Sharing–Upcoming Events, COVID Experiences, Cornell Concerts of the ’70s

Sharing, during the time of COVID, seems impossible!  We can’t share space, a meal or even a smile.  We are distant, we’re masked and often alone.  But it’s never been more important to share whatever and however we can.
To that end, some classmates are working with our Class Correspondents to use the final “published” Class Notes in the Cornell Alumni Magazine’s last issue as the platform to share our COVID epiphanies, experiences or discoveries.  Here’s how, from Jodi Sielschott Stechschulte:
How are you coping with COVID?  The past 11 months have been an extraordinary global experience.  We would like to collect your stories of how you have handled the changes it has caused in our lives.  What have you done about work, play, family relationships, friendships, pets, travel, etc.?  Have you found any innovative coping mechanisms or created any new traditions?  In the face of incalculable global loss, how have you kept going?
Please send your experience(s) to me at with the subject line ’74 COVID Response.   We’ll share them with classmates via our Class Column and other Class of ’74 communication channels to be developed in the coming months.
Hoping to bring us all some inspiration and perseverance to get us to the end of this pandemic in 2021 with our sanity and sense of humor intact.
There is a publishing deadline of February 15th so get your stories in soon.  
Some of our fellow Classes of the ’70s are sponsoring fun webinars that are open to our class.  

Cornell Concerts of the '70s

Reminder:  Great Cornell Concerts of the ’70s:  Music and Memories, a webinar by Corey Earle, is being sponsored by the Class of ’78.  It’s Sunday, January 31, at 7:00 pm ET.  For more information and to register click here.


The Class of ’72 has invited us to their sponsored webinar Persevering Through the Epidemic:  Cornell and Typhoid in 1903.  This is scheduled for Tuesday, February 2, at 7:30 pm ET.  Find information, suggested reading and register here.


Our class has been actively participating in the  Cornell Global Mixers and has a ’74 Pre-Party Suite where over 50 classmates have visited with each other.  These mixers happen every two weeks alternating between Saturday evenings and Sunday afternoons.  The next one is February 6th.  Details and registration are here.  And follow them on Facebook here.
Check our class website and our class Facebook page regularly so you don’t miss any events.
So classmates let’s share!  
And please be well!

New Year’s Resolutions for a Hopeful New Year

Happy New Year!  Has a new year ever been more anticipated or welcomed?  I hope you and your loved ones were able to celebrate the holidays in some way.

This beautiful campus view won’t be seen by many until classes resume in February.  The University’s plans are to provide instruction both in person and via Zoom this winter/spring and the expectation is that most students will be back on campus. Fingers crossed that the Cornell Community will be able to control COVID as successfully as it did in the Fall.




With the New Year comes resolutions.  Here are some suggestions:

  1. Learn Something New:  Connect to Cornell here for the latest in online events, on-demand videos and podcasts.
  1. Make New Friends and Connect with the Old:  Our Class is participating in the very successful Global Mixer AND we have a Pre-Party Suite for an hour or two before each one.  They happen at different times every couple of weeks.  These invitations and registration are sent by Cornell but, if you aren’t getting them, let me know and I will make sure they have your correct email.  You can also join the Cornell Global Mixer Facebook Group.
  1. Take Care of Body & Mind:  Try meditating by watching one of the coolest art installations on campus– Cosmos–an homage to Carl Sagan. Just click here, play some music, get comfortable, and focus your attention on the cosmos patterns and the sky (the dawn break is great).
  1. Travel More:  You can, virtually!  Take an education vacation through Cornell’s Adult University.  See the world here.
  1. Give Back:  Cornell Cares Day is Saturday, January 9th.  Look here for ways to show you care.

Whatever you resolve to do in 2021 I hope connections to Cornell and our Class help!

Happy and Healthy New Year!

Cornell Sounds, Global Mixer, Winter Fun, CAU, Trivia

Winter has arrived in Ithaca and campus has already been blanketed in snow.  Cornell is quiet with most students back home for the last week of classes and exams followed by the very long holiday break.  Classes begin again February 8.











Activities for alumni continue in earnest!  Here are some recommendations:CORNELL ACCORDING TO SOUND, DEC 9:   This one-hour, free, sound-only experience, by Chris Hoff ’02 and David Harnett who have an NPR podcast, includes unusual sounds—the chimes from Cascadilla Gorge, women’s hockey skate blades on the Lynah ice, a horse on a Vet School treadmill, antique reuleaux machines in display cases on the Engineering Quad, and the Annabel Taylor organ.  Act fast to register: Wed. Dec. 9 at 8pm Eastern time.

CORNELL GLOBAL MIXER with CLASS of 1974 PARTY SUITE, DEC 12: Tony Chen, MBA ’16, organizes virtual happy hours twice a month with alumni from around the world.  Our [Notable] Class is participating this Saturday, December 12 from 8-10pm. Our ’74 Pre-Party is from 8-9 and the Global Mixer is from 9-10.  For more info and to register, click here.

SNOW DAYS, ICE SKATING & WINTERTIME FUN, DEC 14:  Corey Earle ‘07, lecturer in American Studies and unofficial Cornell historian, offers his last class of the year Monday Dec. 14 at 7:30pm Eastern time and features the traditions of Cornell during the season that seems to last forever in Ithaca.  Corey’s lectures are informative and entertaining.  And free.  Register here.

CORNELL ADULT UNIVERSITY WINTER SESSION, DEC-FEB: Cornell is offering week-long, weekly and weekend courses in film, wine, astronomy, Hip Hop, spider biology, digital technology, immunology and more.  For pricing and to register, click here. 

CORNELL TRIVIA: The latest issue of Cornell Alumni Magazine has a terrific 72-question Big Red trivia quiz.  If you haven’t yet paid your class dues for 2020-21, please visit.  You’ll get access to the trivia quiz and other stories in this award-winning publication.

Enjoy the holiday season and please be well!

Thankful for Big Red Cures for COVID Blues

Thanksgiving is next week and COVID has us feeling a bit less in the spirit of the holiday as we all keep adjusting to this new, strange normal.  But there are some things out there for which we can be thankful.

Cornell has completed the in-person semester as planned and to much national praise for its handling of the virus.  Our alma mater has made us proud with its students, faculty and administration all working together.













The University has organized and shares many “experiences”–Big Red cures for the COVID blues!

Cornell, virtually, welcomed us all back with StayHomecoming 2020.  It featured a COVID discussion with Dr. Anthony Fauci ’66 and Kate Snow ’91 and current Cornell students, President Pollack’s State of the University, a discussion on Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s ’54 influence on the world, and other fun digital events.  Relive them here.

American Studies lecturer/unofficial Cornell historian Corey Earle ’07 invites us to enjoy his webinars and lectures.  Watch here and sign up for alerts.

Announcements from Cornell about future events are arriving in your inbox fast and furiously–don’t hit delete.  They contain information and links to sign up for interesting discussions and webinars like these and the ones above.

Especially in this season, reach out through call and virtual meetings to your old friends from your days on the hill or the new ones you’ve made at reunions or other events.  Keep your Cornell connections strong.  And look for a post-Thanksgiving email about a Cornell Global on-line party with a special Class of ’74 get together on December 12th.

I hope you and your loved ones are all well and finding a way to celebrate Thanksgiving and the holiday season.

Happy Thanksgiving and 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!

President Corson’s Reflections from June 1974 Still Relevant Today

When we sent our “Graduation Reminiscences” email to classmates in late May, including a cover photo of the 1974 graduation issue of The Cornell Daily Sun, we heard from a number of you asking about getting a copy of Cornell President Dale Corson’s graduation speech.  Cornell’s historic documents, including graduation speeches, are kept in the University Archives which are part of the Cornell libraries.   And although all Ithaca campus libraries have been closed to the public since March because of COVID-19, the University Archivist was recently able to go back into Olin Library and access a copy of President Corson’s address.

This typed commencement speech, which Corson gave at Barton Hall on June 3, 1974, includes quotes from notable authors, alumni and academics, as well as some humor.  And although most of us were likely sitting in Barton Hall on that warm June day, we probably have very little recollection of what President Corson shared.  Fortunately, we now have another chance to “hear” what Dale Corson said. In re-reading this speech 46 years later, you can’t help but be impressed with its resonance and relevance to today’s unsettled times.

Take a few minutes to read the speech—I believe you will be rewarded by the perspective it affords us all, as Cornellians and citizens of the world.

President Corson’s speech is posted on our class website—you can read it here.

Happy reading and please be well!

School Bells are Ringing (Maybe)

It’s that time of year when school bells are ringing*. This year, however, will be unlike any in our memory for students in grades K-12 through college. In-person, on-line, hybrid, staggered, and socially distanced are just some of the strategies being employed around the country.

The Cornell administration, after a very deliberative process, made the decision in early July to re-open the University for in-person study for all students, but with a complex set of rules and procedures designed to keep students, faculty and staff safe. Interestingly, this plan is significantly different from the path chosen by our Ivy compatriots which are either going all on-line or bringing back to campus only some students.

In early August, Cornell had to make an adjustment in its plan in response to a travel advisory issued by New York State. This advisory requires any person entering New York from a “hot -spot” state (currently 35 states are considered hot-spots) to quarantine in the State for 14 days. The University announced that if students were able to quarantine, great; otherwise, Cornell encouraged these “hot-spot” students to stay home. Further, the University announced that all classes would be offered in one of two formats: online or hybrid (i.e., in-person and on-line).

Students who are able are expected to begin returning to campus this week [week of Aug 17th]. Also, every student (whether they are on campus or not) is required to sign a Behavioral Compact that sets forth the expectations for student behavior in order to minimize transmission of COVID-19.

While most of the Cornell community agrees that the University’s plan is bold and “science-driven”, there is a general acknowledgement it is a high wire act with many possible outcomes, both good and bad. To understand the differing views about the reopening, check out both Cornell President Martha Pollack’s recent interview with the Ithaca Voice and a letter to the Cornell Provost written by the chair of the Cornell Assembly.

Forty-seven years ago, as we were planning on returning to campus for the last time as undergrads, the big issue was a shortage of dorm rooms resulting in students bunking in residence hall lounges and double rooms turned into triples and quads. While inconvenient and uncomfortable, it sounds almost quaint next to what our young Cornellians will be facing when they return to the Hill.  Keep your fingers crossed.

Stay safe and healthy,

*The title of Carole King’s 1962 classic  School Bells are Ringing –the world was simpler then.

Summertime Feelings

It’s Summertime!  While the livin’ might not be as easy as last year, things have opened up and the weather is allowing us a bit more freedom.  Enjoy these long days!

Cornell hosted a virtual reunion earlier this month, with more than 10,000 alumni participants.  Highlights included a panel on leading through a pandemic, a dialogue among alumni and staff about racial injustice, a tribute to Cornell’s late President Frank Rhodes, an interview with Kansas Congresswoman Sharice Davids, Cornell Law JD ’10, who is the first LGBTQ Native American elected to Congress, and Cornelliana night featuring 2000 alums singing the Alma Mater.  For more on Reunion, and links to recorded sessions, visit.

The Cornell community is awaiting a decision from President Pollack (expected in early July) about re-opening plans for the fall.  New York State is expected to issue guidance to colleges and universities and Cornell will incorporate those recommendations into its final re-start plan.  More and up to date information can be found here.

Although the campus remains closed for now, you can participate virtually in Cornell summer activities.  Take a tour of the Cornell Dairy Bar, explore the Waterfalls of Fall Creek or watch birds through the Lab of Ornithology’s live web cams.  Stroll the Botanic Gardens and empower yourself by Managing Your Wellbeing.  And,  CAU (Cornell Adult University) is virtual and free this summer–check out this summer’s offerings.

Cornell’s fiscal year ends on June 30th.  You can make a gift to the university here.  And if you have not yet renewed or paid your Class of ’74 dues, you can do that online here.  Although you are forever a member of our [notable] class, we need and value your dues to support class communications, activities and Cornell Alumni Magazine.

Enjoy your summer, stay connected and please be well!