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Please allow me to introduce a previously unknown word into our lexicon of Cornelliana: Cornellendipty.

Cornellendipty is just like what it sounds. It reflects those serendipitous moments where seemingly independent events or things suddenly reveal themselves to have a Cornell connection, previously unknown to you. A great example of this was David Seideler '59 winning an Oscar earlier this year for The King's Speech. We all had seen and loved the movie, but hadn't been aware of the Cornell connection until much later.

Two more examples from my own life. First, in picking up and reading Raj Patel's excellent Value of Nothing, it wasn't until after I finished the book did I realize Patel had a PhD from Cornell. Or, when I recently heard Sandra Steinberger talk at a local dinner for an environmental non-profit, it wasn't until later that night that I learned she used to teach at Cornell.

Other examples abound: For instance, running into a long lost classmate randomly, or meeting a new person and discovering that they're a Cornellian. And if you think about it, with over a quarter million living alumni and faculty (and former faculty and staff), it's not all that hard to run into a Cornellian here or there.

I've actually forced a little bit of Cornellendipity on myself this weekend: in returning from a high school friend's wedding I'll manage to detour to Ithaca for my 6th Reunion on Saturday night.

So break out the Reunion Blazers! It'll be Cornellendipitous.

Matthew Nagowski | Posted on June 09, 2011 (#)

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