Share this article

print logo

Cornell marks ILR School’s 70 years in Buffalo

Cornell University is celebrating the 70th anniversary of its School of Industrial and Labor Relations extension office in Buffalo and its move into new offices in the Market Arcade with an event Thursday that is open to the public.

The new Cornell in Buffalo offices include expanded space for the ILR School, Cornell Cooperative Extension, Cornell’s High Road Fellowships and the Partnership for the Public Good.

Cornell opened its Buffalo ILR offices in 1946. They were located at 237 Main St., now known as the Marine Trust Building, for 19 years before they moved into the third floor of the Market Arcade, 617 Main St., in November, said Lou Jean Fleron, director of High Road Fellowships. She said it’s a fitting new home because the building’s architect, E.B. Green, is a Cornell graduate.

Thursday’s events kick off at 4 p.m. with a panel discussion, “Reflections on ILR in Buffalo: Seven Decades of Progress at Work,” in the Market Arcade’s first-floor conference center. That’s followed by the grand opening and open house from 5:30 to 7:30, with Cornell and local elected officials speaking at 6 in the building’s atrium. For more information, visit

Among the expected guests is Lois S. Gray, a retired professor of labor management relations at Cornell who was the first director when the extension office opened in Buffalo 70 years ago.

Gray, who is 92, was a young National Labor Relations Board economist in Buffalo when the university hired her away to open the extension office, Fleron said. Gray worked in Buffalo for 10 years before moving to Cornell’s New York City office, where she still teaches and conducts research today.