Reunion Recap, Cornell Crosswords, Dues







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 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!

Graduation, Bill Nye Science Guy, Not Too Late for Reunion

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. 

Cornell Daily Sun 5/31/1974 graduation edition

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. to make a contribution.  Thank you!

Hope to see you on campus!

Slope Day, Reunion Early Bird, Musical [Note-ables] and more

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, 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.

New Class Trustee, Campus Core Values, Reunion, Photos

Spring is in full force in Ithaca, with temperatures zooming from 40 to 70 degrees several days last week.  The quads are greening up and buds on the flowering trees are starting to pop.  Spring in Ithaca may be fleeting but it’s certainly breathtaking. 


Our classmate Cynthia Cuffie has been elected by Cornell alumni as a Cornell Trustee! Cynthia joins 1974 classmate and active board member Don Opatrny. Several other classmates have also served on the board: John Alexander, Mort Bishop, Blanche Savin Goldenberg, Evan Stewart and Mariana Wolfner.  Thanks to all our 1974 Trustees and congrats to Cynthia! 

Cornell President Martha Pollack recently released a draft core values statement for the university, the purpose of which is “to foster a more inclusive, equitable and welcoming atmosphere at Cornell.”  Please send your comments by April 30 to Joel Malina, VP University Relations, at

Our class Reunion plans are coming together.   President Pollack will join us for coffee Friday morning, June 7 at 9am at our class headquarters in air-conditioned Carl Becker House on West Campus.  It’s a good opportunity to hear from our president, in a small setting, and ask questions.  You should have received detailed Reunion Registration and class event info by mail in late March.  Can’t find the mailing?  Just click here.  The early bird discount expires May 10, so don’t wait! 

Speaking of Reunion, classmate Bill Howard is once again putting together a class photo slideshow, set to ’70s music, for Saturday night’s dinner.  Whether you are coming to Reunion or not, please share your photos!  You can email photos—from today, from yesteryear, from your undergraduate days—to  We’ll also be taking photos of every Reunion attendee at Reunion; these will be posted and used in the Saturday show. Help us put on the best show ever!  

Fundraising is a major part of Cornell Reunions.  Our goal is to receive gifts from 1,000 classmates.  To date, 589 classmates have made a gift.  If you are not yet among our donors, please get your name on the donor list by making a gift in ANY amount to ANY area of Cornell. Click here to do so.

Reunion excitement is building!  You’ll be hearing more from us over the coming weeks—we are only six weeks away from Reunion!  Hope to see you there. 


Shelley Cosgrove DeFord (

Bob Baldini (

Cris Cobaugh  (

Danny Brundage  (

Our 45th Reunion is just 2 months away!

It’s time to start making your travel plans and register for our 45th Reunion in Ithaca, June 6-9. Any questions, email Reunion Chair Shelley Cosgrove DeFord ’74 at Hope to see you on the Hill!

For more information and to register click here.

Almost Spring, Giving Day, Summer Classes

Happy almost-spring!  Winter is winding down in Ithaca and students are looking forward to spring break in just two weeks.  There’s still a bit of snow left on the Cornell campus—check out the live camera feed here


Our 45th Reunion is just three months away.  We hope you will join the hundreds of classmates planning to be in Ithaca June 6-9.  You can participate now in our 45thReunion activities by reaching out to classmates, dorm-mates, teammates, fraternity brothers or sorority sisters, undergrad work friends—anyone you knew at Cornell with whom you’d like to reconnect.  If you’ve lost touch and can’t find someone, we can help–just let us know whom you’d like to reach.

TODAY is Cornell Giving Day which is another way you can be involved in our 45thReunion.  You can make a donation of ANY amount, to ANY area of Cornell, and it will count toward our Reunion fundraising goal.  It’s easy and fun (in fact, we made our gift this morning.) Please help our class reach our goal of 1000 donors by making your gift today!  If you’d like to give to our Class of 1974 scholarship, click here or just go to the general Giving Day website and type, under “Other,” “Class of 1974 Scholarship, Fund #012825.”  Our class scholarship money is put to good use.  Read about our current class scholar here.

Looking ahead, why not think about taking a one-week Cornell Adult University course on campus this summer?  Classes run July 7-August 3 and offerings range from history to birdwatching to biking to gourmet cooking to social justice to climate change to golf to beer-making to Latin dance to literature to kayaking to wines to humor to literature. Bring friends, kids, grandkids.  Ithaca is at its best in mid-summer. for details.

Hope to see you in June! 

Cornell in Space and in Boston

Did you know that a team from Cornell’s Center for Astrophysics and Planetary Science is heavily engaged with NASA’s space program?  The Cornell-NASA connection began with the late Carl Sagan and is carried on today by Steve Squyres, Professor of Physical Science at Cornell who studied under Sagan.  Squyres is Principal Investigator on the NASA Mars Rover project which began with the 2004 landing of the Opportunity and Spirit rovers on Mars.  Expected to travel just 1000 yards before expiring in 90 days, both rovers far exceeded those goals.  Spirit eventually lost all power in 2010; however Opportunity traveled 28 miles and survived 14 years before being caught in a massive Martian dust storm last June and falling silent. And although NASA still sends daily communication to Opportunity, experts anticipate that this month—February–will mark the end of Opportunity’s remarkable story.  Read more herein this recent NY Times article. 


Looking ahead—way ahead–Professor Squyres and Cornell colleagues are part of a finalist team for a billion dollar NASA mission to Jupiter’s moons and comets.  This mission will launch in 2025 and samples will arrive back on Earth in 2038!  Learn more here. 

Back here on Earth, our Notable Class of 1974 is hosting an informal gathering in Boston this coming Saturday, February 9 at 6:30 pm at The Summer Shack, 50 Dalton Street, Boston.  The Class will provide hors d’oeuvres and we’ll have a cash bar.  No RSVP needed—just show up!

Our 45th Reunion is just four months away!  You should have received a large postcard last month with Reunion info.  In late March you will receive a registration packet with details on Reunion activities and events.  Reach out now to friends to encourage them to attend.   I hope you will join us in June!

New Year’s Greetings

Happy New Year!  Hope your holidays were fun and fulfilling.

Our class has a busy six months ahead of us!  Unless you’ve been living on a far-away planet, you’ve  heard that our 45th Reunion is June 6-9 in Ithaca.  Our Reunion co-chairs have been meeting monthly to plan the weekend, and we think you’ll like the variety of class and university events that are scheduled.  Whatever your interest, you’ll find something on campus that will make this weekend special.

Coming in just one month is a class reception in Boston on Saturday evening, February 9.  Hundreds of Cornell alumni will be in Boston for the annual Cornell Alumni Leadership Conference so we are taking the opportunity to throw a party for the Class of 74!  Details on the venue are still being finalized.  For now, please save the date and plan to join us if you’ll be in Boston that weekend.  

Our Class of ’74 scholarship recipient, Architecture major Wendi Gonzalez ’21 of North Carolina, is spending the winter/spring semester in Italy participating in the Cornell in Rome program.  Read more about the program here


You’ll be hearing frequently from your class officers and the university over the next six months.  We are encouraging classmates to reach out to each other and reconnect on the occasion of our 45th Reunion.  Whether you will be with us in Ithaca in person or in spirit in June, please consider taking time in this new year to touch base with a classmate you haven’t seen in a while.  This is one New Year’s resolution that is easy to keep!

Hope to see you in June in Ithaca (and Boston in February).

Pres Pollack Remarks, New Deans, Reunion Rooms

Fall is in full swing in Ithaca but there’s already been snow.  As we well remember from our days at Cornell, weather is an ever-present challenge in upstate NY!  This photo captures a golden day.

Earlier this month, Cornell President Martha Pollack gave her annual “State of the University” address in Statler Auditorium to 700 Cornell alumni, friends, administrators and faculty.  More than a dozen CU ’74 Notables were there.  President Pollack offered statistics about Cornell’s strong application and yield numbers and shared that the University has hired 173 new faculty across the Ithaca, Weill Cornell Medicine and Cornell Tech campuses.  She highlighted a number of faculty who’ve received national awards.  Pollack also talked about the growing mental health needs of college students and how Cornell has hired more professional staff in the health center and provided drop-in counseling sites across campus.  Listen to Martha’s speech here (go to minute 35:40.)

Three new academic deans have been hired by President Pollack in the past 19 months since she took office.  Ray Jayawardhana, Professor of Astronomy and a renowned astrophysicist and science writer, became Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences September 1.  Formerly Dean of the Faculty of Science at York University in Toronto, “RayJay” has degrees from Harvard and Yale.  Professor Jayawardhana gave an educational and entertaining talk on campus a few weeks ago about our solar system, the demotion of Pluto, and the search for alien planets and life.  Read more here.

Kevin Hallock, Dean of the ILR School for the past 5 years, was tapped this fall as Dean of The SC Johnson College Cornell of Business.  An accomplished economist and scholar, Hallock will now preside over the Johnson Graduate School of Business, the Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management (in Cornell’s College of Agriculture & Life Sciences) and the School of Hotel Administration.

Meejin Yoon, B.Arch. ’95, will become dean of the College of Architecture, Art and Planning in January. She’s currently head of the architecture department at MIT.Yoon is the first woman named to the Cornell Dean’s position since the college was formed in the late 1800’s.  Cornell’s undergraduate architecture program is consistently ranked first in the U.S.

Switching gears to Class of 1974-specific news, our Reunion Chairs are hard at work planning a terrific weekend in June.  We will be housed in Becker House on West Campus (at the bottom of Libe Slope).  This is the ONLY air-conditioned dorm on West Campus!  Information on reserving dorm rooms will be sent in late winter.  If you’d like to stay in a hotel, check the Reunion page on our class website for a list of Ithaca hotels.

Our next Class of ’74 event will be a reception with other Classes of the 70’s in Boston on Friday evening, February 8, 2019.  We’ll be sharing more info on this in early 2019.  Hope to see you there or at Reunion.