April 17, 2017

OP-ED: I’ve Been President Three Times and All I Get Is a Piece of Grass?!

RAWLINGS GREEN— So today is the final day that I’m going to be President of Cornell. Believe it or not, I’ve had this exact same thought twice before. It’s been a great three rides and an incredible experience being able to lead such a wonderful University, but even after all I have given to Cornell the only thing I have named after me is a patch of grass on North Campus.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m not looking for a building in prime real estate like the Arts Quad, but the best you can do for the man who has bailed Cornell out twice now is a piece of lawn that freshmen trample over while trying to get to the gym? C’mon.

I don’t think this is a crazy ask. No one has been President of Cornell more times than I have. Remember all those times I’ve guided our campus through controversy and conflict? For someone who has given so much to Cornell, and come out of retirement TWICE, I think I deserve a little more than to have a Canada Goose meeting ground named after me.

How about a building? An auditorium? An award? Heck, I’ll even take a bench in the Botanical Gardens. But the fact that the only thing dedicated to the three-time President of Cornell is a grassy knoll no one sees after their first year is a disgrace.

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