Cornell University

Alumni Affairs and Development

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Alumni Profile

Gary Bettman, '74

2004 Groat Award Recipient

Gary B. Bettman, '74, began his tenure with the National Hockey League in February of 1993 as its first Commissioner, after being elected unanimously by the Board of Governors.  Under his direction, the NHL has experienced a period of unprecedented growth, most notably in the areas of expansion, broadcasting and marketing.

Before he was named Commissioner of the NHL, Mr. Bettman served 12 years with the National Basketball Association, attaining the position of Senior Vice President and General Counsel.  Prior to that, Mr. Bettman was associated with the New York law firm of Proskauer Rose Goetz & Mendelsohn.

One of ILR's most dedicated leaders, an outstanding ambassador for the School, and a current ILR parent, Gary is a longtime member of the Dean's Advisory Council, having served as Chair from 2000-2002.  He has also served on the ILR Alumni Association's Board of Directors.  Gary has hosted numerous ILR events, from board meetings to special dean's functions to School events.  He is on ILR's Top Ten List of frequently requested career panelists and somehow, miraculously, finds time to share his perspectives with alumni, students, faculty, and friends on a regular basis.  Additionally, Gary has been active on the Cornell University Council and is a member of the Cornell Alumni Association of NYC.  Other Cornell involvements include service on the Athletics Advisory Council and the Jewish Studies Campaign.

A native of Queens, NY, Mr. Bettman also holds a degree from the New York University School of Law.  Truly a 'Cornell Family,' Gary and his wife, Shelli (Michelle Weiner Bettman AB '75), reside in New Jersey.  Their children are Brittany (ILR Sophomore), Jordan,  (ILR '06) and Lauren  (ILR '01), who is married to Brian Gershengorn (ILR '00).

— From Groat Alpern Celebration 2004 invitation.

- Gary Bettman, '74