Historic milestones for both alumni and CVM celebrated at this year’s Reunion

Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) alumni, their families and friends gathered for a sun-drenched Reunion weekend in Ithaca, New York June 6-8.

This year, the college invited alumni to celebrate its historic 125th anniversary with the opening of a time capsule from 1994 and a game of college Jeopardy, which tested their knowledge of CVM history and trivia. The three-day event featured many such moments of pomp, circumstance and fun.

Cornell President Martha Pollack kicked the weekend off with her opening remarks at the college. “It’s great to have so many of you here at Cornell, celebrating your reunion as graduates of one of the best colleges of veterinary medicine in the world,” said Pollack, who noted CVM’s impact on education, research and public service.

“As a side note, I do think that having the College of Veterinary Medicine here has a big impact on how animal-friendly all of Cornell is,” Pollack added. “In Michigan, when people heard I had four cats, I used to get a lot of funny looks.  When I came here and told people I had four cats, they asked, ‘And how many dogs?’”

Lorin D. Warnick, D.V.M., Ph.D.’94, the Austin O. Hooey Dean of Veterinary Medicine, also greeted guests at the welcome event. “I am pleased to see so many of you have returned to Cornell for a weekend of comradery and celebration — some of you for the first time in many years,” he said.

In addition to tours of the new Small Animal Community Practice and the yearly Festival of the Animals — complete with Minnie the miniature horse, Guiding Eyes for the Blind dogs and animals from the Cornell Companions program — college alumni and community members gathered in Takoda’s Run atrium for the official unveiling of Provost Michael Kotlikoff’s portrait. Kotlikoff served as dean of CVM from 2007-2015. The portrait hangs in Takoda’s Run, one of the major spots of construction and renovation during the college’s class expansion project.

“It’s fitting that this portrait will be displayed in our new facility, because it is really Mike’s leadership that brought in the funding, all the teamwork that needed to be done to build this transformative space for the college,” Warnick said.

In keeping with tradition, the CVM reunion celebrated two alumni giving awards, the Dean’s Cup and the 25 Club Cup, which recognize classes who have achieved milestones in reunion giving. 

The 25 Club Cup award goes to classes out of school for up to 25 years, which achieve 25 percent or higher in giving participation during a reunion year. The classes of 1994 and 1999 won this honor with 34 percent and 38 percent participation, respectively.

The Dean’s Cup goes to the class out of school for up to 50 years, with the highest percent of the class making a gift. This year, the Dean’s Cup went to the class of 1969 with 61 percent participation. Additionally this class had the highest giving of all the reunion classes, totaling nearly $137,000.

Said Warnick, “The place may look different, but the college’s passion and dedication for human and animal health and wellbeing is still strong.”

-By Lauren Cahoon Roberts