Ithaca, N.Y. — Police identified the body found in Fall Creek on Tuesday as 60-year-old William Ruoff of Conshohocken, Pennsylvania.


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Cornell said in a statement on Friday that Ruoff was a graduate of the university, grew up in Ithaca and had many ties to the area.

Ruoff jumped from a ledge on the northwest side of the gorge, about 500 feet west of the intersection of Stewart Avenue and Fall Creek Drive, according to Ithaca Police Officer Jamie Williamson.

The following is a statement from Cornell attributed to Charles D. Phlegar, Vice President for Alumni Affairs and Development:

Dear Cornellians,

It is with deep sadness that I share news of the death of William Ruoff, a member of the Class of ’77 in the College of Arts and Sciences, and a member of a family with many ties to Cornell. William died suddenly on Tuesday, May 12, in Ithaca.

William grew up in Ithaca while his father, Arthur Louis Ruoff, was a professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Cornell. While at Cornell, William was a member of the Big Red varsity wrestling team. He graduated from the College of Arts and Sciences in 1978. Two of William’s four brothers are also Cornell graduates, and his son, Eric, will graduate this year from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. His daughter, Anna-Marie, is a veterinary student in California.

On behalf of the entire university community, I want to extend my deepest condolences to the Ruoff family and friends. I ask all of you to keep William and his family in your thoughts as we acknowledge this unfortunate loss to our extended Cornell family.


Charles D. Phlegar
Vice President for Alumni Affairs and Development

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Jeff Stein

Jeff Stein is the founder and former editor of the Ithaca Voice.