Tribute to Joe Kahn '52
As Joe's roommate at Ithaca College and his friend and colleague throughout his life, I feel a tribute to this unique man is due.
Joe was the most multitalented person I have ever had the privilege to know. In addition to his well-documented skills and acclaim as a clinician, teacher, lecturer, and author, he was an accomplished photographer, artist, and musician. (He wrote the words and music to Scampers works while at IC and actually received royalties from these published songs for many years.) In addition, he was so adept and knowledgeable in the Jewish religion that he could -- and did -- conduct religious services ( with the assistance of his musician wife, Joyce) on many occasions when the rabbi could not be present.
His colleagues and students probably remember him best for his remarkable lectures and service to the profession, but I remember and miss him as a true and dear friend.
Alan Leventhal '52
Brooklyn, New York
Joseph Kahn '52, PT, Ph.D., passed away on June 25, 2005. His wife, Joyce Herman Kahn '52, survives him.
Tales of Bucky Freeman
This is my first letter to the ICQ. I felt a response was needed to Coach Valesente's comments concerning Bucky Freeman ( "Passing the Bat On," 2005/2 issue).
I was the shortstop on Bucky's 1950 and 1951 baseball teams at Ithaca College. I loved playing for Bucky and learned much about the inside of baseball from him. I agree with Coach Valesente about the long practices. However, never were we invited over to his house for dinner! I don't think I even know where Bucky lived.
We did have a social gathering at a corner bar and restaurant after the last home night game of each season. A rookie of the year was selected at that event. I was the recipient in 1950.
Al Pafunda '51
Indian Harbour Beach, Florida
Katrina Concert Correction
In the article in the ICQ 2005/3 issue about the Hurricane Katrina benefit at Cornell (page 8), among groups that performed is listed "the vocal jazz ensemble of Lauri Robinson-Keegan." While I am proud to be the current director of the group, it is important to me that people know this is not my group, but our own Ithaca College Vocal Jazz Ensemble, established by professor Dave Riley more than 30 years ago. The ensemble continues to do outreach and service in the community, just as it has done since Professor Riley established it.
Laurie Robinson-Keegan '89, M.M. '00
Our 2005/2 issue cover story about the Ithaca College-Cornell University relationship, "The East Hill Connection," garnered many compliments, not least for the beautiful painting by Ithaca artist George Rhoads that graced both our cover and the simultaneously published Cornell Alumni Magazine issue on Ithaca College ("The South Hill Connection"). The joint effort was inspired by Fred Antil, CU '55, former board member of the Cornell Alumni Federation and current adviser to the Friends of Ithaca College. Here are excerpts from his engaging and informative original letter to ICQ editor Maura Stephens and CAM editor Jim Roberts , which jump-started the project:
At my final meeting on the Cornell Alumni Federation board in New York City a few years ago, a fellow board member, another committed Cornellian, asked me what I would be doing after leaving the CAF board. I told him that I had gotten involved with the Friends of Ithaca College, and how impressed I was with that school. To my surprise he told me of his own affection for IC; he had spent two very happy years there and transferred to Cornell only because some of the courses he wanted were not available at IC.
Since then I have discovered many other connections.
Ezra [Cornell]'s dream for Cornell may have inspired Ithaca Conservatory of Music founder and first president William Grant Egbert. IC's very small initial faculty included Egbert teaching violin; his wife, Gertrude Walker Egbert, handling vocal instruction; and Sophie Fernow teaching piano, organ, and harmony. Fernow's brother was a professor of forestry at Cornell, perhaps the first IC-CU connection.
IC provided the musical instruction at CU from 1894 to1903, and CU professors offered language instruction at the conservatory. Other IC musical contributions included [providing] all music at Sage Chapel, Egbert conducting the Cornell orchestra, and IC bandmaster Patrick M. Conway leading the CU cadet band. IC's 1918 brochure drew heavily on Cornell activities as selling points.
Egbert's marriage ended in divorce, and in 1914 he married Mabel Green, Cornell class of 1909; she had studied violin at IC. While nursing ill students during the 1918 flu epidemic, she contracted the disease and died.
IC's first real estate purchase was the former home of the first dean of the Cornell Law School, Douglas Boardman. His widow sold the house to the College in 1910, and the Boardman House became the center of IC until the 1960s move to South Hill. Many houses on East Buffalo, Seneca, and Tioga Streets became dorms and fraternity and sorority houses. In the late '50s IC bought the old county (and Cornell) hospital on South Quarry Street. Its main building became a dorm called the Quarry; the nurses' home on Valentine Place became a dorm named Valentine; and the utility building was Ithaca College's first science building.
At a picnic on South Hill in the early '30s, on the site that would later become the home of Ithaca College, a Cornell student heard that IC president George C. Williams had studied fencing at Harvard and challenged him to a match. The 58-year-old Williams won easily.
On a personal note, I grew up in Cortland and began my love affair with Cornell because of an IC connection. I was driven from Cortland to downtown Ithaca as a young boy to take music lessons from a former IC music professor. Driving across the CU campus at dusk imprinted on my mind what a university should be. Fortunately I was able to attend and later work at my beloved Cornell. While working there I was interviewed by the IC student radio station and participated in a panel on IC's student-run TV station.
I'd say that membership of the Friends of Ithaca College, originated in 1958, is close to 50 percent Cornell-related. Presidents of the Friends have included Cornell alumni Dave Cutting, Noel Desch, Arline Sadd, Robert W. Baker Sr. (longtime former IC trustee and board chair, now honorary trustee), and me, as well as Cornell alumni spouses Joan Duesing and Liza Farr.
This is, of course, just a tiny sampling of the many IC-CU connections.