Class News

from our January/February 2021 Class Notes column:
It is not often that this class has had a change in the writer of this column; in fact, it has only happened once before!  For about 40 years, since Cornell Daily Sun veteran the late Barton Reppert was posted overseas, Connie Ferris Meyer has labored for each appearance of this column to keep us all up to date on the lives and adventures of our fellow classmates.  I will endeavor to do the same, with your help and news.

So, you may ask, who is the new person?  Who is John Cecilia?  Some of you with extraordinary memories may recognize me from long-ago photo credits and an occasional sportds article in the Daily Sun, or as a long-ago class officer and eventually class president for a period of time.  Graduating from Mechanical Engineering, I returned to Ithaca in 1977 to attend the Johnson School, finishing an MBA in 1979.  In 1999 and 2000, I was the catalyst for beginning the Class of 1970 Scholarship, which survives and thrives to this day, thanks to the generosity of all of you.  In recent years you may have received letters from Connie and me, asking you to pay class dues.  So my name may be one of those on the edge of your memory.  And we are a Cornell familiy.  My late father, Carl Cecilia '42, and my sister Carla Cecilia Purdy '67 both walked the Hill.  I currently still work, not as an engineer but as a psychotherapist in the north suburbs of Chicago, have obtained yet another degree and becoming licensed as a clinical social worker in Illinois.

...Please read this notice. [read the whole column on the Cornell Library's eCommons archive website ]
from our November/December 2020 Class Notes column:
Happy trails to you,/Until we meet again to all my classmates and friends as I write my LAST column for the members of Cornell's Legendary Class of 1970.  For me, it has been a long and intriguing journey and adventure of perhaps 40 years.  Along the way, I made new friends whom I had not known as undergrads and kept up with many of you that i had known during our four incredible years on the Hill.  My sincere thanks to all who helped make my job interesting and easy.  Over the years (decades actually), I have felt deep gratitude for the kind and thoughtful messages that a number of you have sent me.

Our first class correspondent was the late Barton Reppert.  When Bart received his overseas assignment to go to Moscow with AP or UPI, I became correspondent.  I still do not know what I was thinking when I decided to follow in the footsteps of a professional journalist!  Nor do I really remember when I started my tenure.  If our late classmate Hank Brittingham were still living, I could call him and he would know.  He should have been our class historian from the very beginning after graduation.  When I first started writing these columns, I wrote them out in longhand on a yellow legal pad, then typed them on my portable manual typewriter that I had used since high school.  Next, I had to mail them to the CAM Class Notes editor in Ithaca.  I do not recall when we got our first computer, but it was no earlier than 1990 and closer to the mid-90s.  At least at that point, I could compose my columns, print them out, and snail mail them to Ithaca.  Finally email (likely the late '90s) made it simple and fast to get a column to Ithaca.  Still, I usually missed the deadline.  Such kind and thoughtful editors I have had all these 40 years!  Thank you, Elsie, Adele, and Alex.  No matter how I wrote and delivered my columns, to put names and faces together in my mind I made good use of both our unique two-volume boxed set 1970 yearbook and our infamous "Pig Book," officially known as 1970 Freshman Register.  Both remain prized possesions of mine.

My "retirement" means that the Class of 1970 will have a new correspondent.  Our friend and classmate John Cecilia, MBA '79 will take on the job, starting with the January/February 2021 column.  John has been an active and involved member of our class on and off since graduation.  At our 5th Reunion in 1975, he became our class president; most recently, he has been our membership chairman, so his name should be familiar from the News & Dues solicitations he has sent out each spring, from 2016 to 2020.  John, I thank you for filling the role of class correspondent, as well as all the past contributions you have made to the class.  John in an active member in Cornell's Continuous Reunion Club (CRC), and he returns to Ithaca for Reunion weekend each year.

I will have two new roles with the Class of '70, as our first-ever class historian and as our immediate past president.  I will begin work on our Class History soon; to start I will research and write about the many specific happenings from fall 1966 through spring 1970.   I plan to provide more information both about our first five years post-graduation as well as the past 50 years.  I will include John's past involvement as well as that of other Class of '70 member, and I will write about a variety of class officers in those early years after our most memorable Commencement in Barton Hall in June 1970.  Our Class History will be a work in progress - I hope to hear from many of you about your memories from 1966-1970 and beyond.

...Please read this notice. [read the whole column on the Cornell Library's eCommons archive website ]
[Note: the September/October class notes still need to be entered here...]
from our July/August 2020 Class Notes column:
The time for our 50th Reunion has come and gone, and, as you all know, our weekend party on the Hill was canceled due to the worldwide coronavirus crisis.  This turn of events is disappointing to so many Cornell alums.  In addition, the 2020 Cornell graduates have not had their much-anticipated and hard-earned Commencement ceremony at Schoellkopf.  As I write in late April, we are in the midst of the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.  My desire is that by July, when this issue is published, the extreme difficulties involving both the health of so many and our economy will have improved.  It is my hope and wish that all of you, my friends and classmates, have come through this unprecedented time both safe and healthy.

Below you wiil find interesting news from our classmate Beverly Tanenhaus who writes, "I know in the terrible scheme of things, it's trivial, but I'm really disappointed that we lost our 50th Reunion.  Yet, it's somehow ironically fitting for the Class of 1970, educated through turmoil and upheaval.  Remember the Straight takeover, the glorious sit-in at Barton Hall, the marches and teach-ins, the protest poems by Jesuit Daniel Berrigan pinned to trees on the Arts Quad?"  I had been reflecting upon our four years as undergrads at Cornell an all that we experienced, and Beverly put many of my musings into her own words.  Thank you.

...Please read this notice. [read the whole column on the Cornell Library's eCommons archive website ]
from our May/June 2020 Class Notes column:
[as noted in the current issue of Cornell Alumni Magazine, the "class columns were written and finalized before the global coronavirus pandemic and may contain references to events on the Hill and beyond that have since been modified, canceled, or postponed." Therefore, the following summary starts with the third paragraph of the May/June 2020 class column.]
Irving McPhail is the founder and chief strategy officer of the McPhail Group LLC based in Amawalk, NY.  His book, Success Factors for Minorities in Engineering, which was co-authored with Jacqueline Fleming, has been published by Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group.  The results and analyses of a study established by the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering Inc. (HACME) and funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) are presented in Irving's book.  The main intent of the two-pronged study was to determine differences between minority and non-minority engineering students, as well as differences between minorities in engineering and minorities in general.  One conclusion drawn from the evidence is that minorities in engineering "are a special sort who solved problems rather than complain about failure or prejudice."  Adjustment matters in engineering success while academic skills matter as much or more.  The study indicates taking problem-based courses, doing research, and doing internships work powerfully to yield engineering success.  One further point established was that women perform as well or better than their male counterparts.

In early January 2020, John Heintz was honored with Legal Aid Society of District of Columbia's prestigious Servant of Justice Award.  He is a partner in the insurance recovery group of the Blank Rome LLP law firm.  John received the award in recognition of his "demonstrated faithful dedication and remarkable acheivement in ensuring that all persons have equal and meaningful access to justice."  His award was to be presented at the 31st annual awards dinner on April 22, 2020 in Washington, DC.  John says that it was a great privilege to work with Legal Aid as he helped to advance the fight for fair and equal access to justice for those who need it most.  John has served on the board of directors of the Washington Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs, and has been a fellow at the Neighborhood Legal Services Program.  John has made pro bono work a central part of his career for 40 years.  He worked pro bono of issues of discrimination and unfair practices in both the housing and insurance industries.  He has also been an integral part of his law firm's devotion to supporting their communities.

...Please read this notice. [read the whole column on the Cornell Library's eCommons archive website ]
click here to see excerpts of earlier Class Columns