James Berry McWethy ’65

James “Jim” Berry McWethy ’65, one of Cornell College’s most enthusiastic and generous supporters, died at age 76 on June 22, 2020.

Jim McWethy '65
Jim McWethy ’65

McWethy helped shape the future of Cornell as a Cornell Trustee from 1995 to 2004, and through his ongoing and energetic involvement until his death. He and his wife, Susan, invested in programs across the curriculum, most notably with leadership gifts to the Science Facilities Project; the fine arts, including McWethy Hall, home of the art department; the Berry Lobby in Youngker Hall, home of Kimmel Theatre; and the Berry Career Institute.

McWethy majored in economics and business and mathematics at Cornell and earned a master’s degree in economics from Indiana University, where he also taught economics. He was involved in management of his family’s business, Berry Bearing Company, for 23 years and later operated as an independent businessman in Downers Grove, Illinois. His business interests included agriculture, golf facilities, restaurants, charity, real estate development, and local politics. McWethy received the college’s Distinguished Achievement Award in 2007.

Shortly after his death the Cornell Board of Trustees passed a resolution honoring him, which stated, in part, that “Jim represented the highest values of Cornell College through his kindness, honesty, generosity, wisdom, unpretentiousness, and loyalty.”

He is survived by his wife, Susan, their two children, and four grandchildren.