Class Scholar, Homecoming, Presidential Debate and More

unspecifiedThough it still feels like summer, Cornell students have been in class for three weeks. Among the nearly 4000 new students on campus is our new Class of 1974 Scholar, Wendolyn Gonzalez from High Point, North Carolina. Wendi is a freshman in the College of Art, Architecture & Planning and excited to be at Cornell. You will hear more about her in the months ahead. Our former Class Scholar, Garrett Guillen ’16 ILR, recently accepted a job in NYC at Harlem RBI, which works with inner city youth from East Harlem and the South Bronx.

The Class of ’74 is involved in two events this month. First is a tailgate party at Cornell Homecoming on Saturday, September 24 in Ithaca. This lunch is at 12:30pm in the parking lot near the Cornell Wrestling Center. No charge to attend, family members welcome. Look for the Class of 1974 banner. Classmate Roberta Bandel Walcer,, is the organizer. No pre-registration required. (In case of inclement weather that day check the class Facebook page for any change of venue details.) Homecoming weekend festivities include fireworks and a family-friendly festival where you can meet a miniature companion horse named Miss Minnie, ride the ferris wheel, and sample varied foods and treats. The football game versus Yale is at 3pm. Homecoming details can be found here.

With the presidential election season in full swing, please consider participating in a live on-line chat with other Cornellians during the first Presidential debate on Monday, Sept. 26. Cornell grad Dave Ross, Class of ’73, a long-time Seattle-area radio talk show host, CBS Network commentator and two-time recipient of the Edward R. Murrow Award for best commentary, will moderate the Live Chat, which is open to classmates from 1971-74. No preregistration and no charge—the link will be provided a few days before the event. Number of participants is limited to 250. Thanks to the Class of 1973 for organizing this chat.

Looking ahead, we will have an informal class event in Baltimore the weekend of February 3-4. A number of classmates will be attending Cornell meetings in Baltimore over that weekend. Please let me know if you are interested.

I hope to see you at the Homecoming tailgate or at another class event soon.


Dale Lazar
President [Notable] Class of ‘74

Summer Report from Cornell

The Cornell campus in Ithaca is busy with more than a thousand high school students enrolled in Cornell Summer College and several hundred adults (mostly alumni) participating in Cornell Adult University (CAU) five-day courses. Next week is the last week of this year’s on-campus CAU courses and it’s not too late to sign up. Check it out here.

The summer got off to a very promising start at Reunion in mid-June, when interim President Hunter Rawlings gave a frank and humorous State of the University speech in which he shared how he ended up back at Cornell for his third (!?!) stint as President, his insights from his most recent job as head of the Association of American Universities, and his priorities for Cornell for the next 6-12 months. You can read about the speech here.
Corenll Fireworks

The July 4 celebration in Ithaca featured fireworks set off from Stewart Park, giving people on the Cornell campus a great view from the Hill.


Although Cornell is no longer doing the New Student Reading project, the list of books that students have read over the past fifteen years includes Frankenstein, Antigone, Things Fall Apart, Lincoln at Gettysburg, Slaughterhouse Five, Grapes of Wrath and other books that might be good for your summer reading. Find a complete list here.

Our Notable Class is organizing a tailgate picnic/party for Saturday afternoon, September 24 at 1pm near the football stadium during Cornell’s Homecoming weekend in Ithaca. Further details are forthcoming. Please direct questions to our Ithaca event organizer classmate Roberta Bandel Walcer at

Enjoy the rest of the summer!


Dale Lazar
President [Notable] Class of ‘74

Commencement Weekend

Over the last 12 years Kristen and I have attended Cornell’s Commencement–not because we have children to cheer on, but because it is a day of great joy and even greater possibilities. This year, Commencement had a slightly different flavor. At 10:00am on a hot and sultry Sunday morning, more than 5000 undergrads and grads began marching into Schoellkopf. Then the heavens opened. In minutes, everyone—parents, faculty, students, trustees–was soaked to the skin. First time it’s rained on Cornell’s graduation in at least 25 years! But the show went on, students cheered when it was announced the program would be shortened, and by the end of the event the sun was back out.

A poignant moment occurred at the beginning of the ceremony when it was pointed out that the empty chair on stage was in memory of Cornell’s 13th president Beth Garrett, who never had the opportunity to participate in one of Cornell’s signature events. Provost Michael Kotlikoff gave a memorable, thoughtful, optimistic commencement address about what makes a Cornell education special and how important it is to learn about and respect different points of view. He called Cornell “the most unpretentious, democratic and rigorous Ivy.” Read more here.

Graduation 2016

For those of us in the Notable Class of ’74, graduation day was particularly special. Our Class of ’74 scholar Garrett Guillen ’16 received his degree from ILR. We were introduced to Garrett in August 2012 upon his arrival in Ithaca from his home in Los Angeles. He had never been East and is the first person in his family to attend college. Over the next four years, Garrett navigated Cornell, succeeded both in and out of the classroom and, in his own words, had a “life changing experience.” Garrett’s parents made their first-ever trip to New York State and Ithaca for Commencement. We applaud Garrett for his courage and perseverance and wish him the best. As a class, we should all take a bow; the scholarship fund that Bob and Joan Saltsman Oelschlager ‘74 had the vision to start on behalf of our class, to which hundreds of classmates have made a contribution, is making a real difference in the lives of young people and our University.

Go Big Red!


John Foote ‘74

Campus Update, NYC Photos & Dues

This is the last week of classes for Cornell students, and spring has finally arrived on campus.  Study week begins Thursday and exams start on Monday.  Cornell’s 11th president, Hunter Rawlings, has begun his term as Cornell’s interim president—again.  Cornell women’s lacrosse team won the Ivy League tournament squeaking by Penn, 11-10, in Philadelphia on Sunday.  The Big Red hosts the next round of the NCAA women’s lacrosse tournament this coming weekend in Ithaca.

Last week our [notable] class hosted a great event in New York City for the classes of the ’70s, and it turns out that we got folks from the 60’s too!  Classmates Alice Brown and Marleen Kay Davis organized a guided tour of the High Line, the refurbished elevated freight line that is helping to resurrect Manhattan’s West Side.  Afterwards all gathered for cocktails at the Frying Pan at Pier 66 Maritime Bar on the Hudson River.  A great time was had and you can see the photos here.  (Password is notable)


Events like this take place thanks to funds from your class dues.  Last month you received a letter from our Membership Chair Jodi Sielschott Stechschulte encouraging you to pay your class dues.  In addition to helping us pay for class events, dues help us plan and organize our reunions, continually communicate with classmates through our website, emails and paper mailings.  And your class dues support the award-winning Cornell Alumni News.

Your dues are due by June 30.  Thank you to all who have already paid and, for those who haven’t yet, please do so soon.  It’s easy.  You can pay on-line here.  Or you can just send a check made payable to Cornell Class of 1974 to Cornell University, P.O. Box 25841, Lehigh Valley, PA 18003-9695.

Dues are $60 and include your annual subscription to the Magazine or $30 without the magazine.  Dues for Class Couples are $65 and $35, respectively.

Our class remains strong because we never give up on making and keeping Cornell and Class of ’74 connections.  Thank you for being a part of that effort and thanks for supporting our class through class dues.


Dale Lazar

President [Notable] Class of ‘74

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….


John H. Foote ‘74

Cornell’s President Elizabeth Garrett Dies at Age 52.

Cornell University President Elizabeth Garrett died March 6 from colon cancer. She was 52.  Read more here.

Klarman Hall, Art for the Tech Campus & Class News


It’s been an unusual winter in Ithaca—not much snow, and temperatures ranging from the single digits to the mid-50s. The only thing for sure is that the days are getting longer and the ice on Beebe Lake is mostly melted.

night5-22-2In January, the new Klarman Hall opened on the Arts Quad.  It is the first new humanities building on campus in more than 100 years—yes, you heard that right—and is located behind Goldwin Smith Hall.  This spectacular light-filled structure contains faculty offices, seminar rooms, an atrium, an auditorium, and the relocated Temple of Zeus.  You can access Klarman Hall from East Avenue or from Goldwin Smith.  Check out photos of Klarman Hall here.

Construction is underway in New York City at Cornell’s Tech Campus on Roosevelt Island, with the steel for the first building already in place.  Prior to tearing down the old Goldwater Hospital on the island, Cornell worked with art conservators to locate, remove and conserve several murals in the hospital that were commissioned during the 1930’s as part of President Roosevelt’s Works Progress Administration (WPA.)  The WPA employed thousands of artists between 1935-45 to create public art.  The four artists chosen for the hospital project each painted a mural in the hospital’s public rooms. One mural had been uncovered in 2001, and two were discovered in 2013 under layers of hospital paint.  One mural was never found.  Over the past few years these murals have been cleaned and restored, and the mural panels are now on display at Cornell’s Johnson Museum of Art.  The murals will eventually be installed at the new Cornell Tech campus.  To learn more about this fascinating project, click here.   To see the murals, visit the Museum’s website here.

Our class correspondents need news in order to write the class column for Cornell Alumni Magazine!  If you have an update about yourself or a classmate–regarding retirement, a new job, a wedding, a class you are taking, a new or old hobby, travel, whatever—please send it to Jim Schoonmaker at, Lucy Babcox Morris at, or Helen Bendix at  Thank you!


Dale Lazar

President [Notable] Class of ‘74


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


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


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.