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Friday night suppers. Chef’s hats. And, Bob Perry’s spaghetti. Weekly dinners at the Alpha Psi fraternity house are fond memories for Dr. Ann Huntington ’77. The frat house, she recalls, was a haven for good times, relaxing from the rigors of the demanding academic program, and connecting with friends. From the 1930s to the 1980s, Alpha Psi was a strong force at the College of Veterinary Medicine, meeting a very important need for generations of students who needed opportunities to connect with each other. With the rise of new student organizations, Dr. Huntington mused, today’s students have found alternatives for connecting outside of the classroom and exploring professional interests. As such, members of the Board of the Trustees for the Beta Chapter of Alpha Psi decided to look for a new way to serve Cornell’s veterinary community.
In 200x, Dr. George Abbott ’45 led members of Beta Chapter of Alpha Psi’s board through the process of selling the fraternity house on Elm Wood Avenue in Ithaca’s college town. The proceeds from the sale, $450,000, Dr. Abbott said, have been earmarked to support a clinical fellowship, which provides significant research experience under the mentorship of a strong scientist for clinical specialists committed to pursuing an academic career.
“We want Alpha Psi to remain a contributing member of the College community,” said Dr. Huntington, who was a member and one of the first women welcomed into the fraternity. “The clinical fellowship program will help produce the teachers of the future. Cornell has a reputation for educating the educators. This is critical in this century as so many graduates are choosing private practice rather than academia. Alpha Psi can take a leadership role in helping to turn the tide.”