President’s Message


Dear Fellow Cornell Alumni,

It has been a pleasure serving as Cornell Club President. When I joined the Board of Directors back in 2011, I found a community of individuals dedicated to their local Cornell community and enthusiastic about their alma mater. I joined with the intention of giving back to the University that has given so much to me and I have learned and gained so much in return. Thank you all for the wonderful experiences.

In July, our Annual Student Send Off, hosted by our very own All Ivy+ Chair Lauren Gould, was a resounding success with almost 60 people in attendance. Students were able to interact with each other and alumni to prepare for a new chapter of their lives in Ithaca. This was followed by our Annual Board Meeting in late August where our new Board of Directors were confirmed.

Going forward, your new Co-Presidents will be Diana Hsu and Michelle Talbert. I am confident that with these two in charge, the Club will continue to flourish for years to come. As they plan new activities for our Club feel free to reach out to them with your ideas.

Before I go, I encourage you, if you haven’t already, to become more involved in our local Cornell community. There are so many ways to leave a positive impact, both big and small. You could conduct a few contact meetings with prospective students through the Cornell Alumni Admissions Ambassadors Network (CAAAN), for example. If that interests you, please reach out to our CAAAN Director, Dr. Larry Reese. Plus, there are always opportunities to join our Board of Directors or host an event!

So farewell for now, I appreciate your continued support of our Cornell Club and hope to CU soon at future events!


Nicole Patriese Gumbs
Cornell Club of Fort Lauderdale and Boca Raton – Immediate Past President


Co-President: Michelle Talbert
Co-President: Diana Hsu
Treasurer: Avi Aisenberg
Social Media Chair: Victoria Aisenberg
Membership Chair – Thom DeVita
CAAAN Director – Dr. Larry Reese
Community Service Chair – Bradford Ress
All Ivy+ Chair – Lauren Gould

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Dear Fellow Alumni:

I am deeply saddened to inform you of the passing of Thomas Virgin on November 10, 2015. By now I am sure many of you have heard about the fatal plane crash in Akron, Ohio. Unfortunately, one of our own, Thomas “TJ” Virgin, was amongst the victims.

TJ along with his wife Andrea Ramudo Virgin served as Co-Presidents for the Cornell Club of Fort Lauderdale and Boca Raton from 2012-2015 and recently stepped down to welcome their newborn daughter, Victoria Virgin, into their lives.

There will be a memorial service on Friday, November 13th at 1:00PM at:

St. Joan of Arc Church Catholic Church
370 SW 3rd Street
Boca Raton, FL 33432

Korinne Brownlee is putting together a slide show for tomorrow’s service. If you have pictures of TJ you would like to share, please send them to or message her on Facebook (

For those who feel lead to give, there are two Go Fund Me pages:

Thomas “TJ” Virgin Memorial Acct

Tori’s Tuition

Our deepest condolences go out to the Virgin and Ramudo Families during this difficult time. They are in our thoughts and prayers. TJ leaves behind his wife Andrea and their 4 month old daughter Victoria.


Nicole Patriese Gumbs
Cornell Club of Fort Lauderdale and Boca Raton – President

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Dear Members,
What a year! Let us begin by saying thank you to all of you who attended events, volunteered in various outlets, our fantastic Board, and especially to our incredibly generous hosts who have opened up their homes, restaurants, and hearts to our club.
On the note of hosts, we’d like to take this opportunity to thank Jim and Faith Cohen for hosting our Admitted Students Reception, which was very well attended and remarked upon. Many of the students who attended, accepted Cornell to be their future Alma Mater and without the Cohen’s and their generosity, we may not have seen such a high acceptance number. In addition to the Cohen’s, we would also like to take a moment to thank our CAAAN Chair, Larry Reese, whose importance in our Club and the University as a whole cannot be overstated.
For photos of the reception and incoming Cornell students, please feel free to visit our Facebook page and website.
As we near the summer, we look back at the wonderful year we’ve had. From record attendance at our Student Send-Off, the fun Zinck’s Night at the Biergarten, to the always classic wine tasting at Cafe Maxx, we were blessed with a great closing of the year with a perfectly planned event at the Boca Museum. At this event, Cornell’s Johnson Museum of Art collaborated with the Cornell Club of Eastern Florida and Trustee Dalia Stiller to create a fantastic experience enjoyed by all.
Sadly, our annual and always fun Big Red Fiesta had to be postponed until next year due to the closing of our long-loved venue the Spaniard. Although this was unfortunate, we’re looking forward to the next exciting year, where not only will we be providing a fantastic new and entertaining alternative to this yearly event, but more importantly, we’ll be celebrating an extremely exciting anniversary…
As many of you may have already seen and read about, Cornell officially celebrates its Sesquicentennial (150th year) on April 27, 2015! This is an incredibly exciting year for Cornell not only in Ithaca, but also worldwide. On that note, we are thrilled to announce that on Saturday, February 14th, 2015, Cornell has chosen West Palm Beach as one of their regional locations for their celebration. Collaborating with the University and our other local clubs, we’ll be putting together a spectacular event for all to gather and celebrate. At this event we’ll reminisce on the last 150 years of Cornell and also get excited for the many goals it has for the next 150 years and beyond as one of the world’s leading universities. So please mark your calendars for this momentous occasion.
Due to this anniversary, this year will be both busy and exciting and will require incredible planning and coordination from our board and volunteers. This summer’s in-person board meeting will be held Thursday, July 24th, at 6:30pm in Fort Lauderdale. There are a few board positions available, so if interested, please refer below for more information. Also, if any of you are interested in participating in the formation of this year’s celebrations, please do reach out to us. Especially this year, our board could use some extra hands.
In closing, this next year is certainly going to be one for the record books. On behalf of the Board, we would like to thank you all for this wonderful past year, and we sincerely look forward to celebrating with you all at the many exciting events to come. As we embark on our summer, we wish everyone safe travels with your families, congratulations to all the graduates within our community, and an overall fun and enjoyable summer break for all.
C U all in the Fall!
Thomas and Andrea Virgin, c/o ’11
Cornell Club of Fort Lauderdale and Boca Raton
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Seasons Greetings!

Before we all embark on our journeys for the holidays and New Year, on behalf of the Board, we wanted to take this opportunity to thank you all for the wonderful year we’ve had. Blessed with an amazing (and quickly growing) alumni base here in South Florida, we couldn’t thank you all more for your time, talents, and presence throughout this year. 
As a prime example of our wonderful group, we want to take a moment to express our sincere gratitude to Larry and Rose Ben for hosting another incredible Winter Wine and Dine event on Dec. 5th at Cafe Maxx. Additionally, we would like to send a special thanks to alum, Karl Elderkin, for presenting the amazing selection of wines. Between the Ben’s and Karl, we sampled some of the greatest wines in their collections, which they themselves graciously donated to the event from their own supplies. What a treat that evening was, between the company, which included University Trustee, Dalia Stiller and Advisory Board Member of the Baker Real Estate Program, Duane Stiller, to the delicious 4-course meal, hand selected by the Ben’s, and last but not least, the wine selection, beautifully presented by Karl. It was a magical evening and we thank all who attended and enjoyed in this meal together. (To see a few photos of the evening, please visit our Facebook page or Club website.)
As we look ahead to our 2014 year, we are eager to provide our constituents with more enriching events, networking opportunities, family fun, and above all, a presence of our wonderful Alma Mater here in the South Florida area. Once again, thank you all for continuing to support the local Cornell community, and we wish you all a very wonderful holiday season and a blessed and prosperous New Year! C U all in 2014!


Thomas and Andrea Virgin


Cornell Club of Fort Lauderdale and Boca Raton

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