The generosity of Austin O. Hooey begins with the example set by her father, William C. Hooey. William graduated from Cornell in 1912 thanks to the financial support of his uncle Thomas J. Dee. William attributed his success in life to his Cornell education, instilling in his daughter, Austin, a sense of obligation to make such opportunities available to others.

be thrifty but be generous in the better things
The Life and Times of Austin O. Hooey

Austin herself was a gifted young woman. After graduating from Mount Holyoke in 1943, she worked on Wall Street as a securities analyst with Lehman Brothers. She also pursued graduate work in the NYU Graduate School of Business Administration and completed two years of law school at Fordham. She left Lehman Brothers to care for her father in 1962, and upon his death, spent a great deal of time traveling.

Later in life, Austin developed a strong interest in animal welfare and spent nearly 18 years in the company of her beloved poodle, Katie.

When Austin died in 2004, her will provided a remarkable gift to commemorate her interest in animals, her father's passion for engineering, and their mutual love of Cornell.

This final act of generosity established the Austin O. Hooey Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine and the William C. Hooey Director of the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering.

Foremost Benefactor statue of Ezra Cornell Austin was extremely modest about her generosity, and requested that no recognition of her gifts be made during her lifetime. Her father once wrote in a letter to Austin, "Be thrifty, but be generous in the better things." Austin lived her life by these words, and it is Cornell's great honor to have been considered among "the better things."

In 1981, the board of trustees established the "Foremost Benefactors" to provide a permanent and public expression of appreciation to those who have given generously to build and strengthen Cornell. We are proud to recognize Austin O. Hooey as a Foremost Benefactor of Cornell University. The names of these "Builders of Cornell" are forever etched in the stone walls of the Uris Library Terrace. The University is grateful to all who have nurtured its growth and development through the decades and have come away knowing the spirit of Cornell.

Activities are planned in celebration of the life and generosity of Austin O. Hooey throughout the week of November 15-19, 2004.