Generous alumni, parents and friends of the College of Arts & Sciences are helping to provide exciting opportunities for students, from support for scholarships and innovative programs to the creation of faculty positions in various departments.
In fiscal year 2018, the college raised $53.7 million in gifts, big and small, from 6,378 generous alumni, parents and friends, topping the college’s goal of $50 million for the year. It was also another record year for the A&S annual fund, with gifts totaling $5.6 million. Another highlight of the year was the continued success of the Winokur Future Faculty Initiative, which generated $25 million in support: $18.75 million in gifts for professorships, post docs and graduate fellowships, matched by $6.25 million in challenge funds from Barton and Susan Winokur, both Class of ’61.
“While the focus of fundraising at the College of Arts & Sciences continues to be on faculty renewal and undergraduate student scholarships, we secured a number of significant gifts for important programs and exciting new initiatives in FY17,” noted Interim Associate Dean for Alumni Affairs and Development Katherine Anderson. Gifts to the college continue to support strategic initiatives including the intersections between technology and the humanities; nanoscale science; behavioral economics and decision research; environment and sustainability, first generation student initiatives and media studies.
The $40 million Winokur Future Faculty Initiative, launched in May 2017, has resulted in 11 total endowed positions: with three new full professorships and six new assistant professorships added this year. These include the Dick and Dale Reis Johnson Assistant Professorship and the Joyce A. Yelencsics Rosever ’65 and Frederick M. Rosevear ’64 Assistant Professorship, both open to any discipline, the Hardis Family Professorship for Teaching Excellence and two Ann S. Bowers Assistant Professorships in Discipline-Based Education Research.
As part of the Winokur challenge, Cornell Trustee Mary John Miller ‘77 and the family of Cornell Emeritus Professor of History James J. John endowed a full professorship in Medieval Studies in his honor. They shared the news with him during a celebration of his 90th birthday. Five of Professor John’s six children graduated from Cornell. "We are happy to recognize our father’s scholarship in this field and all the future holders of this professorship,” Mary John Miller said.
In addition, the college benefitted from the establishment of two other key full professorships, also thanks to the challenge: The Richard ’50, MD ’53 and Barbara Silver Professorship in the Department of Music and the Herbert ’53 and Stephanie Neuman Professorship of Hebrew and Jewish Literature.
The Winokur Future Faculty Initiative is an ongoing effort designed to enable the college to replace retiring faculty, recruit stellar junior faculty and recruit and retain midcareer and senior faculty to provide leadership in areas of strategic importance. It also provides matching funds for gifts to name and endow awards for postdocs and graduate students.
“The tremendous generosity of alumni, parents and friends continues to make a meaningful difference for our scholars and our students,” added Ray Jayawardhana, the Harold Tanner Dean of Arts & Sciences. “Their contributions are raising the stature and impact of Arts & Sciences to new heights.”