Professorship of Alan Mathios comes to fruition

Alan Mathios

Support of the College of Human Ecology’s faculty has been unrivaled under Alan Mathios’ deanship, which will span more than a decade when he steps down from the role in June 2018. His efforts will leave the College in a strong, competitive position for years to come.

In this spirit, and in recognition of Dean Mathios’ extraordinary leadership, alumni have honored his foresight and dedication to the College by establishing the Alan D. Mathios Professorship of Human Ecology.

Over the past year, a number of alumni have come together to provide the $3 million needed to endow such a professorship, which both acknowledges Mathios’ contributions to Cornell and the College of Human Ecology, and continues the promising legacy of faculty renewal he began a decade ago.

“The Spring 2017 Ezra Magazine had a photo of Dean Alan Mathios with a quote, ‘endowed professorships to me are the gold standard in philanthropy because they allow us to retain and recruit top faculty,’” said Susan Kurz Snyder ’81, Chair of the Dean’s Advisory Council. “That was around the time when several members of the Council were trying to figure out how to honor Alan as he entered his tenth and final year as Dean.”

“We took his words to heart, and set out with an ambitious goal to raise the funds to endow a professorship in his name for the College.”

The professorship places the College in an even stronger position to recruit and retain exceptional faculty – teachers of future global leaders, forward-thinking researchers, multidisciplinary collaborators, and achievers of national and international recognition.

“This would support Alan’s personal passion for teaching and also enable him to reach his goal of establishing ten endowed professorships during his tenure as Dean,” Snyder said. “The outpouring of appreciation and love for Alan was spectacular.”

The recent wave of faculty retirements and appointments, unprecedented in number and scope during Mathios’ tenure as dean, not only presents a unique challenge but also an extraordinary opportunity to determine the trajectory of a range of fields at Cornell during the next several
decades. This new endowed professorship, in tandem with the recruitment of exceptional new faculty over the last 10 years, will stand as an enduring tribute to all he has accomplished for the College now and far into the future.

Under Mathios’ leadership, the College of Human Ecology has responded to this challenge by hiring 40 new faculty, keeping pace with retirements and created a once-in-a- generation infusion of talent that will define our success and reputation in the years ahead.

“Everyone has the utmost reverence for his accomplishments, passion and devotion to the College, and so all whom were asked to contribute stepped up in an incredible way,” Snyder said. “It is everyone’s hope that this will serve as a legacy to honor Alan in perpetuity for his outstanding and unparalleled contribution to the College.”