2006 Post-Reunion Report               


The rain came, the skies were gray and the temperature descended. A note on our Reunion Headquarters door Saturday morning read, “Temperature 40 F – Feels like 37!”  The enthusiasm and warmth of 262 classmates and spouses were more than a match for Mother Nature though and our spirits rose to the occasion.  In all, 164 classmates attended surpassing last year’s 45th mark of 148 for the class of ’60.  Our group was housed at the North Townhouses complete with air-conditioning, although this was never, in fact, verified!


A host of events and lectures were on the schedule with some notable highlights.  Friday Afternoon a reception for Cornell contributors took place at the Statler School of Hotel Administration. The Hotel School students outdid themselves with creative hors d’oeuvres and guided tours through their labs.  Newly elected president David Skorton attended and comfortably greeted the contributors as though he had already been at Cornell for a long time.  President Hunter Rawlings was also in attendance along with our own Peter Meinig ‘61.  The atmosphere was upbeat and positive, a marked change from a year earlier.   Our class dinner was also held at the Statler with fine food, companionship and Johnny Russo’s dance band.  Saturday morning, Glen Altschuler PhD ’76, presented “All Shook Up? Cornell in the Not-So-Nifty Fifties” at Baker Hall.  In addition to a nostalgic trip to the past he also tested our memories with the rallying cry “Dean Mallot should be shot!”… Not so nifty.


Our Class of ’61 picnic went off without a hitch in the Johnson Art Museum Tent despite challenging weather conditions.  On cue, the Hangovers materialized at the end of the meal to regale us with their current a cappella selections.  Their performance was terrific and confirmed by the applause of the group and the curtain calls.  One also reflects on the energy of youth that we’d like to recapture ourselves.   Following, we collectively trooped outside for the obligatory class picture.  Miraculously the skies parted and the sun shone for a brief ten minutes, enough for a good picture before the gray skies descended for the remainder of the weekend.


Alice Cook House hosted our Saturday reception and dinner.  I believe the slogan “bring enough shrimp and they will come” is appropriate.  Following dinner we staggered onto buses to Bartels Hall and Cornelliana Night.  The program was rich in nostalgia, recognition and great music.  President-elect Skorton attended accompanied by his wife Robin Davisson.

The program concluded with the Men’s Choral Group led, on bended knee,

by our own Jon Greenleaf serenading her with “Good Night Little Girl, Goodnight” an old Cornell chestnut but a sincere and endearing welcome to her and to her new home on The Hill.  After the Alma Mater and some moist eyes the group retreated to Reunion Headquarters for wicked ice cream sundaes for those with the courage and capacity.


Sunday morning broke gray, wet, and cold…again.  Fortunately breakfast was in the adjacent tent and gratefully, the coffee was hot.  Class President Marshall Frank presided over the business meeting recognizing the many members that contributed to our reunion success.  Frank Cuzzi then proposed a slate of officers for the next five years for the Class of ’61.  The nominated candidates were unanimously approved as follows:

President:                               Marshall Frank

Treasurer:                              Walt Cottrell


Exec. VP, Contacts:                David Kessler

Exec. VP – The Desert:           Dick Tatlow

Exec. VP – Cornell Fund:        Bill Eaton


Vice Presidents:                      Peter Greenberg

                                             Sue Lewis

                                             Jon Greenleaf

                                             Ginny Clark

                                             Irene So

                                             Gail MacDougall


 Reunion Co-Chairs:               Carol Franklin

                                             Pauline Degenfelder

                                             Neil Goldberger

                                             Gary Hellinger

                                             Doug Uhler


Web Master:                           Larry Wheeler


Additionally, many new Class Advisors have been appointed.  In the interest of space they are too many to be cited here.  A complete listing will be provided on the Class Stationary in the next Class Letter circulated to all classmates. [A complete listing is also available on the Class Officers page of this website.]


The Class of 1961, under the leadership of Bill Eaton, contributed $10,552,150 this reunion year with a total participation of 53% and 564 donors. The class has done a terrific job and our hats are off to Bill for his outstanding performance.


Several memorable moments come to mind of events and people occurring throughout reunion.  First, the Longest Distance Traveled to Cornell Award almost certainly belongs to Larry and Rose Bortles.  They journeyed from the Philippines to Seattle where they picked up a car and drove to the campus.  This couple shows a real desire to be part of the ’61 crowd.  Announced at our formal banquet was the wedding anniversary of John Sobke and wife Marilyn.  Forty years to the date, John and Marilyn tied the knot.  Champagne was on ice at Reunion Headquarters to celebrate the occasion.  Finally, Mort Hodin was spied at the final breakfast wearing a familiar Carnelian Blazer.  When asked if this was his original Freshman Blazer he answered positively and, indeed, he looked just as trim forty-nine years later.  Congratulations Mort.


Doug Fuss