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Trustee Emeritus Dick Call dies at age 84

Richard Call


Richard “Dick” C. Call ’52, farmer, businessman and Cornell trustee emeritus, died Aug. 2 after a long illness. He was 84 years old.

Call was one of more 30 members of his extended family to attend Cornell. An active alumnus, Call served as a trustee (1993-2001) and was elected trustee emeritus in 2001. At various times he also served as a member of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’ (CALS) Advisory Council, the advisory committee of the Department of Animal Science and the Cornell Alumni Association. As a member of the Alpha Zeta agricultural fraternity, he contributed to the success of Alpha Zeta’s Second Century campaign to rebuild the fraternity’s chapter house. For these and many other contributions, Call was honored with a CALS Outstanding Alumni Award in 1985.

In addition to establishing a scholarship fund for CALS students, in 2010 Call and his wife, Marie “Bee” Call, endowed the Richard C. Call Directorship of Agricultural Sciences with a $1 million gift to CALS.

Call was also active in the New York state agricultural community, serving as a director/officer with many dairy-related cooperatives and associations and as a benefactor to the New York State 4-H Foundation. In 2008 Call was honored with a Distinguished Service Citation from the New York State Agricultural Society.

“Dick Call was a remarkable human being,” said Kathryn Boor, the Ronald P. Lynch Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. “His abiding commitment to fostering the well-being and prosperity of his friends, colleagues, employees and neighbors earned him the respect and admiration of the state’s entire agriculture community. His love of Cornell, his commitment to service and his passion for supporting educational opportunities in CALS for the next generation of New York farmers will be deeply missed.”

The Call family farm, My-T Acres, which was established in 1922 by his father Robert V. Call ’17, operates in Genesee, Orleans and Livingston counties and is run by Call’s three sons, Nathan ’76, Peter ’79 and Phillip ’81, and a niece.

In addition to his wife and sons, Call is survived by his brother David Call ’54, who served as the Ronald P. Lynch Dean of CALS from 1978 to 1995; brother Robert Vincent Call Jr. ’50; sister Evelyn Call Brumstead ’46; and numerous grandchildren, nieces and nephews. Call was predeceased by sisters Marie C. Wells ’42 and Elizabeth Kingsley ’43.

Robert Costello is the leadership communications and social media officer for CALS.

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John Carberry