Welcome to the Alumni Class of 1955




  • Information on the Inauguration of Cornell's new president has now been posted.
  • May - June Class Notes are posted.  Click on the Class Notes link in HOT LINKS!
  • We are sorry to report that Anne Morrissy Merick died May 2, but her story as the first female reporter in several venues, starting at Cornell, has been shared with us as part of her obituary.  It is on the Community Tab and makes very interesting reading.


February 2 – 3, 2017

Michael Avery, Phil Harvey and Eva Ray attended CALC which was held in Baltimore at the Renaissance Harborplace Hotel in Baltimore. Approximately 600 alumni, students, staff and guests attended.

Some highlights of the conference;

  • Marshall and Roanna Franks ’61 were named as the Vanneman Outstanding Class Leaders. This award had been given since 2005 in honor of Bill Vanneman ’31.  Both have been deeply involved in their class and Cornell. Bill is a lifetime Cornell Council member and president of his class, co-chair of the last three reunion campaigns, CACO and Hillel board member and 55th reunion registration chair. Joanna is a member of her Class Council and co-chaired their 35th reunion, served as President on the Human Ecology Alumni Association board, also served on the Cornell University Council and the President’s Council of Cornell Women. 
  • The 2017-2019 Cornell Association of Class Officers (CACO) board members were approved at their annual Board meeting.
  • An outstanding panel of students, led by Ryan Lombardi, VP for Student and Campus life, discussed Diversity and Inclusion: Using Student Voices to Inform Institutional Priorites. This has always been one of the highlights of CALC.
  • Avery, Harvey and Ray held a class executive committee meeting and discussed multiple topics; class finances, dues payers, responsibilities of Class Council members, condolence cards to deceased classmate families, regional classmate events, 65th reunion cost and Annual giving committee.  Notes from this meeting are posted in HOT LINKS!

 Meet your Ex-President

of the Class of ’55, that is…

For over 25 years, Fred Antil, former president of the Class of 1955, has been researching and studying Abraham Lincoln, our 16th President. He has visited every place Lincoln lived or spent a lot of time and possesses an impressive  library concerning Lincoln.

Fred has shared his knowledge of Lincoln, dressed as you see above, with hundreds of varied audiences, from school children to many adult groups. Lincoln served his country as president for slightly more than four years but Fred served our class as president for ten years.


University Health Center now Cornell Health

At our 60th Reunion, the Class of 1955 made a $100,000 contribution to remodeling and enhancement of the University Medical Health Center (formerly Gannett) which will provide medical services to the students at Cornell. This was due, in part, to the generous contribution by our fellow classmate, Peter Schluter. 

Of particular interest is a name change which has taken place, from University Medical Health Center to Cornell Health.  At the end of March, its website will be launched: health.cornell.edu, and you will be able to gain more information on what services will be furnished and when these will be available.  

Construction has also been moving along.  The Ho Plaza main entrance will open in July.  For questions about these changes or construction progress, contact Sharon Dittman (sd14@cornell.edu)

Pollack Inauguration Planned for August 25

The two-day celebration will be held on the Ithaca campus Aug. 24-25. Public events are free and require no registration.

A Festival of Scholarship will open the proceedings, Aug. 24, 4:30-6 p.m. in the atrium of the Physical Sciences Building.  This will include students in the inauguration and will feature the breadth of Cornell’s student scholarship. Guests will have the opportunity to interact with undergraduate, graduate and professional students as they share their academic projects in an informal setting.

An academic symposium, “Universities and the Search for Truth,” will follow, 6:30-8 p.m. in Bailey Hall. This faculty panel discussion will explore the ways in which people assess and communicate information, as well as the role of universities in those activities.

The main event, Pollack’s installation ceremony, will take place Aug. 25, 2-4 p.m. The procession will start at Ho Plaza and make its way to the Arts Quad. University leadership, faculty and delegates representing other universities will process. All living past presidents of Cornell are planning to attend: Frank H.T. Rhodes, Hunter Rawlings, Jeffrey Lehman ’77 and David Skorton. Robert Harrison ’76, chair of the Cornell Board of Trustees, will oversee the installation ceremony.

The official inauguration website is now available.  Click HERE.

To read a Q & A with our new president click on the following link:


Class of '55 LogoNews and Dues 


Fellow Classmates,

It’s that time of year again and what a year this has been. We, first of all, want to thank you for your past support of our “great” class. Secondly, we are asking you to continue that support. Enclosed is a dues card that provides multiple options for your class dues payment for the fiscal year 2017 – 18. As you can see the dues amount has not changed even though the cost to our class for Cornell Alumni Magazine (CAM) increased by $3.00. Please complete and mail as instructed.

It is important to remember that your dues payment is not a gift to Cornell, but support for class initiatives and priorities. These funds support CAM, if you have chosen to receive it and/or the Class of ’55 financial account. As we mentioned in our letter of March 2016, your dues, over the years, have provided support to many and varied initiatives; two student scholarship programs, contribution to the Class of 2005 and to the Vanneman ’31 Ivy Award Fund, as well as a $100,000 contribution to naming of a location in honor of our class at the remodeled Gannett to be called University Health. This is scheduled to be completed this year and our class of 1955 name will forever be seen by Cornell students as they utilize this modern health facility.

Much has been going on with your class officers and council:

  • As was held last year a class lunch will again be held in Florida and one in California has been added. Our classmate hosts, Ron Ganeles (Rganel@aol.com) and Bill Laube (billlaube1@yahoo.com) are handling these arrangements. Please contact them if you have any interest in attending. Also, you may wish to contact our Vice-Presidents, Carol Byron (carbyron@comcast.net) or Bill Doerler (wdoerler1@aol.com) for information on how to plan these lunches.
  • Our class financial position is still strong with funds of a little of over $25,000. It is expected to continue to be strong as we head to our 65th reunion, enabling us to keep the cost of this reunion reasonable to assure a maximum number of our classmates will attend. 
  • We are truly looking ahead to our 65th and ways to lessen classmates’ financial cost since our headquarters will be at the Statler Hotel in 2020. Initially, we have set the classmate attendance record for the 45th, 50th, 55th and 60th Reunions. So we hope that we can continue this record that no other past Reunion classes have achieved.
  • Our website has been revitalized and we will adding new and interesting features to communicate to our classmates. You will find current information about class events as well as financial and class statistical information. It is our plan to keep much of the information on this site as current as possible. If you haven’t, please logon to http://classof55.alumni.cornell.edu.
  • We have established a new Honorary Class Council position for two classmates, Ginny Panzer and Peter Schluter, who have made major contributions to our class and Cornell.

As we have said in the past, we feel honored to represent the Cornell Class of 1955 and look forward to working with all of you in the coming year. Please contact us if you have any questions or suggestions as to how we can maintain the excellence of the Class of 1955.

Michael J.Avery Phillip S. Harvey
(434) 985-4717 (610) 357-9655
avery5109@comcast.net harvey1933@verizon.net 


See more, know more - click on Hot Links! a quick way to get information


Executive Committee Meeting Notes -  These are the minutes from a meeting held during the CALC session February 2-3 attended by Co-Presidents Michael Avery and Phil Harvey, and Secretary Eva Ray in Baltimore, MD.

Treasurer's Report - Our Q3 financial statement for the fiscal year 2016-17 is now posted.

Class Notes - Read news and memories from 1955ers starting with the May, 2016 issue of the Alumni News.  These are the same notes that appear in the alumni magazine, but now they can be both read and searched.

Numbers-Numbers-Numbers - Interesting class statistics with comparison to previous year.

Class Constitution - updated April 2017 to include new duties of Class Council members.

CACO on Facebook  -  this link takes you to (surprise!) the CACO (Cornell Alumni Class Officers) Facebook page.  You'll find news of what's happening on campus as well as links to games and other interesting options.  You can become a member or not - it's a public site - but joining gives you a bit more access to the page's capabilities.  Give it a try!

In Memorium - in memory of classmates who had passed away this year.  The link will take you to the Community Tab.  Scroll down to see the list.

The Good Old Days - Our class history copied from our 1955 graduation yearbook's look back at our four years at Cornell.  It's a fun read.

Cornell Daily Sun: Then and Now - The current of the Sun can be seen by clicking the link at the left.  If you want to search the digital archive, click Sun Archive.


Class Officers

Mike Avery

Phillip S. Harvey    

Co-Vice Presidents     
Carol Rittershausen Byron    

Bill Doerler

Daniel Krouner     

Eva Konig Ray     

Class Correspondent     
Nancy Savage Petrie     



Eva Konig Ray    

Class Correspondent     
Nancy Savage Petrie     


-Class Council-  

Rex Boda

Ron Ganales

Bill Laube

Nils Nordberg




 *Honorary Members
     of Class Council

*Ginny Panzer
*Peter Schluter


Website Editor
Jan Kunz