"Cornell students dream bigger dreams."

--Frank H.T. Rhodes, Cornell University Commencement, May 28, 1995

Monday, December 1, 2014

26. Abra Perrie

Every few weeks, Cornell '95 Faces features a profile of one of our class officers. This week, meet one of the class correspondents.

North Wales, Pennsylvania · Engineering 

Name at Cornell
Abra Benson


Tell us about what you're doing with your life.

I recently moved back to the Philadelphia area and am a stay-at-home mom to Leah, 4, and Flynn, 2. Prior to children, I worked in the airline industry for 6 years post MS, and later, after a Cornell(!) MBA, in pharmaceutical market research for 6 years. While I do miss aspects of professional life and having days that involve much less cleaning of others, I have never had better bosses.    

What are your duties as class officer and what have you enjoyed about the job?
As one of the Class Correspondents, I am in touch with everyone!  I've written our Class Notes column for almost 15 years, and I love hearing from classmates.  he Class of 1995 is very important to me. It gives me great joy to learn what people are up to as we go through our life journeys together. I feel more connected to my peers and a little more comfortable about what's going on in my on life. You are my touchstone.

What advice would you give to a student starting at Cornell this year?
You are being taught by leaders in their fields, experts in their specialties, and the best professors out there. Pay attention in class.  Pay a lot of attention in class. It will help you learn the material better and make studying for exams much easier. You only have a short time to be in this exceptional environment. Don't chat with your friends, sleep, or stare at your phone. Be present in class. Soak it in and make the most of the lecture.  

If you could change anything about your Cornell experience, what would it be?

I had a wonderful time at Cornell and was involved in a variety of school activities, but sometimes I wish I had gone down more rabbit holes. I wish I had pushed myself into more college life adventures. I should have volunteered for some of the random psych experiments advertised on Uris boards or posed nude for painting classes. I wish I had tried sorority life and gone to more fraternity parties. I should have participated in Cornell Concert Commission, the Cornell Concert band, and Semester at Sea. I wish I had more time for everything! 

What are you most looking forward to at Reunion 2015?

Everything!!  I can't wait to breathe the Ithaca air, stroll by gorges and lakes, walk uphill everywhere, sleep in a dorm room, eat at Collegetown Bagel, and, of course, be surrounded by my fellow Cornellians, especially those from 1995. Over the course of our past reunions, I've developed a fun group of friends who have basically become my reunion dates. They make my experience extra fun, and I am definitely looking forward to another reunion with them (you know who you are, so you better show up!). Also, I am both looking forward to and dreading seeing the changes to my beloved campus. Change can be hard to take, whether it's good or bad, especially when it happens to a place you love. I already miss you, Ruloff's.