Chris Arends ’90 graduated from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) with a major in atmospheric sciences.
He resides in San Diego and has been a committed Cornell volunteer for decades. Since 2015, Chris has served as the Cornell Club of San Diego president. His leadership roles extend to the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Alumni Association, serving as vice president of alumni engagement, and more recently, director of the Southern California region.
What was your favorite class / extracurricular(s) as a student?
My favorite class was the introduction to meteorology by Professor Mark Wysocki. His passion and flamboyant teaching style captivated me from the onset, and I owe my love for science to that introductory class. I was an operational meteorologist for over 20 years in the U.S. Navy, and now I am the meteorology manager for San Diego Gas and Electric.
What Cornell memory puts a smile on your face?
I always smile when I look back at my Cornell days at how tolerant I was to stand in the freezing cold for up to 45 minutes to get a hot sandwich in the middle of the night from the Hot Truck.
How has Cornell impacted who you are today?
The Cornell brand is forever and has opened doors my entire life.
What makes you feel most connected to Cornell while living in San Diego?
I feel very connected to Cornell even in San Diego because of my volunteering with the Cornell Club of San Diego. The board of passionate Cornellians strives to have impactful events, engaging alumni from all parts of San Diego County with engaging, relevant, and fun event offerings.
Do you have a favorite place on campus?
My favorite place on campus was any place quiet where I could get work done, but I enjoyed going to any of the lunchrooms to socialize and have some excellent Cornell-prepared food.
Is there a Cornell program or initiative that is near and dear to your heart, and why?
I enjoyed many Cornell events, including sledding on Libe Slope. My favorite was cow chip bingo on the Ag Quad where a cow was in an enclosed area with a bingo board stenciled on the grass, and we had to figure out where the cow was going to go to the bathroom. I thought that was hysterical.
What do you like about volunteering?
Volunteering is the key to staying connected with Cornell, especially on the West Coast, as far from campus. I feel like I never left the community, and I am part of the Cornell family perpetually.