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Jake Pulver


Cornell University

Biological Sciences


Jake Pulver is the true embodiment of an Ivy League student-athlete who works hard to achieve success in the classroom while challenging himself with a wide breadth of academic disciplines. He has a cumulative grade-point average of 3.37 and is a biological sciences major with a pre-med concentration, to go along with a minor in business. He has taken the MCAT but plans to delay medical school in favor of a job in finance. This past summer, while studying for the MCAT, he worked as a researcher with Dr. Prateek Wali and other inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) doctors with the completion of a study investigating the presence of a specific protein and its correlation to the severity of symptoms in IBD patients.


Pulver is a young man whose character was forged as a freshman in high school when he was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. Doctors said that he would not be able to play sports, but for 15 months he continued to excel on the field, despite being hospitalized five times due to the disease, and eventually endured two surgeries to remove his large intestine. He never gave up his dream of playing lacrosse at the highest level – a dream he has achieved at Cornell.

A two-time team captain, he was awarded the team’s “Hard Hat” for last year, which is given each year to a junior that the staff feels demonstrates a blue-collar approach to the game. He is driven and selfless, not always the most talented player, but consistently the hardest worker. He puts the team first and embodies how the coaches want Cornell players to act.

Pulver is a member of the prestigious Sphinx Head Honor Society, a group that recognizes members of the senior class who have given their time and passion to the university during their undergraduate years. Its goal is to quietly uplift the Cornell community through volunteerism. He also is a member of the Red Key Athlete Honor Society, which plans and assists in many community service events throughout the year. Membership in the society is limited to upperclassmen who have been nominated by their head coach, displayed tremendous leadership, exhibited integrity and responsibility within their varsity program, shown a commitment to academics and taken part in community service.


Pulver’s commitment to community service is unmatched. He is involved in numerous projects, typically taking a leadership role. He is consistently involved with community service projects around campus through the Big Red men’s lacrosse team, the Sphinx Head Honor Society and Red Key Honor Society. For the past three years, he has helped coordinate the team’s 21 Run, the Clinic for a Cause, Big Red Readers and the team’s participation in the Ithaca Kids Book Fest. The 21 Run raises money each year for the Family Reading Partnership of Ithaca as it works towards its mission to promote children’s literacy in the Ithaca community. The Big Red’s Clinic for a Cause, which is run by members of the Cornell men’s lacrosse team, raises money for the Dream Factory of Central New York, an organization that grants the wishes of chronically and critically ill children. Big Red Readers is a program which promotes literacy by bringing members of the Cornell men’s lacrosse team into one of the local elementary schools to read to the students for an hour each week. 

In that same vein of promoting children’s literacy, Pulver also arranged for the team to participate in the Ithaca Kids Book Fest. The Big Red went to Boynton Middle School and volunteered for the annual event run by Family Reader Partnership. On a more personal level, he has been an event speaker for the Chrons and Colitis Foundation, encouraging others to continue following their dreams despite their diagnosis.


Pulver is a two-time second-team All-Ivy defender (2016, 2017) and was named to the Inside Lacrosse 2018 Preseason All-Ivy League team. One of the best cover men in the conference, he is routinely tasked with shutting down the opponent’s best player. A four-year starter, he helped the Big Red to an Ivy championship in 2015 and has been the anchor of one of the best defenses in the conference during his four seasons.