[MUSIC PLAYING] KATHERINE EGAN: What's it like to be a trustee of Cornell University?
EZRA CORNELL: It's, first of all, a great responsibility, a great honor, and honestly, it's a lot of fun. There's a lot of joy to serving one of the most important universities in the nation. It's a fiduciary responsibility. And although the board has 64 members, every one of them is sincerely involved with the future of the university.
ISAAC KARMNICK: It's very hard for an institution to have a memory. It really doesn't. It isn't a live being. What Ezra brings to Cornell is a kind of real, institutional history.
KATHERINE EGAN CORNWLL: : He has this pervasive knowledge of what's happening on campus, of the alumni and students. And that's an incredible resource for the board. But I would say that the greatest thing about Ezra as a board member and a colleague is he's just warm. He has incredible candor. He's a very thoughtful person. So he's listening to others and he makes people feel very welcome.
GLENN ALTSCHULER: Ezra, in many respects, brings to the board of trustees-- has brought to the board of trustees-- what he brings to his life. And that is integrity, graciousness, principle, and conviction.
ROY PARK JR: He exudes a kind of kindness which resonates with the trustees, with his fraternity brothers, with his clients, his employees, but to a great extent, to the trustees that he works with.
HAROLD TANNER: And we can count on him reflecting the attitudes of the community and helping our deliberations based on his being local as well as at Cornell.
LEE PILLSBURY: What I really like about Ezra is his warmth and personality. He's just such a great individual, a great guy. And I just really enjoy knowing him. I've known him for 50 years. And he's one of the nicest people, one of the people that I most highly value in my network.
KATRINA JAMES: He cares about Cornell. He cares about that board. He cares about the people on the board and making their experience better. I don't think there is a better person to help guide new board members through their first year and years on the board.
NICOLE DELTORO: He's not thinking about next year, about the next five years. He's thinking about the next 50 years.
BRUCE RAYNOR: The area I think he's done the most that I've seen is in the relationship between the local Ithaca community and the university. He's been a great ambassador for Cornell in that community. But he's also been a great advocate for the community within Cornell.
HUNTER RAWLINGS III: Ezra, I just want to congratulate you on 50 years of board service to Cornell University. I think that's an amazing achievement. It's been great to have your service on the board. And I'm sure you're going to have many, many more. But thank you very much indeed for what you've done for Cornell and all of us. Hope to see you soon.
PAUL STREETER: Congratulations, Ezra, on 50 years of service to Cornell.
FRED VAN SICKLE: Happy 50th to the ultimate Cornelian. Thank you for everything you do. You set such a high standard for all of us.
GLENN ALTSCHULER: You started so young. So 50 years doesn't mean you're old. Just keep on trucking, man.
STEPHANIE KEENE FOX: Congratulations on 50 years, Ezra.
CRAIG LASNIER: In honor of your 50 years of service to Cornell, I'm going to be changing the Cornell Club's Wi-Fi password to Ezra Cornell.
BRUCE RAYNOR: Ezra, you're the only trustee with more seniority than me. And I don't mind that one bit.
KATRINA JAMES: I don't want to see you go, Ezra. But 50 years is a lot of service to Cornell and to the board. So congratulations.
NICOLE DELTORO: Happy anniversary, Ezra.
JOE MALINA: Congratulations, Ezra. 50 years on the Cornell board of trustees, well done.
HAROLD TANNER: Congratulations on 50 years. You're much too young.
RYAN LOMBARDI: Congratulations, Ezra, on 50 amazing years. Thanks for everything you have done and will continue to do for our amazing institution.
ROY PARK JR: Ezra, Sigma Phi love.
RICK BURGESS: Ezra, congratulations on 50 years of service to the trustees. And I would particularly like to offer you my thanks for your service to the buildings and properties committee.
MIKE KOTLIKOFF: Happy anniversary, Ezra. And well done.
DAVID SKORTON: Ezra, congratulations on 50 years on the Cornell University board of trustees. Wow, you sure had a big influence on generations of people, including me. Congratulations, Ezra. Happy 50th.
TOGETHER: Hi, Ezra. Congratulations on 50 years on the board.
MADELYN WESSEL: Congratulations on this amazing anniversary. I hope you are with us for many years to come.
JAWEON SIM: Hi, Ezra. It's Jaewon.
JAMES BAKER: Hi, Ezra. It's JT.
JAWEON SIM: From the most junior members to the most senior member of the board of trustees--
JAMES BAKER: --we would like to wish you a happy 50th anniversary.
TOGETHER: Go Big Red.
LEE PILLSBURY: Congratulations, Ezra. 50 years-- wonderful. It's just a remarkable achievement. It feels like 75.
ISAAC KRAMNICK: Congratulations on a half a century of commitment and work for Cornell.
TOM JONES: Congratulations on reaching your 50th year of Cornell board service. Your personal grace and humility are truly exemplary. And I'm proud that I'm your friend.
MARION: Congratulations, [INAUDIBLE]. I love you.
KATHERINE EGAN CORNELL: Do you think Ezra Cornell could imagine where we are today?
EZRA CORNELL: I think not only Ezra Cornell, but Andrew White, would expect us to be as large, and as dynamic, and full of purpose as they were. I enjoy being a trustee. And I think the university benefits from my experience, knowledge, and dedication. But maybe it makes sense to pass that torch to a younger person with more ideas. And so we might work that out.
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Ezra Cornell ’70, the great-great-great grandson of founder Ezra Cornell and the university’s current life trustee, was honored Oct. 18, 2019 for 50 years of service on the board of trustees. This video tribute was made by many of his Cornell colleagues and family.