Former Cornell College President Arland Christ-Janer died Sunday, Nov. 9, in Sarasota, Fla. He was 86.
Christ-Janer served as Cornell’s president from 1961-1967. During his tenure he shepherded the construction of more campus structures than any previous administration, including four residence halls—Dows, Pauley, Tarr, and Rorem—The Commons, the maintenance building, and Ink Pond.
He also oversaw the largest single gift to the college at that time—a $1.4 million Ford Foundation Grant—that facilitated a major restructuring of the curriculum. Under his leadership the college experienced growth in its endowment, student body, and faculty, and strengthened its relationship with the Methodist Church.
“Arland Christ-Janer was a great president, a great leader, and a great friend to Cornellians. His passing is felt by us all,” said Cornell President Les Garner. “He made an enormous contribution to every institution he served. He was always curious, always generous, and he inspired great confidence among those with whom he worked.”
After leaving Cornell, Christ-Janer went on to serve as president of Boston University, the College Entrance Examination Board (which oversees tests including the SATs), New College, Stephens College, and Ringling College of Art and Design.
Christ-Janer returned to campus in 1999 to receive Cornell’s highest award, the honorary degree, doctor of humane letters.
He is survived by his wife, Uta.
James Watson '38
James Watson ’38 died Oct. 1, 2007, in Oak Ridge, Tenn. He was 92.
Watson, a former Cornell College trustee, spent his life in the service of others. He worked for the National Labor Relations Board in Kansas City and later in Puerto Rico during World War II. He then became executive director of the National Civil Service League in New York City in 1948. Eventually, he began teaching effective government practices all around the world in places such as Spain, Italy, Peru, Iran, and Turkey, among others.
Watson is survived by daughters Jinx Watson ’65, Jane Davenport, Linda Watson, Ellen Watson, and two grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
Richard Pearson ’49
Dr. Rev. Richard “Dick” L. Pearson ’49, a long-time pastor and early civil rights advocate, died July 23, 2008, in Estherville, Iowa. He was 80.
Pearson spent most of his career leading churches throughout Iowa, including Sioux City, Estherville, Bettendorf, and Des Moines. While in Sioux City in the early ’60s, Pearson served on the boards of the local chapter of the NAACP, the Sioux City Council of Churches, and the local Iowa Civil Liberties Union. In 1979 he was invited to the White House by President Jimmy Carter for a briefing on SALT II (Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty).
Survivors include his wife of 57 years, Ramalee, four sons, and a sister.
Sam Minasian ’50
Former Cornell professor and concertmaster of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra Sam Minasian ’50 died in Springfield, Mo., July 29, 2008 at the age of 79.
Minasian grew up on music, serving as concertmaster of his high school orchestra and winning musical contests throughout the Midwest. He came to Cornell to study with his high school violin teacher, Ruth Ray, before earning his master of music at the Eastman School of Music and entering the Army, where he won first place in the Army’s TV Talent Patrol show in New York City in 1954. After the Army, Minasian played in the Rochester (N.Y.) Philharmonic, and then moved to Iowa and taught at Simpson, Cornell, and, finally, Drury College.
As concertmaster of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra, he was credited with raising the quality of the orchestra during his 31 years, nearly half of the orchestra’s existence at the time.
He is survived by his wife Joyce, three children, four grandchildren, and two sisters-in-law.
E. Maynard Beal ’52
The Rev. E. Maynard Beal ’52, husband of life trustee Jean Tapp Beal ’52 and social equality champion, died Aug. 5, 2008, in Rockford, Ill., at the age of 78.
Beal was best known for his work with Rockford Urban Ministries, where he served as director and fought against school segregation and unfair bank loan practices. He was a minister in several churches in Illinois, and partook in a pastor exchange in Radlett, England in 1991.
Beal is survived by his wife, Jean, two children, three grandchildren, and one great grandchild, as well as a sister and a brother.
John Lively ’55
John Lively ’55 died in Edina, Minn., Aug. 18, 2008. He was 75.
Lively recently endowed a $1.3 million scholarship to students from central Iowa who attend Cornell. After graduating from Cornell and leaving the Army, where he worked in Army Intelligence, Lively worked for five years at KFJB radio in Marshalltown, before spending three years at WHO in Des Moines. He then spent the next 28 years in public relations working for 3M in St. Paul, Minn. and in New York City, before retiring in 1994. Lively was also an active member of the Cornell Alumni Board.
He is survived by a brother, two sisters, and many nieces and nephews.
T. Edwin Rogers '39
Professor Emeritus of Biology T. Edwin Rogers ’39 died Jan. 3, 2009, as the Cornell Report was preparing to go to press. A full obituary will run in the next issue of the magazine. In the meantime, go to the Cornell News Center for an online obituary. You may also record your thoughts on an his rememberance site.