'44 breaks some attendance records!
("A terrific turnout enjoyed by all," writes Don Middleton)


It was not all fun and play! In 1969 we merged our Men’s and Women’s Classes and addressed the issue of campus unrest

     Time dims one’s memory and looking back on our twenty-fifth class reunion in Anno Domini 2004 is a difficult thing to do. We have one objective: to present a reasonable post-Reunion report, collect and post on our Class website as many interesting photographs and documents associated with that gathering as possible, and for those of you who attended this record-breaking assembly, hope that this approach will take you down Memory Lane and will re-capture many of this Reunion’s highlights while doing so.

     In discussing this with your Webmaster, we both concluded that the hard copy “Summer,1969 Newsletter” that was forwarded to all ’44’s in June touched all of the bases and then some. As you read this report from the newly-elected President, you’ll soon realize that 1969 was a major “turning point” for the Class of 1944.

     We enjoyed a fantastically successful 25th Year Class Reunion - merged our Men’s and Women’s Classes into one - elected a new full slate of Class officers - conducted a comprehensive Class Poll on some very controversial matters - established a record-breaking 25th Year Reunion Class contribution to the "Cornell Fund" - and picked up all of the University’s award marbles in setting Reunion attendance highs in June.

     Having said the foregoing, I’ll close with the profiler’s traditional plea: look in your attic, basement, garage, apartment closet, etc. for any and all 1969 Reunion photos that you think might be of interest to the rest of us, caption each with the names of those pictured, and send them all to the ’44 Home Shed for possible later addition to the website . . They’ll be returned to you with our thanks.

Don Middleton. BS 1947
Vice President, Midwest Region
  Dear Fellow Classmate:

     We have a host of things to cover in this – our first ’44 communication of the 1969 year . . We’ll try our best to be brief – it won’t be easy.

     MERGER - Putting first things first, '44 is now a COMBINED class, i.e., the Men's and Women's Classes have merged into a single "Cornell Class of 1944" with a single officer slate, joint off-year activities, and, starting with next year, common annual dues. Ratification of the merger was accomplished during Reunion, following the earlier May 26 announcement by the Men's and Women's Class presidents, Joe Driscoll and Dotty Kay Kesten respectively.

     CLASS OFFICERS - CLASS COUNCIL - Your 1969-1974 slate of '44 officers is as follows: President: Arthur H. Kesten, Westport, CT; Vice President: Margaret (Pearce) Addicks, Washington, CT; Treasurer: John C. Meyers, Jr., Baldwinsville, NY; Secretary: Dr. Charles R. Robinson, Madison, NJ; Class Correspondent: J. Joseph Driscoll, Jr., Bryn Mawr, PA.

     The Class will probably have separate Men’s and Women’s Alumni Fund Representatives. No action will be taken, however, on appointing a 30th Year Reunion Chairman (or Co-Chairmen) until '70-'71. Sometime prior to Labor Day, we hope to meet with the Class officers and secure their thoughts (and approval) of an enlarged Class Council with broad geographic representation. The Reunion just concluded - and the extensive '44 participation leading to the Class Poll - have convinced us that many, many '44's wish to be included in all of our Class activities, and we intend to give each and all an oar.

     REUNION - The June 12-15 attendance in Ithaca was somewhat overwhelming with more than 385 men, women, spouses, and teens taking part in the three-day ’44 exercise, completely filling one '44 dormitory, and spilling over into two others and several motels as well - '44 earned many of the University’s Reunion laurels, winning plaques for "Most Men in Attendance" (152), "Most Women in Attendance" (73 - a new Class high!); and "Most Men and Women in Attendance" (225 - also a new Class high!).

     From its opening night “Reception and Pasta Party” at Joe's Restaurant (157 strong!) to its closing “Milk Punch Continental Breakfast” in the dorm on Sunday morning, this '44 Reunion was go-go-go all the way! . . Good food, music (two bands!), laughter, sun, campus caravans, Class Parades (Two!), banners, balloons (ten-footers!), bullhorns, badges, giveaways. University panels and many serious discussions. The ’69 Reunion of ’44 had everything and, frankly, we don't know how we’ll be able to top it in ’74.

“An all for one” type of operation

     Everyone got into the act: All Class functions – the breakfasts, picnic, dinners, receptions, convocation, caravan. Parades, tourneys, Hqs hospitality - greetings, etc. - were staffed and handled by voluntary college groupings with each grouping (the Engineers, Architects, etc. and their spouses) taking its turn in hosting a Class function . . Did it work? . . . You bet it did!

     For example, where else but at a '44 Reunion function would you expect to be served a highball by one of three judges, or a State Attorney General, or a State Senator, several corporate legal Vice Presidents, or straight from the courthouse hardworking attorneys?

     Where else but at a '44 Barbecue would you expect to be served steamed clams by orthopedic surgeons, crackers and cheese by radiologists, fried chicken by internists, and have your tickets collected by obstetricians? Right down the line, ’44 function by function, and day by day, this ’44 Reunion was unique in some way!

     As a dues-paying Class Member, watch for the September, '69 issue of the "Alumni News" and that GIANT Class Photo, and read the after-action Reunion Reports of your Class Correspondents, Joe Driscoll and Peg Addicks!

     CLASS POLL - We've tabulated the results of our May 26-June 4 Class Poll, and these can be accessed on the Website by CLICKING (HERE). So that our June 14 Class Convocation at Reunion would not be confined to a mere recital of the "results," we mailed a copy of the tabulations to each Reunion attendee PRIOR TO his departure for Ithaca and Reunion. CLICK (HERE) for the “Tabulations” copy. Judge Roger F. Dykes, ’44, a Circuit Court Judge in the 18th District in Florida, presided at the Convocation. By actual count 23 classmates and one student rose to offer comments during the one-hour session. The prevailing Class view: "Therapeutic!"

     Class actions: First, as directed by our ad hoc Executive Committee, we’ve sent an individual copy of the '44 Class Poll to each member of the Board of Trustees CLICK (HERE) to view copy. Trustee Patricia J. Carry wrote: "More importantly, however, I found the '44 questionnaire extremely thoughtful and helpful. It is exactly the kind of input of alumni opinion our trustee investigating committee is trying to get." Second, Parts 1. and 2. of Section XII (Page 4) having received majority approval, we plan to implement each as a Class "action." They're the only areas on which we feel we’re authorized to take "class action."

     Regarding matters relating to Cornell, then, we encourage you to express your views through normal channels. A list of the names and addresses of all Alumni Trustees will be sent to all current Class Members in a subsequent mailing. Lastly, the Class of '44 will adopt a "wait and see" approach regarding Part 2 in the light of the ten point declaration by the Board of Trustees and its direct charge to the president, as well as the new campus regulations regarding "Firearms and Weapons" and "Disruptive Demonstrations." Beyond the "actions" just outlined, '44 will butt out!

     RECORD-BREAKING CONTRIBUTION - Setting a new HIGH for a 25 Reunion Year Class, the Class of 1944 contributed more than $60,000 to the "Cornell Fund." The 1969 drive still has several more weeks to run, and you'll find the final Class total in the September "Alumni News." As at April 27, 115 men of '44 had contributed $52,000+ and 85 women" of '44 had donated an additional $7,500+. . . Of some interest is the fact that the drive included fifteen Tower Club donations of $1,000 or more, with three of the donors being '44 women.

“Chaos!” – thy name is Falky!

     FALKY AGAIN! – Not wishing to waste a whole 40-gallon milk can of Milk Punch that we had left over on Sunday morning, Bill Falkenstein, Bob Ready, and Dick Hagy lugged the can over to the Theta Delt fraternity house just up the hill from the Baker dorms. The road was torn up at the time (a gas or water line had to be installed) and Bill simply moved the Highway Department’s sawhorses across the road thereby diverting ALL downhill vehicular traffic into the Theta Delt circular driveway and through their overhanging portico.

     With a big smile, Bill offered each motorist and his or her companions a cup of ’44’s “White Tornado” as they stopped under the overhang. Since it was only a one-lane portico, a monumental traffic jam occurred in a very, very short time. The dispensing of the Milk Punch ceased, however, when a motorist with a rotating roof light atop his vehicle reached the frat house. Bill kept smiling and so did the gendarme. Heard over the prowl car radio in an exasperated voice from Campus Police Headquarters was: "For God's sake, is that '44 again?” As usual, in all of his altercations with the law, Falky’s smile and super-friendly manner prevailed.

     IOU’S - If WE OWE YOU any money for any on campus "panic" buys . . . soft drinks, beer, anything - send us a "chit" now so that we may reimburse youl . . Now that we’ve got our business back on track, we're finishing up on all Reunion, '69 details (mostly bills, as you might guess.) . , ,

     If YOU OWE US any money - i.e., you could not pay for a dinner, a picnic ticket, Bar-B-Q ticket, OR you picked up an extra hat or tee-shirt on a "Pay Later" basis, this is to inform you that it is now "Later" and your dollar trickle, however small, will help us communicate. Make your check payable to the "Cornell Class of 1944.”

     THE END-ALL: For those '44's who haven't paid their '69 Class Dues - and don't intend to do so, we’re afraid that this is the LAST paragraph in what must be described as your "The Fish or Cut Bait Letter" from '44. .At some Class expense, we've barraged you with Reunion missiles; Joe Driscoll sent three "newsy" dues-type letters touching upon admissions problems; and we gave you back-to-back Class Poll & Results mailings as additional correspondence.

     Then, too, many of you – as non-duespayers - have received comp copies of the "Alumni News" through the surplus that existed in our Class treasury. We tell you now that the surplus no longer exists.

     The basic facts are these: to communicate and to act requires money, and we have little. We want you in the Class of '44, and we've enclosed a final dues notice. There is a definite correlation between the two so please join us!

Yours for Cornell and ’44!
Art Kesten, President
June 30, 1969
Contact the ‘44 Webmaster at cu44@optonline.net
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