Notable Notables–Highlighting Classmates

We are officially counting down the months until our 50th Reunion in June.  Hoping to see many of you on campus for that big event, I thought it would be fun to highlight what some of our notable classmates are up to each month, whetting your appetite to connect and reconnect.

Former Class President Evan Stewart published a book about Myron Taylor, Myron Taylor: The Man Nobody Knew.  We all know the law school building but we probably know little else about Myron Taylor.  (I am from Pittsburgh and I didn’t even know he ran US Steel)  Read Evan’s book, listen to Evan on a leadership podcast, listen to his book talk at Cornell’s Law School and come to Reunion where Evan will be discussing the book with our classmates.

After 50 years in the zoo and conservation field, classmate Rick Barongi realized his vision for a conservation park in Texas.  Read about Rick’s fascinating career since he graduated from Cornell and take a tour of his Longneck Manor.  Let’s hope Rick will be returning to the Hill for our Reunion.

Writer, radio host, renaissance woman and classmate Randee Mia Berman is a finalist in the AARP Benefits Badass competition.  Watch her contest submission and vote for her.  Randee Mia always entertains us at reunions.  Read her fun recap of our 40th.


I hope you are enjoying your summer and starting to make your plans for joining us in June.

Be well!

Notable Class of 1974–Don’t Look Now

We are now officially in our 50th Reunion year—it is hard (impossible) to believe that 50 years have passed since we graduated.

Planning for our “golden jubilee” began just over a week ago when a small group of ’74 classmates joined us in Ithaca to scout the 2023 Cornell Reunion.  The weather was, well, Ithaca-like—some rain, and also plenty of sun.  (Smoke from the Canada fires fortunately cleared out by Friday morning.)

Over six thousand people were on campus, a very strong showing for the first major post-pandemic reunion for Cornell alumni.  The weekend was action-packed, with lectures, garden tours, canoeing on Beebe Lake, concerts, the Reunion Run, and more.

Please mark June 6-9, 2024 on your calendar for our 50th   in Ithaca. Our theme is “Dancing in Moonlight: The Notable Class at 50” and, in keeping with the song, we are going to make it a joyous celebration. (To get in the mood, click here.)


In addition to circling the date, please consider doing the following:

  1. If you are willing to reach out to classmates you know, to get them excited about Reunion, send an email to Mi OConnell  ( or Diane (Kope) VerSchure (
  1. Make sure “your” song is included in the 50th Reunion playlist—send your favorite to John Foote at

Hope your summer is off to a good start!

Yours in the moonlight,

Your 50th Reunion Chairs:  Bob Baldini (bbaldini34@gmail,com), Cris Cobaugh (, John Foote (

Celebrating Summer, 70 and our 50th Reunion

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Let’s celebrate!  For Cornell students summer is over but Move-In Week started Monday and that’s exciting.  The campus looks great and feels ready to celebrate a much more normal school year!

While current Cornell students are heading back to campus, I hope you and your friends and family are still celebrating summer.  COVID has kept us pretty isolated for 2 years but this summer everything seems to have opened up and people are finally getting together.

For many of us we have been able to celebrate our 70th birthday with our loved ones.  That was certainly the highlight of my summer!  My daughters arranged a surprise visit from some dear Cornell friends to add an already fun weekend in Nashville.  As you celebrate your 70th birthday or any special event, don’t forget to send notes and photos to Bill Howard who is once again compiling these memories for our [notable] class as a lead up to our 50th Reunion.

Reunion planning has already started.  It is our big one, after all!    Bill is compiling photos.  Bob Baldini Cris Cobaugh and John Foote are pulling together a team to plan events and activities for our 50th Reunion.  Ideas and volunteers are needed and encouraged!  Please get in touch with Bob, Cris or John if you’d like to get involved, or if you have just one suggestion about reunion.  Mary “Mi” O’Connell is spearheading our affinity outreach so we can connect classmates and get a good turnout on campus in June 2024.  We are collecting music selections for Reunion—see P.S. below!

Happy summer!  Celebrate and be well!

PS: Last month we said we are going to  feature in our Class Reunion HQ a playlist of all the favorite songs during our time on the Hill. We have received the selections below; send us yours! (Email .)

·        American Pie

·        Dancing in the Moonlight (multiple votes!)

·        Magic Carpet Ride

·        Joy to the World

·        Brown Eyed Girl

·        My Girl

Bill Nye Science Guy at Reunion, Top Songs 1970-74, CU’s 2-mile Deep Borehole

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 ( 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.

Celebrating Cornell Women Athletes and Giving Day

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!

[Notable] Women of the Class of ’74

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.

Happy Thanksgiving!

To Do the Greatest Good

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.”

Cornell Celebrates 50 years of Title IX–Share Your Memories

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 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–TwitterFacebook and Instagram.

Go Big Red and please be well!

Back to School with our New Class Scholar

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.


Fingers crossed…. 


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.   


Summer Parker-Hall 2

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.

Sharing–Upcoming Events, COVID Experiences, Cornell Concerts of the ’70s

Sharing, during the time of COVID, seems impossible!  We can’t share space, a meal or even a smile.  We are distant, we’re masked and often alone.  But it’s never been more important to share whatever and however we can.
To that end, some classmates are working with our Class Correspondents to use the final “published” Class Notes in the Cornell Alumni Magazine’s last issue as the platform to share our COVID epiphanies, experiences or discoveries.  Here’s how, from Jodi Sielschott Stechschulte:
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 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.
There is a publishing deadline of February 15th so get your stories in soon.  
Some of our fellow Classes of the ’70s are sponsoring fun webinars that are open to our class.  

Cornell Concerts of the '70s

Reminder:  Great Cornell Concerts of the ’70s:  Music and Memories, a webinar by Corey Earle, is being sponsored by the Class of ’78.  It’s Sunday, January 31, at 7:00 pm ET.  For more information and to register click here.


The Class of ’72 has invited us to their sponsored webinar Persevering Through the Epidemic:  Cornell and Typhoid in 1903.  This is scheduled for Tuesday, February 2, at 7:30 pm ET.  Find information, suggested reading and register here.


Our class has been actively participating in the  Cornell Global Mixers and has a ’74 Pre-Party Suite where over 50 classmates have visited with each other.  These mixers happen every two weeks alternating between Saturday evenings and Sunday afternoons.  The next one is February 6th.  Details and registration are here.  And follow them on Facebook here.
Check our class website and our class Facebook page regularly so you don’t miss any events.
So classmates let’s share!  
And please be well!