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The Real Reason AXEs Disbanded

  Letter to the Editor  

I read with interest in the Cornell Report about AXE. I was active as an AXE from 1969-1971. We burned our charter in 1971 and disbanded in the belief that social groups exemplified segregation, elitism, and an attitude of pompous superiority over others in the student body. We felt that the exclusivity inherent in social groups was indeed a social ill. “Giving up independence,” as stated in the article, was not a factor in the group’s decision to disband. Ironically, the AXEs were considered the most liberal and integrated social group at Cornell. However, on campus in the early 1970s, any structure that stratified the student body was considered by many students to be an example of racism and bigotry in America.

Dan Kloster ’73
Snowmass Village, Colo.

No Title Needed

I very much appreciated the information in the fall 2002 issue, especially that dealing with my vintage, the 1930s. Through the years, that period has been very well covered in Cornell publications. I was especially interested in the Cornellians who became administrative law judges. I was given that position just two months before I retired as the general counsel of the Department of Housing and Urban Development after more than 40 years in its legal positions. Actually, that appointment as a “judge” was to make it possible for me to use that title later outside the government. It didn’t work. Retired here in Idaho, I use no title at all.

Ashley Foard ’32
Nampa, Idaho

Honorable Alum

I recently read with great interest and admiration the article on “Appealing Cases” in the fall 2002 issue. Several of the judges mentioned are from my era and were friends or acquaintances. Please add my name to your list of alumni judges, as I have served as a judge pro tem in the circuit court of Josephine County, Oregon, since 1993. Thank you. I read each issue of the Report cover to cover.

Duane Wm. Schultz ’67
Grants Pass, Ore.

Spin Doctor Antidote

I’m currently dealing with the tragic loss of Minnesota Sen. Paul Wellstone, a man who was desperately needed by this country. To me, this highlights the importance of, need for, and knowledge and understanding of history and political science that was so ably taught in the late ’40s by Dr. Littell and Dr. Kollman. The ability to recognize the spin and disinformation occurring today is invaluable. And, I’m afraid, sadly lacking. I see troubled times ahead. This is why Wellstone will be missed.

Allen Eliason ’49
Crosslake, Minn.

Moving the Rock

Great story in the Cornell Report about THE Rock. I was a part of that all-night effort [to bury the Rock in 1948]. Twentythree men started the project shortly after midnight. One tow truck was able to lift it, but could not move it. So a call to Cedar Rapids brought out a 19-ton truck that moved it like Hercules lifted a pebble to its new location between the Chapel and Old Sem. Its first bath in three years was given as the first faint rays of morning touched the tip of the Chapel tower. The group wanted the world to know of its accomplishment, so the following, to the tune of “Rock of Ages,” was shouted to each of the four dozing women’s dorms:

Rock of Ages, sunk no more;
Oh, good gosh, my back is sore!
Twixt Ol’ Sem and Chapel too;
That is where we planted you;
Rock of Ages, high and dry;
There you ever more may lie!!!

John O. Kirkpatrick ’52
Sturgeon Bay, Wis.

 
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