CAROL MACCORKLE: I'm Carol MacCorkle, class of '64, Cornell Arts and Science. I was a political science major at Cornell and enjoyed it very much-- actually, loved it. And remained interested in politics and government issues ever since.
SPEAKER: Carol how did you happen to choose Cornell?
CAROL MACCORKLE: It was very easy. My mother was a Cornellian, and I think I grew up knowing only about Cornell. So from-- as a child, I always wanted to go to Cornell.
SPEAKER: And you grew up?
CAROL MACCORKLE: I grew up in Massachusetts, in actually a very small-- small town. And Cornell had a great-- made a great impression on me because it was such a large university and I was exposed to so many new, different things, new people, and I just loved it.
SPEAKER: Great. And can you share some special memories of your undergraduate years at Cornell?
CAROL MACCORKLE: Well, I think what was really interesting for me was-- and new-- was the fact that was so large. I loved meeting people from all over the country and the world. And of course, I met my husband there.
SPEAKER: Nice. And tell us about your involvement with Cornell since graduation.
CAROL MACCORKLE: Well, Mac and I came out to California in about-- or moved to San Francisco in about 1969. And we really didn't know anybody. However, we became involved with the Cornell Club, which was terrific. It was a great way to meet people. They had a lot of very-- in those days, fun events. Now they're really more interesting, I think.
But anyway, after a short time, Mac became president of the Cornell Club. And he actually became president about the same time Frank Rhodes became president of Cornell University. So through that, we also were active-- became active in our class reunions. We were fundraisers. And as a result of that, we just remained involved over time. And then I was asked to be one of the people to be on the founding board of the PCCW.
SPEAKER: So why don't you say a little bit more about your involvement with PCCW?
CAROL MACCORKLE: Well, the first-- you know, I was involved from the very beginning, and actually became the third chair of PCCW. And in those days, it was-- it was challenging, actually. We were there to try to represent women and women's issues at Cornell.
There had been some concern in the past that Cornell-- the women hadn't been as well-represented. For example, we had very few trustees at that time. And of course-- [COUGHS] excuse me-- Pat and Lillian were trustees, and Dale Marshall. And they were the ones that really kind of got this started.
And the result has been we've ended up not only with more trustees, we've also been representatives of the faculty on campus. I think we've really done a great job. But I think PCCW, surprisingly, which we hadn't thought about initially, has been a wonderful networking vehicle for Cornell alumni.
SPEAKER: Yeah. Great. So can you say a little bit more about being a trustee, what that was like for you?
CAROL MACCORKLE: The Cornell trustee-- the board of trustees is really quite a unique group, from what I understand from other acquaintances who are trustees at other universities. It's a very close-knit group of people with a great deal of respect for each other. I think during my eight years on the trustees, there had been-- on the board, there had been some changes. And I think having more women has impacted it and given a little different nuance.
For example, one of the things that a group of women actually were instrumental in changing is originally-- or initially, there were no term limits. And now board members are selected or elected for four years. They can be renewed for an additional four years, if you are-- attend and do your work, and there's really a lot of work to do. It's a really working board.
Some members do stay on longer if, for example, they're chairman of the board, or they're leading a major campaign, or something like that. But I think the idea of having just the eight years is very good. It brings in lots of new people. And we have so many alums that are-- have so much they could contribute. I think it's great to have lots of different people.
SPEAKER: Wonderful. In addition to the term limits, can you describe any other kind of impact that having women on Cornell board has had?
CAROL MACCORKLE: Well, I really never felt the sense of women versus men. Everybody was there working for the betterment of the university. I know one of the things I was most proud of was being on the athletic task force. And within the board, you have different task force and groups that work on different issues.
And five of us did work on the athletics at a time when athletics was not appreciated, in my opinion. And that was about 10 years ago. And I think this last week, we've seen some positive results. So that was great.
So the board does-- the individuals on the board really do make a difference. They make a good contribution, but they work very hard, I can assure you.
SPEAKER: And maybe in summary, can you talk a little bit about what Cornell means to you?
CAROL MACCORKLE: Well, Cornell has had a big impact on my life. As I said, my-- I met my husband there. I have a son that-- one son that graduated from Cornell. And I think one of the incredible things for me has been the wonderful people that I have met over the years, not only just the academics at Cornell, but the relationships that you establish and-- throughout the world. And it's easy to pick up with friends that you've gone to Cornell with and pick up where you left off.
So it's been great. I think Cornell is just a unique university, provides great education. But is-- it has so much more than a lot of other places.
SPEAKER: Yeah. At the Cornell by the Bay held just last week or so, I found out that there are over 8,000 Cornellians in the San Francisco Bay Area.
CAROL MACCORKLE: Yes. It is-- that is true. And I was very happy, actually. One of the things that we did when I was on the board, we established a Cornell Silicon Valley. And really got things going because there were so many Cornellians, but no one-- people didn't really know each other. We had the Cornell Club, but it wasn't generating the kind of response that subsequently has occurred. So it's been-- I think that's been great.
SPEAKER: Well, good. Was there anything else you'd like to share or I should ask you before we?
CAROL MACCORKLE: No, I just am delighted to be participating in this PCCW event. And I congratulate all of those who have followed after me for all the great work they've done. And I look forward to seeing it continue, and hope it continues with the success that they've had.
SPEAKER: Well, thank you very much.
CAROL MACCORKLE: Thank you.
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PCCW founding member and former chair Carol MacCorkle '64 reflects on how she chose Cornell, her memories of the university, and how Cornell has shaped her life both personally and professionally.
The President's Council of Cornell Women is a group of highly accomplished alumnae working to enhance the involvement of women students, faculty, staff, and alumnae as leaders within Cornell University and its many communities.