April 19, 2002

Three A.D. White Professors Visit Cornell

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Over the past two weeks, Cornell has been visited by three of its Andrew Dickson White Professors-at-Large: Jane Goodall, Roger Short and Haris Silajdzic.

White, the University’s first president, had been concerned that, “Cornell’s first faculty, ‘remote from great cities and centers of thought and action … lose connection with the world at large, save through books,'” as stated in the A.D. White Professors-at-Large description on the University website.

To counter this problem, he proposed that the University have non-residential professors come on campus to interact with the professors.

In 1965, the Board of Trustees approved the plan to have A.D. White Professors-at-Large, whose sole purpose during their term would be to periodically come to the campus, “to enliven the intellectual and cultural life of the University,” as defined by the website. Goodall’s recent visit is her final one as an A.D. White Professor-at-Large.

At a press conference yesterday, she talked about her Roots & Shoots program and that it has incorporated youth from 70 countries in environmental issues.

With her visit to Cornell, she was able to check up on a tree she planted in the butterfly garden here. She said the tree, “is still happy and still growing,” and it comforted her to know that, “it’s not just [her]” who cares about the environment and its many creatures.

Since arriving on Tuesday, she has spoken at Cornell’s Earth Day Celebration as well as with students and faculty here.

Rotem Ayalon ’02, along with other members of Cornell’s Roots & Shoots, met with her last night to discuss the program’s implementation in Ithaca.

Ayalon said that Goodall has given her, “such hope and encouragement that I can do great things,” and that she enjoys being part of the Roots & Shoots program because, “it’s good to have that connection to youth around the world; to be able to feel like we’re not in this alone.”

Short has spent his time at Cornell giving lectures and classroom presentation, as well as meeting with other faculty members. He has been discussing several topics related to human reproduction and sex education around the world.

Adrian Reich ’04 said that once he and Matt Kemm ’03 had Short speak in their class, they began, “following him” to every lecture they could attend.

Kemm said he was impressed by Short because, “he’s done so many things and been so many places, he can related to almost anything.”

Silajdzic, who, among other accomplishments was the former Prime Minister of Bosnia, has participated in a conference, introduced a film, given a lecture and met informally with a number of students, according to Prof. John Weiss, history.

Weiss said that he has been, “a messenger between the East and the West,” and Silajdzic worries about the, “lack of knowledge of one civilization on another.”

At his Tuesday lecture, many students came with questions and Andrew Chang ’03 even came with hopes to find a topic for his senior honors thesis. After the talk, Chang said he, “get some ideas.”

Prof. Lindy Williams, rural sociology, teaches a class which Short came to speak in last week.

She said, “we’re very appreciative and fortunate to have someone with such expertise and relevance with what we are doing in the class, be able to speak.”

Ricky Rahne ’02, a student in the class, said that the A.D. White Professor-at-Large program is, “a good way to learn from experts in certain fields.”

Kajsa Dalrymple ’05 went to Goodall’s lecture on Wednesday and has been in contact with Goodall during her visit, for help with an assignment.

She said, that the program has, “definitely allowed me to take my studies to a new level.”

Matt Gewolb ’04, who met Goodall with Roots & Shoots said, “this program is an invaluable asset to our University and should be an administrative priority in the years to come.”

Archived article by Rachel Brenner