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Cornell Class of 1951

It takes 4 months to print a column in Cornell Alumni magazine, so I'll print it here first and replace it when the next one is written.

Brad Bond, Class Correspondent

November/December 2015 Issue

’51 Nov/Dec

Mary Beth Weaver Ostrom and Rip Haley are busy planning our 65th Reunion for June 9-12, 2016. See you there! And in other great news, Shelley Epstein Akabas, who with Steve Rounds organized our 60th, has won one of six 2015 Frank H. T. Rhodes Exemplary Alumni Service Awards!

Catherine “Kitty” Welch Munn (Raleigh, NC) writes, “We are living at Springmoor, a retirement community. I have moved from our villa to an apartment, and Dev continues in the memory unit. With assistance from my new pacemaker and a red power chair I am now able to cover all parts of the complex. Life goes on.” From the Wall Street Journal on July 21, 2015: Silicon Valley billionaire Yuri Milner “is personally funding a new effort to scan the skies for signs of intelligent alien life.” Called Breakthough Listen, the ten-year project will be centered at UC Berkeley’s SETI. Advisors to the project include, a British cosmologist and astrophysicist and our classmate Frank Drake, a pioneering astronomer and the founder of the SETI program.

Phoebe Eisenbrown Berner (Harrisburg, PA) reports that husband Ben ’50 suffered advanced Parkinson’s disease and died in late January. She writes, “I’m now fortunate to be living in a fine long-term care facility and am still well enough to drive.” Marvin “Toby” Silverman (North Palm Beach, FL) writes, “I finally sold my fermentation business to a company in Brazil. We were marketing to over 40 countries before the sale, with manufacturing in the US as well as abroad. I sold the villa in Provence and skipped to Florida, play at Trump National in Briarcliff Manor, NY, and spend time at the lake house in Saratoga Springs.” His fondest memory of Cornell: “Bull sessions in the evening over a pitcher of beer.”

Ev Seidenberg (Stuart, FL) shared one of his fondest memories of Cornell: “Prof. Clinton Rossiter ’39’s small Advanced Government class meeting out on Libe Slope on nice spring afternoons. On one occasion he popped for a couple of us to bring a tray of beer from Willard Straight.” Anne Flannery Davidson’s (Margate, NJ) fondest memory of Cornell is “all of it.” Pete Spencer (Cleveland. OH) reports, “I kept the hospital busy last year—urinary infection, triple bypass, fractured pelvis, and hernia repair. I’m back on my feet and feeling good.”

William and Elaine Shannon Zimmer ’52 (Schenectady, NY) report that granddaughter Heather Palmeri has a doctorate from RPI and is currently employed at Lincoln Labs in Massachusetts. William writes, “We have been in all 50 states and several foreign countries (some for only a very short time), but I have now slowed down and am becoming more like a hermit.” His favorite Cornell memory: “My participation on the Cornell track team.” Shirley “Sherry” Flanders, BFA ’52 (Phoenix, AZ) writes, “I have made oil paintings, prints, and pen and ink drawings that I have to find homes for. Many have already gone. I will send a disc of some works or photos of any of interest. No charge! Only reply if you can use any.” Write to your correspondent for contact information.

Jim O’Brien (Riverton, NJ) reports three children, four grandchildren, three great-grandchildren, and this memory: “After signing up for part-time work, the Cornell office sent me to a waiter’s job at a fraternity. The head waiter in charge was classmate Dick Ramin. To no surprise, Dick’s door was open to Big Red football players, including John, MD ’55, and Pete Pierik ’52, BArch ’53, Bob Gage, Lindy Hull, and Bill Hin, MEd ’63. On the day after each game, the waiters’ kitchen heard interesting recaps of the games.” Albert Glassenberg (New London, CT) writes, “Wife Judith fought ovarian cancer for 14 years before the cancer won in September 2014. The loss of my wife has left me in no man’s land with daughter Jacqueline Hemmerdinger and her twin daughters and son Charles and his three daughters.” Fondest memory of Cornell: “Final exam of senior year.”

Howard Feinstein, MD ’55, PhD ’77 (Ithaca, NY) writes, “It is a time of life for celebrating cycles of return. My wife, Rosalind, stood beside Eleanor Roosevelt at the Sarah Lawrence College graduation in 1957, and this year, on the cusp of 80, she represented Sarah Lawrence by wearing her school’s cap and gown marching to celebrate Cornell’s Sesquicentennial. This spring I retired from psychiatric practice in Ithaca after 53 years. Now I can hug my patients when we meet without fear of violating some code. We just enjoy each other.” Robert Morlath (Smithtown, NY) says, “The grandkids are all getting married. I still see John Wilson ’52 a few times a year.” Fondest memory: “The phone call in late August offering me a slot in the Mechanical Engineering school in a few weeks. Had to buy into a house on University Ave. that was occupied by veterans, then went to TKE.”

Paul Jones (Atherton, CA) writes, “What a pleasure to join in Cornell’s 150th anniversary! It was a great show. I was amazed to be greeted with open arms as the oldest alumnus and plopped down next to Engineering dean Lance Collins. I’m just back from a great theatre immersion in London. My time and energy are still going into stopping the California high-speed rail project—a political boondoggle of the highest order.” Please send your news to:Brad Bond, 101 Hillside Way, Marietta, OH 45750; tel. (740) 374-6715; e-mail,

Honors, Awards and Books

In Dec. 1999, Charlie Moore was elected to the USA Track Hall of Fame.(9/00)

At the I&LR dinner in April, 2000 Bill Kay was honored with the Alpern Award. The award is given to an I&LR grad who has done significant work for the School even though he or she is not, by profession, in I&LR related work. Bill had been the Co-chair of the I&LR building campaign which had raised a phenomenal amount of money.(9/00)

Genesee Community College's new $5 million technology center was recently named for former Rep. Barber B. Conable, Jr ‘43 and his wife Charlotte Williams Conable . The two story structure on the Batavia, NY campus,which is known as the Conable Technology Center opened April 2000. Charlotte has been active in the Women's Rights National Historical Park and the National Women's Hall of Fame in Seneca Falls, NY.(7/00)

Elizabeth Jones Johnson received the J. C. Penney Golden Rule Award in1999. We assume it is for her long-term leadership in the Meals-on-Wheels program in Macon, GA (5/00)

Derl Derr was inducted into the Cornell Athletic Hall of Fame at Homecoming, November 6, 1999. He was a three-time All American as a center forward in soccer. (3/00)

Bill Eustis was honored with a "Bill Eustis Day" in Greenwich, CT. Bill recently retired from the Planning and Zoning Commission (Greenwich) after a 12 year tenure. (3/00)

Sue Pickwick Ray was honored in July by the Los Angeles Dodgers in a ceremony at Dodger Stadium as a "Hometown Hero" for her 23 years of leadership at a preschool program for disabled children (1/00)

Alfred Blumstein, a University Professor at Carnegie Melon University in Pittsburgh, PA was elected to National Academy of Engineering (1/00)

Harvey Sampson has been elected to the Cornell Athletic Hall of Fame and was inducted posthumously on November 6, 1999.(11/99)

Shelly Epstein Akabas e-mailed: "I have just been lucky enough to receive the Distinguished Investigator Award from NARSAD (National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression for the uninitiated)".(7/99)

Harold Bloom's recently published book, Shakespeare, Invention of the Human, consists of explanations of each of Shakespeare's 37 plays. (5/99)

Bill Phillips received the Kurt Hahn Award from Outward Bound for his "exemplary and outstanding service to the furthering of the Outward Bound mission." (3/99)

H. Jean Anderson has written The American Century Cookbook. For ten years, Jean searched out the most popular recipes of the 20th century and chronicled 100 years of culinary change in America. The result is a cookbook with more than 500 recipes that illustrates the evolution of our food tastes. (3/99)

Thomas J. Kelly During the 1960's, Tom led the team that designed, tested and built the lunar module at Grumman Corp. He has recently finished a book about his experiences entitled To the Moon, an Engineer's Adventure.(3/99)

Mibs Martin Follet and husband, Don ‘52 were named as Foremost Benefactors of Cornell U., recognizing their outstanding service and support of the university. (1/99)

James J. O'Brien is still working, still writing. His eighth book was due out spring 1998, Change Orders in Construction. (11/98)

Jim and Pat '53 Stocker received the Frank H. T. Rhodes Exemplary Alumni Award during Homecoming weekend, Oct 17, 1998. (11/98)

John Kirschner has been named a Foremost Benefactor of Cornell University.The award, a statue of Ezra Cornell, was presented to him by Frank Rhodes. (5/98)

Howard Smith was awarded the George L. Shiebler Award, Oct 6, 1997 by the ECAC for his dedication to the sport of rowing. Howie started rowing as a Cornell freshman and has coached and refereed in the college ranks since 1960. (3/98)

John Bernard Henry, MD received the 1997 Joint Distinguished Service award from the American Society of Clinical Pathologists/ College of American Pathologists. He has literally written the book on pathology as editor and contributing author for the last six editions of Clinical Diagnosis and Management of Laboratory Methods.(3/98)

James D. Livingston is the author of Driving Force, the Natural Magic of Magnets, a popular science book now out in paperback. (Harvard U. Press) (1/98)

Bill Kay received the Frank H. T. Rhodes Exemplary Alumni Award at a reception/dinner held during homecoming Sept 27, 1997. (11/97)

George Truell has recently had his ninth book published: Coaching and Counseling in Team Based Organizations. (7/97)

Hartford Joan Ferreira: Class'51 Council voted to extend a special thank you to Joan for ten years of exceptional service to our class, as co-chair of our 40th reunion in 1991 and as president , 1991-96. (5/97)

Bruce Widger, DVM was one of seven alumni to be honored as Outstanding Alumni of ALS, fall 1995. Bruce served as president of the National Association of State Veterinarians, served 20 years on the university's Board of Trustees and is now Trustee Emeritus. (3/97)

Jean Anderson and Barbara Brown Deskins co-authored The Nutrition Bible:The Comprehensive, No-nonsense Guide to Foods, Nutrients, Additives, Preservatives, Pollutants, and Everything Else we Eat and Drink. (3/97)

Bob Matyas had a book published by McGraw Hill, 1995 entitled Construction Review Board Manual. (3/97)

Harry Merker won a prestigious CLIO Award (Advertising's version of the Oscar) for Best Jingle Adaptation , 1995. The jingle was used for a radio advertising campaign for Cal-Train commuter rail. (11/96)

Pepper Dutcher Fluke has had a special volunteer award named in her honor for her extensive volunteer work in renovating the Carolina Theater in Durham, NC.(10/96)


The dream of a trip to California began in spring, 1951, during final exams. Several of us, Margaret (Peg) Healy, Jean (Kelly) Stone, Eunice Chambers and Anita Van Hassel began fantasizing during study breaks at the Sigma Kappa House and enthusiastically mentioned it to our parents. When

Anita's father caught the spirit and offered a ‘49 Chevrolet for the trip, the dream became a reality.

Meanwhile, Eunice was offered a good job at Brookhaven Lab on Long Island and Kelly, a job at the prestigious Broadmoor in Colorado Springs. Classmate Betty Fujii was returning to Pearl Harbor, and Carolyn Kingsley ‘51 to Nebraska. They all wanted to be included in the TRIP, so it became a "drop off-pick up" adventure. The TRIP began two weeks after graduation. We packed our denim skirts, one good dress, blue jeans and swim suits and were off. It's hard to imagine that we had no reservations and never a problem in the seven week journey.

Peg, Kelly, Eunice and Anita started out in early June. The first major stop was St. Louis, where Victor Ham ‘52 showed us the town. We hadn't anticipated the luxurious Country Club accommodations and the wonderful shows and parties over the next few days. After this, it was hard to get into "Gussie" (our car) and back to budget motels.

In Denver, we said goodbye to Eunice at the airport and greeted Carolyn, who flew in from Nebraska. We continued to beautiful Colorado Springs and reluctantly bade Kelly farewell as she began her new job at the Broadmoor. So now there were three of us, Peg, Carolyn and Anita.

The ride through Rocky Mountain National Park was magnificent. Our first real adventure began on the Santa Fe Trail. Gussie ran out of water, and we were stranded. (No one had alerted us to carry water in the desert.) After a long, hot walk to a shack way back from the road, we gratefully accepted a bucket of water and returned to cool down our car. Of course there was no air conditioning and we were tempted to pour the water on ourselves.

Arriving in Santa Fe very hot, dirty and grumpy, we treated ourselves to a resort with a pool. The owners were very kind and when we left actually wrote to our parents telling them we were well and having a wonderful time. Also, we were much wiser about carrying water bags.

The next stop was the Grand Canyon and the mule trip into the canyon. Our guide, Clyde, doled out tiny cups of water on the hot dusty trip as if they held precious Dom Perignon. We rested 500 feet above the Colorado River- really a magnificent view. Unfortunately, Peg became ill from the heat, but

Clyde informed her that the only way out was to climb on the mule. A ride like this becomes more precious when memory fades the discomfort, but keeps the beauty and adventure.

When time insisted we choose between Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park, we chose Bryce. This meant a harrowing trip through Zion at night. Jackrabbits were attracted to our headlights and headed right for them. It was impossible not to hit some. Bryce Canyon, with its extraordinary cathedral shapes and vast, colorful formations, completely awed us.

In spite of its claim to be "Gambling Center of the World", Las Vegas in 1951 was a relatively small city. The largest casino was the Golden Nugget which today is lost among mega-theme hotels. We were appropriately insulted when required to show proof of age before entering the casino.

Finally, California! In Los Angeles we were joined by Betty Fujii, who was vacationing with her parents. Naturally, we visited all the tourist spots and then headed up the coast to San Francisco where we enjoyed our first cool days. We stayed near Fisherman's Wharf, had a drink at the top of the Fairmont Hotel and crossed the Golden Gate Bridge to Muir Forest to see the gigantic redwoods. Sadly, it was time to bid goodbye to Betty, who headed home to Hawaii.

The TRIP continued to Yosemite National Park, through Reno, Lake Tahoe and on to Salt Lake City. We swam in the Great Salt Lake and were thrilled to hear the Mormom Tabernacle Choir. The acoustics were so clear we could actually hear a pin drop.

Yellowstone National Park was next. In those days the bears had free access to the park and visitors were allowed to share space with them. One of our first experiences was a huge bear running toward our car while we were photographing his family. We hopped in the car just in time to see his face pressed against the window.

After a trip through the Bad Lands of South Dakota and to Mount Rushmore, we headed for Carolyn's home in Hastings, Nebraska. From there Peg and Anita packed the car and headed home. Peg began the TRIP with $500 and remembers having at least $100 left at the end. Her father said it was the biggest bargain of his life and it certainly was for us, too.

Fifty years have gone by since the TRIP, and we are planning to share more memories at our 50th Reunion in June 2001. Fifty years of jobs, marriages, children, grandchildren, joys and sorrows have often dimmed the memory of that summer when we were so carefree and full of anticipation. But just as the muddy Colorado River flows along until it becomes beautiful, clear Lake Mead, so our memories of Cornell and the TRIP have emerged beautiful and clear after 50 years of living.

Participants are Eunice Chambers Beam, Anita Van Hassel Blauvelt, Carolyn Kingsley Emmons, Betty Fujii Hirozawa, Peg Healy McNulty, and Kelly Stone Wade

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