April 2024


This column is being written in April which, as we all know, is tax month. In the absence of personal entries from classmates, I thought it fitting to write about another set of figures: Classmate and Class-based Giving.

In this the 62nd year of the Class of 1962, generous donations and consistent giving have resulted in an excess of $315,474,379 (as of 2/7/2024) in gifts to the University.  Included in this figure is the nearly $40,000,000 the Class raised for our 60th Reunion ­– an historic milestone for the University because it was the highest amount ever given by a 60th Reunion class! This is not the first giving-record our Class has set. Indeed, in 1987, we were dubbed “The Class” by then Cornell President Frank Rhodes for our 25th Reunion gifts of $5.5 million, which represented a new Cornell and national record for the most money ever raised by a single class!

Amazingly, there’s still more. We have burnished our record for generosity with our class-based donations, as well. The Class of 1962 Photography Fund at the Johnson Museum of Art ($150,935) now holds a collection of 37 outstanding historic and contemporary fine art images by distinguished and acclaimed photographers, including Edward Steichen, Lotte Jacobi, Andreas Feininger, Bruce Davidson, and Gordon Parks. And how about The Frank and Rosa Rhodes – Class of 1962 Cornell Tradition Fellowship and the Class of 1962 Baseball Scoreboard? Two of many other fantastic Class Gift Fund projects.

While we’re on the subject, our current Tradition Scholar knows quite a lot about giving. In this case, giving of oneself, which seems to be second nature to Bronx, NY native Abbie Jobe ‘26, who is majoring agriculture science in CALS. Abbie used her 2022-23 award this winter to cover the costs of a service trip to The Gambia, where she was a volunteer employing Montessori practices to educate Gambian students in the community of Foni, located in the rural region upcountry. Once back at Cornell, she began taking environmental engineering courses in hopes of switching her major to that area. A project team member of Cornell’s Engineers in Action, this summer she will be traveling to the Kingdom of Eswatini (formerly Swaziland) to build a bridge in the rural community. The plan is to help individuals in the community have better access to resources that are located on the other side of a floodplain.

On behalf of all of us, WOW!

Please send along new and updates (photos, too) of what’s happening with you and your family. Don’t let the Class of 1962 disappear from these pages before its time. Send your entries to Judy Prenske Rich. Check out our class website for timely and archival information.

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