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July 8, 2005

I wish I could make this more amusing, but this is a sad time. One week ago today, on July 1, Hunter Rawlings assumed the position of Interim President of Cornell University. He will serve until a new President assumes offices. In his message, he wrote:

The past few weeks have been an unsettling period. President Lehman’s resignation was an unfortunate event for many reasons, and it has generated lingering questions in our community because it came suddenly and without extensive explanation. As you may have read, President Lehman and the Board of Trustees have agreed that his and the institution’s best interests will be served by foregoing more open discussion. Despite the understandable frustration that creates, I am confident that they have acted in the university’s interests.

The resignation news left the Cornell community with many questions. Many of them will probably never be answered. The future of Jeffrey Lehman’s Thefacebook profile is not one of those. It will cease to be active. For the sake of historical value, it will not be deleted, but any new friend requests will be denied. More importantly, the link to this blog will be added to the profile. This will be the final change. Everyone deserves to see the information presented here and perhaps learn from it. This was an interesting experiment, but everything must come to an end. I surely hope no one will be too disappointed.

Now may be the best time to look back. Jeffrey Lehman’s profile was created in May 2004. Almost exactly one year ago, on July 5, 2004, it received a first message. Since then, many more would be sent. Many friend requests would be sent as well. When the last friend was accepted today, the friend count was at 1616 in addition to 22 at schools other than Cornell. Given that this blog is now very public, the friend count may drop a bit.

On a side note, this high-profile profile revealed at least one flaw plaguing Thefacebook. As you gain more friends, the number becomes less accurate. If you compare the counts on “My Profile” and “My Friends”, the numbers may differ. As I climbed over 1000, the difference reached double digits. And in case you are wondering, out-of-school friends were not overlooked when comparing the numbers.

To sum things up, the Jeffrey Lehman profile is done. It’s over. This blog will continue its existence and new posts may be added. If you are really interested in this matter, feel free to come back. If you have something to say, leave a comment here or drop me a line at redprez(at)gmail.com.

P.S.: Thefacebook is still missing Hunter Rawlings. What a travesty!


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July 7, 2005

It was interesting to get a message like no other today. D.Y. ’05 sent me one in French:

Cher Monsieur President,
Je ne sais pas si vous vous souvenez de moi, mais j’etais la coordinatrice de Prepare votre premiere annee, et je suis venue parler a vous a Slope Day, et on a meme une photo ensemble devant Willard Straight Hall. Comme vous, je suis allee en France ma troisieme annee a Cornell. En tout cas, c’est triste que vous ne serez plus president de Cornell, parce qu’en tant que Cornelliens on etait content d’avoir un president qui etait aussi un ancien etudiant. Bon, je vous souhaite bonne chance, et j’espere qu’on se croisera un jour, qui sait?
Tres cordialement,
D*** Y***, Class of 2005
PS: Je suis une assistante de recherche a Washington, au “Washington Institute for Near East Policy” et si jamais vous etes a Washington, je serai tres contente de vous inviter chez moi pour un dejeuner ou diner avec votre famille.

I guess this means I know French. You learn new things every day. For those of you who are not as bright as me, I asked AltaVista’s Babel Fish for a translation. The result is far from perfect, but you don’t have to be a genius to understand the meaning:

Dear Mr President, I do not know if you remember me, but I etais the coordinator of Prepare your premiere year, and I came to speak has has you Slope Day, and one has same a photo unit in front of Willard Straight Hall. Like you, I am allee in France my third year has Cornell. In any case, it is sad which you will not be a any more president de Cornell, because as Cornelliens one etait glad to have a president who etait also old etudiant. Good, I wish you good luck, and I espere which one will cross one day, which knows?
Very cordially
D*** Y***, Class of 2005
PS: I am an assistant of research has Washington, in “Washington Institute for Near East Policy” and if ever you etes has Washington, I will be very glad to invite you at home for a dejeuner or dinner with your family.

It’s great to have connections all over the world.