Skip to main content

Reunion 2012 features Michelle Rhee, Bill Nye, Jane Brody

The Class of 1937 looks set to break a Cornell reunion record this year -- eight members of that class are registered to attend Reunion 2012 June 7-10 for their 75th. That would break the Class of 1935's record for having seven classmates at their 75th reunion in 2010.

"People are living longer," Esther Schiff Bondareff '37 says. "I know I went to my 70th, and I never thought I'd make the 75th, but here we come."

Bondareff, a Rhodes Exemplary Alumni Service Award recipient and former officer of the Cornell Club of Eastern Florida, will come to Reunion with her daughter Ellen Getek and son Richard Bondareff '63. While in town, they will visit the Bondareff Raptor Facility (named for Esther and her late husband, Daniel Bondareff '35) and will celebrate Esther Bondareff's 97th birthday June 11.

Reunion 2012 will host classes whose years end in 2 and 7 and their guests. In addition, the Cornell Black Alumni Association will be returning to campus. In all, more than 6,500 alumni and guests are expected to attend.

The 2012 Olin Lecture, presented by Michelle Rhee '92, former chancellor of Washington, D.C., public schools and a nationally recognized champion of education reform, will focus on education reform Friday, June 8, at 3 p.m. in Bailey Hall.

Other highlights:

Thursday, June 7

  • Jay Walker '77, founder of, speaks about his Library of Human Imagination collection, 4:30 p.m. in Milstein Auditorium. Immediately afterward, an exhibit of a selection of items from his collection will open in Kroch Library. Items from the collection also will be on display on campus at Day Hall, the Johnson Museum of Art and Mann Library and in downtown Ithaca at the Tompkins County Public Library.
  • Class of 1962 50th reunion documentary "Remembering Our Days on the Hill," produced by Phil Handler '62 and Maddy Handler '65, followed by a discussion, 4:30-6:15 p.m. in Call Auditorium, Kennedy Hall. Panel discussion will be moderated by Harry Edwards '62, circuit judge and chief judge emeritus of the U.S. Court of Appeals and will include Jane Brody, Sam Fleming, Clark Halstead, George Telesh and others.

Friday, June 8

  • Cornell NYC Tech Talk, 10 a.m. in PepsiCo Auditorium, Ives Hall. Provost Kent Fuchs and tech campus founding Dean Dan Huttenlocher on the latest developments about the new campus.
  • Class of 1962 50th reunion symposium, "Shall We Meet Again at 100? Suggestions for a Long Life," 10 a.m. in Call Auditorium, Kennedy Hall. Jane Brody '62 will be joined by professors Brian Wansink and Karl Pillemer for a discussion; co-sponsored by the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
  • Taste of Ithaca: All-Alumni Lunch, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Barton Hall. Will include music, food and children's entertainment. Check in at Barton Hall if pre-registered. Tickets $16; $8 per child.
  • Chorus and Glee Club concert, 9:15 p.m., Bailey Hall. Tickets $10.

Saturday, June 9

  • President David Skorton delivers the State of the University Address, 10:30 a.m., Bailey Hall (open to registered alumni and their guests).
  • Book signing, 11 a.m.-1 p.m., Cornell Store. List of participating authors:
  • Taste of Ithaca: All-Alumni Lunch, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Barton Hall. Tickets $16; $8 per child.
  • Cornell Mosaic and Cornell Entrepreneur Network (CEN) discussion, "What are You Willing to Do to Create Multigenerational Wealth?" 1-3 p.m., Milstein Hall Auditorium.
  • Book signing with President Emeritus Frank H.T. Rhodes and his new book, "Earth: A Tenant's Manual," 2:30-4:15 p.m., Cornell Store.
  • Bill Nye '77 on "It's High Time to Know Our Place in Space," 2:30 p.m., Baker Lab Auditorium.
  • Cornelliana Night, June 9, 9:30 p.m., Bailey Hall. The Alumnae Chorus and Alumni Glee Club in songs of Cornell. Live streaming for an overflow crowd in Call Auditorium, Kennedy Hall.

Throughout Reunion weekend

  • Reunion live streaming: Bring Reunion 2012 into your homes or offices live via social media. Eight live streams of Reunion events will be broadcast, including the Jay Walker "Collecting Imagination" exhibit, the tech campus presentation, the Mosaic/CEN discussion, the Olin Lecture and the State of the University Address. See for the latest information on event live streaming.
  • Reunion Zero: Class of 2012 graduates are invited to attend Reunion. For $35, Class of 2012 attendees receive a button for access to all of the universitywide events over the weekend and there are special events just for Cornell's newest alumni, including a late-night gathering with the Class of 2007 on Saturday night.
  • Slope Media will be recording alumni stories (audio and video) as part of a website that will feature a diverse tapestry of Cornell stories in celebration of the university's sesquicentennial in 2015. See the developing project at

Information on all events is available at