« Lacrosse 2012

Rob Pannell



Applied Economics and Management


Pannell is the true embodiment of an Ivy League student-athlete who works hard to achieve success both on and off the field. He will graduate from Cornell with a bachelor of arts degree in Applied Economics and Management with a specialization in Finance and maintains a 3.2 GPA while consistently taking some of the hardest classes in his major. While he is still interviewing for positions, this past summer Pannell got real-world experience with a prestigious internship with Citigroup in New York City.


When you look at the Cornell University men’s lacrosse team, there is little doubt that Pannell is the leader, not only on the field, but in the locker room and in the community. On the field, Pannell found success early in his career and has started for Cornell, a perennial top-10 team, since his arrival on East Hill. Over the past three years, he has had accolades heaped upon him, as he has been considered one of the top players in the nation since the start of his career. He is consistently one of the first players on the field for practice, and one of the last players to leave the field at the end of training. He has worked tirelessly and comes back each and every year bigger, faster and stronger. Off the field, Pannell’s presence is felt in the locker room, as he walks a fine-line between being approachable to underclassmen and respected by his classmates. At the same time, he is open and honest with the coaching staff, providing an essential conduit between the coaches and the players, without breaking trust on either side. Pannell mentors the younger players on the team and instills in them a sense of history and pride in the Cornell men’s lacrosse program. He is the embodiment of the Cornell lacrosse motto – “well done is better than well said.” For Pannell, that means showing the way to his teammates – always doing the right thing and working hard. The coaching staff has relied on Pannell to lead the team both on and off the field. After serving as team captain last season, coach DeLuca made Pannell the team’s lone captain this year, marking just the third time since 1966 that the Big Red has had a single captain of the men’s lacrosse team. The reason for this was simple — no other individual on the team came close to matching Pannell’s leadership, work ethic and character.


In the community, Pannell’s efforts are unparalleled and it is here that his leadership qualities shine through. He is involved in various community service projects, typically taking up the leadership mantel, and he often recruits his teammates and inspires them to give their time as well. The projects he is involved with include — Save the Day, The 21 Run, Big Red Readers, Owego Flood Relief, Red Key Honor Society and Sphinx Head Honor Society. For the past three years, Pannell has taken the lead in a program called “Save the Day,” serving as coordinator this year. The program is a joint effort between the Cornell men’s lacrosse team and the Dream Factory of Central, N.Y., to raise money to grant the wishes of chronically and critically ill children. In large part due to Pannell’s efforts, what began in 2004 as a simple fundraising campaign in which members of the Big Red solicited contributions from the community for every save made by a Cornell goalie, has evolved into a year-round service project which includes running a blood drive for the American Red Cross, as well as the Save the Day 3 vs. 3 Youth Lacrosse Tournament. During his three years, the Save the Day program has raised over $3,550 and has granted several wishes. The Save the Day blood drive has also been a great success over the past two years, exceeding all expectations and collecting enough blood to help save the lives of nearly 150 critically or chronically ill members in our community. Pannell has been instrumental in organizing the past two campaigns and has volunteered his time at the collection site. Pannell is a member of the Sphinx Head Honor Society, a group that recognizes members of the Cornell senior class who have given their time and passion to the university during their undergraduate years. It is the university’s oldest secret senior honor society, and its goal is to quietly uplift the Cornell community through volunteerism. Membership is diverse, representing all segments of the student population, and all members serve as leaders in their respective Cornell communities. The group does a number of volunteer projects throughout the year.


The No. 1 overall pick in the 2012 Major League Lacrosse collegiate draft, Pannell enters the 2012 season as the national leader in career assists (140) and holds the longest point-scoring streak in the nation, having registered a point in every game of his collegiate career (52). One of the recent greats in a lacrosse program full of legendary players, Pannell is the reigning USILA’s Lt. Raymond Enners Award winner as the Division I national player of the year and he is a two-time winner of the USILA’s Jack Turnbull Award as the Division I national attackman of the year. He is just the 11th repeat winner in the 65-year history of the Turnbull Award. A 2011 Tewaaraton Trophy finalist and a nominee for a 2011 ESPY in the category of Best Male Collegiate Athlete, Pannell is a three-time All-American and he has twice been unanimously voted the Ivy League Player of the Year, after being selected the conference’s Rookie of the Year in 2009. He is also a three-time first-team All-Ivy selection and was also named the Most Outstanding Player of the 2011 Ivy League tournament. In just three seasons, he has already scored more than 200 career points and has helped the Big Red earn three Ivy League titles and three trips to the NCAA Tournament, including an appearance in the national championship game in 2009. He finished the 2011 season ranked in the top 10 in the nation in three major offensive categories, finishing in first place overall in points per game (5.24), second overall in assists per game (2.76) and ninth overall in goals per game (2.50).