KRAIG KAYSER: Well, good morning, everyone, and welcome to what is our 72nd Annual Joint Meeting of the Board of Trustees and the Cornell University Council. And welcome. More than 450 of us have made the journey, our annual pilgrimage to Ithaca in this beautiful fall foliage, from as far away as India and Thailand, Japan, the United Kingdom.
We have several more online. Welcome to you all. It's been just six months since we were all here together. And at that time, my predecessor, Bob Harrison, was up on stage, reflecting on his years of being chair. And now, for the first time in 10 years, Bob is enjoying the view from the audience, along with his wife, Jane. Bob?
Thank you for your outstanding leadership. And on a personal note, thank you for your very patient advice over the last nine months. Also this morning, it is my honor to welcome virtually former chair Harold Tanner and his wife, Nicki, who are listening and watching online. And we hope to see you soon, Harold. And thank you for joining us.
This morning's program consists of two parts, first, this Joint Annual Meeting and the State of the University Address, and the second part, which will follow a very short break, will be the keynote program, featuring Kavita Bala, who is the Dean of the Cornell Ann S. Bowers College of Computing and Information Sciences.
I would like to take a few minutes of your time to introduce what is the largest group of incoming newly elected trustees on record, 14. And I would ask all of you to please refrain from applause until I've had the opportunity to introduce them all. And I, unfortunately, cannot do justice to their impressive backgrounds and extensive commitment to Cornell, given the limited amount of time I've been given and the number of new trustees.
But let me begin with our two alumni-elected trustees, first, Dr. Deborah Arrindell, 1979 CALS graduate and currently vice president of Global Blood Therapeutics. Global Blood Therapeutics is developing and delivering a cure for sickle cell anemia. She is a member of numerous university groups, including the CALS Advisory Council, which named her their Outstanding Alumna in 2021.
Kimberly Dowdell, class of 2006, is a graduate of the School of Architecture, Art, and Planning and is currently an architect in the Chicago studio of global design firm HOK. This summer, she was elected by her peers in the American Institute of Architects as its president-elect.
Kim be its 100th president and the first woman of color to lead this prestigious organization. She's been active in many groups at Cornell, including the Cornell University Council, the PCCW, and the Cornell Black Alumni Association.
Now on to our eight board-elected trustees. Eldora Ellison, PhD, '94. She's a director with Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein, and Fox, an intellectual property specialty law firm. Her experience in this area on behalf of both patent owners and patent petitioners should be very beneficial to Cornell's rapidly growing research initiatives in both the life sciences and the physical sciences.
Dick Emmet, also class of '94, is a managing director of the New York City trading firm Jane Street Capital. Dick's a member of the College of Arts and Sciences Advisory Council and a college campaign co-chair. Dick and his wife, Jackie, who happens to be another 1994 alum, are the parents of three children. Robert and Elizabeth are here at Cornell, and their third is not because he's still in ninth grade. That's an old Bob Harrison punchline, I think.
Kevin Jacobs, a hotelly, and yes, another class of 1994, is the chief financial officer and president of Global Development for Hilton Worldwide and is a member of the Cornell University Council and the Cornell Peter and Stephanie Nolan School of Hotel Administration's Dean's Advisory Board. And Kevin is married to another '94 hotelly, Amanda, and they are the parents of identical twin daughters who are age 17.
Bobby Jain, '92, is a co-chief investment officer of Millennium Management and is a founder and chairman of Jain Family Institute, nonprofit research organization dedicated to addressing social issues regarding higher education finance, guaranteed income, and digital ethics and governance. And he serves on the Arts and Sciences Advisory Council and served in the past on President Pollack's Affordability Task Force.
Kevin Johnson, class of '88, is a partner and IP trial lawyer at Quinn, Emanuel, Urquhart, and Sullivan. He's based in the Silicon Valley, where he has represented many, many companies, large and small, involved with rapidly growing technologies. He's a Cornell Engineering alum and a member of several engineering college councils and is a key supporter of the college's Bridges Scholars Program.
Eric Kutcher, class of '96, Master's of Engineering, '97, is a senior partner and chief financial officer at McKinsey and Company, where he serves on the firm's executive council. He also lives in the Bay Area and is a board member of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, where he works to advance the mission of supporting, enriching, and driving the entrepreneurial innovation ecosystem of that area.
Now, Eric, with your increasing involvement with your alma mater, we would ask you to shift your attention to the booming technology entrepreneurial engine that we have here in Ithaca with our incubators on Roosevelt Island at Cornell Tech and on the Upper East Side of New York at Weill Cornell Medicine.
Gilda Perez-Alvarado is a hotelly from the class of '02 and is a global executive officer of JLL Hotels and Hospitality. She lives in Miami with her family and is a member of the Nolan Hotel School's Dean's Advisory Board.
Hernan Saenz, MBA, '98, and master's, MILR, '98, is a partner at Bain and Company. And he lives in Dallas, where he leads the firm's Global Performance Improvement Practice. He's also a founder of Latinos at Bain. He serves on the Leadership Council of the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business and returns regularly to Johnson as a senior visiting lecturer.
Now, Hernan has his undergraduate degree from Harvard and graduate degree, master's, from Stanford. I have had several conversations where he's repeatedly assured me that Cornell is his first and only love.
Let me turn to our new faculty-elected trustee, David Lee. He's a professor in the Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, the SC Johnson College of Business, and the CALS Department of Global Development. His research focuses on the interface between economic development, agriculture, and the environment. And he has been a member of the Cornell community since 1982, when he joined the CALS faculty.
His international trade class at Dyson has been a popular mainstay for decades, with 200-plus students. And he sends his regrets that he can't be here today, but he is lecturing in Southern Italy and on behalf of Cornell on various topics, one of which is climate change in the Eastern Mediterranean. Look forward to hearing about that.
Our employee-elected trustee, Hei Hei Depew, is a financial compliance analyst in the university's Division of Financial Affairs. She spent the past five years with the Employee Assembly as both vice chair and chair. And soon after the pandemic began, she played a vital role in moderating virtual staff forums between senior leadership and employees to discuss employee work conditions and employee concerns.
Our graduate and professional student-elected trustee, Dan Bromberg, was just elected last week by his colleagues. He earned his bachelor's degree in 2020 from the ILR School and is now working on his second Cornell degree as a JD candidate in the law school.
He's currently a teaching assistant in the Labor Employment Law at the ILR School and associate editor of the Cornell Journal of Law and Public Policy. As an undergraduate, Dan was a Merrill Presidential Scholar and was involved with the Cornell chapter of United Students Against Sweatshops.
And finally, our newest trustee, who was just appointed last Friday, Marty Mack. He was appointed by Governor Hochul to be her deputy on our board. Marty is a 1975 graduate of the ILR School and is an attorney. Most recently, he served as appointment secretary for the governor and previously was the New York State Executive Deputy Attorney General.
This is kind of a welcome back for Marty. He served on our board in the same capacity under Governor Spitzer and Paterson from 2008 to 2011. So welcome back, Marty, and welcome to all of our new trustees. Please stand and be recognized.
Thank you. I would also now like to welcome the new members of the Cornell University Council. And I apologize that I can't introduce each and every one of you, but welcome to the Council. Thank you for your leadership. Thank you for your commitment to the university and for being our university's most important ambassadors. Please stand and be recognized, new members of the Cornell University Council.
On a more somber note, later this afternoon, the Board of Trustees will be passing a memorial resolution honoring the Cornell service of Patricia Carry Stewart, class of 1950, who passed away this past August at age 94. Pat was a French and linguistics major here on the Hill and attended the University of Paris before launching a career in finance.
Trained on Wall Street in the 1950s, she was initially placed out of the training program as a secretary and was shortly told thereafter, you are an awful secretary. We will either have to fire you or promote you. And promote her, they did. And she was often the only or one of the only females in the boardroom. She ultimately became one of the very first women to head a Wall Street firm when she was named president of Buckner and Company.
And I heard from many, some in this room, who spoke of her insightful comments, her wisdom, her tireless efforts on behalf of Cornell students and Cornell alumni. Pat served as a trustee and eventually became the first woman to serve as vice chair of the Board. She sat on numerous advisory councils and was a counselor through six presidents. She was also one of the first to meet President Hunter Rawlings and help recruit him to Cornell.
She chaired class reunion campaigns, served on the Weill Cornell Medicine Board of Fellows, and worked in the late 1980s with President Rhodes on establishing the President's Council of Cornell Women. Since 1990, PCCW has had over 1,100 members, a legacy that will continue for future generations of Cornellians.
On behalf of the entire Cornell family and community, I want to extend our sympathy to Pat's family, to her friends, her classmates. She was an exceptional and treasured Cornellian and truly embodied how to do the greatest good. Let us pause for a moment of silence.
Thank you. I was in a Cornell event last month in New York City, and I mentioned that it really would have been difficult to imagine just two short years ago that the Cornell of today, the stronger, more resilient, and more impactful than ever before, but it is. And there is every reason to believe that that will remain to be the case, as we will hear later this morning from President Pollack and later from Dean Kavita Bala.
But now, it is my pleasure to introduce Arturo Carrillo, the new chair of the Cornell University Council. Arturo received his Bachelor of Science from the College of Engineering, 1996, Master's in Engineering in '97. Arturo and his wife, Jaime, who's also here today, also class of '96, also a Council member, live in Dallas with their children. Welcome, Arturo.
ARTURO CARRILLO: Thank you, Kraig, for wonderful insight, and thank you. President Pollack, Council members, trustees, parents, friends, and staff, I'm very pleased to welcome you to the 72nd Joint Annual Meeting of the Cornell University Board of Trustees and Cornell University Council. With a focus on engagement and Cornell's campaign to do the greatest good, this year's meeting spotlights new facilities, new and innovative programs, and initiatives.
As you participate in these programs, I urge you to reflect in the past, but most importantly, to look toward the future. The growth of Cornell has definitely not stopped, and our resolve to do this great-- to do the greatest good remains unshaken. The theme of Cornell University Council for the next two years is to be engines of engagement.
We're using Council's unique strengths and their connection to many volunteer communities to embody them with a set of priorities and tools that align with Alumni Affairs and Development, driving engagement to Cornell. Council has been busy for the last few months. Our Engagement Committee is busy developing communication and tools to support Council members as they engage with their volunteer communities and the late-- and communicate the latest university priorities as they develop.
This committee is the heart of Cornell University Council. They are what President Rhodes once said the secret weapons of Cornell. Thank you, Jennifer Warner, for leading this committee. Our Mentoring Committee is tasked with two important jobs, first, to bring in new members and make sure they quickly understand their roles and responsibilities.
Secondly, the Mentoring Committee's in charge of offboarding. Council's uniquely qualified to help transition volunteers to the next volunteer role, as our members belong to many volunteer communities, and they are leaders of leaders. Thank you, Greg Hartz and Katie Bartels, for driving these mentoring initiatives.
Our Development Committee is staffed to internally assist Council in its responsibility to support the university with gifts, large and small. In fiscal year 2022, almost 90% of Council members gave a big gift to Cornell. Development Committee is also in charge of providing information and resources for Council members so they can assist their development initiatives in their other Cornell communities. Thank you, Stephen Mong and Randall Nixon, for leading this effort.
[INAUDIBLE] Tang and Daniel Contreras lead the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee. The DEI Committee is examining many of our current methods and practices with an eye to ensure we provide a community where everyone can belong and where we are true reflection of our overall alumni population.
The Membership Committee has a hard task of selecting those that will be offered membership to Council out of hundreds of qualified candidates. Please nominate through CUVolunteer, and provide stories of what those persons would be and do to be great Council members. Jean Parker Hill and Jill Fields lead this committee. These committees, along with the Council vice chairs and the nominating committee, have been very-- have been working very hard and doing great work. Thank you.
As I mentioned earlier, our theme is to be engines of engagement. To paraphrase, the definition of an engine is something that transforms a force into a motion. In our case, we're asking members to transform their connection to Cornell into activities that promote engagement with Cornell.
All of us here have deep connections with Cornell, whether it's through friendships that Cornell allowed us to have, the ideas we learned, the professors we met, the teammates in athletics, our sorority sisters and our fraternity brothers, and so much more. These are deep emotional connections. Lots of us also have an intellectual bond with Cornell's guiding principle of any person, any study.
These are words that many of us keep going back to again and again, whether how incredibly revolutionary they are for the future or how profound when they were first spoken in 1868. In my case, I was international applicant from Mexico City, and Cornell made it possible for me to come by offering me a very generous financial aid package. And in 1994, when the peso collapsed and my parental contribution was no longer possible, an emergency fund helped me stay and graduate.
This has lent wonderful things, including meeting my wife, Jamie, also class of 1996. And while a lot of our family volunteering is certainly paying it back, a lot is the fact that stories like mine-- stories like mine continue to play out year after year, class after class, on Cornell campus. Any person, any study.
So our goal is to continue to use the force of our connection, the force of our personal story, to drive engagement, to drive action. This year and the following year, we're asking our Council members to be that engine of engagement that will help reach our campaign goal of 200,000 alumni engagements.
Through our various committees, we'll equip and assist and cheer on our members to be the catalytic agent that organize, show up, opens their home, donate their time and resources to continue to be our finest engines of engagement. Thank you.
Before I leave the stage, I have one final item. I would like to ask a dear friend of mine, immediate past year Council Chair John Kuo, class of 1985, to please join me at the podium. As he walks up, I would like to remind everyone that John was tapped to be the chair in February of 2020.
Without saying that John and our wonderful Cornell staff had to pivot many times for the next two years of John's tenure. But Cornell and Council did not stop. John, on behalf of Cornell University, I would like to read the citation to present it to you today, and it's signed by President Martha Pollack and Chair of the Board of Trustees, Kraig Kayser.
"Cornell University awards the citation to Mr. John Kuo, '85, Chair of Council 2020 to 2022, in recognition of his loyal and effective service to his alma matter. John Kuo is an inspiring volunteer, leader, motivator, organizer, and advancer of the university's mission, who persuasively builds consensus and guided the Cornell University Council during one of his most impressive productive eras. With his remarkable dedication, John has led efforts to enhance the engagement of alumni and volunteers.
Recently serving as chair of the Cornell University Council, he contributed enthusiastically and wisely to the work of the Council and led the organization with grace and compassion. John is a former member of the Cornell Mosaic Executive Committee and his 35 reunion campaign. He currently serves as a member of a large for Mosaic and continues as the immediate past chair of the Cornell University Council, at least their nominating committee.
Cornell University solutes John with an admiration, gratitude for strengthening the alumni community and advancing the university for the benefit of its students and the world. For his years of devotion and service, Cornell University Honors John Kuo." John.
Yes. Before I forget, the most important part of the session. Now I'd like to introduce the 14th president of Cornell University, President Martha Pollack. Welcome.
MARTHA E. POLLACK: Good morning, everybody. It is great to see so many of you here in Ithaca and to have so many Cornellians around the world who I know are joining us live via that livestream today. This weekend marks the first time we've ever held two trustee Council annual meetings in one year. We held one back in March. We had put that one off from the previous October because of the pandemic, and now there's the one we're having now. And for me, that means another first, two State of the University Addresses in a single year.
Now, last spring, I had to cram 17 months of incredible achievements by our faculty, our students, and our staff into just one speech. I talked really fast. I packed in everything I possibly could. And when it was over, I thought, oh, what am I going to do now with the next State of the University Address because that's only six or seven months out? Well, I shouldn't have worried because this is Cornell. And even in just seven months, our amazing Cornellians still managed to do what they do every year, give me way more to talk about than I can possibly squeeze into just 25 minutes.
But before I launch into how much we have to be proud of here at Cornell, I want to start by thanking you for everything you've done to turn ambitions into achievements through our campaign to do the greatest good. Those words, you may already know, were taken from a letter that Ezra Cornell wrote in the early days of planning this University when he was looking to do the greatest good for posterity with his fortune.
We chose that phrase for this campaign because of our deeply held beliefs in the transformative capacity of higher education, the impact it has not only on individual lives, but on entire societies and across generations. It isn't hubris to say that our institution has played an outsized role over the last century in the development of American higher education. Indeed, today, all major research universities, even those that were established long before Cornell, follow the blueprint of Ezra Cornell and Andrew White.
And it was a radical blueprint, combining research and education across a broad range of disciplines, valuing diversity and the free exchange of ideas, pursuing academics that aren't tied to a single philosophy, that aren't designed for a single kind of student. And the modern research university after the Cornell model has been a key driver in propelling the United States to its role as a powerhouse of human knowledge and creativity and a training ground for engaged citizens and capable leaders.
I deeply believe that higher education is critical to the future of our society and our planet. But leading institutions like ours need to set our sights even higher. We're going to find a way to a sustainable future with the innovations and the leadership and the civil society that meet all of the challenges we face. We're going to need a thriving ecosystem of higher education, one that works in new ways, in forward-looking ways.
We're going to need universities that employ evidence-based innovations in teaching, making students into lifelong learners, universities that embrace cross-disciplinary collaboration to solve real-world problems that don't fit neatly into one field, that power those collaborations with translational research, bringing the work of laboratories out to improve lives, that train students to communicate across difference, to understand the value of science and the humanities and how to work together for solutions that are equitable, sustainable, and scalable.
We're going to need universities that embrace and honor diversity and respectful interaction while also upholding the critically important value of free expression. And honestly, there is no university better place to be that model to do the greatest good into the 21st century than Cornell. It all begins, of course, with academic excellence, and our academic excellence is where I'll turn now.
Cornell's faculty, frankly as is true every single year, have been recognized with a huge range of awards this year, from inductions into the distinguished academies to honors in academic societies and beyond. So with apologies to everyone I'm not going to mention, and there are so many of them, I'm going to choose just a few of our faculty to highlight today, adding that faculty support is a key part of our current philanthropic campaign.
And I am so grateful to all of you who have already helped strengthen our terrific faculty, professors like Geoffrey Coates. Geoffrey is the Tisch Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, and he recently won the 2022 Eni award for advanced environmental solutions for his innovations in sustainable materials, especially recyclable and biodegradable plastics. Professor Coates is developing a new class of high-performance plastics that work just as well after being recycled.
And he's also developing a new class of cost-effective, biodegradable plastics made from recyclable materials, and plastic fibers for fishing use that will cleanly degrade in sunlight into non-toxic materials, all innovations that help decrease plastics pollutions in our soil, our oceans, and our waterways while simultaneously reducing our dependence on fossil fuels
Margaret Rossiter is the Marie Underhill Noll emerita Professor of the History of Science, and she's recently been awarded the 2022 Sarton Medal from the History of Science Society, recognizing her lifetime of research on the discrimination and obstacles faced by women in scientific fields. Her work on the lives and work of women scientists has redrawn the history of science, bringing to light the structural inequalities that systematically wrote women out of science and using an historian's toolbox to write them back in. A little nod to Hamilton, to you Hamilton fans out there.
And Assistant Professor Antonio Fernandez-Ruiz, the Nancy and Peter Meinig Family Investigator in the Life Sciences, who's been awarded the 2022 Freedman Prize for exceptional basic research from the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation. His research asks how small imbalances in neuronal dynamics can lead to cognitive dysfunction and brain diseases. And it develops new methods for researching brain circuits, brain circuit dynamics, and how to use them to better understand how we remember and learn.
Now, our academic excellence, of course, is also made possible through the strength of our colleges and schools. And as I shared with you back in March, thanks to the incredible generosity of our alumni and friends, last year, we named two schools and a college.
So to update you very, very briefly, first, the Cornell Jeb E. Brooks School of Public Policy celebrated its first anniversary last month as it welcomed the first class of undergraduates who will spend all four years of their education enrolled as Cornell Brooks students, as well as the first class of graduate students who will enroll in the college's Master of Public Health program.
The Brooks school brings the university's broadranging expertise in public policy teaching, research, and engagement together with our many policy-focused institutes and programs from Cornell in Washington to the Cornell Center for Health Equity.
Second is the Cornell Ann S. Bowers College of Computing and Information Science, created in December of 2020, which recently passed the milestone of 2,000 undergraduate majors, a six-fold increase over the last decade. Today, fully 76% of Cornell undergraduates take at least one class in Cornell Bowers CIS.
And when you see Dean Bala and she looks tired, if she looks tired-- she never looks tired. But if she did look tired, you would know why. This afternoon, the college will formally break ground on a new building, which will provide the space and the resources to accommodate its phenomenal growth.
And third is the Cornell Peter and Stephanie Nolan School of Hotel Administration, which last month marked the first anniversary of its naming, as it also celebrated the 100th anniversary of its founding. Part of the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business, the school continues to train the leaders of the global hospitality industry and to create its future while making traveling Cornellians feel at home wherever they go.
That's Michelle Cannon, class of '13, and Alyssa Belezos, class of '10, who were waiting for me when I checked into my hotel in London last summer. Honestly, I think I can count on one hand the hotels I've been to as a Cornell president where I didn't meet a hotelly as I walked in the front door.
This past summer, we also celebrated the 10th anniversary of Cornell Tech and a decade of incredible achievement in progress on our Roosevelt Island campus. We've completed phase one of our construction. We're moving forward to phase two. And that phase will enable us to meet our goals of expanding our student body from about 500 students today to 2,000 students 20 years from now. And honestly, I could fill another whole talk with the incredible work being done at Cornell Tech in pathbreaking fields from urban tech, public tech, public interest tech, health tech, and beyond.
Within and across all of Cornell's colleges and students, we continue to build our academic distinction through an incredible range of innovative, forward-looking programs that meet the needs of our time. One example is the newly named Cornell Mui Ho Center for Cities within the College of Art, Architecture, and Planning, which advances action-based research towards more equitable and sustainable cities, developing approaches that can address a range of urban problems from climate adaptation to urban mobility to clean air and water.
And there's the Clinical and Translational Science Center at Weill Cornell Medicine, which crosses the boundaries of translational research and innovation to accelerate the clinical application of basic science discoveries, really turning laboratory discoveries right into improved patient health. The CTSC just received a $61 million grant, the largest in Weill Cornell Medicine history, from the National Institutes of Health, guaranteeing its funding through 2027.
And then there's one of my favorites, the Cornell Riney Canine Health Center within the College of Veterinary Medicine. I say this, by the way, as a cat person, not a dog person. But I still love our Cornell Riney Center. This is a world-leading home for canine expertise built on our unparalleled history of animal health research and care.
That's Rosie and Winnie, by the way. They are two of our-- I bet you didn't know we had this-- veterinary blood bank donors. And also, you might not know this, but more than half of routine canine vaccines were developed right here at Cornell.
And then there's our Active Learning Initiative, which last month, celebrated its 10-year anniversary. This institute approaches the practice of teaching and research, teaching and learning with the same evidence-based rigor and drive for innovation that we bring to every other part of our academic mission.
And just one more because I could go on forever, we're moving forward with plans for a new Center for Racial Justice and Equitable Futures, part of our institutional commitment to further racial equity and justice through our teaching and scholarship. The new center will both support and build on our existing academic programs and our strong academic commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, a commitment to build and deploy best practices in everything from first-generation support, support for our first-generation students, to our public safety framework.
Now, that may seem like a lot, but I haven't gotten to our amazing students. And actually, I'm going to ask the teleprompter to pause because I want to add one unscripted thing hot off the press. Hot off the press, Wednesday afternoon-- it's not just our students and our faculty and our staff. It's our alumni.
Wednesday afternoon, we learned, with the new class of MacArthur scholars, the so-called genius prize, that it includes two Cornell alumni, computer scientist Yijing Choi, Master's of Science class of '09, and artist and architect Amanda Williams, class of '97. So kudos to them.
Back to our students, and starting in outer space. This is Rocky An, class of '23. He's a biological and mechanical engineering double major in the College of Engineering. And he may have solved the mystery of why astronauts' immune systems become suppressed in outer space.
His paper, "MRTF may be the missing link in a multiscale mechanobiology approach towards macrophage dysfunction in space,"-- I practiced that, macrophage dysfunction in space-- which was published in Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology last month, identifies a transcription factor, MRTF, as a likely culprit. an hopes that his work will be a first step towards a spaceflight-immune treatment.
And this is not his first paper. Earlier this year, he was also first author on a paper on "CFD-DEM simulation of microbial communities in spaceflight and artificial microgravity." No idea what it is. And I know I said this already, but undergrad.
Now, you're really going to want to clap for this next one because across the Atlantic, a team of students from Cornell Cuvee, the university's wine education and blind tasting society, competed in the Millesime competition in Lausanne, Switzerland, last summer. And another group of Cuvee students traveled to the Left Bank Bordeaux Cup in Bordeaux, France.
As part of those competitions, the students were given unknown wines, and they were expected to provide the grape, the place, the associated classification, the vintage, and producer, along with a pairing. Europe has two and a half millennia of winemaking tradition. But Cornell has hotelleys. And our Cornell hotelly teams took first place at both competitions.
One more student story, this one from New York City. CALS senior Bryce Demopoulos, class of '23, probably was not expecting to directly save any lives as a summer research intern in the Division of Regenerative Medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine last summer. But in August, while he was waiting for the number 6 train going downtown, he saw a man stumble and fall right into the tracks. And he did this.
I mean, I've watched that a few times. Did you see the lights of the oncoming train? Well, Cornell's newest undergraduates, the class of 2026, have a lot to live up to, but they are simply remarkable, hailing from 67 countries with more than 18% identifying as the first generation in their family to attend college. They're just some of the students whose life-changing Cornell educations we are supporting through our philanthropic campaign with its ambitious goals of increasing socioeconomic diversity in our student body. And again, I thank all of you who have contributed to that.
Our new class is also the first class to be welcomed to a fully open and operational North Campus Residential Expansion, or NCRE. It opened its last three buildings this summer, Barbara McClintock Hall, Hu Shih Hall, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg Hall. All together, NCRC brings over 2,100 new beds to North Campus along with the truly spectacular Toni Morrison Dining Hall, which I know a number of you had the chance to experience for yourselves last night.
I simply cannot overstate the degree to which NCRC is transforming the undergraduate residential experience on campus, enabling more Cornell undergraduates to spend more of their time at Cornell, living in a residential environment that was designed and built to foster their academic and personal growth.
Now, for many of our Cornell students, athletics are a key part of that growth, students like Caroline Ramsey, class of '23, who, this year, became the first Cornellian named to the US National Team in field hockey, and Yianni Diakomihalis, class of '23, who won his third NCAA wrestling title this year, becoming just the 50th athlete in history and the second Cornellian to win three national titles, and Siva Subramaniam, class of '24, who became the first Cornellian to claim a national title in squash this year, with a dramatic victory over a Boston area college that I won't name other than to mention that our men's ice hockey team has now beaten them 79 times while skating around fish.
And all of our amazing student athletes in the sailing, lacrosse, ice hockey, basketball, track, gymnastics, and equestrian teams who, this year, qualified for the Ivy and ECAC tournaments, made it to the NCAA championships, won the Ivy show, and gave us so many reasons to come together and cheer the Big Red, like our nationally ranked men's soccer team, who recently upset number 5 ranked Syracuse just a few days before beating that same Boston area college that I'm not going to name.
All of Cornell's excellence is supported and enriched by the vital role of our staff. And I would be remiss if I didn't highlight a couple of them, people like Sean Gnau, a web designer in Cornell Information Technology's Web Accessibility Team. As lead trainer in the Web Content Accessibi-- as a lead trainer in Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, Sean shares his knowledge across the university, and he's always looking for ways to make Cornell's resources more accessible to those with disabilities.
And there's Denise Hubbard, an inventory coordinator and student in campus life who's taken incredible initiative in expanding Cornell's culture of sustainability and new directions, establishing processes to reupholster and repair damaged furniture that can then be restored instead of replaced, and connecting Cornell with area charities so that furniture at the end of their Cornell caree-- its Cornell career can find new life elsewhere. Thanks to her, hundreds of beds and mattresses have been donated to area families, along with hundreds of other pieces of furniture that have gone to those in need instead of to landfills.
And speaking of sustainability, like many other universities, Cornell has an ambitious plan to achieve carbon neutrality, in our case, by 2035. But unlike many other institutions, we aren't pursuing that goal only by applying existing technologies. We're also using our institutional strengths and resources to develop new ones. Over the summer, we finished drilling our two-mile-deep Cornell University Borehole Observatory, the first step in Earth source heat. This is our plan to warm our chilly Ithaca campus with carbon-free geothermal energy.
Now, just to give you a sense of how deep that is, if you walked from the Straight to the vet school and back again, that's two miles. And that's how far down we dug. The idea is to pump water down, use the heat that's down there to naturally heat it, pump it back up to the surface, put it through a heat exchanger, and then use a separate water supply to heat the campus. And if this approach is successful, it could not only enable us to reach our institutional goal of carbon neutrality on the Ithaca campus by 2035, but it could also lead the way for similar renewable energy efforts elsewhere.
We continue to expand our work in sustainability, work that, this year, was recognized with a platinum rating from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability and Higher Education. Some of you know it as AASHE. Only a handful of other universities have achieved this distinction, and Cornell is the first, the first to have achieved it three years in a row.
One of our key initiatives within sustainability is the newly launched 2030 Project, which draws on Cornell expertise to build real-world solutions across the immensely complex web of sustainability challenges. Thanks to the generosity of our supporters, the 2030 Project has just released its first grant to faculty working on climate solutions, for example, advanced materials for carbon capture and solar panels, paths for autoworkers to navigate the workforce transition to electric vehicles, practices for reducing methane emissions in the dairy industry-- you all know what that means-- and the creation of new textiles for cooling and energy efficiency.
And that's just part of our overall work towards sustainability, supported in tremendous measure by the Cornell Atkinson Center for Sustainability, which thanks to the wonderful generosity of the Atkinson family, will soon have a new home on Tower Road, Atkinson Hall, which will also support interdisciplinary research and education in public health, cancer, immunology, and computational biology.
The work that Cornell is doing in and across our schools and colleges will reverberate across lives for decades to come as we generate the next education of thinkers and doers, scientists, and scholars. According to some new data from the American Bar Association, Cornell Law School sent a higher percentage of its 2021 graduates to large law firms than any other US law school.
And the Association of American Colleges-- sorry, the Association of American Medical Colleges, we always call it AAMC-- reports that Weill Cornell Medicine continues to send, as it has for many years, the highest percentage of medical graduates to any American medical school-- of any American medical school into academic medicine as full-time faculty. I sort of stumbled over that, so let me repeat. We produce more doctors who become medical professors than any other school, in terms of percentages. We're a small school.
Weill Cornell Medicine also continues to hold the number one position for the highest percentage of students who graduate with a combined MD/PhD. And our academic distinction is not just shaping the next generation of world-class scientists and scholars, but also the generations that will follow them. There is a new study that shows that almost 2% of all tenure track faculty in the United States were trained at Cornell.
As a nation, we are at a critical juncture, where divisions in our society and erosion of trust in our institutions have brought new challenges to higher education, even as higher education has become more essential than ever to our progress and our future. And yet at this time of division and distrust, the ethos and the expertise of Cornell inspire confidence far beyond our own community.
In a recent study of 11,000 American adults, Cornell ranked in the top four among highly ranked US universities in public trust, a testament, I think, to our reputation and to our impact. And so our challenge now is to continue to earn that trust by living up to the potential that Ezra Cornell saw in this institution 157 years ago, to marshal the best among us and the best in us to do the greatest good.
And even in these times where every day seems to bring news of another crisis, I remain deeply optimistic about Cornell and about our potential to sway the course of our shared future through the fulfillment of our core mission to discover, preserve, and disseminate knowledge, to educate the next generation of global citizens, and to promote a culture of broad inquiry with an openness to innovation and a determination to set our sights ever higher as the model of a 21st century university.
So I want to close as I began, by saying thank you for all of your support and for joining in our work to do the greatest good for a new generation and for the generations that will follow. Thank you very much.
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President Martha E. Pollack delivered the State of the University Address on Oct. 14, 2022 as part of Cornell's Trustee-Council Annual Meeting.