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What's in a name?

  Campus Digest  

There is but one street on the Hilltop with a name: MacGregor Lane islocated in front of Pauley and Rorem halls. Most people assume the name is derived rom the MacGregors, a prominent Cornell family now in its second generation there.

The other house on the lane, however, belongs to another prominent Cornell family in its second generation there: The Lanes. Legend has it that the street was named for both.

In 1965 the retired dean of the college, Jay MacGregor, and his wife, Helen, built a retirement home there after buying the land from retired English professor Howard Lane and his wife, Mynnye. The couples wore a path between their houses visiting each other for a daily drink. One of those sessions resulted in a request to the city from English professor Liz Isaacs ’39 that the road be called MacGregor Lane.

Mary MacGregor ’45 left New York City and moved into her parents’ home in 1980. Many of her family members are Cornellians, including her brother, Dr. John K. MacGregor ’41, a past-president of the Cornell Board of Trustees.

The Lane house, located closer to the Pauley-Rorem parking lot, originated in 1869 as a farm-house. At one time it was being fixed up as a retirement home for president William Fletcher King, who died before it was finished. In 1937, Howard Lane purchased the house and moved his family theref rom their former residence that once existed near where Allee Chapel now stands. Annice and John G. Lane ’44 moved there in 1988. John G. Lane traveled extensively for 35 years as a fund-raiser. An only child, he fathered nine children and has 25 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.

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