Skip to content


For over 60 years, Jim Keene ’57 lived the Sigma Pi creed both as a stellar supporter of Mu Chapter and as a civic leader in his community. After pledging in the fall of 1953, Jim served with dedication, devotion, and passion in order not only to establish Mu Chapter as a strong organization but to complement its stability in both housing and scholarship funding. Jim served as president of Mu Chapter’s alumni board over 21 years. In 2014, he was presented with the Founders’ Award, one of our fraternity’s highest honors. Jim served for 32 years with Peter Kiewit Sons Inc., a global construction company, and managed Humboldt Specialty Manufacturing Company, an active design and manufacturing company for diverse industries. He was a director of Mu Chapter’s alumni board and the Mu Chapter Educational Foundation.

Kurt Rasmussen ’80 Welcomed into New Position at the National Institute on Drug Abuse

Mu alumnus and Foundation board member, Kurt Rasmussen ’80, was chosen to serve as the Director of the Division of Therapeutics and Medical Consequences to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, a part of the National Institutes of Health, on April 30. Kurt’s career spans more than 30 years of research and leadership experiences in pharmacology and neuroscience therapeutics. The Educational Foundation commends Kurt for his hard work and for serving as an exemplary figure to both undergraduates and alumni alike.
After graduating from Cornell with honors and distinction in 1980 with a bachelor of arts degree in biopsychology, Kurt attended Princeton where he received doctorate in neuroscience and psychology in 1985. He later completed his postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine.
With the completion of his studies, Kurt began his career at Eli Lilly & Co., where he most recently served as a senior research advisor. As an internationally recognized neuroscientist, he has more than three decades of experience in basic addiction research and drug development. Kurt has also displayed extensive knowledge of neuropsychiatric and neurological therapeutics and is known for his expertise in pharmaceutical discovery research from hypothesis production to clinical candidate evaluation. A great deal of his work has focused on identifying novel mechanisms for the treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders, including addiction.
With his new position, Kurt will lead a team that conducts studies to evaluate the safety and efficacy of pharmacotherapies, behavioral therapies, and devices to treat substance use disorders through peer reviewed grants, contracts, and interagency agreements.
Kurt expressed how honored he is to join such a talented team at the National Institute of Drug Abuse and looks forward to addressing issues associated with substance use disorders. “My goal is to help bring new treatment options to the millions of patients suffering from addiction to opioids and other substances.” To find out more about the National Institute of Drug Abuse, please visit

Mu alumni with their families during the Cornell-Harvard hockey game in Cambridge.