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Mann Library rooftop terrace named for Dean Susan Henry

In a ceremony April 23, alumni and friends of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) dedicated the newly installed rooftop garden on the southern end of Mann Library as the Susan A. Henry Garden Terrace in honor of her significant contributions to Cornell.

Henry, who became the Ronald P. Lynch Dean of Agriculture and Life Sciences in 2000, and is the longest serving academic dean at Cornell's Ithaca campus, said she was touched by the surprise unveiling of a plaque in her name.

John Dyson '65, past chair of the CALS Advisory Council, and Janet McCue, former director of Mann Library, oversaw the beautification of the space, once an unsightly concrete expanse. They worked with students in Peter Trowbridge's landscape architecture class to design the garden, which will be maintained by Nina Bassuk, professor of horticulture, and her students.

"Susan is a great gardener and a strong advocate for libraries," said Janet McCue, associate university librarian. "What better place to dedicate in her honor than the terrace adjacent to Mann Library, an environment that fosters intellectual exploration and nurtures community."

In nine years as dean, Henry has overseen a broad transformation of the college's teaching, research and extension programs, as well as many of its facilities. Under her leadership, CALS has established new majors in agricultural sciences, enology and viticulture, information sciences, environmental engineering and the science of natural and environmental systems. During Henry's tenure, Cornell's undergraduate business program in the Department of Applied Economics and Management also first achieved accreditation and rose to the nation's No. 4 undergraduate business program in Business Week's 2008 college rankings.

In addition to installing a garden on the terrace, Dyson provided a gift in 2003 to name the library's MacGregor Arcade. The following year, he oversaw the creation of the Student Centennial Garden between Mann Library and Beebe Lake.

"CALS is grateful for John Dyson's leadership on these many projects," said Henry. "We also appreciate his larger vision to make the most of our natural environment and to establish living and working gardens that sustain us."

Dyson recruited numerous donors to establish an endowment to design, renovate and maintain the garden terrace. They are Stephen and Janice Ashley, David and Patricia Atkinson, Kathe Dyson, Peter and Barbara Dyson, Robert and Emilie Dyson, George and Barbara Gellert, Lawrence and Jennifer Goichman, Susan Lynch and the Ronald P. and Susan E. Lynch Foundation, Janet McCue, and Robert and Audrey Tobin.

Ted Boscia is a staff writer in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

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Blaine Friedlander