Check Out Our Notable Classmates; RED Talks at Reunion

Your 50th Reunion co-chairs Cris Cobaugh, Bob Baldini and I are catching our breath after a busy and stimulating reunion.  Over the summer we’ll highlight and share info on several special reunion events.

Borrowing from the idea behind the well-known TED Talks, we inaugurated Class of ’74 Reunion “RED Talks”. Fifteen Notable classmates each gave a presentation on a topic about which they are passionate.  Many of us wished we could attend more than one Talk!  Although these RED Talks were not recorded, you can learn more about our classmate presenters through the links. Here’s a rundown on a few Talks—we’ll share info on other RED Talks in future emails.

Evan Stewart ‘74, senior partner in a New York City law firm, spoke about Myron Taylor, namesake of the Cornell Law School building.  Evan recently published Myron Taylor: The Man Nobody Knew, and will soon publish The Worst Supreme Court Decisions, Ever!  Watch  another talk he gave about his book durning the Reunion weekend.

Angel Harper ‘74, Los Angeles-based actress, voice-over artist and studio teacher, spoke on “From Cornell to Tinseltown…Debunking the Hollywood Industry Myth.”  Angel shared her experiences in the glamorous (and sometimes not so glamorous) world of Hollywood and offered insights on the complexity of the production process for films, videos, theatre productions, and musical acts.

Bruce Mainzer ’74, a longtime Chicago-area resident who retired from the hospitality industry, shared a fascinating story about his mother and aunt, called “Fleeing the Nazis: A Journey of Two Sisters and the Hero Who Outwitted the Gestapo.”  Bruce spent several years doing research in the US, Israel and Europe as he pieced together the story of how his mother escaped Nazi-occupied Prague in 1939.

Julie Kane ‘74, poetry scholar, professor, and the former Poet Laureate of Louisiana, spoke about how poetry pervaded Cornell in the 1970’s and how her experiences on campus inspired a lifelong passion.

Jack Corrigan ’74, a Cleveland native, radio announcer for the Colorado Rockies, and previously the voice of the Cleveland Indians and the Cleveland Cavaliers, regaled classmates with tales of amazing plays he’s called, role models (think Vin Scully) he’s known, and players whom he’s covered in his 40-plus year broadcasting career.

Bert Bland ’74, Associate VP of Energy & Sustainability at Cornell, explained his work as project manager for the Cornell Borehole project.  Cornell has drilled 2 miles deep, near the site of the apple orchards, to understand the potential for using earth source heat/thermal energy to heat the Ithaca campus in winter.

These presentations were informative and great fun.  The best part was the ensuing discussions—the Class of ‘74 knows how to engage!  I can’t wait to see the RED Talk lineup for our 55th Reunion.

Finally, we need just 30 more gifts to Cornell to meet our 50th Reunion participation goal.  If you haven’t yet donated, please give any amount to any area at Cornell and put us over the top!  Please make your gift by June 30.

Hope your summer is off to a good start!

50th Reunion…Almost Finished

Our 50th Reunion in Ithaca earlier this month was a grand success!  Thanks to all of you who’ve sent photos, shared stories, passed along anecdotes, made suggestions, and sent notes of appreciation.  It really was special!

As the sun sets on our reunion year, we have just one more request to help us finish out our 50th Reunion year on a high note.  We are only 36 donors shy of our goal of having 774 classmates make a gift to Cornell.  There are only six days left until the June 30 deadline.

Will you help us reach our goal by making a gift today in any amount, to any part of Cornell that’s important to you?  It’s easy—just click here before June 30, 2024.

 Please consider a gift of $19.74.  Or $50.  Or any other amount.  Thank you in advance for your support!  And if you have already given–thank you!


Shelley Cosgrove DeFord

Your almost-but-not-quite-finished Class President

50th Reunion–What You Missed

Whether you made it to Cornell for our 50th Reunion or not, we want to share some of the weekend’s highlights with you.  Even if you were in Ithaca, you may have missed some events or just want to relive them.  I know I did, and I do!

Cornell Class of 1974 Reunion photo June 2024

Thursday night’s highlight was a wonderful talk by Cornell Historian Corey Earle ’07 in which he entertained our standing-room-only crowd with a look back at our time on the Hill.  Watch Corey’s slideshow here.

Friday’s Olin Lecture, a Cornell Reunion tradition since 1987, featured journalist Andrew Ross Sorkin ’99, on campus to celebrate his own 25th Reunion.  Watch that lecture here.

President Martha Pollack gave the State of the University Address on Saturday as is the custom on Reunion weekend.  This address, however, is President Pollack’s final address as our President.  Watch it here.

Saturday evening ended with the spectacular Cornelliana Night at Bailey Hall featuring the Cornell Alumni Chorus and Alumni Glee Club singing multiple Cornell songs, one of which included a special solo by our classmate Jay Spiegel.  The sing-along concert also featured a lively rendition of our Class of ’74 50th Reunion theme song Dancing in the Moonlight.

Please enjoy watching all of these.  And watch and rewatch our Class Slideshow.  Check in often to see the Reunion photos being posted daily by classmates on our Class Photo Site .  Password for these is notable.

Don’t forget to create or update your Memory Book page.  And there is still time to make that gift to Cornell to help us meet our goal—please do this by June 30.

Enjoy the memories and keep dancing in the moonlight!

50th Reunion Slideshow & Photos

What a fabulous Reunion weekend we just had!  We crushed the previously held record for 50th Reunion attendance as we Danced in the Moonlight!  Whether you made it to Ithaca for our 50th or were with us in spirit, please enjoy and relive the weekend through this wonderful slideshow made by classmate Bill Howard.  Watch here:  password is notable.

Bill is also busily uploading lots of photos from the weekend to our class photo site in the Reunion 2024 folder.  Please share yours with everyone here or email them to  Please include a brief caption with the photo.

Old and new friends have been texting and emailing and sharing their photos with each other.  You can share your photos with everyone in the class on social media (Instagram/Facebook/X-Twitter) by using the hashtags #Cornell74Reunion and #CornellReunion.

We will be sharing more about the weekend in the coming days and weeks but wanted to get our slideshow to you right away.  So stay tuned for more Reunion highlights.

We have a couple of requests.  Please complete your page in the Class of ’74 Memory Book.  Consider adding a Reunion photo or two to your page.  And we are so very close to reaching our 50th Reunion donor goal of 774.  We only need 52 more!  You can make a gift to any area in any amount here.

Thank you for making our 50th so special!

Time Flies

Fifty years ago this weekend we assembled in Barton Hall for our commencement—see the front page of the 1974 graduation edition of the Cornell Daily Sun below.  My memories of that day are not crystal clear, although I do remember clear skies and a lot of excitement—maybe because of what we had accomplished or perhaps of what awaited us (or both).

 Our classmate Barry Strauss, who was a guest columnist for the Sun in 1974 and is now a professor of history at Cornell, wrote this epilogue 50 years ago:  “[The Class of 74] is intellectual , but sometimes anti-intellectual  (remember booing Strom Thurmond?): tolerant and independent, friendly and unfriendly, rather skeptical, not very public spirited, but well-educated. Some of us will slip away from Cornell as easily as we slipped in. Some will pine for it for a year. Some will never leave.”











Most of us left, but many will return next week.  (Note: We’ve smashed the previous 50th Reunion attendance record held by the Class of ’59—but we have still have room for more!)  We will be greeted by a place that seems very familiar–the chimes still ring, the hills are still steep, the weather is unpredictable—but that is also very different.  Regardless of how Cornell has changed, it remains a place of unlimited possibilities.

If you can’t be on campus for the reunion, here are some ways you can participate virtually:

Register for the Virtual Reunion.

Join Corey Earle’s talk about our Years on the Hill–Thursday at 8pm EDT.

Listen in to WVBR which will be broadcasting live from our headquarters on Friday night, 9-11pm EDT.

Go to your Spotify account and search for “Cornell Class of 1974 50th Reunion” and listen to 10 hours of the best music ever made (selected by our classmates, including you!)

And of course you can participate by making a gift to something on campus that is important to you.

So here’s to our Alma Mater,

Momentous Times–Now and Then

Well, big things have been going on Far Above over the last couple of weeks:

  • President Martha Pollack announced her retirement effective June 30 of this year; Provost Mike Kotlikoff will be assuming the presidency through June 2025 and John Siliciano (Cornell ’75) will be Acting Provost.
  • The encampment on the Arts Quad was closed peacefully.
  • Thousands of students jammed on Slope Day under blue skies.
  • The University is preparing for its 156 Commencement this coming Saturday.  Nowadays, to accommodate all graduates, two separate but identical graduation ceremonies are held on Commencement Day, at 10am and 2:30pm.


Of course there are always things going on on campus!  If your memory is a bit hazy about events from our years, tune in, in person or via Zoom, to Corey Earle’s talk called A Look Back at the Notable Class of 74’s Time on the Hill, on Thursday night of Reunion, June 6 at 8:00pm EDT. If you can’t be in Ithaca, click here for Zoom instructions.

Friday night of Reunion, June 7, WVBR 93.5FM will be broadcasting around the world from our Headquarters at Ruth Bader Ginsburg Hall. Again, if you can’t be there in person, join remotely at  (Note: VBR still features Rockin’ Remnants and Bound for Glory—some things don’t change….)

Ribbon cutting ceremony–WVBR back in Collegetown at new headquarters on Buffalo Street–May 2014





Finally, there is still time to register for Reunion and to make a gift to Cornell to commemorate our 50th.

The Sun, The Moon and Our 50th Reunion

Cornell is back in session after “Spring” Break (which weather-wise felt like it was in January).  But the campus is beginning to show some spring color and you can feel the students’ sense of purpose to get things finished up in a short five weeks.








Looming academic deadlines did not stop everyone on campus from pausing for a couple of hours to witness the eclipse which was 98.8% totality in Tompkins County, albeit with cloud cover.  The last total eclipse in Ithaca, in 1925, was captured in this oil painting by Louis Agassiz Fuertes, Class of 1897.  Our Cornell Observatory, where we will be stargazing at Reunion, is named for Fuertes.  You can see this painting on Reunion weekend in Cornell’s Kroc Library.

While we did not have an eclipse during our time on the Hill, there were equally momentous occasions that we will celebrate at Reunion on June 6-9.

Registration for Class of ’74 events and housing is now open—just click here to register.

Plan on coming Thursday for a premier showing of a new movie with deep Cornell roots, The Artist & the Astronaut, (4:00pm Thursday), followed by a festival with food trucks, music, etc. on the Quad next to our headquarters in the new Ruth Bader Ginsburg Hall (you are going to like the rooms, coffee shop, etc.). Thursday night also features Cornell historian, Corey Earle ’07, giving a retrospective of Cornell in the early 1970’s (to jog our memories!).

Reunion enthusiasm is running high, so get your registration in (and send me your favorite 70’s song to be included in our Reunion playlist).

We are looking forward to seeing you in June!

Sharing & Creating Memories–Participate in our Class of ’74 Memory Book

To commemorate and celebrate our years at Cornell and the 50 years since, we are creating Cornell Class of ’74 Memory Book.  Whether you are joining our 50th Reunion in Ithaca, June 6-9, or just joining in spirit, we invite you to share your memories and your life experiences with our classmates.

Our Class of ’74 has engaged a platform, BrightCrowd, which has worked with other universities and Cornell classes during reunions to create these books of memories.  BrightCrowd helps classes make wonderful, and secure, memory books.

Each classmate has been invited to make their own page for this memory book.  You can share as much, or as little, as you like about yourself, your life, your family, your Cornell memories.  It’s very easy, flexible and fun and a great way to reconnect and connect with classmates.  You can upload fun old and new photos.  You can continue to work on your page until well after our Reunion in June because you will surely be making new memories and new friends that weekend!

Your invitation to participate in this book will comes via email.  If you haven’t received one that means we don’t have a good email for you.  Please contact one of us with a working email and we will get you your invitation.

Your invitations will comes with detailed instructions.  But feel free to send any one of us your questions and we will do our best to answer questions as quickly as possible.

We look forward to seeing you in the Cornell ’74 Memory Book and at our 50th Reunion in Ithaca, June 6-9, 2024.

Marleen Kay Davis, Memory Book Co-Chair,

Diane “Kope” Verschure, Memory Book Co-Chair,

Shelley Cosgrove DeFord, Class President, 

50th Reunion Update

Dancing in the Moonlight: Our Notable Class at 50

Let’s celebrate!

Look forward to Reunion favorites and our special events:

  • Class headquarters is in Ruth Bader Ginsburg Hall—a new residential complex on North Campus. No hills! Enjoy all-day Novick’s Café in RBG for lattes, bubble tea, and snacks.
  • Thursday evening Class of ’74 Food and Fun Festival—food trucks, music, hula hoops, and popcorn.
  • “Small Talks” by ’74 classmates and faculty—authors, a winemaker, a genealogist, an antiques expert—and “Small Tours” of Cornell Botanic Gardens, Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the earth source heat borehole, and the Cornell Fashion + Textile Collection.
  • Live music from WVBR, featuring classmates playing old and new faves, and video highlights of our class, classmates, and Cornell in the ’70s.
  • It’s our 50th! Yikes! You don’t want to miss this Reunion.

Ready to make travel arrangements?

Wonderful! Thinking of staying off-campus? Visit the university Reunion lodging page for information on local hotels. On-campus housing reservations can be made as part of your Reunion registration in early April. Residence halls open at noon on Thursday and check-out is noon on Sunday. We’ll offer a variety of Reunion package and pricing options to flexibly accommodate attendee schedules.

Full registration details will arrive to you in late March/early April.


Contact John Foote ’74,, 617-833-7252

50th Reunion Affinity Outreach

It’s our big 50 and we have a great team reaching out to classmates to encourage everyone to attend the Reunion and to participate in our Memory Book.  Mary “Mi” O’Connell and Diane “Kope” VerSchure are leading this effort and have engaged these classmates as Affinity Leaders.  See Affinity Leaders below.  Please feel free to reach out to Mary or Diane for contact information for your Affinity Leader.

Scott, Mr. Walter C. Baseball – Manager
Bogden, Dr. Christopher A. Crew Lightweight – Team Member
Levy, Mr. Andrew P. Fencing Men – Team Members
Kowalik, Mr. Joseph Thomas Jr. Football 150 – Team Members
Corrigan, Mr. John J. Football Varsity – Team Member
Russell, Mr. David W. Golf – Team Members
Seabury, Dr. Chuck Ward Gymnastics Men – Captains
Marrett, Mr. Douglas G. Hockey Men – Captains
Smith, Mary Ellen Hockey Women Ice – Team Member
Clifford, Mr. Richard H. Lacrosse Men – Team Members
Will, Mrs. Carolyn Gregg (Gregg) Lacrosse Women – Team Members
Shapiro, Mr. Len J. (Shapiro) Polo Men – Team Members
Swanson, Mr. Robert L. Jr. Sailing Men & Women – Team Mem
Dremluk, Mr. Robert W. Soccer Men Team Members
Pilarz, Mr. Michael Soccer Men Team Members
Freerks, Mr. Stan A. Swimming Men – Team Members
Kaplan, Mr. Peter D. Tennis Men – Team Members
Bob Oelschlager Track
Burmeister, Mr. Paul Andrew Wrestling – Team Members
Mike Delikat Alpha Epsilon Pi Fraternity
Bernstein, Mr. Andrew N. Alpha Epsilon Pi Fraternity
Willis, Ms. Donna D. (Degarmo) Alpha Phi Sorority
Stewart, Mr. Bob V. Alpha Sigma Phi Fraternity
Malchoff, Mr. Kevin R. Alpha Zeta Fraternity
Currier, Mr. Robert G. Chi Psi Fraternity
Perry Jacobs Chi Psi Fraternity
Denning, Dr. Karen Craft (Craft) Delta Delta Delta Sorority
Johnson, Ms. Barbara P. Delta Gamma Sorority
Groen, Mr. Fred H. III Delta Tau Delta Fraternity
Walter Grote Delta Upsilon
Langley, Mr. Dennis J. Delta Upsilon Fraternity
Moore, Ms. Elizabeth A. Kappa PSI Sorority
Stechschulte, Mrs. Jodi Sielschott (Sielschott) Kappa PSI Sorority
Keith Kennedy Kappa Sigma Fraternity
Selig, Mr. Stanley H. Kappa Sigma Fraternity
Chip Conradi Phi Gamma Delta
Frank Herron Phi Gamma Delta
Eric Darmstaedter Phi Gamma Delta
Seabury, Dr. Chuck Ward Phi Kappa Psi
Quain, Dr. Bill J. Phi Sigma Kappa
Hintsa, Mrs. Moira Hearne (Hearne) Pi Beta Phi
Andrew Alper Pi Lambda Phi
Bell, Mr. Bruce A. Sigma Alpha Epsilon
Dictor, Mr. Robert J. Sigma Alpha Epsilon
Howard, Mr. Walter Q. Sigma Alpha Epsilon
Grimshaw, Mr. John S. Sigma Chi
Robert Rippe Sigma Phi Epsilon
Jim Schoonmaker Sigma Phi Epsilon
Peter Muth Sigma Pi
Moutner, Mr. David N. Tau Epsilon Phi
Wind, Mr. Jack Jay Tau Kappa Epsilon
Stewart, Charles Evan Esq. Theta Delta Chi
Merri Lloyd Cornell Women’s Chorus
Evan Stewart Cayuga’s Waiters
Bill Welker (’73) Glee Club
Betsy Beach Sage Chapel Choir
Dale Lazar Big Red Band
Brundage, Mr. Danny CBAA
Alexander, Renee T. Cornell Black Alumni Associat
John Foote Quill & Dagger
Al Van Ranst Sphinx Head
Jim Schoonmaker WVBR
Bill Howard Cornell Daily Sun
Mi O’Connell Ithaca High
Doug Swenson Architects
Kristen Rupert Straight Desk
Beth Aaronson Risley
Bonni Schulman Duthcer Dickson
Alice Brown Boldt Hall
Claudia Benack U Halls
Stanley Selig U Hall #5
Jim Schoonmaker U Halls #4