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40th Reunion - June, 2004

See reunion photo gallery

We had such a wonderful time at what had to be one of the best 40th Cornell reunions ever! So many more of you came than we had dared hope would make it back to Ithaca and the weather was the best we have ever had for a reunion — picture perfect for our many outdoor venues. If visualizing for five years what turned out to be a perfect backdrop for our many unique class activities could have produced these results, we’ll sign up for that job for our 45th!

And with so many contacts made among friends over the months before reunion, with the help of our affinity chair, Ed Dealy, there was a wonderful spirit of renewal and reconnection throughout the weekend. So many of you have let us know what a fabulous weekend it was for you, as it was for us.

Enthusiasm for this reunion began early as many classmates approached us with ideas for what became a weekend filled with varied, stimulating, and fun activities. A large committee arrived on Tuesday evening at Risley Hall, including our decorations chair, Joanne Herron, to transform this historic grand dame into a beautiful, welcoming headquarters. Ginny Mai delivered armloads of pots of flowers on the hottest day of the summer. Bruce Wagner had prepared blow-ups of our graduation pictures and Bob Friedenson produced pictures of our arrivals on the spot. Linda Meltzer readied our pack-in-its-own-pocket red windbreakers/souvenirs—did you realize it does?--and our class president, Nancy Persily, welcomed every classmate and guest who arrived on Thursday. Other classmates served as warm greeters at headquarters and hosts at all of our events and meals.

Our meals were all excellent, starting with an Italian picnic dinner on Thursday evening. The welcoming class event of the weekend was later that evening: a multi-media presentation of the results of our more than slightly tongue-in-cheek class questionnaire sent to each of you before reunion. The results and presentation, designed by Bruce Wagner and Joan Melville, were hilarious and brought us together as we laughed at ourselves as we were forty years ago and are now.

Friday morning saw us at the Johnson Museum of Art for a reception and tour of the photography donated by our classmate, Thomas Mann, followed by our Class of ’64 Forum with Professor Karl Pillemer, arranged by Carolyn Neuman. Both Lenni Weitzman and Michael Wachter, professors themselves, spoke with us and stimulated thoughtful discussion.

At noon, with weather made to order for a hike, a large group left for Enfield, organized by Alice Friedenson and Barbara Attardi; others attended an AA&P Exhibit and Symposium, featuring six of our classmates.

As the afternoon waned and the sun shone magnificently over the lily pond at the Plantations, we gathered for a memorial service conducted by Rev. Alec Wendell on the Class of ’64 Pavilion, to remember our classmates who had passed away. Then Elizabeth and Hunter Rawlings joined us at our Western Barbecue under the tent at the Plantations, a wonderful event including banjo music, after which we hurried back to our headquarters tent for the best rock ‘n roll party on the hill. That and every evening, conversation lasted into the wee hours in our warm and comfortable lounges.

Saturday afternoon began with President Jeff Lehman’s favorite Cornell menu, a delicious picnic lunch, at Beebe Lake with President Lehman and his wife Kathy Okun attending. The a cappella group, Class Notes, sang and eight of our Class of ’64 JFK Award winners attended for their first actual meeting with one another and were honored by Scholarship Chair, Joan Melville.

After lunch, over 50 classmates joined Professor Rusten of the Classics Department for a discussion of the play Antigone, arranged and hosted by Nancy and Steve Einhorn; and later many others heard an update from Janet King on Our Health and Well-being.

Again, the weather was made to order for our cocktail party on Willard Straight’s Terrace overlooking Lake Cayuga. Between that and our Class Banquet in the Ivy Room, where the Hangovers serenaded us and we presented reunion athletic awards to our classmates, we squeezed together for our 40th Reunion Class Photo on the Straight’s steps.

Sunday morning we loved hearing the Sherwoods again, enjoyed brunch under the breezy Risley tent (where our windbreakers were in evidence, elected our new officers, and said our goodbyes, sadly, for another five years. (As we checked out at noon, showers and clouds moved over Ithaca! Many, however, are understandably making plans to return for CRC, the Continuous Reunion Club, next year. Five years is just too long to wait for a reprise of such a fabulous weekend!

Barbara Lutz Brim
Susan Mair Holden
Don McCarthy

40th Reunion Chairs