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Hoopla and More

Alumni old and young share reunion moments Alumni old and young share reunion moments When my roommate, Margaret Monteith Edelman '46, BA '45, and I attended our 65th Reunion with our husbands, Arnold Edelman and Richard Davis, we never suspected that the kindly man offering to take a photo of the four of us in […]


Alumni old and young share reunion moments

Alumni old and young share reunion moments

When my roommate, Margaret Monteith Edelman '46, BA '45, and I attended our 65th Reunion with our husbands, Arnold Edelman and Richard Davis, we never suspected that the kindly man offering to take a photo of the four of us in front of the Statler was David Skorton! Not until we attended the State of the University Address in Bailey Hall and recognized the man on the stage did we realize that our photographer was the University's president. His kindness will be a major memory of going back "Far above Cayuga's waters."

Nancy Mynott Davis '46
Avon, Connecticut

In his letter to CAM, Gerald Schneider '61 wrote that he had decided not to attend his 50th Reunion because of his disappointment in the "hoopla" that he saw in the program (Correspondence, May/June 2011). He was yearning for a more academic program and the chance to informally meet with classmates and professors, and also to have unscheduled leisure time to tour the campus.

Sir, you will be happy to know that this is exactly what happens at reunion. I have attended three: my own ten-year in 2009, my wife's five-year in 2006, and her ten-year, this past June. During these reunions, we have (1) visited the Fuertes Observatory and seen the rings of Saturn as well as a galaxy through the telescope; (2) attended lectures on the founding of Cornell and the lives of Ezra Cornell and A. D. White; (3) met with current professors and talked about what aspects of our education and classes were most useful in our careers; (4) engaged with distinguished alumni such as Ratan Tata '59, BArch '62, and listened to him talk about the development of technologies that help India and the Third World; and (5) toured world-class facilities, such as the new Weill Hall, collections in the various libraries, and—of course—the Dairy Barn.

Is there "hoopla"? Absolutely. Cornelliana Night is a chance to get together and sing favorite (and slightly forgotten) Cornell songs; there are parties on the quads under the stars (or clouds—it is Ithaca, after all); there are wine tours, concerts, plays, and pickup Frisbee games, if one chooses. If not, one can wander the classrooms, the Johnson Museum, Barton Hall, attend a reception in a favorite department and talk to faculty, or sit on a bench and enjoy the summer weather. Cornell also treats its more senior alumni as honored guests and does its best to roll out the Big Red carpet for them. We hope you will reconsider your decision—looking forward to seeing you in 2016!

James Grady '99
Sanchaita Mukherjee Grady '01
Denver, Colorado


Net Gain

As a friend of a classmate who committed suicide while a student at Cornell (not on the bridges but in his home, hanging himself in the basement), I have to say that the plan to fence the bridges is a knee-jerk reaction to a one-time increase in problems (From the Hill, July/August 2011). I can't believe that Cornell would believe that the bridges are responsible for the increase in suicides. Get real! Deal with the real student problem.

Margaret Greene Nicklin '69
Hall, New York


Active Issues

I was glad to learn that student activism is being encouraged at Cornell (Letter from Ithaca, July/August 2011). Hopefully, the actions that students engage in are peaceful. The danger is that Ken Margolies '71, MPS '11, and other counselors from that era will be less than objective and neutral on legitimately controversial public issues where harm is alleged but not proven criminal. Student activists should not be unduly influenced or pressured by the personal views of counselors.

Gerald Schneider '61
Kensington, Maryland

In his article, Ken Margolies extols the virtues of members of the Cornell Students Against Sweatshops (CSAS) and the Cornell Organization for Labor Action (COLA). He points out that the efforts of these two organizations led to the stocking of products in the bookstore manufactured by a unionized company from the Dominican Republic. After taking a tangential swipe at one of our nation's most innovative companies, Nike, which has created countless jobs for Americans, Margolies trumpets the fact that CSAS and COLA sent delegations to demonstrate in Wisconsin and Ohio "against challenges to public employee bargaining rights."

As an alumnus whose parents were both public employees—one a teacher and the other a state bureaucrat, both working in Indiana—I can report that, though they had to scrimp and save, they were able to send me to Cornell, and I graduated not owing a single cent. So I can tell you from personal knowledge that there is no comparison between the need for organized labor in Third World countries and the need for organized labor in the public sector of the United States. Public sector employees were well taken care of during my parents' generation, and they are well taken care of today. I would also add that if the U.S. government did not implement aggressive student lending policies that have allowed most colleges to raise tuition by at least two to three times the rate of inflation, middle-class Americans would still be able to pay for their children's college education without going into debt or forcing their children to do so.

Margolies trumpeted the fact that he was involved in some small way in the takeover of Willard Straight Hall. Cornell activists seem to be stuck in time with that one traumatic moment. I would just like to point out that most of us went on and had a real life, and could not care less about what happened in the spring of 1969.

William Miller '73
Fairfield, New Jersey



Re: "Remembering Arthur Laurents '37" (Currents, July/August 2011): As the daughter of a ninety-nine-year-old, I was sorry to learn that the life of Arthur Laurents was cut tragically short at only ninety-three.

Felicia Nimue Ackerman '68
Professor of Philosophy, Brown University
Providence, Rhode Island


On the Road Again

We really appreciate the electronic option for accessing the magazine. We live full-time in our motor home, so we move a lot and mail has to chase us. Thanks for the well-done publication.

Glenn MacMillen '54
Flower Clark MacMillen '57

Correction—July/August 2011

"Training Day" (page 40): We should have noted that Jim Axelrod's father, Robert Axelrod, was a member of the Class of 1958.