Check Out Our Notable Classmates; RED Talks at Reunion

Your 50th Reunion co-chairs Cris Cobaugh, Bob Baldini and I are catching our breath after a busy and stimulating reunion.  Over the summer we’ll highlight and share info on several special reunion events.

Borrowing from the idea behind the well-known TED Talks, we inaugurated Class of ’74 Reunion “RED Talks”. Fifteen Notable classmates each gave a presentation on a topic about which they are passionate.  Many of us wished we could attend more than one Talk!  Although these RED Talks were not recorded, you can learn more about our classmate presenters through the links. Here’s a rundown on a few Talks—we’ll share info on other RED Talks in future emails.

Evan Stewart ‘74, senior partner in a New York City law firm, spoke about Myron Taylor, namesake of the Cornell Law School building.  Evan recently published Myron Taylor: The Man Nobody Knew, and will soon publish The Worst Supreme Court Decisions, Ever!  Watch  another talk he gave about his book durning the Reunion weekend.

Angel Harper ‘74, Los Angeles-based actress, voice-over artist and studio teacher, spoke on “From Cornell to Tinseltown…Debunking the Hollywood Industry Myth.”  Angel shared her experiences in the glamorous (and sometimes not so glamorous) world of Hollywood and offered insights on the complexity of the production process for films, videos, theatre productions, and musical acts.

Bruce Mainzer ’74, a longtime Chicago-area resident who retired from the hospitality industry, shared a fascinating story about his mother and aunt, called “Fleeing the Nazis: A Journey of Two Sisters and the Hero Who Outwitted the Gestapo.”  Bruce spent several years doing research in the US, Israel and Europe as he pieced together the story of how his mother escaped Nazi-occupied Prague in 1939.

Julie Kane ‘74, poetry scholar, professor, and the former Poet Laureate of Louisiana, spoke about how poetry pervaded Cornell in the 1970’s and how her experiences on campus inspired a lifelong passion.

Jack Corrigan ’74, a Cleveland native, radio announcer for the Colorado Rockies, and previously the voice of the Cleveland Indians and the Cleveland Cavaliers, regaled classmates with tales of amazing plays he’s called, role models (think Vin Scully) he’s known, and players whom he’s covered in his 40-plus year broadcasting career.

Bert Bland ’74, Associate VP of Energy & Sustainability at Cornell, explained his work as project manager for the Cornell Borehole project.  Cornell has drilled 2 miles deep, near the site of the apple orchards, to understand the potential for using earth source heat/thermal energy to heat the Ithaca campus in winter.

These presentations were informative and great fun.  The best part was the ensuing discussions—the Class of ‘74 knows how to engage!  I can’t wait to see the RED Talk lineup for our 55th Reunion.

Finally, we need just 30 more gifts to Cornell to meet our 50th Reunion participation goal.  If you haven’t yet donated, please give any amount to any area at Cornell and put us over the top!  Please make your gift by June 30.

Hope your summer is off to a good start!

50th Reunion–What You Missed

Whether you made it to Cornell for our 50th Reunion or not, we want to share some of the weekend’s highlights with you.  Even if you were in Ithaca, you may have missed some events or just want to relive them.  I know I did, and I do!

Cornell Class of 1974 Reunion photo June 2024

Thursday night’s highlight was a wonderful talk by Cornell Historian Corey Earle ’07 in which he entertained our standing-room-only crowd with a look back at our time on the Hill.  Watch Corey’s slideshow here.

Friday’s Olin Lecture, a Cornell Reunion tradition since 1987, featured journalist Andrew Ross Sorkin ’99, on campus to celebrate his own 25th Reunion.  Watch that lecture here.

President Martha Pollack gave the State of the University Address on Saturday as is the custom on Reunion weekend.  This address, however, is President Pollack’s final address as our President.  Watch it here.

Saturday evening ended with the spectacular Cornelliana Night at Bailey Hall featuring the Cornell Alumni Chorus and Alumni Glee Club singing multiple Cornell songs, one of which included a special solo by our classmate Jay Spiegel.  The sing-along concert also featured a lively rendition of our Class of ’74 50th Reunion theme song Dancing in the Moonlight.

Please enjoy watching all of these.  And watch and rewatch our Class Slideshow.  Check in often to see the Reunion photos being posted daily by classmates on our Class Photo Site .  Password for these is notable.

Don’t forget to create or update your Memory Book page.  And there is still time to make that gift to Cornell to help us meet our goal—please do this by June 30.

Enjoy the memories and keep dancing in the moonlight!

50th Reunion Slideshow & Photos

What a fabulous Reunion weekend we just had!  We crushed the previously held record for 50th Reunion attendance as we Danced in the Moonlight!  Whether you made it to Ithaca for our 50th or were with us in spirit, please enjoy and relive the weekend through this wonderful slideshow made by classmate Bill Howard.  Watch here:  password is notable.

Bill is also busily uploading lots of photos from the weekend to our class photo site in the Reunion 2024 folder.  Please share yours with everyone here or email them to cornell74Photos@gmail.com.  Please include a brief caption with the photo.

Old and new friends have been texting and emailing and sharing their photos with each other.  You can share your photos with everyone in the class on social media (Instagram/Facebook/X-Twitter) by using the hashtags #Cornell74Reunion and #CornellReunion.

We will be sharing more about the weekend in the coming days and weeks but wanted to get our slideshow to you right away.  So stay tuned for more Reunion highlights.

We have a couple of requests.  Please complete your page in the Class of ’74 Memory Book.  Consider adding a Reunion photo or two to your page.  And we are so very close to reaching our 50th Reunion donor goal of 774.  We only need 52 more!  You can make a gift to any area in any amount here.

Thank you for making our 50th so special!

Time Flies

Fifty years ago this weekend we assembled in Barton Hall for our commencement—see the front page of the 1974 graduation edition of the Cornell Daily Sun below.  My memories of that day are not crystal clear, although I do remember clear skies and a lot of excitement—maybe because of what we had accomplished or perhaps of what awaited us (or both).

 Our classmate Barry Strauss, who was a guest columnist for the Sun in 1974 and is now a professor of history at Cornell, wrote this epilogue 50 years ago:  “[The Class of 74] is intellectual , but sometimes anti-intellectual  (remember booing Strom Thurmond?): tolerant and independent, friendly and unfriendly, rather skeptical, not very public spirited, but well-educated. Some of us will slip away from Cornell as easily as we slipped in. Some will pine for it for a year. Some will never leave.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Most of us left, but many will return next week.  (Note: We’ve smashed the previous 50th Reunion attendance record held by the Class of ’59—but we have still have room for more!)  We will be greeted by a place that seems very familiar–the chimes still ring, the hills are still steep, the weather is unpredictable—but that is also very different.  Regardless of how Cornell has changed, it remains a place of unlimited possibilities.

If you can’t be on campus for the reunion, here are some ways you can participate virtually:

Register for the Virtual Reunion.

Join Corey Earle’s talk about our Years on the Hill–Thursday at 8pm EDT.

Listen in to WVBR which will be broadcasting live from our headquarters on Friday night, 9-11pm EDT.

Go to your Spotify account and search for “Cornell Class of 1974 50th Reunion” and listen to 10 hours of the best music ever made (selected by our classmates, including you!)

And of course you can participate by making a gift to something on campus that is important to you.

So here’s to our Alma Mater,

Momentous Times–Now and Then

Well, big things have been going on Far Above over the last couple of weeks:

  • President Martha Pollack announced her retirement effective June 30 of this year; Provost Mike Kotlikoff will be assuming the presidency through June 2025 and John Siliciano (Cornell ’75) will be Acting Provost.
  • The encampment on the Arts Quad was closed peacefully.
  • Thousands of students jammed on Slope Day under blue skies.
  • The University is preparing for its 156 Commencement this coming Saturday.  Nowadays, to accommodate all graduates, two separate but identical graduation ceremonies are held on Commencement Day, at 10am and 2:30pm.

 

Of course there are always things going on on campus!  If your memory is a bit hazy about events from our years, tune in, in person or via Zoom, to Corey Earle’s talk called A Look Back at the Notable Class of 74’s Time on the Hill, on Thursday night of Reunion, June 6 at 8:00pm EDT. If you can’t be in Ithaca, click here for Zoom instructions.

Friday night of Reunion, June 7, WVBR 93.5FM will be broadcasting around the world from our Headquarters at Ruth Bader Ginsburg Hall. Again, if you can’t be there in person, join remotely at https://www.wvbr.com/live.  (Note: VBR still features Rockin’ Remnants and Bound for Glory—some things don’t change….)

Ribbon cutting ceremony–WVBR back in Collegetown at new headquarters on Buffalo Street–May 2014

 

 

 

 

Finally, there is still time to register for Reunion and to make a gift to Cornell to commemorate our 50th.

On campus, final exams are in full swing and high temperatures are in the 70’s.

Remember those last few weeks of the school year in Ithaca when the weather got warm, the sun came out, and we rejoiced at the opportunity to be outside?!?  Happy memories.

Speaking of the semester’s end, our Class of 1974 Scholarship awardee Summer Parker-Hall ’25 just finished her Junior year.  Summer is working at Cornell Reunion in June and will spend some time at our class headquarters.  She is looking forward to playing her final season of women’s basketball under new coach Emily Garner, who came to Cornell from Trinity College in March.  Read more about Summer’s basketball success here.

Our Class of 1974 Scholarship was established in 1999 (at our 25th Reunion) by classmates Bob and Joan Saltsman Oelschlager ‘74 and the fund has grown through gifts made by more than 100 classmates.  Seven undergraduates have benefited from the scholarship.  New gifts to this scholarship are appreciated; any gift made in our Reunion year will help the class unlock an additional $10,000 for our Scholarship Fund.  Make a gift now to support our Class of 1974 Scholarship Fund.

And in other fundraising news, this week is Hillel Global Giving Week.  To make a gift to Cornell Hillel–which will also give you Reunion credit and help us achieve our 50th Reunion goals—click here.

Our class is getting closer to reaching our ambitious 50th Reunion Fundraising goal of 774 donors.  As of today we have 640 donor classmates—83% of the goal.  We need another 134 classmates to meet our goal.  If you’ve not yet made a gift to Cornell in this fiscal year (since July 1, 2023), please make a gift of any amount, to any part of Cornell—and join the Class of ’74 Donor Honor Roll.

Our 50th Reunion attendance numbers are very strong and growing daily, with over 500 people registered.  You don’t want to miss this special weekend—register now!

Finally, be sure to complete your page in our Memory Book.

We look forward to seeing you in June in Ithaca!

End of Classes Today…Slope Day Tomorrow

The last day of classes is today, which means Cornell’s annual Slope Day is tomorrow, Wednesday.  While Slope Day postdates our time at Cornell, it is a vestige of Spring Day which was started in 1901 as a celebration of the end of winter.  (During our years, we contented ourselves with Spring Weekend, which typically took place in late April and featured a men’s lacrosse game and parties and music off campus.)

Slope Day 2024 features headliner A Boogie Wit da Hoodie, with special guest Flo Rida.  I don’t know about you, but these two artists are not (yet) on my playlist;  I am still listening to T.S.O.P. which topped the Billboard 100 in Spring 1974 and was the theme song for the TV show Soul Train.

Celebrate this year’s Slope Day by sending us your favorite song from our college days.  We’ll include it on our Notable ’74 playlist which we will release to the class on June 5th and play in our Headquarters during Reunion.  Email me at  jhf25@cornell.edu with your selection.

And if you are thinking about coming to Reunion (which we hope is the case), remember that the deadline for the early bird registration discount is next Wednesday, May 15.

Bring on Flo Rida (or New York Stata)!

Spring in Ithaca…Finally

After I taught at Cornell on Monday, I took a walk across campus.  This was the first truly spring day we’ve had—70 degrees, shorts and tee shirts, every tree in bloom and frisbees (a lot of frisbees).  And to celebrate the season, Big Red and Arthur welcomed this week (as expected) two red-tail hawk chicks to the nest.  (Trigger warning for vegetarians:  There is a cornucopia of fresh game in the nest for meals.)

I also made a point to walk past the encampment on the Arts Quad (in front of White Hall).  In mid-afternoon it was a fairly quiet affair; some people stopped to look and listen, while others simply walked by.  My next stop was the Straight, where I saw for the first time the plaque that is just inside the main doors—a good reminder that when we chose to attend Cornell, we selected a university that has not been a stranger to turbulent times, and which today is better for it.

I hope you are making plans for our 50th Reunion.  We have a blockbuster Thursday planned, so come early:

  • Our headquarters at Ruth Bader Ginsburg Hall opens at noon
  • The Ithaca premier of the file The Artist & the Astronaut  screens at 4pm
  • Our Welcome Festival on the RBG Quad, with food trucks, music, and fun, starts at 6pm
  • Corey Earle delivers an in-person (and via Zoom) look back at our time on the Hill at 8pm
  • And then the party begins….

Click here for registration info and materials.

Cornell Hawks, Reunion Talks

This will be the week when the first of Big Red’s and Arthur’s four eggs is likely to hatch in the nest high above Alumni Fields on Tower Road.  Big Red and Arthur are Cornell’s resident red-tailed hawks and they return each spring to Ithaca.   If you haven’t been paying attention, click Red-tailed Hawk Cam and watch in real time as these two magnificent creatures usher in the Spring. (Warning:  This website is habit forming.)

Speaking of Spring, our 50th Reunion is around the corner.  One update:  our class’s now-traditional Reunion visit from the Cornell President on Friday morning is confirmed.  Plan to set aside this hour to meet and hear from President Martha Pollack.

Of course our Reunion celebration weekend is not all serious fare.  On Saturday morning classmates will be sharing RED (aka TED) talks about wine-making, earth source heat, mating flies, Roman emperors, baseball, poetry, Hollywood, and various other topics.  And earlier on the schedule, on Thursday afternoon, we will be treated to the Ithaca premiere of the film The Artist & the Astronaut which has a number of Cornell and Class of ‘74 connections.

Go grab your printed registration invite or click here to register for Reunion.

Note: If you are unable to be in Ithaca over Reunion, you can still be a part of the fun virtually.  On Thursday evening (8pm EDT) Corey Earle ‘07—Cornell’s de facto historian—will be giving a retrospective of our time on the Hill, live at our headquarters and via Zoom.  On Saturday night WVBR will be broadcasting live (9-11pm EDT) from our HQ and will be beamed “around the world”.

Hope Spring weather has arrived wherever you are!

With 50 Days Until Reunion–We Have a Challenge

Counting down–it’s just 50 days before our 50th!

Reunion registration is open and going strong, leading us (we hope) to a record-breaking turnout.  If you haven’t registered yet, you can do so here and still get early bird pricing.

We have a very full program scheduled for our class this Reunion.  You won’t want to miss the Campus Climate discussion with Rabbi Ari Weiss, Executive Director of Cornell Hillel, at our headquarters Friday morning, or our classmates’ RED Talks at headquarters on Saturday morning.

Our Class of ’74 Memory Book is filling up with fun memories and updates.  Don’t be left out!  Create your page before Reunion. Whether or not you are attending Reunion, your Memory Book page will help you reconnect with other classmates.

AND with just 50 days to go, we have an exciting challenge–The Touchdown Challenge.

Touchdown, the Cornell bear, WANTS YOU to help our Class of ’74 break the all-time Cornell University record for 50th Reunion Giving Participation.  Our goal is to have 774 classmates make a gift to ANY Cornell area for ANY amount.  We have 50 days until Reunion and we need almost 200 additional classmates to donate to achieve our goal.

 Touchdown also WANTS YOU to know that your new gift (assuming you have not made a gift since July 1, 2023) will help us unlock an additional $10,000 donation to our Class of 1974 Scholarship Fund.  As soon as we hit our donor goal, that $10,000 will be deposited in our Scholarship Fund.

If you are not yet among our 50th Reunion donors, get your name on the donor list by clicking here.  Your gift will be counted as part of the Class of 1974 totals helping us reach our 774-donor goal.  Not sure if you’ve made a gift for our 50th Reunion?  Send an email to one of us. 

We are looking forward to seeing you at Reunion and in the Memory Book.

And thank you in advance for doing your greatest good!