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FALL 2011
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Alumni News

vante Myrick ‘09, pictured below with Elyse Richardson ‘06
Credit: Jennifer Benson

It was a happy Homecoming for the 14,000 alumni who flocked to the hill on September 17 to watch Cornell trounce Bucknell 24-13. Among them were Ithaca mayoral hopeful Svante Myrick ‘09, pictured above with Elyse Richardson ‘06.

Stomping Grapes
Credit: Jennifer Benson

CALS grape stomping booth sponsored by the Viticulture and Enology program was also a big hit with visitors of all ages.

CALS Badges
Credit: Jennifer Benson

CALS badges were hot commodities.

CALS Candy Apples
Credit: Jennifer Benson

Deborah Feld ’10 and Karah Conklin ’10 enjoyed some candied Cornell apples.

Loren Tauer has been appointed as the first David J. Nolan Director of the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, following a generous donation by the Nolan family. The position was created by Peter J. Nolan ’80, MBA ’82, and his wife, Stephanie ’84, in recognition of Peter’s father, David J. Nolan ’49, MA ’51. David J. Nolan has been a leader in agricultural finance, serving as chairman, president, and chief executive officer at the Central National Bank of Canajoharie before retiring in the mid-1990s. He also served on the CALS Advisory Council, CALS Planned Giving Committee, and the Cornell University Council.

More than 100 years ago, a Cornell professor took his passion for fieldwork and freshwater science and spun them into an entirely new field of study: limnology. Now, a new gift from his estate is providing for its future. Professor James G. Needham taught the first limnology course in the United States—and possibly in the entire world—at Cornell in spring 1908, describing it as “an introduction to the study of the life of inland waters.” Mann Library recently received a major bequest from Needham’s grandson, James W. Needham, who died in March 2010, to support Mann Library’s collections in entomology, limnology, ecology, and natural history. The new gift boosted an existing endowment by Needham, creating the single-largest acquisitions endowment at Mann. The library has created an online exhibit to celebrate Needham’s life and contributions, called “Inland Waters: James G. Needham & the Origins of Cornell Limnology.”

Cornell’s world-renowned plant breeding program received a big boost recently, with the appointment of assistant professor Michael Mazourek, PhD ’08, as the first Calvin Noyes Keeney Professor of Plant Breeding. Calvin Noyes Keeney was an entrepreneurial seed grower in Genesee County, N.Y., who bred the stringless refugee wax, the first stringless variety of green beans. Between 1887 and 1911, he introduced 17 new bean varieties, and according to a history written by C. D. Jarvis in 1908: “[He] undoubtedly has done more along the line of bean breeding than anyone else in America.” His daughter, Ruth Keeney, bequeathed one-fourth of her estate to Cornell to support the plant breeding program. She died in 1974, and part of the fund was used to support a graduate assistantship. The rest was invested, and has recently reached an amount sufficient to endow a professorship. Mazourek specializes in the breeding of peas, peppers, melon, and squash.

Renowned for its ability to record, analyze, and preserve the sounds of the natural world, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s microphones are scattered around the globe, capturing the voices of birds, elephants, whales, and more. The problem has always been the time it takes to review massive amounts of data and pull out relevant sounds for study. A two-year, $1.25 million gift from the Kenneth L. Harder Trust will help break the data logjam, funding the backbone of the lab’s Acoustic Monitoring Project, or AMP. The Harder gift will be used to develop a new, faster system of automated acoustic data analysis—whether it’s teasing out the tiny peeps of nocturnally migrating birds or the long-distance moans of courting whales. This generous gift comes courtesy of trustee Scott Harder, Karen (Tillman) Harder ’81, Liv Harder ’11, and Donald Harder. Kenneth Harder, Scott’s uncle, was a lifelong birder.