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55th Reunion - June 2019

What a great time!
Click to see the Reunion Photo Gallery

What a great Reunion! Weather, classmates, our class-organized programs, University forums and events, parties, bus and walking tours of campus, special musical events... Nothing was not first rate, our 120 or so co-celebrants and their guests all agreed. Here are some highlights.

The perfect weather facilitated getting reacquainted with the campus, beginning with a bus tour that that pointed out new and re-purposed buildings. We also were treated to a two-hour(!) architectural tour of the Arts Quad that revealed all manner of intricate details about the various structures, including the fact that most buildings were designed with not one but two stately front facings, to be admired both from within the Quad and approaching the Quad from the Town of Ithaca.

We were quartered in the new-ish Alice Cook House, which is near the very bottom of the campus, which replaced the now-demolished  University Halls. All the main attractions were  uphill from us, but we didn't have to worry: our very helpful student clerks would drive small groups of us up the hill when we could not wait for the next loop bus. The youngsters otherwise kept our headquarters organized and us well-supplied with food, snacks and drinks.

Music was a highlight. The Cornell Glee Club celebrated its 150th anniversary by giving a concert. Cornelliana  Night was full of fun and Cornell songs. The chorus sang at the annual memorial services on Friday afternoon, the Tower chimes concert played as we entered the Straight for our Friday night dinner, and the Sherwoods performed at our Saturday banquet. Peter Yarrow '59, there for his 60th Reunion, reminisced instead of singing for an hour Friday morning.

Friday afternoon, Stephen Hadley '69, former national security advisor, was the Olin Lecture speaker. Hadley appeared in Bailey Hall with former eight-term New York Congressman Steve Israel, a non-alum who now heads Cornell's Institute of Politics and Global Affairs. During the question-and-answer segment at the end of the formal discussion, our classmate and renowned Associated Press journalist Edie Lederer elicited applause when she said she was Class of '64, even before she made her insightful question and comment. Ken Kupchak reported that Phi Kappa Psi fraternity brother Hadley even stopped by the house as part of his 50th Reunion.

Cindy Wolloch put together a very special JFK Memorial Award panel for Friday morning about the Award's past impact on recipients' lives and the future Award process. The speakers included three pre-planned panelists (Jared Genser '95, Katie Dealy Polansky '00, and Phil Caruso '08) and two drop-ins who were previous Award recipients (Ilan Zherka '89 and Sam Ritholtz '14). Cindy also published a wonderful book, updated since the 50th Reunion, about the history of our class award, with current bios of all our grantees from 1965 to 2019. Books were available at Reunion, but if you contact Cindy she can arrange to get you one.

Much time of course was spent with classmates we knew during our undergrad years and getting to know ones we had not met. Unofficial class photographer Bob Friedenson showed a video he put together of our 50th Reunion, plus snippets of our 55th, all on a large projection screen at our headquarters. Pat Lee traveled the farthest for Reunion, coming from Malaysia; Ken Kupchak placed second, hailing from his home in Oahu, HI. Carolyn Stewart Whitman and her Reunion Committee did a wonderful job organizing and executing our 55th.

Following Sunday breakfast, we elected our class officers for the next five years.

Bev Johns (and Jim) Lamont
Class Correspondent

(Adapted from the Cornell Alumni Magazine class column, Sept/Oct 2019)