[MUSIC - NICK FRADIANI, "BEAUTIFUL LIFE"] [MUSIC - OWL CITY & CARLY RAE JEPSEN, "GOOD TIME"]
SPEAKER 1: Ladies and gentlemen, at this time, please take your seats. The program is about to begin.
[MUSIC - OWL CITY & CARLY RAE JEPSEN, "GOOD TIME"]
As we begin our program, we would like to acknowledge the elected and government officials who have been such strong supporters of Cornell Tech and are here with us today. Elected officials-- Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, State Senator Michael Gianaris, State Senator Jose Serrano, Assembly Member Deborah Glick, Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright, New York City Public Advocate Letitia James, City Comptroller Scott Stringer, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Council Member Daniel Garodnick, Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer, and Council Member Ben Kallos.
Government officials-- Melissa DeRosa, secretary to Governor Andrew Cuomo; Howard Zemsky, president And CEO, Empire State Development; Susan Rosenthal, president of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation; Kristen Titus, Chief Technology and Innovation Officer of New York State; Lindsey Boylan, Chief of Staff, Empire State Development; Anthony Shorris, First Deputy Mayor of New York City; Alicia Glen, Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development; James Patchett, President of New York City Economic Development Corporation; Gabrielle Fialkoff, senior advisor to the mayor of New York City and director of the Office of Strategic Partnerships; Victor Calise, Commissioner, Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities; Maria Torres-Springer, Commissioner, New York City Housing Preservation and Development; Debbie Marcus, Executive Director, Computer Science Education at New York City Department of Education; and Jim Clynes, Chair of Manhattan Community Board 8.
Please welcome to the stage, Dean and Vice Provost of Cornell Tech, Daniel p Huttenlocher.
DANIEL P. HUTTENLOCHER: You know, I used to love looking at those videos of the campus. But I'll tell you, the real thing's even better than the drone videos.
Welcome to this amazing, permanent home for Cornell Tech, a new type of graduate campus that's purpose-built for the digital age, an age when new products are developed in weeks and months, not in years and decades-- an age when digital technology is transforming how we work, how we learn, how we live, and how we play. This is also a new era for tech in New York-- now, one of the world's top locations for tech startups and the leading home for tech in media, finance, and increasingly in other sectors.
Cornell Tech is a key part of this change. We're developing new approaches to tech education and research that both benefit from and contribute to the dynamic tech community here in New York. We're developing pioneering leaders who imagine, research, and build new digital technologies. We're helping the city create a diverse pipeline of tech talent and broadly engaging with companies, early-stage investors, nonprofit organizations and government agencies.
We've already spun out well over 30-- in fact, the latest number as of yesterday was 38-- startup companies from Cornell Tech. 94% of them are here in the city.
People often ask what it's like creating a new university campus from scratch. When it's something as broadly needed as this new campus for the digital age, I have to tell you, it's a bit like surfing a big wave-- totally exhilarating, but pretty challenging to keep up with. In just the beginning of our fifth academic year-- because we had four years in the Google building before we moved here-- we now have around 300 full-time, outstanding graduate students, dozens of world-class professors, and, about, 100 staff and researchers. We're growing at the rate of a startup.
We're building on the vision of extraordinary leaders, on the strength of our amazing faculty and staff, and the work of many incredible partners-- too many to name today, but you all know who you are. We're standing on four pillars of strength that are represented by many people that are here today for the celebration. Some, you will see onstage, some in the audience. And over the course of the program this morning, you'll see that we've taken a fairly different approach to ribbon cutting.
We tend to do everything a little differently here at Cornell Tech. In today's program, various individuals who have a connection to each of four pillars of strength for Cornell Tech will participate as ribbon bearers in a ribbon that's going to come through the audience during the course of the remarks. And then, they will pass the ribbons off to some current Cornell Tech students.
The connective thread through all of this is the tremendous dedication. And many of the people who are the ribbon bearers are individuals who've shown that tremendous dedication that's enabled us to develop this project at warp speed-- warp speed, even compared to the way industry moves, much less something that's a partnership between academia and government like this campus. From the first ideas to the reality of the campus we see today, it was a matter of just a handful of years. And in the future, we're going to grow to many, many times more than what you see here today.
At Cornell Tech, we are dreamers and builders for the 21st century. The first pillar of Cornell Tech and of our celebration today is interconnections between academia and industry. Our charge at Cornell Tech is to accelerate growth and innovation. And so our academic program is designed to bring research to life by working closely in collaboration with companies to create real-world impact.
This pillar of the celebration today will be led by Michael Bloomberg, whose mayoral administration started this journey and whose generosity and leadership make what we do possible every day. Thank you, Mike.
The second economic pillar for Cornell Tech is economic development in the city, in the state, in the nation, and in the world. And Cornell Tech is a unique public-private partnership with an explicit goal of driving economic growth for New York and for progress around the globe. This pillar is being led by Governor Andrew Cuomo who has made New York state into a global destination for innovation and economic opportunity. Thank you, Governor Cuomo.
The third pillar is New York City. At Cornell Tech, we're committed to creating a pipeline of tech talent that is inclusive and reflects the diversity of the city of New York. This pillar will be led today by Mayor Bill de Blasio, whose administration has partnered with Cornell Tech to bring digital education opportunity to thousands of K-12 public school students and to a program called Whitney that we offer together with CUNY, Women in Technology in New York. Thank you so much, Mayor de Blasio.
The fourth pillar is institutional leadership. Cornell University has developed this amazing new campus. And with our academic partner, the Technion have created the truly unique Jacobs Institute at Cornell Tech that pushes the boundaries of academia. Cornell and Technion are institutions dedicated to academic excellence and to societal impact, core values of not only the two parent universities but all of our programs at Cornell Tech.
This pillar will be led by the chair of Cornell University's Board of Trustees, Bob Harrison, by Cornell University President, Martha Pollack, and by Technion President, Peretz Lavie. There are several others who have played tremendously important institutional leadership roles-- notably, former deputy mayor Bob Steele, former EDC president, Seth Pinski, former Cornell president, David Skorton, and former Cornell provost, Kent Fuchs. And I want to thank everyone who will be participating today as in this leadership, but also those who participated in the past, for your commitment to this very bold experiment, for your belief in creating something different, and for taking the risks to make it a reality.
Today, we're celebrating-- on time, I will note-- the delivery of one major part of our commitment to New York, with the opening of the first phase of this beautiful, innovative destination campus. I hope that as you explore the campus and as you get to know Cornell Tech and the Jacobs Institute, you will see these four pillars throughout everything that we do-- not just here today in this event, but every day here at Cornell Tech. Thank you all for joining us on this special day.
Our first speaker today is Michael Bloomberg. Under Mike's leadership as mayor, New York City launched the visionary Applied Sciences Competition that made Cornell Tech possible and helped drive the remarkable growth that we've seen in the city's tech sector in the intervening years. Since leaving office, Mike's commitment to Cornell Tech and to the tech sector in New York City has only grown. For us, he has been a trusted adviser, a benefactor, and a key voice in supporting our work. Please welcome Mike Bloomberg.
MICHAEL BLOOMBERG: When the dean described it was going to happen with the banners, I didn't understand it. I guess now, I do.
It wasn't as complex as they described it.
Anyways, Dan, thank you for those kind words and for all that you've done to take a wild and, some said, unrealistic idea and turn it into this extraordinary campus. And there are so many other people to thank that you have, but let me just-- everything's been said, but it hasn't been said by everyone. So I will fill that gap by thanking a few, starting with Governor Cuomo, who was a steadfast supporter of this project from the beginning, and Mayor de Blasio and his administration who really have been good partners.
And I also want to thank our team at city hall, especially Bob Steele and Seth Pinsky, who actually came up with the idea back in December of 2010, only seven short years ago. And they spearheaded the competition that made this new campus possible, and here we are. And I also want to thank Patti Harris, whose dedication to this project, as to virtually everything that New York City did for 12 years and our foundation does today. Thanking her for everything that she's done. And both Patti and Seth who are holding the ribbons today-- thank you both.
But having said all that, the real credit goes to the schools that had the courage to take a big chance on this project, and the foresight to imagine what it could be. Cornell's president at the time, David Skorton, shared his vision for this project-- shared our vision for this project. And he and his successor, Martha Pollack, who you're going to hear from in a few minutes, really did an incredible job of bringing it to life.
And so to them and to President Peretz Lavie of the Technion Israel Institute of Technology, who recognized an opportunity from 5,600 miles away, let me just say thank you to all of you. And congratulations. You are the ones that did it.
Now, this really is an amazing milestone for both universities and for the Roosevelt Island community and for the whole city. In many ways, this campus helps bring New York City back to the future. For most of our history, this city has been a global leader in science and technology.
The first commercial steamboat, the first power plant, the telegraph, taking movies, the cell phone, the ATM machine all grew out of New York City. And so, too, did pacemakers, lasers, and MRI machines. Technological innovation played a central role in allowing New York City to become a global economic capital, and it must continue to play a central role for New York to remain a global economic capital.
This campus will help ensure that we do, and it's a great example of what made that partnership possible. Cornell Tech is the result of collaboration-- collaboration between the public and private sectors, collaboration between universities and businesses, collaboration between artists, architects, and so many others. And it is intended to spur collaboration between students and professors, between scientists and technologists, and between academics and entrepreneurs.
And that's why there are very few walls in the building. And where they exist, they are often transparent, in many cases, doubling as writing surfaces. Now, this may be the only university building in the world with no private offices for professors. And that is a feature, not a bug.
The more the students and professors interact with each other, the more opportunities there are for learning and for discovery. And the more they are exposed to ideas outside their own fields, the more opportunities there will be for creative thinking. And that's why we've incorporated so much great art into this building, including abstract WPA murals that were saved from the old Coler Goldwater Hospital.
There is also great art at the conference rooms, which are called discovery rooms. Because if you think about it, the art of discovery involves collaboration. Another art installation in the cafe was inspired by the first major book written on computer programming back in 1962. When I was in college, you didn't think that college has them, but they did. Back then, no one could envision how computers would change the world, the way we live, and the way we work.
And I hope it will remind students when they look up at the ceiling of that cafeteria, maybe in between bites of a sandwich, that they can change the world as well. That forward-looking perspective is built into the DNA of this campus. It's home to the first-ever residential high-rise built to passive housing standards, which is one of the highest standards for energy efficiency. And the main academic center aims to be one of the largest net-zero buildings in the world.
The architects who designed these extraordinary buildings and the construction crews that built them have created something that I hope they will be proud to show their children and grandchildren, just as I am. Now, I don't know whether any of my grandchildren want to apply to school here. But if they do, they had better have better grades than the grandpa did.
For the record, my academic record-- I always made the top half of the class possible.
I always tell that joke and wait to see how long it takes before you laugh. You, sort of, got a B-plus, not better. I've said many times, in all seriousness, that the best inheritance that I can leave my daughters and my grandchildren is a better city and a better world. And I think it's fair to say that there are a few projects that can do as much for both places as this one we are opening today.
And that's why I made a gift to the school in honor of both of my daughters, Emma, who is helping to hold the ribbon, and Georgina, my other daughter. The school is an investment in the future of New York City, and that future belongs to generations to come and the students who will help build it. The companies they create will generate jobs for people across the economic spectrum.
They'll generate revenue that will help the city to pay for vitally important services, and they will help our city compete with tech centers around the world, from Silicon Valley to Seoul. I've had the chance to meet a few of the students who hail from around the world, and we are glad to have two of them here today to hold the ribbon-- [INAUDIBLE], who is just starting, and Sonia, who graduated last year after attending Cornell Tech in its temporary home in Chelsea.
This school was built to help them bring students' dreams to life. And everywhere they look, they'll see inspiring examples of human energy and creativity. So when students look west, they'll see the ever changing Manhattan skyline, including the UN headquarters, where the world comes together to address common challenges. When they look east, they will be able to watch the transformation of the Queen's waterfront.
When they look north, they'll see a bridge that inspired Paul Simon and F Scott Fitzgerald, not to mention Spiderman. And when students look south, or at least when they walk south, they will see Four Freedoms Park. It's a beautiful monument to President Roosevelt's vision for a future free from want, fear, repression, and censorship.
Science and technology is drawing us closer to fulfilling that vision. But we still have a long ways to go, and every student here can help move us forward. And for giving them a chance, I want to, again, thank everyone who played a role in bringing Cornell Tech to life. This really is a great day, and I'm looking forward to seeing what the future holds. All the best and to all of you who made it possible, thank you.
DANIEL P. HUTTENLOCHER: We're grateful to be joined this morning by someone who has been a champion not only for higher education in New York but for affordable higher education, most recently evidenced by his Excelsior Scholarship program, in which Cornell's contract colleges are proud to participate. He's a friend of Cornell and a crucial supporter for Cornell Tech, Governor Andrew Cuomo.
Since day one, Governor Cuomo has been committed to lifting up our colleges and universities from New York's world-class SUNY and CUNY public schools to our leading private schools, including Cornell. And at a time when research funding is under threat in Washington, Governor Cuomo is making unprecedented investments across the state to ensure New York and its premier institutions continue to be at the forefront of research and innovation.
So we're grateful for his support and for his leadership. And please join me in welcoming the 56th governor of the state of New York, Mr. Andrew Cuomo.
ANDREW CUOMO: And the banner grows. I really wanted to be a banner carrier myself. First, to Dean Daniel Huttenlocher, let's give him a round of applause and congratulations.
And thank you for having us here today. To Mayor Michael Bloomberg, it's an honor to be here with you, and congratulations today, Mayor Bloomberg.
Mayor de Blasio, it's a pleasure to be with you. Congratulations on last night. To Peretz Lavie, it's a pleasure to be with you again, and you're welcome in being now a member of the family of New York, Bob Harrison, Chairman of the board. And my banner carriers, who are a very distinguished-looking group-- they are students, and they are representing the engineers and the entrepreneurs of tomorrow.
We have, from Cornell Tech, [? Trishala ?] [? Naraj, ?] [? Renee ?] [INAUDIBLE], [? Sean ?] [? Bromsen. ?] And we have two students from CUNY's LaGuardia Community College, [? Louis ?] [? Medina ?] and [? Christian ?] [? Robinson. ?] Let's give them a round of applause.
This is an exciting day for New York, obviously. The opening of Cornell Tech is an extraordinary, extraordinary, singular achievement. Just the design, the look, the feel of the campus, you know, is something different. But it's actually even more than that.
It's an important milestone in New York's long-term economic strategy and a powerful symbol of possibility at a time when many are frightened about the economic future. Today, we take a bold step in the tech arena with the opening of this campus. It's ambitious.
It was almost an audacious dream when it was uttered. But now, just a few years later, it's actually a powerful reality. Congratulations to Cornell and Technion Institute of Technology. This is a good marriage. It is a good deed.
In New York, we would say, Peretz, this is a mitzvah.
[LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE]
Cornell has been dedicated to teaching in advanced engineering sciences since its foundation in 1865. Technion has been an international leader and is one of the reasons why Israel is the global leader in tech and innovation. In March, I visited Israel, and we made a partnership between Technion and the New York Genome Center.
So this is going to follow on that, and we are very, very excited. Each university has its strength in its own right, but the combination is powerful. With the mathematics professionals in this room, you may disagree. But this is a case of one plus one equaling three.
This is Cuomo's theory of higher math, I want you to know. But the synergy between these two organizations is going to be exciting. It's also a big step forward on New York's long-term economic future, because it reflects the honest realization that New York must keep pace with the changing economy, and that there was a void in our competitiveness.
We were losing ground in the tech race. That is true not because others were winning, but because we were not competing. The new marketplace challenge, which was tech transfer and putting together academia and commercialization-- frankly, we were slow to the starting gate. And it's ironic, as the mayor noted, because New York historically led transfer tech before they even called it that.
George Eastman pioneered work in photography, and then that led to Eastman Kodak in Rochester. Thomas Edison, the first electrical power grid in lower Manhattan-- Willis Carrier designed commercial air conditioners in Brooklyn and moved it up to Syracuse to actually do production. In 1914, Thomas Watson became general manager of a small company in Endicott, New York.
The Computer-Tabulating-Recording Company. He later changed the name to IBM. But that was history. And in 2010, when Mayor Bloomberg assessed the situation, he was right.
We needed an aggressive strategy to catch up. And that's when Mayor Bloomberg envisioned an initiative to create a new high-tech ecosystem to compete with Silicon Valley and Boston in Massachusetts, and to build a university ecosystem that fostered innovation, that attracted the best, and partnered with private-sector companies.
The initiative signaled both our need to compete and the void, but also our determination to enter the arena and dominate. Mayor Bloomberg was right, and I share his vision. When I came in as governor, I did the exact same thing, working to make New York state the home to high tech.
We changed the culture from SUNY and CUNY, and have changed the culture to one that understands and appreciates that academia works best when it works with the private sector in real-life application models. We have a STEM scholarship program for the first time. We have advanced training for public school teachers in STEM.
We started the largest life science program in the state's history-- 620 million dollars. And we did it upstate also. We brought Tesla to Buffalo, believe it or not, to build the largest solar panel manufacturing facility in the hemisphere. We're developing a drone cluster in Syracuse.
In Rochester, we're taking their experience with Kodak and Bausch & Lomb and making them the new photonics center. Albany, New York is the new capital for a nano-scale R&D. Long Island-- we're working on a biomedical research triangle with Cold Spring Harbor, SUNY Stony Brook, and the Feinstein Institute. And it's working.
Today, New York has attracted the giants of the tech world-- Amazon, Google, Facebook, Spotify, the list goes on the roll here. And the industry is booming. Job growth since 2010 in the tech sector has increased 26%. That's compared to a national rate of 60.
So the arrows are pointed in the right direction. Let's have round of applause for everyone who's been involved in this fantastic project.
But to me, today's project illustrates even more. It is a powerful example of what effective government and leadership can actually accomplish. Now, it is fitting that this magnificent complex includes the Bloomberg Center.
And it's also fitting that it is located on an island named after a great New York governor and a great President, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. FDR recognized the possibility of government to make a difference in people's lives. He was not about theoretical change or change in the abstract.
He was about change in practical terms. FDR knew that holding office was not the real goal of an elected official, that pontification and mere advocacy are not the goal of an elected official. The goal of an elected official is to make change for the people they serve.
Mike Bloomberg's tenure reflected FDR's theory. Politics and government on one level is a science, my friends. It's not as technical as the science you teach here, but Mike Bloomberg had the formula. Vision plus confidence plus achievement equals progress.
Mike's formula was shared by my father, Mario Cuomo, who called himself a pragmatic progressive. Think about it-- a progressive who gets things done and gets results. Senator Moynihan recognized the skill that the mayor and his entire administration brought to government, and how essential that skill was. Senator Moynihan said the most exciting thing you encounter in government is competence, because it is so rare.
Classic Moynihan. Mike Bloomberg made a difference. He made a difference with his ban on smoking. And my guess is, he saved lives.
He made a difference with his calorie counts on menus, injecting Jewish guilt at just the moment that it could change behavior.
He took on the national problem of urban education by pioneering mayoral control. He learned from Robert Moses and President Eisenhower that growth follows transportation when he built the west-side extension of the 7 train and unleashed construction in Hudson Yards. He created bike lanes, he created the 311, he created the high line, and he created more open space than ever before. He literally changed the face of New York.
Mike believes there are no small solutions to big problems. Cornell Tech eventually will be a $2 billion project, but that's what it requires to make a statement in this market space. And that is the New York way.
That's why we're building a new LaGuardia Airport-- first new airport in 20 years in this country-- a new JFK, a new Penn Station, a new Kosciuszko Bridge, a new Tappan Zee Bridge. Modernizing our mass transit system, which is falling apart after 100 years-- these are big problems, but New Yorkers know how to effect big solutions.
And we're not just talking about it. We're not planning it. We're doing it. We are standing on Roosevelt Island today. This is a reality.
Today shows the intelligent way forward and the ability to achieve it. And it comes at a crucial time in our nation's history. We have a frightened citizenry.
They are frustrated in their economic circumstance. They are frustrated with government's inability to make a difference. Our federal government is offering only political bromides as the cure for their economic anxiety and fear.
Washington's message for economic development is, let's go back to the economy of the '50s and the '60s. There is no future there, my friends. The rhetoric may sound persuasive, but it's not true, it's not smart, and it's not even possible.
The truth is this. An economy that does not invest today in the industries of tomorrow is destined to be trapped in the jaws of yesterday. In New York, we know our future is what we make it.
We know what needs to be done, and we are doing it. And we know we can do it, because it is happening. It's about building a state-of-the-art infrastructure. It's about making every college affordable, and free college for children who can afford it so we tap the development potential of every child that is born in this state.
It's paying a living minimum wage, enhancing immigrants and the energy they bring to the economy as a source of renewal, and appreciating that diversity. It's about investing in science and technology, not just as an economic development strategy but as a way to improve the quality of life. These are our north stars, our guideposts.
Mayor Bloomberg helped chart the course. And now, New York leads the way. So Cornell Tech, welcome to New York. You embody the Roosevelt spirit of possibility. And Mayor Bloomberg, thank you for today.
And Thank you for 12 years of extraordinary service. You, my friend, left New York City better than you found it. And there is no higher praise for a public servant. Thank you and God bless you.
DANIEL P. HUTTENLOCHER: Last month at Cornell, we celebrated the inauguration of Martha Pollack as the 14th president of Cornell University. Trading in her Michigan maize and blue for Cornell red, Martha brings a long and distinguished career as a scholar of computer science, a field that several of us know a little bit about here as scholars of computer science.
And she is a kindred spirit as a leader in the field of artificial intelligence. Martha is no stranger to Cornell and Cornell Tech. She was a member of the steering committee of the Jacobs Institute here at Cornell Tech, and she brings incredible passion to her leadership of the university overall and of this campus. Please help me in welcoming Cornell University President, Martha Pollack.
MARTHA POLLACK: Dan and I actually do go way back in the computer science world, so thank you very much. And it is a great privilege for me to introduce our next speaker, Mayor Bill de Blasio. Mayor de Blasio and his administration have been terrific partners for the past four years.
As one example, we were thrilled to work together to bring ferry service to Roosevelt Island for the entire island to enjoy. As someone who lives on the island when I'm in New York City, I have to say, I think ferry service is a great idea. The leadership of the mayor and his staff has also been critical to the development of the Cornell Tech campus and to our ongoing efforts to positively impact the lives of New Yorkers in all five burroughs, through our many city-based academic research and outreach programs.
We at Cornell share Mayor de Blasio's deep commitment to community, and we're working together most notably on K-12 educational initiatives to create a pipeline of tech talent in New York that will be a national model. Please welcome the mayor of the city of New York, Bill de Blasio.
BILL DE BLASIO: Let us give a very warm round of applause to the banner carriers, the banner bearers.
I don't have the biographies of each banner bearer, but they look like wonderful people, don't they? So let's thank them. Thank you so much.
Thank you, Martha. Martha, congratulations. Officially, I welcome you to New York.
We are thrilled to have you now, leading Cornell. Martha and I got together at Gracie Mansion last week, and we talked about something that we need to start addressing. It's a positive thing that we need to talk about today, and then keep talking about, which is the bigger and bigger role that Cornell plays in the city of New York.
Now, I have to tell you. I'm a proud graduate of NYU and of Columbia, and I respect those institutions greatly. But we have to acknowledge and appreciate that, more and more, Cornell is also becoming a leading institution in New York City and making New York City better in the process.
And Martha went over the list of all of the presents of Cornell in this city. And when you add it up, extraordinary things happen because of Cornell. So this is another step in that evolution. And I want to congratulate everyone at Cornell, everyone at the Technion, for what you have put together here, the ramifications of which are only just beginning to be felt for this city. But we are so grateful to all of you.
Now, I also appreciate the values of Cornell. Cornell has had a history of seeing the world in an inclusive manner, long before it was fashionable. The folks who put together Cornell originally, who created it and nurtured it over the years, understood that our society has to function well for everyone. It has to create opportunity for all, and Cornell has acted on that vision for well over 100 years.
And here is another step in that evolution, a place that will create not just opportunity for the students who come through the doors but for all who will benefit from the work they do-- all of the folks now employed in those startups, all the New Yorkers who will find opportunity because of the innovation that occurs here. That is very much in the belief system, the bloodstream, of Cornell. And that's going to benefit us more than ever.
I want to express my appreciation as well to all of my colleagues in public life who are here. Thank you for your support for this. I want to thank the members of my administration. It's been a labor of love for them to continue this important work that was started by my predecessor.
And this is one of those moments that you don't see a lot in public life, where we get opportunity and give credit where credit is due. Now, I don't think I've been accused of being a Mike Bloomberg sycophant. So I will say that therefore, I hope the praise is seen as that much more genuine.
We're standing here because of one person who had the vision and had the persistence to believe this could happen. And I want to say to Mike Bloomberg a profound thank you on behalf of 8 and 1/2 million New Yorkers who are benefiting from your vision.
It's not necessarily amazing that people recognize on his team-- and I thank all the members of his team as well. It's not just amazing that they had the idea. What's more amazing is that they believed that could be achieved and in such record time. And it recalls to me one of my favorite movies for all the baseball fans out there-- Field of Dreams.
And there is the voice that keeps telling the character, Ray, if you build it, they will come. Well, here is the epitome of that notion, something that has created such excitement. and says to people-- and I think this was Mike's particular brilliance. This institution says to people that we will be forever a global center of technology and innovation.
There was lots of evidence here previously that we had those great attributes, but something was missing. Something had to become the exclamation point for everything that was great about New York and our innovative capacity. And this became that exclamation point.
So we are here today at a moment now, and it's working. This vision is working. Another thing I appreciate that's not necessarily the kinds of things that get on the front page but it should-- Mike Bloomberg understood, we need a diversified economy, that we could not be strong enough in the future if we didn't build a host of different industries, to ensure that we would be resilient in good times and bad.
And we're a very different city today because of it, and a stronger city. The tech ecosystem alone in this city now reaches 350,000 employees-- stunning numbers-- and growing rapidly. And that would be good news enough.
But what I always like to remind people is, these jobs in the tech ecosystem are the kinds of jobs a family can actually live on. They're good-paying jobs. They're jobs that provide a career's worth of opportunity. The salaries in this sector grew three times faster than other private sector salaries in the course of this decade here in this city.
And if you talk about the challenges that people face everyday in this city and around the country, many, many people, including middle-class people struggling to make ends meet, the tech sector offers a real solution, the kind of jobs that allow people to move forward. That's what we celebrate today, and we also celebrate the values of the tech community.
I've been struck by it. I didn't know the community well enough before becoming mayor, but as I've seen more and more, I recognize an egalitarian spirit, a sense of social consciousness, and a tremendous devotion to ensuring that more and more people of all backgrounds get educational opportunity. I've been particularly appreciative of how much the tech community, writ large, and specifically Cornell Tech, have engaged our public school system.
And we know, if we do that right, we change the future for what is now 1.1 million public school students each year. We've instituted computer science for all curriculum. Computer science for all recognizes the reality of the modern world and recognizes that if every child isn't exposed throughout their educational career, they will not be able to participate fully.
We've created the tech talent pipeline to connect everyday New Yorkers to these extraordinary opportunities. The fact is that people see this extraordinary progress here in Roosevelt Island. We want it to not seem to them a distant beacon but to seem to them a harbinger of things that will change in their lives.
I appreciate Martha's endorsement of our new ferry service. The ferry service is good for everyone, but we wanted to make sure Cornell Tech was even more connected to the rest of the city. And Martha told me it took her only 20 minutes to get to Midtown the other day, so she's very happy.
Someone in New York City has a shorter commute. That's a good thing. But look, we also have to recognize what makes us special as a city in a globalized economy and in a very competitive world in the context of a tech community globally that obviously is filled with competition. What makes New York City special?
This great institution, for sure-- but also the extraordinary diversity of our tech community. There have been raging debates around the country about the nature of the tech industry. There have been some anguished cries for more inclusion. Well, here, every day, we see inclusion in the tech community. We see the most diverse tech community anywhere in the country right here in New York City. We are showing, through action-- not just words, through action-- what it looks like to have a tech community that truly represents all the people of New York City.
And these debates have raged, particularly in Silicon Valley, and I wish them well as they resolve these issues. But I would say to anyone who's looking for a place where they can tap into the best talent, the most diverse talent, talent that speaks every language, talent that is both female and male, just come here to New York City. Plant your flag right here.
Our state comptroller just released a report, indicating that a quarter of the tech workers in this city are women already, and that number will grow. More and more tech startups started by women, and that number will grow.
So we are going to foster that strength. That's a competitive edge. It's not only morally better, it's a competitive advantage too. We're going to foster that strength. You heard about the WiTNY initiative. We're helping young women, mainly CUNY students, to have opportunities for tech internships that will set them on the path, that will open the doors and will show them this work is for them and this future is for them.
Look. I'll conclude with a note of what's very much on our minds, and the governor referred to it as well. We, as New Yorkers, we bristle when we feel there's talk of exclusion. It doesn't fit with our experience. The ultimate city of immigrants, a city going back to our founding almost 400 years ago that tended to live and let live and accept that there were all sorts of people in the world and they all could bring something to the equation.
This has worked for New York City. It's brought the greatest ideas and new thinking and creativity. It is an example of what's going to be needed in the future. What we have here is a living, breathing answer to anyone who seeks exclusion. We are proving every day that inclusion works.
I think it's something we should take stock of today and something we should be proud of as New Yorkers. And this moment epitomizes it. This beautiful new opportunity for New Yorkers of all backgrounds to go even farther. So I want to say to everyone a heartfelt congratulations. You're doing something today, all of you, that will make this city profoundly better and will give hope to so many people across the five boroughs. Thanks so much.
ANNOUNCER: Please welcome the chairman of Cornell University board of Trustees, Robert S. Harrison.
ROBERT S. HARRISON: Good morning, everyone. I have been actively involved with Cornell since I was an undergraduate little more than 40 years ago. And I can say, with both confidence and awe, that this is the single biggest Cornell event I have witnessed in 40 plus years. Cornell Tech is both transformative and completely consistent with Cornell's mission and values, going back to our founding in 1865. If Ezra Cornell were alive today, he would be Cornell Tech's biggest supporter.
Ezra Cornell famously said, "I would found an institution where any person can find instruction in any study." Any person, any study was revolutionary at the time. Any person meant we would welcome students of all backgrounds, without regard to gender, race, religion, or national origin. Any study meant we would teach the theoretical and the practical. We would have a philosophy department and an engineering college, an English department and an agriculture college.
Cornell Tech is a natural 21st century expression of the university's founding principles. It is also consistent with our Land Grant mission. Abraham Lincoln signed the Moral Act in 1862, creating Land Grant colleges across the United States to contribute to the betterment of society. Ezra Cornell saw this as a once in a lifetime opportunity.
So Cornell was founded with a deep commitment to serve the people of New York state by developing knowledge that benefits not only communities within the state, but also around the world. More than 150 years later, outreach and engagement remain critical parts of our identity. Each of the 15 colleges and schools of Cornell pursues knowledge with a public purpose.
While Ithaca remains the heart of the university, we serve New Yorkers in all 62 counties of New York state and have been deeply integrated in New York City for more than a century. Our first step was the establishment of the Cornell College of Medicine in Manhattan in 1898, which today is an internationally recognized research, teaching, and clinical care provider, with reach and impact throughout New York City. Here with us today is Weill Cornell medicine's new dean, Dr. Augustine Choi.
And Dr. Choi is joined in New York City by faculty leaders of dozens of other Cornell programs in all five boroughs. Beyond our work to serve the people of New York, the global reach of our teaching, research, and public engagement makes us, in many ways, the Land Grant university to the world. That is certainly how we think of ourselves. Cornell Tech is the most recent expression of this Land Grant mission.
When Mayor Bloomberg launched the competition to create a New York City campus to educate leaders and create companies for the digital economy, the response of Cornell was immediate and overwhelming. We knew we had to win this competition. There was simply no alternative.
The president, the provost, and the Board of Trustees committed to dedicate the university's very best faculty and any other necessary resources to the project. Students and alumni circulated petitions of support which went viral on the internet. And virtually every one of our 50,000 alumni in the New York metropolitan area personally buttonholed Mayor Bloomberg at every opportunity during the competition in 2011. That emotional support was buttressed by financial support from an incredible and generous alumni base, led by Chuck Feeney, Class of 1956, and his foundation--
--his foundation, The Atlantic Philanthropies. Chuck committed to provide $350 million for Cornell to complete phase one of this campus. Chuck could not join us today, but he is watching us online with his wife Helga from San Francisco. And I am honored that Chuck's daughter, Juliette Feeny, is here on this historic day representing her father.
Standing here today on this spectacular site, with the Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park to the south and the United Nations across the river, evokes Cornell's values, global reach, our mission, and our revolutionary founding principles. Cornell Tech reconnects us directly to Ezra Cornell's vision, our Land Grant mission, and the spirit of all Cornellians. Thank you, and Go Big Red.
ANNOUNCER: And now, welcome back Cornell University President, Martha E. Pollack.
MARTHA E. POLLACK: Let me start by thanking Bob Harrison. His leadership means so much to the university and to me personally. And thank you to our incredible partners, Michael Bloomberg, Mayor de Blasio and the city of New York, Governor Cuomo and the state of New York, Peretz Lavie and the Technion.
In academic terms, Cornell Tech has been created in record time-- from vision to reality in just a few short years. In another way, Cornell Tech has been a long time in the making, building on a century of Cornell teaching, research, patient care, and service to New York City, all tracing back to our Land Grant roots, as Bob so eloquently noted.
Yet this moment is more than just a continuation. It's, I believe, a transformation. A transformation for Cornell and for New York City. And I believe that Cornell Tech will be transformative in every way. So let me give you three very quick examples.
First, at Cornell Tech, we're reinventing graduate education for the digital age. There are no disciplinary silos here. Every single one of our master's students spends a third of their time working in our studio curriculum, creating problems-- they might create problems too, but creating products and solving problems. Engineering students with business students with law students with computing and information science students. The best way to solve our biggest challenges is to gather a diversity of perspectives, backgrounds, and disciplines, and that's what we do here at Cornell Tech.
This wasn't exactly our approach from the very beginning. But like any good startup, we iterated with a group of pioneers. One of those pioneers is Greg Topkin, who is here with us today, and was one of seven students in the Cornell Tech beta class. He and his classmates took a risk on something unproven and helped shape a completely new approach. So thank you, Greg.
Second. Here at Cornell Tech, academia and industry are linked together. We're assembling some of the finest research teams on the planet. And what excites me is that their research will be put to use immediately and in the real world. Companies are a permanent part of this campus, ensuring collaboration that accelerates commercial innovation.
The Bridge Building, developed by our partner Forest City New York, is a first of its kind to house companies in the center of a university campus. And third, this beautiful campus is one of the most sustainable in the world, introducing net zero and passive health standards to New York. Our residential building, which we're calling The House, was the first high rise in the world built to Passive Health standards, but it's already inspired an even taller building planned across the river in East Harlem. That's the transformative role we want to play, and we will continue to innovate as the campus grows.
Everything that happens in this special place, here on Roosevelt Island, is fittingly designed to be special, designed to be different. But because this is a public-private partnership, a Land Grant for the 21st century, we are also committed to programs that go far beyond Roosevelt Island and that reach far more people than will ever gain degrees at Cornell Tech. I'm particularly thrilled to be working with the de Blasio administration on the WiTNY project, which will encourage women to pursue careers in technology via a partnership with Cornell Tech, CUNY, private colleges, and deputy mayor Glenn.
When I was in my first few years as a computer science professor at the University of Michigan-- they've taken my speech out of order. There were more faculty in the department then who were named Igor than there were women faculty. This is true. I got to Michigan. More Igors than women in computer science. That's starting to change, but we still have a long way to go. And we have a responsibility to ensure that the tech talent pipeline we're creating here is as diverse and as inclusive as New York City itself.
Thanks to people like Katie Dreier, I'm extremely optimistic about our future. Katie is what we call a Double Red, with undergraduate and graduate degrees from Cornell. She studied information sciences in undergraduate at Cornell, and she completed the Johnson Cornell Tech MBA in 2015. She's now a rising star in New York's tech sector, a mentor for women in the industry, and a leader in the Cornell Tech Alumni Council. So Katie, thank you as well.
With the opening of the Cornell Tech campus, we have a new vehicle for transformation and for change, but our work is just beginning. Our thoughts are already turning south, to the south part of Roosevelt Island, where planning for future phases of this campus is underway. I can't tell you yet exactly what our new buildings will look like, but I can promise you that both the buildings themselves and the work they will house will continue to build on the pillars that define this campus and that have defined Cornell for more than 150 years.
Today, Cornell is doubling down on our commitment to New York City and New York state, expanding our Land Grant mission for the digital age. Thank you all for being a part of it.
ANNOUNCER: To resume our program, please welcome to the stage the president of the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Peretz Lavie.
PERETZ LAVIE: "A once in a generation opportunity to build a new university in New York City." Those were the words of Mayor Bloomberg in his invitation to top tier universities. Once in a lifetime. I used these words when I conveyed this magnificent idea to a group of Technion deans. I asked them to prepare a proposal for a new graduate program in New York, tailor-made to the economic strength of the city.
Between you and me, I told them, since we have such a slim chance of winning, be wild. Be wild. Use your imagination. Think out of the box. And indeed, they did. Imagine building a new university from scratch.
The former and current presidents of Cornell-- Professor David Scott who couldn't be with us today, unfortunately, and Professor Martha Pollack-- and myself are eternally grateful to you, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, for giving us this incredible chance to fulfill every university president's fantasy. This opportunity would not have come at a better time.
One of the current, most pressing issues facing universities and academic institutions worldwide is the search for the best means to adapt to the fourth Industrial Revolution, the digital revolution you heard so much about, the machine age. Driven by the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, and the notion of robotics replacing human labor, our machines are exhibiting abilities they've never had before.
Jobs in which productivity can be greatly improved by technology are already in steep decline. Tasks that are standardized, repetitive, and involve patterns can now be carried out a million times faster by algorithms. Companies are making more money but hiring fewer people. But the positions that are irreplaceable by machines, no matter how intelligent these machines are, are those that require social intelligence, creativity, and perception-- characteristics we aim to cultivate here at Cornell Tech and at the Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute. And these alongside excellence in science and engineering.
The challenge put forward by Mayor Bloomberg was direct and bold. Our goal is to make New York City the global capital of technological innovation. I am looking for a university that will help us in doing that. Cornell and the Technion stood up to the challenge and came up with an entirely new concept for higher education; a place that is not only tailor-made to the economy of New York City, but is also designed to meet the challenges of the digital revolution.
Cornell Tech and the Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute programs are unique. This is a revolutionary model for graduate level technology education. Removing the additional barriers between disciplines, it is rapidly establishing itself as the model academic institution for the second half of the 21st century.
Ladies and gentlemen, the campus we inaugurate today is built for the future. It will generate the next big ideas, new companies, and talent that will fulfill Mayor Bloomberg's vision for New York City. Our students will become immediate players in the fourth Industrial Revolution and will join New York's vibrant economy. With this magnificent campus, Cornell and Technion are making clear statements. Practical knowledge, to paraphrase Ezra Cornell, is not inferior nor second to basic knowledge. There are two sides of the same coin.
This concept is part of the Technion's DNA, and more broadly, the state of Israel known as Startup Nation. The uniquely designed Bridge Cooperate Colocation Building will allow us to fuse academia and industry under the same roof, something you will also find at our home campus in Haifa. In our experience it fosters innovation and world class research and startups for economic growth and for the public good.
To come full circle, I'd like to take one more opportunity to thank you so much, former mayor Michael Bloomberg, on behalf of the Technion and Cornell, for your vision, courage, and generosity that have taken this incredible idea and made it into an incredible reality. And I'd like to conclude with the words of one of a kind educator, [INAUDIBLE]. "The one who cares for the future plants wheat. The one who cares for what is to come plants trees. The one who cares for future generations educates people." Thank you very much.
ANNOUNCER: Please welcome back to the stage to cut the ribbon Lowell C. McAdam, Daniel P. Huttenlocher, Martha E. Pollack, Michael R. Bloomberg, Peretz Lavie, Mayor Bill de Blasio, and Robert S. Harrison.
On the count of three, we're going to cut the ribbon. 3, 2, 1. Cut!
Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for joining us today to celebrate this milestone for Cornell Tech and New York City. At this time, we invite you to enjoy the campus surroundings, visit the Bloomberg Center Cafe, or check out the interactive elements on our website, tech.cornell.edu.
Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for joining us today to celebrate this milestone for Cornell Tech and New York City. At this time, we invite you to enjoy the campus surroundings, visit the Bloomberg Center Cafe, or check out the interactive elements on our website, tech.cornell.edu.
Ladies and gentlemen, at this time we ask that all guests please clear the tent.
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The university celebrated a historic milestone on Sept. 13, 2017 with the official dedication of the new Cornell Tech campus on Roosevelt Island in New York City. Cornell Tech brings together faculty, business leaders, tech entrepreneurs, and students in a catalytic environment to produce visionary results grounded in significant needs that will reinvent the way we live in the digital age.
To learn more and experience 360 degree views of the Cornell Tech campus, visit