High Rise 5 – We do North Campus!
(Jane Knight Knott: “We loved our two in-the-
clouds Penthouse parties”)


Some 40 couples hoofed it over from Hurlburt!

Dear Fellow Classmate:

     Far be it from me to preach, but unless you attend a Class of 1944 Reunion on campus with your classmates, you really have been missing out on an all-out experience that’s downright fun – It’s more than just returning to the ever-changing Cornell campus once again – there’s enough of your old haunts and walks and classrooms to make it a very nostalgic event for you - it’s being with so many of your old friends for a full weekend of highly interesting, well-planned activities that makes “Reunions” the memorable gatherings that they are.

     I have no idea of how many photographs your webmaster has assembled for this 55th Reunion page in our class website, but I suspect it will be many. I do know that when I once again view the many “scenes” in which I participated in attending the 55th – and read the many photo captions – that I’ll relive those four days and enjoy every minute in the viewing.

     The thought that someday your children and grandchildren and mine might LOCK onto this particular page – and other website pages – and see just how we lived and looked in our senior citizen years - and just how much we enjoyed being in each other’s company - are “fallouts” that make our individual website efforts most worthwhile. I truly enjoyed being a participant in this Class project.

Jane Knight Knott,
BS, 1944 – MS, 1956
For additional copy, click on the bullets in the slide show.

NOTE: What follows is a post-Reunion summary sent by the Reunion Chair to the remaining 460-odd living ’44’s who did not attend our 55th Reunion.

Hi, Classmate!

     As a non-attendee, we know you probably had a good reason for doing so.. but you missed an absolutely fabulous four-day 55th Reunion of the Class of '44! And the biggest surprise of all? Four straight days of gorgeous weather - Thursday through Sunday - temperatures In the 70's (one day In the 80's) - blue sky - white clouds - and a constant breeze. After our 50th Reunion when we got drenched In two of the four days, this was mannal

     All food and beverage functions went off well. Presldent Hunter Rawllngs and his wife, Elizabeth, joined us at our Festivo Italiano on Thursday night at which time Gerry Tohn, our '44 Comell Fund rep, presented the Prez with a marinara-stained check for $2.2+ million. This donation set a new 55th Reunion Year record as did our number of donors, our number of Tower Club members, and our number of Cayuga Society members. Both Dotty and I didn't sit on our fannies, either! We pleaded long and hard and although you weren't there, a symbolic 144 of your classmates set a new attendance record for 55 Year Reunions that will hold for 3 to 4 years at least.

     Our Friday Al Fresco Luncheon (Tex-Mex under a Tent) was held on the Libe slope right next to the ]ohnson Art Museum and this gathering also was unique .. The pre-luncheon beverage was '44's traditional moosemilk, whipped up by co-fiends Bill Falkenstein and Maggle Kappa. Your fellow classmates really slurped up their ice cream, milk, and brandy concoction knowing full well that In the bottom of that large big red plastic laundry tub were one each brassiere and jockstrap. These desirable Items (re-laundered carryovers from our '94 Reunion) were later won In Door Prize Drawings by Peter Miller (bra) and Rhea Gold (the strap)! Somehow or other, some wag - not Bill nor Isch nor Maggie - slipped in a pair of red sweat sox into the tub - Kid stuff? Yeah, probably so, but this didn’t stop our many 75-year-olds from guzzling gobs of this traditional Class concoction.

A stirring “You did well!” after dinner speech by the Master!

     On Friday night - at our this Reunion’s only coat-and-tie thing - President Emeritus Frank Rhodes and his bride, Rosa, graced our head table and you just know that his after dinner speech was superb! That man simply never misses! Superb also was Comell Catering's filet rnlgnon dinner, many telling us that It was the best Reunion meal they have ever had (and we have to agree!) - It was due '44 for the Surf and Turf Banquet at our 50th was a fiasco.

     At Saturday's pre-lunch, '44 did its traditional thing - we're still the ONLY class to parade Into Barton Hall.. We were about 260 strong, had hired a 6-piece Dixieland marching band that really blasted the Drill Hall; were led by Grand Marshal Jerry Levitan, our outgoing Senior VP; and watched Frank and Rosa Rhodes, our two Honorary Grand Marshals," thoroughly enjoy themselves out In front of your 260 classmates and their spouses - and would you believe? One dog: Alison and Al Barry’s well-behaved pooch.

For additional copy, click on the bullets in the slide show.

     You can just bet that Bill Falkenstein, ‘’44’s perennial cheerleader, was right behind the Rhodes flailing the air with his ersatz baton, a toilet plunger that we purchased at the last minute from a local Home Depot. He was flailing the baton because he was being goosed along by the tousled umbrella-waving, cha-cha trio of Marion Blose, Janet Daukas and Dotty - It was quite a sight! We even silenced a 30-member contingent of the Big Red Marching Band that stood In the west end of Barton, mouths agape, as this horde of very mature Senior citizens marched by very, very noisily. When will another class realize that this is fun and Class Parades are a Reunion tradition that traces back to the ‘50’s.

     Class Photo that followed right after lunch? No problem! All '44's were well-briefed as to its time and location and even the contract photographer remarked to us that he'd never seen such a large group fill their bleacher seats so quickly and quietly - We expected no less! - All were later In a state of shock on hearing his $18 per Reunion photo price tag that with major prolonged badgering we got knocked down to just $12.

The next day we went traipsing around the campus!

     Before we forget, we added a 9 a.m. '44 Campus Walk (to which most of us bused from Hi-Rise 5 on the North Campus). The reason for the Walk? All of us wanted all to see the results of our $56,000 Class underwrite of some 100 maga- zines and magazine jackets In the Periodical Room of the old Libe. It turned out that the dollars in part went to shelf placards that read: “Gift of the Class of '44." It was quite funny watching the Library aide try to explain why one of our placarded magazines was a very fetching Hustler-spinoff with an X-rated cover.

For additional copy, click on the bullets in the slide show.

     From there we trooped downhill past the Straight to our '44 Memorial Corner at the Engineering Quad (Charlie Williams’ campus beautification project that ’44 underwrote in '79 with a $6,000 gift - shrubbery (now 25-foot trees) - an eight-foot marble bench with Its chiseled "The Class of ’44 Corner” and the placard bearing the names of our 31 deceased WWII classmates mounted inside the Hollister Hall lobby. At the time and since moved to thhe 1944 Memorial Room in Bartels Hall. It’s amazing just what a $6,000 donation underwrote in '79!)

     We then trudged uphill (with a few groans!) to Bartels Hall (the Field House and site of our own Class of 1944 Memorial Room. This one was underwritten by our $50,000 donation to the Dept. of Athletics In 1994. Here, Tri-Hosts Howy Blose, Dan Morris, and Bill Wheeler greeted us with bottled "Big Red Water," Lake Cayuga's best! For many, the occasion was their first visit to the Memorial Room, one that’s undergoing constant updating and re-decoration and is a "Must see!" if you are visiting the campus. On display are ‘44’s Athletic Hall of Fame (photos of our 18 two-sport athletes) and the several '44 trustees, major donors, and eight class presidents; It cites President Rhodes and Athletic Directors Kennedy and Moore; and along with some 150 team, military, and organizational group photos as well as photos of individuals taken in the '40's, displays the eleven Reunion photos covering the 50-year '49-'99 period. YOU - as a Reunion attendee - are “hung” in perpetuity in one or more of those Reunion photo* so come see yourself sometime!

Who ate those 16 leftover lobsters?

     The final 55th Reunion blast was our all-out, "Watch out for the butter!" Lobsterbake In our Class Tent on the Ag Quad. (Puzzlement - Who ate the lobsters of the 16 "No Shows"?) Music? You bet! Both loud and soft from the same six Marching Band musicians! Honored guests were Ted and Jeanne Thoren who were accorded "Honorary Memberships" In the Class of '44 for their multi-decade support of many of our class activities. Great people both! Butter-stained though we were, over to Bailey Hall we marched ('44 never "walks" anywhere - we March!). There, '44 and several other classes were cited for their record-breaking 1999 attendance In Comelliana Night ceremonies.

     We closed out our 55th Reunion that same night with a subdued Sing-Along in the sixth floor Penthouse of our Hi-Rise 5 Headquarters dorm (some 120+ bodies In a multi-windowed, multi-terraced room that was placarded by the Fire Department for a max of 49). Think the descriptive term here is tuna-pack.

     Tired people? .Yupl With that gorgeous weather, it was a most active four-day stint for everyone of us, but there was no way anyone could look upon your classmates as being over-the-hill septuagenarians. Collectively, we ran the pants off our five young Class Clerks (Don't take us literally - four were co-eds and were NEVER pantless). You really would have been proud of all of your classmates! Better yet -- Plan on being with them at YOUR 60th in 2004!

Art and Dotty Kesten

For additional copy, click on the bullets in the slide show.

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