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FALL 2010
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Alumni Association President Message

Developing Leaders, Improving Lives, and Shaping the Future

Diane Irwin

It’s my honor and privilege to lead the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) Alumni Association as president for 2010–2011. During Reunion Weekend we saw the “passing of the hat” from Dean Susan Henry to Dean Kathryn Boor at the CALS Alumni Association annual breakfast. We are grateful that both of the deans see the value of our alumni association in developing leaders, improving lives, and shaping the future. CALS would not be the leader in so many fields without our alumni, faculty, and friends.

This year, with support from the dean, the CALS Alumni Association continues to transition from a dues-paying membership toward engaging all of our alumni—whether it be through recognizing their accomplishments, providing networking opportunities, or encouraging them to support the college and/or host student interns.

One of the many responsibilities of my current job in the Ballston Spa Central School District is connecting K–12 schools with higher education and industry, especially in regard to workforce development. The Center for Economic Growth and Development in Albany has identified the following five industry sectors as important to upstate New York: advanced materials, bio/life sciences, clean tech/energy, homeland security/defense, and information technology and nanotechnology/semiconductors. Similar sectors have been identified as priorities in other areas of the country.

CALS is a leader in many of these identified areas. I also can’t help but note that CALS alumni are instrumental in addressing the current economic and environmental issues in this country.

I would like to request your assistance in identifying alumni who are industry leaders in these key areas. The college and the CALS Alumni Association hope to recognize these alumni, not only through our Outstanding Alumni Awards Banquet held in November, but also through regional events that showcase our alumni accomplishments to other alumni and to people beyond the Cornell community. Please consider nominating alumni for these recognitions.

To help develop future industry leaders, our alumni association is committed to supporting our current students. We are working to make the Alumni Career Link easier to use and more meaningful to both alumni and current students. We are also looking to increase opportunities for industry field trips and internships with alumni. Please let us know if you can assist with this endeavor.

In 2009, for the first time, the CALS Annual Fund exceeded one million dollars in total giving. That would not have been possible without your generous support. Thank you! Please consider continuing that support by designating a portion of your Annual Fund gift specifically to CALS.

This an exciting time for the college and our alumni association, which both play a key role in developing leaders, improving lives, and shaping the future.

Diane M. Irwin ’94
2010–2011 CALS Alumni Association President