Letters Fall 2014

A memory of Herb Hendriks ’40

End of August, 1947. I have just returned to campus after my third summer at Camp Norton field station in Wyoming. This is to be a short stop to return school equipment and to report briefly on the summer’s activities. Then I will go home and return to campus to complete my senior year as a geology major and continue as the department secretary (a half-time position then). However, as I walked across campus I met Dean “Mac” (MacGregor) and we stopped to talk about the imminent death of geology professor Neil A. Minor.

The Dean indicated that a Cornellian was coming to teach geology courses, name of Herb Hendriks ’40. Seeing I knew the department layout (Law Hall) and administrative duties, could I return to campus in a couple days and help Herb settle in? Of course, I did so and met Herb and Luretta and Herbie Hendriks.

As things worked out, I remained in Mount Vernon for two more years. The second year I worked full-time in the department before going on to grad school and so had time to form many Hendriks family memories. I even babysat Herbie. Through the more than 60 years since I left Cornell, I remained in touch with Luretta and Herb; visited in their Mount Vernon home, and in Cedar Rapids after their move to that location. As an undergraduate, it was truly special to have both Neil Minor and Herb Hendriks as professors. Both men spent teaching careers being true mentors to their students. Cornell years were special years in my life because of knowing them.

Jackie Woodman Manning ’48
Running Springs, California


Seeking equality

I was moved to tears while reading the article about Madgetta Thornton Dungy ’64. I graduated three years before she came to Cornell, and then went to Perkins School of Theology at SMU in Dallas, Texas. Perkins was integrated, but the undergraduate schools were not. One day, at an all-campus lecture, I heard a voice behind me: “I don’t know who he is. He doesn’t look like a janitor.” The person was one of my classmates.

I truly ache for the slights and frustrations that so many blacks (or people of other ethnicities) are expected to endure, engendered by the dominant culture of our country.

May I recommend the May 2014 issue of The Atlantic, “The Case for Reparations” by Ta-Nehisi Coates.

Each of us in our heart of hearts needs to reflect on the precious personhood of every individual.

Ronald Ball ’57
Winslow, Maine


Remembering Beth Baker Mast ’37

I noticed as I read the Cornell Report the brief mention of the death of my dearest college friend, Beth Baker Mast ’37. We had been close friends through Mount Vernon High School and college and all the years since. I was a bit saddened that no mention was made of her devotion to the college for so many years after graduation. Her immediate family (all three siblings, daughter) were graduates, and her father was closely connected to Cornell. Whenever I could, I joined Beth at reunions. Her love of Cornell was always evident.

She was much loved.

Frances Keeler Tragle ’37
Mt. Juliet, Tennessee