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Glen Mueller, lauded Cornell athlete and auditor, dies at age 70

Glen Mueller ’72, MBA ’74, the university’s auditor and a member of the Cornell Athletics Hall of Fame, died March 4 at NewYork Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York City at age 70.

Glen Mueller

A Cornell star for his athletic achievements in men’s lacrosse and basketball, Mueller had a long professional career that brought him back to Cornell twice – first as director of auditing and later as the university’s auditor and chief audit executive from 2015 until his death.

As auditor, Mueller built a best-in-class audit program that was recognized nationally, said Joanne DeStefano, Cornell’s executive vice president and chief financial officer.

“As word of Glen’s passing went through the university, the reaction from everyone was incredible sadness,” DeStefano said. “Glen was universally and genuinely liked by all those he dealt with. He was respected for his fairness and was sometimes called ‘the gentlest of gentlemen.’ His love for Cornell and his job showed up in everything he did, both within his work and outside the university. He will be greatly missed.”

Mueller transformed Cornell’s 13-member audit office through automation by advancing the use of data analytics and continuous auditing and timing assurance to both the Ithaca and Weill Cornell Medicine campuses. He also expanded the office’s knowledge of key systems on both campuses and encouraged staff to obtain additional credentials beyond their CPAs, such as certified information system auditors and fraud examiners.

Mueller brought institutional risk management concepts and tools to the university; staffed trustee audit meetings and helped launch the new cybersecurity sub-committee; mentored staff members; and was a volunteer interviewer for the Career Services Health Career Evaluation Committee, which serves Cornell juniors, seniors and alumni who apply to health professional schools.

Glen Mueller ’72 earned All-America recognition in 1971 (honorable mention) and 1972 (third team) as a member of the Cornell men’s lacrosse team. He helped the Big Red win the first NCAA championship in 1971 and posted 55 goals and 42 assists over 62 career games.

Cornell Trustee Ezra Cornell ’70 was a close friend of Mueller’s and a fellow Sigma Phi fraternity brother.

“Glen was the never-say-never guy, and someone who made Cornell his top priority,” Cornell said. “He was born with a will to get things done and always done right, and for the right reasons. And he was persistent, extraordinarily kind and loyal.”

Mueller was born in Cornwall-on-Hudson, New York, the son of a coach and two educators, and was a three-year varsity player at Manhasset High School in football, basketball and lacrosse, earning all-county honors in all three during his senior year. At Cornell, he was a three-year starter in basketball and lacrosse, and a two-time All-American.

In 1972, he served as team captain and received the Big Red lacrosse team’s Joe Phillip Memorial Award for contributing most to the overall team effort. He was a member of three legendary lacrosse teams that had a combined won-lost record of 34-4 (18-0 Ivy League) with three Ivy League titles; the 1971 team won the sport’s inaugural NCAA Div. I championship.

He ended his career with 97 points on 55 goals and 42 assists, posting at least 30 points in each campaign. He had a career-high 20 goals as a senior and career-best 34 points on 17 goals and 17 assists as a junior.

Mueller lettered three times on the basketball team as a reserve, averaging 4.5 points and 2.8 rebounds in 62 career games.

Bob Rule ’71 was a lacrosse teammate of Mueller’s in both high school and at Cornell, as well as a lifelong friend of 56 years. “If marriages worked as well as our friendship the divorce rate would drop to near zero,” Rule said. Mueller was clearly the best athlete on the 1971 championship team, he said, as well as being incredibly coachable and dedicated. “His most important accomplishment for me and his teammates was that he was a great guy.”

After college, Mueller played lacrosse for the Long Island Athletic Club and in Canada’s National Lacrosse League, winning a national lacrosse championship with the Quebec City Caribous in 1975. He was inducted into the Cornell Athletics Hall of Fame in 2008.

“Glen was a terrific athlete and even a better person,” said Andy Noel, the Meakem♦Smith Director of Athletics and Physical Education. “He was one of the rare individuals who was liked and respected by absolutely everyone who had the pleasure of his acquaintance or friendship. Glen’s passing represents a profound loss.”

Glen Mueller ’72 (#22) battles for a rebound during the Cornell men’s basketball team’s non-league game against Fairfield on Dec. 11, 1971 at Barton Hall. While Mueller’s primary sport was lacrosse, he also averaged 4.5 points and 2.8 rebounds per game in 62 appearances with the basketball team.

In addition to his professional career at Cornell, Mueller worked at Stanford University as director of internal audit and chief information officer; vice president of audit services for Stanford Healthcare; and as vice president for audit, compliance and information security at Scripps Health.

Mueller returned to Cornell at the end of his career in part to give back to his alma mater and to mentor others and continued to do so even through several years of health struggles.

Mueller is survived by his wife, Loretta Mueller; daughter Gretchen Mueller; son Eric Mueller; and sisters Dawn Preston, Donna Finkelstein and Gail Fischer.

Mueller’s family plans to hold a celebration of life later this year. In lieu of flowers, the family is establishing the Glen Mueller ’72 Memorial Lacrosse Fund. To make a gift to Big Red Lacrosse in his memory, either visit this site (in the “other designation or special instructions” box, add “The Glen Mueller ’72 Memorial Fund for Big Red Lacrosse”) or call John Webster at (607) 272-0410.

“Glen loved Cornell University, he cared about everything and everyone with pride in the Big Red. Glen would do anything to help better the university,” Cornell said. “He will be dearly missed by his colleagues, by his Sigma Phi brothers, by alumni and all who knew him.”

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Rebecca Valli