The Greatest Gift: Unwrapping Our Legacy of Wisdom Over the Holidays

Article ID: 583459

Released: 30-Nov-2011 11:00 AM EST

Source Newsroom: Cornell University

WHAT: Author and gerontologist Karl Pillemer, professor of human development at Cornell University’s College of Human Ecology in Ithaca, N.Y., and of gerontology in medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City, offers practical advice from his groundbreaking research on how to use the holiday season to capture the legacy of wisdom our oldest generations have to offer.

WHEN: Tuesday, Dec. 6, from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.

WHERE: Cornell’s ILR Conference Center, sixth floor, 16 E. 34th St., Manhattan.

MEDIA NOTE: You are invited to attend this special journalists-only lunch with Karl Pillemer. To RSVP, please contact John Carberry at (607) 255-5353 or (607) 227-0767, or by e-mail at

ITHACA, N.Y. – This holiday season, the most valuable gift you can unwrap isn’t under a tree – he or she is sitting next to you, eager to talk, and with a lot to say.

Renowned gerontologist Karl Pillemer, who holds professorships at both Cornell University’s College of Human Ecology in Ithaca and the university’s Weill Cornell Medical College in Manhattan, has spent years listening to the hard-earned life lessons won by our oldest generations. His Legacy Project ( has systematically studied the wisdom of more than 1,500 seniors – men and women who endured Depression, Holocaust and World War, as well as the ordinary trials of daily living – and has been offering these insights to the world since its launch earlier this year. His new book, “30 Lessons for Living,” published by Penguin Group USA earlier this month, provides a powerful roadmap to the real treasures of life from these wisest Americans gathered during a series of Pillemer’s academic research projects.

On Tuesday, Dec. 6, at Cornell University’s ILR Conference Center in Midtown, Pillemer will talk with journalists about how everyone can use the holiday season – the time of year more than any other when multiple generations of families and friends gather together – to capture the legacy of wisdom our oldest generations have to offer. He also will outline his “10 Questions to Ask the Experts in Your Life,” a tool to help unwrap a gift none of us can afford to leave unopened.

About Inside Cornell: This event is part of a monthly series held in New York City featuring high-interest experts working at Cornell University's centers in Ithaca, Manhattan and around the world. The free, catered lunch sessions are on-the-record, and media members are welcome to record video and audio as desired.

Additional background:

To hear Pillemer talk about his Legacy Project, go

To see Pillemer explain the mission of “30 Lessons for Living” and watch Legacy Project elders share their insights, go to:



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