Yesterday I had the pleasure of lunch with fellow Cornell Engineering Emeritus faculty at the Statler Hotel on the Cornell Campus. The current dean Lance Collins is a gracious host who is very appreciative of the past and continuing contributions of this group. It is truly a gathering of a gaggle of geezers. Engineering of yore was male dominated and yesterday our group was graced by only one female emerita. The rest of us are grizzled geezers.
Since I have a long history at Cornell that started with undergraduate studies in 1953 I have had a long acquaintance with the likes of the emeritus faculty. I moved from student to graduate student to professor to associate dean during my active time so I can flashback to to a host of experiences when I encounter my colleagues. The most remarkable flashback yesterday was an encounter with professor emeritus Arthur Ruoff. Believe it or not I took a Differential Equations math course from him when he was a young assistant professor. He was a hard charging character then and he maintains that character today. He is and was a brilliant engineer. Among his accomplishments was the development of high pressure compaction that has led to the production of artificial diamonds.
As I looked around the room I noted that although many were showing physical signs of aging, they were still mentally sharp. It was a delightful couple of hours with long time friends and associates and it was a pleasure to hear from the dean the progress of the many ventures of the college. A most notable recent accomplishment is a collaboration with the Metropolitan Transient Authority of NYC to facilitate the L train tunnel rehab that without having to shut down the train for several months.
Closing on the flashback note I am reminded of the thrills of past projects I was involved with. And I am appreciative how Cornell support the geezer guys like me to still be involved with students and projects.