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Class Notes, 2011 September/October

September/October 2011

From June 9 through June 12, members of the Class of 1991 took a break from their normal routines to return to Cornell for our 20th Reunion. As in years past, Reunion provided classmates with a wonderful opportunity to remember the good times we shared as students and to reflect on our lives over the years since we left the Hill. We marveled at how much has changed on campus since our graduation and at how much has remained blissfully the same. During the weekend, classmates enjoyed a Friday night barbecue next to Beebe Lake, Saturday night dinner at Barton Hall, breakfasts under a tent next to Mary Donlon Hall, Cornelliana Night at the renovated Bailey Hall, the Reunion Run, the Fun-in-the-Sun family carnival on the Arts Quad, bird walks at Sapsucker Woods, zip-lining over the gorge behind Beebe Lake, tent parties on the Arts Quad, receptions at fraternities and sororities, a cappella groups, Finger Lakes wines, the Ithaca Farmers' Market, cocktails in Collegetown, buffalo wings at Napoli's, deep dish pizza at the Nines, Pinesburgers at the Glenwood Pines (now offered with bacon!), Hot Truck, and countless other activities. Most significantly, classmates lingered in dorm rooms, lounges, stairways, and quads, catching up and sharing memories with old friends and making new friends and creating new memories.

For the fourth time in four reunions, the Class of '91 broke the all-time university record for number of classmates in attendance. 441 members of our class returned, including 63 first-time reunion attendees. The previous record for a 20th Reunion class was 416, so we set a new record that should be hard to beat. Taking into account family members and friends, the Class of 1991 boasted 809 registered attendees, more than any other 2011 Reunion class. Classmates and their families were spotted all over campus and across Ithaca wearing the fabulous red and white tie-dye Cornell T-shirts that reunion co-chair Jeff Weintraub, MD '95, designed. Other classes appeared envious of our numbers, energy, and shirts--and with good reason.

Reunion co-chairs Jeff Weintraub and Dorine Colabella and class president Bob Baca each put forth a tremendous effort to make Reunion a smashing success. Their tireless dedication, attention to detail, and non-stop good cheer were instrumental in making the weekend so memorable. Not only did these three officers work hard planning the reunion throughout the prior 13 months, they were busy all weekend attending to last minute details and ensuring that everything ran smoothly. We are so lucky to have such dedicated officers, and we thank them for all they have done over the past 20 years and for what they have signed up to do for the next five years.

Not only did we have a record-breaking number of classmates at Reunion, they came from all over the world! People returned to Cornell from Washington, DC, 34 states (including Hawaii), Puerto Rico, Canada, England, Russia, Switzerland, Indonesia, and Kenya! Jerry Ray arrived as a non-preregistered walk-in, having been traveling the world--most recently in Japan. Michelle Gilardi came all the way from Kenya, where she is a hospitality consultant. Geoffrey Moskowitz traveled from Moscow, Russia, where he is continuing his quest to ensure that capitalism flourishes in the former Soviet Republic, running his own industrial and business cleaning business. Ivan Arzola came from Puerto Rico, where he works as an engineer for a local company. Ivan brought his wife, daughter, and parents to Reunion, and they were looking forward to spending the following week traveling the Northeast, ending in Washington, DC.

Deborah Best, an attorney in Seattle, WA, flew to Toronto, where she met up with Catherine Kim Kumaradas '92. After enjoying some much-needed girl bonding spa time in Toronto, Catherine and Deborah piled into the "swagger wagon" and drove to Ithaca. Ernie Joynt traveled from Denver, CO, where he works for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. At NOAA, Ernie is responsible for global IT projects regarding the collection of data on natural hazards such as tsunamis. He claims that he does not in fact control the weather, but the twinkle in his eye suggests otherwise.

Many classmates enjoyed seeing class-favorite band Rock N Roll Chowder reunite to play at the Nines. The band includes Teige Carroll, Noah Kornblum, Mark Weigel, and Jeff Webb, as well as Matt Kane '90. According to Sharlyn Carter Heslam, who was at the show, the guys were amazing, and when the crowd cried for an encore, Ruth Ann Keene, JD '98, said, "If they stop playing, I'll have to open my eyes and be old again." Luckily they played one more song and the audience was able to be 20 years old for a little bit longer. We hope the band will return to play for the class at our 25th Reunion!

Just weeks after the news wires announced that David Einhorn had entered into exclusive negotiations to buy a minority stake of the New York Mets, David and Cheryl (Strauss) joined the class at Reunion. David proudly wore a Mets cap to dinner Saturday night and enjoyed hearing people's ideas on what can be done to turn the team around. On behalf of all Mets fans in our class, here's hoping David can share some of his Midas touch that has made him so successful on Wall Street with the Mets. Please, David, we want meaningful October baseball in Flushing! Jennifer Leeds and Robert Hess came to Reunion with their sons Jaden, 13, and Max, 10, from Arlington, MA, where Jennifer works for Novartis Pharmaceuticals as an executive director of antibacterial discovery and Robert is a patent attorney at a boutique intellectual property law firm. Jennifer and Robert were looking forward to moving to the San Francisco area during the summer, where Jennifer will continue to work for Novartis. Jennifer and Robert would love to hear from other classmates in the Bay Area.

Kim Rugala LaFontana sent news almost immediately upon returning home, reporting that she had a fantastic trip to Ithaca. "It was an amazing chance to catch up with friends--old and new--and to stay up much too late. My freshman year roommate Ruth Anne Keene and I wondered at how at-home we still feel in Ithaca after all these years." Kim is managing director at the Advisory Board Co., and spends her "free time" chasing her two little girls to ballet class, T-ball, soccer, gymnastics, and preschool. Also upon returning home, Stacey Ries, DVM '95, posted on the Cornell91 Facebook page: "Can't believe I missed the previous reunions! What was I thinking!? Thanks to all the organizers and the student help. Wonderful time and such great memories." Finally, although he was not at Reunion, special congratulations go out to John Tillman, head coach of the U. of Maryland's men's lacrosse team. In his first year as head coach, John brought his team all the way to the NCAA championship game. John previously served as head coach of the Harvard U. men's lacrosse team.

After five wonderful years writing about the Class of 1991, this is my final column. Kathy, Shar, and I have enjoyed sharing your news with the Cornell community, and we now hand over the reins to a new trio of writers. Thank you to Kathy and Shar for being such great co-correspondents! *Ariane Schreiber Horn, Our new correspondents: Wendy Milks,; Tom Greenberg,; and Charles Wu,

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