May 5, 2004

Cornell Victorious Wins Games

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When the Cornell Victorious campaign began in 2000, it was viewed as an ambitious project whose goal was to improve the state of Cornell athletics. The campaign was part of the University’s response to the Trustee Task Force on Athletics’ report that Cornell’s athletic department was underfunded.

The results have spoken for themselves. In the four years since the campaign was launched, the athletic department’s annual budget has been permanently increased by $1 million, $1.5 million in debt has been paid off, the Schoellkopf Field turf, the Barton Hall track, and the Lynah Rink ice and refrigeration system have all been replaced, and, as of last month, $65 million has been raised for the $100 million endowment campaign.

The campaign, which will end on June 30, has already financed the construction of the Friedman Wrestling Center, 13 new endowed head coaching positions, and numerous other projects that will promote financial stability within the athletic department.

When the project is complete, it will help to pay for a renovated Schoellkopf Hall as the headquarters for the football team, a new Rowing Center on Cayuga Inlet, and a renovated and expanded Helen Newman Hall on North Campus.

Saturday afternoon, members of the Cornell Football Association and the Cornell Victorious campaign celebrated the completion of fundraising for the $8 million Schoellkopf Hall renovations.

“It was one of those occasions where Cornell alumni let Cornell administration know that we really didn’t have our vision set far enough. Our $4 million vision of what could be done to make Schoellkopf Hall the proper home for the football program was deemed to be nice, but certainly not what this program deserved,” said Susan H. Murphy ’73, vice president for student and academic services. “They caused us to raise our sight and gave us the confidence to not only renovate the existing facility … but to also see an extraordinary $300,000 extension to replace the Hall of Fame Room and give our football program a Tradition Room to bring together all the wonderful memories of this very distinguished program.”

Indeed, this is an exciting component of a very exciting campaign. The $8 million raised as part of the Schoellkopf Project component of the campaign will be put towards long-needed renovations to this most historic of campus buildings. By the fall of 2005, the renovations will be complete, providing new office space to the football staff, a refurbished second-floor patio in place of the current Hall of Fame Room, and a brand new extension on the east side of the building, which will house the new Hall of Fame Room on the first floor, and Cornell Football’s Tradition Room on the second floor.

The Schoellkopf Project is only a small part of the Cornell Victorious campaign. The Friedman Wrestling Center, which opened last year, is already regarded as among the best in the country. Proposed renovations to the Collier Boathouse and Helen Newman Hall will also help to bring the Cornell athletics and recreation programs to their deserved status as among the finest anywhere. All of these projects are evidence of the commitment to Cornell that alumni have made through the years. Cornell Victorious is a truly worthwhile project, one that is already paying dividends. Two months from now, the fundraising drive will end, but its impact will continue to benefit Cornell for many years to come.

This is the hard part.

I’m not very good at good-byes, so right now I’m pretty happy I’m only a junior. This year, I’ll have to settle for a couple of thank-yous instead.

To Nate, Marc, Laura, and Gilman: Newcomers to the sports section are always taught that every other section at The Sun is evil. I think it’s because of the often antagonistic relationship the sports editors have with other editors. That definitely wasn’t the case for us. Thanks for making my first term as an editor at The Sun such an enjoyable experience. Good luck in the future. I know you’ll all do great things.

To Per Ostman and Matt James: The Sun would be nothing without its writers, and there’s no question that you two are among the very best. Over the past couple of years, you’ve done an incredible job with every sport you’ve covered and every article you’ve written. You’ll leave a tremendous void to fill on staff next fall, but I’ll do my best to find writers who will live up to your standards.

To Scott Jones: Your last column on Friday was the very best final column I have ever read. You taught me far more about writing and editing than you could possibly realize. A lot of people are surprised when they hear that you’re going to the seminary in the fall, but I wasn’t. People like you have a mandate to share the love. And you’ll be incredible at it.

To Alex Ip: Before every decision I’ve made as sports editor over the past two months, I have asked myself, “What would Ip think?” I don’t expect that will change in the months to come. In the past year, I think I learned more from you than anyone else I’ve ever worked with, and not just at The Sun. I don’t think there’s actually a proper way to thank you for everything you’ve done for this section and its staff. So instead, I’ll say good luck. Go home, get rich with Lehman Brothers, but never hesitate to give us some advice.

So that does it for another year. It’s been a thrill to tag along for the ride. See you all next year.

Owen Bochner is the Sun Sports Editor.In the O-Zone has appeared every other Wednesday this semester.

Archived article by Owen Bochner