Remembering Konvitz

Member of ILR founding faculty “was an institution builder”
Friday, April 24, 2015

Josef Konvitz A&S ’67 is returning to Ithaca with his family to attend Monday’s lecture honoring an iconic ILR professor, his father.

“Milton Konvitz was an institution builder, part of the founding faculty of the school that had to put a curriculum together while launching journals, generating their own scholarship and pushing at bureaucratic boundaries to secure the school and its future.” Josef Konvitz said.

“He found the intellectual challenge he needed to be creative, and colleagues to form a community.”

Milton Konvitz was a founding faculty member of the ILR School, celebrating its 70th anniversary this year.

“Behind the phrase ‘American Ideals,’ was a man searching to find coherence between the values by which he tried to live, and the structure of the society in which he lived,” Konvitz said.

Professor Milton Konvitz taught “American Ideals” and other courses during his Cornell tenure, which stretched from 1946 until his retirement in 1973. Konvitz died in 2003.

The annual Milton Konvitz Memorial Lecture was founded in 2006 by Irwin Jacobs ENG ’56 and Joan Jacobs HumEc. ’54 to honor Konvitz’s legacy.

Josef Konvitz, a geography professor at King’s College in England, said, “This lecture will reach many people who never knew my father as a friend, a relation or as a teacher.”

“He did not seek honors, but wore those granted to him with gratitude. I believe that this lecture is the kind of memorial that he would have liked.”

Free and open to the public, the lecture begins at 4:30 p.m. Monday in 105 Ives Hall at ILR.

Cynthia Estlund, the Catherine A. Rein Professor of Law at the New York University School of Law, will speak about the workplace as a springboard for racial integration.

The title of her talk is “Bowling Alone,’ Living Apart, But Working Together.”