65th Birthday Reunion news and more

We had a great 65th Birthday Reunion celebration in Ithaca earlier this month, with more than 50 classmates and guests attending class dinners over a spectacular weekend.  We came from as far away as Texas, California, Colorado and Michigan—and as close as Ithaca. Special thanks to classmates Bob Baldini, who made all the final arrangements and ensured everything ran smoothly, and Perry Jacobs, who conceived of and promoted th Birthday Reunion.  Take a peek at the class photo below, from class VP Bill Howard, and plan now to attend our 45thReunion June 9-12, 2019!

Reunion weekend 2017 featured a number of highlights including a talk by Bill Nye ’77—The Science Guy—back for his own Reunion.  The sold-out crowd in Bailey Hall heard an entertaining and enlightening presentation by Nye on “How Cornellians Will Save the World.” Nye shared his experiences at Cornell as a mechanical engineering student, his early work at Boeing, and his relationship with Carl Sagan, who inspired Nye to become a science educator.  Watch Bill Nye’s Cornell talk on video here.

New Cornell President Martha Pollack shared her insights on her first seven weeks on campus in a one-on-one Reunion interview on the Bailey Hall stage.  President Pollack talked about why she decided to interview for the Cornell president’s job, how a professor at her undergraduate college (Dartmouth!) changed the course of her life, why free speech is critical on today’s college campuses, and how her husband and four cats are adjusting to life in Ithaca.   Check out Martha’s interview here. 

In her Cornell Commencement address last month, Martha Pollack talked about a Notable Class of ’74 member named Daniel Fried.  Daniel recently retired from a forty-year diplomatic career with the US Foreign Service after serving as US Ambassador to Poland and Special Assistant to Presidents Clinton and George W. Bush, with a focus on Eastern Europe.  Martha directed our grads to consider Daniel’s retirement speech in which he said, “I learned never to underestimate the possibility of change, that values have power, and that time and patience can pay off.”  For the full text of Ambassador Fried’s remarks, click here.

Finally, looking for some intellectual stimulation this summer in one of the most beautiful places in the world?  Consider returning to campus to take a Cornell Adult University course.  Week-long classes are offered in July.  Choose among classes in history, politics, wines, kayaking, golf, archaeology, cooking, hip hop and more.  Visit the CAU website.

Happy Summer!

Saying Farewell to Beth Garrett

Six months ago Cornell and the Ithaca community greeted Beth Garrett and celebrated her inauguration. It was a spectacular late summer day and the Arts Quad was alive with excitement and expectation. Today the community gathered again, this time in Bailey Hall on a blustery early spring day, to bid a final farewell to our 13th president.

As I sat in Bailey waiting for the memorial to begin, I thought back to Charter Day last spring when Beth was first introduced to Cornell. A panel of current and former Cornell presidents plus the Harvard president—all graying eminences—sat in Bailey Hall discussing higher ed challenges. When Beth was asked to join the group on stage, all eyes were riveted on this person who projected an unbelievable amount of energy; her smile, her confidence, her intellect, and her very red dress captivated and electrified every one of us. At today’s ceremony there was a portrait of Beth placed where she had sat that afternoon—a clear reminder of our loss.

The memorial ceremony (which you can watch here) was a somber affair. The chair of the Cornell board of trustees, a student mentee, a friend of 25 years, her Weill Cornell attending physician and the Cornell provost each spoke of Beth’s extraordinary energy, passion, intelligence and her ability to engage. It was her doctor who helped all of us in attendance today put this profound loss in perspective. Dr. Orli Etingen was with Beth on her last day. She related that Beth managed to whisper a request: “Tell them there is a great road ahead for Cornell.”

We only wish Beth could be on that road with us….

Sincerely,

John H. Foote ‘74
Jhf25@cornell.edu

Why we give to Cornell…

Class of 1974 Class Scholarship winner sends this beautiful letter of gratitude. Read it here and learn more about Garret Guillen and our Class Scholarship.

Academic Year 2015 — 2016
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Oelschlager and the entire Class of 1974,
As I approach my final semester at Cornell University I realize that there is no way I could have adequately expressed appreciation when I first received your gift that allowed me to enter this amazing campus over 3 years ago. I still remember having the discussion with my parents, after the initial elation of being admitted, about whether or not attending this renowned institution was financially feasible. After receiving aid coupled with scholarship funds from your donations I’ve been fortunate enough to enjoy every minute of my time at Cornell. Reflecting on all the experiences, the people, the classes, the campus, and all other aspects of the Cornell community I realize that it is time so valuable I couldn’t have known its worth as an incoming freshman and time that I hope to provide for another incoming freshman someday. As my brother goes through his freshman year at Cornell I try and explain to him the unique significance that his time at school will offer him because I am so excited that someone so close to me now has the same opportunity that I have enjoyed so greatly. Yet I experience difficulty trying to express my immense appreciation of my Cornell experience to him as I realize that his experience will also be unique and that he must find it on his own. I experience the same difficulty while trying to express my immeasurable gratitude to you and your colleagues who have made this experience possible for me. I now realize in my closing year that you have all sought to provide a student with such an incredible education because you all have received a similarly valuable gift in all of your own unique experiences at Cornell; and I now also carry that desire to share our Cornell community with others in need. I would like to thank you all again for allowing me to become a part of this amazing campus for the past 3 years; and I want to express my desire to continue to share this Cornell experience long past graduation.
With gratitude,
Garrett Guillen
Gmg83@cornell.edu

 

New College of Business

President Garrett and Provost Michael Kotlikoff announced in December a proposal to create a new College of Business at Cornell.  This College would include the current Johnson Graduate School of Management, the undergraduate business program (called “Ag Ec” in our day, now called “Applied Economics and Management (AEM)”) which is now in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and the School of Hotel Administration.  To learn more about this proposal, which would require a change in the university by-laws, you may want to read both the official university announcement here and the Cornell Daily Sun articles and comments here.

Class Gift to President Garrett

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A dozen members of our [Notable] Class of 1974 met recently with new Cornell President Elizabeth Garrett to give her a welcome gift.  You may recall the “perfect Cornell dinner party” drawing featuring famous Cornell alumni that appeared in the March 2015 issue of Cornell Alumni Magazine.  To read the article click here.

West Coast Cornellians

The Cover Story of the Summer 2015 edition of Ezra Magazine highlights Cornellians on the West Coast. Three members of the Class of 1974 are featured:  John Williams ’74, who founded Frog’s Leap Winery; Mort Bishop ’74, President of Pendleton Woolen Mills, and entrepreneurs Bill McAleer ’73, MBA ’75 and his wife, Colleen McAleer ’74.

Highlights of the Sesquicentennial

Charter Weekend in Ithaca culminated a year of celebration for Cornell’s 150th Birthday.

For a full recap, see Cornell’s website.

See this video tribute that sums up the learning and living experience that is Cornell.

150 year timeline, compiled by Cornell.

The once-in-a-Sesquicentennial group, the Cronell Global Choir, is the first collegiat organization in the world to perform its school’s Alma Mater virtually, during Charter Weekend.  See it here.

A Sesquicentennial?

Randee Mia Berman ’74 honors Cornell in her Huff Post Blog.  This blog focuses on Cornell’s 150th Anniversary. 

Chapter House Fire

A recent fire has destroyed two buildings, although, thankfully, no deaths nor serious injuries have been reported. The fire broke out in the early morning hours at the site of the well known Chapter House on Stewart Avenue.  Read about the fire in the Cornell Chronicle.  Two Class of 1974 alumni are quoted in an article about Alumni reactions, in the Cornell Daily Sun.  Finally, give support for efforts to rebuild the Chapter House in an online forum.

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