President’s House becomes Garner namesake
The President’s House has been renamed the Garner President’s House, in honor of President Emeritus Les and First Lady Katrina Garner.
The new name is part of a plan to renovate and update the 161-year-old building that has served as home to the college’s presidents since the 1860s.
John McGrane ’73, chair-elect of the Board of Trustees, and Martha Benson McGrane ’73, gave the lead gift for the project and recruited architect Stephen Muse of Muse Architects in Bethesda, Md.
“Cornell needs a fully functional home for its president, both to live in and to host alumni, fundraising, community and other events that are critical to Cornell’s future,” said John McGrane. “As we move forward under the leadership of our new president, Jonathan Brand, we want to have a facility that meets the ever-expanding requirements of a growing and vibrant college.”
Preliminary plans call for renovating and expanding the public space, and renovating and revising the residential area. During the Garner years, nearly 1,000 people visited the home annually.
“We and other donors for the project believe it is appropriate that the house be named after Les and Katrina,” McGrane said. “For 16 years, as president and first lady of the college, they graciously and ably demonstrated that the house can and should be used to create a sense of community at Cornell—for students, faculty, alumni, the board, and the broader Cornell and Mount Vernon constituency. The Garner President’s House will both honor the Garners’ tenure and efforts and help continue that sense of community.”