An aerial view of buildings on the Cornell Arts Quad

July / August 2021

Columns compiled by your class correspondents



In December 2020, our class and the Cornell community lost Shigeo “Shig” Kondo, who passed away at age 98. Shig—a retired physician, husband, father of four, and grandfather—was awarded the William “Bill” Vanneman ’31 Outstanding Class Leader Award in 2014 for his more than five decades of service as an officer of the Class of 1943. His experience on the Hill was not conventional: In the wake of the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, Shig’s junior year at Cornell was cut short when he was ultimately deported to Japan after the US Dept. of State classified his family as “enemy aliens”—even though Shig grew up in New Jersey, where his family had moved when he was just a toddler. “What sustained me at that time was dreaming about returning to that special place on the Hill,” Shig said in 2014, on the night he received the Vanneman Award, to an audience that rose to a standing ovation. He will be missed.

“No big news,” reports Robert Turner. “I just turned 100, which I didn’t expect but do welcome. Most of my class is now gone, and a whole new generation is taking over for a whole new world. The world I went through (yes, including WWII) was so much nicer than the world of today. So—fix it!” ❖ Class of 1943, c/o Alexandra Bond ’12, Online news form.


What brings you the greatest satisfaction these days? How has your life changed—or not changed—recently? What have been your biggest takeaways from the pandemic? Please take a moment to write us a note. Your classmates would love to hear from you! ❖ Class of 1944, c/o Alexandra Bond ’12, Online news form.


I am not sure which is hardest: paying my taxes or writing the class column. I mailed the first in, but I’m having a hard time with the column, as I haven’t received any news from you! Due to the pandemic, I have stayed put in my apartment.

The entire time I was in school was during World War II, but in spite of the war we did have some fun times. One, I recall, was the “Best Dressed Man on Campus” contest, held nationwide. We architects decided to enter our own candidate and selected a man whose daily outfits left much to be desired. The voting process was a bit lax. I, for one, voted 17 times, as did most of the other architects. Needless to say, we won over all the colleges nationwide. I must admit, our man did look smart, dressed up in his new Brooks Brothers “zoot suit,” the fashion of the day!

Another event was the Waiters’ Derby, run by the Hotel school. The contestants ran around the quad, holding a tray of mixed cocktails. The winner drinks all.

The architects always had a picnic at “Flat Rock,” with the faculty, wading in the stream to take the husks off the corn on the cob, snitched from a neighbor’s field. That was the menu, cooked over an open fire.

Please send in any news for your classmates to enjoy in a future column! ❖ Frances Shloss, 124-A South Maple Dr., Beverly Hills, CA 90212; tel., (310) 276-3345; email, Online news form.



Greetings, everyone. We will go into Reunion details in our next columns. The 75th Reunion is absolutely a very special event. ❖ Dorothy Taylor Prey, 1 Baldwin Ave., #501, San Mateo, CA 94401; tel., (650) 342-1196; email, Class website.


As we write to you now in April for July’s issue of the Class Notes, we can only guess how our 75th and first virtual Reunion turned out in June. Our bet, however, would be that those of you who attended with us experienced an extraordinary event that almost made up for our inability to hold it on the Hill.

A major benefit of our virtual format was that it enabled classmates to attend who might have found the rigors of a long trip to Ithaca insurmountable. We only regret that many who wanted to attend virtually felt they lacked the computer expertise to view the festivities via Zoom.

Our Reunion committee of co-chairs Dorothy Taylor Prey and Paul Levine and members Joyce Manley Forney, Philip Gisser, and Steven Marder, together with university advisor Erin Kennedy, worked long and hard to contact classmates and put together an interesting and novel program. In addition to the university-wide events of President Martha Pollack’s address and Cornelliana Night, etc., were our class events. We, wearing our Reunion souvenirs, honored the memory of ex-class president Lloyd Slaughter and presented a “Meet and Greet” program as well as a wine tasting of fine Cornell-associated wines. Bottles of those wines had been delivered to the homes of virtual attendees.

We would recommend that all Cornell Reunions in the future have a virtual choice for those unable to make the Ithacan Odyssey. Our mantra: “Thrive for 75; history was made off the Hill, June 11–12, 2021.” To list your email address in your submissions, email me at the below e-address. Include your name, city, and state. ❖ Paul Levine, 3273 Streamside Cir., #S-202, Pleasanton, CA 94588; tel., (925) 201-7575; email, Class website. Online news form.


“I retired at 88,” writes Stanley Reiter. “Now I’m 94.5 and enjoying every bit of it. 94 is the new 82—or better.” Eight years ago, Stanley lost 50 pounds, and now he spends lots of time walking and going to the gym. He’s “settled in and very comfortable” at his new address of four years, and he likes to read the paper every day and keep his investments current. When asked about his biggest takeaway from the pandemic, Stanley wrote, “Be careful who you sit with, dine with, and talk to.” What brings him satisfaction these days? “The growth and accomplishments of my 13 grandchildren, ages 15 to 27. My youngest grandson got early admission to Cornell Engineering, and my other grandsons graduated this year—virtually. They all make me proud.”

“Aside from the momentous news that kept many of us glued to the TV over the past year, I rediscovered the helpful quiet of bedtime reading,” writes Israel “Jay” Milner. “With the aid of Zoom, I’ve reconnected with old friends and past family members with whom I share fond memories.” Joyce McClusky Zweibel reports that her daily life hasn’t changed much recently. She takes great satisfaction from being able to live independently and drive her car and writes, “I don’t mind being alone. I find plenty of things to keep me busy and stay in touch with my family mostly by phone.”

Frederick Hilton, BS ’50, writes, “I was originally in the Class of ’47, but WWII and the US Navy resulted in my graduation in 1950.” He adds, “Two of my grandchildren had, and recovered from, COVID. Like everyone, the pandemic has restricted my travel activities. Although, as a 95-year-old, I’m lucky to be able to continue to spend more time in a second career—art.” Frederick has been painting, mostly wildlife from around the “blue sphere,” as he calls it. “I retired in 1995 as a professor and assistant chair of anatomical science and neurobiology at the U. of Louisville School of Medicine.” He says that the happiness and fulfillment of his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren brings him the most satisfaction these days. ❖ Class of 1947, c/o Alexandra Bond ’12, Online news form.


Welcome to the first online column, which will be as new to me as it is to you. I begin with news from Jane Handforth Kester, who wrote from the retirement community in Springville, NY, where she has been for the past five years. She really enjoys her time there, though it has the typical environment of 2020: wearing masks, keeping distance, and avoiding group meetings. Like many, her takeaway from the pandemic is to follow the instructions of the scientific experts to the best of her ability, and it has worked so far. And fortunately, she has always loved reading and crafts and accordingly never lacks for something to do. A special project currently is organizing her collection of genealogical treasures (old letters, photos, and other memorabilia) into proper archival storage with labels and descriptions. Her family all over the country keeps her happily busy, keeping up with five living children and their families, 14 grandchildren and families, and 33 great-grandchildren (and three more on the way!). She gets great satisfaction from friendships now and from many years back and particularly from a Christmas gift of a device that has rotating pictures of all her loved ones through every day (your correspondent got one for Christmas also and can vouch for the pleasure it creates!).

What follows next are comments from two of our male survivors, John Van Zandt and Peter Lovisa, who both celebrate being alive at age 97 or so. John says it with a “Wow!” while Peter expresses his satisfaction in the pain that wakes him up to be alive. He is less satisfied as he expresses his answer to the form’s question, “What is your biggest takeaway from the pandemic?” Peter asserts it is being used to control people and is step one toward a dictatorship. Your correspondent also thinks the lockdowns were much overdone. But then we come to Richard Landsman’s form, reporting of his catching COVID last spring. He spent six weeks in rehab, recovered, and is now back at home. He is still having a residue of lung problems and more limits on his walking but states, “We ’48ers are tough and I will be OK.” He is fully retired. Rita Lemelman Alper reports being in the process of selling her house in Stony Brook, NY, and moving in with her son’s family in East Hampton, NY.

In April, we heard from Mary Patricia Roggenburg, daughter of our classmate Janet Fater Roggenburg, letting us know of her mother’s death in December 2018. “‘The happiest days of my life were at Cornell.’ So said my mother,” Mary shares. “I continue to contribute to Cornell, as the only year my mother missed a donation was when I said I would do it. I was happy to learn of the Matriculation Fund for the water supply project in the March 1, 2020 letter. Mom would have been so proud. I hope to get to the campus at some point. Yesterday I watched a 150th anniversary video that was beautiful. I remain, on behalf of ‘Fighting Fater,’ devoted to the Big Red. Someone’s watercolor caricature of Mom for Alpha Phi is on my desk.” Your correspondent looked it all up in his 1948 Cornellian yearbook and found both Janet and my wife, Margaret (Wilharm), in row two on both sides of the house mother! ❖ Ray Tuttle, 65 Oyster Reef Dr., Hilton Head Island, SC 29926; email, Online news form.


Welcome to the new format, classmates! It’s great to hear from so many of you! Joe Mengel (Chapel Hill, NC; will become 100 years old this May! Let’s hear from the rest of our class who will arrive at that number this year! Joe says he’s “still pretty busy and doing some genealogy and exercise. I’ve decided to get acquainted with a smartphone.” He adds, “We miss our social life.” What is Jerome Farber of Boca Raton, FL, up to these days? “With the pandemic, not much,” he says regretfully. From Shelter Island, NY, Jean Schultheis Brechter reports that she’s “still on the race committee at Shelter Island Yacht Club. I’m thrilled that my grandson Stefan Brechter ’22 will be graduating next year from Cornell. Hope I will be able to attend. Any words of wisdom of where to stay? I had a wonderful life at Cornell,” she adds, noting that she greatly enjoyed her participation in Tri Delt.

Jan Steele Regulski (Largo, FL;, married to Lee, writes, “We now live in a senior residence and have been COVID vaccinated. Family is nearby and right now the world at Pinecrest is trying to return to what we had three years ago.” Jan adds, “We are totally retired. Both Lee and I cheer each day as ‘we are survivors.’” What brings her the most satisfaction in life these days? “The love and support of our four children. They bring sunshine and smiles.” Jan adds, “I’m not a ‘good sport.’ The pandemic has been dreadfully worrisome; I call it an aging experience.” Lee Metzger is living in East Aurora, NY. He was married to the late Barbara (Odiorne) ’52.

Fann Weiss Markel (Buffalo, NY; writes, “I retired after 55 years of running my company, the Floristry. I miss being busy. I’ve returned to watercolor painting.” Being in touch with her children brings her the most satisfaction these days, even though she’s been “unable to be with them physically due to not being able to travel.” Roderick Coler (Kennewick, WA; tells us, “I got a vaccination and now can continue previous activities in Audubon club, gem and mineral club, and the historical society. I retired after a medical practice in internal medicine of 49 years. Now I’m a lot less busy but attend meetings.”

Doris Kershaw Guba (Columbus, OH; writes, “For 30 retirement years, Dick and I enjoyed our lovely retirement home in Florida, where we enjoyed golf and boating. Dick was past commodore of the Venice Yacht Club and we enjoyed cruising in our 30-ft. Sea Ray cabin cruiser to many other yacht clubs in Florida. The family felt strongly that we should be closer to one of them, so we moved in November 2019 to the Brookdale independent living facility in Columbus, OH. This brought us closer to Rick, our middle child, who is teaching at OSU in their MBA program. Much to my sorrow, Dick only lasted five weeks. In March 2020, the COVID virus hit and we, like all the country, were in quarantine. Fortunately, I met three other girls who had similar interests and particularly liked to play bridge. We kept busy, which friends on the outside were not able to do. We were fortunate! I will be 93 this year and am still walking, line-dancing, and traveling to visit my other two children—Gwen, who is north of Atlanta, and Randy, who is in Dallas, TX. I’m very lucky!”

Ned Bandler (Bridgewater, CT; is married to Jean Taft Douglas. Ned writes, “At a time when we might normally be downsizing, our home has been upsized by the arrival of a son and daughter-in-law and 12- and 9-year-old grandchildren from their NYC apartment. This is one of the positive legacies of the pandemic and helps keep us youthful.” He adds, “Following four decades with Unilever, I was appointed to a commission and am in my 25th year as an unpaid federal employee working on historical preservation sites. Addicted to unpaid jobs, my wife and I manage the Funeral Consumer Alliance of Connecticut, a nonprofit organization that provides information to help members and the general public deal with the complexities of end-of-life planning and decisions. Life in a small rural town almost seems to provide a variety of community involvements to fill any remaining vacant hours. In the spirit of optimism, I have just agreed to serve another four-year term as a Connecticut justice of the peace.” Ned adds, “Another son and daughter-in-law and their adult grandchildren are living in Vermont, with one in college and another soon to follow. We have missed them during our respective quarantined lives during this pandemic. Having the good fortune to be married to my wife of almost 57 years and to see our children happily married, and to find that they are better parents than we were” brings Ned the most satisfaction these days. Speaking of the plague, he says, “This experience has brought out both the best and the worst in people and their governments. We have to hope that, in the end, those who still believe in science and facts will prevail.”

Our class mourns the passing of Franklin “Peter” Bush. His daughter, Cyndi Bush Allen, writes to tell us, “My dad passed away on March 19, 2021. He was 96. He loved his Cornell years as a cheerleader and member of Theta Xi. His father, Roland Bush 1915, and brother, Allan Bush ’42, BA ’48, also graduated from Cornell. My dad is survived by me, son Jeff Bush, and two grandkids, Blake and Eliza.” Our class is also saddened by the passing of Arnold Seamon on August 14, 2020.

Classmates, please continue to stay in touch. We are all eager to hear from each of you! ❖ Dorothy Mulhoffer Solow, 50 Grant St., Wellsboro, PA 16901; tel., (570) 948-9107 or (412) 215-1435; email, Online news form.

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For 71 years we were part of the 120-year-old Cornell Alumni Magazine, which has now passed on. However, continuation of class news columns has been assured, and they will reach all alumni—not the less than 10% reached by CAM. The new publication will be online with an option to subscribe for a print copy. Those of you mentioned below have the honor of being the first to appear in the new format.

Ann Ellis Raynolds, MEd ’53 (Quechee, VT) still works as a psychologist serving disabled clients online; she also stays active volunteering in local and state social justice and anti-racism organizations. Ann notes that she’s fortunate to have her daughter home from a job in Brazil and a grandson living with her who is finishing his college degree online. Marianne Preger-Simon (Whately, MA), whose husband is deceased, lives alone but says she never feels lonely. She stays involved by phone with a few therapy clients. Otherwise, she keeps busy with daily walks and sitting in the sun, evening reading, and Zoom communications with family. Last November, Jean Michelini Farley Hughes (Sarasota, FL) married Rodney Russell Hughes and says having him in her life is a major satisfaction. She reports, “Staying home has helped me get rid of more things,” and she says that at age 92 not doing much and being very leisurely leaves her with no guilty feelings.

Victor Goetz (Vancouver, WA) sent a newspaper clipping of an engaging human-interest story titled “Second Love Can Be So Sweet,” offering evidence that there is no age limit on romance and happiness—and telling how shared interests in books, classical music, theater, and museums can overcome differences in religious persuasions. The story is about Victor, a New Jersey native and an Orthodox Jew, and Norma Owings, an Arkansas native and a Roman Catholic. Each lost a spouse in 1995 and met in 1997 at Victor’s granddaughter’s wedding. A short courtship followed, and Victor offered 20 years of a happy marriage; Norma agreed to renegotiate the contract at that time. At age 93, Victor, a former engineer, collects antiques, monitors the stock market, and does New York Times crossword puzzles. Norma, 95, sews quilts, cooks sophisticated meals, and is learning to paint.

Nelson “Nels” Schaenen, MBA ’51, is one of our three class vice presidents and has a fascinating life story, much of it related to remarkable lifelong contributions to our beloved alma mater. His father graduated from Cornell in 1922, then for a year hitchhiked ’round the world! In the summer after his sophomore year, Nels took his fall semester courses—then, emulating his dad, took the fall semester off for a six-month tour of six South American countries. This love of world travel subsequently took Nels and wife Nancy to 40 countries on all seven continents.

In 1925, Nels’s dad bought a 215-acre farm in Basking Ridge, NJ, 30 miles west of New York City. Nels grew up on that farm, milking 25 cows and tending several thousand chickens. After high school he served in the US Navy, then attended Cornell on the GI Bill. During the early ’30s of the Depression, his dad noted that he had insufficient income to send his kids to college, so he took a part-time position in NYC with Moody’s Investors Service. In 1944 he joined Smith Barney and eventually became its first president. He worked the farm nights and weekends and sold it only after his last child had graduated from college. After Cornell, Nels followed his father into investment banking and for 50 years commuted daily by train to NYC from Madison, NJ, where he has lived for 65 years.

Nels has been married 66 years to Nancy, a 1951 graduate of DePauw U. In 1982, Nancy became a member of the board of trustees of Drew U. in Madison, NJ, and in 1986 became its first female chair. Daughter Wendy ’79, MD ’83, is a physician, and daughter Shelly (Yale ’78) is an architect. Son Douglas ’82 works in investments at the Bank of New York Mellon in NYC. Nels and Nancy have seven grandchildren.

In 1968, Nels was invited to review and comment on Cornell’s internal investment operations. This led to an invitation in 1971 to join the board of trustees, a position he held for 24 years until 1995 when he was elected an emeritus trustee. From 1973–83, he served as chair of the board’s investment committee. In 1991, with his photo on the cover, he was featured in Cornell Enterprise, a publication of the Johnson Graduate School of Management. Other Cornell leadership positions: Johnson School Advisory Council and Johnson School Endowment Trust chair. This trust was established in 1984 with a $22 million gift from the S.C. Johnson Family. Since then, the trust has contributed approximately $63 million from its operating income to the school through December 2020; the value of the trust today is $50 million. Awards include the Johnson School Hall of Honor and in 2010 the Frank H.T. Rhodes Exemplary Alumni Service Award. In 2002, Nels and Nancy endowed the women’s volleyball coach and named it after their daughter Wendy, who played club volleyball. Nels is in his 50th year as a Cornell trustee and still serves on the board of the Cornell University Foundation. ❖ Paul Joslin, 13731 Hickman Rd., #4207, Urbandale, IA 50323; tel., (515) 278-0960; email, Online news form.


Last spring, I received a lovely message from Janet Armstrong Hamber, who reminisced about her long history reading the Cornell Alumni News. “When I first got the magazine, the first year with alumni news was for something like 1898—now it’s 1943,” she observes.

Jan, who is renowned for her conservation work with California condors, writes, “In the early months of 2020, I kept myself busy gathering information for my income tax. I never got out in the field because of rain and muddy roads. The COVID-19 shutdown in mid-March ended any hope of getting out onto the refuges to monitor the birds’ movements. I have isolated myself for the past 13 months, rarely leaving the house. That’s left me somewhat despondent and definitely lonely. I do hope things will get better now that I’ve had my two shots and five weeks of building antibodies. The worst part of the year began on October 14. On my drive to work, a parked van suddenly went into reverse and rammed my Toyota 4Runner. I ended up with very bad back pain. X-ray and CT scan showed no fracture, so the pain was from a spinal sprain. It’s gotten much better, but I’m still hampered in walking by neck and low back aches.”

Jan notes that the museum she works at has been open and closed “like a yo-yo” over the past year—“sometimes open with restrictions, other times closed but with outdoor spaces open. Thank goodness we now have a president who believes in and will follow the best science. I’ve kept busy at home as I have a number of authors who are writing articles and needed information on the California condor. One, John Moir, wrote an article about me that was published in the winter issue of Audubon magazine.

“Birthdays of family and friends and yearly holidays are done with son Bob. For my 91st birthday, he bought two dinners at my favorite restaurant. We drove to Shoreline Park, where Bob put up his folding picnic table and we had a view out over the ocean with the rollers crashing beneath us. This was a perfect place for a special dinner. Thanksgiving was a two-family affair: Bob cooked mashed potatoes and yams at my house while his wife did the turkey, gravy, green beans, Waldorf salad, and cranberry sauce five miles away at their house. I did NOTHING. Bob ate his dinner at his house but came back with a whole turkey dinner for me. He sat with me while I ate my very delicious dinner. Definitely not the Norman Rockwell version.”

Jan registered her displeasure with the idea of reading the Class Notes online, noting, “I spend too much time already on the computer.” Happily, Cornell has responded to the many alumni who share these sentiments by assuring us that there will be a print publication in the future for those who wish to subscribe. Details about that magazine subscription should be available soon. So please keep sending your news to: ❖ Brad Bond, email c/o Alexandra Bond ’12, Online news form.


Well, here we are in cyberspace. At least, I think that’s where we are. We will begin with the news that would not fit into my last column. Sue Youker Schlaepfer wrote from her daughter Cindy Schlaepfer-Youker ’78’s in Parker, CO. “She has graciously welcomed me into her home and has been helping me recover from the effects of a fall in Ithaca and subsequent operation on July 31/August 1. Prayers are effective and I am very grateful. I am making good progress—just not as quickly as I want! My former husband, Walter Schlaepfer ’51, passed on January 17, just four months before his 92nd birthday, at his home in Palm Springs, CA. He remained active in crew support, having a new shell dedicated in his honor in 2018. I have my home in Ithaca and will return there this summer. No chance to get to Arizona this winter. Just one more year to OUR 70th Reunion in 2022. (COVID, go away!) YOU come to join your classmates in celebrating this milestone!”

Ann Coffeen Turner wrote, “I moved from New Jersey to New Hampshire several years ago to be near a daughter and grandchildren. I retired at 87 from a school where I tutored for 40 years, and I’m now doing in-person tutoring at home, with masks and open windows. Only eight hours a week, but I love doing it. I’m also selling my teaching materials (at very reasonable prices) online. Obsessively following the news, as we all are, and laboriously learning to play the Bach-Busoni Chaconne on the piano.” Check out her website for more information.

Richard Hillsley wrote, “My wife, Audrey, and I are enjoying retirement at Buckingham Choice in Frederick, MD, with Cornell classmates Harriette Scannell Morgan and Cadwallader Noyes, MBA ’55—and the help of our children, six by birth, six by marriage, 12 grandsons, 10 granddaughters, and five great-grandchildren, with more fun to come.”

The Share Your News form went out last spring, and I received a good number of responses. I hope you all noticed the little box under the second line. Privacy issue: it asked if you wanted your email address to go out into space. If you did, check it. Only those who checked the box will have their email address included below. As my computer ate news that Barbara Antrim Hartshorn ( submitted for the last deadline, I will start with Bibbi’s new news. She has spent “31 years in retirement in Oxford, MD—a wonderful town! Living alone—not bad even in a pandemic. I have been working in the Oxford Library, though it’s mostly closed due to the pandemic.” Bibbi has been watching her family grow—five great-grandchildren, five sons and families. None living close by. All of the above, and keeping in touch with 90-year-olds from Cornell, brings her the most satisfaction these days. Biggest takeaway from the pandemic? “Worrying about friends and family.”

Marion Lotz Rutan wrote, “Warren and I are enjoying retirement here in central Florida. We live in a ‘55-plus’ community of just over 200 homes. We have plenty of open spaces to enjoy daily walks, and even some socializing, as long as we keep ‘social distancing.’ Very few of our neighbors wear face masks in the park. We received our first COVID shots on March 8. Polk County was one of the last counties to open wide the distribution by sending vaccine to the local pharmacies.” Lynn Heidelberger MacEwan and Dean “are now living in a beautiful cottage in Stonegates Retirement Center. Half our family now lives in California. One grandson is in training to become an orthopedic surgeon like his grandfather (Dean). One son retired to sail and golf. About to do Transpac for the third time.” Lynn’s most satisfaction comes from “keeping up with family and friends, especially three little great-grandsons.” Her biggest takeaways from the pandemic? “Learning to entertain ourselves with contact with nature. How much friends mean to us. How reassuring to know that in this time of change Terry, JD ’56, and Dori Crozier Warren’s names are still on the class letter! One of my favorite memories of Cornell is the vision of Dori [who was from Hawaii] making angels in the snow after the first snowfall of the year.”

Albert Fried, MBA ’53, wrote from Bal Harbour, FL, to say that his life had not changed at all recently. He is retired and all is quiet with him and his family. He derives satisfaction from, he says, “Getting up in the morning after a good night’s sleep!” He did not get infected during the pandemic. Walter Harrison ( wrote to say only that his wife, Lucille “Lucky” (Carley), MEd ’53, died last fall. Such sad news. We are so sorry.

John Ash (Chebeague Island, ME) wrote, “Things are about the same. Living on an island during the pandemic was as safe an environment as one could hope for. Everyone wore masks in public places, and big gatherings (church, town meetings, etc.) were canceled or went on Zoom. My singing interests (choir, chorus) have been canceled. One hobby, O-gauge trains, has been relegated to Zoom instead of the train shows we did at veterans’ homes, children’s hospitals, libraries, etc. I still mess up woodworking in my shop on the island. I still volunteer at the fire department.” John’s family is still in Pennsylvania and Virginia. “Getting up in the morning” gives him great satisfaction. His takeaway from the pandemic? “Awareness of others.” I will cover the remaining 12 news forms next time. Thank you all, so much. Those not among the 12, please write. ❖ Joan Boffa Gaul, Class website. Online news form.


Bill Bellamy, MBA ’58, JD ’59, resides in Ithaca, where he and his wife, Nancy, built a home and participated in the numerous activities the campus and town have to offer. Sadly, Nancy passed away recently. William is looking forward to a more normal summer and wishes his best to all. Leo Buxbaum and wife Dixie keep active with five granddaughters. Continuing to teach ICM at USC law school brings Leo great satisfaction. The pandemic has not changed his daily life greatly and he is confident it will end.

Dorothy “Dottie” Clark Free ( observes: “So whose lives haven’t been changed due to the virus?! Never underestimate the value of the many activities we were able to participate in and were not able to during the pandemic! For now, what I value most are my four great-grandchildren and the awareness of opportunities to give and to appreciate relationships.” Sadly, we lost two classmates, both Irv and Sheila Lefcourt Goldman, earlier this year. Before they died, Sheila sent us a news form reporting that she and Irv were retired at their home in Vermont, where they reflected on the challenges posed by the pandemic. Sheila’s comments are important. For instance, they believed that preserving the beauty and character of Vermont will require changes in lifestyles. Their children and grandchildren have successfully established themselves in the medical field and engineering professions, which was a great source of pride to them. We offer condolences to their family and friends.

Joe Huth ( and spouse Barbara Reed Meffert-Huth ’54 reside in Colonie, NY, and spent the winter in Venice, FL, where Joe reports the pace of life has slowed resulting from the pandemic. Considerable time is devoted to participating in Cornell’s projects. For example, Cornell alums interested in agriculture may contact Bill Doerler ’55 (, who has organized monthly Zoom meetings for students from the ’50s. Sharing activities with family brings Joe the greatest gratification. For Bill Gratz and his husband, James Bruno, daily life has changed dramatically and in many gratifying ways. “We have the pleasure of three evenings each week attending plays and concerts, often remotely. Friendships have been enhanced with Zoom sessions, and developing our cooking skills has become more interesting. Most important is that James and I enjoy each other as we adjust to these many changes in our lives. Finally, it is comforting having had our vaccinations. We wish our Cornell friends good health.”

Jack Brophy, former class correspondent, offered this observation of some of Bill’s accomplishments: “Bill was an excellent ME student at Cornell. As an alum, he was an active member of the Continuous Reunion Club (CRC). I saw him there for 15 years when the Cayuga’s Waiters and the CRC resided at a North Campus dorm hosted by Jim Hanchett.” It should be noted that Bill received the prestigious Frank H.T. Rhodes Exemplary Alumni Service Award. As longtime ’53 class treasurer, Bill encourages everyone to be a duespaying member of the Class of 1953. “Staying active in our class is vital to maintaining our shared community,” he reminds us. “Nearly everything we plan as a class—from online events to on-campus traditions—is made possible by class members paying class dues.” If you need a dues form, send your name and address to

Bertram Pitt writes from his home in Ann Arbor, MI, that the COVID-19 pandemic has created an opportunity to focus a portion of his medical research on repositioning established drugs in treating patients with COVID-19 and other important diseases. His recently published paper presents these timely developments. Keep up such important research, Bertram! Gerald Shepard resides in Batavia, NY, where he combines his insurance brokerage business with considerable time spent on a Florida golf course. Apparently both pursuits are gratifying. Another important activity resulting from the pandemic is devoting more time to meal preparation. When asked to reflect on an unforgettable incident, Gerald recalls the enjoyment of listening to the stories told by a West Virginian member of the “DKE” (Delta Kappa Epsilon) house where Gerald was a waiter. What’s new and exciting? “I’ve got my shots!”

E. MacBurney “Mac” Storm, JD ’60, and wife Barbara recently established their home base in Gresham, OR, to be near the sea. An amusing moment at Cornell as a freshman was seeing “Ellie Hawes” dressed for sorority rush. Finally, what brings satisfaction these days to Mac are a good martini and the realization that one “doesn’t need a lot of stuff.” Lauren Coffey, Cornell University liaison for the Class of ’53, reports that ’53 class president Caroline Mulford Owens has been selected by the CU class programs team to represent the decade of the ’50s as a “Best in Class” officer. Caroline was featured on the Cornell Association of Class Officers (CACO) Facebook page during Volunteer Appreciation Week in April. Send your news to: ❖ Jack Allen,; Ed Gibson,; John Nixon,; or Caroline Mulford Owens, Online news form.


“It’s weird being the same age as old people.” I chuckle when I think of that. I certainly find it weird. I wonder if you do also. Some of us look old. Some of us feel old. Some of us act old. I venture to guess that many of us do not think old. We learn and adapt and use computers and email and cell phones and texts. We try to keep up with our grandchildren and greats.

With this edition of the Class Notes, we are called on to adapt some more. From now on, the Notes will be delivered electronically. Some of us old-timers may want to still hold a hard copy in our hands and have it to pick up now and then. Cornell knows this and plans to offer us a way to order paper copies in the near future.

A Cornell relative gave me a copy of The 100 Most Notable Cornellians in 2003, the year of its publication. It’s a wonderful book (from which I will quote). It makes me very proud! It lists four of our classmates. One of course is RBG, whom this column recognized at the time of her death.

Another notable classmate is David Goodstein. He grew up in Denver in a wealthy family. His father wanted him to stay in Colorado for college, but David chose Cornell and had to largely finance his education in the Arts college himself. He developed a business with antiques and enjoyed Cornell’s equestrian activities. “He was president of the Saddle Club and a member of the equestrian team and the Cornell Horse Show committee.” He served in the US Army, attended Columbia Law School, and spent a year in Britain and South Africa.

In New York City, David developed a flourishing practice as a criminal defense attorney. He also inherited a substantial amount of money. On Wall Street he co-founded Compufund, a company that pioneered using computers to manage stock portfolios. “He kept horses, owned an art gallery, and became involved in liberal politics, advocating civil rights for Blacks and Puerto Ricans and advising the city’s mayor.” In 1971 a “large West Coast bank, with which he had concluded a lucrative joint financial venture, offered him an executive position in San Francisco.”

However, David had been a closeted gay man. When that became known in his new bank, he was fired. “Goodstein realized, as he put it, that despite his involvement in the civil rights struggle he ‘had never thought seriously about my own civil rights as a gay person.’ Reestablished in the investment business, Goodstein went public with his sexuality and committed himself and his fortune to the service of gay rights.” He influenced legislation in California to protect gays. In 1975 he purchased the Advocate, a gay newspaper, and transformed it into a biweekly magazine with a very large circulation. He also established the Advocate Experience, personal growth seminars for gays. He set up weekend workshops in which men discussed gay pride and living with integrity and expanded consciousness. When the seminars ended in 2001, more than 50,000 people had gone through “Goodstein 101.” David died in San Diego at the age of 53 from complications resulting from cancer.

David maintained several Cornell connections. “He funded scholarships for students who studied economics and for students from underdeveloped British Commonwealth countries. A member of the Cornell University Council, he was also one of the founders in the early 1970s, and the chair, of the Friends of the Art Museum.”

David left his personal art collection to the Johnson Museum of Art. “He also left his books and extensive archival material on human sexuality in general and homosexuality in particular to Cornell. It is one of the most important research collections on these subjects in the world.” In 1984 he wrote: “Imagine a world in which all the absurd myths and superstitions about human sexuality can be lessened … If the collection for human sexuality can relieve the ignorance for humanity, it will become one of the most valuable and important resources for human well-being.” I wonder how David would evaluate the state of attitudes toward homosexuality 35 years later. No doubt his gift to Cornell is helping.

In a future column we plan to present some stories about our two physicist classmates who were awarded the Nobel Prize in 1979.

Two years ago, in 2019, the Class of 1954 was very fortunate to enjoy our 65th Reunion in person in Ithaca. Now two Reunions have had to be held virtually. Let’s hope some of us will be able to return to campus for our 70th in 2024. I had the joy of accompanying my dad to Cornell for his 70th. As a member of the Class of 1928, he was one of 12 classmates lucky enough to attend. Perhaps we too can make that a goal. ❖ Ruth Carpenter Bailey,; Bill Waters, Class website. Online news form.


Bob Leader says, “like everyone else,” he’s anxious to travel, visit, discard the mask, and get vaccinated, and as for changes in his life, his children “telephone more often, but marriages, births, illness, and growing in maturity continue.” Ken Carlson moved from Colorado to Ocala, FL, in 2020 and finds his new situation “amazing! We no longer have snowstorms of three to four feet, so no more shoveling: good news at 87!” The Carlsons are living on the first fairway at Ocala Palms. “Come visit, and bring your good luck and clubs!” Ken has kept in touch with Dave Schmidt and his wife, Joann, who had recently arrived in Fort Pierce, FL. “Go, Class of ’55!”

Seymour Musiker is a Florida resident, but summers on Long Island. What’s changed in Sy’s life can be traced to COVID-19 and the subsequent isolation and vaccination requirement. His biggest takeaway from the pandemic is becoming familiar with “Anthony Fauci, MD ’66, a Cornell man.” A connection we’re all proud of, for sure. Dick Kurtz, BS ’58, says his daily life changed “radically, with six weeks of COVID-19 and a week in the hospital with a 104-degree fever for several days”—and, he adds, “our quads, of course!” We can check “the Marr the merrier” for updates on their granddaughter’s four identical boy quadruplets, “all very healthy and handsome in Dallas.” After being born sharing one placenta, they celebrated their first birthday in March and now have over 75,000 followers on the web.

The big news from Alice Heft Saligman Brinkmann is her move to Philadelphia. John Braun reports that he and Marilyn moved into a retirement home only a few miles north of their home of 57 years in Wyoming, a Cincinnati suburb. “It’s difficult to get out and meet new people, though.” Don Jacobs appreciates getting older—“lucky at 88.” He’s trying to keep healthy and out of hospitals. “I am married to that lovely coed, Frances (Walden) ’56, I met at Cornell in 1954. As for life in a pandemic, it sure is better with two!” They have three children, all doing well. Don says they “live in a community that has provided all the pandemic aids.” Dave Sheffield, BArch ’60, MRP ’61, comments that “not too much has changed for retired folk like us, compared to the true changes placed upon working families with children.”

Bill Boyle Jr., MBA ’56, is sad to report that Pat, his wife of 58 years, has died. She was a retired homemaker, Spanish teacher, and businesswoman. Bill says he will continue to reside in Medina, OH. Please accept our heartfelt condolences on your loss. Hans Duerr has been putting in a lot of volunteer hours, reading, and taking Osher Lifelong Learning Inst. Zoom classes. He is also a great-great-grandfather. Emilyn Larkin Jakes reports, “Our children became our parents,” and both were kept safe from COVID-19. She and husband, Jerry ’53, are both vaccinated now and “free to go out.” John Wertis is a member of several boards in his town of Ulysses, NY: planning board, Ulysses Historical Society, and New York Nut Growers Assn., as well as being a Town of Ulysses historian. He and his partner, Marian, are enjoying the outdoors on their farm, keeping track of seven children, ten grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren between them. His takeaway from the pandemic is that there are “too many people in the world, and cities were a bad idea.”

Ruth McDevitt Carrozza has been spending time camping with her daughter and son-in-law in their new camper, visiting Maine, New Hampshire, and Ithaca. She is excited to be a great-grandma twice over and has been known to take her son-in-law’s Harley motorcycle for a spin—and being dubbed “Biker Mom” by her son. Ann Overbeck’s life has “totally changed because of COVID”; it’s been “survivable with lots of help from my well-masked friends.” She’s been reading and keeping in touch with Cornell friends like Carol Rittershausen Byron. Ann also enjoys knitting and makes hats and scarves for the homeless. She appreciates that Bill Doerler is keeping the Class of ’55 going, and she’s “always known that Cornell made all the difference in my most rewarding career and life!”

Thanks to everyone who’s submitting their news. We have a word limit each issue, so your submission may appear in a future posting—and we look forward to hearing from you! ❖ Nancy Savage Petrie, 85 Brook St., Noank, CT 06340; email, Online news form.


Chuck Feeney, the single most generous donor to Cornell ever, has received the inaugural Charles F. Feeney ’56 Lifetime Achievement Award in Entrepreneurship and Humanity, created to honor successful entrepreneurs dedicated to giving back. “Today, we at Cornell are getting the chance to do something we’ve wanted to do for a very long time, which is to say an enormous public thank you to Chuck, who has played such a singular role in the history of Cornell,” CU president Martha Pollack said during the Entrepreneurship at Cornell’s annual celebration conference, where the award was presented.

Barbara Travis Osgood, PhD ’80 (Fairfax, VA) published a book, 84 Paws: A Life with Old Labs, which can be found on Amazon. She recently received a national award for professional achievement from Pi Beta Phi. Barbara continues to rescue old Labrador retrievers and just adopted her 22nd. What was her biggest takeaway from the pandemic? “That I am more of an introvert than I thought. Isolation was not traumatic for me.” Bill Eisen (Philadelphia, PA) writes, “I have been living with my new partner, Ele Wood, for a year. I just sold my condo, so this change is permanent. Aside from a second hip implant, I’m reasonably healthy.”

“Happy to be well and vaccinated,” writes Allison Hopkins Sheffield, who is still knitting three or four prayer shawls a year and gardening—“mostly perennials!” She and David ’55, BArch ’60, MRP ’61, summer at a camp on Mooselookmeguntic Lake in Maine. “The COVID-19 pandemic caused a few changes—grocery shopping by one of us, as well as Zooming for book club, church services, church committees, town groups, family holidays, meals, birthdays, and Cornell webinars.” Nina French Glover is now living in a retirement community in downtown St. Petersburg, FL, “near everything,” she notes.

Mary Ann “Polly” Whitaker Dolliver writes, “I recently left my three-level house and moved three miles away to a retirement community, still in Spokane, WA. Until about two years ago, I supervised student teachers for the special education department at Gonzaga U. Now I’m doing volunteer work in the community. Also, I’m a big basketball fan—mostly Gonzaga!” Mary Ann lists four daughters plus husbands, 12 grandchildren, and ten great-grandchildren, and she notes that family and friends bring her the most satisfaction these days—as well as community involvement with church and book clubs. “I’m looking forward to getting together with family in person when it’s safe to do so. I’ve been involved with numerous Zoom groups and really enjoy the convenience of meeting electronically and staying in touch.”

Since officially retiring in 2019, Carol Solomon Levine has been writing; her recent book, Navigating Your Later Years for Dummies, was published this year in January. Talking with her children and grandchildren and doing jigsaw and crossword puzzles brings her the most satisfaction these days. Her biggest takeaway from the pandemic? “We were not prepared! We could have been. Lots of lessons if people will pay attention.” Sad to report the passing of Nancy Kohler Dean’s husband, Robert, of 63 years in 2020. Best to all. ❖ Phyllis Bosworth, Online news form.


For all of us that are number crunchers, here are a few to ponder. Al Collard’s granddaughter got a Cornell degree in Mechanical Engineering in three and a half years. Her grandfather is working on a book of family genealogy that goes back 12 generations—yes, 12. Al enjoys golf and other activities in the winter in Florida, spending the summers on Shelter Island, NY. For all of us who pat ourselves on the back for an occasional walk around the neighborhood, compare that to Dick Jarvis’s account that he has hiked, mostly in and around Charlottesville, more than 13,000 miles (not a typo) since turning 80. In addition, he works out at the gym four days a week.

Barney Hodges still plays a mean game of tennis and keeps the trees trimmed on his farm in Vermont. Like many of us, he enjoys bragging about the accomplishments of his offspring and their offspring. Martha Ballard Lacy lost her husband, Dick, at the end of last year. She fills the void by spending time with friends and opening new doors to serve and enjoy others. Adrienne McNair, MEd ’61 ( is keeping the medical community solvent (not uncommon among us), while continuing to enjoy classical music (but not in concert halls for now). She also practices transcendental meditation twice daily, resulting in wonderful peacefulness.

If you have a hankering to go to Mars, contact Donald Sargent, who is going at it full time in the Commercial Space Transportation section of the Federal Aviation Administration. James Naismith, MS ’59, reminds me of the peach basket days with his continued involvement as a member of the board of trustees of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. He is also on the board of Stark College & Seminary in Corpus Christi, TX, and joins all of us in observing the delightful mix of family generations, though not as many as Al Collard. In the pandemic era, he realizes how important social contact is in our lives. Jim Rosborough is involved with a myriad of Zoom meetings, and speaking of “zoom,” he races at sprint triathlons at both the US and world championships.

Gonzalo Ferrer-Rincon has sold the family vacation home in Vermont after 20 years and, like most of us, stays close to his primary home but likes weekends at his country home in the mountains of central Puerto Rico. Steve Miles gets help from spouse Marilyn and two sons in the operation of his commercial real estate business. He’s hoping the pandemic declines so that many of his restaurant tenants can thrive. George Rocklein, MBA ’59, plays bridge online and oversees his portfolio while spending time walking with friends around the neighborhood, though possibly not to the extent of Dick Jarvis’s forays. Jan Fersing is an avid reader and continues his 16-year tour of duty as a member of the board of trustees of Texas Wesleyan U. (Fort Worth). He also closely watches the financial markets and makes sure family members are safe in the pandemic era.

Barbara Baltzel Burton ( reports that her husband, Sandy ’58, MS ’63, has Parkinson’s disease, which is keeping her busy as chief cook and bottle washer. She has taken a break from driving for Meals on Wheels for the time being. They are shot up, but bored like the rest of us, and hoping for the “all clear” siren to go off. Susan Hitz Magnuson helps her senior friends with their computer issues and builds and maintains websites for 150 units of her homeowners’ association while teaching computer Zoom classes and taking yoga Zoom classes. Marcia Wishengrad Metzger, JD ’60, raises funds for the women’s association of Hilton Head Island, hoping things will open up soon for increased travel (New Orleans and Japan head the wish list). Bob Cyprus keeps his Tennessee farm in good shape while Jo Anne (Eastburn) runs a nonprofit that aids needy families in the area.

Bill Schmidt ( continues with his marvelous paintings, with works hanging in multiple galleries in the Washington/Maryland area. Ed ’54 and Joyce Dudley McDowell report a most active 2020 despite the pandemic. They flew from Hawaii to Chile, boarding a boat to explore Antarctica, having visited there ten years prior. After some down time in Kilauea and Honolulu, they prepared for a wildlife safari in India. That got scrubbed because of limited Indian hospital availability. They spent some time in California and enjoyed Joyce’s birthday at a resort on Kauai. For all frustrated florists, Joyce has a sure-fire way to keep orchids blooming far beyond their normal lifespan (see next column). For snuff bottle activists, meetings in Taiwan and San Francisco did not take place last year, but hopefully will be on the schedule shortly. ❖ John Seiler, Online news form.


The new venue of our Class Notes begins, as the hub still wrestles with how to provide hard copy for those who want it. We’ll get the word out on that as soon as we know it. Meanwhile, we’ve all had the much-relieving opportunity for COVID vaccination, hopefully taken by all. A few news items have arrived in response to the annual News & Dues letter from March, and we’ll watch for many more, as the class column will indeed continue and needs your input.

Barbara Wood Gray writes: “The big news here is that the events of this past year have motivated me to write a book of poetry, which is now available online. It seems to be striking a chord with our demographic, so I wanted to share it with my Cornell classmates: Sharing the Song: From One Poet to Another. Former US Poet Laureate Billy Collins recently said (in a master class), ‘Poetry is the only written history we have of the human heart.’ My email address for the book is, in case anyone has any questions (and for the long link to my book). In the meantime, I am happily ensconced in an independent living community where we are safe, well fed, and (surprisingly) able to mingle with others, socialize, exercise, go to classes, and enjoy the journey. We smile that ‘people on the outside’ have no clue about the appeal of moving into a community like this. I have nothing but good things to say about it.” Stefan Belman, DVM ’61 ( writes from home in Columbia Falls, MT, where he and his wife, Anita (Lesgold) ’60, MS ’61, “have become reclusive hermits, thanks to COVID. We read, see films, and observe the game as the seasons pass. All are well, strictly observing all of Anthony Fauci, MD ’66’s recommendations.”

The class received a thoughtful thank-you letter from sophomore Jenny Suk ’23 for support from us and the Ronald P. Lynch Memorial Scholarship. Jenny emigrated with her family from South Korea to Asheville, NC, 15 years ago and says that she now has come to Cornell because of its flexible curriculum as she studies Human Development and Biology on a pre-med track. “I cannot express my gratitude enough for being able to be a Cornellian. Thank you.” We wish you well, Jenny, and thank you for your letter of appreciation.

Bob ’55, BArch ’57, and Marcia Fogel Yeager just moved from Maryland to a senior community in Bucks County, 15 miles north of Philadelphia, PA. Marcia can be reached at for her new address. Phil Gellert, MS ’60, reports on the 26th Gellert family degree from Cornell, as grandson Jacob ’21 gets his this May. That’s quite a record, Phil! It’s good to read that you’re “still actively working in real estate, but also spending over 40 days on the ski slopes, hunting, and hobby farming.” Doug Lee, BArch ’60, PhD ’68 ( and his wife, Terri, write from Cambridge, MA, where Doug retired in 2018 from the US Dept. of Transportation and since then has had more time for squash, three times a week.

Our world traveler, Al Podell (, his travels repressed (as for us all) during the past year, planned to begin another cross-country trip in May, but only after hosting a NYC Metro Club Zoom show in late April. The promo says, “The Zoom will highlight the best of his 25,000 travel photos, set to the driving beat of three short but powerful music videos. After each video, Al will discuss how it was made and answer any questions you may have about it.” At this writing, we’re looking forward to that event and then will watch for updates from Al as he revisits many sites in the good old US, a traveling activity many of us probably will undertake as life opens up. For now, we’ll watch for your news and wish you well as our lives get back to some sort of normalcy. ❖ Dick Haggard,; Jan Arps Jarvie, Online news form.


The start of a new era: welcome to this column in the new digital-first alumni publication. The column remains much as it has always been, but its reach has just become much wider. “I am upbeat about the fact that every alum for whom Cornell has an email address will be receiving this column and the alumni news,” says Harry Petchesky of NYC. “Hopefully, this will spark widespread increased interest in Cornell, in the Class of ’59, and in our class’s record-setting Reunions. Yes, we hope to break another record at our 65th Reunion in 2024!”

Not to say that the print magazine won’t be missed, particularly among older alumni. “Over all these years I’ve looked upon Cornell Alumni Magazine as a constant, extremely valuable link to our school, always providing imaginative, informative, and superbly written articles and features,” writes Svein Arber ( Svein was plugging away on a new novel, “Unswept Stone,” before the COVID-19 plague began—“which, alas, rendered me listless, and hence unproductive, for 12 months. For a year the manuscript has been stuck on page 169, but perhaps bringing this project back into view may inspire me to get off my butt.” The novel tells the story of a woman who plays a pivotal role in the opening chapters of Svein’s previous novel, Jumping to Conclusions (2017), which takes place in New York and San Francisco during the ’60s and ’70s.

The COVID-19 pandemic remains a significant influence on our lives as I write this in early April. “Forced isolation is not for sissies,” comments Beth Weinstein Newburger-Schwartz of Arlington, VA. “I am a Broadway producer [a Tony Award for Dear Evan Hansen], and in addition to learning to manage my other two businesses remotely, my life is consumed with balancing unemployed employees and personal challenges like living behind a mask—challenging in a world of actors. I live on Zoom in three time zones, and business hours no longer have boundaries.” Notes Kim Mitchell, “Since 2011, I’ve had a house in Port Charlotte, FL, heading there from my home in Southbury, CT, for six months every winter—but not this past year.” Carl Hedden of Hazle Township, PA, comments, “The lack of in-person church services made this the longest period in 72 years of not singing great music in a choir.” Says Anthony Casendino of Boston, “Travel plans, including family reunions, have been put into hibernation until late 2021 (hopefully).” He’s finishing up one of Casendino & Co.’s last contracts, reviewing affordable housing developments in the city, and looking to close the office at the end of August after practicing for over 60 years as an architect and landscape architect.

There are positive takeaways, too: “We have great scientists who worked very hard to get the vaccines to us at top speed, and many brave people in this wonderful country,” notes Anne Wynne Barringer Rogg of New Milford, CT. “The pandemic has enabled us to sit outside our home with all the time in the world to watch the clouds go by and the birds fly. Our lives are not as busy as they used to be, and we are content!” writes Joan Travis Pittel of Boynton Beach, FL.

And now, with vaccinations in arm, we’re venturing out. “I’ve been running Zoom meetings for the three book clubs to which I belong, but in early April one of the groups felt comfortable enough to gather in a member’s home, since we were all fully vaccinated. The discussion flowed more naturally and lasted longer than on Zoom,” says Linda Rogers Cohen ( “I am happy to report from my home at the RiverWoods Exeter, NH, retirement community that none of us have contracted COVID-19, and that 99% of us are fully vaccinated. We are readjusting to greater freedoms in our lives,” writes Kate Sickles Connolly. “I have my shots now so I can be with friends and my children and grandchildren,” says Bobbie Greig Schneider (; 2020 was a long year for Bobbie, following husband George’s death at the end of 2019. She sold their house and moved to Kendal at Ithaca, where many Cornell alums live.

“I am going to get out and about a bit more. I am looking forward to my granddaughter’s wedding this summer and my first great-grandchild in the fall,” says Anne Rogg. Robert Dann ( and his wife were homebodies due to the pandemic. “We’re glad we got through it and can look forward to resuming visits with our eight grandchildren,” he writes. “I have been in touch with classmates Jim Horwich, Larry Schnadig, Dick Talkin, Don Katz, and Tom Meier,” reports Ken Riskind ( “We look forward to getting together in the not-too-distant future.” Ken was one of us who took advantage of the virtual world during the pandemic: “I have played a lot of bridge, read many books, and taken courses at the U. of Arizona. I’ve also taken Pilates classes online.”

A few comments for those of you who are new to this column. I’m always eager to hear from classmates. Traditionally, the column deadline has been about two and a half months prior to publication (April 15 for the July/August issue). If you wish to have your email address included in the column with your news, you must so indicate. And I encourage everyone to check and update his/her profile in the alumni directory at—this is a wonderful way to enable long-lost friends to contact you! ❖ Jenny Tesar, Online news form.

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Warm congratulations and hearty thanks to our philanthropic classmate David Atkinson and his wife, Patricia, who have once again offered wonderful support to Cornell. A recent issue of Ezra reported that the generous Atkinsons have committed $30 million to “a new multidisciplinary building on campus, intended to foster innovative and collaborative research in key university priority areas.” They previously endowed the Atkinson Center for Sustainability, a major research center focused on challenges in the global energy, environmental, and economic development arenas, as well as a forum on American Studies and a professorship in Ecology and Environmental Biology. Their benefaction has greatly enriched the university’s resources.

Carol Treman des Cognets (, who normally divides her time between Tucson, AZ, and Melbourne, Australia, found herself confined to the US for all of 2020 by the pandemic. “I miss the spontaneity we all used to enjoy,” she says, and is hoping to get back to Australia soon. She has been “trying to stay upright, sane, and healthy” and spending time “figuring out how to do Zoom, Hangouts, and FaceTime.” Carol also shared the good news that her grandson Willem Clendenin ’24 “started Cornell and is so happy there. He is a fifth-generation Cornellian, which is quite a thrill.”

Harry Blair reports from Branford, CT: “Aside from coping with COVID-19, this June I will have retired for the third (and last!) time from this final incarnation as a visiting fellow in South Asian studies at Yale. Fifty-three years of teaching and working in international development has been a wonderful ride, but it’s now time to stop and get on with other things, like kayaking in Connecticut and seeing our daughter’s family in Brooklyn.” Another Connecticut denizen, Jonathan Emerson, writes from Farmington that his biggest takeaway from the pandemic is “the knowledge of how many people are in dire circumstances and how lucky I am/we are. I’ve been married to Jane for 53 years and have been retired for almost 20 years—wow! I enjoy the beauty of Connecticut, love to boat and walk, and teach boating classes for Hartford Power Squadron a couple of times a year.”

Maxine Ertag Schwartz (, who lives in Hollywood, FL, points out, “The pandemic has not been a problem to me because I still live in a house and have a dog. Now at home more, I am furiously playing online games. Since I retired in 2014 from the Miller Center for Judaic Studies at the U. of Miami, I have had more time for recreational reading and friends. I also continue as a life board member of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation.” She and her late husband, Kenneth, have six children and seven grandchildren. Richard Coburn, DVM ’63 ( writes, “From March through July 2020 I had to close my small-animal veterinary practice in Montague, NJ. To escape the pandemic I mostly spent that time on the beach 50 miles south of Cancun, Mexico, where there was virtually no COVID-19 in evidence.” Richard says that what brings him the most satisfaction these days is “traveling and working with my two charities: the Friends of Puerto Aventuras, which provides the local community with scholarships and English classes, and the India Group, which offers financial support for education and healthcare for families in that country.”

From Colts Neck, NJ, George Schildge, BME ’62, writes, “For the last 12 months my wife, Jane, and I have been unable to fly but managed road trips to Vermont and Connecticut and also learned more about our home state of New Jersey. A shift of gear but okay. Now that we are vaccinated, things will loosen up. Our son, Daniel ’90, ME ’91, has taken over our business, CRP Industries, so I’m retired. Hooray! Classmate Phil Bowers has moved into our area, and we see each other often.” According to Doris “Dodi” Bermudez Eschenbach, “Since the onset of the pandemic, I’ve been closely following the guidelines of mask-wearing, social distancing, and limited interaction with others. I go grocery shopping, stop at the library, and do little else! I feel as though I’m living in a bubble. Here on Hilton Head, I’m on the board of the Heritage Library Foundation, which is the caretaker of two historic sites on the island and also provides instruction in how to do family-history research.” She says she gets satisfaction these days “by communicating regularly with our children and grandchildren. We haven’t seen them in more than a year!”

Our condolences to Paul Becker (, who sent sad news from Bloomington, IN. “My spouse, Gail (Hirschmann) ’62, passed away on February 23, 2020. We had been married for 57 years. I am planning to join our children and grandchildren in Los Angeles this summer, and I am grateful to know that all our family members, three children and six grandchildren, are COVID-free so far.” Please keep sending your news to: ❖ Judy Bryant Wittenberg, Online news form.


Greetings, classmates! I am very sorry to write that we have not been together for our 60th Reunion in Ithaca. I hope you were able to join in on the campus tour for our class held electronically in April. Meanwhile, I have news from classmates to share.

From Connie Fekete Drapeau ( and husband Raoul ’60 in Ashburn, VA, is news of their living in a retirement community where, while wearing a mask, Connie participates in a number of groups “including a book club, which I started, the drama club, and the Unitarian Universalist group. I also currently serve on the general services committee and am active in politics. Cornell’s motto about ‘freedom and responsibility’ really rings true. Be careful with yourself and others.”

Frederick “Ted” Pease ( is “composing and arranging music for the New World Jazz Composers Octet. Our latest CD is called ‘The Next Stage’ and features eight of the finest jazz musicians from Berklee College of Music and New England Conservatory. Three middle-aged children and eight grandchildren are beginning to emerge from self-isolation, inoculations being obtained as available. The pandemic has shown how woefully unprepared we were (and still are) for a crisis of this magnitude.” From Massachusetts, Fred Siegal ( says, “I’m fully retired from medicine—AIDS care mostly. My kids, David ’89 and Nina ’91, are both CU alums. David is an attorney in New York with a lovely wife and two sons. Granddaughter Sonia writes for the New York Times.” What brings him the most satisfaction these days? “My life partner, Carol, and our dog, Sam. We have a home in Stockbridge, MA, and in NYC.”

Barbara Hasenzahl Eckelmeyer ( has moved to a senior facility called Stonebridge in Skillman, NJ. “My husband, Ed, was in a memory care unit where he contracted COVID-19 and passed away. With help from family, friends, and neighbors, the house was sold (in one day), emptied, and packed for the move.” Now she is getting used to the new environment and making new friends. Her biggest takeaway from the pandemic? “Be thankful for every day. Follow the rules.” Jane Sessler ( has a new life in a new over-65 community outside Saratoga Springs, NY, and has “become a racehorse owner. These small partnerships have provided lots of fun, comradery, and excitement. We’ve had good horses and bad ones, but we enjoy feeding them in the barn and rooting for them when they run. We have visited the winner’s circle more than 30 times.” Before the pandemic, Jane took a trip with family to Iceland for her 80th birthday. She adds, “I found being single and 80 very liberating. I did what I had to do and what I wanted to do.”

Mary Ann Tower Rolland ( is “retired and living in a retirement community of 500 seniors (yes, I have had my shots and hope to travel this summer). I feel blessed to be in a retirement community that has avoided the pandemic and kept us well—this past year my younger sister moved here too. I love to quilt so am enjoying the ‘free time’ this lockdown provides, but I am having vision problems and am selling my car (boo hoo!). I enjoy the companionship of my second husband and plan to meet Chi Gamma classmates at Chautauqua in August.” No travel due to the pandemic for Robert Treadway Jr. (, who retired after 20 years of teaching. “I taught English at Beijing Second Foreign Language U., 1999–2002. Before the pandemic, I was singing in a local church choir and the Ann Arbor Chinese Choir. I’m learning about history through reading and how to survive without travel.”

Jay Sherman writes, “I was in the Cornell Arts & Sciences Class of 1961 for two and a half years, then left to pursue a degree in film production at NYU. After a long career as a working film editor (and other gigs) I’m delighted to say I used my pandemic isolation time to publish a book that I think would interest my fellow Cornellians: Estéban’s Dance: A Novella and Five Tales. It follows the misadventures of four Collegetown roommates and their friends over the course of the next 30 years.” ❖ Susan Williams Stevens,; Doug Fuss, Online news form.


Welcome to our first virtual class column! Whoever said “you can’t teach old dogs new tricks” didn’t know the Cornell Class of 1962! Just watch us pivot! Speaking of the specialness of our class and of our time at Cornell, the recent death of Walter LaFeber at age 87 sparked a lot of reactions from our classmates. His New York Times obituary states, “After he earned his doctorate in 1959, he was hired as an assistant professor at Cornell, joining a star-studded roster of political scientists that would include Allan Bloom, Andrew Hacker, and Theodore J. Lowi.” What a time! We and he arrived at Cornell simultaneously. Can it be that he was only six years older than we are? YIKES!

Alan Flaherty writes, “I think all of us who attended our 50th Reunion will well remember Walter LaFeber’s gracious recollections of our shared time on the Hill.” And Neil Schilke, MS ’64, expanded, “Prof. LaFeber’s wonderful symposium presentation in which he explained our lives from our time on campus forward to the Reunion, and all of the on-campus events he included (the Cuban Missile Crisis, the first US space flight, etc.), were vivid memories, now put into the context of how the world was going around. When I received his Chronicle obit, I started playing his final lecture with the intent of just getting a sampling of what he would say. An hour later, I saw him walk off the stage with his ‘historical footnotes,’ after having explained Cornell during his four-plus decades there. Wow! Hunter Rawlings was right when he said that there are very few ‘scholar teachers’ and Walter LaFeber was the best of the best.” The Cornell Chronicle article that Neil mentioned includes this link to his last lecture in NYC in 2006, to 3,000 adoring alumni—50 minutes of fascinating fact-and-name-filled words without any notes! It’s a magical hour of Cornell and world history.

Paul Marantz writes, “I have very fond memories of Walter LaFeber’s inspiring teaching. He was such a wonderful person and role model. His lectures were riveting, and he instilled the importance of ideas, the careful consideration of a wide range of views, and the importance of critical thinking. We are very fortunate to have known him and to have benefited from his teaching.” Peter Schuck says, “I was among Walt’s first students at Cornell, and we continued to communicate thereafter.” Here is the poem that Peter wrote on the occasion of Walter LaFeber’s retirement in 2006: “Can it be that he’ll retire / when in his belly there’s still fire, / when colleagues he can still inspire, / and students who their prof admire? / Cornell cries out ‘This cannot be, / the lecture hall he must not flee.’ / Clio says, lugubriously, / ‘This day is dark for History.’ / But retirement day should not appall / friends of Walt—let us recall / there’s life beyond McGraw Hall / like teaching grandkids basketball. / More hours with Sandy and to write / rather than hone lectures late at night / more time for reading books to cite / continuing to set history aright. / So friends of Walt, don’t be sad / retirement won’t be so bad / the finest teacher whom we had / is, geologically, still a lad.”

Barbara Byrd Wecker ( writes: “Loved Prof. LaFeber’s history/foreign policy class. And he gave a great talk at our 50th Reunion.” And Linda Goldfarb Roberts ( adds: “I remember his wonderful lectures at Cornell and our study group at SDT to prepare for his exams.”

Since we asked for Cornell memories in the run-up to our 60th Reunion, many of you have submitted stories about the excellence of our professors. Here are a couple. From Rich Alther: “Prof. George Healey, PhD ’47’s Chaucer course was so popular it was scheduled Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday at noon to limit enrollment. Didn’t work. After class, we had to dash to the football game. About the applause: at first, I thought this a polite thank-you. Same for Edward Fox, Clinton Rossiter ’39, Andrew Hacker et al., until I realized, no, beyond brilliant lecturers they were performers with bravura to prompt the wild clapping.”

Betty Kreps Zielinski writes, “Marilynn Schade Stewart and I were in the front row of a government lecture by Clinton Rossiter in Goldwin Smith Hall. We both had on knee socks. Prof. Rossiter walked to the front of the stage and asked us, ‘So, are knee socks in or out?’ We said we weren’t sure, and he replied, ‘Okay then you are either in or so far out that you are in!’ I must say that my years at Cornell were among the best of my life—being taken care of financially and still being on my own with the only worries about grades and getting term papers in on time. I wish I could relive just one day of that time again—especially when being alone since mid-March due to COVID has me doing a lot of happy memory searches.”

The theme of professor memories is a rich run-up to our 60th Reunion, which is now less than a year away. We’ll have more of these to come in the next column, so send yours and stay tuned! ❖ Evelyn Eskin, Online news form.


From class president Dick Clark comes the following: “Many months ago, I participated in a university survey of spontaneous recommendations from class presidents on what Cornell might do to improve the engagement of alumni. My number-one recommendation on behalf of the Class of 1963 was for the university to use its residual resources to provide more direct services to alumni. Such action would be a counterbalance to the many annual funding solicitations. Whether the recommendation for such expanded service came from other sources or was already in the works, the university has responded beyond expectation. The range of new, predominantly online services being provided to alumni is expansive. The offerings range (for example) from live tours of the Johnson Museum of Art to webinars on wide-ranging substantive matters by university professors and subject matter experts to highly popular worldwide mixers preceded by class party rooms. I hope that Cornell’s broadened support of its alumni will provide one more incentive for renewing class dues, which support gifts to university programs, and for staying engaged with our alma mater. In slightly more than a year, the class council will be going into high gear in planning for our 60th Reunion, the cost of which dues also help to offset.”

Harvey Rothschild wrote of the passing of classmate Chris LeSourd. “I was barely acquainted with Chris and not at all when on the Hill. There were only six of us from Washington State in our class.” Harvey adds, “I’ve gotten my second shot (hurrah!), but my daughter, Wendy Rothschild ’86, is at the bottom of the list, so we are still keeping masked, etc. I’ve gotten my tickets for my October trip to see my son and his family in Pretoria, SA—fingers crossed.”

Christa Snow sent an email reporting that her husband, our classmate Walter Snow Jr., died on May 21, 2020 from a brain hemorrhage. If anyone would like to have Christa’s mailing address, please email me. Chuck and Marcia Bergren Pine sent a Christmas card mentioning, “We are traveling to Annapolis to see our daughter’s family and grandchildren whom we haven’t seen for a year. Can’t wait!”

Barbara Hartung Wade, MEd ’64, wrote that she, daughter Kimberly, and Kimberly’s husband, Bernard, were stricken with COVID-19 last March. They live under the same roof. Bernard was not able to work for almost three months due to severe lung issues. “The rest of the year flew by—seemed I was always changing the calendar to another month. During the summer and early fall we enjoyed going to the cabana, the golf club, the pool, and golfing. Kimberly’s T.A. position was eliminated, as were my homebound teaching assignments. We’ve been doing lots of Sudoku and crossword puzzles and reading.”

From Joe Brennan: “My family and I are well and working diligently to avoid COVID-19. Both Elaine and I have received our second-shot vaccinations. I just received my January/February issue of Cornell Alumni Magazine and became quite aware that the 1963 column is getting closer to the first page of Class Notes. Celebrated my 83rd birthday with a self-gift of a red Tesla that I’m loving. Being a practical guy, I have willed it to my youngest granddaughter, Mia, and her husband, Ricky, who presented me with my first great-grandchild, Emanuel Jesus.”

Bruce Craig, MEd ’65, and Theresa Lambert live in Heathsville, VA. Bruce wrote, “The pandemic sharpened my focus on essential values in life and the quality of relationships with family, friends, and neighbors. It also prevented me from continuing weekly piano lessons and limited contact with membership organizations—some overcome through learning how to Zoom and others delayed indefinitely by virtue of membership technological deficiencies. As a graduate of Arts & Sciences I did not take a course in Philosophy at Cornell. It is one of my biggest regrets. I now take an hour each day to read texts and, yes, watch YouTube videos about classical and enlightened philosophers.”

Patricia Kelly Poggi “retired to Florida, but I miss my friends in Poughkeepsie, NY. Just finished chatting with prospective ‘freshpeople.’ CAAAN is my favorite volunteer activity. Although I am aged (like wine), I have many family members as Cornell grads and one granddaughter accepted. I just became a great-grandmother. Liam Poggi should matriculate in 2039! Although I miss travel, I’ve made more time to write notes to family and friends, read, and binge on TV murder mysteries.”

David, PhD ’65, and Leslie Verdier Armentrout spend their time in “Oregon, Michigan, and Nevis in the West Indies. We like to play pickle ball, do paddle boarding, and hike, and are members of a current events group. We get the most satisfaction out of family, nature, good books, and catching projects up.” Leslie also mentioned that she misses close contact with family and friends more than she thought she would in the pandemic.”

I was pleasantly surprised in the mail this week when my Cornell editor sent me more Share Your News forms than I have ever received in one mailing. Thank you. Please keep it up or email me with your news. ❖ Nancy Bierds Icke, 12350 E. Roger Road, Tucson, AZ 85749; email, Online news form.


Welcome to summer vacation time! Been anywhere pandemic-safe? Neither have we. So settle back and see what your classmates are up to. But before we begin, we have a Class Notes column change: contributors’ email addresses can be included, but only if they so designate. So please makes sure to note your preference when you submit your news.

Now let’s begin with two classmates who are appearing in this column for the very first time. Erna Hofmann West, who lives in NYC with husband Alan, writes that their granddaughter is a sophomore in Cornell’s Industrial and Labor Relations school. Evan Freund, who lives in Chicago, writes, “In place of gym sessions, I have been taking 30-mile solo bike rides through the South Side Chicago neighborhoods. This has become so enjoyable that I will continue my rides after returning to the gym, with COVID vaccine.” Evan has also kept busy professionally: “I am working for criminal justice reform in Illinois, including dismantling the war on drugs through medical intervention, reducing mass incarceration, and eliminating all money bail prior to trial.” As to other activities, Evan notes, “We are planning to visit our sons and their families in Los Angeles after long absences.” Evan is also active on the humanism front: “We are making real progress in dismantling institutionalized racism in Chicago and in Illinois. Many laws and practices oppressing poor people remain. The varied and inclusive relationships experienced at Cornell have been an ongoing inspiration for an inclusively equitable society.”

Lawyer and sculptor John Kaufman, JD ’67, last in this column 33 years ago, is also actively retired, writing, “I am cutting back on my ‘volunteer’ work with veterans and spending more time using accumulated materials and objects to make luxury bird houses. I am now working on number five. It is a slow process. Numbers one through three are on display on my street in Maplewood, NJ. My wife, Alba, says numbers four and five are nice sculptures but don’t qualify as bird houses. Andre Vanderzanden, last here in 1997, is a retired pediatrician living in Rochester, NH, with wife Edwinna. Andre notes, “COVID has kept us close to home; our last trip was to South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Botswana in 2000.” He otherwise notes that he still rides his motorcycle and does part-time farming, and they have three grandchildren. Andre is the first classmate to request having his email published, so you can contact him at:

Carol Perlmuter Luper has much to report since her last appearance here in 2002, beginning with the sad news that her Cornell alum husband, Fred ’62, died in June 2020. Carol lives in Columbus, OH, and retired in 2013 after a 36-year career as a radio and TV news reporter. She’s also been quite active, including being a board member of the Columbus Metropolitan Club, a member of the Harmony Project, and on the Columbus Jewish Community Center board. She is a teacher of reporter/response methods as a member of the Columbus Metropolitan Library staff, is in a monthly book club, and watches author conversations and “many” movies and TV series. Carol notes that she and Fred used to go to NYC to see Broadway shows. She enjoys spending time with the five of her seven grandchildren who live nearby. Brighten Carol’s day at:

Sharon Kellermann (, also last here in 2002, lives in Warren, VT, and writes, “I worked as a realtor in the Mad River Valley (home of the Sugarbush Resort) for 35 years, many as principal broker for the company owned by Sugarbush. I am now retired and love it. I devote my time to a few local organizations, and better yet I can pick my ski and golf days depending upon weather and conditions, especially for skiing.” Bruce Gordon (, who lives in Scarsdale, NY, with wife Madelon (Roseman) ’63, says he is a “semi-retired ophthalmologist,” but keeps busy in the Downstate Medical School Alumni Assn. and is on the board of directors of the United Hebrew Geriatric Center. Bruce’s most recent travel was a mission to Israel with the Friends of the IDF (Israeli Defense Force). The Gordons’ two children and five grandchildren “live nearby, and we love to spend time together.”

Brian Wruble, ME ’66 (, who lives in Key West, FL, with wife Kathleen, writes, “I have retired from all my boards except one: BlackRock TCP Capital, a publicly traded company in Santa Monica, CA.” Just before the pandemic struck in 2020, they spent three weeks in New Zealand and Sydney, Australia. As for now, he writes, “We are all hunkered down, riding out the COVID-19 storm. All healthy so far.” Jane Fennelly, last here 19 years ago, is a retired attorney now living in Surprise, AZ, with husband Jay Brent. Jane loves playing golf, which, given where she lives, is no surprise.

That’s our word limit for now. I could always use more news for our new column, so please update me by email, regular mail, our class website, or our class Facebook page. ❖ Bev Johns Lamont, 720 Chestnut St., Deerfield, IL 60015; email, Online news form.


This will be the first online edition of our class column. We hope that an even greater number of classmates will have access to our column with the advent of the new format.

Judith Fisher Smith (Bethany, CT; has been busy building a new house. She gives lessons in equine (body language) communication. She derives the greatest satisfaction from her horses and cats, the surrounding wildlife, and her family. Conrad Cook, MAT ’66 (Potsdam, NY) has been operating a farm market for growing wildlife feed, mostly for deer. Alfalfa and soybean baleage and corn are all sold in 50-pound bags at his farm. Some sales are made across state lines in the East and Midwest. Cook’s Wildlife Buffet is a full-time business. Conrad also belongs to the Parishville town board. He enjoys visits from children and grandchildren.

Elaine Sarkin Jaffe, MD ’69 (Great Falls, VA; is head of the hematopathology section of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD. She notes: “Working on site every day this past year has been a challenge at the NIH. My clinical work has proceeded at an accelerated pace.” Daryl Goldgraben Smith (Claremont, CA; is still engaged in consulting activity and has been doing a good deal of Zoom work with campuses of higher education across the country, concerning diversity issues.

Joel Perlman (Water Mill, NY; has been living out in the eastern part of Long Island over this past year. He installed a major sculpture, “East Gate,” at the Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill, and another, “Dreadnought,” at the Nassau County Museum of Art. His sons, Jack ’18 and Sam ’20, have been working in Los Angeles and New York City, respectively. He still derives his greatest satisfaction from making sculpture and watching his sons grow up. Francine Grace Plaza (Boca Raton, FL; says: “I live in paradise; every day is a gift.” She makes quilts for sick children, in conjunction with Project Linus. Her three sons are a debt equity executive, an artist and gallerist, and a diplomat.

William Urban (New Port Richey, FL; does “as little as possible” in retirement. His philosophical conclusion from the pandemic experience: “Nothing is good or bad, except next to something else.” Nancy Felthousen Ridenour, MAT ’73 (Ithaca, NY; relates: “I am in charge of an electronic network for science teachers that shares information about professional development; belong to the State of the Art Gallery and have worked with members for shows and online activities; and joined the Love Living at Home community for greater exposure to people in the Ithaca community. I worked in my garden all summer and held an open garden tour, and I am a photographer and spent a lot of time photographing a variety of subjects.” She and her daughter Sheryl ’91 attended the Philadelphia Flower Show and Longwood Gardens exhibit in March 2020, before the pandemic closed things down. Her lesson from the pandemic: “Resilience and self-reliance are very important for survival. Those with no hobbies are going nuts. I am not.”

Jon Jay DeTemple (Bryn Mawr, PA; has continued to serve as president of Harcum College in Bryn Mawr. The pandemic has required him to deal with the ramifications of virus outbreaks and with the need for remote learning. He remarried following the passing of his wife in 2016. Jon is grateful that he is “continuing to go full throttle with no health impairments.” Keep the news coming! Even in uncertain times, there are hopefully good things worth reporting. ❖ Stephen Appell,; Joan Hens Johnson, Online news form.


Welcome to the first edition of the online Cornell Class Notes. We hope that our virtual 55th Reunion was good for you. Look for a write-up about the event in our next column! In 2026, we’ll celebrate our 60th Reunion in person! See you then, if not before.

One way that some ’66 Cornellians have retained their connection is via Zoom groups. We know of at least one group of guys who created their fraternity virtual group, and it’s been going well.

Laurie Krasny Brown ( wrote that after leaving the Harvard Graduate School of Education program, she’s been writing nonfiction books for young children; her latest, published in September 2020, is Democracy for Dinosaurs: A Guide for Young Citizens. She is also pursuing a career in fine art and has an upcoming solo show at the Fenimore Art Museum, located in Cooperstown, NY. She has a kitchen garden for her summers on Martha’s Vineyard and enjoys being a parent, a step-parent, and a grandparent. Ralph Janis ( is still helping with various Class of ’66 committees, including for the recent Reunion, and as our campus liaison. You will remember that Ralph is director emeritus of Cornell’s Adult University. He is walking miles every day, keeping his weight down, and not smoking! He’s traveled to Boston and Hong Kong to see his family and is still “maintaining the Janis B&B in Ithaca for all visitors/wanderers.”

Kevin O’Gorman retired two years ago as an internal medical doctor in Eden, NY. He had been practicing there for 40 years. Now, his hobby is working for his kids. He noted that his son graduated from the Agriculture college at Cornell and now organically farms 10,000 acres in Eden Valley, near where he lives. Paul Foster retired in 2018 as a chaplain at an Acts Retirement-Life Community, after almost 50 years of Christian ministry. He now lives in Havre de Grace, MD, where he enjoys birdwatching in northern Maryland. He and his wife moved there to be near his youngest son and his family, which includes six of his eight grandchildren.

Diann Goodman Mann ( lives in Palm Beach Gardens, FL, and describes her life as very busy in seclusion this pandemic year. She’s taking lots of long walks, reading, and Zooming. She’s also been watching lots of interesting Cornell Zooms on many topics in many areas. She, like many of us, has had to cancel several vacations because of the pandemic. Norman Meyer just fully retired, after working one day a week. He wrote, “I fish one day per week, will be the Worshipful Master of our Masonic Lodge until 2022, and am still active in our Lions Club. I organize the city’s Fourth of July festival, which takes time from January until the end of July, and attend beer tastings. I hope to sneak into New York this year.”

Mary Nichols ( retired as chair of the California Air Resources Board on December 31, 2020. Now she’s a professor of law at UCLA. She volunteers for the China-California Climate Inst., the President’s Council of Cornell Women, and the Commission on Future Mobility. Although she lives in Los Angeles, she “retains a pied-à-terre and spends blocks of time in NYC, which is a lifetime goal. When in L.A., I live in a three-generation household with my son and his wife and my 6-year-old grandson,” where the family makes pizza from scratch. Pete Freeman retired and returned to the Ithaca area with his wife. They now live in Interlaken, NY, near his daughter. He coordinates a small family foundation that gives funds to area students who are pursuing higher education degrees.

Barbara Lawrence ( has been attending our class Reunions for many years. She wrote that she recently had a Kappa Delta meet-up with Nancy Law ’84 via Zoom. They chatted for two hours, and it was great! In Barbara’s suggestions for Reunion, she would have liked to have tours of new developments on campus. That is a super idea—we’ll have to ask for that for our 60th Reunion! Norman Stern wrote that he is a retired oral and maxillofacial surgeon. He works out at the fitness center where he lives, plays golf, and would like to be able to travel when the coronavirus pandemic ends. His favorite trip was an African safari.

John Bayersdorfer ( wrote from Greensboro, NC, that he has retired from the corporate international business world but remains a co-owner with his wife of NANCO Travel Services. He’s also a board member of the Greensboro Kiwanis Club and is a founding member of TYLA, the club that introduced lacrosse to the youth of Greensboro. During his New Jersey years, he was president of the Montclair ice hockey club and the Montclair lacrosse club, and he was a certified US ice hockey referee. When he left Cornell, he never foresaw traveling the world for both business and pleasure to over 80 nations to date. His recent travels have taken him to Norway, Scotland, and London. He enjoys playing with his grandchildren, ages 7 to 13.

If you haven’t yet sent in your 2021 class dues—PLEASE DO. And share your news for this column so we all stay in touch. ❖ Pete Salinger,; Susan Rockford Bittker,; Deanne Gebell Gitner, Online news form.


Ted Feldmeier, BS ’71 (Eliot, ME) is busy at retirement: “Adapting to getting older, as I have been doing for 50 years now—cardio, stretching, strengthening.” He reports that life has been good for wife Joan and him. “I feel blessed! Though going dancing (freestyle) to DJ music on Friday and Saturday nights has been on hold with COVID-19.” Ted mentions “helping substantially the selected six various-cause charities that we feel we should, given our fortunate life situation. Hopefully, other classmates are doing the same. A Michigan-located nephew and wife have adopted three (from different families) and are fostering three to four more. They have one of their own. We so admire their selflessness and are helping them.”

“I’m still working full time as a licensed landscape architect and have worked on projects worldwide—embassies, museums, parks,” writes Faye Brunswic Harwell, adding, “You can see my projects on my website for Rhodeside & Harwell Inc.” What was her best day at Cornell? “There were too many to count—but I remember my first walk to the student union from Balch Hall the first time it snowed freshman year. A sunny day, snow crunching, the glorious campus—it was magic!” Ron Bulmer (Prescott, ON) is “still consulting on marketing into China. Just hired an agency on a multi-million-dollar project on promoting seafood from Canada for the industry. Thank goodness they now have golf courses!” Ron remembers: “I was the bouncer at Jim’s Chapter House across the bridge. I learned to hate pizza—messy to wear.”

Nancy Keusch Mayers (Austin, TX; writes, “I’ve become more tech savvy but am still technologically challenged! I will miss receiving the print edition of the alumni mag. It needs to be enjoyed over time, read slowly, and experienced by turning the pages. Only after a few months will it be relegated to the old magazine pile.”

Larry Reich (Boylston, MA; “retired from dentistry nearly four years ago. I guess I’m lucky that I was out of the profession long before COVID hit. Things are getting better, but it will never be the way it used to be. I remember dental care before we wore rubber gloves. I continue to be busy with scouting and bird banding, although both organizations have been sorely affected by the pandemic restrictions. We hope that both can re-open to direct participation again soon. This has been a tough winter for us. My wife, Donna, who is a physician assistant, injured her knee skiing and is on a long road of rehab. Then it was my turn, and I had a heart attack almost three weeks ago [late February]. Less than three hours after my ambulance trip I had two new stents and feel good as new. So, I have to look after my wife, and she has to look after me. Hoping to be able to visit Cornell for 55th.”

Ruth Dritch Salinger (Bethesda, MD; reports “increased volunteering in retirement with Friends of Ostomates Worldwide-USA, a group that donates ostomy supplies to those in need around the world. Gratifying work and great colleagues.” As for the pandemic, she says there’s “more walking and Zoom meetings with friends and a volunteer group. I am comfortable with myself, as well as grateful to have a loving spouse (Peter ’66, MBA ’68) to share our time at home (but then I knew the latter before the pandemic!).” Max and Laurie Frank Krotman (Port Washington, NY) report: “Like most people, COVID turned our lives upside down. Laurie’s sister died of the disease in March 2020 and Max moved his business virtual. But we are both vaccinated and are relieved to see some light at the end of the tunnel, health-wise and politically. We remain cautiously optimistic that our country and the world in general will rebound.”

“No travel and the gym is still closed—boo!” writes Sherry Carr, MILR ’70 (Laverock, PA; She adds, “Reading a lot. More than one a week. Trying to get my jab before phase 1b enters the fray.” What brings her the most satisfaction? “The loving cat, dear friends keeping in touch, and a mystery child who leaves painted stones at the end of the driveways in our neighborhood.” Her biggest pandemic takeaway? “Just how unprepared our governments at all levels were to handle the situation.”

Cliff Straehley (Fair Oaks, CA; notes changes: “Much more IT—social connecting—literally worldwide. Retired to 25%. My work is a privilege and I love it, so it does not feel like work.” Most satisfaction: “‘Husbanding,’ doing psychotherapy with wonderful clients, golf, hiking, movies, and watching college wrestling. Two new firsts for my wife, Angela—snow-shoeing and playing golf.” Biggest takeaway from pandemic: “Friends, friends, friends.” John Eisenhart (Oregon, OH) says daily life “hasn’t changed much. Retired for 21 years. Doing lots of volunteer work at YMCA, at the food pantry, and as secretary of Kiwanis Club.” Satisfaction comes from helping others and giving back to the community. Takeaway: “Great health awareness. Masks and hand washing.”

This is our first column that will appear online. A lot of you have sent in the news form and we hope even more of you will. If you want your email address printed, check off the box on the form or just let me know if you send me news via email or letter. And at a recent class officers’ meeting, cautious expectations are still high for a live Reunion next June. ❖ Richard Hoffman, 2925 28th St. NW, Washington, DC 20008; email, Online news form.


Welcome to the first online version of Class Notes! Fortunately, your spouse or mailman will never misplace or lose this version, and finally we’re advancing into the 21st century and doing our part to save the trees.

Jeffrey Gorwit ( and his wife, Linda, like most of us, have spent much of their time around the house over the past 18 months. Both Jeff and Linda have worked part time on the front lines in the fight against COVID, Linda as a critical care nurse and Jeff as an invasive cardiologist. Jeff’s reward has been spending more time with his seven grandchildren; the oldest is 8. Steve Levine ( and his wife, Joan, live in Holyoke, MA. Steve is a retired physician and still does volunteer work delivering Meals on Wheels to the elderly. One of their two daughters recently had identical girl twins. Michael Landau ( and his wife, Donna, live in Greer, SC.

Mary Sander Alden ( and her husband, Don, live in Petaluma, CA. A group of her Delta Gamma sorority sisters found that monthly virtual visits on Zoom, sharing their stories of COVID-coping, helped them get through the past 18 months. Mary expressed her disdain for that segment of American society who refused to follow scientific advice and jeopardized those around them. Sharon Solwitz and her husband, Barry Silesky, and I’d add most of us, are looking forward to traveling again now that their vaccinations have kicked in. Sharon is still teaching MFA candidates at Purdue U. in writing fiction. Thanks to Nancy Nystrom Frantz’s organizing a monthly Zoom party with their Donlon corridor-mates, Sharon was especially excited to connect with her roommate Alana Cohen Knaster.

Susan Krieger ( and her husband, Art Judge, live in Newton, MA. Susan felt there were some “luxuries” spending down time at home during the pandemic. She appreciated the time with family, her faith practice, and enjoying mother nature, poetry, and literature. She realized the connectiveness of the world’s population and the value of creativity, repair, revival, and healing. Samuel Haskell ( lives in Douglasville, GA, where church, his investment group, and Rotary are slowly emerging from their virtual cocoon to have real face-to-face contact. During the height of the pandemic, Sam found himself watching more business news and has improved his imaginary competition watching “Jeopardy!” As his wife passed away about two years ago, he’s been spending more time helping his two daughters. Sam suggests that the key to staying mentally healthy during the pandemic is maintaining your relationships—even if they are only virtual.

Great to hear from everyone. You can contact me at: ❖ Chuck Levitan, Online news form.


Guest class correspondent confession: if you communicated with me re: our 50th Reunion, I have your email captured! (What I most enjoy about serving as co-registrar is the direct communication!) About 85 emails were sent and 21 replies received pre-deadline—giving me the opportunity to write TWO columns. If your news is not here, you will “appear” in a future electronic edition of the Class Notes!

In order of receipt: Rick Bush replied, “After Cornell and Vietnam I moved back to my hometown of Marion, NY, and owned and managed an insurance agency for 35 years. Now in retirement I spend my spare time fly fishing, mainly Pennsylvania and New York streams. I’ve fly fished Belize and upper Canada fly-in lakes as well. I’m now into a new type of fly fishing called tenkara.” Anyone wanting to chat about fly fishing rather than grandkids should give him a call. Some of you may know Andrea Strongwater ’70 (; at our Reunion, some of her work was available at the Cornell Store and Botanic Gardens—gorgeous! Her home/studio is on NYC’s Upper West Side, where she is able to be creative, paint, walk, and visit gardens. Jigsaw puzzle designs and painting 80 synagogues “erased” in 15 countries were major projects despite COVID—but production has been challenging! She just opened a new website.

Maria Keiser Bartlett enjoyed beach walking on Longboat Key, FL. She serves on the Andover (MA) Green Advisory Board working toward zero emissions, and with the Garden Club Federation of Massachusetts advocating to ban neonicotinoid pesticides in the states. Maria looks forward to six weeks with families this summer! Adam Sieminski, MPA ’71, and wife Laurie (Haynes) have been in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, for four years, where Adam is president of an energy think tank, KAPSARC, with no thoughts of retirement. A Civil Engineering email chain has had discussions re: the demise of Arecibo, including LOTS of fascinating connections! (For the non-astronomers: that’s the radio telescope in GoldenEye and Contact—huge contributions to astronomy!)

Paul Smith, ME ’70, is retired from “MBA-ification of engineering at Newport News Shipbuilding.” He thoroughly enjoyed numerous specialized, unique projects in everything from an aircraft launch system (EMALS) to moving submersible drilling rigs into water from bulkhead erection sites. Paul now enjoys being labor for his wife’s Master Gardener project at home and around. The Smiths miss travel—especially with Cornell alumni groups (the Krablins do as well), but they did get to Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii, and Italy before the pandemic. NYC and Allentown, PA (daughters), and a long US road trip are in their plans. Luis Garcia continues to practice geotechnical engineering enthusiastically in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. Hurricane Maria ’17 and ’20 earthquakes present plenty of engineering problems to resolve.

Peter Fried, who is married to Wendy (Zisfein) ’71, has been teaching in the applied physics department at NYU and recently completed a project with Drew Harvell (Cornell marine ecologist, ret.), photographer David Brown ’83 (Johnson Museum of Art), and a team of Harvard zoologists to scan and make 3D computer images of the Blaschka glass models described in the CAM July/August 2013 issue. Jerry Diener ( writes, “I thought I would finally retire on December 31, 2020 when my oncology board certification expired. My wife, Nancy, was happy that I would be spending my time at home instead of working on out-of-town assignments doing locums (filling in temporarily while the client searches for a permanent hiree). Then the American Board of Internal Medicine extended all certifications through 2021 because of COVID. As a result, I found an assignment in Maryland near my sister and my daughter, Michele Diener Good ’98, and family (almost-2-year-old grandson) but had minimal contact because of COVID. Next up: travel to son Jeff Diener ’95 and four grandchildren in San Francisco.” Jerry’s future includes locums closer to home, courses in landscape design, and finding a caboose for guesthouse conversion at their New Hampshire home!

Rick Spiewak, ME ’70 ( has been working as a software engineer from home and has no plans to retire but looks forward to now safer travel to family/grandchildren: in Maryland, daughter Sarah Spiewak Gulla ’95 (Nick is 5) and in Napa, CA, son Jeff (Logan is 2.5). Harry Wachob, PhD ’76, leads a weekly Bio2device Group, providing life science and COVID updates with invited speakers. Wife Ruth (Sauberman) ’70 has been Zoom teaching environmental volunteers for elementary kids on science and eco topics.

This is almost HALF the classmates who so generously sent news earlier this year! Next issue there will be more, including news from Tim Savage, Barb Fuchs Turell, Kenny Rubin, Alan Shineman, Penny Smith Austin, Ron Wick, ME ’70, Wendy Wallitt, John Melillo, Susan Wohryzek Mittler, Ingrid Vatsvog Wachtler, ME ’70, Zell Berman Rosenfelt, and perhaps a few more! YOU? More news is always welcome!

Common themes and pandemic takeaways: trips canceled, friends and family missed, creative outreaches for intelligent/productive isolation, tremendous relief that vaccination is making visits to family and friends again a part of our lives. “Got my shot!”; “know my neighbors/the elevator man/etc. better”; “who would have thought FUN in life would be VIRTUAL meetings and gatherings”; “be better prepared for the next time”; “trust science—politicians and medicine do not mix.”

Now, to encourage advance planning! Our class was so lucky to have Reunion in 2019. Be sure to put the first weekend in June on your 2024 calendar now! Guest class correspondent: ❖ Nancy Jenkins Krablin, Online news form.

Back to the top



I hope many of you have seen the dues letter from Sally Anne Levine, JD ’73, mailed in March. Even as things change, it is still important, as she mentions, to stay connected with our Cornell community, and especially our class.

These continue to be disappointing times. In March, an announcement from the Alumni Affairs office confirmed that Reunion 2021 would be virtual, again. So those of us who were hoping for a joyful 50+1 with our friends from the Class of 1971, along with all my friends in the Continuous Reunion Club, will need to wait or find ways to gather on their own. See below!

In the midst of the disturbances caused by the pandemic, a significant change has occurred—and will continue to evolve. If you are reading this, you will know Cornell Alumni Magazine and Ezra are no more. They have been replaced by an evolving online, digital-first publication and communications hub, to be rolled out in phases. Class Notes have been and continue to be one of the most-read parts of alumni communications, and they will continue to be a part of this evolving new medium. As one change, we correspondents will ask anyone submitting news whether or not they are OK with having their email addresses published in this new format. Although things may well have evolved, for those interested in the whys and hows of this change, the FAQs for this, published by the university and Alumni Affairs, may be found here.

Much conversation in my last column was about vaccinations. As eligibilities open in states and cities, I am hopeful that all of you have found ways to protect yourselves and your families and contribute to ending the pandemic. I was privileged as a front-line healthcare worker, and being older, of being in the first group to be vaccinated. I am also privileged to live in an area where there is conscientious local government, organized enough to not require some residents to scramble for appointments. Hoping for all of you that your being vaccinated is not turning into the difficult search process that some have needed to do.

The spirit of reunions and gathering of Cornellians, although not done in person, has resulted in interesting efforts by groups of alumni. I received the following from classmate Arthur Schwope about an affinity group he participated in for our canceled live Reunion. “Seventeen ’70 Chemical Engineers convened a wonderful reunion via Zoom. The conversation celebrated our having completed the ChemE curriculum during a challenging time on the Hill and in the country as well as our subsequent, fascinatingly varied professional and personal lives. Hearts card games, which went well into the night, in the Olin Hall library and our attempt to win the all-sports trophy were fondly remembered. Twenty-two classmates—of the 38 in the class—provided single-page ‘biographies’ to form a commemorative booklet that was distributed prior to the reunion to persons with confirmed contact info. Single-pagers from additional classmates are very much invited for version 2. Contact me.

“Although it was disappointing to not have the 50th in Ithaca, more of us were able to participate in the Zoom call than would have returned to campus. And the one and a half to two hours of focused face time with so many classmates was probably more than we would have had in Ithaca, with attention split among fraternity gatherings, cliques, spouses, Reunion events, etc., as well as dispersed lodging and other logistics issues.

“Indeed, the ChemE reunion was a lot of fun and fascinating. Except for a couple of subsets of us, we hadn’t seen or talked to one another since departing Ithaca in 1970. Although many of us followed a traditional ChemE professional career in the petroleum or process chemical industries, there were others who never did another materials or energy balance in their lives. Several classmates obtained MBAs, and there was at least one MD and one lawyer. One managed his family’s 13 McDonald’s franchises. One of the fun stories was that one of the MBAs and one of the MDs were working at the Cleveland Clinic in the same building at the same time but didn’t know it. Even more remarkably, the MBA’s wife was a patient of the MD, but the 1 + 1 = 2 of that connection wasn’t figured out until the reunion.

“One of the classmates made the observation that when we were at Cornell, there were some friendships, but basically we were in competition with one another for class rank that might determine admission to grad school or a job interview with a preferred employer. On the reunion call, we were guys (there were no females in ChemE) who now could celebrate one another for having shared the experience of completing the ChemE curriculum during the turbulent late 1960s and our careers, whatever they were.” Thank you, Arthur!

As mentioned last time, I am new at this. And I can’t do it without news from all of you. So send your notes! You may contact me directly, at my email or phone below. If I don’t answer, leave a voicemail and I will call you back. Or you may use the university’s standard form here. Please send your news! ❖ John Cecilia,; tel., (312) 524-2912.


Unfortunately, we didn’t receive any news from classmates in time for this column. Rather than forfeiting our allotted space, I have decided to profile one of my favorite (and most admired) classmates, Art Spitzer. Last year, Art hit a milestone—40 years (from April Fool’s Day 1980 until April 2020) serving as the legal director of the District of Columbia ACLU. He decided to kick back and become the senior counsel of the ACLU. However, I have it on good authority that during quarantine mode in 2020 and 2021 he has worked from a second-floor bedroom, putting in more hours than ever before.

Art’s work has included a wide range of ACLU issues: freedom of speech and religion, police misconduct, national security, privacy, prisoners’ rights, freedom of information, discrimination (based on race, sex, religion, sexual orientation, and gender preference), and many more. Art has represented famous, infamous, and sometimes anonymous clients including Mohamedou Ould Slahi (a Guantanamo detainee held without charge for 14 years); Louis Farrakhan (who had been barred from attending then-D.C. Mayor Marion Barry’s criminal trial); the Ku Klux Klan (when it was denied a permit to march in D.C.); the National Black Police Assn. (which challenged D.C.’s low election campaign contribution limits); the White House Vigil for the Equal Rights Amendment (challenging restrictive regulations for demonstrating near the White House); and, of course, both John and Jane Doe.

In Abbate v. Ramsey, Art represented some of the nearly 400 protestors arrested at an anti-World Bank demonstration in D.C.’s Pershing Park in 2002, challenging their illegal arrest and inhumane detention. The lawsuit led to a settlement that included significant changes in D.C. police practices during demonstrations. Other cases include Harmon v. Thornburgh, which challenged random drug testing of Dept. of Justice employees; Schroer v. Billington (representing a trans woman fired by the Library of Congress when she disclosed her status); Center for National Security Studies v. US Dept. of Justice (which challenged the secret detention of some immigrants after 9/11); and LaShawn A. v. Bowser (a class action to reform D.C.’s foster care system). Art successfully argued Ake v. Oklahoma in the US Supreme Court. The court ruled that indigent criminal defendants are entitled to free expert witnesses when needed for their defense, just as they’re entitled to free lawyers.

Elisabeth Kaplan Boas tipped me off that classmate Alan Miller has written a new book that is scheduled to hit the street at the beginning of June. The title is Cut Super Climate Pollutants Now! The book describes the urgent need to reduce several climate pollutants, including methane and HFCs, that have “short atmospheric lifetimes.” As described on the Amazon website description of the book, “a ten-year sprint to cut short-lived super climate pollutants … can cut the rate of global warming in half, so we can stay in the race to net zero climate emissions by 2050.” Alan’s co-authors are Durwood Zaelke and Stephen O. Anderson. ❖ Gayle Yeomans, Online news form.


This is our first online class column. We hope you enjoy the change. After over a year of uncertainty and isolation, it appears that the COVID-19 pandemic is finally winding down. I received both vaccinations and, to celebrate, went out to dinner (indoors) at a seafood restaurant with my daughter. Still wore our masks, except to actually eat our meal and drink our wine. First fresh seafood in a year. I hope our country never has to go through this experience again.

William “Wes” Schulz, ME ’73, reports that he survived the polar vortex incident in Texas last February that caused major problems with the supply of electricity, water, and natural gas. Over 200 deaths and billions of dollars in damages resulted. He considers himself blessed that he did not have any problem with lights, heat, or water, although some in his community did and suffered the effects of burst water pipes. He lives 20 miles from the coast, so the snowfall was only an inch and no freezing rain, but people further north had much more precipitation and wind and colder temperatures. He evacuated his mother-in-law from Houston to his home, which proved to be a good move since her Houston neighborhood lost power and water. Another relative stayed in Houston and had flood damage from burst piping that resulted in the loss of their townhouse. Wes is pessimistic about the Texas government and industry adequately fixing the problem since similar major statewide freezes and power outages have occurred in the past with no subsequent root cause solutions.

Anthony Provenzano, MD ’76, reports from New Rochelle that his daughter, Juliette, had a baby girl, Delilah Joy. Tony’s late wife, Betty, used to listen to a radio host named Delilah. “Delilah gave advice to callers on all personal subjects and my daughter thought she reminded her of her mom, who passed away December 9, 2016 after a nine-week horrific bout with uterine sarcoma. She was their guiding light, and we desperately miss her. Juliette is pausing her outpatient medical practice for now.” Tony has two other grandkids from her, Penelope, 8, and Max, 5. Tony’s son, Frank, has one son, August (“Auggie”), 2. Frank is professor of neuroscience, neurology, and biomedical engineering at Columbia U. and has an AI company dealing with the brain. Both Frank and Juliette are graduates of Columbia, where both studied biomedical engineering. As for Tony, he is planning to slow down (for real) as a medical oncologist and hematologist at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia in Bronxville, NY. He is the chairman of the cancer committee and has actively been seeing patients even at the peak of the pandemic. He concludes, “It’s time to play more golf.”

Larry Baum writes from Ithaca that he and spouse Trudy returned from a trip to Hawaii for Trudy’s college roommate’s son’s wedding on February 29, 2020. “Exactly one year later, on February 28, 2021, after getting our Moderna COVID-19 vaccinations, we headed to Naples, FL, for a change of scenery. Being locked down in Ithaca isn’t the worst place in the world. The summer of 2020 actually wasn’t all that bad. Winter was a bit tough. Nice to get away.” Larry’s company, the Computing Center, operated successfully in a hybrid mode for much of the year, but, he writes, “being semi-retired was mostly shelved for the year. Our family is great, with son Ari ’07 being dean of students, econ teacher, and girls’ hockey coach at the Hill School in Pottstown, PA, and son Brian headed back East to NYC as a new VP at Viacom/CBS.” Larry urges classmates to come visit Ithaca this summer. “We’ll be there and it’s a great place to be in the good weather.” Bob Tausek continues to enjoy retirement after 34 years with the federal government. After holding eight different jobs with various federal agencies, he finished his career with the General Services Administration in Philadelphia, PA, in emergency management. Bob says he was privileged to help out after Katrina and 9/11. Now his primary job is to help with the care of his twin grandsons, Maverick and Nash. Bob says it is the most important and rewarding position he ever held. Bob and wife Marjie have been married for 43 years. They currently live in the Charleston, SC, area.

Bill Trommer reports from Maine that he and partner Ann Edwards are well and keeping a very low profile. They are now both fully vaccinated, so will probably begin to venture out a little more. He did get 19 days of skiing in this past season, most of them at Saddleback, which reopened after being closed for five years. Bill skied during the week when the crowds are almost nonexistent and wore a mask. “We see daughter Leah and our granddaughter Wren about once a month. They live an hour away in Appleton, ME. We have been getting together with them outdoors. We haven’t seen daughter Heather and her family in Michigan since the start of the pandemic.” Granddaughter Molly and Bill get together on a regular basis to do math work via Zoom. That is a lot of fun for Bill, and he thinks it’s fun for her too. Send news to: ❖ Alex Barna,; or Gary Rubin, Online news form.


Welcome to both our former print magazine readers and hopefully many more now perusing this column online, as we celebrate the 52nd anniversary of our matriculation in that most memorable Cornell year of 1969.

Kudos and sincere thanks to Cornell for all the online programming it continues to provide to us alums. The many webinars and conversations have broadened my perspective as well as educated and sustained me 600 miles from Ithaca. I trust that many of you feel as I do: both more involved and connected with our alma mater. Special thanks to our class president, Paul Cashman, who voluntarily permitted me to host our second virtual cocktail party on Zoom in mid-January. Fueled by enthusiasm (as well as alcohol), I so enjoyed dropping in at your homes and discussing our holiday celebrations in pandemic “hunkering down” times.

The Class of 1973 fundraising committee has begun its outreach for our 50th Reunion, and yes, that indeed is only two years away. Please consider legacy giving at this time, which includes all types of “planned gifts” like those included in wills and trusts of all sorts. Any such gifts advised to Cornell will count as giving toward our 50th Reunion, and at the appropriate amount will qualify for Tower Club status. Please contact campaign leaders Wayne Merkelson, JD ’75 ( or Susan Murphy, PhD ’94 ( if either can help you.

Steven Fruchtman ( writes that his three children are “thriving,” with Genna finishing physician assistant school, Tess in graduate school for working with children with disabilities, and Harry beginning medical school. Jessica Gurevitch ( is a distinguished professor at Stony Brook U., remaining active in teaching and research in ecology. She recently published the third edition of her textbook and is immersed in working on writing children’s picture books, which she is thinking of self-publishing. Jessica also has “a glorious and mischievous new puppy to keep me company.” She hopes that we “start to get serious about climate change” and is looking forward to visiting her two adult children, whom she has not seen in one and a half years as she “went from traveling a great deal before the pandemic to a very isolated and isolating year on Zoom.”

Paul Klug ( reports, “My commute is a lot simpler now that I’m working from home rather than traveling to Times Square in NYC.” I add that Paul lives in New Hope, PA! He is enjoying “a better balance in life in a working-from-home environment.” Paul, who has five grandchildren, is retiring this month and “making plans for being active in retirement.” Master Gardener Sheila Kojm, MILR ’75 (and my Cornell bestie since Mary Donlon Hall days) and spouse Louis Stuhl, PhD ’78, have a new grandbaby from son Benjamin Stuhl ’05 and his wife, Deena Rosenberg. Baby Nathan, born in November, lives in Boulder, CO; not surprisingly, Zooming and video chatting with Nathan and his big sister, Elise, brings Sheila the most satisfaction in these pandemic days. “While masking and social distancing doesn’t change, getting vaccinated palpably reduces the stress of leaving the house on those necessary errands.” Amen!

George Mitchell II (North Rose, NY) still works half days, coaches track, and plays with classic cars. Succinctly, he misses his grandkids. Greg Novak, ME ’74 ( retired in January after almost 47 years with the Federal Highway Administration, the agency he joined after graduation from Cornell’s Civil Engineering program. He writes that the Cornell Lab of Ornithology helped get him through the pandemic: “Feeding the birds is a daily event worth the time and money.”

Jeff Schwartz ( still works, “albeit less and less,” for Hahn & Hessen LLP (since 1976!), but he only works “on stuff I find interesting or if I enjoy the client’s company.” Since getting “fully jabbed,” Jeff says, “I had a weekend with our granddaughter Clementine (Cornell 2041).” I like his forward-thinking. Jeff awaits another grandchild plus the twice-postponed wedding of daughter Jessie next summer. “In times of national crisis, it is best to have honest, competent, national leadership.” Rick Taylor ( officially retired from teaching last August but now teaches physics and math to homeschooled high schoolers. He also enjoys birding, serving in his church, sharing food prep with his wife, and visiting grandchildren. “The forced quarantining has brought out the best in some and the worst in others.”

Douglas Van Auken assists a family member with growing and marketing of ornamentals. He reports that “much detail is required to present bouquets for the public to choose from.” He is also preparing a memoir of his past traveling career and activities. Although retired from his USDA career, newspaper production, and developmentally challenged adult care, he remains as a DJ with vinyl records for the day program for developmentally challenged adults in Columbia County, NY. Send news to: ❖ Pamela Meyers,; Phyllis Haight Grummon,; or David Ross, Online news form.


Welcome to the first edition of online Class Notes, which can now be viewed for free, so accessing them no longer requires a paid print subscription. The hub functionality will be rolled out over several months, with Class Notes as part of the first wave. Please continue to send in your personal news via the online news form, as our column will now be available to everyone in our class.

In the Class Notes in May/June, Lucy Babcox Morris included news from Merrill Weitzner Naughton and promised that her COVID-19 notes would be included in a later column, so here they are: “When COVID dramatically altered our lives, probably forever, I had been retired for a year and had planned trips with my husband for 2020, which we had to cancel, and we suffered financial losses for deposits that were nonrefundable. Our dreams of making this period one that is full of new experiences and travels to places we longed to go to over the years was not to be. The most positive change for us has been that we secured appointments for the first of two doses of the Moderna vaccine (in NYC at the Armory). We anxiously await our second shots. We are told that we still need masks and to socially distance and behave as if everyone is a carrier.”

Jaclyn Spear writes: “When I retired in 2017, I moved from South Carolina to New Hampshire to be closer to my family. When COVID hit I discovered just how important that decision was. In June 2020, my niece Lesley Oakes O’Keefe ’00, MBA ’04, her husband, Steve, MBA ’04, and their two sons invited the extended family to a regular Friday night takeout on their front patio. The group included my sister Dorothy Spear Oakes ’72 and her husband, Jim ’69, PhD ’74, and my cousin Chris Spear ’80 and his wife, Laura. We celebrated birthdays and anniversaries and ate a wide variety of food, including some from a local Greek festival. Hopefully this has created a new family tradition, giving us all something to look forward to when the snow melts and the weather gets warmer.”

Lou and Roberta Bandel Walcer offer these observations from Ithaca: “Lou runs the McGovern Center for Venture Development in the Life Sciences at Cornell, and although his labs are open after being refitted to conform to social distancing guidelines, he still works from home. He only goes to campus to get a required biweekly COVID-19 test or to pick up mail. Roberta also works remotely as a medical legal analyst but now working only part time. As a volunteer job, she helps the Tompkins County History Center transcribe old Census records into a database. We do try to buy local whenever possible, but we need so little—the stores on the Commons are hurting and the mall is mostly empty. For a socially distant and safe vacation, last October we rented an oceanside cabin on the coast of Maine. An added plus was that classmate Chris Tichy Place and her husband, Jim, were in the cabin next door and we enjoyed exploring the area together. In nice weather, Roberta has enjoyed neighborhood walks with Mary Berens. During the summer, Lou and Roberta enjoyed campfires and night sky gazing with Bob Boynton and Mike, PhD ’81, and Lora Dickerhoff Delwiche, MS ’81.”

Marleen Kay Davis, BArch ’76, reports: “As a faculty member in architecture at the U. of Tennessee, I have been involved in hybrid teaching, both in person and virtual. In our design studios, we are part of a choreography of moving students at every other desk every other week. Everyone is making the best of it. While this generation of students inevitably misses social interaction, I believe that they are becoming more independent and resilient in a new way. Zoom gives us the opportunity to invite experts who could never have come in person, so that expands networks and learning in a new way. Cornell Architecture faculty members who overlapped with me as classmates include Val Warke ’76, Vince Mulcahy ’71, and the current chair, Andrea Simitch ’79.”

Lawrence Baizer writes: “I have been a scientific program officer at the National Institutes of Health for about 18 years and recently moved from the National Cancer Inst. (NCI) to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Inst. (NHLBI). NHLBI is at the forefront of some of the research on COVID-19 and its long-term effects, which are still being discovered. After five years of retirement from the NIH, Elaine decided she wanted more of a challenge and is now engaged in graduate work in molecular genetic forensics.” Lawrence says what brings him the most satisfaction is “thinking that the work I do at the NIH may help to improve the lives of many people.”

And we have learned that Cheryl Wesen (Grosse Pointe Farms, MI) was named to the board of trustees of the Helm at the Boll Life Center in January 2021. Cheryl is the medical director of the breast program at Ascension St. John Hospital. She has served the hospital in a number of roles including president and past president of the medical staff and interim chief of the Dept. of Surgery. She is also a clinical associate professor at Wayne State U. School of Medicine. Please stay safe and continue to keep in touch. ❖ Jim Schoonmaker,; Lucy Babcox Morris,; Molly Miller Ettenger, Online news form.


Do you remember when we all started at Cornell 50 years ago in fall 1971? I would write letters to my family about my college experiences and call my parents collect on Sunday nights from the pay phones in the lobby of Mary Donlon Hall to check in. Fast forward 50 years: I have been texting, FaceTiming, and Zooming with friends and family, especially during COVID. We now enter an era of online Class Notes! They will be free for all to see, so hopefully more of you will read the column and be able to share your news and memories!

Keeping up with several Cornell roommates via Zoom calls: Abbie Smith, MBA ’79, PhD ’81 ( lives in Chicago, where she is the Boris and Irene Stern Distinguished Service Professor of Accounting at the U. of Chicago Booth School of Business and serves on several corporate and mutual fund boards. Virtual teaching during COVID has been challenging for Ab! Karen Lauterbach ( and Mark Powers are retired in Chapel Hill, NC, spending much of the pandemic walking through Duke Forest and working on volunteer projects. In May, Mark used his creative writing class at Cornell, plus his years as a pulmonologist and beekeeper, to publish A Swarm in May, a medical mystery that shines a light on racism in the South and in medicine. Beekeeping lessons are woven in. In the fall, they became hosts to their son Luke, wife Ana, and grandson Marco, who are normally San Francisco based. Having a 2.5-year-old around full time has certainly livened up retirement! Son Kyle married Rim Halaby in 2019.

Lynn Arrison Harrison ( lives most of the year in Saranac Lake, NY, which leads to visits from son Willie, son Ridgely and wife Rachel, and granddaughters Hayden and Claire. Lynn also has been a great host to me over the years, but especially during the pandemic. During the winter, Lynn relocates for a couple of months to Florida, where she spends time with sister Dale Arrison Grossman ’72 and Lynn’s daughter Katie, husband Joey, and grandson Dean. Steffi Feit Gould ( lives in Woodmere, NY, with husband Perry ’74. Spring has been a happy time for Steffi and Perry with paddle tennis, golf, and the birth of their first grandchild, Miles (the love of Steffi’s life!) to son Keith and wife Sophie. Steffi also spends time with son Andrew ’05 and wife SiChang and son Jason. During the pandemic, Christine “Ting” Magill Kamon ( and husband Mark finished having their retirement home built in Kennedyville, MD, and the house has its own “quilting room” for Ting’s passion. Mark is president of the Cornell alumni chapter of Delta Upsilon and presided over a major renovation of the DU house. He was able to help celebrate the chapter’s 150 years on the Hill in November 2019 with many of his fraternity brothers from the ’70s and other decades (how fortuitous that it was before the pandemic!). Ting and Mark have been able to see sons Jake (Megan) and Mike (Lindsay) and daughter Emily (Jason) during the pandemic with appropriate social distancing, but I am not convinced that distance applied to their seven grandchildren!

I have also kept in touch with Bob Brennan, ME ’76 ( and wife Claire and have been able to escape NYC to spend time with them out on Long Island. I enjoyed a bit of suburban life, tennis, trails to roam, and friendship. Bob recently retired, and the two of them spend time helping out with grandsons Anderson and Pierson, which is a joyous experience for all. Bob also spends time plotting future vacations and travels as the world opens up (fingers crossed!). Rory Sadoff ( has retired as oral and maxillofacial surgery specialist at Nassau U. Medical Center but continues as a consultant part time to train doctors in his field. He and wife Noreen recently traveled out West to visit with son Zach and daughter Rory. Son Luke married Kira in 2020 and they currently live in Europe.

Two classmate passings to report: Amy Cohen Banker died in April 2019. She had two degrees from Cornell, Human Ecology and ILR, and had a teaching certificate in early childhood education. Amy was perhaps most widely known as an artist of some international regard. She studied at the Art Students League of New York under the direction of master Knox Martin. Her brother Roger Cohen ’78, BS ’80, maintains her website. Paul Joseph, MBA ’76, of Marblehead, MA, passed away suddenly in December 2020. He is survived by his partner of 20 years, Susan Wood, and daughters Ruth and Katie. Paul had been a successful sales management executive for much of his career, including 20 years at Xerox. He was also an entrepreneur, a skier, a golfer, a star Scrabble player, a Beatles fan, and a lover of border collies.

Please continue to send your news to us for the new online Class Notes! Click here to update your contact info with the university. ❖ Deb Gellman,; Karen DeMarco Boroff,; Mitch Frank,; Joan Pease, Class Facebook page. Class website. Online news form.


Atmosphere Press announced the forthcoming release of Out and Back by Elizabeth Miller Templeman: “In this collection of 12 personal essays, Elizabeth peers into the rearview mirror, reflecting back over two decades of family life. Her stories pull forth the joy and mystery, the hopes and fears, and the antics and expeditions of those years when the kids are coming of age and the nest is emptying. They conjure up a family coming to know themselves and who they are as individuals—as well as the volatile mosaic they form stuffed in a rental van on their way across the country, crowded within a nylon tent on a windy beach, or crammed in a creepy motel room in an unfamiliar landscape. Out and Back celebrates the ordinary and captures what it means to be a family, even as that family hurtles across the expanse of seasons, space, and every conceivable mood. There are those magical moments when the family of five all seem to be gliding in the same direction, leaning into one another. But more typical are those times when individuals careen into one another, colliding, or, at the last minute, clutching to that safety net. Spinning from the slapstick to the subdued, the pages tell of the storm clouds and squabbles, of teenage angst and hard-won amnesty, of hockey rinks and icebergs, and everything in between.”

Elizabeth lives in the south-central interior of British Columbia, where she and her husband started their family. She enjoys teaching at Thompson Rivers U. She says her pastimes and passions include running (ever more slowly), swimming, skiing, cooking, baking, and gardening, and that she has had a lifelong love affair with words. Her first book was Notes from the Interior: Settling in at Heffley Lake. For more information about Elizabeth, visit her website.

Phil Harmon ( writes that he finished an eight-month stint as an attorney for the Office of Disaster Assistance, US Small Business Administration during the peak of the COVID pandemic. It was 12 hours a day, six days a week—the most strenuous assignment of his life. But he says it was great to be part of one of the most significant government assistance operations in our nation’s history. He writes that our government, working together collectively, truly saved its people from a complete economic collapse. While we continue to face very difficult social issues, Phil says we should always look for ways to help each other and solve problems. “Be positive, be committed, and be helpful to others and you won’t go wrong!”

Here’s a true love story from David Stromberg that rivals The Princess Bride. David and Kathryn Foss were briefly engaged to each other in the late fall of sophomore year (1973). That relationship abruptly ended on New Year’s Day 1974, and neither of them had had any communication with each other since then. In early April 2021, Kathy, who recently moved to Maine, found David, who has been living in the San Francisco area for the past 42 years. She sent him a Messenger text and David responded. This coming September 2021, David and Kathy will marry and blissfully spend their lives together, splitting time on both coasts!

Be sure to read our next column, which will include news of our virtual 45th Reunion. Hope our 50th will be on campus! ❖ Lisa Diamant,; Pat Relf Hanavan, Online news form.


We got some news from members of our class including members of the “Sperry Community” (a.k.a. University Hall 6). This news in a way reflects the reality late into the pandemic.

Jon Patterson, DVM ’81, recently retired from Michigan State U. in March 2019 after 32 years on the faculty of the College of Veterinary Medicine. In retirement, he is accomplishing goals of exercising more, reading more, and getting back to drawing and painting, hobbies that were sort of put on the back burner during his busy career. Jon and wife Karen manage a little ten-acre farm, with three horses, two dogs, and three cats. He has three grandchildren, thanks to his son, Geoff, and Geoff’s wife, Tonia, who live in North Carolina. Jon’s daughter, Kelly, recently moved to Colorado, and his stepson, Jason, and Jason’s wife, Rebecca, live in California. Jon hopes to visit them all again soon when the pandemic settles down. Spending time with Karen brings Jon his greatest satisfaction in life these days, and he shares that his biggest takeaway from the pandemic is that it has “shined a light on the importance of family and remaining connected to loved ones as best you can. Also, we are more grateful for what we have, as we see and read about those who are struggling in these difficult times. We must all try to come together and help others in need.”

Recently, I had the opportunity to get together virtually with several freshman dormmates from the Sperry Community. As anyone who has been up to the Cornell campus within the past 20 years knows, the University Halls, long a fixture of campus life and topography, have been torn down to make way for modern, somewhat glitzy residential houses named after Cornell notables (Hans Bethe and other venerable faculty members such as Flora Rose, William Keeton, PhD ’58, Carl Becker, and Alice Cook). The long-gone University Halls, which made up for their lack of charm (cinder block, anyone?) by providing a sense of community and an introduction to Cornell for generations of freshmen (freshmen now live on North Campus), seemed indestructible in their day.

The occasion for our virtual get-together was a sad one: the passing of a venerable member of the Sperry Community, Steven Hirschman. Steve was born and grew up in Brooklyn and was graduated from the highly regarded Stuyvesant High School in New York. He was graduated from the Engineering college at Cornell. His funeral was held on March 7, 2021, and, since we are in the wake of the pandemic, it was a virtual event that was recorded so those who could not see the event live could see it in its entirety later. Steve’s family provided the following statement: “Steven Hirschman passed away on March 4, 2021 in West Caldwell, NJ, after a prolonged battle with kidney disease. He is survived by his son, Burton, who is currently attending William Paterson U. in New Jersey.” To Steve’s family, please accept our deepest condolences.

To know Steve is to have met one of the most interesting people around. Steve’s son, Burton, in his eulogy, made reference to his father’s ability to make people feel good. I can personally attest to this. My most recent contact with Steve was via LinkedIn, where he reached out to me a few years ago. He asked me what I did, and after I described it he said, “That’s pretty cool.” Probably the first time anyone ever said that to me; I had a good feeling afterward.

The mastermind behind getting us together was Richard Rosen, another Sperry original. Rich, whom I have known since junior high school, lives in Edison, NJ, and has worked as a software engineer for a variety of companies including Bell Labs, American Express, and Dow Jones. He continues to use his prodigious musical abilities, jamming with old friends and recording his own music in an ever-expanding home studio. Joining us on the Zoom meeting after the funeral was Rich’s wife of 19 years, Celia Castro, who is an opera singer currently working toward her master’s degree at Columbia U. (How cool is that?)

Also joining us on the Zoom meeting was Joseph Zawistowski ’78. Joe lives in Sayreville, NJ, and started with the Class of ’77, but as an Architecture student in a five-year program, he received his degree in 1978. Yes, Joe was one of the late-night denizens of Sibley Hall. After graduation from Cornell, he joined an architectural firm in Princeton, NJ, helping it grow to almost 500 people with offices across the US and in Europe and the Middle East, eventually becoming a principal. After almost 30 years there, working on major buildings for Pfizer, AT&T, Hoffmann-La Roche, Procter & Gamble, Rutgers, and even Cornell, among others, Joe retired about ten years ago when he and his partners sold the firm.

Another former member of the Sperry Community who joined the meeting and attended the funeral is Mark Srednicki, together with his wife, Eloise. Mark graduated from the Engineering college with a degree in Engineering Physics. After graduation, he received a PhD in physics from Stanford and then held post-doctoral research positions at Princeton and CERN, which operates the largest particle physics laboratory in the world. Mark has been a professor of physics at UC Santa Barbara since 1983. Daughter Julia is a lead character designer at Netflix.

The day after the funeral we paid shiva calls by Zoom. Shiva is an ancient Jewish tradition to provide comfort to the families of those who have departed. Later we again got together by Zoom to celebrate Joe’s birthday, his 66th.

Please be safe and well and maintain social distancing, keep wearing masks, and wash your hands. Of course, get vaccinated. We will get through this. We would be interested in hearing your stories about how you are dealing with the pandemic. Jon Patterson shared his biggest takeaways from the pandemic. Please share yours. Best wishes. Keep all of your news and views coming in via the Cornell online news form. Or write to either of us directly at: ❖ Howie Eisen,; or Mary Flynn,


Greetings, all! Welcome to the first fully online column. Consider this first effort the shakedown cruise. As we all adjust, we may be able to post items more promptly than with the three-month lag of the print format. Rest assured that Ilene Shub Lefland and I will continue to give you all the class news that’s fit to share on this new platform.

The class followed up its sponsorship of Corey Earle ’07’s “Great Cornell Concerts of the 1970s” webinar with a “Midway to Reunion Mixer” on March 14, with over 70 participants. Polly Kreisman was our host for the evening, with appearances by class president Kent Sheng, BA ’82, and Cynthia Kubas. After two short, randomly assigned, get-acquainted lightning chats, we had two longer chats arranged around eight themes, followed by chats in rooms named the Palms, the Nines, and the Chapter House. I co-moderated the “Great Food and Drink” chat with Sharon Palatnik Simoncini. In one of our sessions, Doug Johnson recalled his first Valentine’s Day date with wife Anne (Hamilton) at Turback’s. It was a snowy night and many folks had canceled their reservations, so Doug and Anne had a fine lobster dinner for something like $6 each. Congratulations to the winners of our trivia contest, who each received a $25 gift card to the Cornell Store: Leah Minemier MacLeod, MS ’83, David Bilmes, Lewis Wirshba, Suzanne Tougas Snedeker, and Marilyn Groll Gaska, MS ’79. The reviews for both events were overwhelmingly positive. Stay tuned for more events leading up to our 45th Reunion. COVID herd immunity permitting, they might even be in person rather than on Zoom.

Now to dip into the inbox: Gregory Stanton ( and wife Amy Davidson were able to return to hospital volunteering in October 2020. Greg said, “The pandemic made it easier for us to see the suffering of others. The slowing down of day-to-day activities during the pandemic in our own lives thus created an opportunity for us to feel greater compassion for others and to act on these feelings.” Barry Baron has also dealt with pandemic issues in his position as rabbi and chaplain at Colgate. Also in academia, Daniel Sulmasy, MD ’82, is head of the Kennedy Inst. of Ethics at Georgetown. He was released from his vows as a Franciscan friar ten years ago and has been married to Lois for eight years. Dan also had a resonant observation: “Zoom is in vitro. Family, friends, and colleagues are meant to be experienced in vivo.” Lorri Lofvers said it more succinctly: “Too much Zoom, too little change of pace. Hurray for vaccines.” Lorri works as a project manager at Boston U.

Several classmates have transitioned into new paths. Brian Meagher retired from radiology in 2020 and has been accepted into ski patrol training at the HoliMont ski resort, where his older son works as a ski instructor. “I expect to use my medical training and ski.” Barbara Lubitz, JD ’83, practiced law for over 25 years and now appraises fine and decorative art. Robert Trisciuzzi married Olga Voytsekhovskaya in 2019, 17 years after his first wife died. Paul Evans retired from the New York State Dept. of Transportation as a regional landscape architect, bicycle and pedestrian coordinator. He was also caring for his active 94-year-old father and remodeling his kitchen.

Mike Bernard reports that his daughter is leaving the practice of law to become a social studies teacher. After Mike retired from teaching, he’s been working on breaking 85 in a round of golf. Pat Reilly’s daughters had to cancel their 2020 weddings due to COVID, but the nuptials are back on for 2021. Daughter Erin Goers ’13 will be marrying Patrick Chamberlain ’13 in a Cornell Chorus/Glee Club wedding. Mary Bowler Jones has been indulging her inner preschool teacher by caring for her son Matthew ’10’s children. Mary’s daughter Sophie ’20 provided technical assistance for our class’s March mixer.

Court Williams is traveling less for work due to the pandemic: “A welcome break!” He and his wife, Stacey, bought a waterfront home on Fairfield Beach, CT, with a boat to match. Lesley Gudehus is working from home managing communications for the information services department for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. She notes two main takeaways from the pandemic: “The resilience of the human spirit,” and “I like myself with long hair.” Lori Rothman reported that she would be in Groundhog Day mode until she gets vaccinated. Her sons recently returned to the Chicago area, which has given her much satisfaction.

Finally, eagle-eyed viewers of the Ken Burns documentary on Hemingway may have noticed that Steve Cushman was a contributor. He’s a professor at the U. of Virginia. That’s all for this column. Stay well. ❖ Cindy Fuller,; Ilene Shub Lefland, Online news form.


Welcome to our first online Class Notes column, now available to all alumni, not just subscribers of Cornell Alumni Magazine, which ceased publication in May. Peter Coy wrote in to express his thoughts on this transition. “I lament the end of the print edition of Cornell Alumni Magazine, ending a run that began in 1899. As a former editor-in-chief of the Cornell Daily Sun, I wrote a few articles for the magazine and briefly served on its advisory board. It has always been owned by the alumni and thus independent of the administration. That trusted, independent voice is going quiet; the ‘alumni communications hub’ will be run by the university, albeit with an alumni advisory committee. An era is ending.”

The recent death of Prof. Walter LaFeber prompted David Langbart to reflect upon the good fortune of those (including himself) who were enrolled in History 203, a fall 1975 freshman seminar taught by the esteemed historian. David prepared a tribute to Prof. LaFeber based on documents he found in the National Archives, where he works.

Jordan Lambert, ME ’80, reports his retirement “at last” after over 40 years in the workforce. “I’m thankful that even in the volatile IT consulting world I was able to retire from a company where I spent 15 continuous years (albeit under three different and progressively less attractive ownership structures).” Jordan is now volunteering as the Class of ’79 e-communications officer and as a certified Extension Master Gardener, responsible for supervising a “hotline” where home gardeners email questions and receive assistance. Jordan looks forward to “picking up some kind of citizen-science activities—and exploring the parks and trails we can reach in the Miata!”

Robert Schnakenberg is reaching out to our class for information about his late brother, James Schnakenberg, an Economics major from Huntington, NY, who attended Cornell from 1975–78. Robert is writing a book about James’s decades-long struggle with schizophrenia (the cause of his early departure from the university, one semester prior to graduation). He welcomes hearing from any classmates who may have known James and can provide any insight into his condition during the time he was on campus. Reply to

David Scheer of Fishkill, NY, has been an eye surgeon for over 30 years, with no plans to retire “anytime soon.” His practice serves multiple generations of patients, including past and present Cornellians. When not working, he enjoys time spent with family and friends. David would love to reunite this summer in New York City with Cornellians including Sherrie Zweig, Sandy Rockefeller Fey, Judah Kraushaar, MBA ’80, David Medford ’80, and Marjorie Werner Stein ’80.

Matthew Frisch ( has been retired from New York City public schools for over eight years. He looks forward to continuing to alternate weeks between Oyster Bay, Long Island, and the Catskill High Peaks. Matthew’s older daughter “weathered the pandemic” with her family in Northern Italy, while his younger daughter is graduating from RISD this spring. He currently derives satisfaction from “political organizing” and “helping to restore America’s democratic traditions and institutions.”

Several classmates reported on the impact the pandemic has had on them. Bruce Burstein has been working from home in Laguna Niguel, CA, as a software consultant specializing in HR/payroll with Microsoft Teams. He has enjoyed having his daughter (a recent college grad) return home to save money during this time of pandemic restrictions. Bruce and his wife, Linda, have enjoyed spending time with their neighbors during twice weekly, socially distant COVID cocktail hours. Bruce also appreciated the chance to “stay in touch with Cornell and reminisce through Corey Earle ’07’s sessions.”

The highlight of this pandemic year for Bob and Kathy Zappia Gould ( was the birth of their first granddaughter, Clara, in June 2020. Kathy has provided childcare every Monday and Tuesday since October and has enjoyed “seeing this smiling face every week!” She is still teaching full time at Towson U. but is working remotely, as is Bob, which has allowed him to join in on some weekly childcare trips from Pennsylvania to Maryland. Kathy writes: “Our daughter, Allison, and her family have been part of our pandemic bubble since the beginning. We are also fortunate to see our son, Brandon, and his family safely in Northern Virginia, although not quite as often. They have two boys, Beckley, almost 5, and Rowan, almost 2.” Bob and Kathy look forward to the end of the pandemic and to retirement in the near future.

Marcie Gitlin ( of New York City recently started a new position as a social worker with the visiting nurse service of New York hospice. In her leisure time, she enjoys spending time with family and other Cornellians. She reports that the pandemic made her feel “very lucky” as it “reinforced my awareness of life’s fragility and impermanence and my gratitude for the opportunities I’ve had to lead a stable, secure life.” She, too, laments the end of Cornell Alumni Magazine, since she prefers to remain “old fashioned” and has avoided owning devices including smartphones, tablets, or Kindles.

Bill Gallagher of Denver, CO, came out of retirement to accept a teaching position at Front Range CC, Colorado’s largest community college. This fall will mark his third year teaching. Since most of his students are first-generation college students, he finds it “very satisfying to see many of them develop and transfer on to four-year programs.” But he has missed in-person instruction during the pandemic, believing “Zoom can only do so much.”

Our next column will feature additional news that we did not have room for this round, but we will need to hear from more of you! Use the online news form OR submit an email directly to any of your class correspondents: ❖ Danna Levy,; Linda Moses,; or Cynthia Ahlgren Shea,

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I hope by the time everyone reads this column we will all be fully vaccinated. I could have received my vaccine earlier by smoking cannabis daily (legal in Massachusetts and a qualifying medical condition) but chose to wait my rightful turn. Reflecting on freshman year in U-Haul 2, though, some of my hallmates smoked enough pot that it probably should still count as a qualifying medical condition 45 years later.

Rich Johnson reports that he spent much of the past year working remotely from his summer house on Cape Cod, only occasionally visiting his permanent home in Boston’s South End. Rich’s Cornell parents, Raymond ’54 and Estella Kling Johnson ’55, recently moved from Upstate New York to San Diego to be near Rich’s Cornell brother, Robert Johnson ’88, and his brother’s cats, Salt and Pepper (Woodward Animal Center ’12). Rich was an active chimesmaster at Cornell and often attends chimesmaster reunions, the most recent being virtual.

After many years in engineering, operations, and production management, Massachusetts-based Chris Ashley took the plunge (pun intended) and founded King Hell Boats to pursue his passion for building and restoring wooden boats. His most recent project is a 17-ft. boat with a 170-horsepower waterjet drivetrain and a speed in excess of 50 mph. It’s scheduled to launch by the end of April with the first show in late June. He aims to move it into production by the end of the year. In Chris’s words, “It’s terrifying to put everything on the line to pursue a dream, but I’m happier than I have been in years.” Visit to take a look at Chris’s creations.

Class of 1980 spouses Ira and Ellen Kaplan Halfond recently moved from Miami to Daytona Beach. Ira is semi-retired but still does estate planning for Florida and New York clients. Ellen and Ira are wondering if any classmates are nearby who would like to go water tubing or on hikes. Let them know at They are looking forward to spending time in Asheville, NC, once the pandemic subsides. Paul Lego continues to enjoy semi-retirement after working in technology startups for 35 years. Paul lives near Watsonville, CA, and occasionally sees his two sophomore-year roommates, Brad Smith, a founding principal of Pacific Peninsula Group, a San Francisco Bay Area real estate firm, and Kevin Dean, a technology account executive based out of Charlottesville, VA, currently with

Gail Wechsler is the library director of the Law Library Assn. of St. Louis, a public and membership law library in downtown St. Louis. The library has been hosting a critically acclaimed exhibit, “Lawyers Without Rights: Jewish Lawyers in Germany under the Third Reich.” Gail was a featured speaker about the exhibit on the “St. Louis On the Air” radio show and authored an article about the exhibit in the May/June 2021 issue of Association of Jewish Libraries News and Reviews.

Ralph Bischof reports that his three children are in their 20s and currently living at home in New Jersey, where he is truly enjoying them as adults. Ralph’s last big, pre-pandemic trip was to the winter solstice celebration at the Cornell Botanic Gardens, where retired Plant Biology professor Peter Davies entertained everyone in his role as the Holly King. Ralph has crossed paths with other Cornellians including Charlie Roll ’68 and Rudy Winkler ’17 while competing in open/master’s track meets, where “older” folks like us can still compete in shot put, hammer, and other throwing events. Ralph also recently re-established contact with Ken Behrend ’79. Ralph and Ken competed in rival drum corps during the ’80s—Ken with the Steel City Ambassadors and Ralph with the Hawthorne Caballeros. Before the pandemic, Ralph stopped by the Inn at Taughannock Falls to celebrate the 40th anniversary of his graduation. It’s hard to believe it has been 40 years since we graduated!

For anyone wondering how fellow class correspondent David Durfee got into Cornell, he shared the following: “I am the third cousin, six steps removed, of Ezra Cornell, and our common ancestor, Thomas Cornell of Portsmouth, RI (1627–73) is my ninth great-grandfather. Thomas was found guilty of murdering his mother, Rebecca Briggs Cornell (1600–73), in a case that was memorialized in Killed Strangely: The Death of Rebecca Cornell, written by Elaine Forman Crane ’61 and published by Cornell University Press.”

Chris Spear has been busy volunteering during the pandemic, helping collect over 4,000 pounds of food in a “Stuff a Cruiser” drive with his Rotary club and local police department. He also brought together four Rotary clubs and high school students to package over 20,000 meals for the international group Rise Against Hunger. Finally, last summer, when the Pan Mass Challenge bike ride for the Dana-Farber Cancer Inst. went virtual, Chris went overboard and pedaled the route three times including a 175-mile one-day ride to the tip of Cape Cod. Chris and his wife, Laura, adopted a COVID dog, Betty (Hartman’s Haven Dog Rescue ’21). While Chris’s extreme bicycling worries his wife, Betty shows no concerns as long as she is walked and fed on time. When not volunteering or walking Betty, Chris continues to teach virtually, educating engineers from India, Israel, England, and the US via Zoom on software tools used to design integrated circuits.

Chas Horvath, ME ’81, and his wife, Mary, remain in the Jamaica Plain section of Boston. Chas recently had a Saturday lunch at Spike’s Junkyard Dogs, a Boston hot dog establishment owned by a fraternity brother of Chas’s, Dave Gettleman ’86. For some reason, Chas’s largely vegan wife decided not to join him. Chas highly recommends this restaurant in the Allston section of Boston. Please share any news you have with your class correspondents: ❖ Chas Horvath,; Dik Saalfeld,; Leona Barsky,; or David Durfee, Online news form.


Welcome to the brave new world of virtual Class Notes—just in time for our virtual 40th Reunion! Having acclimated to so many aspects of our lives shifting to the web, I’m confident that the transition will be easy for our readers and—more importantly—I’m hopeful the new approach will include a broader group of our classmates in the conversation. Please note our class correspondents’ contact information below and send us your news!

Alison Spear ( and her husband, Alexander Reese, have a thriving organic farm, Obercreek Farm, and microbrewery in the Hudson River Valley. Alison has enjoyed transitioning from city life to country life and “seeing how many people are enjoying healthy food and outdoor lifestyles.” They are also working on new homesites and renovating existing homes and cottages on the farm to create a larger farm-based community. Go here for information and a look at the beautiful setting. “It’s interesting to see how architecture meets farming and how important our rural communities have become during this pandemic year.” Her daughter Carolina is working on promos and editing for HBO, and Isabella is teaching for Publicolor in NYC.

Lori Balton ( is “happy to see the light at the end of the COVID tunnel!” She is a location scout and looks forward to being able to travel and get back to work. Her most recent films, due for release this summer, are Top Gun 2: Maverick and Disney’s Jungle Cruise, for which she “amazingly” got to scout the Amazon River through Brazil, Colombia, and Peru. Her daughter, Cera, now lives in Aiken, SC, where she is working with horses.

Richard Colletti and his wife, Benedetta, live in Avon, CT. Richard continues to work 50–60 hours per week as a veterinarian in his full-service animal hospital. His daughter Angelina, following in his footsteps, has a newly minted veterinary degree from Oklahoma State. Richard says his greatest satisfaction is seeing all six children accomplish their goals. He also enjoys his wolfhounds, Grace and Anna. Richard Hayes is also still working full time in his internal medicine practice. His wife and his Harley bring him the most satisfaction these days, and “freedom” is his takeaway from the pandemic. They live in Sleepy Hollow, IL, and are glad they have been able to resume travel.

John Mooney ( is transitioning out of his optometry practice after 31 years, dialing back to three days per week. He and his wife, Deborah, moved to their summer house in Tiverton, RI, and look forward to traveling when things open up—although he did enjoy the recent opportunity to catch up with friends virtually. They have a 2-year-old grandson. Laurie Forker ( is very busy as director of the Master of Science in Healthcare Management program at UMass Dartmouth, which is “a growing program in a popular field.” She is also professor of operations and healthcare management and enjoys seeing her students graduate and get interesting, satisfying jobs. She adopted a baby from Guatemala 19 years ago and is proud to see him as a grown, young man working full time. Jim Hauslein, MBA ’84, reports that his 8-year-old son is “growing up fast.”

Rollin Scroger and his wife, Nancy, live in Oakfield, NY. Sadly, he lost his freshman roommate to COVID-19. He enjoys snowmobiling and is proud of his new grandchildren. “People are too quick to give up their civil liberties when panic hits,” writes Elisabeth Tendrup Burns ( from Cranford, NJ, where she gets satisfaction from “wine and backyard gardening—usually at the same time!” She is still working in the wine industry and her daughter recently joined the Navy.

Best wishes on the 40th anniversary of our glorious graduation in 1981! Many thanks for your updates. Please keep sending us news. ❖ Steven Barre,; Betsy Silverfine,; Tanis MacKay-Bell, Online news form.


Welcome, all, to our Class Notes section published online! We look forward to being in touch in this new format and hope to hear from classmates as we look to our 40th Reunion next June! Please save the date—June 9–12, 2022—for the first on-campus Reunion to take place after two years of virtual Reunions.

While most of us have now turned 60 (how could that be?!), classmates are considering retirement, and grandchildren are keeping many busy! Former class correspondent Steve Crump and his wife, Lisa (Mummery), celebrated the arrival of their first grandchild, Kipton Steven, born to daughter Lindsey ’10 in November 2020. Despite COVID restrictions, they braved holiday travel from their home in Switzerland to California, which was only possible since they became dual nationals during the lockdown. Lisa adds, “Meeting baby Kip was well worth the effort!”

Lisa Avazian Saunders and her husband, Jim ’81, were featured in The Citizen last spring, in an article called “Challenge for change: Auburn native walking canal trail to raise virus awareness.” The pair are taking part in the Erie Canalway Challenge, walking the entirety of the Erie Canalway Trail—all 360 miles—to raise awareness of cytomegalovirus (CMV). A common virus in adults, CMV can have devastating effects if caught by babies prior to their birth; in 2006, Lisa and Jim lost their daughter Elizabeth to complications of CMV. At the time the article was written, they had walked about 40 miles of the trail and they planned to continue, a few miles at a time, until they complete it. Lisa’s mother, Mary Ann McDowell Avazian ’60, is also raising CMV awareness, with Jim and Lisa pushing her through the one-mile Erie Canal Challenge in a wheelchair. Lisa shares the news that a new CMV bill was filed in New York State and is being referred to as “Elizabeth’s Law.” This bill “requires childcare providers to be trained on the impacts and dangers of congenital cytomegalovirus infection and the treatments and methods of prevention of cytomegalovirus infection.” You can learn more about it here; Lisa explains that New York State residents can click “AYE” under “Do you support this bill?” to show your support. We are grateful to Lisa and Jim for their efforts and wish them success!

Bill Barnett ( is a residential real estate agent representing clients in the greater Los Angeles area and beyond for Compass, a company that is at the “cutting edge of the industry.” Bill reports that son Jack ’17, after graduating from NYU law school, will return to Los Angeles to start work at Latham & Watkins. Bill says that outdoor pool and ocean swimming keeps him sane and mobile, and that he is excited to be making the change to an electric assist mountain bike. His biggest takeaway from the pandemic? “Telecommuting dramatically increases the quality of life in congested cities.” He’s also found that the solitude has been a wonderful opportunity to look within.

Adam Potkay wrote from Seaside Park, NJ, about his new book, forthcoming from Cambridge University Press. Hope: A Literary History deals with a question pervading literature from antiquity onwards: when is hope a good thing and when is it not? Adam explains that the relevance of the question started when his wife, who passed away three years ago, was dying of cancer, and it continues on into the COVID era. He divides his time between his native New Jersey and Virginia, teaching alternately at Princeton U. and William and Mary. His takeaway from the pandemic? “There is sober and steadfast hope!”

Becky Thorne Tin, writing from Charlotte, NC, is grateful that the pandemic has filled her empty nest with son Carl, 28, working remotely from the basement for the Southern Environmental Law Center, and son Kiran ’21, who has been studying remotely during Cornell’s long breaks. Becky retired as a state district court judge in December 2018, after swearing in her older son as a North Carolina lawyer; since retirement, she’s been teaching Pilates and yoga at her home studio. Becky’s biggest takeaway from the pandemic? “We need to increase salaries and provide health benefits to essential workers who risk their health to ensure we all receive food, care, and safety. It is past due time for a change.”

Carl Rohr (Hershey, PA) retired in 2017 and works several interesting part-time jobs while keeping healthy and enjoying family, friends, and all of his interests and outdoor activities. His biggest takeaway from the pandemic: “Stay healthy and look on the bright side of life.” Brian Gordon in Merion Station, PA, shared that his biggest takeaway is the joys of family, friends, and walks.

Jonathan Welsh updated us on his vintage mid-century modern store, NoNo Vintage. It has been a difficult year, he says, but they have survived with the help of their loyal customers. Jonathan adds that one blessing has been a bald eagle couple that nested across the street, and he said the birth of the eaglet was amazing—he and partner Ken West feel like grandparents! Jonathan’s biggest takeaway from the pandemic? “It has shown some of the best and worst in people.” He adds that he’s looking forward to visiting Ithaca again after missing it so much this past year. “What a Reunion it will be!”

And the most recent news from Cornell sports: “Karin Bain Kukral becomes first former women’s varsity athlete to name coaching position.” Jenny Graap ’86 will serve as the first Karin Bain Kukral ’82 Head Coach for Women’s Lacrosse at Cornell. Read about Karin’s contribution here. ❖ Nina Kondo,; Mark Fernau,; Doug Skalka, Online news form.


Greetings, Class of 1983! Emerging from COVID hibernation, our “herd” will soon be vaccinated and enjoying time together at live events. There was no shortage of challenges this past year but also unexpected pleasures. For us, the kitchen became a fun focal point. It was really special sitting down and sharing family meals and conversation—less running off to places, more time just being at home. Addictive TV mini-series helped, too. Love all the news this month from many classmates. Keep the notes coming as we move online!

Deborah Riegel Honas ( left engineering after 35 years and moved back to New York to spend time with parents, kids, and grandkids, of course! She now writes and illustrates children’s books, for Siphre Books, under her pen name, Lenora Riegel. The collection of books are set—where else?—in the Finger Lakes. Each work contains an affirmation representing the character to help kids believe in themselves. Her latest, Pepper the Salt Potato, will be going to the New York State Fair in 2021 (hopefully, the Fair takes place), where plans include book signing and activities for kids and families. Deborah looks forward to expanding her books to support nonprofits for mental health. Her next, Quaver Has a Feeling, is a collaboration with the nonprofit Binghamton Philharmonic “to help kids identify emotions using music during these crazy times.”

Mark Spiegel ( writes about the past year from New York City, where he runs a small value-oriented hedge fund, Stanphyl Capital Partners. “It’s great. I can spend all day and night in my home office watching financial markets and movies without feeling guilty about it!” Biggest takeaway from the pandemic: “Haircuts are overrated!” Alan Ioffredo’s ( Italian heritage inspired his inaugural novel, The Artist and the Innkeeper. He explains, “We are each players in a wonder-filled love story and write the next chapter each day. The happy ending is up to us.” As co-founder of ALENA Wealth, Alan counsels families on financial preparedness. His family is planning a gorilla trek and support visit to Uganda in the fall, after outdoor time in Vermont skiing this past winter. Biggest pandemic lesson: “Generosity is the gift that keeps giving.”

J.D. Phillips ( writes that he retired from the Boston Herald and is now focused on animation, cartooning, and video. “Getting into the groove of another production” is giving him much satisfaction. With spouse Jennifer Lauro ’84, “the pace of home improvement projects is picking up!” Biggest takeaway this past year: “So glad I took all of those ‘unnecessary’ Bio classes!” Mimi Garver McGiver ( writes that COVID has “driven her to the peaks.” Mimi has done 30 of the Adirondack High Peaks, all but three since fall 2020, with 16 to go. Go Mimi! She enjoys family, hiking, and learning new things, the most recent of which are fire suppression systems—a change from her experiences in Superfund site restoration, addressing water quality in NYC’s watershed, and building code development in New York State. Mimi’s observation during COVID: “I need people.”

John Fraser ( sends news from Connecticut that he retired in 2019 after 36 years in the financial services industry and now serves on two corporate boards. John spends increasing amounts of time in Wyoming, enjoying skiing, hiking, cycling, and fishing. John and Amy (Brown) ’84’s youngest child, Angus ’20, graduated from Cornell Engineering and has stayed on the Hill to pursue his master’s in Aerospace Engineering. Michele Masiowski Puiggari ( writes from Missoula, MT, where she runs a consulting firm focused on independent employment investigations. Michele is married to Marcos and notes the challenges of raising a teen, to which many of us can relate. Their teenage daughter, Emma, recently competed in the Freestyle Junior Nationals skiing competition, where she placed among the top 60 girls nationally in the 18 and under division. Congratulations! Michele’s biggest pandemic takeaway: “The need for a news channel that is just news—not opinion.”

J. Ralph Russek Jr. ( sends thoughts from Pennsylvania, where he wants to recognize all of our pets as unsung heroes during these difficult times. Sadly, they lost their beloved dog, Malachi, who had been adopted from the Lehigh County Humane Society, but they press on with his sidekick, Titus. Ralph’s biggest insight this past year: “The joy our pets bring in their unqualified devotion is unmatched. We are blessed to have them.” Carolyn Skeete Jackson, MBA ’87 ( is in Irving, TX, with spouse and ’83 classmate Jeffrey. Carolyn’s pandemic takeaway: “Be thankful for every day—even the challenging ones!” ❖ Stewart Glickman,; Tom Helf,; Jon Felice,; Kim Todt, Online news form.


Hello, summer! Remember those glorious Ithaca days in the summer? Cayuga Lake’s surface finally unfrozen for water sports, hiking Cornell’s surrounding area, and enjoying the beauty of the campus! We certainly got engaged in so many things.

Anita Riddle ( and her family love living in Utah. Her two daughters, ages 19 and 16, are in college and high school, respectively. She shares that watching her daughters make wise decisions about their lives gives her great satisfaction. She volunteers on boards, with Girl Scouts, and on the parent-teacher association. She has resumed piano lessons after 40 years and is enjoying playing duets with her daughter. She and her husband, Steven, enjoy snow-skiing and hiking on the mountains of Utah. During the pandemic, she has come to see the value of early testing and quick development of a new vaccine—and she has a strong appreciation for scientists and statisticians. Theodor Millspaugh ( has recently moved to Chester, PA.

Jeanne Richards Timmons ( has kept busy for the past two years with her consulting work at UC San Diego Medical Center supporting the hospital’s front-line staff, including most recently during the pandemic. After 30 years in San Diego, she and her husband decided it was time to come back East to be closer to her family. During the pandemic, she has experienced the joy of supporting a team that has supported the health of San Diego and surrounding counties throughout Southern California. Charles Oppenheim ( works as a lawyer representing healthcare clinics on business transactions and regulatory issues. What brings him the most satisfaction? Professionally, mentoring younger lawyers in the firm, and personally, watching his two college-age sons grow into wonderful young men.

Eric Schultheis ( and spouse Erica are very proud parents. Their son Brian ’20, ME ’20, graduated with a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in Biological Engineering. It is always great to see legacy families continue Cornell traditions. Congratulations to all! Kathy Witkowsky ( shares that the COVID shutdown prompted a regular monthly Zoom “happy hour” hosted by classmate Tom Kraemer and attended by Stuart Wamsley, Karen Reynard Regenauer, Laurie Sheffield, Dave Momot, Jackie Zoladz Buffon, and Charles Oppenheim. It’s definitely a silver lining with all the suffering during the pandemic. It’s good to see that even us pre-senior citizens can find creative ways using technology to connect between Reunions!

Kathy Thorne Barlow ( and her husband, Bruce ’82, spent a great weekend in Tampa with Cornell friends Matt Mueller ’83 and Alma Eastman ’83. They went boating and saw old friends including Jim Ferreira, who is now living in Gainesville, FL, and who was in town for his daughter’s swim meet. Rich Logan ( shares that he is working as an engineer. He has a long commute to his job, but he has not had to be in the office since last March. He has “extra” time to spend with his family and is also able to do volunteer work in his town. His children bring him satisfaction. There was a time when he thought he would not have any, so every day with them is a gift. His oldest son starts college this fall. His big old dairy barn has been declared too far gone to be repaired, so he is sadly watching it collapse back into the field it has lived in for the last 100 years. During the pandemic, he has learned that he needs to spend more time trying to find all those gold coins that were supposedly hidden by the Marquis de Lafayette in the forest behind his house. Though some say it is a myth, he says it is a retirement plan (but he has no plans to retire soon).

The Class of ’84 continues to make its mark around the nation and the world! We are all proud of what our class has achieved. We would love to hear more from fellow classmates in international locations as well. You know how to find me. ❖ José Nieves, Online news form.


The country is slowly but surely moving forward. Maybe, just maybe, we can all get together again. In person. Maybe without masks. Maybe less than six feet apart. We can hope. We can do the work, and we can hope. In the meantime, we, the 1985 graduates of Cornell, are doing things. GREAT things! From work, from home, via Zoom, via Facebook. And reaching out to one another, reconnecting.

Jonathan Miller has not one but TWO books in the “Rattlesnake Lawyer” series coming out at the end of the year, The Shakespeare Incident and Rattlesnake Funeral. Both are available on Oh, and Jonathan? He still has his day job as a practicing attorney all over New Mexico. Stuart Sheldon is an artist who created billboards for last year’s For Freedoms 50 State Initiative. Sheldon was awarded an Ellie Creator Award from Oolite Arts, celebrating “the individual artists who are the backbone of Miami’s visual arts community.” You can see some of his work and read about the town hall discussion he led on “How Success is Measured in Activist Art” here.

Robert Mack, Andrew Meltzer, and Tom Kwiat all reached out on our Facebook group page to say hello and let me know that they are, well, on FB and able to reach out and say hello! I will say that made me feel that my posts are not going unnoticed! Tracey Nichol Austin had a Zoom reunion with some of the CU Sports Information alums. Steve Ulrich ’71, Grant Whitney ’86, Marlene Crockford, Howard Borkan ’81, Brad Herzog ’90, Mary Chanatry Mulroy, Eric Kinder ’88, Alicia Luchowski ’87, Eric Blinderman ’83, and Tom Helf ’83 were all online contributing to memorable stories and laughs!

Beth Harlow Reed wrote that her daughter is finishing her sophomore year in the Arts & Sciences Milstein Program, which includes two summers at Cornell Tech. Beth plans on visiting her and checking out the campus on Roosevelt Island. The campus Beth refers to will have a 224-room hotel at the entrance, Graduate Roosevelt Island. CNN Travel stated that “the 18-story tower will be the Graduate brand’s 29th property and its first in the city.” Graduate Hotels president David Rochefort ’10 is also a Cornell alum. (We are all over the place!)

There was an all-virtual 2021 Reunion this June, which was open to all Cornellians. Two years in a row of virtual Reunions. But, as I said, we are moving forward. We have hope. Maybe next year! If you have any news, or if you want to reconnect or meet someone new, please reach out to me on our Class of 1985 Cornell page, or email me: ❖ Joyce Zelkowitz Cornett, Online news form.


Welcome to summer. It’s spring as I write this; the flowers here in Georgia are blooming in earnest, and our cars are covered with a lovely shade of yellow snow (pollen). I assume that you all are enjoying the weather as well, because the news from classmates was a bit sparse. A year ago, I was collecting your stories regarding the impact COVID-19 was having on your lives, thinking we would laugh and cry together about it all at our Reunion. Although we did not meet in person, I do hope you are well and feel that you are reaching the other side of the pandemic.

Peter Quinter and his wife, Sandy, are optimistically planning lots of travel. They have booked tickets for 2021 to Lake Tahoe/Reno; Asheville, NC; Nashville, TN; Boston, MA; and Los Angeles, CA. As a US Customs and international trade attorney at the law firm of GrayRobinson, Peter was accustomed to traveling for his import/export clients every ten days either domestically or internationally. After a year of being grounded, he is definitely ready to travel again. Peter has biking outdoors as a hobby and is scheduled to compete in many triathlons in 2021. He also scheduled semiannual backpacking trips on the Appalachian Trail in late April and late July 2021. Florida has been relatively open during the pandemic, so Peter has been eating out at restaurants for many months. He has remained in touch with fraternity brothers and other Cornellians after all these years.

I was very happy to hear from one of my Low Rise 9 Unit 4 residents, Barbara Alonso, who is currently the general counsel of Crédit Agricole Corporate & Investment Bank, Miami agency. Crédit Agricole is an international bank based in Paris, France, and the Miami agency’s focus is offshore banking, particularly Latin America, mainly Brazil and Mexico. She has been at the bank since January 2018 and has been practicing law in Miami since 2000, having started her career in New York after graduating from Columbia Law School in 1992. Like Peter, Barbara plans to travel a lot once the pandemic is over, to South America, Eastern Europe, Asia, and Africa.

At the time she wrote, Barbara had received her first dose of the Pfizer vaccine and was anticipating her second one. She is at the tail end of raising three children: Samir, 22, Maya, 22, and Leila, 21. Maya and Samir are twins. Samir majored in actuarial sciences at Florida State and is now completing a master’s degree at the U. of Miami. Maya graduated from Duke, majoring in biology and minoring in French and global health, and is working for a Boston-based life sciences financial services firm. Leila is a junior at Yale, double majoring in economics and history. Before she graduated, Barbara met her husband, Mohamed Iskandarani, PhD ’91, who was a graduate student in Engineering at Cornell. He is a faculty member at the U. of Miami, Rosenstiel School for Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, and he is part of the ocean sciences department. Given that Barbara and Mohamed already live on the coast, Barbara said she has no plans for retirement, but she is hoping to visit campus once everything re-opens.

I quickly searched IMDb when I received news from Bob Clendenin, who wrote that he continues to “play weird character roles in TV and film.” Lo and behold, I immediately recognized Bob and I am sure you will as well. I would love to hear the story of how he transitioned from Engineering to acting. Schuyler County attorney Steve Getman sent in a new update this month regarding his office’s program to give away gun locks to Schuyler County families. The gun locks will allow families to comply with New York’s new firearm laws.

I would love to hear from more of you. And with the new digital format for the Class Notes, it will be easier for you to share your latest and greatest with all of your classmates. Don’t be shy. ❖ Toby Goldsmith,; Lori Spydell Wagner,; Michael Wagner, Online news form.


Happy summer to the Class of 1987, and welcome to the first online edition of the Class Notes! It’s hard to believe that in less than a year we will be celebrating our 35th Reunion. It will be the first in-person Reunion in three years, so it promises to be a banner celebration with lots of graduates from off-year classes joining in the fun.

And thanks to all our classmates who have been part of the Cornell Class of 1987 E-Learning Series, which kicked off in March. I heard that the first installment, in which Amy Benigno Fothergill taught classmates how to make donuts at home, was a big hit! Amy is the author of The Warm Kitchen: Gluten-Free Recipes Anyone Can Make and Everyone Will Love. In late April, Mia Korf, Jennifer Maisel, Matt Ruff, and James Sturz participated in a panel discussion about their experiences working in the creative arts. Mia is an actress who has worked on a variety of television series and films. Jennifer is an award-winning playwright. Matt is an author of comic, science fiction, and thriller novels. In 2020, HBO adapted his novel Lovecraft Country into a series. James is a freelance journalist and novelist. In late May, Hugh O’Gorman spoke about techniques for releasing one’s full performance potential. In addition to being an actor, writer, and performance coach, Hugh is the head of performance at California State U., Long Beach and co-chair of the executive committee of the National Alliance of Acting Teachers. Stay tuned for more installments in the series.

Chris Shea received a 2021 Independent Artist Award from the Maryland State Arts Council. He designs and creates furniture and architectural metalwork. In the spring he completed a commission for Gunston Hall, the historic home of George Mason, one of the lesser-known founding fathers. Anthony Capuano is definitely making the most of his degree in Hotel Administration. In February he was named chief executive officer of Marriott Int’l Inc. Karl Townsend put his EE degree to good work (you can’t spell BEER without EE!) and opened a brewery during the COVID-19 crisis. ShaKa Brewing is located in Sunnyvale, CA. Karl and co-founder Shawn met while they were at Google. Before opening ShaKa Brewing, Karl and Shawn were longtime home-brewers. They started selling their first two beers in December and now have four beers on their website, The beers are available for pickup at the brewery and can be shipped to all parts of California. Cornell alumni can receive a 15% discount by using the code BIGRED15 at checkout.

Last year Dan Maas took over leadership of Cornell’s Office of Emergency Management as associate director of emergency management and business continuity. He has been very busy dealing with the university’s COVID-19 response and bringing students back to campus. Dana Taylor Shagan is a psychologist who manages a rehabilitation program in Hartford, CT, for people with schizophrenia. Dana recently joined the board of directors of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Connecticut. She also has been taking online courses toward receiving an MBA. Her son, Samuel ’22, is a third-generation Cornellian who has been working remotely as an intern for a startup founded by recent Cornell graduates. He will return to campus this fall.

Daryl Santos was promoted to distinguished service professor of systems science and industrial engineering at Binghamton U. Daryl also serves as the university’s vice provost for diversity and inclusiveness. And for Beth Flynn-Ferry, “life has come full circle.” After working for General Mills for 20 years, she is now executive director of the ILR school’s Center for Advanced Human Resource Studies.

Please send us your news via a Share Your News form or by emailing any of us at the following: ❖ Liz Brown,; Whitney Weinstein Goodman,; Lisa Burns Griffin, Online news form.


Greetings—and here’s hoping the current Cornellians enjoyed finishing out the year being back on campus with in-person learning! We’ve received updates from a number of classmates, all with exciting news.

Alison Diamond Levasseur writes that she’s an editor at Architectural Digest, where she’s worked for the past decade. She indicates that she loves her job, and who wouldn’t—it sounds pretty cool. Alison has two daughters: Lucie, who is a freshman at Colgate and doing well there; and Charlotte, who’s in 11th grade at the Lycée Français de New York. She notes the simpler things in life, such as getting outside and going for a walk, give her satisfaction these days. She also says she’s enjoyed staying in touch with friends, especially her Cornell buds, this year.

Debbie Kaplan Gershenson and her husband, John ’89, write that their son, Noah, graduated from Yale U. with honors this past May with a BA in linguistics. Although the graduation was in person for the students, parents were not invited to attend and watched all of the ceremonies remotely. Disappointing as it was to not be there face to face, it did not hamper their celebrations one bit! In fact, to celebrate Noah’s accomplishments, both sides of the family gathered together for the first time since COVID began. Congrats to Noah and good luck on his future endeavors!

Victor Seidel has also provided good news. He’s been named the Metropoulos Term Chair in Innovation Management at Babson College. He indicates that this chair provides additional funding to help further advance his research in processes that improve product design within organizations and in collaboration with online communities. He notes that it’s been a challenging year teaching in hybrid mode during the pandemic (masked and socially distanced in physical classrooms but with online options as well), but he is very thankful for the collaboration between faculty and students to make it all work.

Michael Fishman reports that he’s gotten the first round of his COVID shots done and is getting ready for sailing season this summer, dusting off the boat. He started an environmental consulting and education company (Edgewood Environmental Consulting LLC) with his wife last summer after being laid off due to COVID. He exclaims that he wishes he had started the company ten years ago. He’s been relishing running the business with his life/business partner, watching his kids work through this crazy life and succeed, and planning for travels.

And to round out the updates, class co-president Howard Greenstein let us in on his latest. He writes that he’ll be riding in his 13th Bike MS NYC, benefiting the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. He notes that his stepsister Jamie suffers from this debilitating disease. Over the years, he’s biked 30 miles around Manhattan and 50 miles via the Holland Tunnel, up 9W in New Jersey, and back across the George Washington Bridge. In the past few years, he’s been joined by AEPi brother Charles Reing ’86 and his spouse, Adrienne (McVicker) ’87. Last year Howard was number 56 in fundraising for the event, and he very much appreciates the many classmates who have supported his ride over the years. Anyone interested in riding with him can reach out via the Class of ’88 Facebook page.

As always, please send us your news using the online news form or fill out the Share Your News form. We need to hear from you! Your class correspondents: ❖ Aliza Stein Angelchik,; Debbie Kaplan Gershenson,; and Lynn Berni,


Welcome to our first digital Class of 1989 column! We hope we are now reaching more classmates with this new method. Our section is only as good as the news we get from you, so please take a few minutes to send us an update. You can submit it here or email us (our addresses are below). I hope you are having a good summer so far. As I am writing this in early April, I finally see hope that we are turning the corner with beating the pandemic as more people are getting vaccinated. News of in-person graduations, a hopeful return to a regular fall semester for schools, and more businesses opening up are all good things that lie ahead. Please continue to stay safe, and our thoughts are with those who have experienced loss or a difficult year and a half. Now on to the fun stuff and news from our classmates who sent in updates either online or through the Share Your News form sent in the mail.

Michael Unger wrote, “I am busy working as a psychiatrist in five counties northwest of Atlanta. I work on an assertive community outreach (ACT) team for indigent individuals and the homeless and have my own practice in Cobb County called West Cobb Psychiatry. I’m on the board of directors for an agency that provides free care to homeless individuals with substance use disorders. My 13- and 16-year-olds are growing very fast! I’m glad to be fully vaccinated for the coronavirus.” He said his biggest takeaway from the pandemic is, “Cornell helped shape my critical thinking abilities. Living in northwest Georgia, I see and know hundreds of people that doubt science, vaccines, and Anthony Fauci, MD ’66, believe in conspiracy theories like ‘Pizzagate,’ and are more dedicated to that without having the intellectual curiosity to explore an issue and fact-check from multiple sources of information. I’ve witnessed how easily massive groups of people can be controlled and manipulated in ways I never saw living in NYC and in Ohio. It’s sad and quite scary, to be honest. I learned nuance, critical thinking, and to be open-minded and, in a way, an open-minded skeptic. My friends from Cornell are the same way and it is very refreshing to be in touch with a few of them. I wish I had the bandwidth (time) to keep in touch with many more, and I miss them all.” Michael also included an interesting fact: “My father is alive and well at 92 and hikes daily. He has over 50 gold medals in the Senior Olympics in different states and competes in different events each time.”

Julia Kogan Tanner wrote to tell us she started a new position with a real estate title and settlement company in Northern Virginia and is honored to have been recently appointed chair of the Arlington County Commission on the Status of Women. She also serves on the Legislative Committee of her county’s Civic Federation. Julia recently “foster failed” with canine rescue Ollie, a delightful sheprador who has been a playful lifeline during the pandemic. Her daughters bring her the most satisfaction these days: “Brooke, a sophomore in the Georgetown U. School of Foreign Service, is applying to study-abroad programs in support of her minor in Russian. She and five friends are making the most of virtual college, renting a home and cooking up a storm of vegan cuisine. Mia, a high school senior, brings us greater appreciation of art, music, and worldwide equity issues.”

Stephanie Gebel Silverstein wrote, “I’ve enjoyed weekly cocktails with my U-Hall 4 besties: Juliana Kelly May, Cynthia Charatz Deculus, Beth Pearlmutter Rifkin, and Chris Hollands Tokish. Spouses Adam Silverstein ’88, Jon May ’88, and Len Tokish make occasional appearances, but mostly it’s just us reliving old times and commiserating through new.” John Kilcoyne sent in news that he is a director of sales operations and lives in Lake View, NY, with wife Shannon and his three boys. He said watching his boys “develop into fine and caring young men” is what brings him the most satisfaction these days. Naomi English sent news from St. Paul, MN, where she has been giving the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. She said people are grateful to receive it and sometimes get quite emotional. Edward Koronowski is still with Ceva Animal Health LLC, working from Baltimore with zero travel. He enjoys volunteering on the Liberty ship SS John W. Brown in Baltimore, where he takes it out for living history cruises three times a year. Stacey Chervin Sigda has a new job as general counsel at Acker Merrall & Condit, the world’s largest wine auction house. She has two daughters, both juniors, one in high school and the other at the U. of Rochester.

The Class of 1989 officers arranged a few virtual events for our class during the pandemic. On February 18, 2021, classmates participated in a game night led by games master David Scher. Participants Debbie Schaffel, Kelly Ruscitti Cary, Robyn Wesler Landow, Patricia Levy-Zuckerman, Sharon Hunter, Andy Mavian, John and Tanya Alvarado Ungar, Allison Freedman Sacher, Kris Borovicka Gerig, Malin Haugwitz, Lynn Weidberg Morgan, Grace Manchise Couture, Helen Pfister, Deirdre Newman, and Josh Futterman enjoyed two rousing games of Fibbage. Allison and Josh were the big winners of the night. On April 15, over 50 classmates participated in a chocolate tasting, where they learned about Taza chocolate’s history, the harvesting of cacao, direct trade sourcing, and more, all while sampling a full range of stone-ground chocolate together. Stay tuned for more class events and join our Cornell University Class of 1989 Facebook page.

Well, that’s all for this column. Please submit news about you and classmates here or send an email to any of us. Thank you. ❖ Stephanie Bloom Avidon,; Kristina Borovicka Gerig,; Anne Czaplinski Treadwell,; Lauren Kidder McGarry,

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Happy summer, classmates, and welcome to the “new” Class of 1990 column! While Cornell Alumni Magazine may be a thing of the past, some things remain the same. Veteran columnist Rose Tanasugarn is in Kobe, Japan, and has been an off-and-on resident of Japan for 20 years. Back in April, Cornell friends got a kick out of seeing her in the Class of 2025 congratulatory video for undergraduate admissions. She spoke to more than 20 applicants in Japan and Thailand and serves as co-chair of the Cornell Alumni Admissions Ambassador Network (CAAAN) for both countries. The Cornell Asian Alumni Assn. (CAAA) has also been keeping her busy; in addition to serving as board secretary, she recently co-chaired the CAAA reunion, which featured her Chi Omega sorority sister, AT&T CEO Anne Chow ’88, ME ’89, MBA ’90, as keynote speaker.

Also returning to the class column writing team is Allan Rousselle, former editor of the Cornell Lunatic (Cornell’s “other” humor magazine), news director and comedy show producer at WVBR-FM, and announcer for the “only real marching band in the Ivy League,” the Big Red Marching Band. If you went to a Cornell football game or listened to WVBR, you likely heard Allan’s voice at some point. These days, he is a data whisperer for a well-known commercial airplane manufacturer in the Seattle, WA, area and is raising three amazing sons. He occasionally writes short stories for science fiction and fantasy anthologies.

New columnist Nancy Solomon Weiss resides in Westfield, NJ. Welcome on board, Nancy! She met her husband, Aron Minken ’80, in 1989 through a summer job she got through ILR Career Services. They remained friends but lost touch in 2000, reconnected in 2006, and got married in 2008. Nancy is happy they share not only a Cornell bond but also the same Reunion year! Nancy has practiced employment law her entire career, most recently as an in-house counsel for Pfizer. She has a son at Boston U., a stepdaughter who is a software engineer in Virginia, and a stepson who teaches high school science in Philadelphia. Cornell is all in the family for Nancy—her nephew Gabe ’24 is a freshman and Gabe’s dad is her brother-in-law Bruce Zolot ’89.

Bevan Das wrote a short story for a local anthology in the Chicago area, where he works as a software tester for Nokia. Bevan shared that he is still adapting to life in pandemic lockdown. If there is one thing he has learned from the pandemic, it is to “stay connected, if possible, even if it’s only by video and messaging.” The pandemic hasn’t slowed down Stephanie Marmelstein Gitlin: “In April 2021, I joined the full-service law firm Halloran Sage as counsel. I serve clients in a range of commercial, civil, and healthcare cost containment litigation.” Stephanie reports that she also represents clients in contract disputes, franchise issues, and intellectual property matters in both state and federal courts, and whistleblowers in federal and state False Claims Act cases.

Elizabeth Wayner Boham, a physician at the UltraWellness Center in Lenox, MA, and her husband, Eric ’88, have some Big Red news to share: “We are so excited that our son, Tismark ’25, will be joining his sister, Ama ’23, at Cornell this fall. He will be studying Mechanical Engineering. We will be visiting Ithaca often!” After 25 years in NYC and New Jersey, Deborah Klein Glasser moved with her family to Toronto last summer. Deborah was elected to the board of directors of the Tile Shop, a company based in Minnesota. She survived her first Canadian winter and a few COVID lockdowns and is looking forward to exploring the city more and connecting with classmates in the Toronto area.

Leslie Waltzer Pollak and her high school junior daughter were featured in an MSNBC segment about COVID-19 and its effects on education and the mental health of students. Leslie’s older son is at Tufts U. and her younger son is in seventh grade. Leslie, a former philanthropy professional who became a financial advisor four years ago, wrote that “with the Phish tour (my husband writes for them) canceled last summer, we had a lot more family time. My love for Cornell and all of the friends I have made is as strong as ever and I look forward to seeing many of you soon.” She was recently appointed as a Westchester area CAAAN chair. Congratulations, Leslie, and thanks for your service! Vivian Althaus Harrow began a new job as an HR business partner for Becton Dickinson, a global medical device and innovation company. She enjoys working at a company that is contributing to the fight against COVID-19 with many of their products. Her son, Max ’20, ME ’20, received his master’s in Aerospace Systems Engineering from Cornell in December and works at Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab in Washington, DC. Vivian and her husband, Alex, also have a daughter who is a junior at Skidmore College.

The Class Notes section continues to generate the most interest from alumni—the column can only be as good as you help us make it. Please send your news to any of us. Our classmates want to hear from YOU! ❖ Rose Tanasugarn,; Nancy Solomon Weiss,; Allan Rousselle, Online news form.


Greetings from Kennebunk, ME! I’m writing with a grateful heart for all the efforts the medical and scientific community have undertaken to change the course of this pandemic. It’s spring, and I’m noticing every blade of grass as we emerge from a long and distanced winter.

We heard from a few folks this round, some old friends of mine and a note from Julie Chang Leung, who writes that she and her husband, Mark, are proud that their son, Nick ’21, graduated summa cum laude with distinction from the College of Arts & Sciences in December ’20. He completed a double major in Biological Sciences and East Asian Studies and will be applying for medical school in the fall. My good friend Danny Espinoza wrote that he and his wife, Lisa Trovato ’93, are almost ten years into their West Coast experiment. Danny started a new position at Apple and is living in Palo Alto with Lisa and their daughter, Ava, who is a budding singer-songwriter and performer. They are happy, healthy, and looking forward to visiting with family and friends back East in the after times.

Post-pandemic travel is on all our minds, and another good friend, Jit Singh, shared that he is a partner at Deloitte and is living in D.C. with his wife, Lisa, and two high schoolers. He also continues to support City Year’s education mission and sits on their D.C. board. He and the family got to spend the last year of the pandemic watching the wonderous flow of visitors to the nation’s capital, but sadly didn’t get to travel anywhere themselves. He is looking forward to dusting off his passport when it’s safe, maybe reprising their sailing trips in Croatia in 2016 and 2019. New traditions, new hobbies, and new ways to cook have been the latest changes in their household this year. He says to look him up if you are ever in D.C. and wishes everyone a happy 30th Reunion!

As always, hoping you and yours are safe and healthy, and that you are able to enjoy some time with loved ones in back yards, on hiking trails, or over dinner as your vax kicks in. Happy 30th Reunion, everyone, and I hope you have a great summer. ❖ Wendy Milks Coburn,; Lori Woodring,; Joe Marraccino,; J. Tim Vanini, Online news form.


Hello ’92ers! As we look forward to brighter days ahead with warmer weather and family get-togethers, take some time to enjoy the news from our fellow classmates!

Jennifer Lynham Cunningham used to work for Cornell but is now assistant vice president for alumni relations at Lehigh U. She says to live in Ithaca as an adult and to raise a family there is fantastic. She reports that Lehigh and Cornell have lots of similarities—both founded in 1865 (but we were three months earlier!), same alma mater tune, a beautiful campus, and “gritty” students. I thought it was interesting that Lehigh has the same alma mater song and asked resident Cornell historian (and son of my academic advisor) Corey Earle ’07 how many other colleges use the same melody. He said, “There are actually dozens and dozens. Colleges, high schools, etc., all over the world. It’s considered the most copied alma mater song, but Cornell is believed to be the first school to turn that tune into a school song (and most other schools copy the ‘far above’ or ‘high above’ aspect from Cornell).” If you don’t follow Corey on Twitter, check him out: @CREarle.

Michael Malarkey, currently a partner at HKA, a litigation consultant firm in Washington, DC, was back on campus last year for a track reunion in February (pre-COVID!). Michael had a baby boy, Brendan, back in October, who is ready for the Cornell Class of 2042! “Something good from COVID.” Congrats! Anna Berns, ME ’93, has been supporting learners and teachers around the globe, especially during this year of international school closures, by partnering with organizations and volunteers that make’s free educational resources available in over 40 languages.

Stephanie Hochman Mollin reports that Allison Bergstrom has been organizing Zoom happy hours with her Chi Omega sisters since the pandemic started. Attendees include Stephanie, Amy Levine, Allison Rodd Ceppi, Sharon Kowar de Waard, Pam Fabrizio-Barry ’93, Wendy Werblin, Nicole Dumas Price, Vicki Lattone, and Janice Kean Rappoport. Similarly, Todd Kantorczyk has been organizing biweekly happy hours with his Rockledge (Alpha Sigma Phi) brothers. Regular participants include Christopher “Casey” Wallach, Atul Grover ’91, Martin McCall ’91, George Papaioannou ’91, Mark Adams ’91, JD ’95, Steve Feinleib ’91, Greg Wolmart ’91, Greg Munsell ’91, and Tom Easley ’91.

Congrats to Petula Brown, who just celebrated her two-year anniversary at Mathematica! Petula started to learn Japanese last year and enjoys getting out of the house when she has spent too much time staring at screens. Ditto! John Overton Jr. writes that he has spent a good amount of time getting his oldest off to college (UVM), while prepping his youngest for college visits during his senior year of high school—good luck! John tells us that his wife, Christine Hand-Overton, is currently serving as president of Derry Medical Center, New Hampshire’s largest privately owned family practice center. John says that his biggest takeaway from the pandemic is not taking the simple things for granted, like attending his kids’ activities or spending an evening out. True!

That’s all for now. Keep on sharing, and let’s fare better in 2021! ❖ Lois Duffy Castellano,; Jean Kintisch, Online news form.


It is summer and I hope you are enjoying some time off. Meanwhile, I have some news to share with you.

We heard from Joe Catanese, who is the president and CEO at Calyxo Inc. He works to improve care for patients with kidney stones. He and wife Brandi live in Oakland, CA. We also heard from Fred Tedeschi, who is at peace with his home life after going through a rough patch. He shared that he currently owns and operates rental properties and manages his portfolio. When asked what the biggest takeaway from the pandemic has been, he wrote, “Statistics can easily be manipulated by those who profit from them.”

Michael Dougherty was reelected as district attorney for the 20th Judicial District, Colorado last November. Congratulations, Michael! These days his family, work, and long-distance running bring him great satisfaction, and he is incredibly grateful to his wonderful family. He and his wife have 13-year-old twins. Takeaway from the pandemic? “Life is a gift, and we should try to appreciate the highs and lows of this journey.” Barbara Russell and her husband, Steve, split their time between Seattle and San Francisco during the pandemic. They are looking forward to being in the Bay Area more regularly in 2021. Her takeaway from the pandemic is the importance of “maximizing opportunities for family time, travel, and concerts—best when in some combination.”

At the beginning of the pandemic, John Peters changed two things: he started exercising more and tracked his health, and he slept with an Oura ring and lost 20 lbs. He also became Accenture’s media and entertainment industry lead for the West market unit. He’s happy to report that his niece Nina Pofcher ’24 finished her freshman year at Cornell, the fourth generation of Cornellians in his family! Jack McDonald ( continues to work from home and has not traveled for work or play. He is looking forward to seeing the world again soon. Jack recently joined the Cadence Wealth Management Solutions practice at Ameriprise Financial, where he serves as senior vice president. He and his wife, Julie, are looking at various colleges for their kids, Scott, Bryce, and Ava. What brings him the most satisfaction these days? “A good meal with the family, a well-struck five iron, and a 20-inch trout on the end of my fly rod!”

Mark Schneider ( writes that after a decade of working as the general manager of Hosteling International’s 250-bed property in Washington, DC, he and his wife relocated to North Carolina to be closer to extended family. Just prior to the pandemic they purchased a small horse ranch south of Charlotte, but not before working at a horse farm to learn as much and as quickly as he could about the horse business. He shares, “It’s been quite a ride (pun intended),” and jokes that no one calls him “Buckaroo,” but he wouldn’t mind the title of “Cowboy & Rancher.” Although he modestly calls his horse ranch a ten-acre “hobby farm,” he spends his day on the tractor, tending to four pastures, caring for animals, and maintaining the buildings and equipment, all in a cowboy hat and cowboy boots. Mark shares that the Cornell Hotel school, coupled with time in consulting and hospitality, prepared him for this new path. Not so much with rigging up a tractor or some other ranch life tasks, he shares, but with the things that are far more visceral. “Shared burdens are lighter; shared happiness multiplies.” Happy summer! ❖ Theresa Flores,; Melissa Hart Moss,; Mia Blackler, Online news form.


More than a year into the pandemic, many of you are reflecting on how life has changed. Rachelle Bernacki, associate professor at Harvard Medical School and medical director of a new center for geriatric surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, wrote: “What a long, strange trip it’s been! I spent the spring caring for COVID patients during the surge. It was pretty tough, but I work with an amazing group and everyone stepped up to the plate.” Outside of work, she and her husband, John Schmucker ’84, socialized around the fire pit with Martin Tomasz ’87, MS ’90. Her takeaway? “Resilience is key. And allowing yourself to grieve the losses—big and small. I really miss just being able to sip my coffee on rounds (can’t with a mask).”

Carrie Leffler Wofsy, a licensed clinical social worker in New Jersey, wrote, “I continue to work in person at my hospital, helping kids and teens cope with their normal stressors as well as a global pandemic!” Her biggest takeaway during this time: “I have a wonderful 14-year-old daughter. While I’m sad about how the pandemic has disrupted her life, I’m also grateful for the extra time I’ve gotten with her over this past year.” Also working with children and families, Susan Laufer Krauss runs a counseling business in Westport, CT, called Boost! She and her husband, Jason, have two “active boys who are soccer and hockey players.” She wrote, “Like everyone, we have been forced to slow down and reassess what truly matters: family, friends, our health. It’s been a year of ups and downs and a chance to build resilience.”

Scott Noren, a high school science teacher for 22 years, checked in from his Vermont cabin in the woods, where he moved last summer. “My students and I are doing our best to survive the COVID learning environment.” Sanford Gordon, chair of the politics department at NYU, relocated with his family to Stockbridge, MA, to improve the odds of in-person school for his daughter, 12. “Fortunately, the gamble paid off, although it has meant frequent trips back to NYC for work.” Congratulations to Carrie Rowland Naughton, who earned her EdD in educational leadership in spring 2020 and is a mathematics professor at Inver Hills Community College in Minnesota. Her son, Teddy ’22, is studying Math and Physics at Cornell. From Miami Beach, Alejandro Colindres launched a new podcast series for all professionals interested in accelerating career growth, based on an upcoming book he wrote. Check out

Meg Feury Ragland, president and cofounder of, writes: “Back in our undergrad years, Pete Shephard (NYC) and I used to meet for beers at Dunbar’s on St. Patrick’s Day along with probably a few hundred of you. We kept up the tradition in our 20s, meeting for beers at a dive bar before work in NYC every year on St. Patrick’s Day! We revived the tradition this year by having a beer together on St. Patrick’s Day morning over Zoom.” She has also enjoyed “hilarious Zoom calls with Kate Bird MacDonald, MS ’97 (Seattle), Sunita Wagle Diez (Atlanta), Priya Wagle (Linwood, NJ), Anna Willett Benton (Arlington, VA), Charisma Garcia-Ryan Kitchener, MBA ’00 (Campbell, CA), Brian and Kirstin Licciardello Nicholson, ME ’95 (Canandaigua, NY), Elizabeth Golluscio (NYC), and Jennifer Hussar Irvine (London).” Meg added, “Our first ‘after vaccination’ visitors here in Asheville, NC, were Michael Howard (NYC) and his wife, Erica Lumière, who was hospitalized for over a month with COVID early in the pandemic. We celebrated being alive at fellow Cornellian Katie Button ’05’s restaurant Cúrate!” Incidentally, Button was a Food & Wine Best New Chef in 2015.

Seth Stuhl, vice president of business affairs and legal counsel at Disney Theatrical Productions, wrote from his new condo in Brooklyn: “The pandemic has been grueling for our industry, with live theatre being the first to close and last to open, but there have been more and more sparks of hope—being involved in Frozen, helping to reopen the theatre industry in Australia, getting to finally submit my Tony Awards ballot for the season cut short by the shutdown. I’m proud to have stayed in NYC throughout—the rumors of the city’s demise have been very much exaggerated, and I have no doubt the best is yet to come.” Speaking of the arts, Greg Lingo of Wayne, PA, released his first film, Last Call (, back in April. Starring Jeremy Piven (whose character went to Cornell), “Last Call is a neighborhood success story about Mick (Piven), who returns to his old stomping ground for a family emergency and is forced to stay when presented with a huge real estate opportunity.”

Erica Andersen Conway wrote, “Now that I’m vaccinated, I’m excited to be getting back to work as a mindful professional organizer and therapeutic efficiency coach (kind of like the Marie Kondo of New Jersey/New York, except less bossy!). She also contributed a story about “awakening to a deeper purpose in life as opposed to just achieving” to a book called Designing and Leading Life-Changing Workshops: Creating the Conditions for Transformation in Your Groups, Trainings, and Retreats.” Lastly, Erica summed up a lot of what we’re all feeling these days: “Up until two months ago, a trip to the supermarket was the highlight of my week.” ❖ Dika Lam,; Dineen Pashoukos Wasylik,; Jennifer Rabin Marchant, Online news form.


As I write this in April, I am very hopeful that, as you are reading this, I am in the final stages of preparation for a visit to Ithaca this summer. With our Reunion canceled twice now, Matt French, ME ’96, and I decided we couldn’t wait until 2025, so we booked a house on the lake and plan to travel up with our children, Sarah, 10, and Benjamin, 8. While it won’t be the same as Reunion, we’re looking forward to enjoying the scenery and visiting campus, hiking the gorges, and doing some wine tasting—and the kids have their fingers crossed that the Dairy Bar will be open!

Also in August, many of our classmates’ children will be headed to the Hill to begin their freshman year! We congratulated a few of them in the last column, and the latest to join the ranks is Henry Geller ’25, son of Stephanie Lessans Geller, who will be attending the Engineering college for Computer Engineering. Proud mom Stephanie told me, “Every day I get more and more excited as he gets more and more info,” and she made it a point to dig up her old Cornell ID to show and compare with her son when his arrived. It’s amazing how different and antiquated our old ones are now! Steph and her husband, Jeff, are doubly proud of Henry, given his achievements in debate: he and his partner are ranked number one in Maryland and competed in nationals on Memorial Day weekend. Steph is looking forward to also sharing a Reunion year with her son (although he may not feel the same way about that!).

Of course, it’s not just children of classmates who are celebrating great accomplishments. In January, Maynard Cooper & Gale announced that Suparna Datta joined its nationwide intellectual property practice group as of counsel in the firm’s Birmingham, AL, office. Suparna has more than ten years of experience litigating patent cases for leading international law firms, where she has successfully represented clients in federal district courts and at the Int’l Trade Commission. In addition to her Cornell credentials, she has a PhD and an MS in electrical engineering from the Georgia Inst. of Technology and earned her JD from Suffolk U. Law School. The following month, Jonathon Kuhman was appointed president and chief operating officer of Glycon Corp., a leading manufacturer of feedscrews and related components for plastics processing machinery located in Tecumseh, MI. Jon joined Glycon after graduation and worked on the floor in the manufacturing operation; in 1997, he joined the engineering team, where he was instrumental in refining the design of Glycon’s highly successful QSO® non-return valve.

Also in February, Jeff Diener was tapped to co-head DLA Piper’s hospitality and leisure team (which, he told me, “unfortunately, doesn’t mean more leisure time”) with a great partner and friend and to head the San Francisco real estate practice group. Jeff says he enjoys the hotel/resort/casino work that he does and is glad to have the chance to focus more on this space with his new role. Jillian Martin Wrenn wrote in from overseas after our virtual Reunion last June, saying how much she loved seeing so many familiar faces online and that she, too, hopes to visit Ithaca in person one day soon. Meanwhile, she works as a BBC journalist in London, where she lives with her husband and four children. She enjoyed taking part in a virtual TEDxWomen event on public speaking, which you can catch here.

Unfortunately, once again, it is my sad duty to report the death of another classmate, renowned jewelry designer Alex Woo, on March 30. Her company website posted the following: “Alexandra was a doting mother, wife, daughter, and businesswoman, and her impact on the jewelry industry will never be forgotten. Over an illustrious 20 years, she told countless stories through her designs, and they quickly became an extension of who she was. Always smiling and in good spirits, she enjoyed being able to share and take part in women’s lives and loved strengthening special moments and experiences through her jewelry. Thank you for the outpouring of love and support during this time. Although we are filled with grief, there is comfort in knowing her extraordinary legacy and story will continue to be written through her designs. We greatly appreciate your patience as we adjust to a new reality. Alex was talented, vibrant, and remarkable in so many ways and will be deeply missed.”

I also want to take a moment to share a beautiful perspective piece that Brenda Janowitz penned for the April 9 “On Parenting” section of the Washington Post. Brenda, your writing is so heartfelt and relatable—thank you for sharing this with your classmates and the world! Until next time, stay safe and connected, friends. ❖ Alison Torrillo French, Class website. Class Facebook page. Online news form.


Monica Rodriguez Quirch is living in Coral Gables, FL, with her spouse, Mauricio. While their oldest son, Maui, recently enrolled at Tulane U. in New Orleans, Monica and Mauricio are enjoying Florida’s outdoor lifestyle with their newly renovated backyard and gazebo!

In 2019, Lauren Kalter Hass left the nonprofit world and started a professional organizing business. Her spouse, David, MD ’01, is a gastroenterologist in private practice. They are proud of their daughter’s early decision admission to the ILR school and excited that the next few years will offer a new reason to come back to campus! ❖ Lee Hendelman, Online news form.


Welcome to the Class Notes online! Mark Canlis is the co-owner of Canlis, a historic fine-dining restaurant in Seattle, WA, which has become one of the most award-winning restaurants in the greater Pacific Northwest since its founding in 1950. “The food has so much soul, because it comes from so much history,” Mark told CAM in 2018 for a story titled “Northwest Passage.” “It looks completely contemporary, seasonal, and fresh, yet much of it has fifty, sixty, seventy years of story behind it. I don’t know of another restaurant in this country that’s doing what Canlis is—a restaurant from 1950 that’s still trying to be the best in America.” In February, Mark and his brother, Brian Canlis ’01, were speakers at a virtual event organized by the Hotel school, titled “Reframing and Innovating Through the Pandemic.” As the event’s description noted, “During the global pandemic, the brothers have found inspirational new ways to innovate and meaningfully support their community in ways that support their business model.”

Class of 1997 scholarship recipient Nitori Henderson ’21 shares the following letter with our class: “Hello! I am beyond grateful for your generous gift in supporting my education at Cornell. Where I grew up, getting the privilege to attend an Ivy League institution with a full ride at only 16 years old is a huge success and honor, and so I am eternally grateful that I was able to do so, partially due to the Class of 1997 scholarship. My name is Nitori Henderson, and I am from St. Louis, MO (I actually lived in Ferguson, MO, for a part of my high school career). I live with my single mom, who is from Jamaica, and my two brothers who are 10 and 18 years old. Ever since I can remember, I’ve always wanted to become a doctor; and as cliché as that sounds, it’s true. However, it wasn’t until I lived in Ferguson, and experienced institutionalized racism personally during the time when Mike Brown was shot, that I realized that I wanted to learn more about the brain, and specifically factors that contribute to the neurological and biological health of African Americans. While living in Ferguson, I realized that a lot of the pain that African Americans in my neighborhood were experiencing was because they felt worthless and inferior to whites, which dates back to slavery. This realization has made me want to study the medical history of African Americans in order to understand how African Americans’ brains have developed since slavery, and if oppression contributes to brain development. This experience helped me to decide to major in Human Development (which has been such a great major), and also further developed my desire to work as a doctor in underserved communities in the future.

“At Cornell, I’ve become heavily involved with Baraka Kwa Wimbo, an all-female gospel a capella ensemble (I am now the president!). I have also gotten the opportunity to work with youth and especially underrepresented students in organizations such as: Cornell University Increasing Multicultural Admissions and Gains in Enrollment (CU IMAGE), Pre-Med Minorities Mentorship Program, and the Program for Research on Youth Development and Engagement (PRYDE). These experiences have been so eye-opening and have really allowed me to grow into a more compassionate, empathetic, and understanding individual—all skills that will help me in my future career. I’m thankful for the Class of 1997 scholarship for giving me an opportunity to take advantage of all of Cornell’s resources so that I can achieve my ultimate goal of becoming a medical doctor. Thank you so much!”

Please take a moment to fill out the online news form to let your classmates know what you’ve been up to! What have you been doing for work? What brings you the greatest satisfaction these days? How has your life changed—or not changed—recently? What have been your biggest takeaways from the pandemic? Whether your news is ordinary or extraordinary, we want to hear it! ❖ Sarah Deardorff Carter,; Erica Broennle Nelson,


Twenty-five years ago, we were in the thick of things. We were sophomores, “wise fools,” in the beginning of 1996, and later in that year, we grabbed the reigns of junior year, forging ahead and excelling through the second half of our Cornell undergraduate careers. Fast forward to 2021 and every day is an opportunity to excel, to thrive, to learn, to be. It has been over a year since the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we live our lives. Most of us have had to quarantine, socially distance, wear masks, get tested, and adjust to new guidelines for work, school, and life in general. We hope everyone is keeping safe, sane, and connected. Here is what some of our classmates have been up to.

Syeda Ali is a certified, licensed speech-language pathologist, working with young people to evaluate and diagnose speech, language, communication, and swallowing disorders. In high school, she had spent time working at the Mt. St. Ursula Speech Center. Syeda and her husband have settled into their new home in Cortlandt, NY, with their two children. Junella Chin co-authored a book with Aliza Sherman titled Cannabis & CBD for Health and Wellness, a safe and comprehensive guide to using cannabis and CBD to relieve and address health problems. Now based in New York, having previously practiced in California, Junella, a doctor of osteopathic medicine, seeks effective, integrative, and holistic approaches to treating her patients. She is the co-founder and medical director for Medical Cannabis Mentor, an online learning platform for medical professionals, patients, and dispensary personnel. Shawn Jackson is running for mayor of the City of Vicksburg, MS, her hometown. She currently serves on the board of supervisors for Warren County, MS, having been elected in 2019. Good luck in the upcoming election, Shawn!

We always want to hear from you, so let us know what you’ve been up to! ❖ Uthica Jinvit Utano, Online news form.


“I am an assistant US attorney prosecuting financial crimes in the district of New Jersey,” writes Eric Boden. Being with his family—wife Liz Morikawa ’02 and their two sons, ages 8 and 5—brings Eric the most satisfaction in his life these days. His biggest takeaway from the pandemic? “Be safe and careful and spend time with your family.” Brett Baker recently made partner and vice president at HH Dobbins and United Apple Sales, which he says has made him focus more on the future of the company: “I’m investing in new apple orchards.” Brett has two children, Tyler, 14, and Aubrey, 11. “I enjoy watching them compete in their sporting events—watching them learn how to lead and win.”

“I appreciate each day as if it was not promised. Life is just too short to get caught up in small things,” writes Sophia Francis. “I am the owner and operator of Cortelyou Early Childhood Centers in NYC. We are a family-owned business and have been in operation for four decades. My children are growing up nicely. My son is heading to third grade in the fall and my daughter is off to high school. It is true! Children grow up so fast.” What brings Sophia the most satisfaction these days? “Napping and the outdoors! I love relaxing on the weekend and just taking a moment to reconnect with myself.” And as for her biggest takeaway from the pandemic, she writes, “Do not stop! Be fearless. Always be a forward thinker. When others were hesitant and querying their next steps as far as business operations, some of us devised new plans almost immediately. Even in the thick of confusion and uncertainty, a leader will always stand out from the rest.” ❖ Class of 1999, c/o Alexandra Bond ’12, Online news form.

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Greetings, Class of 2000. I hope you are all well. Just like that, 2021 is halfway over, and we are all wondering where the time went. I find myself curious about how everyone is faring, so if you are reading this, and you’d like to share, feel free to drop me a line through the Class Notes submissions page or at my email below. I’d love to hear from you, and I’d love to share your news with your classmates.

Did you know that one of our very own is recognized as one of the founding fathers of the craft cider and craft spirits industry in New York State? Jason Grizzanti is co-founder of and master distiller at Black Dirt Distillery in Pine Island, NY, and has been making and selling distilled spirits since 2002. Over the last decade, he and his co-founder have produced and distributed a number of award-winning brandies and liqueurs under the American Fruits brand, in addition to their critically acclaimed Warwick gin; they also recently introduced the Black Dirt line of bourbon and applejack. It all began back in 1989, when Jason’s dad bought an orchard in Warwick, NY, and, as a hobby, replanted several varieties of apple trees. The orchard eventually morphed into a business, becoming a 30-acre “pick your own” destination for tourists around the Northeast, before they transitioned into making hard cider on a small scale.

Jason and his co-founder took over the operation in 2002 and ramped up cider production and improved quality. During their first year of business, they sold about 500 cases of Doc’s Hard Cider; today, the brand sells about 75,000 cases annually! In April, Jason was one of three alumni speakers with experience as entrepreneurs in the alcoholic beverage industry at a Cornell Club of Rockland and Cornell Mid-Hudson Alumni Assn. event. Participants were guided on a tasty adventure, sampling wares created by the speakers. Send your news to: ❖ Denise Williams, Online news form.


In a perfect world, we’d be talking about how great our 20th Reunion was right now—hugging and fist-bumping old friends, wandering nostalgically around the gorges and hills, sampling the latest Dairy Bar flavors, taking selfies where our favorite Collegetown haunts used to be, reflexively grinning as we hear those chiming bells … It’s disappointing that we didn’t get to do all of this and more, but I’m also confident that after a year of perfecting the art and science of Zoom meetings, our alma mater pulled off a wonderful virtual Reunion. And, for all the far-flung classmates who wouldn’t have been able to attend in-person normally, the online event was more accessible, too.

And yet: It’s never too early to save the date for our 25th Reunion, June 2026! Where will we all be then? For those of us who will be parenting teens by then, maybe this is a chance to sneak in some college visits, too? (No pressure, kids!) Between Reunions, Homecoming is always a fun excuse for returning to campus, and Zinck’s Night is a chance to toast our alma mater with fellow alums in your neck of the woods. Make sure to check out your local Cornell Club—or start one?—to make the most of all kinds of educational and social networking opportunities throughout the year. Visit our website for our updated list of class officers. Want to lend a hand? Have an affinity for a particular role? Reach out to the officers to see if they could use your help!

Now, for our classmate news. From Bryn Mawr, PA, Larry Kimmel ( has had a productive pandemic: parenting, playing tennis, supervising home renovations, and working from home to manage Kimmel Carter, the largest personal injury and workers’ compensation law firm in Delaware. “I enjoy coaching my son (Daniel, 9) in baseball, coaching my younger daughter (Brittany, 6) in softball, and watching my older daughter (Juliette, 9) dance and do cartwheels around the house,” he writes. “We also got our first dog, Harper (Australian Labradoodle).” Larry’s pandemic takeaways? “Children grow up quickly, and spending time with them is invaluable. We also can’t take our health for granted.”

In Chicago, Ellen Behrstock Sherratt is raising two young daughters (Julia, 5, and Annabel, 2) and recently left her VP job at the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards to focus on her educational consulting work and pursue her passion of increasing teachers’ pay in order to recruit and retain enough excellent teachers for every student. “As chair of the Teacher Salary Project, I can connect leaders in all fields to support President Biden’s priority for improving the pay and status of teaching,” she writes. Any alumni interested in joining the project’s board or advisory group or just getting back in touch, contact her at Ellen’s pandemic takeaway? “It is critical that we invest in education—to create a brighter future and to prepare future doctors and epidemiologists,” she writes.

Toby Merchant checks in from Cincinnati, where he lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their 12-year-old twin daughters. He’s been busy changing jobs, becoming the new chief legal officer at Fox Factory Holding Corp., a designer, manufacturer, and marketer of performance-defining products and systems used primarily on bikes, side-by-sides, on-road vehicles with and without off-road capabilities, off-road vehicles, trucks, ATVs, snowmobiles, specialty vehicles and applications, motorcycles, and commercial trucks. In his spare time, he enjoys golfing. (Does your new company also work with golf carts, Toby?)

We were so sorry to learn that Elizabeth Adam Despins lost her 11-year-old daughter, Alexa, in July 2020 after a fierce battle with HLH (hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis). “Our family spent the first part of the COVID pandemic in the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital while she received a stem cell transplant, with my husband as her donor,” Elizabeth writes from Concord, CA. “While our pandemic experience was very different than the rest of the world’s, we got to see firsthand how truly the people around us love and care for us. Alexa’s journey with HLH was followed by people all over the country, including many Cornellians. We felt the support of hands on our backs the entire time.”

As for me, I’m still creating and curating stories of grit and creativity for—reach out if you or someone you know has an experience to share, related to making the most of a partner-prompted relocation!—and have jumped into a new role as story editor at Global Press Journal. I have also been elected to the board of governors of the American Embassy School in Delhi, India, where my children will be entering grade two and grade six next month—hopefully in person again, if only for a few days a week. Fingers, arms, legs, toes, and eyes crossed!

We love hearing from you! To share news, please email me, visit our website, like our Facebook page, join our Facebook group, and/or follow us on Twitter (@Cornell2001). ❖ Nicole Neroulias Gupte, Online news form.


When asked how her daily life has changed recently, Lauren Pastrich King wrote, “Thankfully, most has remained steady. The biggest change this past year was having my husband home and not traveling for work, which has allowed me more time and flexibility with my career—and more family time! I am a co-owner of a wealth management and financial planning firm located on Long Island, NY. Over the past several years, I had four children—the youngest are boy/girl twins.” Her biggest takeaway from the pandemic? “To cherish the family time and realize the value of work/life balance.”

Pearl Hendrix writes, “We welcomed our fourth child, a baby girl named Clementine Angela. Her three older brothers—Zeb, Macintyre, and Everdeen—are thrilled! My pregnancy and her birth in November 2020 were a very happy time for us during the pandemic.” Pearl says, with husband Charles Jerdonek, “We are very busy with raising our children, virtual school at home, work, and sports.” The family still makes time for trips to the beach, family walks, and participating in youth travel soccer.

Sarah Holton has been promoted to senior associate at CO Architects in Los Angeles, CA. Sarah, who specializes in K–12 education design, joined the firm in 2015 and brings wide-ranging experience in residential and retail projects. Her recent projects include the state-of-the-art Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine at Seton Hall U., which is the first new school of medicine in New Jersey in more than 50 years, and the U. of Arizona Health Sciences Innovation Building in Tucson (learn more here). Los Angeles-based CO Architects is nationally recognized for architectural planning, programming, and design in the higher education, science and technology, and healthcare sectors, and works with leading institutions from coast to coast.

Academy Award-winning filmmaker Ryan Silbert is working on a new project, co-producing “The Coldest Case,” a series starring Aaron Paul, Alexis Bledel, Nathalie Emmanuel, and Krysten Ritter. The plot centers around a homicide detective who sends his new partner deep undercover to infiltrate a notorious Chicago drug ring; the pair are pulled into a dangerous web of corrupt politicians, vengeful billionaires, drugged pro-athletes, and violent, dark web conspiracies. The series is set to release in summer 2021. ❖ Carolyn Deckinger Lang, Online news form.


Christopher Hsu wrote in to tell us about his experience during the pandemic and I think many of us can relate. “I am now a remote worker, stay-at-home dad, part-time teacher, and as-needed husband. COVID-19 has turned my life upside down.” For work, he added, “I head the risk team within Alternative Investments Business at Prudential Financial.” Regarding family, Christopher called out, “We are spending time outdoors—a lot—and I’ve taught my kids a few skills including rollerblading, tennis, and Scrabble.” He added, “While still a bit stressful, I’m thankful that my kids are home all day. I’ve never been able to connect with them as much as I have since the pandemic started. The biggest takeaway is to appreciate all the things we took for granted pre-pandemic—cherishing this moment with close family, enjoying the outdoors, doing things that we normally wouldn’t find time for.” Thank you, Christopher, for putting into writing what many of us are thinking and experiencing!

Justin Meyer took time to tell us that he was “recently tenured at UC San Diego. I’m a professor in the division of biological sciences.” We learned from Justin’s UCSD website that his lab group “uses experimental evolution of viruses to find answers to questions such as: what changes to viral genomes would allow them to infect new species? And, what are the natural processes—mutation, recombination, and natural selection—that permit their evolution?” Congratulations, Justin!

In this tumultuous time, as we are working from home, being parents and teachers, missing our loved ones, we find some comfort in connecting with our classmates. Thank you for sharing your stories. We look forward to hearing about the great things our classmates are doing via news and notes submissions. Until then, all the best. ❖ Jon Schoenberg,; and Candace Lee Chow, Online news form.


Esther Pullen Kibbe lives in Alden, NY. She is thankful that she is able to keep meeting friends for outdoor runs. There are no races or events, but weekly outdoor runs help decrease the impact of the isolation and stress. As runners like to say, it’s cheaper than therapy! Esther is the regional berry specialist for Cornell Cooperative Extension, covering Western New York. She works with berry growers, large and small, on production practices and variety selection. Esther has a 2-year-old daughter, Hazel. She has kept her busy and distracted through all the pandemic challenges. Esther’s biggest takeaway from the pandemic: “Don’t take the joy that grandparents and grandchildren have in each other for granted.”

Monica Pham and her husband, Jon DiBartolomeo, recently adopted two kittens, Buttons and Mittens. After working on Capitol Hill for ten years (Rep. Honda, Rep. Lee, Sen. Jack Reed, Sen. Kamala Harris), she is now in the private sector working as a lobbyist for Biogen. Seeing her friends and family via video chat brings Monica the most satisfaction lately. Her biggest takeaway from the pandemic: “Spend time with the ones you love—we don’t know how much time any of us have left, so make the most of it!” Terry-Ann Smith lives in Buffalo, NY. Her daughter, Ruth, brings her the most satisfaction in life these days. Terry-Ann hopes that Ruth will be Class of 2034! Her biggest takeaway from the pandemic: “Family is everything. So many other lessons too, but for me, that one will stick.”

Please carry on sending and sharing your news. We all enjoy reading good news! Best of luck to everyone reading this. You may contact me at: ❖ Jessi Petrosino, Online news form.


Throughout the pandemic, classmates from the Class of 2005 have reported many changes, challenges, and triumphs. Thomas Balcerski, PhD ’14, has been teaching in person since August 2020, but it sure looks different wearing a mask and socially distancing! He still enjoys living and working in rural Connecticut and encourages any classmates that live nearby to be in touch.

Cesar Aguiluz, a plastic and reconstructive surgeon in Southern California, reports that he has not dined at a restaurant in over a year and the pandemic has caused him to not take life for granted as he strives to keep himself and his family healthy and safe. Alexandra Weiss’s quarantining caused her to want to get back to helping people achieve their goals, and as a result, she has transitioned from a marketing career into a career as a life coach.

Janine Yieh Helwig shared that since the start of the pandemic she has transitioned from her role at the George Washington U. in D.C. to MIT in Boston, where she is the director of utilities within MIT’s Dept. of Facilities. She would love to connect with classmates in Boston and is grateful that Ithaca winters prepared her for New England! Send your news to: ❖ Jessica Rosenthal Chod,; or Hilary Johnson King, Online news form.


Hello, Class of 2006. Welcome to the new Class Notes online! Rocky Collis is the CEO of Mustard, a motion analysis app that makes high-technology coaching accessible to athletes of all ages. Mustard was co-founded by Dr. Tom House, throwing coach for Tom Brady, Drew Brees, and Cole Hamels. Learn more about Mustard here.

David Eskander and Samantha Sax live in New York City, and both started new jobs during the pandemic. Both work in real estate. David works with well-known broker Noble Black at Douglas Elliman, while Samantha is chief marketing officer, US, with Pontiac Land Group, working on marketing, design, and sales for the new 53 West 53 development adjacent to the Museum of Modern Art. The couple also recently made a big move to a new home in the NoMad neighborhood—one block from their old home! J. DeMeo and spouse Lin Wang welcomed a baby, Ethan Tianyi, to the world on September 29, 2020. Mom and Dad, who live in Honolulu, HI, are doing well and adjusting to life as parents.

What’s new with you? New job? Wedding? Big move? Kids? Let us know—we love to hear from you. ❖ Tory Lauterbach, Online news form.


Hello, 2007! Hope you all have been staying healthy. This time in our lives has certainly left us with a lot of emotions—particularly gratitude for health and relationships. With that in mind, I’d like to take this opportunity to spotlight one of our classmates who was at the forefront of the finances for Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine.

Lily Hakim led the financial management of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine research and development program, including clinical trials, for which emergency use authorization was received from the FDA. She worked closely with senior leadership and scientists to provide for the allocation of funds necessary to meet rapidly changing estimates and needs. Lily believes that finance should be a partner to the business, not a barrier or cause for delays, while ensuring continued compliance with requirements. She worked closely with senior leadership to manage the financial needs of Pfizer’s Pearl River site and the related laboratories operating throughout the pandemic. In December, Lily was promoted and named director, executive operations, working within Pfizer’s Office of the CEO. She furthers her passion for the subject by teaching accounting, business writing, and public speaking in her spare time. Thanks, Lily, for your amazing work!

Looking forward to sharing more exciting stories with everyone. Have news to share? Please feel free to reach out to me or submit online! ❖ Samantha Feibush Wolf, Online news form.


Class of ’08, we have some exciting updates from your classmates this Class Notes cycle! Peter and Jessica DeMarinis Asiello welcomed a baby boy, Joseph, last summer. They live outside of Boston and tell us that they’re really looking forward to the day when they can bring Joey to his first Cornell-Harvard hockey game. Congratulations to you both and happy first birthday to Joey this summer!

Becky Wolozin is an immigration and civil rights attorney at Legal Aid Justice Center and the director of the George Mason Law School Immigration Litigation Clinic. She tells us that she and her husband, Louis Beckman, are “plugging along with our 2-year-old, Max, and 5-year-old, Sammy. We’re both working mostly virtually (except when I have to go to court or meet with a client). Working from home where you host a nanny share of 2-year-olds is … loud!” Becky has spent the pandemic really honing her playtime skills with her children. She has even developed her own one-woman improvisation show for her older child, where she somehow manages to be all the voices of all the Winnie the Pooh characters with special guest appearances from Apollo 11 astronauts, Paddington Bear, and many others. Sounds very impressive, Becky!

At the end of May, Adam Kassam started in his role as president of the Ontario Medical Association—a 140-year-old institution that represents the 35,000-plus physicians in the most populous province in Canada. He was the youngest physician and first-ever physiatrist to assume this role. Read more about Adam, his past leadership, and what he wants to focus on as president (diversity and inclusion!) here. Congratulations on this great achievement, Adam, and best of luck in this new role.

As always, please continue to send your news to Elana Beale or me or use the online news form. Please do keep the updates of both major life change and those of the arcane day-to-day life variety coming. We’d love to hear from you and give you your 15 minutes of Cornell fame! Also, be sure to stay tuned for news of great upcoming class happenings and events via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. ❖ Libby Boymel,; Elana Beale,


“I learned about Cornell through a high school counselor, who set up a trip to Cornell for a number of students from my high school,” Ernie Jolly said on a recent episode of the podcast Fresh from the Hill: Inside Stories of Noteworthy Cornellians. “It was in October. It was probably the most beautiful place I had ever been at that time in my life. The leaves were beautiful. It was like an autumn utopia. Everyone struck me as extremely intelligent, but also extremely excited to be there. Folks generally looked happy. After that trip, I was almost obsessed with Cornell. I would go to the Barnes & Noble store in downtown Brooklyn just to read the various college manuals and read up on what the different books said about Cornell.”

In this episode of the podcast, Ernie and Eric Elmore ’86, JD ’89, were both interviewed by John Rawlins III ’06, president of the Cornell Black Alumni Assn., about their experiences with the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity. Founded at Cornell in 1906, it was the first intercollegiate Greek letter fraternity established for African American men. Ernie is currently the chief of staff for Congressman Greg Meeks of New York. You can hear the whole episode here.

Please take a moment to fill out the online news form to let your classmates know what you’ve been up to! What brings you the greatest satisfaction these days? How has your life changed—or not changed—recently? What have been your biggest takeaways from the pandemic? Whether your news is ordinary or extraordinary, we want to hear it! ❖ Jason Georges,

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Andrew Brady has been a co-host of the podcast Fresh from the Hill: Inside Stories of Noteworthy Cornellians since October 28, 2020. A native of Rochester, NY, he was drawn to Cornell, he says, because “it was the perfect distance away. It was far enough that you could be independent, but close enough that you could go home for the weekend if you had to. But, of course, once I got there, I never went home for the weekend because I really enjoyed the experience there.” You can listen to Andrew’s introductory podcast here.

An Applied Economics and Management major on the Hill, Andrew got his master’s from UPenn in applied positive psychology. Now back in Rochester, he runs a company called the XLR8 (pronounced “accelerate”) Team. “We work with leaders on how to build corporate cultures that are more engaging for their employees, are more sustainable for the environment, and are making positive impacts on the community.” Andrew hosts another podcast, called For the EVOlution of Business, and is working on a book of the same title. From the podcast’s description: “Capitalism has created massive gains in prosperity and yet also led to such inequality that a majority of Millennials don’t believe it’s the best way to organize our economy. Yet some companies embrace a more ‘conscious’ capitalism, with a purpose beyond profit, and a balancing of the needs of all stakeholders rather than prioritizing stockholders—and they end up more successful in the long run! Join the For the EVOLution of Business podcast to learn from business leaders at the forefront of Conscious Capitalism, creating more inclusive prosperity for society and the planet while also leading to more success for their companies.”

Please take a moment to drop us a line and let us know what you’ve been up to lately. What have you been doing for work? How has your life changed—or not changed—recently? What have been your biggest takeaways from the pandemic? Whether your news is ordinary or extraordinary, we want to hear it! ❖ Michelle Sun, Online news form.


Mike Annunziata, MBA ’17, is the CEO and co-founder of Farther Farms, which develops new technologies to make food more accessible around the world. “Food technologies—like canning and freezing—have enabled us to build a thriving world. However, with ever-increasing population growth, diminishing resources, and environmental pressures, the global community needs new ways to produce quality food affordably and reliably,” their website explains. “We meld microbiology, engineering, and food science expertise to make foods that don’t require refrigeration or freezing. This allows us to introduce new products that increase access around the world.” Mike was recently interviewed on an episode of the podcast Fresh from the Hill: Inside Stories of Noteworthy Cornellians. “The thing that was constant within my Cornell classes was really learning how to learn,” the ILR alum noted in his interview. “That was such a different experience for me.” You can listen to the entire episode here.

Johnny Livanos has been busy since graduation! He’s the manager of Livanos Restaurant Group, as well as the founder of both his Manhattan family restaurant, Ousia, and Stray Dog Spirits. In February 2020, Stray Dog launched one of the first Greek gins on the market! According to an interview done by thirsty magazine, Johnny said, “On a wine trip in Greece in 2017, I had an epiphany while hiking through a field in Crete and picking some wild herbs that were growing nearby. I stuck a few various plants in my glass of tsipouro (Greek grappa), and after a few hours of letting it infuse, I put it to my lips and eureka! I was taken aback by how the aromas of the wild Greek countryside transformed my drink and I realized how there are so many beautiful herbs and botanicals that grow all throughout Greece. I felt like gin was the perfect way to share these flavors I grew up with in a way that is more accessible to the global palate.”

In April, Johnny was one of three alumni speakers with experience as entrepreneurs in the alcoholic beverage industry at a Cornell Club of Rockland and Cornell Mid-Hudson Alumni Assn. event. Participants were guided on a tasty adventure, sampling wares created by the speakers. “As a third-generation Greek American, I have tremendous pride for sharing my culture and heritage with others,” he told thirsty. “It’s sort of part of the Greek DNA—we love to give people food, drinks, and our hospitality all in the name of sharing our Greekness.”

We missed seeing all of you in person at our 10th Reunion this year but know everyone was wishing we could celebrate our first decade as graduates together. Did you “attend” the virtual event? How has your life changed—or not changed—recently? What have been your biggest takeaways from the pandemic? Let us know. ❖ Dara Perl, Online news form.


“There’s no Cornell experience without Collegetown Bagels (CTB)! And for Lindsey Brous Gitlin, CTB is the family business.” So reads the description for a recent episode of the podcast Fresh from the Hill: Inside Stories of Noteworthy Cornellians, featuring our very own Lindsey. “After a stint in NYC and Boston, Lindsey has returned to Ithaca to oversee some major changes at the shop. From the pandemic response to new spaces/renovations, hear what’s next for this Ithaca institution. What if CTB came to a location near you?!” You can listen to the full episode here.

Chelsea Mason moved from New York to California to attend business school at the Haas School at UC Berkeley. What have you been up to? What brings you the greatest satisfaction these days? How has your life changed—or not changed—recently? Please take a moment to fill out the online news form. Your classmates always want to hear from you. ❖ Peggy Ramin,


It has been a few months since I’ve connected you all with the happenings in our class, but things have been very busy as we (hopefully) near the end of our time in quarantine. Even though this period has given us all time to reflect and hopefully spend time doing things we never thought we would have the opportunity to do, this has been a profoundly challenging period in our lives. I am hoping that as you are reading this, you are enjoying your summer with a much more positive outlook than you had at this time last year.

This column marks the last (or penultimate perhaps) time I will be able to report on our stellar classmates making the Forbes 30 Under 30 list. Yes, that means that the next time the list is announced, we will almost all be definitively in our 30s and entering a new decade. But until then …

This year, Forbes selected Flori Marquez and Phaedra Randolph for their list. Flori is the co-founder for BlockFi, a cryptocurrency lending platform, which allows crypto holders to lend cryptocurrency. The platform also offers crypto trading services and, at the time Forbes published their list, it had raised over $100 million in equity from venture capital firms. Forbes reported that after generating $4.5 million in revenue in 2019, BlockFi had 100,000 funded accounts and was on track to earn $120 million in revenue this year. BlockFi is also preparing an IPO.

Phaedra also founded her own company, Spero Foods, in 2016. Spero makes cheaper and cleaner dairy alternatives from seeds instead of the more popular nuts, which are expensive and less sustainable to scale. Indeed, seeds are seven times cheaper and 60 times faster to grow. They use 30 times less land and 25 times less water, while emitting 142 times less greenhouse gas emissions than dairy. Phaedra has raised more than $10 million from venture capital firms to grow Spero Foods.

You all never cease to amaze me in all the incredible things you are doing. If you have news to share, please email me at: ❖ Rachael Schuman, Online news form.


Hello, Class of 2014! Welcome to the new digital version of Class Notes, where we’ll continue to share your news with 2014 classmates and the wider Cornell community. To start off this column, I, Samantha Lapehn, have some exciting personal news to share. In early February, I completed my toxicology PhD at the U. of Michigan School of Public Health and began a new job as a postdoctoral fellow at Seattle Children’s Research Inst. I was also married on April 10 in a small, COVID-conscious wedding, to Dillon Young, with fellow 2014 Cornellians Kelly Parness, Abigail Morrison, Jaclyn Jeffrey-Wilensky, and Meghan McDarby as bridesmaids.

I’m excited and hopeful that this new digital home of Class Notes will lead to increased readership and news submissions from our class. If you or any of your 2014 friends have anything you’d like to share with your classmates or the broader Cornell community, please email me! ❖ Samantha Lapehn Young, Online news form.


Our Class of 2015 has seen many job updates this year: Jooyoon Chang ’16, BA ’15, is working at Dechert LLP, Juliet Leon is inside sales manager for Ingredion Inc., and Ruize Zhuang started a new job! Benjamin Solaski, ME ’16, also started a new job in sales at a small tech company based in New York City that focuses on using wearable technology to reduce injuries for the industrial workforce.

Qurrat Ahmad is working as a senior manager of sales strategy at SharkNinja and starting to think about applying to MBA programs, while Jenna Clemente graduated law school in 2018, clerked for a presiding judge of the Bergen County Civil Division for a year, and has been working as an associate in a law firm since September 2019.

Several of our classmates have been working hard in the medical field. Olivia Vaz is a third-year PhD in infectious disease epidemiology at the Gillings School of Global Public Health at UNC Chapel Hill. Pat Gilson graduated from medical school in 2020 and is now working as a resident physician in neurology at the Cleveland Clinic. Glen Francisco is in his first year of psychiatry residency with UTMB, and Bridgette Aumand Holmes is working as a nurse-midwife at Dartmouth Hitchcock in Lebanon, NH.

Last but not least, Alexis Sicklick was feeling nostalgic about all we would miss in the 2020 holiday season, so she decided to write a Nutcracker-themed cookbook! A Taste of The Nutcracker aims to bring to everyone the tremendous joy that The Nutcracker Suite brought her as a dancer for so many years. The cookbook includes a collection of recipes and anecdotes that relate to every scene in the Nutcracker, with numerous savory and sweet treats. The dishes are approachable and can be created with others. Additionally, the recipes are generally plant-forward and nut-based—all are gluten-free and vegetarian. This cookbook is special because not only does it have scrumptious recipes, it also includes timely anecdotes and reflections for the end of the year. She fashioned the book as a way to think about the past year for young children to adults, using the themes of the Nutcracker story to create a more universal connection and understanding of ourselves and the world around us. Concepts highlighted include sharing happiness, overcoming challenges, beginning anew with the start of every year, gaining wisdom from family both current and past, and appreciating the diversity among everyone. Way to go, Alexis! ❖ Caroline Flax,; Mateo Acebedo, Online news form.


Dear classmates: Five years after graduation and the world probably looks very different than how we would have imagined it the day we left Cornell. Despite the many challenges of the past year, I’m constantly inspired by the incredibly interesting lives of our classmates!

A huge congratulations to Vanessa Sanchez, who was named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 list. From the Forbes profile: “Sanchez’s research is focused on developing robotic fabrics for patients who are ill or disabled. She has created robotic fabric leg sleeves that treat deep-vein thrombosis, as well as soft robotic fabrics with built-in feedback control that can help users have better mobility.” At Cornell, Vanessa majored in Textiles and Apparel. We are so excited for you, Vanessa, and can’t wait to follow your career as you continue to do amazing things!

Daniel Krueger wrote all the way from Taipei, Taiwan, with news of his recent adventures! Dan works as a senior strategist at a branding and consulting agency, where his projects support local clients’ global marketing strategy and help international clients interested in entering the Asian market. He’s putting his CAPS (China and Asia Pacific Studies) degree to good use by using his Mandarin skills every day, in the office with clients and around the city with friends. Taiwan is a far stretch from his hometown in Upstate New York, but Dan loves it. Outside of work he spends most of his time enjoying afternoon tea, frequenting flower markets, and visiting other parts of the island for delicious food or beautiful hiking trails. Having studied abroad in Beijing, Dan appreciates the opportunity to explore more of Asia and expand his cross-cultural knowledge!

Thank you to Dan and Vanessa for sending in their news. Please send your news via the online news form below or directly to me—and stay tuned to the Class Notes to keep up with classmates and fellow Cornellians from other classes. Hope you were able to attend our virtual Reunion in June! ❖ Meghan McCormick, Online news form.


Tobenna “Tobe” Attah started Ekele Media in January “to create enriching stories that inspire gratitude and hope for younger audiences and parents/educators through book publishing,” according to a recent Shoutout DFW article featuring Tobe. The stories published by Ekele Media are inspired by the U.N. 17 Sustainable Development Goals—a collection of global goals created as a guide to build a better world by 2030. In April 2021, Ekele released Chelly and Renee: Journey to the Heart of the Sea, written by Tobe, which became a number one new release on Amazon in multiple categories (children’s environment and ecology books, children’s Africa books, children’s turtle books, and children’s water sports books).

Tobe is also the director of business operations at MACVAL Assocs., an engineering, construction, and management firm based in Dallas, TX. “Whether it’s planning year-long work schedules for subcontractors, managing day-to-day operations in the field, or budgeting for large multimillion-dollar construction projects, there’s always a new problem to solve to ensure everything runs smoothly from an operations standpoint,” Tobe said in the article. “When working with local government officials on high-level construction projects, we aim to ensure every project we complete exceeds expectations.” For more information, click here. ❖ Class of 2017, c/o Alexandra Bond ’12, Online news form.


Classmate Jordan Pares-Kane was interviewed for the podcast Fresh from the Hill: Inside Stories of Noteworthy Cornellians. In this episode, titled “The Sustainable Life,” Jordan talked about her work with the U. of Georgia, Costa Rica as a resident naturalist. To hear about her life before Cornell, her travels through Central America, the a cappella group she joined on the Hill, and more, you can listen to the full episode here. And tune in to the Fresh from the Hill podcast regularly for more stories about Cornell alumni.

Please take a moment to fill out the online news form to let your classmates know what you’ve been up to! What brings you the greatest satisfaction these days? How has your life changed—or not changed—recently? What have been your biggest takeaways from the pandemic? Whether your news is ordinary or extraordinary, we want to hear it! Until next time, you can catch us at the Class of 2018 Instagram (@cornell_2018) for more news! ❖ Stephanie Yan,


For the last six years, the NFL has hosted “1st and Future,” a competition designed to spur novel advancements in athlete safety and performance, which is televised on the NFL Network in February. This year, the winner of the top award in the competition, taking home a prize of $50,000, was Organic Robotics Corp. (ORC)—a Cornell startup co-founded by our very own Ilayda Samilgil! Ilayda, who majored in Mechanical Engineering and minored in Entrepreneurship and Innovation on the Hill, started ORC back in 2018 with Rob Shepherd, associate professor in the Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. They won the competition with their trademarked Light Lace technology, which uses durable sensors to detect data related to motion, muscle activity, and respiration. These sensors can bend, twist, and stretch, which means they can be integrated into garments, shoes, and even helmets, and the information generated could help assess injury risk factors. Learn more about ORC, Light Lace, and Ilayda here.

Grace Shi, BS ’18, is the co-founder of Woks for Washington, a grassroots initiative in the D.C. area focused on preserving Asian American culture, primarily through sharing Asian cuisine. “During the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen increased racism and xenophobia against the Asian American community, prompting us to reflect on our dual identities as both Asians and Americans,” notes a message on their website. “Having these dual backgrounds means that we have a duty to do our best for the good of our communities … and a duty to continue sharing our culture with our non-Asian brothers and sisters, so that one day we may lessen the underlying prejudices against us and help to unify Americans and bridge racial divides. We’ve chosen to focus on Asian cuisine due to the increased phobia of Asian spaces and food following COVID, and because we think Asian cuisine is an essential part of our culture.” Since its inception in 2020, Woks for Washington has raised more than $30K for this cause and donated more than 2,000 meals.

Grace was born in Rockville, MD, but she grew up in China under her grandmother’s wing, away from her parents who had just immigrated to America. Following her return to the US, Grace remembers going to lively family-and-friend gatherings, where everyone would get together at a local Asian restaurant for those quintessential round-table dinners. Although Grace is normally based in NYC, she has returned to Maryland following the COVID-19 outbreak to be closer to her family.

Please take a moment to drop us a line and let us know how you are. What have you been doing for work? How has your life changed—or not changed—recently? What have been your biggest takeaways from the pandemic? Whether your news is ordinary or extraordinary, we want to hear it! ❖ Class of 2019, c/o Alexandra Bond ’12, Online news form.

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Jeffrey Zhang was recently featured in a Cornell Daily Sun article after he launched SpeakUp Ventures last March. The program provides mentorship, workshops, and a small stipend for Asian entrepreneurs to develop their business ideas—with an aim to empower aspiring student entrepreneurs. “According to Zhang, his decision to start SpeakUp Ventures came in response to the recent rise in anti-Asian violence,” the Sun reported. “The Atlanta shooting, which left Asian students and the AAPI community as a whole in mourning, devastated Zhang and motivated him to bring about change in his field. ‘Honestly, I felt so powerless because I felt that my community was under attack,’ Zhang said. ‘As an engineer, I’ve always been taught that there’s no problem that’s unsolvable.’” To start, Jeffrey plans to host ten teams with about two to three students each. “I have decided to fund startups that harness the power of communities to address a particular need in the world or leverage technology to empower the Asian community,” he said. Good luck in this new venture, Jeffrey!

Please take a moment to let us know how you’re doing. What have you been up to since graduation? What are your plans for the summer? What do you miss most about the Hill? Fill out the online news form, or send me an email at: ❖ Shruti Juneja,

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Grad Notes

Agriculture & Life Sciences

In April, Abigail Hart, MS ’17, published Rewilding Agricultural Landscapes: A California Study in Rebalancing the Needs of People and Nature, co-edited with two colleagues. It uses the southern Central Valley—one of the world’s most productive and important agricultural regions—as a case study for retiring farmland and restoring functional natural ecosystems. Abigail is a project director for the Nature Conservancy’s California Water Program.

William Morrow has published a memoir by Trent Preszler, MS ’02, PhD ’12. In Little and Often, Trent contemplates his fraught relationship with his late father, from whom he was estranged since coming out as gay in college. After his father died of cancer, Trent learned that he’d bequeathed him one thing: his toolbox. The memoir, the publisher says, “details what he did with those tools, and reveals a story of self-discovery, perseverance, and reconciliation.” Trent is CEO of Bedell Cellars, a winery on Long Island’s North Fork.

Architecture, Art & Planning

Architect Adam Kushner, MArch ’94, and his firm, Kushner Studios, recently completed a major, eight-year renovation of a historic townhouse on Minetta Lane in Manhattan’s West Village. It includes a solar array on the roof that provides about 10% of the building’s power, three sources of heat including nine woodburning fireplaces, and an 83-foot-high, indoor-outdoor rock climbing wall. The wood used in the project was all hand-harvested from fallen timbers in Upstate New York.

Arts & Sciences

Daniel Johansen, MPA ’15, works for the UN World Food Programme (WFP), winner of the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize; the UN’s hunger relief arm, it’s the world’s largest humanitarian organization, feeding more than 100 million people in about 80 countries each year. Daniel is head of operational information management for WFP’s efforts in Syria; he previously worked at the agency’s headquarters in Rome, Italy.

Harvard University Press recently published Market Maoists: The Communist Origins of China’s Capitalist Ascent by historian Jason Kelly, MA ’14, PhD ’17. The book explores how—long before Deng Xiaoping’s market-based reforms—commercial relationships bound the Chinese Communist Party to international capitalism and left lasting marks on the nation’s trade and diplomacy. Jason is an assistant professor at the US Naval War College and a research associate at Harvard’s Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies. He was previously a foreign service officer at the US Embassy in Beijing.

Industrial & Labor Relations

Elizabeth Winkler Heitner, MILR ’06, was named vice president for human resources at Penn Mutual Life Insurance Co., a Fortune 1000 firm. Her previous positions include serving as senior vice president of talent and transformation at the consumer financial services company Synchrony Financial as well as having HR leadership roles at NCR Corp. and working in HR consulting with the management company Mercer.


A researcher at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA, Laura Jones-Wilson, MS ’10, PhD ’12, is the payload verification and validation lead for the Europa Clipper mission, which is expected to launch in the mid-2020s. Her duties include ensuring that the scientific instruments are properly tested and ready to study the surface of an icy moon of Jupiter.

Timothy Zhu, ME ’19, is a longtime volunteer for Operation Smile, a nonprofit that provides free surgeries for children worldwide to correct cleft lip or palate. In May, he achieved his goal of raising awareness for the charity by wearing an Operation Smile T-shirt for 1,000 days in a row. Timothy is executive adviser to the Operation Smile club at Cornell, one of many such groups on campuses around the country that raise funds to support the nonprofit’s efforts.

Xucheng “Will” Tang, MS ’19, has co-founded a startup that aims to make chargers for electric vehicles. He writes: “We are a global company dedicated to changing the way people use energy in the EV industry and at home. We create smart charging systems that communicate with home energy storage systems and integrate battery devices by a scalable and interconnected system. We have landed our first seed-round funding and kicked off product development.”

Graduate School

Marcel Blais, MS ’04, PhD ’05, has been promoted to teaching professor in the Dept. of Mathematical Sciences at Worcester Polytechnic Inst. (WPI). He teaches operations research, calculus, and financial mathematics courses and studies liquidity modeling in mathematical finance. Marcel, who has been associate head of the department since 2017, is also co-director of WPI’s FinTech Collaborative and serves on the board of the National Professional Science Master’s Assn.

Human Ecology

Raechel French, MS ’13, and Bonnie Sanborn, MS ’15, work for DLR Group, a Chicago-based design firm. In May, they and their colleagues received the firm’s first Certificate of Research Excellence award from the Environmental Design Research Assn. for their design of a 600-student, kindergarten-only school in Washington State. The award is given to research projects that demonstrate rigor and excellence in research on the built environment.

Johnson School

Robert Frisch, MBA ’13, co-owns Firelight Camps, a “glamping” resort in Ithaca that features luxurious tents with hardwood floors, king size beds, and private balconies. This year he launched a crowdfunded investment campaign to raise funds to develop a second location in New York’s Catskill Mountains; as of mid-June it had garnered nearly $500,000.

Lyn Nguyen, MBA ’05, co-authored a memoir, Mango & Peppercorns, about her family’s experiences. Lyn’s mother, who came to the US as an impoverished refugee from Vietnam, was a single parent; she raised Lyn with the help of a close friend, with whom she also ran a popular Miami restaurant serving authentic Vietnamese cuisine. Lyn is the CEO and cofounder of Liquid Analytics, an artificial intelligence innovation firm.

Law School

Jeff Gutchess, JD ’92, is a founding partner of the Miami firm AXS Law Group, which won Daily Business Review’s 2021 Florida Legal Award for Best Commercial Litigation Department of the Year.

Top image: Cornell University

Published July 26, 2021

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