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…

North Campus Memories–Balch Hall

As you have probably heard, North Campus is undergoing a dramatic change called the North Campus Residental Expansion.  NCRE has already added five new dorms and several thousand beds; sophomores are now required to live on campus.  Cornell is also modernizing older dorms and first up is much-beloved Balch.  After a 2-year top to bottom renovation, Balch’s capacity will double to 450 beds.

Balch is the only remaining all-female dormitory on campus.  (Currently, Barbara McClintock Hall on North Campus has been temporarily designated all-women.)  In 1920, Cornell formed a committee to research the feasibility of constructing a new women’s dormitory to meet the growing female enrollment. In 1922, a plan for the construction of a dormitory on North Campus was submitted and approved by Cornell’s Architectural Advisory Board. In 1928, the university accepted the $1,650,000 donation of Allen C. Balch, Class of 1889 and Janet Balch, a graduate student from 1886 to 1888. According to legend, Janet Balch insisted that her husband donate the money for the dormitory after attending an event at Allen’s fraternity.  As the story goes, she was offended by the behavior of the undergraduate brothers and believed that a dormitory dedicated to the welfare of female students was important. This Sun article is a great read.

Recent Balch residents treasured the vintage, original wooden Stickley furniture that graced students’ rooms, including bookshelves and mirrors with heart engravings.  Fortunately, most of this furniture is being recycled and has been consigned to Significant Elements, an architectural salvage store in downtown Ithaca.  The furniture, in good condition and pictured below, is priced between $25 and $50. If you want a piece of history, call Significant Elements at 607-277-3450.

Until recently, some Balch rooms’ closets held wrought iron racks that women used to store their fancy hats.  No word on where the hat racks ended up.

 

 

Ah, memories…

Celebrating Summer, 70 and our 50th Reunion

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Let’s celebrate!  For Cornell students summer is over but Move-In Week started Monday and that’s exciting.  The campus looks great and feels ready to celebrate a much more normal school year!

While current Cornell students are heading back to campus, I hope you and your friends and family are still celebrating summer.  COVID has kept us pretty isolated for 2 years but this summer everything seems to have opened up and people are finally getting together.

For many of us we have been able to celebrate our 70th birthday with our loved ones.  That was certainly the highlight of my summer!  My daughters arranged a surprise visit from some dear Cornell friends to add an already fun weekend in Nashville.  As you celebrate your 70th birthday or any special event, don’t forget to send notes and photos to Bill Howard who is once again compiling these memories for our [notable] class as a lead up to our 50th Reunion.

Reunion planning has already started.  It is our big one, after all!    Bill is compiling photos.  Bob Baldini Cris Cobaugh and John Foote are pulling together a team to plan events and activities for our 50th Reunion.  Ideas and volunteers are needed and encouraged!  Please get in touch with Bob, Cris or John if you’d like to get involved, or if you have just one suggestion about reunion.  Mary “Mi” O’Connell is spearheading our affinity outreach so we can connect classmates and get a good turnout on campus in June 2024.  We are collecting music selections for Reunion—see P.S. below!

Happy summer!  Celebrate and be well!

PS: Last month we said we are going to  feature in our Class Reunion HQ a playlist of all the favorite songs during our time on the Hill. We have received the selections below; send us yours! (Email jhf25@cornell.edu .)

·        American Pie

·        Dancing in the Moonlight (multiple votes!)

·        Magic Carpet Ride

·        Joy to the World

·        Brown Eyed Girl

·        My Girl

Bill Nye Science Guy at Reunion, Top Songs 1970-74, CU’s 2-mile Deep Borehole

I have just returned from Ithaca and the 2022 Reunion.  After a 2-year hiatus due to COVID, reunion was almost normal (as was graduation two weeks earlier).  The weather was fantastic and the schedule was jam-packed, featuring the dedication of the recently renovated Martha Van Rensselaer Hall and a very entertaining talk by Bill Nye ’77 (the Science Guy) who was celebrating his 45th reunion.  His talk can be found here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And speaking of reunions, our 50th (don’t look now) is less than two years away—mark June 6-9, 2024 on your calendar. Also, we are going to feature in our Class HQ a playlist of all the favorites during our time on the Hill. Please send me (jhf25@cornell.edu) the song(s) you want included. (For starters, I am suggesting Magic Carpet Ride by Steppenwolf.)  The play list will be available on Spotify.

Another very cool (actually hot) development on campus at reunion was the groundbreaking for the Cornell Borehole Observatory  (CUBO). This 2-mile deep hole in the ground will be a proof of concept to harness the heat of the earth to heat the Cornell campus. (The university has a goal of carbon neutrality by 2035, and earth source heating is a key part of the plan.)  It will take about 2 months to drill the hole (24/7) and then a number of months to collect and analyze data.   Over the 5 decades I have been a Cornellian, rarely have I sensed so much excitement across the university—Drill Baby Drill!

One final note:  Cornell’s fiscal year ends on June 30.  Please consider making a gift of any amount, to any area or program at Cornell, by clicking here.

Hope your summer is off to a good start.

Celebrating Cornell Women Athletes and Giving Day

It looks like spring is arriving both on campus and metaphorically in the COVID fight.  As the snow melts and in-person classes have resumed, there are many signs that a more normal “new normal” is emerging.

Two years of COVID have tested our resolve and shown our resilience.  Cornell students adapted and so did we alums.  Reunions and Homecoming went virtual and Cornell Global Mixers took off.  Many classes, including ours, sponsored fun and fascinating webinars by unofficial Cornell historian Corey Earle ’07.

Title IX Then and Now, A Celebration of Cornell Women’s Athletics was presented last month.  We had 177 people join the call, representing six decades of Cornell alums, athletes, coaches and friends.  Our moderator Corey Earle ’07 shared Cornell women’s athletics history, our alumnae panelists relayed their experiences, and our student athletes (including one our own Class of 1974 Scholar) suggested Cornell should hire more women coaches and assistants and continue to recruit more diverse athletes.  The energy in the chat on the webinar was wonderful and such a tribute to the tremendous accomplishments of Cornell Women athletes.  As one alum noted in the webinar, “We’ve come so far, but still have far to go”. If you missed it you can watch the webinar here.

March 16th is Cornell Giving Day.  If you want to support women’s athletics (or men’s) or would like to support students like Class of 1974 Scholar Summer Parker-Hall or just want “To Do The Greatest Good” for what you are passionate about at Cornell, please join in that day and make a gift.

Enjoy the spring and please be well!

Celebration Cornell Women in Sports

February is a snowy, icy and, luckily, short month.  It is a month that usually keeps us all inside being entertained by sports on television.  This year we get a couple more weeks of NFL football, the run-up to NCAA March Madness, NHL Hockey and NBA Basketball, AND the 2022 Winter Olympics!

I feel like there is a little competitive athlete in every one of us who participated in, coached, drove to or watched little league and t-ball, pee wee leagues, swim teams, gymnastic teams, powder puffs and flag teams, y-youth teams, junior hockey, lacrosse, and tennis.  And the Olympics highlights the things we all love about sports–the values, the joy, the humanity of it all!

Featured in the 2022 Olympics are 7 Cornellians–all in women’s sports (even though one is a man)!  Current student and now silver medalist Karen Chen ’23 is on the US Figure Skating Team and current Cornell Women’s Ice Hockey Head Coach Doug Derraugh ’91 is an assistant coach for Team Canada.  The other five are Cornellians and all ice hockey players.  Four are competing for Team Canada and one for the Czech Republic.  Read more here and here.

It is very fitting that the Big Red is being represented by so many women in Olympic women’s sports as Cornell and the country celebrate the 50th anniversary of Title IX.  If you haven’t been following Cornell Women’s Athletics 50th you can catch up on social media–TwitterFacebook and Instagram.  And watch this great video clip.  You will be proud!

Cornell Women’s Tennis Team Spring 1974

As part of the University’s celebration of Title IX, the Class of 1974 (we were there when it happened!) is sponsoring a Cornell Women’s Athletics webinar featuring Corey Earle ’07 (Cornell historian) and a panel of two Class of 1974 women athletes and two current student athletes.  Panelists include:

Linda Smith McKeown ’74 – ice hockey & track
Molly McBee Miller Ettenger ’74 – ice hockey & tennis
DeeDee Maizes ’22 – swimming

Summer Parker-Hall ’25 – basketball (and recipient of our Class of 1974 Scholarship)

We invite you to join us for this look back at the history of women’s athletics at Cornell.  The webinar is Wednesday, February 23rd, at 8:00 pm ET.  Register here.

Go Big Red!  Go USA! Stay warm and be well!