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!

Help Us Eclipse Cornell’s 50th Reunion Records

Our 50th Reunion is only two months away, but there’s still time for the Class of ’74 to make Cornell history.

Total eclipse of the Sun. The moon covers the sun in a solar eclipse.

For decades, the Class of ‘74 has blazed a path across the stratosphere of Cornell Reunion records.  And we’re close to doing it again!  So as the solar eclipse approaches, we’re asking you to help us eclipse the greatest reunion record of all: the most money ever raised by a 50th Reunion class.

We’re only $8 million away from breaking the record.  To do so, we need to raise the additional funds before June 30th.  Impossible you say?  Not for the Notable Class of ‘74.

Here’s how we can break the record:

First, we need participation from those of you who haven’t yet made a gift.  The more donors we have, the more money we will raise.  Make a Gift.

Next, we need a little luck.  We’ll need a few of you to surprise us by making the largest gift you’ve ever made to Cornell.  We’ll also need those of you who’ve given generously in the past but haven’t yet made your 2024 gift to be generous again.  A great way to maximize your giving is to make a three-year pledge of at least $5,000 per year.  If you do that, Cornell will count the full value of your three-year pledge toward our 50th Reunion Campaign.  Jordan Martin Clark (jam597@cornell.edu) (607 254-6188) is the person to contact at Cornell to make a three-year pledge.

Finally, if you’ve included Cornell in your estate plan by way of a will, trust, IRA, or annuity, but haven’t yet told Cornell, please do so before June 30th.  If you do, Cornell will count 60% of the current value of your planned bequest toward our class’s 50th Reunion Campaign total.

There are three important things to keep in mind about three-year pledges and planned gifts.  Cornell does not request documentation so your estate planning documents will remain private.  Cornell does not hold you to your pledge or future bequest because it understands that your financial situation or your plans may change over time.  Lastly, Cornell can help ensure you have set up your gift in a way that accomplishes your charitable goals.  Amy Jacobson (aj433@cornell.edu) (607 254-5829) is the person to contact to let Cornell know the university is in your estate plan.

If we do all this—and our history says we can—we will break 50th Reunion records with:

  • 774 Donors(gifts of any size)
  • 140 Cornell Giving Partners(gifts of $1,000 to $10,000)
  • 74 Tower Club Donors(gifts of $10,000 or more)
  • Most Dollars Raised

 

Thanks in advance for supporting Cornell and for helping the Class of ‘74 eclipse Cornell’s 50th Reunion records!

Springtime News and Giving Day

Spring has arrived at Cornell!  So that means it will probably snow during finals week.

This past weekend, on campus, featured the 40th Spring Runway Show presenting the undergraduate designers in the Cornell Fashion Collective.  With the Academy Awards coming up on Sunday, Cornell Historian Corey Earle ’07 shares a fun story about the many Cornellians in Oppenheimer.  And in more Hollywood news, a new documentary about our classmate Christopher Reeve, Super/Man:  The Christopher Reeve Storymade its debut at Sundance to great acclaim.  Cornell always makes us proud!

The big news for our class continues to be our upcoming 50th Reunion in June.  The excitement is mounting and palpable, with so many classmates planning to return to campus, some for the first time since graduation.  As I read through the many fond memories our classmates share in our Class of ’74 Memory Book, the sense of the collective pride and gratitude for our Cornell experience is profound.

Next Thursday, March 14th, is Cornell’s Giving Day: a day for being grateful for these Cornell experiences and for giving back.  We hope you will join ’74 classmates by doing the greatest good that feels right for you.

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

The Christopher Reeve ’74 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 half a dozen or so extraordinary and talented students.  The current Reeve Scholar is Angel Katthi ’24.  For her senior thesis, Angel produced and directed Peerless, a dark and comedic take on Shakespeare’s Macbeth.  Read the Sun’s review here.

The Class of 1974 Scholarship was started in 1999 by classmates Bob and Joan Saltsman 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 junior in the College of Agriculture & Life Sciences and a starting forward and leading scorer 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.  Your gift of any amount will count toward our lofty Reunion goal of getting 774 donors.  Note: you CANNOT actually make a gift through these links until Giving Day on March 14th.

Thank you in advance for doing your greatest good!

See you in June!

Tax-Smart Giving Strategies: How to make a 50th reunion gift that can help Cornell–and you

Our 50th Reunion Campaign Chairs Andrea Glanz and Jim Irish hosted a webinar on tax-smart giving on Thursday, November 30th.  Amy Jacobsen and Rebecca Page Johnson from the Cornell Gift Planning Team gave a presentation on ways that classmates can give in tax-smart ways.  Jim, Andrea and our Fund representative Jordan Martin Clark moderated the talk and hosted questions.  You can watch the webinar here.

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 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!

Giving Back–Academic Year End

Fortunately the pandemic health crisis and economic fall-out are subsiding, just in time for the start of summer.  That is indeed good news!  Vaccination rates are increasing and activities are returning to relative normal. Cornell University was able to hold in-person graduation ceremonies, albeit in a different format than in previous years when thousands of happy families crowded all together at Schoellkopf Field.

Cornell, proactively and creatively, kept much of the Ithaca campus open and kept students and faculty safe and socially distanced.  And come Fall, most parts of the university will be back to in-person work and study.

Many of us may already be back at work and out of home offices, meeting friends in restaurants, getting on airplanes and traveling for vacations and family reunions.  It is with a profound sense of relief and gratitude that we look forward with hope and optimism.

Please join us in supporting our alma mater as Cornell comes out of a difficult and disruptive time, slowly returning to normal and making plans for a new academic year and many possibilities for students to learn and make a difference in the world.

We encourage you to take just a minute and make an academic year-end donation by June 30th.  Gifts of any size and for any purpose are appreciated.  Click here to give.

Thank you and enjoy your summer!

Anne Wenzel and David Miller

Vice Presidents, Notable Class of 1974 Annual Fund Participation

dbm86@cornell.edu

Giving Back

Today is Cornell Giving Day—a day for being thankful and giving back to Cornell as generously as your personal situation allows.  Certainly the world has changed in the past year, with the pandemic and economic fall-out affecting most of us.  Cornell has changed as well, yet the university has succeeded in bringing most students back to campus for various types of instruction—hybrid, remote, or in-person.

Support from alumni is critical for Cornell to continue offering the best experience possible to students.  Please consider making a gift today to any area at Cornell.

You can specify a Cornell program or club that is near and dear to your heart.  We hope you will consider supporting our Class of 74 Scholarship, which helps a deserving undergraduate student annually.  Our current scholarship recipient is Wendi Gonzalez, AAP ’21 from North Carolina. (Read about Wendy’s Cornell journey here.)  Or you can make a gift to your college’s Annual Fund that will go where it is needed most — student financial aid, faculty hiring and retention, and start-up research funding.

Many families of Cornell students have had to adapt to new circumstances in the past year.  Cornell’s Division of Student & Campus Life has provided essential services—virtual programs, dining options, wellness and fitness offerings and career advising—to help students successfully navigate through these unusual times.  Any gift you make to Student & Campus Life on Giving Day will be doubled thanks to the generosity of a $40,000 matching gift from alumna Ronni Lacroute ’66.

Cornell students and faculty are tackling the profound challenges of our time.  We encourage you to take just a minute today and make a donation on Cornell Giving Day.  Donations of any size and for any purpose are appreciated.

Thank you and best wishes!

Perseverance: Never Giving Up, and Always Giving Back

A year ago COVID caused Cornell to go to all virtual learning.  Students finished that Spring semester virtually.  In the Fall we were the only Ivy to offer some in-person learning and we welcomed our students back to campus in February to finish this school year.  Read some Freshman stories of how our students have navigated their unique first-year experiences.  That’s perseverance!

As Cornell alums, we haven’t been able to visit the campus, go to a reunion or Homecoming, attend a class event or watch a Cornell athletic contest, but we have persevered through the magic of Zoom with a virtual Reunion, Global Mixers , and the recent virtual Cornell Alumni Leadership Conference.  You can watch conference highlights here.  The Cornell Statler Hotel’s chef cooking demo is highly recommended.

And then there is the ultimate in celebration of that never-give-up spirit with the “Touchdown Confirmed” message of the 2020 Perseverance rover landing on Mars.  Listen here to NASA aerospace engineer Swati Mohan ’04 calmly calling the play-by-play landing.

We didn’t give in, we didn’t give up but we can give back as we and Cornell have persevered through a year like never before.  Next Thursday, March 11, is Cornell Giving Day.  Save the date and watch the video here.  And on March 11 you can make a donation here.

This has been a year that has truly tested our ability to persevere but we are seeing the green shoots of never giving up.  Just like we eventually see the melt of the winter snow on campus.

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s to a hopeful Spring!  Please be well!

Class Scholar Wendi Gonzalez ’21–Her Cornell Journey

Even as it seems that the world has stood still, our Class Scholar Wendi Gonzalez is in her final year in the College of Art, Architecture & Planning.  We first met Wendi in September of 2016 as a newly minted Cornell Freshman from High Point, North Carolina.
Through her photos and letters to us we’ve gotten to watch her Cornell journey.  After her first semester she wrote to us about her new friends, new foods she’d eaten, terrifying Slope sledding and sleeping through two early classes–the quintessential Freshman experience.  After her third semester she shared that her hardest professor probably got the best work out of her.  She joined NOMAS (National Organization of Minority Architecture Students) and helped them fund raise to get Cornell students to a competition in Chicago, where last year they won second place.  Read about that here.  Spring ’19 with the Cornell in Rome program brought places to life that Wendi had only ever read about and she was able to share that with us in person at our 45th Reunion.

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Despite COVID, she spent this past summer in Reno, Nevada interning at one of Tesla’s operation centers.  Her work included helping to design manufacturing facilities for Tesla.

Wendi recently caught up with classmates Kristen Rupert and John Foote. They shared her thoughtful message to our class and her photos.  You can read her message here.
Ever gracious, Wendi has let us see her life and work at Cornell and always conveys gratitude to our class.  As our Class of ’74 Scholar she makes us incredibly proud.  This scholarship, started over 30 years ago by our classmates Bob and Joan Saltsman Oelschlager, is supported by members of our class.  If you’d like to help support it, click here and designate “Class of 1974 Scholarship.”
Enjoy Wendi’s story and successes!