Karen Krull Robart ’78
I’m the middle child in a family with seven children. My father was a maintenance man and my mother a stay-at-home mom. I graduated from Cornell with a degree in history and a secondary education teaching endorsement, which I never used.
I’ve had a number of different careers: researcher on women’s property rights for the Nebraska Commission on the Status of Women, office manager and computer guru for a small architectural firm, tasting room manager for a local vineyard. Currently I am a semi-professional artist and also the special events manager and volunteer coordinator for the Platte River Whooping Crane Critical Habitat Maintenance Trust. This position allows me to work with dignitaries like Jane Goodall and George Archibald (founder of the International Crane Foundation), both of whom are delightful people. Once again, my Cornell years gave me the background I needed to be able to carry on a conversation with them easily and coherently.
I am now living in Hastings, Nebraska; drawn there by a small liberal arts college similar to Cornell. Cornell’s impact on my life has been huge: the critical thinking skills learned there have been invaluable in the many different fields in which I have worked. The relationships formed with professors and staff members (chief among them: David Lyon, Joe Campanelli ’69 and Trish Searls Campanelli ’72, and especially Dick and Nancy Thomas) have been the most influential of my life. These are people who taught me the value of hard work and how to stretch my mind to encompass ideas far outside my comfort range. My classmates are the friends that have become my chosen family, and the ones who will always have my back.
The Cornell community’s reach has me wearing my Cornell shirts whenever I travel, because I am sure to strike up a conversation with someone in an airport who either attended Cornell or knows someone who did. I simply cannot imagine what life would have been like had I not attended Cornell, and I am certain that it would not have been nearly as rich as it is.