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NYC Tech Campus leaders react to Cornell, Technion win

David Skorton and Rebecca Blank

President David Skorton

"We began talking about this some months ago and it turned out that our teams meshed, our aspirations meshed and what we brought to the table meshed. It would be impossible to exaggerate what the emotional and programmatic support have meant to both institutions. The number of alumni of The Technion and of Cornell who have stepped forward with not just moral support but sage advice and many other ways of keeping the wind at our backs has been amazing."

Peretz Lavie

Peretz Lavie president, The Technion

"One of the strategic goals of a research university is globalization. ... We thought that one of the ways to attract excellent students to be present at the forefront of universities who will lead the way into the second half of the 21st century is to team with Cornell. Combining the two traditions, two teams of excellent faculty -- and I know the faculty of Cornell and they know the faculty of the Technion -- I truly believe that the sum is greater than the parts. In a few years, this institute will be a world leader in innovative technologies, and we want to be part of it. …

"I was impressed with the way Technion and Cornell teams worked together. The Roosevelt Island campus is not going to be an extension of Cornell, nor an extension of Technion, it is going to be something new. It is going to be something innovative. It's going to be a new kind of degree. I'd like to congratulate Cornell. I'd like to congratulate the Cornell team, and the enthusiasm of Cornell's students. This was incredible, and I think it is shared by Technion students. So thank you for the support, students of Cornell. And good luck to all of us."

Kent Fuchs

Provost Kent Fuchs

"It was amazing to see all the individuals in the room and in the overflow room and almost 10,000 people watching on the Internet. It is so exciting for us, Cornell, with this partner to win this competition. To receive a full $100 million and a full 11-acre site and have a full partnership with the city as we create a spectacular new campus for Cornell. It's just wonderful. I believe it's the fact that the university is part of New York City already. Many of us have family members here, we have many alumni that have grown up in the city, and we have all of our programs here, from each of the colleges in Ithaca as well as the medical school. The city has been a part of our DNA, our blood, and now we have an opportunity to create a new campus. It's understood inherently by students, alumni, staff and faculty that we as Cornell University should and will have a major new presence in the city. It's just an obvious part of our destiny."

Dan Huttenlocher

Dan Huttenlocher, dean, computing and information science

"I think it's great for Cornell, great for New York City and for New York state. And for the country quite frankly. The whole need for more jobs in this country and the role technology plays in job creation, to have multiple major centers of technology in the country will be great for the nation.

"It's just clear we have had amazing momentum. The momentum of the petition with 20,000 signatures that was brought to [Deputy Mayor] Bob Steel's office, incredible support of student groups, alumni and faculty, and this [$350 million] gift was just something that was a piece of that momentum. It certainly takes a lot of the immediate pressure off. There is still a lot of fundraising to do for this campus and the Ithaca campus, but it makes it very clear to everybody what we said at the beginning. This is going to be growth of Cornell University. This is adding to the university, not taking resources from Ithaca."

Lance Collins

Lance Collins, dean, College of Engineering

"This is thrilling. I think it's the most exciting step for this university in decades if not its entire history. I really think this is a chance for engineering and computer science to rocket to the top. I also think it's an opportunity for us to do something in New York that is an experiment that no other university has ever done before. I am thrilled to be around it and a part of it.

"One of the strengths of our campus is we will have mentoring for students. ... Thousands of our alumni in the tech sector in New York City have eagerly volunteered to be mentors to our students. It's a tremendous advantage. Alumni have played an incredible role throughout the beginning. It's also been a matter of strong faculty support, and support from the administration and the board of trustees.

"It's historic. A hundred years from now we're going to look back on this time and say, 'Wow!' that Cornell made this decision. I am excited to get started. We're going to really push hard early and move things along, rent space and get this program started."

Sanford Weill

Sanford Weill '55, chair, WCMC Board of Overseers

"I think it's a phenomenal thing. I think it's going to be transforming for the university, I think it's going to be transforming for the city, and I think it's going to be a great new partnership of Weill Cornell and Cornell's engineering campus -- just across a little river. And I think lots of good things are going to come. The partnership with Technion is brilliant, and there are going to be a lot of great people coming together to make this a really outstanding new facility for Cornell."

Robert Appel

Robert Appel '53, presidential councillor

"This is just a wonderful day for Cornell. And I just think there is no place for us to go from here but up. I also want to point out this wonderful building going up on 69th Street -- the new medical center -- is just [an example of] what we can do in building a great medical technology center. We've already been doing it."

Kyu Whang

Kyu Whang, vice president, facilities services

"This is so exciting. I'm not surprised that we won. It was not an easy process, we had to work very hard. A lot of people put a lot of effort into this, and I feel we were the deserving winners. ... Even if we hadn't won, I am extremely proud of what we accomplished together."

Shay David

Shay David, Ph.D. '08

"I was excited. I was part of it and I helped spread the word, signed the petitions and sat on some of the advisory committees when we were thinking about the proposal. In particular I think what the alumni and student body understand is the 21st century is all about networks, creating the connection between tech, finance, alumni and the companies that are going to hire them."

Michael Bloomberg

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg

"[The tech campus] promises to create a beehive of innovation and discovery, attracting and nurturing the kind of technical talent that will spawn new companies, create new jobs and propel our city's economy to new frontiers."