February 2024


The College of Veterinary Medicine has established the Stephen J. Ettinger 1962, D.V.M. 1964 Scholarship in honor of this outstanding veterinarian whose broad-reaching influence has impacted the college and the veterinarian profession

Ettinger is considered a founder of specialization in veterinary medicine, having helped establish the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine and serving as president of cardiology in that group — from which he received the inaugural lifetime specialty achievement award. He has authored hundreds of journal papers and key foundational textbooks, including Canine Cardiology (1970) and the Textbook of Veterinary Internal Medicine, the ninth edition of which published in January 2024. He has served on the Cornell University Board of Trustees, the Dean’s Leadership Council and the Advisory Council and received a Daniel Elmer Salmon Award for Distinguished Alumni Service in 2010.

Steve proudly notes “that 3 of our 5 children matriculated and completed their undergraduate studies at Cornell. Andrew with a BA ’94; Robert, Agr. Econ. ’19 and Ricky, Agr. Econ. ’93. The oldest Michael went to Cornell summer school and then completed his studies at UColo in Boulder. Thus I have spent many hours traveling from California to Ithaca over my lifetime!!!”

For more about this legendary veterinarian, read the complete write-up that appeared online in CVM news in January.

Pictured above: Stephen Ettinger (l) and Julio Lopez.

“He’s been such a huge part of my life, as a mentor and like a second father as well. I don’t know where I’d be in my professional career without him,” said Julio López, D.V.M. ’08, who set the wheels in motion to establish this scholarship in a surprise announcement last May.

From San Antonio, TX, John Graybill sends word that he has “retired as emeritus professor of medicine, was chief of my division of infectious diseases for 6 years at Univ Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, and had about 250 peer reviewed publications, mostly in medical mycology and with AIDS patients, and a lot of non-reviewed publications. I left all of that in 2008.

“My wife Sue and I continue to enjoy retirement. For 30 years we have done medical volunteer work in Mexico, Bogota, Costa Rica, and Guatemala. We have aged out of the volunteer work, but have bought a home in Guatemala, and spend 3-5 months a year there. With the hot summers here in Texas, it is great to be in Guatemala at 5300 feet in the mountains, with a climate like Denver. We love Latin culture. My addictive hobby in Guatemala is growing orchid species, and Guatemala is a great place for it. I tie them to tree branches and have a few on tables, a thousand in all. Up in Texas (not healthy for orchids) I have gotten into HO and N gauge model railroading. My N gauge is coffee table sized and can go with us when we move sometime, if ever, to a retirement home. I am finally reaching the point of knowing how outdated I am in my profession of clinical academic medicine, and am stopping medical journals, medical societies, and ultimately my medical license. Age will claim us all , but orchids and model railroading are good hobbies to have.”

John Abel retired from the Cornell civil engineering faculty in 2004 but continues to live in Ithaca on the west shore of Cayuga Lake. His wife Lynne Snyder (’62) died in 2006, and since 2010 his son Bill has lived with him. “Together we enjoy movies, TV series, travel and Cornell sports events as well as lakeside living. We spend holiday seasons with daughter Britt (’91) and her family in the Twin Cities.

“After 12 years on the board of the Cayuga Lake Watershed Network (Mission: To advocate for the health of Cayuga Lake and its Watershed in a changing world), I have decided to step aside this coming August. I served as Treasurer during 8 years of growth, but my proudest accomplishment was through working with 3 talented interns from Cornell, one each in 3 of the last 4 summers. I guided their creation, revision and updating of two handbooks advising watershed residents how to help alleviate climate change while preserving the quality of the lake. (

“While writing about the effects of extreme weather on our lake and watershed, I decided to “walk the talk” on climate change. I am excited to have completed the conversion of our home to fully electric using community-subscription solar power from a photo-voltaic farm in nearby Newfield, NY. I installed deep geothermal heat pumps, discarded our gas furnace and water heater, upgraded our heating and electric infrastructure, and replaced both our gas dryer with a ventless hybrid electric version and our stove with an induction stovetop. We were able to turn off our natural gas connection! I also drive a plug-in hybrid car since 2017.

“I remain active as former president and advisor for the International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures (IASS), my professional association involving engineers, architects and researchers. This coming year, after a pandemic hiatus of four years, I will resume international travel to annual IASS symposia, this year in Zurich and next year in Mexico City. 

Daughter Britt Abel (’91), on the faculty of Macalester College, will be teaching in Vienna again this spring semester (4th time since 2009), and her husband Scott Burglechner (’91) is able to join her thanks to his remote work possibility for US Bank. Grandson Will graduated from Colorado College in May and is starting his second social-service job in the Twin Cities while deciding about long-term plans. Granddaughter Natasha (’25) will have her junior spring semester at Cornell’s program in Seville, Spain.”

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