Welcome Cornell Class of 1962

For those of us in our 80’s reading this—“60” is a very important number. For those of us actually at our 60th Reunion—would you believe?—we made it!

—And that fact is, perhaps, as important as all the fun we had on the Hill that lovely June weekend. You have to shake your head a bit to realize that six decades have passed since that day of caps and gowns, tearful good-byes to classmates, and great expectations for the future.

A numerical note about the Class of ’62: ironically 62 classmates—and 48 spouses, children, and significant others—were able to come to campus to reunite—remember those undergraduate days—and tell each other what we’d been doing all the decades since.  Yet another statistic of longevity: we’ve had eight Class Presidents since graduation—and all eight attended our 60th Reunion!

As one of our class officers said: “WOW!!”

Frank Quirk outside reunion headquarters

Frank Quirk, Reunion Chair, welcomes arrivals outside class headquarters

And so it was on Thursday, June 9th, that our hardy bunch began to arrive at class headquarters—Mews Hall on the north campus. This time, however, quite a few of us opted for the Statler Hotel—a bit more luxurious and centrally located. After all—it was our 60th.

We were greeted with a lovely “al fresco” buffet under a tent on the Mews grounds—no rush—just a chance to sit down and see old friends as they arrived. One very special arrival: the Sherwoods—Cornell’s fabulous a capella singing group—this time including undergrads and alumni alike. The Sherwoods spent more than half an hour with us—they provided a great musical dessert.

Frank Quirk outside reunion headquarters

Dinner Thursday evening at Mews Hall

The Sherwoods alumni singing group

The Sherwoods sing for our supper

The evening wound down with an “Afterglow”—a chance to relax in the Lund Lounge at Mews—and to reminisce after a long day or travel.

Friday began bright and early (for those of us who could roll out of bed at 7AM, the time our continental breakfast began in the Mews tent). Believe it or not a goodly number of us showed up to munch on bagels, muffins, cereal, yogurt and fruit—and to down that first cup of coffee.

But there was little time to waste because we had to get down to the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art. There we were treated to a fascinating lecture on photography collections at Cornell and an exhibition of the Class of ’62 Photography Collection. Our Class Gift Fund contributions to the museum are used to purchase outstanding historic and contemporary photographs for the collection—and will be our class’ legacy to the University. The moving force behind this years-long effort is class Vice-President Judy Rich—and kudos to Judy for a job well done.


CU62 Photo Collection entrance

Entrance to the Class of 1962 Photography Collection at Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art

People viewing the Photography Collection

Enjoying the Photography Collection at Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art

About the Photography Collection at Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art

Museum talk about Photo Collection

Kate Addleman-Frank, Curator of Photography, discusses Johnson Museum of Art’s photography collection

A sad but very important note: two of our most recently purchased photographs are dedicated to the memory of beloved class members—longtime Class Officer Mike Duesing, and our nearly half-century Class Correspondent Jan McClayton Crites. Both are greatly missed.

Our lecturer was Kate Addelman-Frankel, the museum’s Curator of Photography. Said Kate: “I fully enjoyed the event. The questions after the lecture were terrific. What an engaged and interesting group of people, the Class of ’62. It was my pleasure.”

A few of us paid homage to Mike and Jan again at the University Service of Remembrance and Thanksgiving Friday afternoon at Anabel Taylor Hall.

Very soon it was time for the Class photo. That was taken as we gathered for a reception and dinner at Duffield Hall. The building was named for ’62 class member Dave Duffield, creator of the high-tech PeopleSoft company, who gave $20,000,000 for its construction.

Cornell Class of 1962 60th Reunion Class Photo

Cornell University Class of 1962 • 60th Reunion Class Photo

And it was at that dinner when we received some very impressive news. Our 1962 Gifts Chairman, Steve Ploscowe, announced that, though the University’s goal for ’62 donations was $6,000,000, the class had raised nearly $40,000,000 for our 60th Reunion—an historic milestone for the University because it was the highest amount ever given by a 60th Reunion class. Three hundred fifty-three classmates made it happen.

But that’s not all: Steve reported that, since graduation in 1962, our class has donated $256,838,296 to the University. Time for another “WOW!!”.

Congratulations to our contributors—for our 60th and for all those years before. And our sincere thanks to Steve for a great job.

After dinner a few of our more adventurous classmates could not resist a trip to the beer tents. Friday night seemed a bit peculiar. At previous reunions the tents were filled with hundreds of drinkers by 9PM. But this year was different: The tents were almost deserted at that time—though, in addition to beer, there were tables of hors d’oeuvres.

The explanation: younger people nowadays don’t start partying until well after 10 PM—possibly when “old folks” are about to go to bed. Who knew? But, for those of us who stayed late, what a wonderful sight to see younger reunion folks having a great time—and they were delighted to see a few of the older generation. We actually communicated—and not by text!

Steve Ploscowe 60th Giving Record

Steve Ploscowe, CU ’62’s Campaign Chair, announces our record-breaking 60th Reunion Campaign total

Bill Nye the Science Guy

Bill Nye ’77, “The Science Guy,” speaks to the reunion classes.

The “early-to-bed, early-to-rise” crowd showed up for the Saturday morning buffet outside Mews. And when they’d satisfied their appetites, it was time to go over to Schoellkopf Stadium for an outdoor performance by Bill Nye ’77, the Science Guy. Bill didn’t disappoint—he got a big crowd and a great reception.

If you hadn’t been back to the Hill in many years you would be amazed at how things had changed. Which is why a bunch of attendees boarded a bus Saturday afternoon for a campus tour and an orientation to the “new world” of Cornell. For many on the tour It was quite an eye opener.

Still others took advantage of the many special lectures and activities offered to returning alum. And some folks even took a ride downtown. They had not seen State Street since it had been closed to traffic and was now known as The Commons—an impressive potpourri of stores and restaurants. And, of course, no Reunion would be complete without a nostalgic walk through College Town.


CU 62 Reunion Dinner Saturday evening

CU ’62 Reunion Dinner Saturday evening

Dinner Saturday evening

Tom and Nancy Williams Clark, Reunion Co-Chair, enjoying Saturday night dinner

By day’s end it was back to the Statler for a wine reception and a Saturday night class dinner in the Ballroom. One more get-together before the weekend came to a close. The important business was completed: our attendees voted another five-year term for our wonderful group of class officers. Led by Class President Neil Schilke, we can be sure that the class operation is in very good hands.

Indeed, so was our 60th Reunion. Congratulations to the team who put it all together: Reunion Chairman Frank Quirk, ably aided by co-chairs Nancy Williams Clark and Don Juran. The young people on the ’62 Reunion staff were a great help too.

So, what’s the bottom line? Simply this: A great and wonderful class had a great and wonderful 60th Reunion.

Chair Frank Quirk recalled a favorite Cornell song which opens with the line:

“I wake at night and think I hear remembered chimes”…and ends with the hope that “I… may tread the Hill again'”

That’s just what those of us who returned did indeed do—and let’s make plans to “tread the Hill again”—at our 65th.

—Mike Eisgrau

Neil Schilke presentation at reunion dinner

Class President Neil Schilke greets reunion celebrants Saturday evening.

Visit our 60th Reunion Photo Gallery

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