Celebrating 75 years of transforming planning

October 28, 2010

Nearly 140 CRP alumni returned to Ithaca on October 15 and 16 to celebrate a remarkable 75 years of the department's leadership and excellence in planning education. Among a full slate of talks, panels, and social activities, the weekend featured a speech by Professor Emeritus John Reps (M.R.P. '47) on CRP's early history — bringing to life the founders of the department with his characteristic wit and honesty.

"Taking the time to review the last 75 years of planning education at Cornell provided everyone with the opportunity to see where they stood in the development of our ideas," says Professor Michael Tomlan (Ph.D. '83), who directed the weekend's activities. "Equally important, the anniversary celebration allowed us to reflect on how the values that we shared can be the platform for renewing the commitments of the department in the near future, as we search for new faculty."

Other highlights included alumni-led conversations exploring contemporary issues facing planners and a celebration of five retiring faculty — Lourdes Benería, Pierre Clavel, Bill Goldsmith, David Lewis, and Porus Olpadwala.

"The 75th was informative, fun, and energizing. The large number of attendees, including students, and the enthusiasm of the CRP alumni for the program, department, and the faculty and staff was really obvious," says David Sheffield ('55, B.Arch. '60, M.R.P. '61) who attended with his wife Allison Sheffield '56.

An exhibition in John Hartell Gallery featured an interactive timeline on which alumni were invited to add events and memories to the collective history of the department.

The book, Transforming Planning, edited by Professor Ann Forsyth and Associate Professor Neema Kudva was released at the event and served as a central piece around which to examine CRP's history.

"I had a wonderful time reconnecting with classmates, professors, and the values and principles I learned at Cornell that have served me so well in my career," says Amy Kates (B.S. URS '86, M.R.P. '87).

To purchase a copy of Transforming Planning, contact Sarah Subin at sbs17@cornell.edu or (607) 255-9987.

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