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AXE serenade

This regards another Alpha Chi Epsilon story in addition to the one on page 38 of the spring Cornell Report [“History of Cornell in 50 Objects”—AXE pin].

In 1956 on a spring day, the AXE fellas gathered on the front lawn of Pfeiffer Hall. Heads and shoulders leaned out of windows. The serenades began. Member Bob Keck then stepped forward with a rose and began singing a solo. His girlfriend, Lee Brown, was thrilled. Before Bob finished the song, however, the Mount Vernon Fire Department clanged into the parking lot, the alarm began to scream, heads and shoulders disappeared, streams of co-eds spilled out over the lawn, and heavily dressed firepersons clambered their way into the dorm.

Bob and his fraternity brothers were stunned. No point to finishing the serenade now. The mood was broken and, to boot, it was only a practice.

We found out that the AXE President had sprinted over to the trucks and pleaded for them to just wait a few minutes.

No! So a letter was written disclosing what the fire department had ruined. They returned a very nice letter of deep apology to the fraternity and to Lee Brown.

So goes Greek and civic chivalry. Bob and Lee were married a year later.

Sary Crag ’58, aka Lee Brown Keck
Columbus, Ohio

Olivia Cotton ’13 delivers her Student Symposium presentation 
“Unlacing the Corset: A Look into the History and Construction of Fashion’s Most Contentious Garment.” She graduated several weeks 
later with a major in mathematics and a minor in biology.
(Credit: Mehrdad Zarifkar ’09)

Symposium stories

Every year in April dozens of students present their scholarly work, sharing their research, performances, and insights.

The Hilltop has beckoned alumni for 100 years of Homecomings. This scene is from 1934.

Homecoming turns 100

Since 1913 Cornellians have returned to the Hilltop for Homecoming, rekindling deep, lasting friendships, and making new connections.