December 3, 2008

Two Endowments Created for Students With Disabilities to Honor Professor’s Son

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Eric Ehrenberg ’93 was a Cornell undergraduate when he found out that he had a malignant brain tumor. The captain of the men’s volleyball team and a double major in government and philosophy, the news of the tumor completely changed his life.
Eric took a year off for treatment, undergoing three brain surgeries, including chemotherapy and radiation therapy, according to the University. When he returned to Cornell, he could only see out of one eye and had two hearing aids. However, he went on to graduate magna cum laude and get a law degree from Georgetown. Afterwards, he became an attorney in the Solicitor’s Office of the U.S. Department of Labor.
This past August, Eric passed away, leaving behind his wife and daughter. He was also the son of Prof. Ron Ehrenberg, industrial and labor relations, and a member of the Board of Trustees.
Now, his family and friends have created two endowments to honor his life while also helping other students with disabilities. The first is the Eric Lawrence Ehrenberg Memorial Prize, which, according to the University, will be awarded to an ILR senior who has gone on to graduate despite health problems. The second, the Eric Lawrence Ehrenberg Memorial Fund, will support the Cornell Union for Disability Awareness through the Office of Student Disability Services.
Ron told the University that “despite all of the adversities Eric faced during the last half of his life, including a recurrence of his tumor in 2004, which led to two more brain surgeries and a bout with meningitis that left him with additional disabilities, he maintained an optimistic attitude and an extraordinary sense of humor throughout his life.”