McGranes gift $550,000 for President's house, programs

MOUNT VERNON – A $550,000 gift from Cornell alumni John McGrane and Martha (Marty) Benson McGrane will renovate the President’s house, provide for a number of other campus programs, and acquire property for Cornell’s future growth.

The McGranes both graduated from Cornell in 1973. John is a partner with the law firm of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP in Washington, D.C., where he specializes in energy law. John has been a member of the Cornell College Board of Trustees for seven years and is vice chair of the business affairs committee. Marty was a member of the Cornell College Alumni Board for five years in the 1990s. More recently she was a member of the Campaign Committee that helped plan Extraordinary Opportunities: The Campaign for Cornell.

“We are very happy to be able to contribute to Cornell, and particularly to these worthwhile efforts,” said John McGrane. “Les and Katrina Garner have graciously opened the President’s House to students, faculty, and alumni and have made it a focal point of the Cornell community. The house needs renovation and expansion to continue the Garners’ efforts. Cornell must also grow if it is to thrive, and the acquisition of property adjacent to the campus will assist Cornell in meeting future needs.”

The McGranes’ gift will fund $250,000 worth of improvements and renovations to the Cornell College President’s House. The remainder is directed to the Extraordinary Opportunities Campaign, the prelaw program, and the purchase of property adjacent to the Cornell campus.

“John and Marty McGrane have been generous with both their time and resources in support of Cornell,” said Cornell College President Les Garner. “This latest gift is an example of that generosity. We are grateful for their longstanding service and commitment to Cornell.”

The McGranes’ gift is part of Cornell College’s comprehensive campaign Extraordinary Opportunities: The Campaign for Cornell College which will continue through December 2009. The campaign will enhance the Cornell experience by increasing the college’s endowment, upgrading its facilities, and enhancing the academic program.

For more information about the campaign or making a gift, visit or contact Peter Wilch, Vice President for Alumni and College Advancement at 319-895-4315 or