Letter from our Class Presidents
Dear Members of the Class of 1950:
Our 65th reunion was delightfully filled with memorable opportunities to see old friends and even to make new ones. This outstanding event owes a great deal of gratitude to the planning and organizing skills of Stan Rodwin and Jane Wigsten McGonigal, our reunion chairs.
Highlights of the weekend: First a bit of history: About five years ago we discovered that we had two class funds that had grown significantly over the years. One of these was restricted to Willard Straight Hall. The other was for class activities. We have used the Willard Straight Hall fund to refurbish the Memorial Room and the Theater. We used the class activities fund to commission a book and a DVD, both of which chronicle the uniqueness of our class and how the world had changed in 1946 right after the war.
We saw the DVD, “Cornell Class of 1950,” in the newly refurbished Willard Straight Theater. The DVD, written and produced by Brian Frey of the PBS station in Binghamton, WSKG, emphasized the importance of the GI Bill for many students who would not have attended college otherwise. The book, “Curfews, Chaos, and Champions,” whose author was Brad Edmondson, was edited by classmates Marion Steinmann and John Marcham, who spent more than two years in researching various archives for the book. Showing the tenuous nature of life and good health at our age, Marion suffered a stroke and although recuperating, could not attend, and John Marcham died shortly before reunion. Neither project would have been possible without Stan Rodwin, who was instrumental in the initial conception and handled the finances, printing, and distribution. Dick Pogue and Pat Stewart worked with Brian and Brad after Marion and John were no longer able to do so.
All who attended the reunion received a copy of both the book and the DVD. Subsequent to the reunion, copies of both were mailed to donors and dues payers in the class of 1950. If anyone would like to have another copy or a first copy of the book, you may purchase one for $25.00 to cover the cost of mailing anywhere in the U.S. and to contribute to the cost of publication. Send a request and your check to Lauren Coffey, Associate Director, Class Programs, Cornell Alumni Affairs and Development, 130 E. Seneca Street, Suite 400, Ithaca, NY 14850.
At the initial dinner on Thursday evening, we were addressed by our honorary class member, friend, and President Emeritus, Frank Rhodes. The next morning, we were treated to a trip, accompanied by expert commentary, to the Cornell Plantations -- a first visit for some of us.
Saturday night’s dinner was in the Straight, beginning with cocktails on the terrace and serenades from the Sherwoods. The dinner was served in the beautifully restored Memorial Room, another major project and gift from our class to the University. The parquet floors had been restored by hand, as was the wood wainscoting. Next time you are in the Straight, look for our plaque on the fireplace that was also restored by us.
The most important business of the evening was to elect new class officers, but not before thanking Pat Carry Stewart for her exceptional work as President for the last five years. She will be a tough act to follow! The new lineup includes Co-Presidents - Nancy Hubbard Brandt and Jim Brandt, Vice-Presidents - Marion Steinmann and Stan Rodwin, Secretary - Ruth Downey Crone, Treasurer - Ben Williams, Fund Representatives - Marjorie Leigh Hart and Jack Rose, Class Correspondents - Pat Carry Stewart and Paul Joslin, and Reunion Chairs - Stan Rodwin and Jane Wigsten McGonigal. Ben Williams has been treasurer for so many years he has graduated from keeping our records on 3x5 cards to the university’s computers!
Many of us attended all the evening events at Bailey Hall or the Statler auditorium: The Savage Club Show, Glee Clubs and Choruses in Concert, and Cornelliana Night. These were followed by our own Dave Dingle at the piano in the Statler, for all of us to sing.
Reunion Records Set for a 65th reunion: (finalized on June 30)
Class members attending the 65th reunion – 61, a new record
Tower club members ($5,000 and above for a reunion year) – 46, a new record
Number of donors – 246, another new record
Dollars raised - $13,377,048 – also a new record. A special note should be added that the University received a bequest from Stan Taylor’s estate of $5,212,466.
Cayuga Society Members, who have made planned giving arrangements: – 91, another new record.
Coming up during this academic year:
January 22-24: Cornell Alumni Leadership Conference meeting in Philadelphia at the Marriott Hotel. Members of the class are invited to a class dinner that takes place on Friday evening. Your class officers will hold a business meeting Saturday morning to which members of the class are also invited. More details will follow.
April 29: Class of ’50 dinner in New York City at the Cornell Club. Invitations from the university on our behalf go out only to those in the states surrounding New York as most likely to attend. But we would welcome any of you who think you might be willing to make the trip. Please respond to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com, and we will make sure you are on that mailing list.
We are counting on seeing many of you at these meetings in 2016 and subsequent years, and if not there, then back in Ithaca for the next reunion!
Nancy Hubbard Brandt and Jim Brandt
Co-Presidents, Class of ’50