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The Class of 1966
With the opening of Alice H. Cook House in August 2004, (then Vice Provost, and Professor of Government) Isaac Kramnick's twenty-year dream of a West Campus Residential House System for Upperclass students became a reality. Yes, the U-Halls are gone (or soon going, and, by 2009, five Residential Houses will stand in their place. The Houses will offer a living/learning experience for Cornell upperclass students that bridges the gap between dorm,fraternity/sorority, program houses, and off-campus housing.
Each self-governed residence will be named for a faculty member whose life exquisitely influenced Cornell. Each will house 350 residents, with a House Professor/Dean and an Assistant Dean at its helm. Each will have a dining room where, one night a week, tablecloths and House Fellows and conversation will slow the fast pace and warp speed that define Cornell life. A library, a fireplace lounge, seminar room, music practice space, computer room, and suites will offer 1800 upperlevel Cornellians a community in which to live, to lead, to create, to invent, to mentor, to be mentored, to hold social events, to sponsor forums - a home to which they may invite guests and speakers to enrich their Cornell experience.
In support of the remarkable changes for living and learning at Cornell, the '66 Class Officers and Class Council announce the establishment of the Class of 1966 Becker House Dean's Discretionary Fund as our 40th Reunion Class Gift. Our Gift will provide an endowment that, in perpetuity, will expand Programming for the residents of Carl L. Becker House and impact the entire West Campus community. Becker House welcomed its first students this August 2005.
LOOKING BACK - Who's Carl?
The intellect and lectures of Cornell Professor of History Carl L. Becker influenced generations of undergraduates from 1917 to 1941. As University Historian, Professor Becker reflected upon the "intangible possession that distinguishes" the character of Cornell: Freedom with Responsibilty. With those words, he captured his own fervent support of a University that recognized and relied upon the intelligence, maturity, and creativity of its Cornell students. Professor Becker's words resonate and define Cornell still. Given the changes that 1962-1966 realized, the adoption by the Class of 1966 of the Carl L. Becker House seems a perfect match.
Our Class Gift will provide the Becker Dean and Becker Students with funds to enrich each year's programming. It creates an ongoing relationship between the Class of 1966 and the Becker House Dean; and it ensures a bond between '66 and the ever-changing students who will lend their personalities and rhythms to their upperclass home.
As our Class Gift Chairpersons often remind the Class Council: "Without Programming, buildings are just bricks... " It is only, and precisely, with funds for Programming that Becker House becomes organic, vital, energetic - limited simply by the wonder of imagination.
The choice of our 40th Reunion Class Gift is a thrilling one. With memories of what often felt like a vast Cornell, the opportunity to support a smaller living/learning universe excited each of us on the Class Council. Living/Learning environments - whether in a dorm, a fraternity/sorority house, a program house, or a residential house - are Cornell's 21st century commitment to its students. Together, they now compose the Cornell residential community.
I invite you now to read the literature, to see the architecture and the glass windows that bring the glory of the Cornell campus inside, to be jealous that a Residential House Community did not exist in our day, and to join '66 classmates in establishing this wonderful 40th Reunion Class Gift to the generation, of Cornellians who now, and In the future, walk our paths.
The establishment of the Class of 1966 Becker House Dean's Discretionary Fund makes it a privilege and a Joy to be your Class President and Class Officers. YOUR support - OUR support, together - is what shall make it a gift from the Class.
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