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Former Cornell President Christ-Janer dies

November 11, 2008

MOUNT VERNON – Former President of Cornell College Arland Christ-Janer passed away Sunday, Nov., 9, in Sarasota, Fla. He was 86.

Christ-Janer served as Cornell’s president from 1961-1967. During his tenure he shepherded the construction of more campus structures than any previous administration, including four residence halls—Dows, Pauley, Tarr, and Rorem—The Commons, the maintenance building, and Ink Pond.

“It really saddened me to hear of his passing,” said Terry Gibson, Cornell senior vice president (pictured at left are, left to right, Carey Downs-Gibson, Arland Christ-Janer, and Terry Gibson), who began his career at the college working as Christ-Janer’s assistant in 1961. “He made this college a stronger, more stable Cornell.”

He also oversaw the largest single gift to the college up till that time—a $1,400,000 Ford foundation Grant—that facilitated a major restructuring of the curriculum. Under his leadership the college experienced growth in its endowment, student body, and faculty, and strengthened its relationship with the Methodist Church.

“Arland Christ-Janer was a great president, a great leader, and a great friend to Cornellians. His passing is felt by us all,” said Cornell President Les Garner.

“He made an enormous contribution to every institution he served. He was always curious, always generous, and he inspired great confidence among those with whom he worked,” added Garner.

After leaving Cornell, Christ-Janer went on to serve as president of Boston University, the College Entrance Examination Board (which oversees tests including the SATs), New College, Stephens College, and later as interim president at Ringling College.

Christ-Janer returned to campus in 1999 to receive Cornell’s highest award, the honorary degree doctor of humane letters.

He is survived by his wife, Uta.

For more information, please contact Cornell's Director of Media Relations

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