Skip to main content

L. Sanford Reis, CU benefactor and executive, dies at 101

Media Contact

Blaine Friedlander

L. Sanford Reis '29, an ardent Cornellian whose gifts to the university included the Reis Tennis Center, the main stage of the Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts and renovation of the Fall Creek hydroelectric plant, died June 27 at age 101 in Sarasota, Fla.

Born in New York City, Reis attended Cornell on a full scholarship, where he met his wife, Josephine Goodale Mills '29. He edited a Cornell Daily Sun column called "The Berry Patch" and was elected Class Poet. Reis and his wife, who died in 2005, remained actively involved with Cornell throughout their lives. They also endowed the Reis Family Lectureships to strengthen Arabic studies at Cornell and established the Jo Mills and L. Sanford Reis Scholarship Fund.

Reis began work on Wall Street after graduating from Cornell. He served as a financial analyst for Standard Statistics and the Chas. D. Barney Corp. before forming Cayuga Construction Co. In the 1940s, he and Marvin Chandler founded Reis & Chandler, a company that provided financial and investment advice to utilities and other companies. Reis served on numerous corporate boards and remained chairman of Stamford (Conn.) Water Co. until his retirement in 1985.

Reis is survived by his son, daughter, five grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. Contributions in his memory can be made to the Jo Mills and L. Sanford Reis Scholarship Fund, c/o Linda Kabelac, Cornell University, 130 E. Seneca St., Suite 400, Ithaca, NY 14850.


Story Contacts