Lending their support to Cornell!

     The oldest category of alumni fiscal support, Cornell’s Tower Club was initiated in 1963 at a donation level of $1,000 . . A black tie dinner for Northeast Area members was held annually in New York City at which the President thanked the assembled Cornellians for their generous support of the University. In subsequent years the dinner was held in several cities in order to accommodate the membership growth in the organization.

     By 1974, Club membership had grown to 560 and in 1983 - with the qualifying donation set at $2,000 - some 1,546 Cornellians were lending their support to this program. As other donor categories were established within the framework of the Cornell Fund, the qualifying donation amount for Tower Club membership was raised to $2,500 in 1984 and then to $3,500 in 1991 . . Six years later, Tower Club membership was accorded to those alumni who contributed $5,000 or more to the Fund. A table below records the seven-time growth of the Club during 1974 and 2001.

Where does '44 fit into this picture?

     Class of ’44 participation in the Tower Club has varied over the years, rising - as you would expect - in Reunion years, and slowly dropping off over the decades for the obvious reason: there are fewer of us now and for a not-so-obvious reason: the higher qualifying donation amount. I personally don’t think we’re losing that many ’44's as Cornell Fund donors - it’s just that many of our classmates are now "giving at a lower level."

The 2007-2008 Fiscal Year

     As of June 30, 2008, '44 had 17 Tower Club members who donated $293,708.25 to Cornell University. The 17 donors included Artschwager, Richard Ernest; Bates, Henry Glos; Blose, Howard William; Blose, Marion Graham; Desnoyers, Gaston Robert; Evans, Howard E.; Gleich, Martin Lehren; Jenkins, Doris Le Fevre; Lawrence, David Edmond; Lawrence, Frieda Diamond; Levitan, Jerome; Miller Jr, Peter Paul; Seligsohn, George Joshua; Sigety, Katharine Snell; Stolaroff, Milton; Tofias, Arnold Bernard; Whitcomb, Maryann Trask.

The 2005-2006 Fiscal Year

     As of July 10, 2006, '44 had 26 Tower Club members who donated $5,294,515.76 to Cornell University. The 26 donors included Richard E. Artschwager, Henry G. Bates, Howard W. Blose, Marion Graham Blose, Norman H. Bragar, Gaston R. Desnoyers, Howard E. Evans, Robert E. Gallagher, Martin L. Gleich, Joel H. Hillman, Joseph Hofheimer, David E. Lawrence, Frieda Diamond Lawrence, Jerome Levitan, William Mearns, III, Peter P. Miller, Jr., James R. Olin, Lila Perless Savada, Morton J. Savada, George J. Seligsohn, Katharine Snell Sigety, Milton Stolaroff, Arnold B. Tofias, Charles L. Van Arsdale, and Maryann Trask Whitcomb.

The 2003-2004 Fiscal Year

     As at June 10, 2004, '44 had 38 Tower Club members who donated a quite surprising $3,155,415.48 to the University:

     The 38 donors included Alison King Barry, Henry G. Bates, Howard W. Blose, Marion Graham Blose, Norman H. Bragar, James M. Clark, Calvin S. DeGolyer, Jr., Gaston R Desnoyers, Howard E. Evans, and Robert E. Gallagher.
     Also Robert H. Garmezy, Martin L. Gleich, Allen A. Goldring, Robert D. Gordon, Jr.,Joel Hillman, II, Joseph Hofheimer, Doris Le Fevre. Jenkins, Arthur H. Kesten, and Dorothy Kay Kesten.
     Additionally, Tower Club donations were received from Burl A. Kimple, Frances W. Kimple, David E. Lawrence, Frieda Diamond Lawrence, Harmon C. Leonard, Jerome Levitan, Peter Paul Miller, Jr., Harold C. Parker, Lila Perless Savada, and Morton J. Savada.
     Also included in the Class of 1944 were Tower Club donors Barbara A. Taylor Sherwood, Katharine Snell Sigety, Jesse G. Silverman, Jr., Marvin I. Steinberg, Renee Wolf Steinberg, Arnold B. Tofias, Gerald E. Tohn, Charles L. Van Arsdale, and Maryann Trask Whitcomb. Several of the foregoing were Memorial contributions.

Looking at a long period of growth

     Some additional figures, I believe, should be of interest to you. At our 40th Reunion in 1984, 391 classmates donated $261.791 to the Fund - an average of $670 per donor.

     At our 45th Reunion in 1989, we grew in donors to 462, a number that still stands as the HIGH for ’44, in total amount to $434,864, in average per donor to $941, and in total Tower Club membership to 47.

     We literally went through the ceiling at the time of our 50th Reunion in 1994, small class that we were. Some 412 of our classmates donated $3,268,656 to Cornell in 1994. The "average per donor" figure rose more than 700 percent over 1989 to $7,934, thanks in large part to some very hefty individual donations. Tower Club participation at the $3,500 qualifying amount level grew to our Class high of 53 in that year.

     Considered an off-year Reunion by all but your Cornell Fund Representatives and the Reunion Chairman, our 55th in 1999 saw 368 of our classmates out of a mailable list of 738 return an "average per donor" total of $6,632, still a remarkable sum. The check that was given to President Rawlings at the time was in the amount of $2,440,732 . . Tower Club membership, then at the $5,000 level, dropped to 32.

     It’s one thing to receive a "pitch" in the mail together with a return postpaid envelope. . It’s another to receive a phon-a-thon call from someone other than a classmate . . But in all of the foregoing "drives," there were ‘44 fundraisers hard at work on the phone and writing those all-too-important personal notes:.Volunteers like Joe Driscoll, Hilda Lozner Milton, Jerry Tohn, Peter Miller, Jerry Levitan and "Skip" Paul gave of their own time to see that we always returned a respectable (and very appreciated) return.

Our 60th Reunion has since past

     Since the time the above was prepared as a 1999 website page, the Class of 1944's 60th Reunion came and went. Hank Bates replaced "Skip" Greene as our third Cornell Fund representative. The 2004 drive was a MAJOR success, the 38 classmates cited above donating more than $3,150,000 to the 2004 Fund total. President Jeffrey S. Lehman accepted the donation from our three Fund representatives at an opening night dinner at the 60th Reunion, this action being covered in detail in another website page. '44 did indeed leave its mark, breaking the Class of 1939's donor total in having 38 Class members join the Tower Club.

Howard "Skip" Greene
, Cornell Fund Representative

     It is with sadness that we inform you that "Skip" passed away on October 13 after suffering an earlier stroke. His website "copy" that appears above had been approved earlier and had been forwarded to us by his daughter, Stephanie. Widely known throughout '44 and the Cornell administration, "Skip" was a recognized leader among '44's and we felt that his personal contribution to our Class website should stand.

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