Celebrating Summer, 70 and our 50th Reunion
Click to view this email in a browser
Click to view this email in a browser
I have just returned from Ithaca and the 2022 Reunion. After a 2-year hiatus due to COVID, reunion was almost normal (as was graduation two weeks earlier). The weather was fantastic and the schedule was jam-packed, featuring the dedication of the recently renovated Martha Van Rensselaer Hall and a very entertaining talk by Bill Nye ’77 (the Science Guy) who was celebrating his 45th reunion. His talk can be found here.
And speaking of reunions, our 50th (don’t look now) is less than two years away—mark June 6-9, 2024 on your calendar. Also, we are going to feature in our Class HQ a playlist of all the favorites during our time on the Hill. Please send me (email@example.com) the song(s) you want included. (For starters, I am suggesting Magic Carpet Ride by Steppenwolf.) The play list will be available on Spotify.
Another very cool (actually hot) development on campus at reunion was the groundbreaking for the Cornell Borehole Observatory (CUBO). This 2-mile deep hole in the ground will be a proof of concept to harness the heat of the earth to heat the Cornell campus. (The university has a goal of carbon neutrality by 2035, and earth source heating is a key part of the plan.) It will take about 2 months to drill the hole (24/7) and then a number of months to collect and analyze data. Over the 5 decades I have been a Cornellian, rarely have I sensed so much excitement across the university—Drill Baby Drill!
One final note: Cornell’s fiscal year ends on June 30. Please consider making a gift of any amount, to any area or program at Cornell, by clicking here.
Hope your summer is off to a good start.
It looks like spring is arriving both on campus and metaphorically in the COVID fight. As the snow melts and in-person classes have resumed, there are many signs that a more normal “new normal” is emerging.
Two years of COVID have tested our resolve and shown our resilience. Cornell students adapted and so did we alums. Reunions and Homecoming went virtual and Cornell Global Mixers took off. Many classes, including ours, sponsored fun and fascinating webinars by unofficial Cornell historian Corey Earle ’07.
Title IX Then and Now, A Celebration of Cornell Women’s Athletics was presented last month. We had 177 people join the call, representing six decades of Cornell alums, athletes, coaches and friends. Our moderator Corey Earle ’07 shared Cornell women’s athletics history, our alumnae panelists relayed their experiences, and our student athletes (including one our own Class of 1974 Scholar) suggested Cornell should hire more women coaches and assistants and continue to recruit more diverse athletes. The energy in the chat on the webinar was wonderful and such a tribute to the tremendous accomplishments of Cornell Women athletes. As one alum noted in the webinar, “We’ve come so far, but still have far to go”. If you missed it you can watch the webinar here.
March 16th is Cornell Giving Day. If you want to support women’s athletics (or men’s) or would like to support students like Class of 1974 Scholar Summer Parker-Hall or just want “To Do The Greatest Good” for what you are passionate about at Cornell, please join in that day and make a gift.
Enjoy the spring and please be well!
Ezra Cornell, wisely, founded Cornell as a coeducational university. Cornell was the only Ivy and one of only a few other higher education institutions that welcomed women at the time. Our years at Cornell were special for women and this school year we are celebrating significant anniversaries of women at Cornell.
As part of Cornell’s Celebration of 50 Years of Women’s Athletics with the 50th Anniversary of Title IX, our Class is sponsoring a webinar in early 2022. And if you have women’s athletic memories and photos to share, please send them to classmate Diane Kopelman VerSchure so we can make them part of that webinar.
Cornell is also celebrating 50 years of Women’s Studies at the university. Read here about how this curriculum began at Cornell and how it changed the life of classmate Marylynn Salmon. Several events are being planned as Cornell alumni and faculty are remembering the barriers, the hurdles and the support the experienced at the launch of this significant program.
I was recently sent this inspiring story about two of our classmates, Lila Miller ’74 DVM ’77 and Rochelle Woods ’74 DVM ’77, the first two Black women to earn a veterinary degree from Cornell. I think you’ll enjoy it.
So let’s celebrate our good fortune of attending such a forward-thinking school at such an important and transformational time and be thankful for our alma mater.
Fall at Cornell is always so beautiful and this fall, with a more bustling campus, the return of in-class learning, sports and activities, it seems even more spectacular.
Speaking of spectacular, last week brought very big news from our alma mater. Cornell announced the launch of a new campaign–To Do the Greatest Good–a campaign to raise $5 billion and connect 200,000 Cornellians!
“To do the greatest good”, a handwritten phrase taken directly from Ezra Cornell’s notes to the New York State Legislature in 1865, was his reason for founding Cornell University.
You can watch launch video here, with an introduction by Ezra Cornell IV ’70 and Katy Cornell ’01, and inspirational words and work from students, faculty and alumni and absolutely beautiful images of our Cornell. Learn more about To Do the Greatest Good and how you can be a part of it and, in the words of poet Lamin Johnson ’21, “dream a dream that dares to do the greatest good.”
The 2021-2022 school year has just begun and it’s wonderful to see the excited albeit masked faces of students back on campus and in class.
This year is a big one for women’s sports as Cornell—and the Ivy League– prepare to celebrate 50 years of Title IX*. Our Class of 1974 was there—in 1972–when Title IX changed women’s athletics! We will be sponsoring a webinar later this year about Title IX, as a complement to other commemorations planned for 2021-22.
Cornell has offered women’s sports for more than 100 years. In 1897, Big Red women were engaged in basketball and rowing. By Fall 1972, Cornell fielded a dozen women’s intercollegiate teams out of Helen Newman Hall. Today, the university has 18 women’s varsity teams. Read more about Cornell women’s sports history here.
Our class is collecting stories about classmates who were active in women’s sports during our time at Cornell. If you have a Cornell women’s athletic experience to share—either your own, or one about a roommate, friend or coach, please send it to our classmate Diane Kopelman VerSchure at firstname.lastname@example.org or 508-733-6101. Photos are welcome too! Women athletes from our Notable class prevailed athletically at Cornell despite minimal budgets, limited travel, no official uniforms, a lack of practice facilities and more. We look forward to sharing classmate stories in future Class of 1974 email newsletters.
The best way to join in Cornell’s celebration is to follow the Big Red on social media–Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Go Big Red and please be well!
Hope your summer has been good and safe.
Even though the calendar says we have some more of summer to enjoy, students will be returning to Ithaca this week for what hopefully will be a “normal” school year. All Cornell students are required to be vaccinated and although the University is not currently requiring faculty and staff to be vaccinated, any campus community member who is unvaccinated must participate in ongoing testing. And in response to the Delta surge, masks are required inside campus buildings regardless of vaccination status, for at least the beginning of the semester. Cornell COVID-19 policy details are here.
This Fall we will be welcoming the Class of 2025! These talented young people come from every state (except Wyoming) and represent over 113 countries. Approximately 20% are first generation college students, and one third of admitted students self-identify as underrepresented minorities. We can take pride in the fact that Cornell is living up to its motto of “Any Person, Any Study”.
Some new students will be moving into new dorms recently completed on North Campus. The five new residence halls carry the names of author Toni Morrison MA ’55, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg ’54, Nobel Prize winner Barbara McClintock ’23, ’25 & ’27, Chinese diplomat and scholar Hu Shih ’14, and Ganedago, which is the Cayuga Nation ancestral name of the land on which Cornell was built. Learn more about the North Campus Residential Initiative here.
We are welcoming our new Class of ’74 Scholar. As you may recall, our former scholar, Wendi Gonzalez, graduated this past May with her BArch. Our new scholar is Summer Parker-Hall who graduated from Loyola Academy High School in Wilmette, Illinois in June. Summer was an outstanding scholar-athlete at Loyola, starring on the Ramblers’ girls’ basketball team. She intends to play hoops at Cornell. We will be sharing more information about Summer in the months to come.
Please join me in wishing Summer and all of the current Cornellians the very best this year.
How are you coping with COVID? The past 11 months have been an extraordinary global experience. We would like to collect your stories of how you have handled the changes it has caused in our lives. What have you done about work, play, family relationships, friendships, pets, travel, etc.? Have you found any innovative coping mechanisms or created any new traditions? In the face of incalculable global loss, how have you kept going?Please send your experience(s) to me at email@example.com with the subject line ’74 COVID Response. We’ll share them with classmates via our Class Column and other Class of ’74 communication channels to be developed in the coming months.Hoping to bring us all some inspiration and perseverance to get us to the end of this pandemic in 2021 with our sanity and sense of humor intact.
It’s Summertime! While the livin’ might not be as easy as last year, things have opened up and the weather is allowing us a bit more freedom. Enjoy these long days!
Cornell hosted a virtual reunion earlier this month, with more than 10,000 alumni participants. Highlights included a panel on leading through a pandemic, a dialogue among alumni and staff about racial injustice, a tribute to Cornell’s late President Frank Rhodes, an interview with Kansas Congresswoman Sharice Davids, Cornell Law JD ’10, who is the first LGBTQ Native American elected to Congress, and Cornelliana night featuring 2000 alums singing the Alma Mater. For more on Reunion, and links to recorded sessions, visit.
The Cornell community is awaiting a decision from President Pollack (expected in early July) about re-opening plans for the fall. New York State is expected to issue guidance to colleges and universities and Cornell will incorporate those recommendations into its final re-start plan. More and up to date information can be found here.
Although the campus remains closed for now, you can participate virtually in Cornell summer activities. Take a tour of the Cornell Dairy Bar, explore the Waterfalls of Fall Creek or watch birds through the Lab of Ornithology’s live web cams. Stroll the Botanic Gardens and empower yourself by Managing Your Wellbeing. And, CAU (Cornell Adult University) is virtual and free this summer–check out this summer’s offerings.
Cornell’s fiscal year ends on June 30th. You can make a gift to the university here. And if you have not yet renewed or paid your Class of ’74 dues, you can do that online here. Although you are forever a member of our [notable] class, we need and value your dues to support class communications, activities and Cornell Alumni Magazine.
Enjoy your summer, stay connected and please be well!
Just one year ago my biggest concern as one of our 45th Reunion chairs was rain. How trivial that seems now! Who would care about a rainy reunion or a less than sunny graduation ceremony? And who wouldn’t be thrilled to be getting drenched at a ball game right now? Life has changed and so have our points of view.
Rain storms lead to rainbows, and the “rainout” of this year’s Reunion has led to an innovative Cornell 2020 Virtual Reunion ,with a myriad of crazy and fun activities planned. Even though it’s not our Reunion year, we can still be part of the celebration. And don’t miss these hidden gems you can download.
Or, relive the fun of our 45th Reunion on a rain-less, beautiful Ithaca weekend through these links to the Class Slide Show and the Weekend Photos –all with many thanks to Bill Howard. (Password is notable.)
Last week Kristen Rupert shared a photo of her copy of the Cornell Daily Sun’s issue from our graduation. I reread my copy this weekend and it included a thoughtful piece about our four years by classmate Joel Rudin, “Coming Together, Leaving Apart.” Classmate Bill Howard reviewed our four years of athletic highs and lows as well. I tied to find an archived copy of that issue with no luck but many issues are archived and the search was fun. Check it out here.
Here’s to clearer skies ahead.
Please be well!