JAN ROCK ZUBROW: My name is Jan Rock Zubrow. I'm the class of '77 in Arts and Sciences, and I was an economics major.
SPEAKER: How did you happen to choose Cornell for your undergraduate studies?
JAN ROCK ZUBROW: When I was looking at colleges, I thought I wanted to be a psych major. And so Cornell had and still does have an incredible psych department, and I took a lot of psych courses. But I found that I enjoyed economics even more, so I morphed over to a different social science.
SPEAKER: Do you have any memories of your student years at Cornell that you might wish to share?
JAN ROCK ZUBROW: One of my favorite memories about Cornell, believe it or not, were dragging myself out of bed on Saturday morning to go to a LaFeber lecture. I think many of us can remember this. I think it speaks to just how wonderful a professor he was and is and how great that course was that we would-- after carousing around on Friday night, we would drag ourselves out of bed and get up for that class.
SPEAKER: Have you stayed involved with Cornell since graduation?
JAN ROCK ZUBROW: I have been very involved in Cornell since graduation. My first involvement began with PCCW, and through that I was elected to be a member of the board of trustees, and I'm currently vice chair of the board of trustees and co-chair of the Far Above capital campaign.
SPEAKER: Please share with us any observations or thoughts on what makes Cornell a special place.
JAN ROCK ZUBROW: In my role as co-chair of the capital campaign, I get to speak about Cornell on many occasions, and so I've given a lot of thought to what makes Cornell unique. And I've decided that Cornell is a messy place. We have eight different colleges and we have eight different admissions processes, and we are state and we are private, and I think we like it that way. And I think we attract people that don't like things in nice, neat little boxes.
And what I think is great about that is that the world is a complex place. It is messy. There aren't clear dividers on how to think about problems. And so I think one of the beauties of Cornell is that they produce people that can tackle complex situations, and they relish in it.
SPEAKER: Do you have any thoughts on what Cornell means for its women students and faculty?
JAN ROCK ZUBROW: One of the additional things that I think is unique about Cornell is I think it's truly a meritocracy, and I think that is very different than a lot of our peer institutions. And particularly for women at Cornell, I think that makes Cornell a great place to be, because people judge you on what you produce as opposed to where you come from and what you look like. And I think that that was true then, and I think it continues to be true now.
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PCCW member Jan Rock Zubrow '77 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.