"This Is Family"
Although the room was packed with anxious parents and nervous students, Dave Price '87 seemed perfectly at ease as he strode across the stage in the Uris Hall Auditorium on Saturday.
The ILR alum and former CBS weatherman provided much-needed comic relief to the school's incoming batch of first-year and transfer students, assembled in Uris for the annual Dean's Welcome.
"You're in the most special place," Price assured the audience. "What sets Cornell apart from other schools is that we breed really nice, good, smart people."
Harry Katz, ILR's Kenneth F. Kahn Dean and Jack Sheinkman Professor, and Laura Lewis, the school's Frank B. Miller Director of Student Services, spoke first, welcoming the new students to Cornell.
The star of the show, however, was Price, whose stories from his own time at ILR were met with gales of laughter from the crowd.
Price described his academic struggles in his first year as a Cornell student, including a first-semester GPA of 2.14 and a D- grade in macroeconomics.
"I'm living proof that you don't have to be at the top of your class to do okay," Price joked. "I made the most of my ILR degree."
Price advised students to take advantage of ILR's diverse student population and academic options.
"Take classes and meet people who are outside your comfort zone," he said.
"Find out how the rest of the world works."
Price spoke about lasting friendships he made at Cornell, and the importance of those friendships throughout his life.
"Three years ago, when I was on network TV, they fired all of us. It was heartbreaking. I walk out of the studio on my last day, and who's there? My best friend from Cornell. You can't pay for that. That's what you get here," Price said.
Price offered advice to the parents in attendance.
"Parents, I'm going to tell you something your kids want to tell you … Please leave!" Price quipped. "At this point, you're a liability to your kid's social status."
Shaun Leibfried, mother of Lisa Leibfried '16, said she was ready to leave campus. "I'm not nervous. It will be an adjustment," she said. "Thank God for Skype and phones."
Price, who is a staple at the yearly welcome event, reminded students that although their parents would not be with them, they could always turn to someone at ILR in times of need.
"This is family," he said.
Price's speech was met with a standing ovation from students and parents.
"I really liked him," said Nick Earley '17. "He was inspiring and authentic."
Orientation events continue through Tuesday.