October 22, 2003

Cancer Program Gets New Name

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At a Sept. 11 ceremony, the Comparative Cancer program at Cornell’s College of Veterinary Medicine was renamed the Isidor and Sylvia M. Sprecher Institute for Comparative Cancer Research, after benefactors Isidor I. Sprecker vet ’39, and Sylvia M. Sprecker. The program’s spelling of Sprecker was changed for clarification of pronunciation.

Prof. Rodney Page, clinical sciences and director of the Sprecher Institute, stated that the gift from the Spreckers gives the program “a more formal organizational structure that can be used to leverage additional support.” It will also provide the program with “a higher level of notoriety within the University context.”

There are four divisions within the Institute, all focusing on cancer support and cancer control.

The division of Clinical Oncology studies cancer in animals while the division of Cancer Education is largely devoted to human cancer prevention and early detection. The division of Cancer and the Environment is devoted to studying the development of environmental contaminants and the fourth division is that of Cancer Biology.

Thanks to the program, many researchers are now able to come together from several of Cornell’s colleges to build on their understanding of cancer and its connection to the environment.

This is not the first time that the Spreckers have given to Cornell. Dr. Sprecker endows several scholarships and he and his wife are foremost benefactors of Cornell; their names are inscribed on the wall beside McGraw Tower. A few years ago, the library in the College of Veterinary Medicine was renamed in recognition of the couple’s generosity and steadfast loyalty to the College.

The Spreckers now reside in Boyton Beach, Fla. where they delight in growing orchids. Mrs. Sprecker, until recently, played tennis, and now enjoys golf. Dr. Sprecker was an expert woodworker for a great part of his life and was formerly also a classical musician.

The couple has numerous intellectual pursuits and are wonderful scholars, according to Donald F. Smith, dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine.

Present at the ceremonies included President Emeritius Frank H. T. Rhodes, his wife, Rosa, and Smith. The Spreckers said, “I want to thank everyone. This is a great moment in our lives. I hope others who will benefit from this [research institute] will emulate what we have done to help make Cornell great.” Rhodes, a cancer survivor himself, expressed Cornell’s gratitude to the Spreckers.

“Their generous gift represents the epitome of dedication and engagement, which will ultimately be available in perpetuity to assist the College of Veterinary Medicine in its pursuit of scholarly advances in cancer biology and comparative oncology,” Smith said.

Archived article by Ikea Hamitlon