You Said: Spring 2022

Said on campus

Barbara Christie-Pope“Boosters lead to memory cells that are increasingly better at recognizing SARS-CoV 2 [COVID-19] than the original vaccine. Boosters encourage strong immune responses!”

Professor of Biology Barbara Christie-Pope
Science Interest Group talk, Nov. 4, 2021

‘I See You’ issue wins awards

“I See You,” the summer 2021 Cornell Report guest edited by Heather ‘Byrd’ Roberts ’09, has won two awards:

It is a silver winner in the Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion category of the inaugural Anthem Awards, which received nearly 2,500 entries from 36 countries. The Anthem Awards was launched to amplify the voices that spark global change. Among the inaugural winners in the DEI category are Google, HBO Max, Al Jazeera Digital, BBC, National Geographic, WarnerMedia, Planned Parenthood, Netflix, ViacomCBS, Sesame Workshop, Malala Fund, and The Daily Show with Trevor Noah.

It won a gold award in the 9th Annual Education Digital Marketing Awards. From over 1,000 entries, gold awards were granted to 222 institutions, silver to 125 institutions, and bronze to 73 institutions.

Will Cornell push forward for social justice? 

I glanced at, then read with interest, the letters in the fall 2021 issue. Both fervent praise—more passionate than usual—and condemnation attached to the previous summer’s Report. Going back to reread that issue online, I was struck: Here was something substantive, reflective, searching, intense. Here was, perhaps, a turning, moving Cornell, not just the Report, toward finding a place amongst premier colleges exploring and promoting social justice. What might be going on here?

When I arrived in the fall of 1965, Cornell was just beginning to move itself away from its lily-white past. Over the next several years, it admitted substantial numbers of African American students. Yet, like other campuses, the community seemed to assume that admitting such students was all they needed to do—no further accommodation or adjustment seemed called for.

By the fall of 1968, amid the turmoil roiling colleges and the broader society alike, such minimalism no longer appeared tenable. Frustrated students, Black and white, occupied Old Sem, demanding changes to curriculum, faculty, and cultural life. The heated community discussion that followed led to some such changes, but many of the radicals, me among them, cleared out. I returned for the following spring semester and was delighted to find a thriving Black cultural center in operation. It was wonderful to be one of two or three white students amid a room filled with Black students, but those numbers were also troubling. What was going on with the rest of the campus? Were we clinging to an illusion reflected in one of the letters—that all was well, we were good people after all, and everyone was included?

I left, a bit short of graduating (though I was awarded a degree five years later, on condition that I not return to campus), and noted, over the next few years, that many of the faculty I most admired either left themselves, or were denied tenure. The president from that time was fired a couple years on, but that seemed rather little, rather late. In time, my only connection to the college came to be through its publications, and they failed to reveal much of what I would have hoped to see.

The summer 2021 issue, though, clearly shows that much, indeed, has been going on. Such an issue would not be possible merely because a growing number of students had felt marginalized, ignored, othered. Rather, there had, at least, to be considerable receptivity to such messages within the broader community, and, of course, someone like Heather Roberts ’09 was needed to push the vision of the issue with intensity.

So, here we are. Will this effort be contained within acceptable boundaries, ultimately supporting current power dynamics? Or can Cornell push forward into a broader resolution of this America-defining conflict? 

Paul Hetland ’69
Tucson, Arizona

Something for everyone

I thought the wide range of pieces in the fall Report gave something for everyone and showed what our wonderful college is capable of offering. I especially liked the story about George Phelps ’60 and his 99-yard touchdown run, which Keith North ’60 tells. I was the other guy in the backfield at that time and remember the moment well. I also remember being carried off the field at Knox, after being injured later in the game.

Donald Utroska ’60
Lake Forest, Illinois

Tribute to the 2 chaplains

I was deeply touched by your photo and caption of the Rev. and honorary alumnus Richard Thomas and the Rev. Catherine Quehl-Engel ’89 in the fall 2021 Cornell Report. My many interactions with both of them during my association with Cornell were among the highlights of my Cornell experiences, and I wish them continued success as they spread encouragement and joy in all of their future endeavors.

Tom Cox ’52
Lake Forest, Illinois

facebook iconKatie Blasko ’13: “Loved having Marty [Condon] as a professor, and I still have ‘Dr. Tatiana’s Sex Advice to All Creation’ on my bookshelf!”

Responding to our story on Carrie Hill Steckl ’92

Paige Thompson Olech ’92: “Great story!! Always growing and learning … Cornell instilled that.”

Responding to the toilet paper toss game

Paul Doxsee ’79: “You can tell they aren’t paying for the toilet paper and the Covid supply problem is easing.”

Responding to the kiosk tradition

Kat Fay ’02: “Hours and hours spent chipping away at paint while chatting at the kiosk … oh to have that kind of free time again.”

On Cornell adding women’s wrestling

Kevin Drendel ’82: “I love it! Women’s wrestling is growing fast. Good move Cornell!”

Laura Knutsen Britten ’93: “As an alum and parent of a HS girl wrestler, I applaud this decision! Very exciting!”

Kammer Hufnagle: “This makes me smile from ear to ear. As a wrestling mom and a proud parent of a Rams baseball player, I’m very happy for this decision. Good job!”
twitter icon

Politics Professor Megan Goldberg: “Interrupting the election timeline to thank [former Congressman Dave Loebsack] @DaveForIowa (who is also an emeritus member of our department!) for leading an excellent session with my Congress and the Presidency course!”

Responding to a post on The Rock

Adrienne Corn ’93: “And 100 years later, in 1989, my freshman roommate and boyfriend painted the rock for my birthday in my fave colors—one of them being purple, of course.”

Favorite Ped Mall memory 

Alex Place ’17: “Calling my dad on my walk back to the dorms after every exam in West Science Center.”

Be part of the conversation

We are delighted to publish letters and social media mentions. Tag @cornellcollege to be considered on social media. Send letters to or Cornell Report, Box 1648, 600 First St. SW, Mount Vernon, IA 52314-1098. Submissions are edited for style, length, and clarity.