Classmate Carries Official Cornell Mace at Inauguration

At the inauguration of new Cornell president Martha Pollack in Ithaca—a glorious occasion on a picture perfect day– our classmate and Cornell faculty trustee Mariana Wolfner (Professor of Molecular Biology and Genetics) carried the official Cornell Mace in the inaugural procession.  Very Notable!  In case you are wondering, “The Mace symbolizes the authority of the university…was designed by the Goldsmiths’ Guild of London in 1962…and consists of a tapered silver shaft surmounted by a golden terrestrial globe. The silver ribs surrounding the globe symbolize the universality of Cornell’s interests and the worldwide affiliations of its faculty, students, staff, and alumni.”  A tiny Cornell bear holding a rowing oar sits atop the Mace.

President Pollack, in her thoughtful inaugural address, quoted Cornell historian Carl Becker and talked of the need for Cornell to aspire to have “educational verve,” meaning “a vitality that leads our students to a lifetime of discovery, a passion for ideas and a commitment to seeking truth.”  Martha also talked about the role of civic responsibility and the value of free speech.  To read more about Martha’s remarks and the inauguration, click here. We are impressed with Martha already–she is warm, smart, down-to-earth, practical, a good listener, and leading Cornell, after just five months, with a deft touch.


Classmate and photographer Bill Howard took some terrific photos on Inauguration Day.  You can see classmates, ice cream (Martha’s Bits & Bytes—a special Cornell Dairy concoction of banana custard cream with chocolate chunks,) the mace and more at our class photo website.


With the start of a new academic year, our class is organizing two events for the fall.  In Ithaca, on Saturday, October 21 during Homecoming weekend, we are joining with classes from 1969-1979 to do a joint tailgate before the 3pm football game.  More details will be shared soon.  Boston-area classmates should save the date of Sunday October 29 in the late afternoon when a Class of ’74 cocktail reception is planned.  Details to come.


Hope you have had a great summer.  Enjoy the long holiday weekend.




Kristen Rupert                                                   John H. Foote

Class VP                                                              Former Class President, 2004-2009