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.

Classmate Awards & Homecoming

Cornell Homecoming took place last weekend and we celebrated three Notable Class of ‘74 members!  Cornell Trustee Emeritus Mort Bishop of Oregon, Class President Dale Lazar of Virginia, and Cornell Alumni Admissions Ambassador Network (CAAAN) former chair Randy Rosenberg of Long Island all received the Frank H.T. Rhodes Exemplary Alumni Service Award.  This prestigious award honors alumni who have demonstrated extraordinary service to Cornell through long-term volunteer activities.  Congrats to Mort, Dale and Randy—well-deserved!







On Saturday afternoon of Homecoming, the Classes of the 70’s hosted a pre-football-game tailgate.  Thanks to classmate Walter Scott for yeoman work staffing the grill and for sharing his amazing Big Red Football motor home!  The Cornell football team lost to Yale in a close game, 30-24, but Schoellkopf Stadium was full of Cornell alums of all ages who were happy to be back at their alma mater for the weekend.  More Homecoming photos are on the Class Facebook page.  Just search Facebook for Cornell 1974 and click to join.  It’s one more way to keep in touch.









This—our 45th Reunion year—is all about participation: coming to Reunion in June, supporting the university, paying class dues.  If you haven’t yet paid your 2018-19 dues, now is the time. You’ll receive Cornell Alumni Magazine which is a great way to stay in touch with all that’s happening with Cornell and Cornellians, especially in this, our Reunion year.  You may pay on-line here or by check.

Happy Fall!


Bill Howard

VP Social Media

It’s Our 45th Reunion! Be part of our celebration!

Dear Classmate,

We will soon celebrate our 45th Reunion. Please plan to join us June 6 – 9, 2019 in Ithaca!

Reunion has three parts: the event, the fundraising campaign, and our af nity outreach. Event chairs are planning meals, speakers, dinner programs and more for our time on campus. Fundraising chairs are organizing a class-driven effort to encourage classmates to make a gift to Cornell. Our affinity outreach will have volunteer “captains” contacting classmates with whom they shared an experience back in college: freshman dorm, place of work, athletic team, fraternity/sorority, arts group.

You will be hearing from our class and Cornell in the coming months about Reunion. We hope to welcome at least 300 classmates, plus family and friends, back to campus in June. We also hope to have 1,000 classmates make a gift to Cornell in honor of our Reunion.

A couple details on fundraising: Your gift to any area of Cornell before June 30, 2019 will count in our class campaign total. All gifts, no matter the size, are important and add up to make a big difference for Cornell.

We encourage your participation in any aspect of Reunion. Please let us know about your interests or suggestions. We hope to see you in June. Thanks!

Dale S. Lazar, President — Cornell Class of 1974,

P.S. If you would like to make your gift now, please visit Your gift will be automatically counted toward our class campaign!

Cornell University
Cornell Annual Funds
130 East Seneca Street, Suite 400 Ithaca, NY 14850

Reunion Chairs:

Shelley Cosgrove DeFord,

Bob Baldini,
Danny Brundage,
Cris Cobaugh,

Fundraising Chairs:

David Miller,
Anne Wenzel-Miller,

Elliott Sloane,

Affinity Chairs:

John Foote,
Betsy Moore,

Happy Summer, Class Events Coming, New Campus Housing

Happy mid-summer!  Hope you are finding time to relax with friends and family in places that bring you joy.  Ithaca weather has been hot-hot-hot.

Our class started the summer with a barbecue dinner in Ithaca for 35 classmates and friends attending Cornell Reunion.  Many took in lectures, tours and concerts while also catching up with classmates.  Reunion co-chairs Shelley Cosgrove DeFord, Cris Cobaugh and Bob Baldini checked out sites for our 45th Reunion NEXT June (2019.) You’ll learn more about Reunion plans in September.


We have a busy year ahead.  Two events are already in the works.  At Cornell Homecoming on Saturday September 22, the Classes of the ‘70s are hosting a joint tailgate party.  With the football game starting at 3pm, the tailgate lunch will begin around noon.  More details will be shared shortly.  Looking ahead to 2019, on Friday evening February 8 our class will co-host a reception in Boston.


In Cornell news, a big project to add 2,000 new beds and five on-campus buildings was announced this spring/summer.  Cornell plans to provide on-campus housing to all sophomores and perhaps eventually require sophomores to live on campus.  (Freshmen already are.)  The university will also increase undergraduate enrollment.  New dorms will be built on North Campus; the three-year construction project begins next year.  Read the Ithaca Journal article here.


Finally, if you have not yet paid your Class Dues for the 2018-19 year, please do so today!  Duespayers receive the terrific Cornell Alumni Magazine—a great way to keep up with campus life, academics, alumni, current students, groundbreaking research and more.  We’ve kept dues amounts the same as last year.  Not sure if you’ve paid?  Contact Jodi Sielschott Stechschulte at  You may pay on-line here or by check.


Hope to see you at a class event this year and at Reunion in June 2019.  You’ll be hearing regularly from our Class and Cornell over the next 12 months.  For now, enjoy the rest of summer!

Graduation, Class Party, Classmate Award Winners

Summer has arrived in Ithaca!  Last weekend the University celebrated Convocation and Commencement.  The campus was in full bloom, temperatures were warm, and graduation was an enthusiastic though rainy affair.  Convocation speaker was Ava DuVernay–activist and film director whose recent movies include Selma, Thirteen and A Wrinkle in Time–was funny and frank. Check out her uplifting, inspirational and optimistic message here .

If you’re headed to Cornell for Reunion THIS year, please come to our Class of 1974 reception and barbecue dinner on Saturday, June 9, 2018 at 5:30pm at the home of classmates Kristen Rupert and John Foote.  The venue is a short walk from campus.  More than thirty classmates and friends have already signed up.  Family and friends from other classes are welcome!  Price is only $30 and includes appetizers, dinner, dessert and wine, beer and soft drinks. Click here to register.  Contact Shelley Cosgrove DeFord, Reunion 2019 co-chair, at if you have questions.  Cornell always has overnight rooms available for returning alums, and non-reunion-year attendees even have their own residence hall for the weekend.  Check on-line for details.

Finally, special congratulations to three classmates who were just named winners of the 2018 Frank H.T. Rhodes Distinguished Alumni Service Awards.  Our winners are Mort Bishop of Oregon—a trustee emeritus at Cornell and a graduate of the College of Agriculture & Life Sciences; Dale Lazar of Virginia—our Class President & Engineering College and Law School alum; and Randy Rosenberg of New York’s Long Island, an alum of the ILR School who has led the Cornell Alumni Admissions Ambassadors Network (CAAAN) effort in Nassau County for years.  These [Notable] classmates, who have been dedicated Cornell volunteers for decades, will receive their awards in Ithaca on Homecoming Weekend, September 21-22.  Please join us in saluting these deserving awardees!  Read more about the awards here.

Hope to see you on campus this summer or at a Cornell event in the early fall.  Enjoy the summer!


Kristen Rupert

Vice President, Notable Class of 1974

Class Dinner June 9 in Ithaca; Summer Fun Courses; Pay Dues Please

Happy Spring!  Although the new season has been slow to arrive in Ithaca (and much of the US), students return this week from Spring Break with only five weeks of classes left.  Do you remember sprinting to Finals Week when you were at Cornell?!?

Looking ahead to warmer weather, we are organizing a class dinner at Reunion THIS YEAR, on Saturday June 9 in Ithaca, at the home of classmates Kristen Rupert and John Foote.  Yes, our 45th Reunion is still one year away.  However, our Reunion co-chairs will be in Ithaca this June scoping out dinner venues, caterers and activities.  Local classmates and class officers will also be there.  Please join us!  Any alum may attend Cornell Reunion: you can register as a non-reunion year (NRY) alum, attend events, and stay in on-campus housing.  Details are here.  The link to register for the class dinner on Saturday is not available yet.  But, if you are interested in attending or have questions, contact Shelley Cosgrove DeFord at

This summer also offers an opportunity to take one-week classes on campus through Cornell Adult University (CAU.)  You and family/friends can choose among cycling, wines, astronomy, literature, politics, hip-hop, golf, gorges, yoga and more.  CAU classes run from July 8-August 4 and accommodations are on campus.  Click here for more information.

You recently received a letter encouraging you to pay your class dues for 2018-19.  Dues help pay for class communications, events, reunions and more.  As a dues-payer your receive Cornell Alumni Magazine as well as discounts on some Cornell services.  Our class has held the line on dues amounts again this year–classmates pay only $60 or $30 with no magazine.  And if you pay by April 13, you’ll receive $150 off the coast of a CAU course.  If you are on dues auto-renewal, your credit card will be charged in July.  To pay dues by check, visit our class website here.  To pay dues on-line, click here.

Hope to see you at Cornell Reunion in June or another Cornell event soon.


Dale Lazar

President [Notable] Class of  ’74

Class Dues for 2018-2019

Dear Classmates,

Since my daughter graduated from Cornell last year, I miss the frequent Ithaca visits to see the beautiful views and enjoy the memories they evoke. I am so thankful to be a part of the [Notable] Class of ’74. I met such amazing people during our years on the hill and through our reunions have made more friends with classmates who never crossed my path in the ‘70s.

That’s what makes our class dues so important. They support our class initiatives providing opportunities to get classmates together at events like reunions, Homecoming tailgates, receptions, and other functions around the country.
They make class communication—class website and monthly emails—possible, keeping us up to date with each other, the Cornell campus, and upcoming events. They provide the funds for our photo gallery and our greatest perk, reduced-price subscriptions to the award-winning Cornell Alumni Magazine.

Our [Notable] Class of ’74 dues remain the same as last year:

Individual — $60 with magazine or $30 Dues only

Class Couple — $65 with magazine or $35 Dues only

You may also sign up for Auto-Renewal and Cornell will charge your credit card on July 1 each year.

To pay by check, please fill out the dues card enclosed in your recent mailing and send your dues check to Cornell University, Box 37333, Boone, IA 50037-0333. Also consider a donation to our class scholarship, which makes it possible for a current student to afford the Cornell experience. You may also pay dues on-line here.

Plan to attend reunion in June 2019. I look forward to renewing friendships and building new ones! Send us suggestions for class activities throughout the year and for reunion. Hope to see you in June 2019 if not before!


Jodi Sielschott Stechschulte ’74 Membership Chair

CU ’74 Scholar, Party in Philly, Reunion Pre-Planning

Hope your new year is off to a good start.  Students are back at Cornell after winter break and spring semester classes began last week.  A snowy December has given way to a relatively snow-free Ithaca in late January.

We thought you might enjoy an update from our CU ‘74 Scholarship recipient Wendi Gonzalez of North Carolina, Class of 2020 in Art, Architecture & Planning.  Many classmates have donated money to this scholarship over the past 20 years.  We–and Wendi—thank you for that support.  Her note is below.

A couple of additional items….  We are co-hosting a Classes of the 70’s Party in Philadelphia on Friday, Feb. 2 at 7:45pm.  Learn more here.

We are beginning to plan our 45th Reunion, June 6-9, 2019.  We’re reaching out for ideas on how to make this reunion the best ever for our Notable Class.  Please send ideas or suggestions to Shelley Cosgrove DeFord, Reunion Co-Chair, at

Here’s Wendi’s letter:

Hello Everyone!

My second Fall semester was just as amazing as the other two, if not better because now I feel like I know what I am doing. I started off receiving the toughest professor for our studio class (I promise I am not exaggerating). In fact, by the end of the first month my entire class agreed that she was the hardest to please. However, the work our section produced was incredible.

I am happy to say that my other classes went great as well. I was taking Building Technologies, which helps me become a ‘safer’ architect, which follows regulations and code. In my Structural Systems class I learned how to make my building stand (although there is always going to be an engineer to help us). I learned how to analyze buildings and integrate this into my own design in Analysis. And last, but not least my team and I built a 9-foot column for our Special Topic: Forms of Making class.

I really enjoyed my third semester at Cornell! I cannot believe time went by so fast, but I plan to make the best of it!

Sincerely, Wendi

Hope to see you at a Cornell or class event in 2018!


Dale Lazar, President [Notable] Class of  ’74