Another new abode - Mary Donlon
("And our Ithaca C.C. dinner was First Class," says Hugh Aronson)

Memorable? Roast chicken on Lower Alumni Field!

Photos? ... Click on the bullet to activate each four-photograph group.

     Were you there? Did you attend the 35th Reunion of our Class? If so, you had to remember certain things about this early June gathering . . For example, do you remember the temperature reaching 90 twice? Once on Saturday afternoon and again on Sunday morning. Or do you remember the several rainstorms that cooled us?

     The University Alumni Affairs people elected to put ‘44 in Mary Donlon in ‘79, in those days most considering MD to be “out in left field”... I found it to be a great dorm in which to be housed. There was plenty of room for us to mix and mingle, and to sip and sit, and all seemed to be thoroughly pleased with our accommodations.

     Before we get into the nitty-gritties, you might be interested in the comparative Reunion costs, i.e., 1979 vs today . . In ‘79 our full Reunion Fee was $80 per person; $145 for a couple; “One Day Only” attendance cost $50 for an individual and $90 for a couple . .

     Mary Donlon dormitory fees in 1979 were set at $16 per night per couple and $8 per night for an individual attendee . . And while I’m at it, our Reunion costume consisted of a twill hat and an Izod tee-shirt. Both cost a big $8, including parcel post shipment . . Them were the days!

     For our Thursday night Early Bird gathering, we skipped “Joe’s Restaurant” for once and had a surprisingly good pay-as-you-go dinner at Oldport Harbor. On Friday, then President Charlie Williams led us to the ‘44 Memorial Corner at the junction of Central Avenue and Campus Road where, in his words, “we had underwritten a major Campus Beautification Project involving some big trees, very attractive shrubbery, and a marble bench inscribed with the words, ‘The Class of 1944 Corner.’”

     That same evening, we cocktailed and munched things at a poolside Bar-B-Q at the Ithaca Country Club (ICC) . . No one was pushed into the pool and the diving exhibition by a fully-clad Falky never materialized,

     This was followed by our going inside (or going on the ICC outer deck) for a white tablecloth sit-down dinner that was falsely labeled as our “formal dinner.” Our ‘79 uniform, a white T-shirt with a woven in red “Cornell” on its breast pocket, was anything but formal.

     While we were enjoying our first day back on campus, what else was taking place at Reunion? Well, for one thing, attendance reached 1,909 returnees, an increase of nearly 200 from the previous year and the Good Book at Alumni House said this was the best turnout since 1967. The best year? 1955 with 2,611 returnees.

A respectable turnout!

     Where did ‘44 stand in these tabulations? . . Our 139 returnees - 100 men and 39 women was a respectable total - more than 40 higher than our 30th’s 91 but considerably less - as an off “5" year – than our 25th Reunion’s 228 returnees. (For comparative purposes, 1919's “60 Year Class” had 57 check in and the Class of 1909, then the “70 Year Class” had one man alumnus and one woman alumna gadding about. Think about this, you guys and gals, when Art tries to point out that our 60th Reunion could very well be “The Last Hurrah!” for many of us.

(Click on the bullet to activate each 4-photograph group)

     Where ‘44 shone in ‘79 was in our response to that year’s Cornell Campaign. We were one of just two classes inducted that year as Million Dollar Classes, 1919 being the nineteenth and 1944 being the twentieth . . In a special ceremony, Hilda Milton, our Cornell Fund Representative, accepted a certificate on behalf of the Class that signified our $1.3 million donation to the University.

     Other Saturday highlights (overlooking the rainstorm): Former A&S Dean Alfred E. Kahn, on leave from CU as President Carter’s top anti-inflation spokesman, addressed the usual overflow crowd in Bailey Hall. And not fearful of further precip, we 44's then joined together at a monster cookout on Lower Alumni Field. Good weather and a lot of milling around before we munched.

     In ‘79, they still hadn’t cordoned off the beer tents on the Arts Quad - Yes, the townies were still amongst us - However, everything did his or her thing! Some found time to dance; some just stood around and chatted; others sat and watched their classmates or the four musicians.

     The sign said, “No button! No beer!” And you can be certain the student-dispensers were all 21 or over! . . Note Falky ribbing one because no Bass Ale was served! . .Note also the “mandatory Quadrangle dog” checking out the crowd in the tent . . It was typical “Reunion!” - a great Saturday night of mixing and mingling and a most appropriate way to bring yet another ‘44 Reunion to a close.

Hugh Aronson. BS 47,
VP, New York City, L.I., and Westchester County

Contact the ‘44 Webmaster at
website maintenance by One Bad Ant