Foss class of: 1990
Higher education: B.A., Cornell University; M.A., philosophy and theology, Oxford University; J.D., Yale University
Current job: Law Professor and Dean of the Cornell Law School (Ithaca, NY)
How Foss paved the way for success: When the Ivy League opened its doors to Eduardo Penalver, he was ready.
As a graduate of the Foss IB program, Penalver entered Cornell University in the fall of 1990, surrounded, he recalls, by “students from the most prestigious prep schools in the country.”
“And I never felt the least bit disadvantaged.”
The IB program had done just what Penalver had hoped it would when he entered in ninth grade, after years of Catholic school: cultivate critical thinking skills, and prepare him for college. The IB program is holistic, he says, challenging students in the arts and sciences. Making the move to Cornell, he adds, was an easy transition, and one for which he is grateful.
Penalver didn’t, however, end up in one of the fields he’d planned on when he left high school: science or engineering. Instead, as an undergraduate, he discovered an interest in history, and the law. He went on to get his law degree at Yale University, practiced law, and eventually returned to his undergraduate alma mater, now as dean of the Cornell Law School.
Penalver speaks of his chosen path as one might speak of a calling.
“We are a nation of laws, and anyone interested in having an impact on the shape of our society and in making it more just must be attentive to its legal system,” he says.
READ MORE Foss Alumni Stories.