Message of condolence on the death of Walter Lynn

It is with great sadness that I must announce the passing of one of the most beloved members of the Cornell family. Professor Emeritus Walter Lynn passed away last evening after a long and courageous battle against cancer.

Those who met Walter during his 49 years at Cornell will remember a man of great humor with the exceptional ability to listen and dispense sound wisdom. It should not be surprising that in addition to his role as a professor of civil and environmental engineering and science and technology studies, he also served as dean of the faculty and university ombudsman.

It was in this last role, which he was preparing to leave after 12 years, that his skills truly shined. On the list of desirable attributes of a Cornell University Ombudsman, the last read, "Non-judgmental, good listener, fair, diplomatic, calm, sensible." That was Walter.

My sincere condolences go out to Walter's family and to the many, many friends he made during his years at Cornell. He will be remembered by all who knew him as a man who loved Cornell and devoted his career to making it a better place.

Plans to commemorate Walter's life will be made in the coming days in consultation with his family. 

David J. Skorton


Support services are available to all members of the Cornell community. Students may consult with counselors from Gannett Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) by calling 607-255-5155. Students may also speak with a peer counselor by calling EARS at 255-3277. Employees may call the Faculty Staff Assistance Program (FSAP) at 800-327-2255 (select option 1 for EAP). An Ithaca-based CrisisLine is available at 272-1616. For additional resources, visit the Caring Community site.