Daniel M. Lazar '29
Daniel M. Lazar passed away in December 2001 after a distinguished career and long and fulfilling life. He co-founded Cayuga Construction Corp. in 1936 and was its president for the next 50 years; he then served as chairman. Over the course of these years, Mr. Lazar led the company in the building of numerous bridges and highways in New York, Maryland, and Pennsylvania; subways in New York City; structure foundations in New York City (including Building #7 of the World Trade Center and the Javits Convention Center); structure foundations for both New York City World Fairs; and an airbase in Cuba for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
"At an engineering alumni gathering in New York City in 1995, Dean Hopcroft described his Fund for Excellence in Teaching. Joining Dean Hopcroft was President Hunter R. Rawlings III, who heartily endorsed the idea of the fund. Knowing the importance of quality education and its dependence on good teaching, I, too, was greatly drawn to the idea of the fund. I have always been grateful for the solid education I received at Cornell, and I know it is essential to continue to provide fine teaching at Cornell. It is with great pleasure that I contribute to the Fund for Excellence in Teaching." —Daniel M. Lazar ’29 CE
Through the years he was active and well respected in construction industry organizations. In 1972 Mr. Lazar was elected president of the General Contractors Association of New York. In the same year, he was also selected as Awardee of the Year for MOLES, a national construction organization, for his outstanding work in the field of underground infrastructure construction. He later served as president of MOLES.
Mr. Lazar served as a Cornell ambassador for many years. In 1994 he was instrumental in forging a link between Synthesis, a national engineering organization with headquarters at Cornell, and MCSM, a school in a minority neighborhood in New York City.
For the last four years of his life, Mr. Lazar was a volunteer consultant for the Regional Alliance for Small Contractors and was named Volunteer of the Year in 1996. Upon his death, his family directed memorial gifts to enhance the Daniel M. Lazar ’29 Fund for Excellence in Teaching at the college.
Mr. Lazar’s son Frederick (Rick) Lazar ’70 and his wife, Deborah (Debbie Cheney ’70), have a daughter, Hillary, who was a graduate of Cornell’s Class of 2000. Mr. Lazar has two other granddaughters, Allyson, who graduated from Reed College in 1996, and Corrie, who attends the United Nations International School.