November 23, 2004

Presidential Tour

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President Jeffrey S. Lehman ’77 and Susan H. Murphy ’73, vice president for student and academic services, toured Court Hall and met with students last night.

As the two toured the building, they saw student rooms and common areas as well as met students. One of the two newest dormitories on North Campus, Court Hall features a study room, and kitchen for every floor.

Prof. Henry Richardson ’67, architectural and urban design, the Court Hall faculty-in-residence, told Lehman and Murphy that the bright colors were supposed to make Court and Mews Hall appear to be floating in the wintertime. “[This dormitory] is so much nicer than anything I had as a freshman,” Lehman said.

After the tour, about fifty students met with Lehman and Murphy in Richardson’s apartment. Lehman answered prepared questions by students.

Questions ranged from environmental standards for new buildings on campus to Lehman’s favorite Monopoly piece. Lehman explained that the latter was a reference to a book he co-authored during his undergraduate years at Cornell called 1,000 Ways to Win Monopoly Games.

Lehman told the group that attending Cornell will make their lives better in ways that have nothing to do with money. He said that Cornell has an incredibly close network of alumni, some of whom he has been able to meet recently.

“When I was named to be president, I suddenly heard from everyone from the Class of ’77,” Lehman joked.

Lehman and Murphy also answered questions about security on campus and in Collegetown. They warned that the seclusion of Cornell often gives students a false sense of innocence. They said they are trying to add additional safety measures, particularly for the security of women in Collegetown. They also mentioned the importance of students taking care of themselves.

“We have some issues with our students not protecting themselves,” said Murphy.

Lehman encouraged students to spend some time living outside the United States during college and to attend sporting events other than hockey, specifically mentioning the women’s polo team’s five consecutive NCAA championships.

Lehman also said he would study Philosophy if he could be an undergraduate student again. His degree is in Mathematics.

Towards the end of the discussion, Lehman mentioned his love for Cornell traditions, most notably the Alma Mater and hockey games. A few of his other favorite traditions received laughs from the crowd.

“I actually have gone to the Hot Truck a few times this year,” Lehman said. The session was part of the VIP Series set up by Campus Life. This was the first visit Lehman made to Court Hall, after visiting the High Rise dorms last year. “Every year we make an effort to get an administrator to come to each North Campus dorm and program house,” said Court Residence Hall Director Stacy Deery.