Bookmark and Share

Zamora’s honors international alumnus

When Zamora’s Market opened in early October, replacing the Rathskeller, its new name honored an alumnus whose life story could have been the plot of a novel.

Zamora’s Market, which opened in place of the Rathskeller in October, features a revised serving area with a more open, market-like feel.

Zamora’s Market, which opened in place of the Rathskeller in October, features a revised serving area with a more open, market-like feel.

Henry Zamora ’33 was born as Enrique Zamorano in Columbia in 1912. When he arrived at Cornell College in 1929, he didn’t speak English. He put himself through college by working as a janitor in Altoona Hall, the residence hall once located in what is now Memorial Park. When he graduated with a biology major, he didn’t even have a pair of good trousers to wear to Commencement.

After college Zamora hitchhiked to Nebraska where he began a string of odd jobs that took him through Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and New York. As he worked, Zamora took courses at Rutgers and two other Eastern colleges and eventually became an electrical and chemical engineer.

He enlisted in the Army before the outbreak of World War II and served in France, Italy, and Germany, where he met his wife. After the war, Zamora worked internationally for the Bechtel Construction Company. Zamora and his wife returned to the United States in the late 1960s and eventually settled in Berkeley, Calif. They had two sons and one daughter.

Zamora was a world traveler throughout his long life, spending time in nearly every country in the world. He spoke fluent Italian, German, Spanish, French, and English. Though he only returned to Mount Vernon once after graduation, for his 60th reunion, Zamora attributed his success later in life to Cornell, where the community met him with generosity, honesty, and care during the depths of the Great Depression. Zamora honored his time at Cornell by forming relationships with the Cornell administration through handwritten letters and invitations to stay at his home in Berkeley, and by creating a scholarship fund for Cornell students, as well as gifts to the renovation of Cole Library and the Thomas Commons. In turn, the college honored him by naming the newly renovated marketplace after him.