Johnson alumni celebrate during Reunion 2017

By: Katelyn Godoy
Sage Hall at Reunion 2017

Sage Hall welcomed alumni back to campus for Reunion 2017

The weather could not have been better for classes ending in 2 and 7 to return to Ithaca for Cornell University’s 2017 Reunion Weekend held June 8–11. Weather-related jokes were bountiful—and set the stage for many outdoor events—among 379 attendees from the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management.

To kick off the weekend on Friday morning, Cornell University President Martha Pollack spoke at an alumni breakfast with attendees from Johnson, The Hotel School, and the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Managementto recognize and discuss the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business. She reflected on her experience in academia, the importance of business education, and how the formation of college continues to positively impact current and future students while strengthening our alumni network.

Also on Friday, the Half-Century Club Luncheon honored members of the Class of 1967 who were celebrating their 50th Reunion, and recognized the Classes of 1952, 1957, and 1962 for celebrating class Reunions beyond 50 years. Additionally, the 2017 Half-Century Club Faculty Research Fellowship was presented to Sunita Sah, assistant professor of management and organizations, whose research focuses on institutional corruption, ethical decision making, bias, transparency, and improving decisions. This fellowship provides resources for junior faculty research and is supported by an endowment from members of the Half-Century Club.

As is the case most years, a popular event was Johnson’s Friday evening barbecue. Alumni and their families spent time reconnecting with fellow classmates, faculty, and staff while getting to know some current students who began their studies last month in Johnson’s One-Year and Cornell Tech MBA programs. Another well-attended event was a wine tasting, in coordination with the Cornell Law School, during which alumni tasted wines from different regions and voted for their favorites.

Dean Nelson talking with alumni at the Johnson barbecue
Dean Nelson (left) talks with alumni and their families at the Johnson barbecue
Wine tasting at Reunion 2017
Alumni enjoy wine tasting

During Saturday night’s dinner, Maureen O’Hara, the Robert W. Purcell Professor of Management and professor of finance, was presented with the 25th Stephen Russell Distinguished Teaching Award by the Class of 2012. This award is given to a Johnson faculty member whose teaching continues to influence graduates five years post-graduation. Professor O’Hara’s research focuses on issues in market microstructure.

Several other classes were recognized during the Reunion celebration dinner on Saturday night:

  • Class of 1972 for having the highest percentage of participation at Reunion
  • Class of 1982 for the most dollars raised
  • Class of 2002 for the most attendees at Reunion
  • Class of 2012 for having the highest number of donors

Among the many events throughout Reunion weekend, some focused on updating alumni on progress and happenings at Johnson, the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business, and Cornell University. Mark Nelson, the Anne and Elmer Lindseth Dean, delivered Johnson’s State of the School Address where he talked about “people, places, and programs.” Additional Reunion speakers included Soumitra Dutta, dean of the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business, the deans of Johnson, The Hotel School, and Dyson, and Chris Barrett, dean of academic affairs for the SC Johnson College. Together they spoke with alumni about the progress the college has made over the last year and its goals for the future.

From the university side, President Pollack spoke to a crowd of more than 1,000Reunion attendees on topics ranging from freedom of speech to what makes Cornell distinct. And, always a crowd-pleaser, Bill Nye ’77, who was celebrating his 40th Reunion, spoke about how Cornellians will save the world.

We invite all alumni to check out memories from this year’s Reunion weekend and view or purchase official photos. Don’t forget to mark your calendars for next year’s 2018 Reunion, June 7–10, for classes ending in 3 and 8!