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Tony-winning director, ‘Hill’ reporter return for campus talks

Two distinguished alumni will visit campus this spring for lectures, class presentations and talks with students, thanks to an alumni gift from the family of James H. Becker, a Class of 1917 graduate of the College of Arts and Sciences. The Becker Grant, established in 1976, helps Arts and Sciences departments bring alumni to campus to share their experiences with students.

This spring’s two visitors are Jordan Fabian ’09 and Sam Gold ’00.

Fabian, White House correspondent for The Hill, will discuss his reporting experiences and share what he has learned about President Donald Trump and the country over this tumultuous year.

Jordan Fabian

Fabian graduated with a degree in history. Before joining the White House press corps, he served as political correspondent for The Hill and as political editor for Univision News’ English-language portal. He has appeared on MSNBC, Fox News and C-SPAN, and has contributed to nationally syndicated radio programs.

Fabian’s lecture is set for 4:45 p.m. Feb. 8 in Kaufmann Auditorium, Goldwin Smith Hall and is open to the public. He will also meet with students for a career conversation at 2:30 p.m., Feb. 9, which is open only to students and is sponsored by the Arts and Sciences Career Development Center. Students can sign up for the career talk at Handshake.

“We invite alumni back for annual events, but the Becker Grant enables us to have them on campus for a couple of days for class visits and a career conversation, as well as a presentation,” said Paul Friedland, professor of history.

Friedland said Fabian’s career is illustrative of the varied career options for liberal arts students. “There are tons of interesting jobs you can get with a history degree,” he said.

Sam Gold

Gold will visit March 26 for a 5 p.m. talk with Professor David Feldshuh in the Kiplinger Theater of the Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts. Gold won the Tony Award in 2015 as best director for the musical “Fun Home” and was nominated in 2017 as best director for the play “A Doll’s House Part 2.” After graduating from Cornell, he earned a directing degree from Juilliard, then spent three years as dramaturge/assistant director for Elizabeth LeCompte’s Wooster Group.

“Sam Gold is one of the most innovative and exciting directors on and off Broadway, and we’re lucky to host a return visit,” said Austin Bunn, associate professor in the Department of Performing and Media Arts. “He'll reflect on his experiences working with Pulitzer Prize-winning playwrights, MacArthur ‘genius’ grant winners, graphic novelists, actors and designers to produce ground-breaking shows. This is not to be missed for anyone interested in what the performing arts can teach us about collaboration.”

James H. Becker was chairman of the board of A.G. Becker & Co., an investment banking and brokerage house. At Cornell, he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and went on to serve as a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army.

Kathy Hovis is a writer for the College of Arts and Sciences.

Media Contact

Jeff Tyson