but I still remember it was him and I thank him for that to this day.
Cornell Volunteer Communities: Cornell Alumni Admissions Ambassador Network (CAAAN) chair representing the 4 Huntington, Long Island high school; proud board member of the Cornell Club of Long Island to help plan social and philanthropic get togethers for Cornell alumni on Long Island.
First CU Volunteer Experience: 18 years ago I started as a CAAAN volunteer contacting high school applicants. My understanding of the needs of high school students today and the expectations placed on them is quite strong thanks to my continuous contacts. I really do appreciate that I have some sense of a pulse of high school and college expectations today.
Most Recent CU Volunteer Experience: I hosted a Cornell dinner we call TABLE for 8, where alumni simply sign up to meet other alumni at a restaurant in their area. I knew only 1 of the 8 people at our table. I had never met the other alumni; we were all of different class years and from different geographic regions growing up. It turned out to be quite a comfortable and fun dinner. I also co-organized our holiday time Bear Hug party, which brings alumni together to ring in the holidays and donate teddy bears to children in hospitals. That was a very rewarding and really fun event. We plan to have it again this year at the same location, the beautiful Inn at Fox Hollow in Woodbury, NY. If anyone will be on Long Island on December 7th, 2014, please join us1
Most Impactful CU Volunteer Experience: Attending the Cornell Alumni Leadership Conference (CALC) conferences have been so enjoyable. The chance to feel the Cornell spirit among the various class years and to share such spirit and pride is something I look forward to every year. And to learn directly from the University administration about the goings-on on campus—candidly and straightforwardly—is extremely meaningful. AND Ii'm so looking forward to helping plan the Cornell 150th in April on Long Island, and celebrate my 30th reunion in the spring of 2015.
Robert Mandelbaum '81
Favorite Cornell Spot: Sitting with the pep band in Lynah Rink
Favorite Cornell Tradition: Cornell vs Harvard hockey at Lynah East
Cornell Volunteer Communities: Cornell Hotel Society (CHS) (executive committee); Cornell Hotel Society Georgia Chapter (board member); Cornell Alumni Association of Atlanta (board member)
First CU Volunteer Experience: Cornell Hotel Society, Memphis, TN, 1981
Most Recent CU Volunteer Experience: Planning annual CHS Atlanta Lodging Outlook eventMost Impactful CU Volunteer Experience: Private lunch in the Mondavi Vineyards with Robert Mondavi and his wife as we presented him with his honorary CHS membership plaque