Welcome to the Alumni Class of 1948



Bob's 3-Generation Ride for Literacy

Our former class president "Biker Bob" McKinless achieved a new milestone by riding his bike 300 miles with his son and grandson. And no, that's not a Harley, but a human-powered bike. Click the following link to read the story in Bob's fraternity newsletter:

1948 Scholarship Fund1948 Scholarship Fund

The 1948 Scholarship Fund was established in 1998. In case you do not recall, this scholarship was established to be awarded to children of Cornell staff members. Total donors to date are 514, and the latest fund figures are shown below.

Book value as of June 30, 2014:  $220,345

Market value as of June 30, 2014:  $260,675

Estimated payout for fiscal year 2015:  $11,551

This Scholarship Fund is invested with the Long-term Cornell investment pool.


Profile of Our Scholarship Recipients

Class of 1948 Scholarship 2014-2015
Talia Lewis '18
College of Arts and Sciences

Talia is originally from Owego, New York. Although her major as a freshman is undeclared, Talia intends to teach astronomy and physics after earning her degree.

Dear Class of 1948,

I am writing to express my sincere gratitude to you for making the Class of 1948 Scholarship possible. I was honored to learn of my selection for this award and I am deeply appreciative of your support.

I am from the town of Owego, New York, about 40 minutes south of Ithaca. My mother works in the IT department here at the University, as an Applications Programmer. She is a large part of the reason I chose to attend Cornell; the amount of time I spent here with her over the past few years made me want to be a part of this community. I am currently planning to major in Astronomy in the College of Arts and Sciences, with a minor in Education, in the hopes of becoming a secondary school teacher. I plan to join the Cornell Astronomical Society, Roteract community service club, and a Christian club on campus. Over the summer I work as a lifeguard at my local pool and as a Teacher's Assistant at Kopernik Observatory and Science Center, which inspired my love of teaching. I plan to study abroad my junior year, and I'll be starting my search for jobs and internships on campus next semester.

Thank you again for your generosity and support. I plan to work very hard in order to become a teacher and provide support to students like my teachers have given me, and your contribution will help me achieve this goal.

Talia Lewis
5254 Balch Hall, Cornell University
Ithaca, New York   14853

Class of 1948 Scholarship 2012-2013
Shishir Nair '16
College of Arts and Sciences

Shishir graduated from Ithaca High School. His mother is a Public Service assistant at Olin Library and his father is a manager at the Statler Hotel. Shishir's major is undeclared.

To: The Class of 1948:

    Thank you for your generous award from the Class of 1948 scholarship program. Your support is helping me reach my goal of graduating in 2016 with a bachelor's degree in Computer Science.

    My family moved to New York from India ten years ago. As an immigrant, I cherish the opportunities that living in this country offers to me. In high school, I developed a passion for science and technology through my experience on my local FIRST robotics team. After taking a few programming classes as well, I decided that this was something I'd like to study in college and ultimately pursue as a career. This semester I am gaining valuable experience working as a laboratory operator for CIT. Academic success is very important to both me and my family and with the resources available to me I know it is something I can certainly attain.

    I greatly appreciate the time and generosity you have put in to offering me this scholarship. It is another great example of the assistance and resources with which Cornell presents its students and I am extremely honored to be part of such an institution.

   Again, thank you for your award. I hope to one day help others, as you have helped me when I needed your financial support.

    With gratitude,
    Shishir S. Nair

Class of 1948 Scholarship 2004-2008
Renee Thomas '08

Renee Thomas was our recipient from 2004-2008. She attended our 60th Reunion Banquet to tell us of her experiences at Cornell. This letter is to bring us up to date on her goals.

    Dear Ms. Pearson,

    I am writing because I wanted to thank you and the Class of 1948 again for providing me with a scholarship during my undergraduate studies at Cornell University. Your support meant a lot to me and has helped me to achieve my career goals. I thought I would send you a brief update on what I have been doing since graduating form Cornell in May 2008. I hope that all is going well for you.

    I am currently finishing my Ph.D. studies in organic chemistry at the California Institute of Technology, and I will graduate with my Ph.D. this June [2013]. I have enjoyed doing research in the area of olefin metathesis, a chemistry reaction that won my research advisor the Nobel Prize in chemistry back in 2005. I have worked on further developing the catalysts that he discovered for this reaction, with one of the applications targeted at improved selectivity of the catalysts for use in pharmaceutical drug synthesis. Another application of new catalysts that we designed is their ability to convert plant oils to valuable chemicals used in many commercial products that are typically derived from petroleum sources, thus providing a more environmentally friendly way to make these products.

    During my time here in Pasadena, I have also valued volunteering at the Los Angeles County hospital, where I have felt able to serve and give back to my community. The county hospital primarily serves the uninsured, and I have been able to work with the nurses assisting them with needs on the wards. The appreciation of the patients has made this experience very rewarding to me. Other activities that I have been involved in outside of research include running (I finished my first half marathon and marathon) and intramural team sports.

    I have been accepted to Vanderbilt medical school, where I plan to continue my education in becoming a medical doctor. I am looking forward to practicing medicine and I hope to combine research and clinical skills to both practice as a physician and work on developing better treatment methods for diseases.

    I hope that you are having a good New Year and enjoying Ithaca! I love visiting Cornell every time that I am in Ithaca!

    Thank you again for all of your support.


Renee Thomas

Class Officers

President/Correspondent/Membership Chair

Bob Persons
102 Reid Avenue
Port Washington, NY 11050-3530

Vice President

Martha Clark Mapes
405 Savage Farm Road
Ithaca, NY 14850


Jean Genung Pearson
P.O. Box 121
Freeville, NY 13068

Immediate Past President

Bob McKinless
4203 Muir Place
Alexandria, VA 22312-1117

Regional VPs

Margaret Smith Brown, Lincoln, NE
Bill Gibson, Danville, CA
Sylvia Kilbourne Hosie, Northport, NY
Charlotte Moore, Peabody, MA