This year, make it a point to get back to your high school reunion. For most of us, 2020 is the 50th anniversary of our high school graduation, and spring-summer 2020 is when many of the reunions happen. If ever there’s a time when a reunion class has critical mass, it’s 50 years out. The big reunions, high school or college, are 10-25-50. Fifty is special because of the, well, you know, odds of making it to the next one. (Actually, the odds are decent: College graduates live to almost 90 for women, mid-80s for men.)
If your high school alumni network is loosely organized and you haven’t heard about a possible reunion, check in with old high school friends you’re still in touch with. Reach out to your high school. Many schools now have alumni offices or education foundations that can help connect alumni to each other and to the school.
Facebook is one of the best places to find long-lost classmates. Your high school alumni and maybe your HS class have a Facebook group. If there isn’t one for your class, you can create one easily. Make the group name public and the contents private. Mine is called Monroe High School Rochester NY MHS Class of 1970. Invite people you know into the group and ask friends to invite their classmate friends. Ask them to post photos and a summary of how they’ve lived the last half century.
As for our Fair Cornell: Classes were canceled last Friday because of blizzard conditions.
The women’s and men’s hockey teams are ranked #1 and #2 in the nation. The men’s basketball team beat Princeton (upset) and Princeton beat Cornell wrestling (bigger upset as Cornell hadn’t lost an Ivy match since 2002-2003). Dean of Engineering Lance Collins is bailing for Virginia Tech, which wants to set up a Cornell Tech NYC-like operation outside DC called Innovation Campus. Cornell’s Dean of the Dyson School, Lynn Wooten, is heading to Boston to be president of Simmons University. And this is the month for you to vote for two Cornell alumni-elected trustees (deadline Feb. 29 5 pm EST); you get either an email or paper ballot. Your vote can make a difference because, sadly, voter turnout is often soft. For info, go to alumni.cornell.edu.
Happy New Year! I hope 2020 has started well for you.
As Cornell students are headed back to campus this weekend for the spring semester, I remember heading back to the Hill in the dead of winter. Ithaca winters can be quite severe but they can also be beautiful.
2019 was a busy and fun year for our class. We celebrated our 45th Reunion in June where we broke attendance and fundraising records. Thank you for engaging with our class and Cornell! This year let’s make our New Year’s resolution to keep and build on those Cornell connections.
We already have several class opportunities planned for 2020. A handful of classmates will be in Las Vegas for the annual Cornell Alumni Leadership Conference Feb. 20-23. If you are interested in joining us for meetings or social events in Vegas, please let me know and I will send details.
We’re working with Cornell’s English Department to roll out a class book group and reading project this spring. All Class of 1974 dues payers can receive the book and participate in a Cornell faculty-led on-line discussion. Be sure to pay your class dues now and stay connected to our class and Cornell. Not sure if you’ve paid? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Pay online here. When you pay your dues, you’ll receive the award-winning Cornell Alumni Magazine. Check it out here.
As we look ahead at 2020 and beyond, take a minute to look back at 2019 at Cornell. (Click here to watch.)
Hope to see you in 2020!
Fall reports from Cornell tell of a campus ablaze both in color and spirit.
Our [notable] class organized and hosted a fun Homecoming tailgate for the Classes of the ‘70s. Over 160 alums from our decade joined the party. Many thanks to classmates Roberta and Lou Walcer, Dale Lazar and grill master Walt Scott for putting on a successful, annual event. Hope to see you there next year.
In her recent annual State of the University address, Cornell President Pollack reminded us that Cornell University was founded not only as a legacy but as an investment. Ezra Cornell was “seeking a very specific return – to do the greatest good with his fortune, and to do it for posterity.” Read more here.
The University is studying how to enlarge its public policy footprint. One option is to transform the College of Human Ecology into the College of Public Policy. This would have far-reaching implications for many departments currently in the College. For more information, check out FAQs. Also read about student reactions here. Things are happening fast, so if you have some thoughts about this, send an email to Hum Ec Dean Rachel Dunifon at email@example.com.
Did you know that Cornell has a wine program through which you can buy wine made by Cornell alums? Our classmate Joan Heller, Chem E ‘74 and her husband Steve Heller, MS CALS ’74, owners of H-L-R Cellars, are among the Big Red vintners featured this fall. Learn more here.
There’s still time to suggest a book for our own Class Reading Project. Suggestions so far include books by Vonnegut, Salinger, Pynchon and several grads from the 70’s and 80’s, including a few classmate authors. We’re working with the Cornell English Department to identify faculty to lead our book discussion. Send book ideas to classmate Kristen Rupert at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Be sure to pay your 2019-20 Class Dues in order to continue receiving benefits such as Cornell Alumni Magazine (this month’s issue has terrific articles about the Vet College’s Wildlife Health Center, a Cornell Ag and Nutrition Institute in India, and the Big Red Band) and the book project. Not sure if you’ve paid? Contact classmate Jodi Sielschott Stechschulte at email@example.com. To pay your dues on-line, just click here.
Wherever you are this fall, I hope you are enjoying the season!
Fall semester classes at Cornell are well underway with three legacies of The Notable Class of 1974 starting as new students. To welcome these students and others, classmates Mary Berens, John Foote and Kristen Rupert hosted their annual welcome picnic on move-in day.
L to R: Andy Chang ’74, Kaitlin Chang ’23 A&S, Mary Berens ’74, Renee Alexander ’74, Alison Dreizen ’74, Rosie Dreizen ’22 ILR, John Foote ’74, Kristen Rupert ’74. Missing: Lisa Liff ’23 ENG and her mom Merlise Wan. Lisa’s dad is Chuck Liff ’74, deceased.
Please help us choose a book for our new Class of 1974 Book Project! Although Cornell has ended its annual freshman reading project, we are going to do our own, based on the expressed interest of a number of our classmates. Once we’ve identified a book, we will provide it to all class dues payers and then offer a follow-up discussion webinar moderated by a Cornell faculty member. Wherever you are in the world, you can participate!
Do you have ideas for a book that might meet the following loose criteria?
- set in our time at Cornell, or
- set in Ithaca, or
- written by a Cornell author (professor, alum, staff, parent) or
- a book that you think our classmates would find interesting, stimulating, rewarding, fun.
Our class is partnering with other Classes of the 1970’s to present a Homecoming weekend tailgate barbecue in Ithaca Noon to 3pm on Saturday, October 5. Football is at 3pm versus Georgetown. Homecoming weekend is full of events for all ages including lectures, fireworks, a road race, arts tour and concert—see details at here. Questions about the 70’s tailgate can be directed to classmate Roberta Bandel Walcer at firstname.lastname@example.org. Register for the tailgate here.
If you’ve not yet paid your class dues for 2019-20, now is the time! Pay by October 8 to ensure you don’t miss an issue of Cornell Alumni Magazine. You can pay on-line here. Not sure if you’ve paid? Contact Jodi Sielschott Stechschulte at email@example.com.
Finally, this is my final email as President of the Class of 1974. Serving as class president has been an honor and a joy, and I am delighted to pass the leadership torch to our new Class President Shelley Cosgrove DeFord. Thanks to all of you for your support, ideas, volunteer participation and more. You make our class Notable!
Happy August! Cornell summer school classes are finishing up this week and new students arrive on campus in just two weeks. We actually have a handful of classmates whose kids are coming to Cornell this fall as new students!
Cornell celebrated the 50th anniversary of the 1969 Moon Landing last month with campus lectures, panels, a concert, and an ongoing Apollo 11 exhibit at Kroch Library. Two Cornell scientists were among the researchers who received moon dust samples from NASA after the Apollo astronauts returned to Earth. These samples were on display at Olin Library in September 1969 and 8000 visitors viewed the moon dust. And a Cornellian figured out the TV camera that allowed hundreds of millions of people to watch live images of the Apollo 11 astronauts’ walk on the moon. Learn more here.
Speaking of Cornell history, the current issue of the Cornell Alumni Magazine has a terrific article on Cornell Collectors’ Items from the University Archives. Kroch Library houses thousands of artifacts ranging from a copy of the Gettysburg Address in Lincoln’s own hand; the typewriter of Cornell 1921 graduate and author ofCharlotte’s Web E.B. White; handwritten sketches by Mozart and Beethoven; a signed first edition of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Tender is the Night; a hanging chad voting machine from the 2000 election; LGBT activism buttons; and a piece of the beloved Willard Straight Hall stump from the early 1970’s. All can be seen in-person by the general public. Click here to view these priceless treasures.
And speaking of Cornell Alumni Magazine, it’s time to pay your Class of 1974 class dues for 2019-20 if you’ve not already done so. Annual dues are a very reasonable $60 AND include a subscription to the Magazine and other benefits. This is a good way to stay in touch with the class and with Cornell. Dues also help pay for the class website, events, Reunions and more. Pay on-line at here. Not sure if you’ve paid? Email Membership VP Jodi Sielschott Stechschulte at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally, as a new Cornell year has just begun (on July 1), we are starting to plan how to reach more ’74 classmates and get people engaged as participants, in-person or virtually, in class affairs as we move toward our 50th Reunion. Ideas, suggestions and volunteers welcome! Please reach out to one of us!
Thanks and enjoy the rest of the summer.
We’re still basking in the glow from our wonderful 45th Reunion celebration in Ithaca earlier this month. With great weather and a strong turnout of classmates and friends/family, it’s no wonder the weekend was a success! Whether you were there in person or in spirit, we hope your memories of our class and our time on the Hill are good ones.
Photos from Reunion weekend are being posted weekly by classmate and photo guru Bill Howard. Check out our class photo site and send any photos—from Reunion, from your days at Cornell—to Bill at Bill@billhoward.com so we can add those pics to our class photo archive.
More than 700 classmates made a gift to Cornell on behalf of our 45th Reunion. If you have not yet made a gift, you have only four days left—Cornell’s fiscal year ends June 30. Please consider a donation of $45.00, or $19.74, or any amount, to any Cornell cause—scholarships, chimes, robotics, athletics, chorus, etc. It’s easy–just click here to see the many options and choose one that matches your interests. Do it now! Thanks.
Ithaca is a great place to spend time in the summer. The most recent Cornell Alumni Magazine features an information-rich piece on “161 Reasons to Come Back to Ithaca This Summer.” Check out all the fun things to do—on campus, near campus, downtown and in the area— here.
As always, thanks for your support of Cornell and the Class of 1974. Happy Summer!
Our Class celebrated our 45th Reunion in great style last weekend in Ithaca! The weather gods were with us as we enjoyed 3 straight days of warm, sunny, clear, blue-sky weather. We broke records for 45th Reunion attendance and fundraising! You can see our Class Reunion photos at here. (password is notable) More will be up next week so check back. Also send photos you took to Bill Howard email@example.com and we’ll add them.
One highlight of the weekend was a breakfast talk by Cornell President Martha Pollack, who shared an update on the university’s current challenges and opportunities, discussed the impact that U.S. immigration policy has on bringing new and diverse faculty and students to Cornell, and reiterated the importance of strong links between the Cornell Tech Campus in NYC and Ithaca. Video from our Town Hall with President Pollack should be available on our Class Website next week.
Another highlight was our evening of Cornell trivia, Cornell crosswords, and “Note-ables” music performed by classmates. Can you name the best-selling ice cream at Cornell Dairy? Can you identify the “Campus creature that emerges once a year”? What about “Lake located far below campus”? While we can’t resurrect the trivia contest in this email, you can print out your own copy of the crosswords here. No cheating by checking answers ahead of time!
We were joined at Reunion by Class of ’74 scholars Wendi Gonzalez, Architecture ’21 and William Nnuro, Biology & Theatre Arts ’21. William wrote, “I talked to as many of you as I could and each conversation gave me a burst of inspiration and hope for my future. I can’t stress enough how grateful I am.”
We welcomed 18 classmates for whom this was their first reunion. Most said it won’t be their last! These first-timers came from as far away as Oregon, South Carolina and Wisconsin and as close as Massachusetts and New York, Another cohort of classmates came back for the first time since our 5th Reunion. It’s never too late…so remember that for our 50th (eek!) Reunion in 2024.
Finally, now is the time to pay your class dues for 2019-20. Due payers receive the award-winning Cornell Alumni Magazine and help support class activities. TheMagazine is a great way to stay in touch with what’s going on at Cornell and with our class. Pay dues on-line here, or mail a check made payable to our class to Box 37333, Boone, IA 50037-0333. Dues are $60, $65 for a couple, or $30/$35 with no Magazine.
Thanks for helping to make our 45th Reunion year such a success! P.S. We still have until June 30 to reach our ambitious 1000 donor goal, so please make a gift, if you haven’t already, here. Keep us Notable!
Cornell just celebrated its 151st Commencement on a beautiful, warm, blue-sky Sunday in Schoellkopf Stadium. More than 22,000 parents, family members, friends, administrators, alumni and faculty joined nearly 6000 soon-to-be graduates to hear President Martha Pollack, listen to the Cornell Glee Club and Chorus, and watch undergraduate and graduate students receiving degrees. President Pollack noted that Cornell’s first graduating class in 1869 had only 8 members, the campus had only two buildings, and the graduation ceremony was held downtown. Read Martha Pollack’s comments here.
Bill Nye ’77, the “Science Guy,” gave a witty, insightful and funny Convocation address. He urged students to celebrate the joy of discovery and exhorted them to change the world, saying “You’re graduates of Cornell University, for crying out loud.” He shared stories of his time at Cornell and talked about current issues facing the globe, including climate change. Learn more about Bill’s remarks here.
Remember our Class of 1974 graduation on Monday, June 3, 1974? According to the May 31, 1974 Cornell Daily Sun, 2,475 undergraduate and 639 graduate students were to receive degrees. A total crowd of about 10,000 was expected. The ceremony was held in Barton Hall (it was hot!) and President Dale Corson spoke about morality. Found this cover of that Cornell Daily Sun in the archives of our class website.
Forty-five years later, we are celebrating our Reunion on campus in just over one week! It’s not too late to register—just click here. Or if your plans are up in the air, just show up on Thursday, Friday, Saturday or even Sunday, June 6-9. We welcome all attendees! And if you are unable to attend, please consider participating in our Reunion year by making a gift to Cornell in any amount, for any area at Cornell. Visitwww.giving.cornell.edu to make a contribution. Thank you!
Hope to see you on campus!
Spring semester classes finished up this week under clear blue skies and warm temperatures (finally!) Slope Day, the annual end-of-year outdoor celebration featuring live music, food and plenty of facetime on Libe Slope, takes place Thursday. Past entertainers include Kanye West, Snoop Dogg, Ben Folds, Drake, Nelly, Taio Cruz, Kendrick Lamar, Ludacris and Walk the Moon. This year features musical acts EZI, Steve Aoki and Cousin Stizz. (Unfamiliar names to many of us….but not to the students!)
Reunion is just over a month away and the EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT for registration ends this FRIDAY, MAY 10. Check out the class Reunion schedule and register here.Don’t wait! Not sure what to pack? This fun Reunion video should help! Watch here.
Our Class of 1974 Scholarship recipient, Wendi Gonzalez ’21, is attending our Reunion. She’s completing her Cornell in Rome program and looks forward to meeting 1974 classmates in Ithaca before starting her summer job at an architecture firm in Boston. Learn more about Wendi here.
Classmates Bill Quain and Joe Kowalik are in charge of Reunion fun and are organizing a music event. We’ll post highlights on the class website after Reunion. Here’s a note from Bill:
“Hey Notable classmates: Bring your instruments, your voices, and anything else that will make music, and join the Class of ‘74’s newest addition to the Cornell tradition! Join the Class of ’74 “Note-Ables:” a rag-tag, yet dedicated, group of music makers. We will play a small set of songs (hey, we’re just getting started!) that cover some of the great hits from when we were students, fun “sing-a-long” numbers (think Sweet Caroline, Margaritaville, Love Train, Midnight Train to Georgia, Piano Man) and of course some Cornell classics.
Who should join the Note–Ables? Anyone with an instrument and a desire to have fun at Reunion. What kind of instrument? We’d like ukulele players (which I have recently become, kind of) but let’s not stop there! Brass, strings, percussion, keyboards etc. are all welcome. We have a piano on site in Becker Hall (headquarters location). Got a harmonica? Tambourine? (Sorry, no Didgeridoos). It’s all for FUN, so don’t be shy. (And, depending on how things go, please be available for a World Tour, not to exceed six months.)
Notable ukulele and banjolele master Bill Quain will provide sheet music ahead of time for a dozen easy-to-play numbers. Practice on your own, and on Friday night of Reunion (June 7) we will strut our stuff at our class headquarters. If you are interested, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org, or 305 606 8976.”
Finally, please consider making a gift to Cornell in honor of our 45th Reunion. We already have more than 600 donors and hope to reach 1000 by June 30. To make a gift now, click here.