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Ivy Goodwin with the Ivy Room sign.

A tale of two Ivys

Ivy Goodwin was born about 75 years after the Ivy Room, but they’ll be forever linked in the minds of her parents. The younger one was born earlier this year to Cornell alumni Jill Russo-Goodwin ’09 and Joe Goodwin ’09 MEng ’10, who both have fond memories of burgers at the Ivy Room when they were students.

The pair heard this spring about Cornell Dining’s plan to repurpose the Ivy Room as additional serving space and seating capacity for the adjacent Okenshields, and reached out to ask whether there were plans for the sign that had sat above the entryway for years. “I know this is a random, unlikely request,” Jill wrote in May, “but I’m wondering if the Ivy Room sign is for sale. I think it would be so sweet to put in her nursery.”

Needless to say, Cornell Dining executive director Dustin Cutler loved the idea, and arranged with his team to get the sign cleaned up and on its way to the family, who live in New England. Now that it’s arrived, they’re even more excited to introduce Ivy to the Cornell campus on a future visit.

“Ivy has technically already been” to Cornell, Jill says, “as I was pregnant with her at our last visit and we used Ho Plaza to photograph our pregnancy announcement” during a visit in June 2020.

Joe’s family lives about an hour from Ithaca, so the couple have had opportunities to visit several times since they graduated, including for their five-year Reunion and for a fellow alum’s wedding. “We don't have any specific plans to go back soon, but will likely try before our 15 year Reunion,” Jill adds.

Beyond the Ivy Room, “as a HumEc student I went to Martha's and Trillium regularly,” Jill tells us, and she personally loved “RuPu” (what’s now Robert Purcell Marketplace Eatery) and Bear Necessities on north campus. “Being in the engineering quad, Joe would often go to Atrium. When we started dating that's where we would meet most for lunch. Or the Big Red Barn.”

Jill and Joe, in Human Development and Mechanical Engineering respectively, were both involved in research. “I was in Dr. Valerie Reyna's lab and Joe did his master's work with Harold Craighead,” Jill says. She says they both took advantage of the opportunity to relax on Libe Slope when weather allowed, and enjoyed the beautiful surroundings of studying in the stacks in the A.D. White Library.

“We loved Cornell,” Jill adds, and especially with her grandparents being so close, we plan to take her there as often as we can.”

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