April 18, 2008

Former Univ. Trustee Chair Weiss ’57 Dies

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Stephen H. Weiss ’57, former chairman of the Cornell Board of Trustees and first chair of the Weill Cornell Board of Overseers, passed away Wednesday at the age of 72.
Weiss served on Cornell’s Board of Trustees from 1973 to1997 and was chairman from 1989 to1997.
Weiss graduated from Cornell with a Bachelor of Arts degree. In 1959, he began working in the field of investment management, spending 11 years with A.G. Becker and Co. He also co-founded Weiss, Peck & Greer, an investment management firm, where he served as chief executive officer and chairman of the executive committee until 2001. His latest endeavor was serving as managing director and senior portfolio manager of Neuberger Berman LLC, an investment advisory firm.
Weiss’ commitment to Cornell lasted beyond his four years as an undergraduate. As an exceptional member of the Cornell community, Weiss continually set high standards and worked to support all aspects of the university. Cornell President David Skorton spoke highly of Weiss’ character and devotion to the University in a tribute.
“We all admired his ceaseless drive to make Cornell a better place, his vivacious spirit as well as his generosity that allows so many of us to strive to be our best. We will miss him deeply, and our thoughts are with his family,” Skorton stated.
Frank H.T. Rhodes, Cornell’s president from 1977 to 1995, remembered Weiss fondly as well.
“As an alumnus and parent of a recent Cornell graduate, Steve lived and breathed Cornell. He made the University a better place for us all and for generations to come,” Rhodes stated.
As chair of the Board, Weiss helped oversee the Cornell Campaign: Creating the Future from 1990 to 1995, co-chaired the Cornell Major Gifts Committee and co-hosted the Lynch-Weiss Weekend. He also served as a member of the Citizens Budget Commission of New York City, the Citizens Committee for New York City, the National Humanities Center, and the Centurion Foundation’s vice chairman. Weiss was also a Cornell Presidential Councilor and served on the Teagle Foundation board.
Weiss’ extended his generosity not only to the University’s Ithaca campus, but also to the Weill Cornell Medical College, with which he worked closely as well. In 1980, he developed the WCMC Weiss served as the first chairman and continued to oversee the college throughout his life. The Stephen and Suzanne Weiss Deanship, the Frank H.T. Rhodes Distinguished Professorship in Cardiovascular Biology and Genetics and two Suzanne and Stephen H. Weiss Professorships were created at WCMC thanks to Weiss’ generosity.
As an outstanding benefactor, Weiss also contributed to the Ithaca Campus. The Stephen H. Weiss Presidential Fellowships, the Richard Savitt and Stephen Weiss Head Coach of Men’s Tennis, the Walter and Sandra LaFeber Fund for Research in History and Government, the M.H. Abrams Distinguished Visiting Professorship in English and the Stephen H. Weiss President’s Discretionary Fund were all made possible by Weiss’ donations.
Weiss is survived by his wife, Suzanne Rogers Weiss, and four children, Heather Boose-Weiss, Michael Weiss, Jonathan Weiss, and Nathalie Weiss. Weiss also leaves behind his brother, Roger Weiss, married to Caren Weiss, and stepsisters Barbara Lang Stern, married to Ernest Stern, and Jane Scheiber, married to Harry Scheiber.