You Said: Spring 2017

Remembering John Dietz

Permit me to offer a personal word concerning my dear friend and colleague, Professor John Dietz, who died on Dec. 30 at the age of 87. John was a member of the music faculty; we worked together and also sang together. He possessed a most beautiful voice–a rich, full baritone sound that rolled out with exquisite ease, like molten gold. Not only will I always remember that sound, but I will also remember his laughter. It was as rollicking and jovial as the man himself.

John was the epitome of a gentleman and a scholar. His manners, which came naturally to him, were as impeccable as the clothes he wore. He loved nothing more than singing at a recital so he would have the excuse to wear his tuxedo. He was a tall handsome man who always looked elegant on the stage.

None of the above conveys an aspect of John’s persona which unfortunately he had to live with. John was legally blind. He was born with an eye disease that he never talked about much, but which he battled all his life. He could not drive. His wife Maria typed his lecture notes in large print. He memorized music in the same way. These were all hurdles that he approached with stubborn determination, and with success.

To know John Dietz was to love him. He was a unique and admirable person.

Marcella Lee ’48
Professor Emerita of Music
Holland, Michigan

From ‘Successful Nonprofits Podcast’ (episode 31, Feb. 13, 2017)

  • Guest Robert W. McGuire ’92 was asked: “What is the best tangible gift you’ve ever received?”, to which he replied: “I am an annual donor to my alma mater, Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa. I benefited from the scholarship fund, and having the opportunity to go to a college like that made such a big difference in my life. A scholarship is one amazing tangible gift, and it was made possible by somebody anonymous a generation or two older than me who didn’t know me personally, and I try to give every year to my alma mater for the same reason.”

From Facebook

  • Gail Carlson Zaverdinos ’67, Feb. 14, 2017: So proud to tell people where I went to college! Thank you to all the donors who made this [$35 million science facilities project] possible. Thank you especially to Dr. Jean Russell. Cornell was a very special place for me 1963-67.

From Twitter

  • Nikki Anderson Knapp ’95, Iowa STEM Geek @our2rotts, Feb. 14, 2017: Awesome, amazing news for my alma mater!! @CornellCollege #STEM programs are going to rock-it in a new building!!!
  • Dan Carney ’14, @dcarnz, Jan. 6, 2017: I love when I am reading a book and one of my faculty members who I had 5 years ago @CornellCollege is cited! #ErinDavis #sociology

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