Toni McBride Tribute

Toni McBride Wellness Scholarship

The Toni McBride Wellness Scholarship offers need-based reduced fee and full scholarships to staff and faculty who wish to purchase a 1-Year Wellness Recreation Membership. It is named after Toni McBride (1960-2004), the first director of the Cornell University Wellness Program. In the spirit of Toni McBride's nurturing and compassionate personality, this scholarship provides assistance to those employees who cannot afford the full cost of the program, but who truly benefit from the connection to our caring staff to improve their joy, balance, and well-being. To apply for this scholarship please fill out the Toni McBride Wellness Membership scholarship application form (also in Word format).

Toni McBride Fund

Friends of Toni McBride are raising money in her memory for an endowment fund to support the Cornell University Wellness Program scholarship fund.  

Toni began her professional career in Cornell's Department of Athletics & Physical Education in 1985. She served as trainer for several sports including men's soccer and men's basketball. In 1988, she worked part-time as coordinator of the Wellness Pilot Program. In the fall of 1989, Toni became the first full-time director of the Cornell University Wellness Program until she left the University eleven years later to become the proprietor of the Danby General Store. Toni considered that to be her dream job - being her own boss, mingling with all sorts of folks on a daily basis, getting to wear jeans and a cap every day to work, and taking a business which had fallen on hard times and making it into a viable community resource. Toni also took an active role in the Danby Volunteer Fire Department and served on various town committees.

Under Toni's direction, the Cornell University Wellness Program grew from 30 people in the pilot program to over 1000 members. Cornell Wellness touched thousands more through its blood pressure clinics, brown bag lunch series, the Humor Program, the bi-annual Health Expo and many more programs Toni initiated. We will all remember her boundless enthusiasm for life, incredible people skills, creativity, initiative and energy. She made an indelible mark on the Cornell community through her work with Cornell Wellness and on the local community through her volunteer and business ventures.

Her friends hope to raise $50,000 to create an endowment in her memory that will serve Cornell Wellness. The income from the Toni McBride Memorial Fund will be used by the director to provide incremental support to the program (such as scholarships for employees who would not ordinarily be able to afford the membership) and will be used in a variety of ways to enhance the program that she built. We invite you to make a gift to this fund in her memory.

Tax deductible gift checks made payable to Cornell University may be sent to Cornell University P.O. Box 223623, Pittsburgh, PA 15251-2623 or if you wish to use your credit card, please call (800) 279-3099 or visit After you have clicked on "secure online gift form" be sure to type "Toni McBride Fund" in the "other gift designation" box. 

Thank you.

George Gull, Cornell Wellness Pilot Program member, chair of the Toni McBride Fund committee
Beth McKinney, past Director, Cornell Wellness

Toni McBride Fund committee members:

Susan L. Besemer
Andrea Dutcher
Bob Gravani
George Gull
Flora Karasin
Barbara Littlefair
Beth McKinney
Harriet A. Peters
Lloyd Powell
Carla Sayles
Ton Schat
Gisela Schatz