Dear ’61 Classmates:
What a great 45th
Reunion we had, thanks to the presence of so many of our class! We had 264
attendees from as far away as the Philippines (Larry and Rose
We were honored to have both Interim-President Hunter Rawlings
and incoming President David Skorton, along with their charming wives, as our
guests at our Thursday evening reception and buffet dinner. After mingling
and speaking with many of us informally, both men spoke to the assembled group
in the Sage Hall Atrium about their hopes and expectations for Cornell.
Classmate and Chairman of the Board of Trustees. Peter Meinig, introduced
Dr. Skorton; Reunion Co-Chair Peter Greenberg introduced Dr. Rawlings; and
Co-Chair Sue Lewis emceed the evening.
Our class headquarters in the North Campus Townhouses worked well,
despite the chilly and damp weather. Each day many classmates used the
gathering space for extended conversations with old and new friends.
Friday evening we were treated to a slide-show by Ian Wetherly, who
entertainingly narrated his collection of photos from our four years on
campus. Cries of “There’s [so-and-so]” rang out, as most in the room
participated in trying to identify places and faces on the screen.
was decorated with memorabilia, geraniums (red), and new sculptures by Charlie
Hecht. Popcorn, soda, fruit, cheese & wine were evidently greatly
enjoyed, and the student clerks kept the room ready and welcoming. Breakfasts in the outdoor tent were a chilly challenge, but everyone managed to
squeeze indoors, and it worked out. The ice cream social with scarves and hats
was a sight to behold. Good sports all!
Many classmates spent Friday
reacquainting themselves with the campus and using the campus maps to identify
new buildings. The Olin Lecture that afternoon which many of us attended
featured Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl Wu Dunn ’81, speaking about China, oil, and
the tragic situation in Darfur. (By our 50th Reunion, university events
will be held in the completely re-built Bailey Hall, rather than in Bartels Hall
where we sat on bleachers or folding chairs.) Friday evening our dinner
was an extravaganza at the Statler Ballroom, with some folks cutting up on the
dance floor to Johnny Russo’s band.
Saturday morning we enjoyed hearing Dr. Glenn
Altschuler’s reminiscences and opinions in his guest lecture, “All Shook Up?
Cornell in the Not-So-Nifty Fifties.” From there we walked or rode to Bartels
Hall for the State of the University Address by Hunter Rawlings, who was warmly
greeted and resoundingly applauded at this, his final address as Interim
Following a picnic lunch in a tent next to the Johnson Art
Museum and our class photo, some classmates descended on the campus store for
gifts and extra sweatshirts for themselves. At the Tower Club and Giving Society
Reception at Statler that afternoon, we could take a tour of the kitchen and
watch the hors d’oeuvres being prepared. Our class reception and dinner
were at the Alice Cook House, the first of several planned west campus dorms
with a resident professor and special programs.
Sunday morning it was
warm enough for our final breakfast and class meeting in the tent, with closing
entertainment by Cayuga’s Waiters. New reunion chairs were announced for our
50th: Pauline Degenfelder, Carol Franklin, Neil Goldberger, Gary
Hellinger and Doug Uhler. If you want to help with the planning, you can
reach them through our class website: www.Cornell61.org
It was great to see all of you, and we thank
everyone who participated with the Class of 1961 this past year, whether you
attended reunion, paid your class dues, made a gift, or did all
three. We send a special thanks too, to all those who
helped us with the reunion planning and whose efforts made it a fun and
See you at the 50th!
Ginny Clark, Sue Lewis,
Peter Greenberg, and Jon Greenleaf