Letters to the editor

More Cornell confusion

My classmate, Ted Meads ’67, described his family’s “Cornell confusion” in a letter that appeared in the summer Cornell Report. The attached photo shows the same confusion in my own family.

My paternal grandfather taught contracts law at big Cornell for 30 years. In the late 1940s, we lived in Ithaca and my mother entered me in a baby contest dressed as Betty Co-ed. My T-shirt read “Cornell 1967.” After we moved to Pennsylvania, I spent a week every summer visiting my grandparents in Ithaca. When my parents moved to Kansas City, I amused the family by choosing to attend the first Cornell. So, as the T-shirt predicted, I was in the Cornell Class of ’67, but at “our” Cornell.

To complete the story, I married Bill Cornell in 1969 and became a member of another Cornell family.

Terrie Thompson Cornell ’67
El Paso, Texas

Baby Terrie in Cornell shirt

Off-campus education

I read with interest about off-campus learning experiences in the Cornell Report. It sparked memories of my own off-campus experiences in 1964, when I was an exchange student at Fisk University. I have drawn on these experiences in my 35 years of work in education.

I was one of 15 white students at a predominantly black college in Nashville, Tenn. While there I experienced, be it only for a semester, being a minority. I received “hate stares” from whites as they drove by the campus; I was befriended by fellow students who protected me when I walked into town; I was involved in demonstrations and went to jail; I participated in wide-ranging discussions with students from different backgrounds and perspectives; I had to deal with the resentment of my presence on campus; I heard Martin Luther King Jr. when he spoke on campus; and I was the only white to run in a track meet in Montgomery, Ala.

One of my most vivid recollections was a response I received from Dean Howard Troyer. I had written to Dean Troyer to ask the college’s position on my possibly joining demonstrations in Nashville. I did not want to jeopardize the reputation of Cornell by being arrested. His response of “We selected you. We stand behind you and your decisions” still brings tears to my eyes.

Tom Herbert ’66
Concord, N.H.

Journeying with the Report

Congratulations on another great Report. It holds my attention, much as the National Geographic, journeying me to people, places, and things whom I know little or nothing of but enjoy the adventure.

John “Jack” Koch ’50
Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Remembering Lacey and Heywood

I enjoyed the issue of the Cornell Report on things every Cornellian should do off campus. I’ll certainly never forget all those late nights hanging out at Professor Lacey’s house—and I never even had a class from him!

The tribute to Professor Heywood was also very much on the mark. I remember attending faculty meetings in Maxwell Auditorium while the Block Plan was under discussion. Bill Heywood was always leaned up against one of the pillars toward the front, seeming to hold up the building as well as the faculty during that difficult time.

Molly Baier ’80
Berkeley, Calif.