Reunion looks to set class, overall attendance records

Goldwin Smith Hall
Jason Koski/University File Photo
Alumni gather outside Goldwin Smith Hall during Reunion 2014.

Owing to the sesquicentennial or perhaps President David Skorton’s imminent departure for Washington, D.C., registration for Reunion 2015, June 4-7, as of May 28 was 276 people ahead of last year’s record-setting attendance.

“Reunion continues to grow larger every year, and the connection the alumni have to Cornell continues to grow,” said Lisa Bushlow ’91, director of class programs for Alumni Affairs and Development.

She attributes this to “the fact that Cornell does it right, and the class and group reunions have an individual stamp that is specific to that group. Every undergraduate’s experience is marked by what was going on in the world when they were on campus.”

The Class of ’45 has 24 alumni registered, matching the 70th Reunion turnout by the Class of ‘37, and the Classes of ’50 (59 alumni), ’55 (140) and 2010 (790) are likely to set attendance records this year.

Activities are planned by alumni volunteers up to two years ahead, Bushlow said. “What Reunion does is allow classmates to plan around the individual signature of that class. They are personally picking up the phone to invite their classmates back.”

The combined 75th, 50th and 25th Reunion classes and the “Reunion 0” Class of 2015 have planned a “Cornell 150 Celebration and Dinner” together June 6 in Barton Hall, with a “fireside chat” by Skorton and President Emeritus Frank Rhodes. “It was something they as classes wanted to do together. It was their idea and a brilliant idea,” Bushlow said. “The numbers add up to 150.”

Among the other featured events for Cornellians returning next week:

    • Writer Junot Díaz, MFA ’95, will be featured in conversation with Skorton at this year’s Olin Lecture, June 5 at 3 p.m. in Bailey Hall. A book signing will follow the program in Bailey Hall. The Dominican-American novelist’s books include the 2008 Pulitzer Prize winner “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao” and the bestselling National Book Award finalist “This Is How You Lose Her.” Díaz is the recipient of a MacArthur Foundation “genius grant” fellowship and several other honors.
    • “The Spirit of ’31: Passing It Forward,” June 4 at the Statler Hotel, brings together the oldest classes (’40, ’45, ’50) with the youngest class (’10). Three Class of ’40 alumni plan to attend their 75th Reunion, and will be joined at Reunion activities by three returning members of the Class of ’39.
    • Skorton will give his last State of the University address as president June 6 at 10:30 a.m. in Bailey Hall, with remarks on his legacy by Glenn Altschuler, Ph.D. ’76, the Thomas and Dorothy Litwin Professor of American Studies.
    • “Cornellians Improving the Quality of Life During the Last Half Century,” the Class of ’65 Forum, June 5, 10 a.m. in David L. Call Auditorium, Kennedy Hall.
    • “Memories of December 7, 1941 and September 11, 2001,” the Classes of ’45 and ’05 Forum, June 5, 1 p.m. in Milstein Auditorium.
    • The Liberty Hyde Bailey Lecture, a panel on “Any Challenge, Any Century,” June 5, 1 p.m. in Call Auditorium.
    • A Law School roundtable, “Business and Law in the Digital Age: How Are New and Emerging Technologies Creating New Challenges and Opportunities?” is June 5, 3 p.m. in Myron Taylor Hall.
    • Reunion 5K, June 6, 8 a.m. at Cornell Plantations.
    • Chorus and Glee Club Concert, June 5, 9:15 p.m. in Bailey Hall; tickets $15.
    • Cornell authors book signing, June 6, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Cornell Store.
    • “One Health for One Planet, Many Species,” a panel organized by the College of Veterinary Medicine, June 6, 1-2 p.m. in Statler Auditorium.
    • Cornelliana Night, June 6, 9:30 p.m. in Bailey Hall.
    • A parade and other Fun in the Sun family activities June 6 on the Arts Quad; and evening tent parties June 5-6, with entertainment including DJ Rich Medina ’92.

The Olin Lecture, State of the University address, Cornelliana Night, Class of ’45/’05 forum and Liberty Hyde Bailey Lecture will be livestreamed, as will the “One Health” panel, Law School roundtable and professor of history Edward Baptist's June 6 lecture on the Emancipation Proclamation.

Alumni also are invited to bring their Big Red scrapbooks and scan their personal photos and to donate memorabilia for the University Archives, June 5-6, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Statler Atrium.

Media Contact

Joe Schwartz