In truth it's '44's own Time Capsule
(The webmaster cites a Class Project that pays dividends in many ways)

(Click on the icon or photo below to view an enlarged photograph)

"THANKS, '44!"
This page is the largest page on the '44 website in being your webmaster's hard copy attempt to show the contents of the standing Memorial Room to those '44's who have never visited or who may never visit the actual site.

The offer to CU and the fallout - On June 1, 1988, Cornell started construction on its then Howard Alberding Field House, a $16.6 million project that would be the centerpiece of many new sports buildings on Upper Alumni Field. . . Prior to the project’s start, the Athletic Department had sent a brochure to all alumni seeking their endowment of the building’s individual rooms, stadium seats, and the like.

       On receipt of the brochure, your webmaster, as Class President at the time, phoned Joe Driscoll, stressing his belief that underwriting the available first floor room for $50,000 would be a most worthwhile Class project. Joe hadn’t received his brochure as yet, but readily concurred and agreed to pursue this new '44 project quickly by contacting Laing Kennedy, the Athletic Director. Kennedy was delighted to receive '44's support and promptly "reserved" the brochure’s meeting room for our class.

A broad-based "decision" - Subsequent approval of the action by our Class officers was sought and secured, and we then implemented a broad-based "We need your support!" direct mailing that raised the $37,382 from 123 donors in '88 and the required $50,000 by1989. Following the achievement of this goal, each of the 55-odd Class Officers was provided with his or her own Memorial Room souvenir key for full year, any hour entry to the "Room."

A handy Homecoming Hangout - Right from the start, the "Room" was used during Homecoming Weekends by attending '44's and their family members. Post-game cider, wine, cheese, and camaraderie were the "draw." The Athletic Department also used the room in off hours for coach’s meetings, CPR training, and other forms of sit-down gatherings.

Dedication - On June 27, 1990, Joe Driscoll passed away just after returning from Reunion Weekend. The Alumni News September, 1990 Class column read, "In light of his personal involvement in the establishment, preliminary financing and dedication of the Class of 1944 Classroom in the new Alberding Field House, our class plans to underwrite a permanent bronze plaque on the classroom door and have the plaque read, The Class of 1944 Classroom, given in memory of J. Joseph Driscoll, Jr. ’44."

"In '94, we honored our Athletic Hall of Fame"

The Hall of Fame Inductions - It was only natural that '44 would pursue an action that would honor its own top athletes and following the approval of guidelines by a dozen "jocks," 18 class members who had earned their "C’s" in two sports were selected and then inducted into the '44 Hall on September 17, 1994 in the presence of their family members and Athletic Department staffers. Photographs of the inductees were displayed on the room’s north wall with a sidebar caption detailing the sports in which the inductee had participated as well as a two-line entry describing his rank or grade during WWII and his military Service and specialty.

Let's do the job right! - With the Hall of Fame as a start, your webmaster then embarked on a new full year 1993 "time capsule" project that entailed the collection, duplication, captioning, framing, and posting of some 150+ other photographs that would trace '44's participation in campus activities during the decades of the '40's through the 90's.

       At the same time, photographs of all Class presidents, major donors, major fund-raisers, leading CU administrators and other "major influences", etc. were added to the four wall mix. Concurrently, two 20-foot outrigger shelves were hung below the photographs on the north and south walls to chronicle the major WWII events during ’41-'45 and to provide WWII captioned photos of some 20 additional Class officers.

"By '98, we had a good look at our own history"

The '44 Memorial Room - The poster honoring the 31 deceased WWII members of the Class of 1944 that had hung in Hollister Hall adjacent to our Memorial Corner on Campus Road was removed and converted to a large bronze memorial plaque. It was then re-mounted in the room near the door entry. With the J. Joseph Driscoll, Jr. plaque already hung in the room and the on display photos of some 16 other members of the Class who had passed away during the ’94-'99 period, the room was then officially redesignated as the "Class of 1944 Memorial Room" in June, 1999.

The "Decade of the '40's" - Large 28-inch blowups of the Post Office Dept’s "Decade of the '40’s" colorful commemorative stamps were also hung, rimming the south, west, and north walls atop the photographs and brightening the room considerably. For the '44's, it was quite easy to identify with each of the 15 "major happenings" of the '40's as depicted in the commemorative stamps chosen by the U.S. Postal Service.

A new University request - In the ’94-'99 period, the room was utilized during the day as a study hall by student-athletes, its metal camp chairs and few folding picnic tables falling far short of being adequate. In early '99, Charles Moore, then Director of Athletics, asked that the Class of '44 consider underwriting the conversion of the "Memorial Room" to a comfortable, well-appointed, multi-use study hall for the same student-athletes.

Group decisions - Dotty Kesten, then Class President, appointed Dick Evans (Sr VP), and Class VP, Hilda Milton, and Bill Wheeler as the "Renovation Committee" and this foursome approved our written proposal to place new, more durable, and more comfortable chairs and tables in the Memorial Room. This Committee also approved our proposal to go to our classmates for full donor support of the project. During our follow-on June, '99 Reunion all attending class members were encouraged to visit the existing "Memorial Room" with its camp chair look and the general feeling was "These students need something better and we can do much better."

Yet again '44 comes through!

Fundraising and renovation - The subsequent fundraising drive was more than successful! 248 individual Class members donated $41,116 to the "Study Hall Renovation Project." Based on the Class officers’ approval of Hilda Milton’s proposal that we purchase study hall furniture similar to that used in the Johnson School Library, we contracted for tables, chairs, computers, printers, and support equipment at a cost of $32,541. An on hand $3,372 in General Fund prepaid expenses, together with the balance on hand after all expenses were met, also enabled the Class to provide $2,000 for "future maintenance and repairs" in the Room and to underwrite two separate donations: a $5,000 Tradition Fellowship and a $5.000 donation to the Department of Athletics.

Dedication of the new Study Hall - In ceremonies involving key Class officers, Department of Athletics staffers, and several team coaches, the new Study Hall was officially dedicated on February 25, 2000 at which Director of Athletics J. Andrew Noel, Jr. headed an eight-member University contingent. Each happily signed the first of what will be many "Sign In Registers." Shortly thereafter, a four-page, multi-photo report entitled "The renovation is completed!" was forwarded to each of the Class project’s 248 donors.

The new multi-use '44 Memorial Room - During the 2000-2003 period, the room has been used heavily by student-athletes - both day and night, continues to be used by Homecoming Weekend '44's and their family members, is occasionally used by the University for other small gatherings, and has been augmented by three additional computer stations and another support printer. Best way to sum up are in the words of John Webster of the Athletic Department, "'44, you are appreciated!"

Come visit! - If you’re on campus at some future date, please take a few moments to visit your multi-purpose Memorial Room and Study Hall and soak up all of the '44 history shown therein . . The room is unlocked and the chances on your visit are that you’ll find two, six, or more student-athletes at the tables and at the computers on your visit. And unless someone has goofed, sign the Register that you placed atop the entry door lectern.

Art Kesten
, Class of '44 Webmaster
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