Ithaca Celebration | Past-Present-Future PanelChris Breiseth writes:
|After graduating from UCLA, I entered Cornell Branch as a PhD history graduate student in 1958 and became an Association member in 1959. I went to Oxford University in 1960 on the Lincoln College/Telluride Association exchange and remained for two years, earning a B.Litt. in Modern British History. During my final year in the branch, 1962-1963, Frances Perkins and I organized a house seminar with Henry A. Wallace. In the following year we held a similar seminar with James Farley (I returned from Williams College where I was an assistant professor to help run the seminar). In 1963 I became chair of TASP Board and from 1965 to 1967 was president of the Association. Following an eighteen month stint as a policy officer with the Community Action Program in Washington in 1967-68, I taught a combined TASP and seminar for first year Deep Springs students at Deep Springs in 1969 on Poverty and Race with Mike Davidson, then a desegregation lawyer with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. The TASPers included Jeremy Rabkin and Walter Issacson. After a post-doctoral program in Black Studies at the University of Chicago in 1970-71, I became a professor of history for thirteen years at Sangamon State University in Springfield, Illinois and became president of Deep Springs from 1980-1983. During the 1990's I served on the Deep Springs board for eight years. I was president of Wilkes University from 1984 to 2001 and president and CEO of the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute in Hyde Park, New York from 2001 to 2009. Now retired and living in Ticonderoga, New York (on Lake George),I am an active member of the board of the new Frances Perkins Center in Newcastle, Maine and have just published a book I co-edited with Kirstin Downey (author of the recent biography of Frances Perkins, "The Woman Behind the New Deal") entitled "A Promise to all Generations: Stories and Essays on Social Security and Frances Perkins" which will be available for sale at the reunion. It is self published by the Frances Perkins Center.|
Carol Owen writes:
|I was a Cornell TASPer in 1978 - the readings were from Locke, Mill, Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud. I still have all the original course materials, including the photocopies of Locke that we used because the books did not arrive in time. Andrea Kavaler and Eric Wefald were the factota. I graduated from Yale College in 1983 with a degree in English and Theater Studies and matriculated at Cornell in 1985, where I was a grad student in theater history. I lived in the House during the 1985 and 1986 academic years, became a TA member in 1986, and remained so until 2009. In that time, I served on the Board of Custodians, TASP Board, and the Central Advisory Committee; I was Vice President from 1996 - 98 and President from 1998 - 2000. I was also on the Deep Springs Board of Trustees, from 1998 - 2007. I went to law school at Vanderbilt, served for two years as clerk to the Chief U.S. District Judge for the Middle District of Tennessee, and am presently at partner at the law firm of Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis where I have an active trial law practice, primarily in federal courts throughout the Southeast.|
Marilyn Migiel writes:
I am currently Professor of Italian in the Department of Romance Studies at Cornell. I live in the Ithaca area, which I admit I find mildly amusing because 40 years ago, when I first showed up as a TASPer from Detroit, and I laid eyes on Ithaca, my gut reaction was, “Who would want to live here??”|
I was in the 1971 TASP (“The Experience of the Writer”) taught by Neil Hertz and Reeve Parker of the Cornell English Department. Shortly thereafter, I left home, became a ward of the State of Michigan for several months, and -- thanks to the intervention of Neil and Reeve as well as some people in Telluride -- was admitted specially to Cornell and to Telluride House in January of 1972. I was a resident of Cornell Branch until I graduated in May 1975. To Telluride I owe not only the circumstances that brought me to college, and specifically to Cornell, but also several influential moments that set me on the path to my current career. It was because of a five-day Telluride Association Winter Program in January 1973, focused on Dante and taught by John Freccero, that I was inspired to begin studying Italian and to major in Medieval Studies. Telluride also loaned me money to supplement a scholarship that made it possible for me to travel and study in Italy during the summer of 1975.
I joined Telluride Association in 1974, learned double-entry bookkeeping in order to be House Treasurer in 1974-75, served on TASP Board in 1979-81, and attended Convention more or less regularly. Around the time that I joined the Cornell faculty in 1987, I submitted my resignation from Telluride, claiming that I had too much to do in order to get tenure. Convention refused to accept my resignation – in fact, I heard some years later that people just laughed when my resignation letter was read. So Telluride got a lot more service out of me before I was “graduated” from the Association about 20 years later, in 2006. Among other things, I was President of the Association from 1994-96, after I was Vice-President from 1992-94; as Chair of a Membership Committee at Convention, I managed to get rid of the infamous “up-or-out” policy; I served three more years on TASP Board, including two as Chair in 1998-2000, when I wrote a lot of the policy manuals and the rules and regulations we now use for summer program participants; and I put in quite a few years in positions that most people didn’t exactly covet (e.g., Audit Officer, Personnel).
Over the years, Telluride has given me lots of friends, older, my age, and younger. I was especially fortunate to have known Bea MacLeod, for many years Telluride’s Executive Secretary; she was an incredibly gracious, generous, and wise person. And Telluride shaped my personal life. My ex-husband, Joseph Schwartz, is an alumnus of TASP, Cornell Branch, and Telluride Association. Our son Michael Migiel-Schwartz is a recent (2009) TASP alumnus.
Possibly my most memorable experience in Telluride is the 2004 TASP I taught. I had been teaching for almost a quarter of a century, first at Yale and then at Cornell, but I had never before witnessed anything like the flood of enthusiasm for ideas that came through immediately as our seminar began. Hoping to be part of that kind of special project again, I’ve signed on to teach a TASP in 2012.
James May writes:
|I was a TASPer at Cornell in 1999, where I was part of a classics seminar called "Poets, Historians, and Other Liars," taught by Lynne Abel and Judith Ginsberg. (Both have since passed away, and both are dearly missed by many Telluriders.) I went on to Cornell, and was a member of CBTA from 2000-2004, joining TA in 2002. I graduated in 2005 as a College Scholar and with a degree in English. Before becoming President in 2010, I served as VP, on DevCom, and as the chair of the Michigan Branch Committee. I've just moved back to Ithaca after four years in Miami, where I worked towards an MFA in Fiction at Florida International University and was an active member of the Miami Poetry Collective. Here I plan to finish my thesis, a mystery novel set in a Russian prison camp.|