Celebrating Our Years on Campus and the 50 Since–Class of ’74 Memory Book

To commemorate and celebrate our years at Cornell and the 50 years since, we are creating Cornell Class of ’74 Memory Book.  Whether you are joining our 50th Reunion in Ithaca, June 6-9, or just joining in spirit, we invite you to share your memories and your life experiences with our classmates.

Our Class of ’74 has engaged a platform, BrightCrowd, which has worked with other universities and Cornell classes during reunions to create these books of memories.  BrightCrowd helps classes make wonderful, and secure, memory books.

Each classmate will be invited to make their own page for this memory book.  You can share as much, or as little, as you like about yourself, your life, your family, your Cornell memories.  It’s very easy, flexible and fun and a great way to reconnect and connect with classmates.  You can upload fun old and new photos.  You can continue to work on your page until well after our Reunion in June because you will surely be making new memories and new friends that weekend!

Your invitation to participate in this book will come via email soon–within the next few days.  Look for that email in your inbox to get started.  

It will come with a detailed letter of instructions.  But feel free to send any one of us your questions and we will do our best to answer questions as quickly as possible.

We look forward to seeing you in the Cornell ’74 Memory Book and at our 50th Reunion in Ithaca, June 6-9, 2024.

Giving Thanks and Giving Smart

As Thanksgiving and our 50th Reunion approach, I hope you are reflecting gratefully about your time at Cornell and how it has contributed to your life.

Our 50th Reunion Campaign Chairs, Andrea Glanz and Jim Irish, are hosting a webinar for our class about tax-smart giving strategies that can help both you and Cornell.  This webinar will be held on Thursday, November 30th, at 1:00 pm ET.  You should have received an invitation with a registration link last week but you can also register here.  The webinar will be recorded for those who can’t make it.

Two members of Cornell’s Gift Planning Team will join Andrea and Jim to discuss strategies you can implement now before the calendar year ends, as well as longer term strategies, to make a high-impact gift in honor of our 50th Reunion.

I hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving and I hope to see you in Ithaca in June!

Be well!

Cornell Now and Then, AI and Reunion Hotel Rooms

As you are likely aware, the last few weeks have been difficult for the Cornell community.  Following several hateful incidents, the Cornell administration brought in law enforcement professionals, increased security, spent time in dining halls with affected undergraduates, and committed to increased focus on eliminating hate speech, antisemitism, and Islamophobia.  You can get the latest communication from President Pollack here.

While our days on the Hill also had their turbulent moments, those were certainly simpler times. Much of Cornell campus life from our time, in the late 1960’s/early 70’s, was documented by Jim Cunningham ’71, whose thousands of photographs were donated recently to Cornell by his family.  Jim passed away last year, but fortunately the memories he captured on camera will live on for generations of Cornellians.  See more here. 

Moving ahead to the present day, witness how AI is now everywhere.  Cornell has a number of faculty members researching, teaching about, and trying to make sense of, AI—click here.  And check out this video of the recent on-campus panel on “AI and Free Expression” moderated by Kavita Bala, Dean of the new Ann S. Bowers College of Computing and Information Science, featuring several faculty stars.  This panel starts at minute 48.30.

Finally, you will be receiving an email from the University, later this month, with a list of hotels that have blocks of rooms for Reunion weekend.  These rooms are available on a first come first served basis so keep an eye on your inbox.  But before you book, remember that we have one of the new dorms, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, for our 50th Reunion HQ and “hotel”.  “RBG” is located near Donlon and has comfortable bedrooms (singles and doubles), semi-private bathrooms, and a full-service café with coffee, breakfast pastries, burritos and more.  It’s only a 14-minute walk to the center of campus AND there are no hills to climb.

If for whatever reason you did not receive your 50th Reunion Save the Date refrigerator magnet, please send me an email (with your mailing address).

The countdown to Reunion continues.  Hope to see you on campus in June!

Freedom of Expression, Freshman Swim Test and More

Hope you have been having a good summer.

Students attend the first day of classes of the fall semester on Monday, August 21, 2023. (Ryan Young / Cornell University)













For the current group of Cornellians (26,000 students–16,000 undergrads and 10,000 grads–the U has grown a bit) summer is over.  Classes started two weeks ago and the campus has come alive.  There is something very special about this time of year at Cornell–all things seem to be possible.  This academic year has been declared the year of “Freedom of Expression at Cornell—The Indispensable Condition”;  the entire Cornell Community will engage in activities designed to build understanding and foster discussion around the freedoms on which higher education, and democracy, depend.












When we first stepped on campus in 1970, there was no shortage of freedom of expression.  We also faced the Swim Test–a Cornell tradition dating back to 1905 that continues to this day.  The Cornell Daily Sun ran a fun piece about the 118 year old history of our swim test.  Into the pool!


We are now in our 50th Reunion year and planning is kicking into high gear.  Our class headquarters for the reunion will be Ruth Bader Ginsburg Hall.  “RBG” is one of the new North Campus dorms and it will be a great place to celebrate our 50th.

    • In celebration of our 50th, we continue to want volunteers willing to reach out to Cornell friends–freshman dorm mates, team mates, class mates.  This Affinity effort is being chaired by Mary “Mi” O’Connell and Diane “Kope” VerSchure.  Email them if you can help.
    • Don’t forget to send me your favorite tunes from your time on the Hill so that they make it into the 1974 notable playlist.
    • We are putting together a memory book for our 50th.  Stay tuned this fall for information on this fun project.

And if you are thinking about coming back for Homecoming September 29-30, we will have a pre-game Class of ’74 Tailgate.  Classmate Walter Scott will be manning the grill again for lunch from 11:00 am-1:30 pm.  Look for the Class of ’74 sign and Walt’s Big Red van.

Have a great Fall!

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  (oconnellmaryc@gmail.com) or Diane (Kope) VerSchure (diane.verschure@gmail.com).
  1. Make sure “your” song is included in the 50th Reunion playlist—send your favorite to John Foote at jhf25@cornell.edu

Hope your summer is off to a good start!

Yours in the moonlight,

Your 50th Reunion Chairs:  Bob Baldini (bbaldini34@gmail,com), Cris Cobaugh (criscobaugh@gmail.com), John Foote (jhf25@cornell.edu)

Spring Cleaning

It’s that time of year to do some Spring Cleaning (remember your New Year’s Resolution to start clearing out….).  Well, we have some added motivation for you.  The Cornell Fashion and Textile Collection  (one of Cornell’s hidden gems) is mounting an exhibit this coming Fall with the theme “Fashion and Freedom of Expression”, as part of the Cornell’s recently announced 2023-24 year focus on The Indispensable Condition: Freedom of Expression at Cornell

This exhibit will display articles of clothing that were worn to make a statement.  Think about that shirt you wore in 1971 to protest the War, or to promote rights of any and all sorts, or to just make a point that perhaps only you understood.  If you can find that shirt, hat, or any article of clothing, take a picture and email it to Denise Green, Associate Professor, College of Human Ecology and Director of the Fashion & Textile Collection, at dng22@cornell.edu.  Note: Loaned or donated items are needed by August 15th.

Now go unpack that box of “treasures”….

Cornell Giving Day–Supporting ’74 Scholarships

Next Thursday, March 16th, is Cornell’s Giving Day: a day for being grateful for your Cornell experiences and for giving back.  We hope you will join ’74 classmates by doing the greatest good that feels good for you.





Did you know that our[Notable] Class of 1974 supports two scholarships?

The Christopher Reeve Scholarship goes to a Theatre Arts student, in memory of our classmate Chris Reeve.  Begun in 2006 by several classmates, the Christopher Reeve Scholarship  has played a big part in the lives of a dozen or so extraordinary and talented students. For Giving Day this year, our class has selected the Reeve Scholarship as the fundraising cause we are promoting.

The Class of 1974 Scholarship was started in 1999 by classmates Joan and Bob Oelschlager in celebration of our 25th Reunion.  The recipients, selected by Cornell, generally receive this scholarship throughout their undergraduate years.  Our class has supported 7 students since 1999.  Our current Class of 1974 Scholar is Summer Parker-Hall ’25.  Summer, who grew up in Chicago, is a sophomore in the College of Agriculture & Life Sciences and a starting forward on the Cornell Women’s Basketball team.

Both scholarships continue to be funded by many ’74 classmates as part of their annual giving.  Please join our class officers this Giving Day and make a contribution to one or both of these scholarships.  Or, just give to any area of Cornell that you choose through the Giving Day link.  The giving links are listed below.  Note: you cannot actually make a gift through these links until March 16.

Giving Day
The Christopher Reeve Scholarship

The Class of 1974 Scholarship

Thank you, in advance, for doing your greatest good!

Female Sports on the Hill

Tis the season…cold weather in Ithaca means Cornell winter sports, including hockey and basketball.  And our class has a special connection to women’s basketball.  Our Class of 1974 Scholarship recipient, Summer Parker-Hall ‘25, is a stand-out forward on the women’s team.  Summer is from Chicago and is in the College of Agriculture & Life Sciences.  This Cornell Daily Sun article highlights Summer’s efforts in a recent basketball win over Western Kentucky University.

Here’s what Summer says: “My sophomore year has been great so far.  Academically, I had a great schedule so right now I am just preparing for Finals.  As far as athletics, I am very excited for this season.  We are starting to play very well as a team, so every game I’m excited to play and compete.”

Check out the Cornell women’s basketball schedule, which runs through early March.  If you are so inclined, you can make a gift to our Class Scholarship Fund (Summer is a beneficiary) here.

In additional news regarding Cornell athletics, Cornell just named Nicki Moore as its first female director of athletics and physical education.  Nicki is currently VP & director of athletics at Colgate.  She was a track and cross-country star at the University of Missouri where she earned her bachelor’s, master’s and Ph.D. degrees.  She comes highly regarded after over twenty years in higher ed athletics administration at Oklahoma, North Carolina and Colgate.  Cornell joins Brown, Harvard, Penn and Yale as Ivies with a female AD.  You can read about Nicki here.

Congrats to Nicki and Summer!

Happy Holidays, and Let’s Go Red!

Cornell and the Two Mile Hole

Over the last 3 months in a field just off campus, Cornell scientists drilled a two mile deep hole to determine whether there is enough earth source heat (ESH) to heat the Cornell campus without using fossil fuels. (This is big part of the University’s push to be carbon neutral by 2035.)  A video series chronicling the drilling process of CUBO, can be found on this playlist.

This hole, called the Cornell University Borehole Observatory (CUBO), will allow faculty and students to gather data on subsurface rock conditions and heat output. (Don’t you wish you could be a student again!)  Additional information about ESH and CUBO can be found at www.earthsourceheat.cornell.edu.

To hear more about CUBO, tune into https://cornell.zoom.us/j/94765634141?pwd=b3RkdG5Fd080ME1Lb3RqcDI3cjJRZz09 (Meeting ID: 947 6563 4141) on Thursday, November 3rd, at 5:30ET to hear members of the CUBO project team (including our classmate Burt Bland) talk about CUBO and the next steps for moving toward a sustainable means of heating the campus.

This is the future…