$2 million gift will create endowed chair

MOUNT VERNON – A $2 million planned gift from Cornell alumna Jean Russell will create an endowed faculty chair at Cornell College and support other campus priorities.

Russell graduated from Cornell College in 1965 and worked at Washington University in St. Louis in the Department of Medicine, the School of Dental Medicine, and the Division of Orthopedic Surgery.

“I view this as an opportunity to give back to Cornell a portion of what they gave me in education, experience and growth,” said Russell of Pentwater, Mich.

Russell earned her Ph.D. in biology from Rice University in 1971. From then until 1993, she worked at Washington University in St. Louis, Mo., teaching and researching. She contributed significant work to bone and calcium research and was able to extend many of the medical principles concerning growth and repair in the skeleton.

Half of the $2 million deferred gift will endow the Jean E. Russell Chair in Molecular Biology as part of Cornell College’s Dimensions: The Center for the Science and Culture of Healthcare programs. The other $1 million is unrestricted.

“We are grateful for Jean’s gift and for her support of Cornell,” said Cornell College President Les Garner. “Her generous gift will have a lasting impact on the biology program, as well as the entire campus.”

Russell’s 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 cornellcollege.edu/campaign.