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45th Reunion - June, 2009

From beginning to end, the 45th Reunion was a big success. Thanks to all who planned, helped out and attended! 

The weather was glorious — mid-70s and sunny — and the campus looked great. We had a fine turnout of 185, including 120 classmates. Great appreciation goes to Nancy Taylor Butler and Susan Boxer Klein for organizing the affinity calls to encourage attendance. 

Volunteers set up our headquarters at the new William Keeton House, at the West Campus site of the old University Halls, at the bottom of Libe Slope. (What an improvement!) And transportation up the Hill worked out very well, with dedicated buses for every event. Classmate and Ithacan Carolyn Chauncey Neuman came early to set up an extensive display of class memorabilia, which will become part of our archived history at the University Library. In addition, Carolyn helped install two huge murals featuring events from our era and photos of classmates at past reunions, which also will be archived. These photo murals were donated by classmate Alix Schneeberg Beeney and her husband Craig, who created them in their graphics studio. Please plan to enjoy them at our 50th, if you missed this reunion. 

Arts Quad

Part of photo mural created by Alix Schneeberg

Carolyn Stewart Whitman and Steve Whitman ably directed our staff of five clerks, who were the best examples of Cornell undergrads we could hope for. And both Linda Cohen Meltzer and Barbara Lutz Brim assisted with registration. In addition, Linda helped with selecting and ordering souvenirs, and served as our wise financial advisor. Bruce Wagner filled so many roles that we only mention a few: he was our webmaster, graphics designer, and JFK Award video editor, among other things. Bruce also worked with Don Allen on publicity. 

Susan Mair Holden coordinated the delicious meals, beginning with a cocktail reception Thursday evening at the glorious new Lab of Ornithology. Sapsucker Woods never looked so good. A Lab official introduced us to the building and the birds. We then dined at the Country Club of Ithaca, and exchanged reminiscences of our days on the Hill followed by a rousing chorus of the Alma Mater and closing with the Evening Song as the sun set outside the windows. 

Friday morning we were treated to an inspirational review of “lessons learned” by Professor and University Trustee — and most importantly, Cornell parent — Ronald Ehrenberg. Professor Ehrenberg addressed questions about his experience as a parent of a Cornell student who earned his degree despite multiple physical challenges, as well as his expertise in economics and university funding. 

Classmates enjoyed many University-sponsored events Friday afternoon. Classmate Beverly Feinberg-Moss planned and led at tour of Weill Hall, the new life sciences research center. 

We regrouped for cocktails and a visit with President David Skorton at the Johnson Museum of Art on Friday afternoon. His insights, humor and obvious love for Cornell and Cornellians made a wonderful impression. We dined at Keeton House and were addressed by Peter Meinig, chairman of the Cornell Board of Trustees. In addition, Dean Jefferson Cowie of Keeton House, and Professor Ehrenberg, joined us for dinner. 

A showing of a superb video about the 45-year history of our JFK Award topped off the evening hosted by award chair Joan Melville. She, Cindy Wolloch, who did all the interviews, and producer Bruce Wagner deserve hearty thanks and congratulations for a production that will also become part of our class archives and we hope will be shown often in the future. The video featured contributions made by past Awardees, including a lawyer/rights activist, an NGO founder and president, a mental health researcher, a prisoner advocate and an AIDS activist. Joan introduced this year’s awardee, Amy McKlindon ‘09, who graciously thanked the class for the award and our interest. 

After breakfast Saturday morning, Dean Cowie, the resident head of Keeton House as well as an ILR professor, explained how this living facility and the other four houses on West Campus operate as a popular alternative to Greek house or apartment living. Many faculty members spend time with residents of these houses, which feature many informal educational and social opportunities. 

Our picnic at the Cornell Plantations was great fun because the food was good, the weather was great and the Sherwoods entertained. And how entertaining they were! The Sherwoods alumni come back each year, and we were privileged to have two of our classmates among them, Paul Reading and John Perrine. The highlight was Paul’s serenade of classmate Barbara Brim. Paul’s mock-seriousness was hysterical, and everyone enjoyed it almost as much as Barbara did! Another highlight of the picnic was the opportunity to recognize and applaud classmate Lynn Friedhoff Feigenbaum, who returned to Ithaca this spring to finish the few credits she needed to finally get her degree. What an accomplishment! 

Saturday night featured an elegant reception and dinner in an engineering building. Sounds incongruous? But the four-story atrium of the Duffield Hall provided a beautiful setting for dinner and recognition of the volunteers who made it all happen by outgoing class president Janet Spencer King and co-chair Mary Cantor Hammer

After Sunday brunch and a brief remembrance of classmates no longer with us, we formally elected the slate of officers for the next five years, headed by new president, Susan Mair Holden

We all look forward to the 50th! 

Mary Cantor Hammer
Arnie Hammer
Stan Morgenstein
45th Reunion Chairs