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Ralph S. Watts '72

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Ralph Watts is a managing director in the investment banking division of Citigroup Global Markets Inc. and is co-head of Mergers and Acquisitions, North America. He has been a co-head of Mergers and Acquisitions since 1989, and, during this period, he has helped build the M&A expertise of Citigroup Global Markets to its current position as one of the leading M&A Groups on Wall Street and in the world. In 2002, Citigroup ranked second in the global M&A rankings, based on total transaction value, advising clients in M&A transactions aggregating over $203 billion with 16.9 percent market share.

"I have a strong and continuing interest in advancing the quality of teaching of undergraduate students at Cornell in engineering as well as in arts and sciences. The education and experience that I received as an undergraduate here unquestionably provided me a great foundation for performance and achievement in my career. I have been very gratified to have the opportunity to give something back to Cornell. The Fund for Excellence in Teaching in the undergraduate program is the perfect way to give focused support for our most important priority—the undergraduate engineering education." —Ralph S. Watts ’72 ORIE

As a Cornell undergraduate, Mr. Watts majored in engineering and received his B.S. degree from the School of Operations Research and Industrial Engineering in 1972. While at Cornell, Mr. Watts was a midshipman in the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps. Upon graduation from Cornell, he was an officer in the U.S. Navy, serving on a destroyer for three years, followed by a two-year tour of duty as an aide to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon. After resigning from the Navy in 1977, he attended Harvard University, receiving his M.B.A. degree in 1979.

Mr. Watts is serving as a member of the Cornell University Council for his third term and has supported the Cornell Campaign as a member of the special gifts committee and as a member of the Tower Club. For his 20th reunion, he chaired the major gifts committee for the Class of ’72. Mr. Watts represented the Cornell Society of Engineers on the Cornell Alumni Trustee Nominating Committee from 1997 through 2001.

Mr. Watts and his family live in Scarsdale, New York, and have been very active in Cornell affairs. His wife, Jennifer, his daughter, Mindy, and his son, Stewart, have enjoyed Cornell’s Adult University programs for many years. Mindy received a bachelor of fine arts degree from Cornell’s College of Architecture, Art, and Planning in June 2003.

Ralph’s brother, Stephen Watts, is also a graduate of ORIE, Class of ’74, and served in the U.S. Navy after completing Cornell’s NROTC program.