College of Agriculture & Life Sciences
periodiCALS Celebrates the Sesqui: Rooted In Our Past, Growing Our Future
In honor of Cornell’s Sesquicentennial, the latest issue of periodiCALS digs into our historical roots and follows their contemporary offshoots.
Take a look back at decades of discoveries and pioneering alumni, meet the faculty whose research has taken them into new frontiers, from public health to agricultural biotechnology, and see how students and alumni are seizing opportunities to lead the way in media, entrepreneurship, and conservation.
Solutions to today’s global challenges will require novel insight into the dynamics of coupled human and natural systems. Many of these solutions will be found at the intersection of the four interdependent and interacting areas of focus that inform and support CALS’ mission and shape the college’s commitment to advancing the land grant mission.
From the social sciences to the life sciences, in fundamental and applied disciplines, CALS has the broad and deep expertise needed to effect real change in the world by:
- Imparting a world-class education and instilling passion for life-long learning;
- Furthering agricultural systems to ensure food and nutrition security, human health, and sustainability;
- Advancing knowledge in the life sciences about the unity and diversity of life;
- Fostering the understanding of the economy and society for individual and community well-being; and,
- Stewarding environmental resources and sustainable energy solutions.
Food & Energy Systems
Cornell University, a federal land grant university, literally "grew up on the farm." Agriculture was the catalyst for the university's founding in 1865 by Ezra Cornell and Andrew Dickson White and it plays an equally important role today, as CALS scientists search for ways to feed an ever-expanding population and fuel an on-the-go planet. CALS has a tradition of meeting society's needs. Through world-recognized teaching research, and extension programs CALS has made a local and global impact on the way the Earth's inhabitants live, learn and thrive.
CALS is distinguished in embracing both the discovery of life process and the application of those discoveries to benefit the life of the planet and its people. From genomics to proteomics, our scientists are developing novel approaches to critical problems of the 21st century related to human and animal disease, food and water supply, and the environment by incorporating new tools, new data, and new thinking.
Beyond basic biological research, the college is engaged in applying discoveries in the life sciences and exploring the economic, ethical, legal, and social issues involved in new life sciences technologies.
From classroom to laboratory, field, forest, and watershed—even to the halls of Congress itself—CALS’ scientists enhance our understanding of issues regarding air, water, soil, and climate change as they discover “greener” approaches to remediation, and enhance the stewardship and sustainability of the world’s scarce natural resources.
Through academic research, course work, field work, and internships, CALS students graduate with a breadth and depth of environmental knowledge and with experiences that emphasize problem-solving and outreach.
Through programs offered in agricultural and atmospheric sciences, ecology and evolutionary biology, environmental engineering, natural resources, and environmental systems, CALS encompasses a diversity of programs that encourage students to pursue and connect their spectrum of interests.
Applied social sciences became a CALS priority more than a century ago when Liberty Hyde Bailey, the first dean of the college, committed college resources to strengthening agricultural economies and rural communities in New York. Today, CALS scientists pursue scholarship that addresses how people inform, interact, learn and do business, fostering economic vitality and facilitating individual and community health and well-being. This includes informing decision-makers and public officials, increasing awareness of the roles of technology and science in society, influencing public policy and economic development, and evaluating technologies for business creation and economic development.
A distinguishing characteristic of CALS is that we provide our students with an education that combines theory and practical application. Through courses of study in business leadership, efficient use of resources, new product and service creation, agricultural and mathematics education, communication technologies, media campaigns, environmental management, community development, working with a developing nation, community or civic design, CALS is committed to enhancing economic and community vitality.
- Campaign Priorities
- Annual Fund
- Faculty Renewal
- Undergraduate Scholarships
- Graduate Fellowships
- Program Support
CALS combines excellence in individual disciplines with some of the most innovative interdisciplinary work in the world. The campaign will enable CALS to fulfill the vision of the college's founders and the land grant mission of creating "Knowledge with a Public Purpose."
To do this, the college will support five priorities:
- The CALS Annual Fund
- Faculty Renewal
- Undergraduate Scholarship
- Graduate Fellowships
- Program Support
Gifts to the CALS Annual Fund are directed by Dean Boor to where the need or priority is greatest. Currently, the Annual Fund directly supports our most valuable resource: our people. For our students and faculty, these contributions help to ensure that they can take full advantage of the incredible intellectual resources at Cornell, as well as to create opportunities in service to our local, national and global communities.
Our undergraduate students benefit from Annual Fund gifts through scholarship assistance or internship support; our newly-hired faculty gain the ability to purchase cutting-edge research equipment or to generate essential research data to secure external funding. Each and every Annual Fund gift contributes to the excellence that you know as “Cornell.”
From emerging 'stars' to distinguished senior faculty at other universities, CALS is attracting faculty dedicated to serving the public good. The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences faces an unprecedented number of faculty retirements over the next five years and is proactively hiring in anticipation to ensure continued excellence in teaching, research, and extension. Faculty Renewal gifts are used to recruit, compensate and recognize excellent faculty and have a significant impact on the college’s ability to recruit, and retain, the best faculty in any given discipline.
Currently, there are 18 searches in progress, including positions in dairy biology and management, population genomics, biodiversity/conservation science, insect immunology, and sociology of food systems.
The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences has opened its doors of higher education to the best and brightest young people for more than 100 years. Scholarship endowment is critical to ensuring that the cost of a CALS education stays within the financial reach of deserving students, without regard to their financial circumstances. This is why gifts to Undergraduate Scholarships are a top priority for CALS.
Support for CALS graduate students not only enhances the quality of top programs and research by attracting the most promising students; it also strengthens the college's ability to recruit and retain top faculty, who want to be assured of having the best research assistants and being able to create a legacy of mentoring top young scientists. Gifts to Graduate Fellowships are particularly critical now as traditional sources of funding, such as grants, are on the decline.
Whether you designate the Dyson School, Food Science, or your favorite department, a gift of Program Support ensures the continued excellence of CALS' academic programs. Directed by the department chair, funds can be used to develop new curricula, support internship opportunities, bring speakers to campus, provide for new research, and more.
News from CALS
Margaret Ann Bollmeier
Associate Dean, Alumni Affairs and Development
Cornell University, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
278 Roberts Hall