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Cal Walker came to Ithaca in 1976 as a field sales representative with Procter & Gamble. After 15 years, he transitioned to Cornell where he recently retired after 25 years of service. He has a strong commitment to community-building and has consistently worked to advance social justice, educational access and equity, and positive youth development. Hope has been an essential element in many of Cal's life experiences. While it is often said that “hope is not a strategy," he firmly believes it depends on what one's hope is anchored in! Cal will share from his experiences going through a life-threatening illness, how a steadfast hope helped bring him through it, and how that “interruption" led to an invitation.

For more than a decade, dozens of Soup & Hope speakers have touched, inspired, motivated, and stirred the hearts of those who gather during the winter months at Sage Chapel. Stories come from a wide range of Cornell staff, faculty, students, alumni and community members. These stories of hope reflect diverse personal, cultural, religious, political, and philosophical beliefs and experiences. They are shared among friends and colleagues, over bowls of hot soup and bread.