How to Write Great Essay Hooks (Tips + Examples)

How to Write Great Essay Hooks (Tips + Examples)

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how to right a good hook for an essay

Yona Schnitzer

Blank screen. Cursor blinks. Clock ticks. Brain freezes.

You stressfully wonder, “How will I ever finish this essay?”

I’ve been there. 

Every time you write an essay, you want to catch your readers’ undivided attention from the very first word. The opening hook has to be *perfect* — no compromises. 

But, instead of reeling under pressure to come up with this elusively perfect essay hook at the eleventh hour, I’ve found a better way to write great essay hooks. 

In this guide, I’ll tell you what it takes to write the most compelling and attention-grabbing hooks. I’ll also break down six awesome types of essay hooks you can experiment with and share examples to inspire your next opening statement.

What is an Essay Hook?

An essay hook is the opening statement of an essay, written to capture readers' attention and nudge them to learn more about the topic. Also known as a lede or lead, this hook introduces readers to the topic/theme of the essay and piques their curiosity to continue reading. 

The hook creates the entire narrative for your essay. It tells readers what to expect from the rest of the essay and creates context around your main argument or thesis statement. 

6 Types of Essay Hooks You Can Experiment With

I’ve created this handy list of six different types of essay hooks. You can choose the one that best fits your essay’s context and create a stellar opening statement within minutes. 

1. Compelling fact or statistic

Lead with evidence and use a powerful fact or statistic as your essay hook. It’s one of the best ways to capture readers’ attention from the start and keep them intrigued throughout your essay. 

For example, if you’re writing about the importance of time management for freelancers, you have two options to create your opening sentence:

Generic : “Managing time as a freelancer is no easy feat.”

Impactful : “Nearly 70% of freelancers struggle to effectively divide and manage their time between multiple clients.” 

This data point, linked to the original research, sets a strong tone for your essay and draws people in to read more. It communicates  

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  • Open the Wordtune editor and add your essay title. 
  • Type in any content you've written, click on 'Add spice,' and select the 'Expand on' option.
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how to right a good hook for an essay

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2. Bold claim hook

When working on an argumentative essay , I always write with the mindset that nobody has the time to read my thoughts from start to finish. So, I have to get to the point quickly and make a solid argument worth people’s time. 

That's when opening with a bold claim works best. Condense all your views on the topic into a few thought-provoking lines that would make readers go, hmmm…

But remember, you can't open with a claim that people already know and accept as fact. It has to be something original and unique to make your readers tick, nudging them to dive deeper into your essay. 

For example, if you’re writing about water crisis, you have two options to open your essay: 

‍ "In some regions, there is not enough clean water for people to use."
‍ "Imagine a world where every drop of water is a battle, a precious commodity fought over by scores of people and animals alike. This can become a reality as early as 2050."

This bold claim presents a convincing argument about the global water crisis. It also emphasizes the urgency of this argument with a research-backed statistic.

Create a bold claim suggestion using AI

Can’t think of a strong opening sentence for your essay? Wordtune can translate your thoughts into a bold claim and create a compelling essay hook. 

Open your Wordtune editor and write a few lines related to your topic. These sentences should have a consensus among your audience. Then, choose the 'Counterargument' option from the list of suggestions. 

And you’ll have a bold claim for your essay with no effort at all!

how to right a good hook for an essay

3. Story/Anecdote hook

In all my years of writing, I’ve noticed how stories have a unique effect on people. A good story can resonate with a bigger audience, pique their curiosity, and deliver a more personal message. 

That's why you can cite a personal anecdote or talk about a publicly known story as a good hook for your essay. This hook allows you to play with words and work in more storytelling . 

One of my favorite writing tips applies here: enter the scene as late as possible and leave as early as possible. You have to keep it crisp instead of rambling on and on. 

Consider these two examples:

how to right a good hook for an essay

Either of these hooks could work fine if we were just writing a personal essay about a move to a new place. But if we’re specifically writing about the sky, the second example is better. It sticks to the point — the sky and the color of the sky — and doesn’t stray into irrelevant details. 

Create a compelling story with AI

I get it—not all of us are natural storytellers. But you can use AI to your advantage to create a concise and exciting story for your essay.  

Wordtune can help you write a short story from scratch or trim down your writing into a quick anecdote. Click on the expand or shorten button to edit your story any way you like. 

how to right a good hook for an essay

4. Question Hook

Humans have a tendency to immediately look for answers every time they come across fascinating questions. Using questions as essay hooks can reel people into your essay and feed their curiosity.

But questions are also fairly overused in essays. You don't want to use a generic question that makes people say, " Not another question ." 

Instead, think of questions that approach your topic from a fresh angle. This means honing in on what was especially interesting or surprising from your research—and maybe even brainstorming different questions to find the most fascinating one.

For example, if you’re writing about the psychology behind why we buy, you have two options to open your essay:

‍ “Do you know what factors compel us to buy certain things?”

Plugged in :

“Before buying anything, have you ever taken a moment to pause and think about possible reasons driving you to this purchase?”

The latter is more descriptive and creates a realistic scenario for readers to truly think about the topic of the essay.

5. Description hook

A descriptive hook works best when writing an explanatory or opinion-led essay. Descriptive hooks, as the name suggests, illustrate a topic in detail to create context for the essay. It's a good way to build awareness for and educate readers on lesser-known themes.

But a descriptive hook can easily become too plain or unexciting to read. To make it work, you have to write an engaging description using imagery, analogies, and other figures of speech. 

Remember to make your hook reader-friendly by avoiding passive voice, mainstream cliches, and lengthy sentences.

Consider this example:

how to right a good hook for an essay

Describing a sunset is too cliche, so cross that one off the list. Describing the sky as it is on a normal day wouldn't be shocking or unexpected, so scratch that one, too.

This example creates something unique by using analogies to describe the color of the sky and painting a beautiful picture. 

Write a gripping description with AI

Writing an exciting hook for a boring topic is more challenging than it looks. But Wordtune makes it a breeze with just two steps:

  • Open the Wordtune editor and write your essay topic.
  • Click on Explain or Emphasize and let it work its magic.

You can also change the tone of voice to make the text more in tune with your theme. 

how to right a good hook for an essay

6. Metaphor hook

One of my favorite essay hooks is to open with a persuasive metaphor to contextualize the topic. Metaphors can help you approach the topic from a completely different lens and wow your readers with interesting insight. 

Metaphors are also super versatile to make your writing more impactful. You can write a one-line metaphor or create a scenario comparing one thing to another and linking it to your topic. 

For example, if you’re writing about the experience of working at a startup, you can open your essay with these two options:

Short & sweet: "Joining a startup is like strapping into a rollercoaster: be ready to witness thrilling highs and sinking drops."

Long & descriptive : “Picture a small sailboat navigating the unpredictable winds and tides in a vast ocean. That’s a startup operating in a massive market. And with the right vision, this journey is filled with risks and rewards.” 

Create a convincing metaphor with AI

Writing good metaphors takes up a lot of creative brain power. You can always use Wordtune to find some extra inspiration if you're out of creative ideas. 

Type your opening line in the Wordtune editor and click on the 'Give an analogy' option. You can ask for as many suggestions as you want till you find the best one! 

how to right a good hook for an essay

What to Know About Your Essay (and Topic) Before You Write the Hook

Whether you’re writing a research paper on economics, an argumentative essay for your college composition class, or a personal essay sharing your thoughts on a topic, you need to nail down a few things before you settle on the first line for your essay.

‍ Let me break them down for you. 

1. Gain in-depth knowledge of your topic

how to right a good hook for an essay

Before you start writing your essay, you need to know your topic — not just in name, but in-depth. You don't have to become a subject matter expert overnight. But you do need to research the topic inside out 

Your research will help you:

  • Narrow your focus
  • Build an argument
  • Shape the narrative

Your research insights determine your essay’s structure and guide your choice of hook. 

After organizing your research in a neat outline, think to yourself: ‍Did you uncover a shocking fact? A compelling anecdote? An interesting quote? Any of those things could be your hook.

⚡ ‍ Take action: After finishing your research, review your notes and think through your essay. Mark or make a list of anything compelling enough to be a good lead.

2. Type of essay

how to right a good hook for an essay

In academic settings, there are generally three kinds of essays:

  • Argumentative: Making the case for a certain stance or route of action.
  • Expository: Explaining the who, what, when, where, why, and how of some phenomenon.
  • Narrative: Telling a true story as a way to explore different ideas.

‍ The type of essay you’re writing is key to choosing the best hook for your piece. 

A serious argumentative essay can start with a shocking statistic or a bold claim. And an expository essay can open with a descriptive hook while a metaphor hook would work best for a narrative essay.

⚡ ‍ Take action: Go through your list of potential hooks and cross out anything that doesn't fit the type of essay you're writing, whether it's persuasive , argumentative, or any other type.

3. Audience and tone

A best practice I often share with writers is to think of one reader and keep yourself in their shoes . This exercise can tell you so much about your audience — what kind of tone they like, what matters the most to them, what topics interest them, and so on. 

You can use these insights to create a compelling essay hook. Here’s how:

  • For an argumentative essay, you’re trying to convince someone who doesn’t agree with you that what you’re claiming is right or, at least, reasonable. You don’t want to turn them off with snarky or offensive language — but you do want to be authoritative. Your hook should match that tone and support your effort.
  • A narrative essay is likely to welcome more lyrical language, so starting with a colorful description or an anecdote might make more sense than, say, a bold claim or surprising fact. Whatever tone you choose for your narrative essay — comical or gentle or bold — should be used for your hook.
  • ‍ Expository essays can use all sorts of tones and be written to a variety of audiences, so think carefully about the tone that best fits your subject matter. An essay explaining how the human body shuts down when overdosed will likely require a different tone than one on the lives of circus masters in the late 1800s. 

⚡ ‍ Take action: Look at your list. Can you write these potential hooks in a tone that suits your subject and audience?

4. Length of essay

Are you writing a 10-page paper or a three-page reflection? Or is this your senior thesis, pushing over 100 pages?

‍ If you’re writing a shorter paper, you’ll want to keep your hook quick and snappy.  

Readers are expecting a quick read, and they don’t want to spend five minutes only going through the introduction. 

In contrast, you can approach a longer essay — like a senior thesis or a term paper — with a longer hook. Just make sure your hook relates to and supports the core point of your essay. You don’t want to waste space describing a scene that ultimately has nothing to do with the rest of your piece.

⚡ ‍ Take action: If you write out the items on your list, how long will they be? A sentence or paragraph? Perfect. Two to five paragraphs? Unless your essay is on the longer side, you may want to save that information for later in the piece.

‍ Now that you know the basic facts about what you’re writing, let’s look at some approaches you could use to catch those readers — and reel them in.

3 Approaches to Avoid When Writing Hooks 

I’ve read hundreds of essays — enough to recognize lazy writing from the first few words. It’s equally easy for readers to discard your essays as ‘poorly written’ just by reading the first line. 

So, I made a list of three types of essay hooks you want to avoid at all costs because these hooks can only disappoint your readers. 

1. Quotations

Quotes are probably the most overused type of hook in any form of writing. What's even worse is rinsing and repeating the same old quotes from Abraham Lincoln or Nelson Mandela in your essays. 

No matter how powerful a quote sounds, you shouldn’t slap it at the opening of your essay. It doesn’t give readers the excitement of reading something original and looks lazy.

For example, if you’re writing an essay on productivity, here’s what a good and bad lede looks like:

“Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work” – Stephen King
Did you know that consuming 100 gms of sugar can slash your productivity levels by over 50% in a day?  

2. Definitions

The New Oxford American Dictionary defines a hook as "a thing designed to catch people's attention." 

If I opened my article with this dictionary definition of a hook, you’d have either dozed off or left this page long back to find something more interesting. 

Here's the thing: definitions put people to sleep. Readers don't want to see a formal, jargon-heavy definition of a topic as the very first line of an essay. Your opening statement should have some personality in it to show readers they're in for an exciting read. 

For example, if you’re writing about happy hormones, here’s what a good and bad lede looks like:

Happy hormones are known to boost the happiness levels in your body by creating positive feelings.
Ever wondered why cat videos make you instantly happy, and ice creams give you an extra dose of energy? It's all about how happy hormones control our brain chemistry.

3. “Imagine this”

Opening your essay with "Imagine this" used to be an interesting way to put your readers in a scenario and set the context for your essay. But now, it's far too cliched and just another lazy attempt to write an essay hook. 

You can create a relatable scenario for users without asking them to imagine or picture it. Use the descriptive hook format with an interesting choice of words to convey the same ideas more creatively.

For example, if you’re writing an essay on preparing for higher studies abroad, here’s what a good and bad lede looks like:

Imagine this: You’ve been applying to multiple universities, writing SOPs, and preparing for exams without guidance. Everything can go south any minute. 
College application season is officially here. But with each passing day, you’re under more and more stress to apply to your chosen colleges and tick all the items off your list.

‍Our Go-To Trick for Writing Catchy Hooks

This opening statement can make or break your entire essay. While I’ve broken down my best tips to create the best essay hooks, here’s a surefire way to write compelling openings :

Go through your notes and either outline your essay or write the whole thing. This way, you’ll know the central thread (or throughline) that runs throughout your piece. 

Once your essay or outline is complete, go back through and identify a particularly compelling fact, claim, or example that relates to that central thread.

‍Write up that fact, claim, or example as the hook for your essay using any of the methods we’ve covered. Then revise or write your essay so the hook leads smoothly into the rest of the piece and you don’t repeat that information elsewhere.

Does your hook spark curiosity in you? 

Did that fact surprise you in the research stage? 

Chances are, your readers will have the same reaction.

And that’s exactly what you want.

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how to right a good hook for an essay

How to Write a Hook: Start Off Your Essay Strong with This Guide

how to right a good hook for an essay

What is a Hook for an Essay: Importance and Purpose

Which section of your essay can make your readers dip their toes into your writing? Is it the body paragraphs where all the analysis is laid out? Or maybe the introduction, where you present your thesis statement and voice your perspective on the subject? Well, if you think it is the latter, then we must agree with your decision. However, let's get more specific; if we take the introductory paragraph to pieces, which piece gets the most recognition? You must have guessed from the article's title that we're talking about a hook. But first, let's define what is a hook for an essay before we walk you through the reasons why it deserves our pat on the back.

The hook is the initial sentence in a written work. Whether you're asking how to write a hook for a song, blog post, or term paper, know that the purpose of any effective hook is to seize the reader's attention. It can be one sentence long, often for shorter pieces, or composed of several lines - usually for larger pieces. Making the reader want to keep reading is what an essay hook accomplishes for your paper, just as an intriguing introduction does for any piece.

Our main emphasis in this guide is on creating a good hook for an essay. Nonetheless, these fundamental guidelines apply to nearly every format for communicating with your audience. Whether writing a personal statement, a speech, or a presentation, making a solid first impression is crucial to spur your readers into action.

How to Write a Hook for Different Kinds of Writing

Although it is a tough skill to master, understanding how to write a hook is crucial for academic writing success. By reviewing the most prevalent kinds of essay hooks, you can discover how to effectively captivate readers from the start and generate a hook that is ideal for your article. To do so, let's head over to the following sections prepared by our dissertation writers .

essay hooks

How to Write a Hook for a College Essay?

By mastering how to write a hook for a college essay, you have the opportunity to stand out from the hundreds of applicants with identical academic portfolios to yours in your college essay. It should shed light on who you are, represent your true nature, and show your individuality. But first, you need an attention-grabbing start if you want the admissions committee to read more of yours than theirs. For this, you'll require a strong hook.

Set the Scene

When wondering how to write a good hook for an essay, consider setting the scene. Open in the middle of a key moment, plunge in with vivid details and conversation to keep your essay flowing and attract the reader. Make the reader feel like they are seeing a moment from your life and have just tuned in.

Open with an Example

Starting with a specific example is also a great idea if you're explaining how you acquired a particular skill or unique accomplishment. Then, similar to how you established the scenario above, you may return to this point later and discuss its significance throughout the remaining sections.

Open with an Anecdote

Using an anecdotal hook doesn't necessarily mean that your essay should also be humorous. The joke should be short and well-aimed to achieve the best results. To assist the reader in visualizing the situation and understanding what you are up against when tackling a task or overcoming a challenge, you might also use a funny irony. And if this sounds too overwhelming to compose, buy an essay on our platform and let our expert writers convey your unmatched story!

How to Write a Hook for an Argumentative Essay?

If you write a strong hook, your instructor will be compelled to read your argument in the following paragraphs. So, put your creative thinking cap on while crafting the hook, and write in a way that entices readers to continue reading the essay.

Use Statistics

Statistics serve as a useful hook because they encourage research. When used in argumentative writing, statistics can introduce readers to previously undiscovered details and data. That can greatly increase their desire to read your article from start to finish. You can also consider this advice when unsure how to write a good hook for a research paper. Especially if you're conducting a quantitative study, a statistic hook can be a solid start.

Use a Common Misconception

Another answer to your 'how to write a hook for an argumentative essay' question is to use a common misconception. What could be a better way to construct an interesting hook, which should grab readers' attention, than to incorporate a widely held misconception? A widespread false belief is one that many people hold to be true. When you create a hook with a misinterpretation, you startle your readers and immediately capture their interest.

How to Write a Hook for a Persuasive Essay?

The finest hooks for a persuasive essay capture the reader's interest while leading them to almost unconsciously support your position even before they are aware of it. You can accomplish this by employing the following hook ideas for an essay:

Ask a Rhetorical Question

By posing a query at the outset of your essay, you may engage the reader's critical thinking and whet their appetite for the solution you won't provide until later. Try to formulate a question wide enough for them to not immediately know the answer and detailed enough to avoid becoming a generic hook.

Use an Emotional Appeal

This is a fantastic approach to arouse sympathy and draw the reader into your cause. By appealing to the reader's emotions, you may establish a bond that encourages them to read more and get invested in the subject you cover.

Using these strategies, you won't have to wonder how to write a hook for a persuasive essay anymore!

How to Write a Hook for a Literary Analysis Essay?

Finding strong essay openers might be particularly challenging when writing a literary analysis. Coming up with something very remarkable on your own while writing about someone else's work is no easy feat. But we have some expert solutions below:

Use Literary Quotes

Using a literary quote sounds like the best option when unsure how to write a hook for a literary analysis essay. Nonetheless, its use is not restricted to that and is mostly determined by the style and meaning of the quotes. Still, when employing literary quotes, it's crucial to show two things at once: first, how well you understand the textual information. And second, you know how to capture the reader's interest right away.

Employ Quotes from Famous People

This is another style of hook that is frequently employed in literary analysis. But if you wonder how to write a good essay hook without sounding boring, choose a historical person with notable accomplishments and keep your readers intrigued and inspired to read more.

How to Write a Hook for an Informative Essay?

In an informative essay, your ultimate goal is to not only educate your audience but also engage and keep them interested from the very beginning. For this, consider the following:

Start with a Fact or Definition

You might begin your essay with an interesting fact or by giving a definition related to your subject. The same standard applies here for most types mentioned above: it must be intriguing, surprising, and/or alarming.

Ask Questions that Relate to Your Topic

Another solution to 'How to write a hook for an informative essay?' is to introduce your essay with a relevant question. This hook lets you pique a reader's interest in your essay and urge them to keep reading as they ponder the answer.

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Expert-Approved Tips for Writing an Essay Hook

Are you still struggling with the ideal opening sentence for your essay? Check out some advice from our essay helper on how to write a hook sentence and make your opening stand out.

good essay hook

  • Keep your essay type in mind . Remember to keep your hook relevant. An effective hook for an argumentative or descriptive essay format will differ greatly. Therefore, the relevancy of the hook might be even more important than the content it conveys.
  • Decide on the purpose of your hook . When unsure how to write a hook for an essay, try asking the following questions: What result are you hoping to get from it? Would you like your readers to be curious? Or, even better, surprised? Perhaps even somewhat caught off guard? Determine the effect you wish to accomplish before selecting a hook.
  • Choose a hook at the end of the writing process. Even though it should be the first sentence of your paper, it doesn't mean you should write your hook first. Writing an essay is a long and creative process. So, if you can't think of an effective hook at the beginning, just keep writing according to your plan, and it will eventually come into your head. If you were lucky enough to concoct your hook immediately, double-check your writing to see if it still fits into the whole text and its style once you've finished writing.
  • Make it short . The shorter, the better – this rule works for essay hooks. Keeping your hook to a minimum size will ensure that readers will read it at the same moment they start looking at your essay. Even before thinking if they want or don't want to read it, their attention will be captured, and their curiosity will get the best of them. So, they will continue reading the entire text to discover as much as possible.

Now you know how to write a good hook and understand that a solid hook is the difference between someone delving further into your work or abandoning it immediately. With our hook examples for an essay, you can do more than just write a great paper. We do not doubt that you can even write a winning term paper example right away!

Try to become an even better writer with the help of our paper writing service . Give them the freedom to write superior hooks and full essays for you so you may learn from them!

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What Is A Good Hook For An Essay?

How to write a hook for an essay, what is a good hook for an argumentative essay, related articles.

How to Write an Essay

Good Hooks for Essays: 14 Hook Ideas with Examples

Now here’s the clue.

If you want to wow your teacher, polish the introduction. Add something interesting, funny, shocking, or intriguing. Good essay hooks help you build an emotional connection right from the start. Think of an essay hook as bait for your readers.

Our expert team has prepared numerous examples of hooks for essays. You’ll find hook examples for an argumentative essay, personal story, history essay, and other types of papers.

For 100% clarity, we provided examples using each hook tactic. And a short part about how to write a good hook.

Teacher: "I won't forgive you for this essay."  Student: "But you gave me an A. What's wrong with it?"  Teacher: "I couldn't stop reading it, and I burned my dinner."

  • 💎 What Exactly Is a Hook & How to Write a Good One
  • 📜 Examples of Classical Essay Hooks
  • 💡 Try Some Informative Essay Hooks
  • 🦄 Here are the Most Uncommon Essay Hooks

✅ Good Hooks for Essays: Bonus Tips

  • 🔗 References for More Information

We highly recommend reading all the methods and examples, so you don’t have any questions.

💎 How to Write a Hook That Will Work for Your Essay?

The hook of your essay usually appears in the very first sentence.

The average length of an essay hook should be 3-7 sentences, depending on the topic.

But first, let’s quickly go through the key questions.

What Is an Essay Hook?

An essay hook (or narrative hook) is a literary technique that writers use to keep their readers engaged. It shows that the content below is worth reading.

The hook can have different lengths. Some writers make it last for several pages. Though, it better be a short paragraph or even a sentence.

Why Do You Need a Good Essay Hook?

Writing the right hook is essential for a few reasons:

  • It heats up your readers’ interest. If you did it right, they read the whole piece.
  • It shows off your skills . A right hook presents you as an expert in your field.
  • It attracts target audience. Only the readers you want will keep reading.
  • It keeps the tension on the right level. Use an intriguing question, and a reader dies to find out the answer.
  • It makes a good introduction. Starting your essay off a boring fact is simply not a good idea.

How to Write a Good Hook: Ideas and Examples

Next, we will discuss these hook types in more detail. We’ll also provide essay hook examples of less common yet intriguing types: dialogue, story, contradiction, comparison, definition, metaphor, puzzle, announcement, and background information hooks.

💬 The Famous Quote Hook

Use a famous quote as a hook for your essay on history, literature, or even social sciences. It will present you as an established writer. It shows how knowledgeable you are and motivates the readers to engage in the text.

⬇️ Check out examples below ⬇️

Quote Hook Example: Political Science

Hilary Clinton once said that "there cannot be true democracy unless women's voices are heard." Which creates a discussion about how perfect democracy should look like. If it is a form of government that considers all opinions, why are women silenced so often even nowadays? The truth is that we need to ensure completely equal opportunities for women in politics before we talk about establishing the correct version of democracy. And even the most developed and progressive countries are still struggling to get to that level of equality. It can be achieved by various methods, even though they might only work in certain countries.

Social Sciences

"Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country." These words of wisdom from John Kennedy reflect the perspective we need to teach the younger generations. For some reason, it has become popular to blame the government for any problem arising in society. Is it their fault that we don't think about waste and keep trashing our home? Social responsibility is a real thing. The well-being of our countries starts with the actions of every separate individual. It is not entirely right to wait until the government fixes all the issues for us. The best strategy is to start thinking about what we can do as a community to make our home even a better place.

And excellent sources of quotes for you:

  • – you can search quotes by topic or by author.
  • is not only a great collection of e-books but also quotes.
  • has plenty of brilliant words for all imaginable situations.
  • – more than 30,000 quotations for unique essay hooks.

❓Rhetorical Question Essay Hooks

It doesn’t have to be rhetorical – any type of question addressed to your audience will do its job. Such a universal kind of hook can spike the interest of your readers immediately.

Some useful patterns of rhetorical questions:

  • What could be more important than…?
  • What if there was only one… (chance/day/hour)?
  • Who wouldn’t like to… (be a cat/turn visitors into clients)?
  • Why bother about… (inequality/imperfect education system)?
  • Which is more important: … (making money or realizing potential)?

And more in examples:

Example of a Question Hook on Education

Wouldn't free access to education for everyone be wonderful? The answer would most likely be positive. However, it is not as simple as it seems. As much as the governments try to achieve this goal, there are still many uneducated people. On the bright side, in the era of technology, learning has never been so easy. Of course, some young adults just prefer the shortcut option of taking a student loan. Other ways are much more challenging and require a lot of responsibility and patience. Finding free educational resources online and gaining experience with the help of video tutorials might sound unprofessional. Still, you will be surprised how many experts hired in different fields only received this type of education.

Question Hook Example: Health

Is there anything that can help you lose weight fast? You have probably heard of this magical keto diet that is getting more and more popular worldwide. People claim that it helps them shred those excess pounds in unbelievably short terms. But how healthy is it, and does it suit anyone? The truth is that no diet is universal, and thanks to our differences, some weight-loss methods can even be harmful. Keto diet, for example, leads your body into the state of ketosis. What happens is that you don't receive carbohydrates, and in this state, fat is used as the primary source of energy instead them. However, it carries potential threats.

😂 Anecdotal Essay Hooks

This type would usually be more suitable for literary pieces or personal stories. So, don’t use it for formal topics, such as business and economics. Note that this hook type can be much longer than one sentence. It usually appears as the whole first paragraph itself.

It wouldn't be Kate if she didn't do something weird, so she took a stranger for her best friend this time. There is nothing wrong with it; mistakes like that happen all the time. However, during only five minutes that Kate spent with the stranger, she blabbed too much. Thinking that she sat down at the table that her friend took, Kate was so busy starting on her phone that she didn't notice that it wasn't her friend at all. Sure enough, the naive girl started talking about every little detail of her last night that she spent with her date. It was too much for the ears of an old lady. Kate realized she took the wrong table only when it was too late.

Literature (personal story)

Do not ever underestimate the power of raccoons! Those little furry animals that may look overly cute are too smart and evil. It only takes one box of pizza left outside your house by the delivery person for the disaster to begin. When they smell that delicious pizza, no doors can stop them. They will join the forces to find a hole in your house to squeeze into. Even if it's a window crack four feet above the ground, they know how to get to it. Using their fellow raccoons as the ladder, they get inside the house. They sneak into the kitchen and steal your pizza in front of your eyes and your scared-to-death dog. Not the best first day in the new home, is it? 

📈 Fact or Statistic Hook

Looking deeper into your essay topic, you might find some numbers that are quite amusing or shocking. They can serve as perfect hooks for economics- and business-oriented writings. Also, it is better if they are less known.

Business/social sciences

The UAE workforce is culturally diverse since around 20% of employees (usually called expatriates) come from different countries. Ex-pats tend to take managerial positions, which makes communication within companies quite tricky. The training focused on raising cultural awareness is getting more common, but such educational strategies as games (or gamification) are still rarely applied in the UAE companies. Yet, gamification was a useful tool in other places, making it an attractive UAE team building method. It can significantly help integrate ex-pats and create a more culturally aware environment.

The full version of this paper is here: Gamification and Cross-Cultural Communication in Dubai

Statistic Hook Example in Economics

The United Arab Emirate's debt has been rising drastically in past years, from about US$17 billion in 2003, which is almost 19 percent of GDP, to US$184 billion in 2009. Only a small proportion of the debt can be tracked directly to the public sector. A report by UBS bank shows that most of the debt comes from the corporate sector. Most of the companies that hold the main section of the debt are financial institutions. The public sector partly owns them. Banks in the UAE have been accumulating their debt amounts in the years mentioned above and could now account for 75 percent of the total foreign debt. The discussion is about the reasons why the UAE debt has been rising at an alarming rate.

Check the whole essay Debts in the United Arab Emirates .

Some good sources for statistics

  • is perfect for business papers.
  • is an easy-to-use governmental engine for searching data and stats.
  • provides a massive collection of statistics published by UN organizations
  • is the online library of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), featuring its books, papers, and statistics and is a gateway to the OECD’s analysis and data.

🤯 Shocking Facts are Very Good Hooks for Essays

Very similar to a statistical hook, a fact can serve as a perfect engaging introduction. Search your field for some shocking phenomenon and gently insert it in the beginning.

Don’t forget to include a reliable source reinforcing your words!

Fact Hook Example in Economics

Nowadays, much attention is paid to the problem of shark finning around the world. Millions of sharks are killed annually for their fins, and many of them are dropped back to the ocean finless, where they die because of suffocation. In many countries, the idea of shark finning remains illegal and unethical, but the possibility of earning huge money cannot be ignored (Dell'Apa et al. 151). Regarding available technologies, market economies, trade relations, and cheap employment, it does not take much time to organize special trips for shark hunting. The Trade of shark fins is alive and well developed in countries like the United States and China. However, the number of people who are eager to try shark fin soup has considerably decreased during the last several years because of the popularity of anti-shark fin soup campaigns and laws supported worldwide (Mosbergen). The situation continues to change in China.

Read the full paper about China Southern Airlines being against shark finning .

Daniel Stacey and Ross Kelly observed that long lines and a new gray market trend for bigger screen phones marked Apple's new iPhones debut. As expected, new phone models drew Apple fans outside retail stores (Stacey and Kelly). Global critics, however, noted that this year's lines were generally longer relative to previous periods mainly because of the developing gray market for Apple products. The new Apple's iPhones have larger screens than the previous models. Also, they boast of improved battery life, faster processors, and an enhanced camera. Tim Cook called them "mother of all upgrades" (Stacey and Kelly).

For the whole text, go to Apple’s New iPhones Start Selling in Stores” by Stacey and Kelly

Sources to look for reliable facts:

  • – news, videos, quizzes.
  • – a website full of funny stuff, like articles, videos, pictures, etc.
  • – an incredible collection of medical facts you will love.
  • – discoveries hitting on a broad range of fields.
  • National Geographic – needs no introduction.
  • Mental Floss answers life’s big questions, a compilation of fascinating facts and incredible stories.

🗣️ Dialogue as a Catchy Hook for Essays

Dialogue is another type of hooks that goes perfectly with pieces of literature and stories. It can even make your short essay stand out if you include it at the beginning. But don’t forget that it only concerns specific topics such as literature and history.

Here it is:

Dialogue Hook Example in Literature

– Why did you do it? – I don't know anymore… That's why I'm leaving for a little bit right now. I need time to think.

With these words, Anna stepped back into the train car and waved goodbye to Trevor. She couldn’t even find the right words to explain why she ran away on her wedding day. It wasn’t that she didn’t love Trevor, but there was this deep, natural, and unexplored feeling that told her it wasn’t time yet. But the only thing Anna realized was that the city made her sick. That day, she took off her wedding dress, bought a ticket on the next flight leaving that afternoon, and hopped on the train taking her to the airport. She couldn’t even remember the country’s name she was going to so blurry everything was from her tears.

Dialogue Hook for History Essay

– If we still had inquisition, we could probably set him on fire. – Some dark magic, indeed, my friend! It would have probably been a real dialogue if we knew who was the first automobile inventor for sure. People were undoubtedly shocked to see the cars moving by themselves without horses. However, since they started appearing around the globe around the same time, it is almost impossible to identify who was the original creator of the idea and the first automobile itself. The credit was usually given to Karl Benz from Germany, who created a gasoline car in 1885-1886. But there are also much earlier records of a gentleman named Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot, who built the first vehicle powered by steam in France in 1769.

🔮 A Story Looks Like an Extremely Good Essay Hook

A universal essay hook is a story. You can use this trick pretty much anywhere. The main challenge is to be as authentic as possible, try to tell something fresh and engaging. The more specific and narrow the story, the more chances for a successful introduction.

Story Hook Example for an Essay on Business

Dell started fast and strong. The original company was founded in 1984 when the founder was only a 19-year-old student at the University of Texas. Four years after the inception of the company, Michael Dell became the Entrepreneur of the Year. Eight years after he started the company from his dorm room's comfort, Dell was chosen as the Man of the Year by PC Magazine. […] The company was acknowledged as the world's leading direct marketer of personal computers. At the same time, Dell was known as one of the top five PC vendors on the planet (Hunger 9). […] However, the company's journey encountered a major hurdle down the road. Even after recovering from an economic recession in 2010, the company continued to experience declining sales.

Continue reading Dell Technologies Mission, Vision, and Values .

🦚 Contradictory Statement – Queen of Good Hooks

Everybody loves to start an argument by contradicting some facts. Therefore, you simply need to add a controversial statement at the beginning of your essay. People of all ages and beliefs will not be able to stop reading it!

Challenging your readers works well for social sciences, business, and psychology topics.

Examples of contradictory statements essay hooks:

If you think being a manager is a calm and relatively easy task, try surviving on five cups of coffee, a sandwich, and two packs of cigarettes a day. You would rather believe that managers only walk around the office and give their staff orders, wouldn't you? Unfortunately, the reality is much harsher than such rainbowy dreams. The use of the internet in academic contexts is on the rise, and its role in learning is hotly debated. For many teachers who did not grow up with this technology, its effects seem alarming and potentially harmful. A whole set of personal qualities and professional skills must keep up with the successful strategic planning, assessment, and development. All the tasks the managers need to attend to are nerve-wracking and sometimes almost impossible to do. The stress from the demanding managerial position is often overlooked or underestimated.

Social sciences

Video games have been ruining our kids' lives and leading to an increase in crime. Since the gaming industry's development in recent years, the fear of its adverse effects on the younger generations' brains has become a significant concern. There is such a wide variety of games, ranging from educational to violent shooters and horrors. Almost immediately, caring parents jumped on the latter category, claiming that its impact is too significant and children become more aggressive and uncontrollable. Some supporters of this theory went even further. They decided to link real-life crimes to the effects of violent video games on child and adult behavior. However, as we will see later in this article, there is no or little scientific evidence supporting those ideas.

🔁 Vivid Comparison Essay Hook

Introducing your topic with an engaging, vivid comparison is a universal strategy. It is suitable for any kind of writing. The main idea is to grab your readers’ attention by showing them your unique perspective on the topic. Try to make the comparison amusing and exciting.

Comparison Essay Hook Options:

  • Comparison with daily chores (e.g., Proofreading your essays is like cleaning your teeth.)
  • Comparison with something everyone hates (e.g., Learning grammar is like going to the dentist.)
  • Comparison with something everyone loves (e.g., John was happy like a child eating a free vanilla ice cream.)
  • Comparison of modern and old-school phenomena (e.g., Modern email has much in common with pigeon post.)
  • Funny comparison (e.g., Justin Bieber is the Michael Jackson of his time)

Check out examples:


For many people, flying feels like a dream come true. More and more people take their first-ever flight thanks to the rapidly developing aviation technologies. Aircraft and airports are advancing, and air traveling is getting cheaper. However, except for transporting eager travel addicted and business people, planes are used in other ways. It appears that the whole economies across the world depend on the effectiveness and efficiency of airlines. Import and export demand this kind of transportation to work at all times. Aviation development seems like a great thing. However, just like any other technological breakthrough, it comes with a price. Environmental issues did not wait too long to show up.

Social sciences/psychology

Leaving home for the first time as a freshman can only be compared to the level of stress you had in childhood when your mother left you in the line at the checkout for too long. Indeed, becoming a student and moving out of the parent's house comes with a great deal of stress. All the unknown that lies ahead makes youngsters too anxious. Then, the difficulties of financial planning and increased academic pressure come as additional sources of worries. However, it does not have to be such a negative experience. Particular techniques can help students overcome their stress related to the separation from their parents.

📄 Definitions = Easy & Good Hooks for Essays

Another versatile essay hook option is introducing a qualitative definition. Try to make it capacious, and don’t fall into verbal jungles. This narrative hook is perfect for short scientific papers where there is only one focus subject.

Business Ethics

White-collar crime refers to the peaceful offense committed with the intention of gaining unlawful monetary benefits. There are several white-collar crimes that can be executed. They include extortion, insider trading, money laundering, racketeering, securities fraud, and tax evasion. Enron Company was an American based energy company. It was the largest supplier of natural gas in America in the early 1990s. The company had a stunning performance in the 1990s. Despite the excellent performance, stakeholders of the company were concerned about the complexity of the financial statements. The company's management used the complex nature of the financial statements and the accounting standards' weaknesses to manipulate the financial records. The white-collar crime was characterized by inflating the asset values, overstating the reported cash flow, and failure to disclose the financial records' liabilities. This paper carries out an analysis of the Enron scandal as an example of white-collar crime as discussed in the video, The Smartest Guys in the Room.

Go to see the full text here: Enron Company’s Business Ethics .

Motivation is the act of influencing someone to take any action to achieve a particular goal (Montana& Chanov, 2008). Employees' motivation depends on the job's nature, the company's organizational culture, and personal characteristics. In this case study, various theories influence and show how employees can be motivated in the workplace.

Continue reading this paper about Motivation Role in Management .

📚 Metaphor Hook for Essays

Naturally, using a metaphor as a hook for your essay comes with some limitations. You should only use this type in literature and sometimes in psychology. However, it serves as a great attention grabber if it’s engaging enough.

Let’s see how you can use a metaphor:

When life gives you dirt, don't try to squeeze the juice out of it. It's better to leave it alone and let it dry out a bit. Kate decided to follow this philosophy since nothing else seemed to work. After the painful divorce process, last week's ridiculous work assignments and managing two kids alone almost drove her crazy. No polite discussions, arguing, or bribing helped take care of seemingly a million tasks these little women had to deal with. Even letting out the anger just like her phycologist recommended did not help much. Instead, Kate referred to the last remedy. She put all the issues aside with the hope that it would get better later.

The recipe is relatively easy – take a cup of self-respect, two cups of unconditional love, half a cup of good health, a pinch of new positive experiences, and mix it all for a perfect state of happiness! We all wish it would be possible, right? However, the mystery of this state of being happy is still unsolved. The concept and its perception considerably change depending on time and values. Happiness is so complicated that there is even no universal definition of it. Besides, humans are social creatures, so associating your level of success with others is not unusual. Therefore, being happy means achieving a certain level of several aspects.

🧩 Puzzle? Yes! Amazing Hook for Your Essay

Doesn’t a good riddle grab your attention? Sometimes you just want to find out the answer. The other times, you want to figure out how it is related to the topic. Such a hook would be great for writings on psychology and even economics or business.

Here are the examples:

How many Google office employees you need to destroy a box of fresh donuts? Google is indeed famous for some of the most accommodating and unique working places around the whole world. However, the success of the company does not only appear from treats for employees. It seems that the organizational culture has many effects on business decisions and overall performance. All the staff working in Google share the same visions and values, helping them cooperate and lead the company to success. However, there is one aspect to consider. The organizational culture needs to be adapted to the ever-changing business environment.

Who survives on dirt-like substance, is never joyful, and only returns to the cave to sleep? It sounds horrible, but the correct answer is human. Nowadays, the demands for any kind of workers are rising, which brings tremendous effects on people. As the number of duties increases, it is getting harder for employees not to chug on coffee and come back home in time for a family dinner. The work-life balance is disturbed, leading to anxiety, relationship issues, and even health problems. Social life appears to be as important as making money. Therefore, the correct distribution of time between personal life and work duties is necessary for happiness.

📢 Announcement Is Also a Good Essay Hook Option

Announcements could be suitable for literary pieces and historical essays.

Such a hook doesn’t have to be too long. It should be significant enough to persuade your readers to stick to your writing. Make sure it aligns with your topic as well.

Ways to use announcements as essay hooks:

It was a revolution! The Beatle's first song came out in 1962, and almost immediately, hordes of fans pledged their loyalty to this new band. Nearly all youngsters became obsessed with their music. No one can deny that the Beatles are still considered the creators of some of the best songs in history. However, the arrival of the British band influences culture as well. Many photos depict girls going crazy on live concerts and guys shaping their haircuts after the Beatles' members. The revolution that the band brought left an impact, evidence that we can still trace in modern British culture and music.

I will never go to Starbucks again! Oh, no, mind me. I love their coffee. At some point in my life, I even thought I had an addiction and had to ask my friends to watch my consumption of Pumpkin Spice Latte. Then, the wind of change turned everything upside down. On my usual Starbucks morning run, I noticed a homeless man holding a paper cup begging for money. At first, I didn't pay much attention since it's a usual occurrence in our area. However, one day, I recognized my old neighbor in him. The only cash I had on me, I usually spent on my cup of coffee, but I decided it was not much of a sacrifice. From that moment, I only showed up on that street to shove a few bucks into that poor guy's cup. One day, to my surprise, he talked to me.

ℹ️ Background Information Essay Hook

Last but not least, give background information on your subject to make a good intro. Such an essay hook is effortless and suitable for practically any paper. Try to find the most unobvious angle to the background information. At the same time, keep it short and substantive.

Here are the ways to use background information essay hooks:

Air Arabia is among the leading low-cost carriers in the global airline industry. The airline is mainly based at the Sharjah International Airport in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) (Air Arabia, 2012). The airline came into inception in 2003 after His Highness Dr. Sheik Mohammed Al Qassimi, the Ruler of Sharjah, issued an Emiri Decree. Later, Air Arabia was transformed into a limited liability company. For nearly a decade, Air Arabia has witnessed tremendous growth, resulting in increased fleet size and improved sales revenues. At the same time, Air Arabia has created a renowned brand that offers reliable and safe services (Dubai Media Incorporated, 2012). Air Arabia identifies itself as a low-cost carrier by providing low fares in the industry. Some of the key strengths of the airline include punctuality and safety. This aims to ensure that the airline serves its customers most efficiently by observing its safety requirements and adhering to the landing and takeoff schedules (De Kluyver, 2010).

Read the full text here: Air Arabia Company Analysis.

Walmart was founded by Sam Walton in the Arkansas United States in 1962 as a grocery store. The company, which operates a chain of over 8,000 stores in fifteen countries, is estimated to employ over two million employees from diverse backgrounds. Wal-Mart was incorporated in 1969 and started trading in the New York Stock Exchange in 1972. […] Although the company can leave its consumers with a saving due to its low-price policy, it has faced some sharp criticisms over how it treats its employees and other stakeholders. Wal-Mart boasts of its ability to save its customers' money, an average of $950 per year. This, however, has been criticized as harming the community. Also, the feminists' activists have focused on Walmart's misconduct in offering low prices. (Fraedrich, Ferrell & Ferrell 440)

Now we won’t keep you for long. Let’s just go through simple points of essay hook writing.

Someone may think that you have to write your hook first. It comes first in the paper, right?

In reality, though, you can wait until your entire essay is nearly finished. Then go back and rewrite the very first paragraph. This way, you can have a fresh look at what you’ve written in the beginning.

Here’s a simple plan you can follow.

  • First, write a basic version of your thesis statement.
  • Then, provide supporting evidence for your thesis in every body paragraph.
  • After that, reword your thesis statement and write your concluding paragraph.
  • Finally, search for an attention-grabbing fact, statistic, or anything from the list above to serve as an engaging essay hook.

Add this essay hook to the beginning of your introduction. Make sure that your ideas still flow naturally into your thesis statement.

⚠️ Pro tip: choose various hooks and play around, adding each hook to your introduction paragraph. Like this, you can determine which one makes the most impressive beginning to your paper.

Some of your choices may sound interesting but may not lead to your essay’s main point. Don’t panic! Paper writing always involves trial and error. Just keep trying your essay hook ideas until one fits perfectly.

That’s it 😊

Good luck with your work!

🔗 References

  • Hook – Examples and Definition of Hook
  • How to Engage the Reader in the Opening Paragraph – BBC
  • Hooks and Attention Grabbers; George Brown College Writing Centre
  • Hook Examples and Definition; Literary Devices
  • What Is a Narrative Hook? Video
  • How to: Writing Hooks or Attention-Getting Openings-YouTube

Research Paper Analysis: How to Analyze a Research Article + Example

Film analysis: example, format, and outline + topics & prompts.

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How to Write the Ultimate Essay Hook

How to Write the Ultimate Essay Hook

4-minute read

  • 6th May 2023

Never underestimate the power of an essay hook . This opening statement is meant to grab the reader’s attention and convince them to keep reading. But how do you write one that’ll pack a punch? In this article, we’ll break this down.

What Is an Essay Hook?

An essay hook is the first thing your audience will read. If it doesn’t hook them right off the bat, they might decide not to keep reading. It’s important that your opening statement is impactful while not being too wordy or presumptuous.

It’s also crucial that it clearly relates to your topic. You don’t want to mislead your readers into thinking your essay is about something it’s not. So, what kind of essay hook should you write? Here are seven ideas to choose from:

1.   Story

Everyone likes a good story. If an interesting story or anecdote relates to your essay topic, the hook is a great place to include it. For example:

The key to a good story hook is keeping it short and sweet. You’re not writing a novel in addition to an essay!

2.   Fact

Another great essay hook idea is to lay out a compelling fact or statistic. For example:

There are a few things to keep in mind when doing this. Make sure it’s relevant to your topic, accurate, and something your audience will care about. And, of course, be sure to cite your sources properly.

3.   Metaphor or Simile

If you want to get a little more creative with your essay hook, try using a metaphor or simile . A metaphor states that something is something else in a figurative sense, while a simile states that something is like something else.

Metaphors and similes are effective because they provide a visual for your readers, making them think about a concept in a different way. However, be careful not to make them too far-fetched or overly exaggerated.

4.   Question

Asking your audience a question is a great way to hook them. Not only does it make them think, but they’ll also want to keep reading because you will have sparked their curiosity. For example:

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Try to avoid using questions that start with something along the lines of “Have you ever wondered…?” Instead, try to think of a question they may never have wondered about. And be sure not to answer it right away, at least not fully. Use your essay to do that!

5.   Declaration

Making a bold statement or declaring a strong opinion can immediately catch people’s attention. For example:

Regardless of whether your reader agrees with you, they’ll probably want to keep reading to find out how you will back up your claim. Just make sure your declaration isn’t too controversial, or you might scare readers away!

6.   Common Misconception

Laying out a common misconception is another useful way to hook your reader. For example:

If your readers don’t know that a common belief is actually a misconception, they’ll likely be interested in learning more. And if they are already aware, it’s probably a topic they’re interested in, so they’ll want to read more.

7.   Description

You can put your descriptive powers into action with your essay hook. Creating interesting or compelling imagery places your reader into a scene, making the words come alive.

A description can be something beautiful and appealing or emotionally charged and provoking. Either way, descriptive writing is a powerful way to immerse your audience and keep them reading.

When writing an essay, don’t skimp on the essay hook! The opening statement has the potential to convince your audience to hear what you have to say or to let them walk away. We hope our ideas have given you some inspiration.

And once you finish writing your essay, make sure to send it to our editors. We’ll check it for grammar, spelling, word choice, references, and more. Try it out for free today with a 500-word sample !

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How To Write A Great Essay Hook (With Examples)

How To Write A Great Essay Hook (With Examples)

  • Smodin Editorial Team
  • November 25, 2023

Learning the secrets behind an effective essay starts with understanding the power of a hook. Your hook is the opening statement of your introduction and ultimately acts as an invitation to your readers. It invites them to explore the ideas you’re presenting, while also engaging their attention for a long enough time to read your work.

With a great hook, you can improve your writing skills and set the stage for a masterfully written essay. But what else is a good hook able to do? And what kind of hook can you use to write an incredible essay?

This guide (complete with hook sentence examples) will help walk you through the steps of writing a hook and how to use it to boost your grades and make your work more compelling than ever!

What Is An Essay Hook?

An essay hook is the opening sentence or paragraphs of your essay and is designed to pique the curiosity of your reader while also holding their attention long enough to read the rest of your work. Think about it – would you want to read an essay if the first sentence is long-winded and boring?

Generally, writers use an effective hook to set the tone for the rest of the work and give you a quick look ‘behind the curtain’. The hook tells you exactly what the essay is about in a thoughtful and thought-provoking way that leaves you hungry for more.

For example: “ Did you know that the average person eats around five pounds of shark meat every year? In a shocking study by the Shark Lovers World Organization, it was revealed that around 4% of all fish-based products contain shark meat. ”

Of course, this isn’t true (at least, we hope not!). But it did capture your interest and make you want to find out more. That’s exactly what a hook does.

A good essay hook can keep your readers interested and helps to engage them in what you’re saying. It also leaves a lasting impression on them, which means you’ve accomplished your goal of starting a conversation about your essay topic.

Types Of Essay Hooks

With the many types of essays and writing structures you can use for your work, there are just as many hooks to suit your topic. But which ones are relevant? And which one should you use to effectively introduce your writing?

Below, we’ve listed some of the most common types of essay hooks to help you narrow down your search.

Question hook

If you start your essay with a thought-provoking question, you have a great chance of engaging your readers from the get-go. This is because a question can encourage them to actively think about what you’re saying and spark curiosity about what the real answer to the question is.

It’s important to ensure that your question is relevant and intriguing, but it’s even more important that it aligns with the theme of your essay. Usually, your readers will want to keep reading to find the answers in the body of your essay.

Quotation hook

When you open your essay with a quote from a notable person or reputable organization, you add credibility to your work. This can be particularly important when you’re discussing a topic that needs expertise to build trust.

After you use a relevant quote, you’ll also need to explain why it’s relevant to set the stage for the discussion or argument that you’re presenting.

Statistic hook

Introducing your topic with a compelling statistic or data is another great way to add credibility to your paper. It shows your reader that you’ve done your research, and you have proof to back up the claims that you may be making in the body of your essay.

It’s essential to use statistics that are accurate, though, and they should come from credible sources. Otherwise, you may be undermining your work, which could lead to losing the trust of your reader.

Anecdote hook

The last time I started an essay with an anecdote, my professor gave my work a stellar review and I got the best grades in my class .

Did we grab your attention? Good. That’s how an anecdote hook works. An anecdote is a short personal story that establishes trust with your reader and creates an emotional connection. It can also add a layer of interest to narrative or descriptive essays.

In some essays, you can write an anecdotal hook from the perspective of a fictional character. As long as it sounds like a personal experience, it should reel your readers in.

Surprising statement hook

If you can, try to capture your reader’s attention with a bold or unexpected statement. When you catch them off guard, you can stimulate their curiosity. They’re going to want to keep reading to see how you address or support your surprising statement.

You can use this type of hook in several different ways. Whether you’re challenging a common misconception, giving counterintuitive insights, or presenting intriguing facts that will wow or shock your reader, you can start your essay off on the right note.

Description hook

A description hook helps to engage readers by painting an image or setting a scene using descriptive language. Typically, it appeals to the senses (sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell) and describes something in enough detail that it makes the reader feel as if they’re actually experiencing it for themselves!

This type of hook is suited for narrative or descriptive essays because it allows you to set the tone, establish a certain atmosphere, and even evoke an emotional response in your reader. In turn, the reader becomes fully immersed in the scene that you’re setting.

How To Write A Great Essay Hook

Now that you understand the basics, it’s time to put your pen to paper (or fingers to the keyboard) and write a hook that will draw readers in and keep them reading. If you follow the steps we’ve outlined below, you’re sure to craft a hook that will reel in your audience – hook, line, and sinker .

1. Know your audience

Knowing your audience is perhaps one of the most important things to consider when you’re writing an essay hook. Are you writing for your teachers, peers, or a broader audience? Once you know that, you can move on to understanding their motives, and values, and how their emotions will affect how impactful your hook is.

Creating a connection with your audience grabs the reader’s attention and encourages them to keep reading your essay. And, by fostering this connection, you can make them more receptive to the message you’re trying to convey.

2. Understand the purpose of your essay

Before you can write your hook, you’ll need to know what the purpose of your essay is. Generally, your essay will try to inform, persuade, or narrate your subject. Either way, narrowing down the motivation behind writing the essay will help you on your quest to write a hook that suits your writing.

Your hook should always align with the concept of your essay since it’s used to introduce the main theme or argument. You can think of it as a preview of what you’re going to talk about – it gives your readers a glimpse into the direction of your written work and sets expectations for what your essay will cover.

3. Choose the right type of hook

The type of essay hook you choose significantly impacts your essay’s style and whether it will keep your reader’s interest. You can pick from a question, quotation, anecdotal hook, or any of the others we’ve listed.

By carefully selecting what types of hook sentences will captivate your reader and establish the right tone for your essay, you’re guaranteed to have a compelling introduction. You just need to make sure that your hook suits the essay you’re writing.

For example, if you’re writing a personal story hook as an introduction to a historical essay that relies on a chronological structure, it wouldn’t be very impactful. Instead, a quotation or statistic hook may be better suited to an academic essay like this.

4. Make sure your hook is relevant

Relevance is the key to creating a compelling essay hook. The hook should always connect to the topic of your essay, and the link between the two needs to be clear from the get-go.

This does mean, however, that you need to avoid unrelated information in your hook. Keeping with the example of writing a historical essay, we can illustrate this point perfectly.

Say you’re writing an essay on World War II, and you’ve chosen a statistical hook to open your writing. Adding statistics about coffee sales during the same time period is completely irrelevant and won’t have much of an impact.

Unrelated hooks can confuse your audience and completely lose the reader’s interest. On the other hand, a focused and relevant hook can grab the reader’s attention and make your essay more exciting.

5. Spark curiosity

The way that you phrase your essay hook is just as important as the type of hook you use. Ideally, your hook should excite the reader and spark curiosity that makes them want to keep reading.

A poorly worded hook can be confusing or – let’s face it – boring! And you don’t want to bore your audience before they even get past your introduction. Whether you’re asking a question or introducing the topic for your ideas, your hook should set the stage for the rest of your essay.

You may need to use some creativity for this step. But putting yourself in the shoes of your reader can help. Ask yourself ‘What would make me want to keep reading?’. Your answer is usually a good place to start!

6. Keep it short

Although an attention-grabbing hook is ideal, it’s essential to keep it short. You should focus on using impactful language that can effectively convey your message. This is mainly because a shorter hook can keep your reader’s attention without overwhelming them with too much information.

Remember, it’s all about balance. When it comes to essay hooks, you want to strike a balance between capturing your audience’s attention and giving them a concise overview of what your essay is about.

7. Tweak the tone

The tone of your hook sets up the tone for the rest of your essay – so it’s pretty important that you align your tone with the topic. To do this, you first have to ask yourself what the tone is . Is it serious? Or perhaps you want to come across as humorous? Either way, you’ll want to maintain a consistent tone throughout.

A good example of this would be when writing a personal essay. In this case, an anecdote hook would be a great way to kick off your writing. However, if your personal story is serious, a funny anecdote isn’t necessarily the best choice. Instead, you’ll want to pick an anecdote that matches the seriousness of what you’re discussing in the body of your work.

8. Revise your hook with Smodin

After you’ve written your hook, it might still need a little nip and tuck to go from almost perfect to perfectly polished. To do this, you can use several different techniques to rewrite it.

But the easiest way to ensure that your hook is bulletproof is to use Smodin’s AI Paraphrasing tool . It can spin your words to sound like it was crafted by an expert – in a matter of seconds. It’s also a good way to avoid plagiarism and check your text to see how well it performs (the flow, tone, and relevance).

You can also use our free AI Writer to generate a unique, plagiarism-free, and professional essay in just a few prompts. This can help you draft a rough copy of your work before making any adjustments or modifications to your final product.

Catchy Hook Examples For Your Essay

With a better understanding of the types of essay hooks, and how to use them, you are well on your way to crafting an effective and attention-grabbing introduction to your writing. But, if you still need a little help with tailoring hook types to suit your writing structure, take a look at some of these examples of hooks for different types of essays:

Argumentative essay hook examples

Statistical hook: “ According to a recent study conducted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Americans generate around 4.48 pounds of trash every day. This highlights the urgent need for recyclable products and packaging to address this pressing issue. ”

Question hook: “ Have you ever wondered how our experiences as children impact our daily lives and our resulting choices as adults? This critical question has prompted us to explore the topic of childhood trauma and the profound implications that it could have on our futures. ”

Persuasive essay hook examples

Statistic hook: “ Did you know that over 1.3 million tons of plastic waste are dumped into our oceans every year? This alarming statistic demands our attention and immediate action to address the pressing issue of plastic pollution. ”

Surprising statement: “ In a world that’s run by technology, it’s shocking to realize that the average person spends more time in their day scrolling through social media than sleeping. The digital age has not only revolutionized communication but has also left us questioning the true value of our time and relationships. ”

Narrative essay hook examples

Anecdotal hook: “ Raindrops tapped lightly on the window pane, and the slight rustling of the leaves seemed to whisper secrets in the wind. Little did I know that this ordinary evening would soon become an extraordinary chapter in the story of my life. It all began with a letter—an old, weathered envelope that held the key to a long-buried family mystery .”

Question hook: “ Have you ever wondered what it feels like to stand at the edge of a cliff, staring into the vast unknown below? The adrenaline coursing through your veins, the wind tousling your hair—each moment pregnant with the possibility of adventure. What if I told you that such a moment would change the course of my life forever? ”

Compare and contrast essay hook examples

Quotation hook: “ In the words of Aristotle, ‘Excellence is an art won by training and habituation’. As we delve into the realms of two seemingly disparate subjects, we must consider how their unique qualities and shared traits contribute to the pursuit of excellence in their own distinct ways. ”

Anecdote hook: “ As the sun went down, the city lit up with its busy streets, and I stood there, feeling stuck between two different places—the lively city and the peaceful countryside. In that moment, I noticed how city life and rural living are alike in some ways but also have their unique features. ”

Can I use the same type of hook for different essays?

While some hooks are versatile, it’s best to tailor your hook to the specific essay you’re writing and the topic you’re covering. You’ll need to consider the audience, purpose, and nature of your writing before choosing a hook.

Can I use a combination of different types of hooks in one essay?

Yes, you can experiment with combining different types of essay hooks in your writing, especially if your topic allows for different approaches. However, you should always make sure to include a smooth transition between the hooks and keep them simple. Otherwise, you risk confusing your reader.

Writing catchy hooks is more than just finding something clever to say at the opening of your essay. It’s about leaving an impression on your reader that will carry through the body of your work and leave them hanging on every word you say. Ultimately, your hook can make or break your essay.

With Smodin, coming up with, writing, and revising your hook is as simple as one, two, three. So why not try out our tools to streamline your writing process? There’s nothing to lose – and everything to gain!

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how to right a good hook for an essay

How to Get the Perfect Hook for Your College Essay

What’s covered:, developing your hook.

  • 5 College Essay Hook Examples

5 Tips and Examples for Crafting a Great Hook

Your essay is one of the best tools available for standing out in a crowded field of college applicants (many with academic portfolios similar to yours) when applying to your dream school. A college essay is your opportunity to show admissions committees the person behind the grades, test scores, and resume. To ensure your college essay receives the full attention of admissions committees, you need to lure them in with a great hook—that is, a compelling opening that makes your audience hungry for more.

You need a strong start to capture the attention of the admission committees. When it comes to college essays, first impressions are everything. In fact, there’s no guarantee that anyone is going to read more than your first sentence if you bore them to tears within a few words, which is why it’s essential to craft an effective and engaging hook.

There’s no one-size-fits-all strategy for composing an attention-grabbing hook. A well-crafted hook can be anything from an image to an anecdote to an interesting fact while factors like writing style, essay structure, and prompt can all influence what makes for a good hook. That said, memorable hooks share a number of attributes, most notably they draw readers in,  connect with the topic you’re writing about, and leave a lasting impression, often in a creative or unexpected way.

For example, let’s construct a hypothetical essay. Let’s say that after some careful consideration, Jane Doe has decided to write her personal essay about her experience running canine obedience classes. She isn’t quite sure how to start her essay, so she’s practicing with some proven essay hooks. If you’re ready to develop your own hook, check out four of our favorite college essay hook strategies and how they work for Jane below!

College Essay Hook Examples

There are a number of proven strategies that Jane can use to craft a compelling hook. A few tried-and-true hooks include:

1. Open with an Anecdote

People love stories, so it makes sense that telling one is a great way to attract readers. Detailing a relevant anecdote provides context for your essay and can give the reader an idea of what you are up against if you’re overcoming an obstacle or rising to a challenge.

On the day that I told my mother I wanted to start my own canine obedience school, she smiled and muttered something under her breath about the irony of my youthful disobedience and my newfound passion for enforcing rules. What she didn’t know then was that it was not in spite of, but rather because of, my tendency to push the boundaries that I was confident in my ability to succeed.

2. Set the Scene

One fantastic way to get your essay moving and to draw your readers in is to plunge them into the middle of an important scene. Provide readers with descriptive details and dialogue to make them feel like they’re watching a movie from your life and have just tuned in at a critical moment.

I jumped back as the dog lunged for my leg, teeth bared and snarling. “It’s okay, Smokey, it’s okay,” I soothed as I tried to maneuver closer to the post where I had tied his leash. In the back of my head, I heard my brother’s taunts swirling around.

“A dog trainer?” he had scoffed. “What kind of person would hire you as a dog trainer?!”

I pushed the thoughts away and grasped the leash, pulling it tightly to my side as Smokey, surprised by my sudden confidence, fell into stride beside me.

3. Ask a Question

Asking a question at the beginning of your essay can activate your reader’s critical thinking and get them hungry for the answer that you won’t offer until later. Try to come up with a question that’s broad enough that they won’t know the answer right away, but specific enough that it isn’t a generic hook that could work on just any college essay.

How do you respond when you’re faced with a very real physical threat to your safety, yet you literally can’t afford to back down? This is the question I faced on my very first day as a dog trainer.

4. Use a Metaphor or Simile

A metaphor or simile can pull readers in by helping them make connections between seemingly unrelated topics or by encouraging them to think about topics from a different point of view.

Running canine obedience classes is a lot like navigating high school. It’s a dog-eat-dog world with a lot to learn, many personalities to manage, peril around every corner, and everyone anxious to graduate.

Selecting the right hook is a great first step for writing a winning college essay, but the execution is also important.

1. Narrow Down Your Scope

Sometimes the best way to tackle big projects like writing an attention-grabbing hook or captivating college essay is to think small. Narrow down on a specific incident or even a moment that leads into your topic.

It’s my first time teaching a canine obedience class. I’m surrounded by strangers and the dogs are barking so loud I can’t hear myself think, but I have a gnawing feeling that I’m losing control. I put my fingers to my lips and let out the loudest whistle I’m capable of. Suddenly there was silence.

2. Use Adjectives

Adjectives are used to add a description and make your writing clearer and more specific. In other words, they’re the details that make your writing stand out and suck readers in. Jane didn’t simply reward the dog for sitting, she…

It was a battle of wills between me and the eight-month-old Australian Shepherd—defiance was in his sparkling blue eyes, but so was desire for the bit of hot dog hiding in my hand. Reluctantly he sat, earning his treat while I claimed my alpha status.

3. Use Emotion

Use emotion to connect and entice your reader. Emotions make readers feel, pulling them into your essay, and are memorable. You can use them for everything from sharing a fact about yourself to putting the reader in your shoes.

When I was young, I would have been extremely lonely if not for my dog Trevor. I struggled to make friends and Trevor provided companionship, helped me overcome my shyness (he was a great icebreaker), and is responsible for shaping who I am today. When Trevor passed away in high school, I set out to train canine obedience and help dogs become the best versions of themselves—just like what Trevor did for me.

4. Short and Sweet

Admissions committees have a lot of essays to read, so the quicker you get to the point and capture their attention, the better.

Mere moments into my dream job, someone had already peed on the floor and another had bitten a person. Welcome to the life of a dog trainer.

5. Just Start Writing

Sometimes the hook of your college essay isn’t clear. Rather than getting hung up, start developing your essay and see if it adds clarity as to how to best implement a hook. Some students even find that it’s easiest to write a hook last, after writing the body of the personal statement.

Where to Get Feedback on Your Essay Hook

Wondering if you created an effective hook? It’s difficult to evaluate your own writing, especially a line or two you read and reworked numerous times. CollegeVine can help. Through our free Peer Essay Review tool , you can get a free review of your hook, and overall essay, from another student. Then you can pay it forward and improve your own writing skills by reviewing other students’ essays.

If you want a college admissions expert to review your essay, advisors on CollegeVine have helped students refine their writing and submit successful applications to top schools. Find the right advisor for you to improve your chances of getting into your dream school!

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how to right a good hook for an essay

Write an Attention-Grabbing Opening Sentence for an Essay

  • M.Ed., Education Administration, University of Georgia
  • B.A., History, Armstrong State University

You can think of the first sentence of your essay as you would a fishing hook. It grabs your reader and allows you reel the person into your essay and your train of thought. The hook for your essay can be an interesting sentence that captures a person's attention, it can be thought-provoking, or even, entertaining.

The hook for your essay often appears in the first sentence . The opening paragraph includes a thesis sentence . Some popular hook choices can include using an interesting quote, a little-known fact, famous last words, or a statistic .

A quote hook is best used when you are composing an essay based on an author, story, or book. It helps establish your authority on the topic and by using someone else's quote, you can strengthen your thesis if the quote supports it.

The following is an example of a quote hook: "A man's errors are his portals of discovery." In the next sentence or two, give a reason for this quote or current example. As for the last sentence (the thesis) : Students grow more confident and self-sufficient when parents allow them to make mistakes and experience failure.

General statement

By setting the tone in the opening sentence with a uniquely written general statement of your thesis, the beauty is that you get right to the point. Most readers appreciate that approach.

For example, you can start with the following statement: Many studies show that the biological sleep pattern for teens shifts a few hours, which means teens naturally stay up later and feel alert later in the morning. The next sentence, set up the body of your essay, perhaps by introducing the concept that school days should be adjusted so that they are more in sync with the teenager's natural sleep or wake cycle. As for the last sentence (the thesis) :  If every school day started at ten o'clock, many students would find it easier to stay focused.

By listing a proven fact or entertaining an interesting statistic that might even sound implausible to the reader, you can excite a reader to want to know more. 

Like this hook: According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics , teens and young adults experience the highest rates of violent crime. Your next sentence can set up the argument that it's dangerous for teenagers to be on the streets at late hours. A fitting thesis statement might read: Parents are justified in implementing a strict curfew, regardless of a student's academic performance.

The Right Hook for Your Essay

The good news about finding a hook? You can find a quote, fact, or another type of hook after you determine your thesis. You can accomplish this with a simple online search about your topic after you've developed your essay .

You can nearly have the essay finished before you revisit the opening paragraph. Many writers polish up the first paragraph after the essay is completed.

Outlining the Steps for Writing Your Essay

Here's an example of the steps you can follow that help you outline your essay.

  • First paragraph: Establish the thesis
  • Body paragraphs: Supporting evidence
  • Last paragraph: Conclusion with a restatement of the thesis
  • Revisit the first paragraph: Find the best hook

Obviously, the first step is to determine your thesis. You need to research your topic and know what you plan to write about. Develop a starting statement. Leave this as your first paragraph for now.

The next paragraphs become the supporting evidence for your thesis. This is where you include the statistics, opinions of experts, and anecdotal information.

Compose a closing paragraph that is basically a reiteration of your thesis statement with new assertions or conclusive findings you find during with your research.

Lastly, go back to your introductory hook paragraph. Can you use a quote, shocking fact, or paint a picture of the thesis statement using an anecdote? This is how you sink your hooks into a reader.

The best part is if you are not loving what you come up with at first, then you can play around with the introduction. Find several facts or quotes that might work for you. Try out a few different starting sentences and determine which of your choices makes the most interesting beginning to your essay.

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How to Write a Hook: Top 5 Tips for Writers

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Hannah Yang

how to write a hook

How do you make people feel excited to read your work?

Well, for starters, you can write a great hook.

The “hook” refers to the first sentence, or first few sentences, of an essay, article, or story. That’s because these first few lines need to hook readers in, the same way fishermen use bait to hook fish in.

If you’re trying to figure out how to write a hook, you’ve come to the right place. Read on to learn how to write a fantastic hook and to see some examples of successful ones.

What Is a Hook in Writing?

Top 5 tips for writing good hooks, great examples of hooks, is writing a hook in an essay different from a story hook, conclusion on how to write a hook.

We use the term “hook” to talk about the very beginning of a written work—specifically the part designed to grab readers’ attention. The hook can be as short as a single sentence or as long as a full paragraph.

Writing hooks is a necessary skill for all types of writing—narrative essays, research papers, fiction writing, and more.

definition of a hook in writing

What Makes a Good Hook Important?

Good hooks make your reader feel excited to keep reading.

If you’re writing a book, you need a great hook so people decide to actually buy your work, instead of putting it back on the shelf.

If you’re writing a blog post or article, you need a great hook so people read to the end, instead of scrolling or flipping to a different article instead.

And if you’re writing an essay for school, you need a good hook so you can practice the skill of writing well.

What Are the Different Types of Hooks?

There’s more than one way to write a great hook.

Here are six types of hooks that will grab your reader’s attention.

  • Question hook : a question that provokes the reader’s curiosity and makes them keep reading to find out the answer
  • Statement hook : a strong declaration related to your topic that makes the reader keep reading to see you defend this statement
  • Statistic hook : an interesting fact or statistic that makes you sound knowledgeable, so your reader trusts your expertise
  • Quote hook : a memorable quote, often by a famous person, that the reader will find interesting
  • Description hook : a vivid description that immerses your reader into a specific scene
  • Anecdotal hook : a personal story that relates to your topic and makes the reader feel personally connected to the story

Here are our top tips for writing a strong opening hook.

Tip 1: Surprise the Reader

Readers crave the unexpected. If you start your piece in a surprising way, they’ll be more likely to keep reading.

You can even say something controversial. Readers will want to keep reading to see how you prove your own statement.

Tip 2: Raise a Question

When starting an essay or a story, you should try to create a question that the reader wants answered.

This doesn’t have to be a literal question that ends with a question mark—instead, it can simply be an unusual statement or a weird situation. Make sure it’s something your target audience will find interesting.

Tip 3: Keep Your Promises

If you open your essay with an interesting hook, you need to be mindful of what you’re promising to the reader. If you don’t keep that promise throughout the piece, your reader will feel tricked.

For example, you’d probably be unhappy if you read a story that started with, “The monster was coming for me” and then, later in the first chapter, said, “Then I woke up and realized it was just a nightmare.”

The first sentence is a strong opening hook, but it promises a dramatic scene, which doesn’t get fulfilled, because the hook turns out not to be real.

An equivalent in an essay would be writing a controversial statement and then failing to prove why that statement is true, or asking an interesting question and then failing to answer it later.

Tip 4: Keep It Relevant

Some writers try so hard to choose an interesting hook that they end up using something irrelevant to their essay. Readers will get confused if you open with a random quote or statistic that only tangentially connects to your thesis.

If you’re choosing between a fascinating hook that doesn’t have much to do with your topic, or a decent hook that’s directly related to your thesis statement, you should go with the latter.

Tip 5: Don’t Stop at the Hook

Some writers focus so much on nailing the opening hook that they forget to make the rest of the essay equally strong.

Your reader could still stop reading on the second page, or the third, or the tenth. Make sure you use strong and engaging writing throughout the piece.

One way to learn how to write hooks is to look at examples.

Here are examples of six hooks you could use to start a persuasive essay about artificial intelligence, plus three hooks you could use to start a sci-fi story.

Example 1: Question Hook

  • Will artificial intelligence someday become smarter than humans?

Example 2: Statement Hook

  • Artificial intelligence could become smarter than humans by 2050.

Example 3: Statistic Hook

  • As of 2022, the global AI industry is worth over $130 billion.

Example 4: Quote Hook

  • The scientist Stephen Hawking once said, “The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race.”

Example 5: Description Hook

  • The Alexa AI blinks from the kitchen table, emitting a comforting blue light.

Example 6: Anecdotal Hook

  • Like many people of my generation, I used an AI for the first time when I was twelve years old.

Example 7: Sci-Fi Story Hooks

  • Samuel Gibson had friends. Sure, all his friends were AI robots that his parents had purchased for him, but they still counted as friends.
  • My father’s office is full of strange machines, which none of us are allowed to touch.
  • The AI revolt began on Christmas morning of the year 2068.

Both essays and stories require good hooks. After all, you’re still competing for your reader’s attention, no matter what kind of work you’re writing.

However, a story hook will look very different from an essay hook.

If you’re writing fiction, you most likely won’t use a statistic, question, or quote to hook your readers in. Instead, your best options will be a statement, a description, or an anecdote—or, or often, a sentence that combines a little bit of all three.

Just like with essays, you should try to raise a question in your reader’s head. This can be a strange character, an unusual setting, or a mysterious fact.

Here are some examples of strong hooks in novels:

“My first memory, when I was three years old, was of trying to kill my sister.”—Jodi Piccoult, My Sister’s Keeper

“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.”—Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

“Once upon a time, on the coldest night of midwinter, in the darkest heart of the forest, Death and Fortune came to a crossroads.”—Margaret Owen, Little Thieves

“The women gather in a YMCA basement rec room: hard linoleum floors, half-windows along one wall, view of sidewalk and brick.”—Maria Adelmann, How to Be Eaten

“I became what I am today at the age of twelve, on a rainy overcast day in 1975.”—Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner

“It did not surprise Fire that the man in the forest shot her. What surprised her was that he shot her by accident.”—Kristen Cashore, Fire

There you have it—a complete guide to writing a fantastic hook.

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Good luck, and happy writing!

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Hannah Yang is a speculative fiction writer who writes about all things strange and surreal. Her work has appeared in Analog Science Fiction, Apex Magazine, The Dark, and elsewhere, and two of her stories have been finalists for the Locus Award. Her favorite hobbies include watercolor painting, playing guitar, and rock climbing. You can follow her work on, or subscribe to her newsletter for publication updates.

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73 Essay Hook Examples

essay hook examples and definition, explained below

An essay hook is the first one or two sentences of your essay that are used to grab the reader’s attention and draw them into your discussion.

It is called a hook because it “grabs” the reader and doesn’t let them go! It should have something in there that makes the reader feel curious and intrigued, compelling them to continue reading.

Techniques for Good Essay Hooks

Here are a few techniques that you can use to write a good essay hook:

  • Use a Quotation : Sometimes, a relevant quotation from a well-known author or expert can help establish the context or theme of your essay. Next time you’re conducting research for an essay, keep an eye out for a really compelling quote that you could use as your hook for that essay.
  • Start with a Statement that is Surprising or Unusual: A surprising or unusually statement will draw a reader in, making them want to know more about that topic. It’s good if the statement contradicts common knowledge or reveals an insight about your topic that isn’t immediately obvious. These can be particularly good for argumentative essays where you’re putting forward a controversial or compelling argument as your thesis statement .
  • Tell a Brief Anecdote : A short, interesting story related to your topic can personaize the story, making it more than just a dry essay, and turning it into a compelling narrative that’s worth reading.
  • Use Statistics or Facts: Interesting, surprising, or shocking facts or statistics work similarly to surprising statements: they make us want to know more about a topic. Statistics and facts in your introductions are particularly useful for analytical, expository , and argumentative essays.
  • Start with a Question: Questions that make the reader think deeply about an issue, or pose a question that the reader themselves has considered, can be really effecitve. But remember, questions tend to be better for informal and personal essays, and are generally not allowed in formal argumentative essays. If you’re not sure if you’re allowed to use questions in your essays, check with your teacher first.

Below, I’ll present some examples of hooks that you could use as inspiration when writing your own essay hook.

Essay Hook Examples

These examples might help stimulate your thinking. However, keep in mind that your essay hook needs to be unique to your essay, so use these as inspiration but write your own essay hook that’s perfect for your own essay.

1. For an Essay About Yourself

An essay about yourself can be personal, use “I” statements, and include memories or thoughts that are deeply personal to you.

  • Question: “Have you ever met someone who could turn even the most mundane events into a thrilling adventure? Let me introduce myself.”
  • Anecdote: “The smell of freshly baked cookies always takes me back to the day when I accidentally started a baking business at the age of nine.”
  • Intriguing Statement: “I’ve always believed that you haven’t truly lived until you’ve read a book upside down, danced in the rain, or taught a parrot to say ‘I love pizza.'”
  • Quotation: “As Mark Twain once said, ‘The secret of getting ahead is getting started.’ That’s a philosophy I’ve embraced in every aspect of my life.”
  • Humorous Statement: “I’m a self-proclaimed ‘professional chocolate tester’ – a title that’s not only delicious but also requires extreme dedication.”
  • Start with your Mission Statement : “My life motto is simple but powerful: be the person who decided to go for it.
  • Fact or Statistic: “According to a study, people who speak more than one language tend to be better at multitasking . As a polyglot, I certainly live up to that statistic.”
  • Comparison or Metaphor: “If my life were a book, it would be a blend of an adventurous novel, a suspense thriller, and a pinch of romantic comedy.”
  • Personal Revelation: “Ever since I was a child, I’ve had an uncanny ability to communicate with animals. It’s an unusual skill, but one that has shaped my life in many ways.”
  • Narrative: “The day everything changed for me was an ordinary Tuesday. Little did I know, a single conversation would lead me to discover my true passion.”

2. For a Reflective Essay

A reflective essay often explores personal experiences, feelings, and thoughts. So, your hooks for reflective essays can usually be more personal, intriguing, and engaging than other types of essays. Here are some examples for inspiration:

  • Question: “Have you ever felt as though a single moment could change your entire life? This essay is going to explore that moment for me.”
  • Anecdote: “I was standing on the edge of the Grand Canyon, looking at the vast emptiness, and for the first time, I truly understood the word ‘perspective’.”
  • Bold Statement: “There is a part of me that is still trapped in that room, on that rainy afternoon, holding the letter that would change everything.”
  • Personal Revelation: “The first time I truly felt a sense of belonging wasn’t in a crowded room full of friends, but in the quiet solitude of a forest.”
  • Intriguing Statement: “In my life, silence has been a teacher more profound than any words could ever be.”
  • Quotation: “Einstein once said, ‘The only source of knowledge is experience.’ Now, looking back, I realize how profound that statement truly is.”
  • Comparison or Metaphor: “If my life is a tapestry, then that summer was the vibrant thread that changed the entire pattern.”
  • Narrative: “As the train pulled out of the station, I realized I wasn’t just leaving my hometown, I was leaving my old self behind.”
  • Philosophical Statement: “In the theater of life, we are both the actor and the audience, playing our part and watching ourselves simultaneously.”
  • Emotive Statement: “There is a sort of sweet sorrow in remembering, a joy tinged with a hint of sadness, like the last notes of a beautiful song.”

For an Argumentative Essay

Essay hooks for argumentative essays are often the hardest. This type of essay tends to require the most formal type of academic writing, meaning your hook shouldn’t use first person, and should be more based on fact and objectivity, often at the expense of creativity. Here are some examples.

  • Quotation: “Thomas Jefferson once said, ‘Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government.’ If Jefferson were alive today, he would likely feel that this meed for a well-informed citizenry is falling well short of where he would aspire.”
  • Provocative Statement: “Despite what romantic films may portray, love at first sight is merely a myth perpetuated by society. This essay will prosecute the argument that love at first sight is a myth.”
  • Statistical Fact: “According to the World Health Organization, depression is the leading psychological disability worldwide. Yet, mental health is still stigmatized and often overlooked. This essay will argue that depression should be seen as a health issue, and stigmatization of depression causes serious harm to society.”
  • Comparison: “Much like an unchecked infection, climate change, if left ignored, can spread far beyond what it is today, causing long-term economic and social problems that may even threaten the longevity of humanity itself.”
  • Contradiction : “While we live in an era of unprecedented technological advancements, millions around the world are still denied basic internet access.”
  • Bold Declaration: “Animal testing is not only ethically unacceptable, but it also undermines the progress of medical research.”
  • Challenging Belief: “Despite popular belief, the automation of jobs is not a threat but an opportunity for society to evolve.”
  • Quotation: “George Orwell wrote in ‘1984’, ‘Big Brother is Watching You.’ In our modern society, with the advancement of technology, this is becoming more of a reality than fiction.”
  • Intriguing Statement: “Despite countless diet fads and fitness trends, obesity rates continue to rise. This argumentative essay will argue that this is because medical practitioners’ approaches to health and weight loss are fundamentally flawed.”
  • Statistical Fact: “Research reveals that over 90% of the world’s plastic waste is not recycled. This alarming figure calls for a drastic change in social attitudes towards consumption and waste management.”
  • Challenging Assumption: “Society often assumes that progress and growth are intrinsically good, but this is not always the case in the realm of economic development.”
  • Contradiction: “Western society upholds the value of freedom, yet every day, members of society cede personal liberties in the name of convenience and security.”
  • Analogy: “Like an overplayed song, when a news story is repeated too often, it loses its impact. In the era of digital media, society is becoming desensitized to critical issues.”
  • Relevant Anecdote: “In a village in India, the arrival of a single computer transformed the lives of the residents. This small anecdote underscores the importance of digital inclusion in today’s world.”
  • Call to Rethink: “In a world where success is often equated with financial wealth, it is time for society to reconsidered what truly constitutes a successful life.”

For a Compare and Contrast Essay

A compare and contrast essay examines two issues, looking at both the similarities and differences between them. A good hook for a compare and contrast essay will immediately signal to the reader the subjects that are being compared and why they’re being compared. Here are sine ideas for hooks for a compare and contrast essay:

  • Quotation: “As Charles Dickens wrote in his novel ‘A Tale of Two Cities’, ‘It was the best of times, it was the worst of times’. This could equally apply to the contrasting dynamics of urban and rural living.”
  • Provocative Statement: “Despite popular belief, cats and dogs have more in common than society tends to think.”
  • Comparison: “Comparing being an only child to growing up with siblings is like contrasting a solo performance with an orchestral symphony.”
  • Contradiction: “While many view classic literature and contemporary fiction as worlds apart, they are more akin to two sides of the same coin.”
  • Bold Declaration: “Android and iPhone may compete in the same market, but their philosophies could not be more different.”
  • Statistical Fact: “Statistics show that children who grow up reading books tend to perform better academically than those who do not. But, the jury is out on how reading traditional books compares to reading e-books on screens.”
  • Quotation: “As Robert Louis Stevenson once wrote, ‘Sooner or later, we all sit down to a banquet of consequences.’ This statement can be used to frame a comparison between short-term and long-term thinking.”
  • Provocative Statement: “Democracy and dictatorship are often seen as polar opposites, but are they are not as different as they seem.”
  • Comparison: “Climate change and plastic pollution are two major environmental issues, yet they demand different approaches and solutions.”
  • Contradiction: “While traditional classrooms and online learning are seen as separate modes of education, they can often blend into a cohesive learning experience.”
  • Bold Declaration: “Though both based on merit, the structures of capitalism and socialism lead to vastly different societal outcomes.”
  • Imagery: “The painting styles of Van Gogh and Monet can be contrasted as a stormy sea versus a tranquil pond.”
  • Historical Reference: “The philosophies of the Cold War-era – capitalism and communism – provide a lens to contrast economic systems.”
  • Literary Comparison: “The dystopian societies portrayed in George Orwell’s ‘1984’ and Aldous Huxley’s ‘Brave New World’ serve as contrasting visions of the future.”
  • Philosophical Question: “Individualism and collectivism shape societies in distinct ways, but neither one can truly exist without the other.”

See Here for my Guide on Writing a Compare and Contrast Essay

For a Psychology Essay

Writing an engaging hook for a psychology essay involves sparking the reader’s interest in the human mind, behavior, or the specific psychology topic you’re discussing. Here are some stimulating hooks for a psychology essay:

  • Rhetorical Question: “How much control do we truly have over our own actions?”
  • Quotation: “Sigmund Freud once said, ‘Unexpressed emotions will never die. They are buried alive and will come forth later in uglier ways.’ This essay will explore whether this is universally true.”
  • Provocative Statement: “Contrary to popular belief, ‘venting out’ anger might actually be fueling the fire of fury.”
  • Comparison: “Just as an iceberg reveals only a fraction of its bulk above water, conscious minds may only be a small piece of who humans truly are.”
  • Contradiction: “While it may seem counterintuitive, studies show that individuals who are more intelligent are also more likely to suffer from mental health issues.”
  • Bold Declaration: “Despite advances in technology, understanding the human brain remains one of the final frontiers in science.”
  • Statistical Fact: “According to a study by the American Psychological Association, nearly one in five adults in the U.S. lives with a mental illness. Yet, mental health continues to be a topic shrouded in stigma.”

For a Sociology Essay

Writing an engaging hook for a sociology essay involves sparking the reader’s interest in social behaviors, cultural phenomena, or the specific sociology topic you’re discussing. Here are ideas for hooks for a sociology essay:

  • Quotation: “As Karl Marx once noted, ‘Social progress can be measured exactly by the social position of the fair sex.’ Sadly, society has not made much progress in gender equality.”
  • Provocative Statement: “Social media, initially created to connect people, is ironically leading society into an era of unprecedented isolation.”
  • Comparison: “Comparing society to a theater, where each individual plays a role, it is possible to start to see patterns and scripts embedded in daily interactions.”
  • Contradiction: “While people often believe that technology is bringing society closer together, evidence suggests that it’s actually driving a wedge between people, creating ‘digital divides’.”
  • Bold Declaration: “Human societies are constructed on deeply ingrained systems of inequality, often invisible to those benefiting from them.”
  • Statistical Fact: “A recent study found that women still earn only 81 cents for every dollar earned by men. This stark wage gap raises questions about equality in the workforce.”

For a College Application Essay

A college essay is a personal statement where you can showcase who you are beyond your grades and resume. It’s your chance to tell your unique story. Here are ten potential hooks for a college essay:

  • Anecdote: “At the age of seven, with a wooden spoon as my baton, I confidently conducted an orchestra of pots and pans in my grandmother’s kitchen.”
  • Provocative Statement: “I believe that life is like a game of chess. The king might be the most important piece, but it’s the pawns that can change the entire course of the game.”
  • Personal Revelation: “It wasn’t until I was lost in a foreign city, armed with nothing but a map in a language I didn’t understand, that I truly discovered my love for adventure.”
  • Intriguing Question: “Have you ever wondered how it feels to be part of two completely different cultures, yet wholly belong to neither?”
  • Bold Declaration: “Breaking a bone can be a painful experience. Breaking stereotypes, however, is an entirely different kind of challenge.”
  • Unusual Fact: “I can recite the periodic table backwards while juggling three tennis balls. It’s a strange talent, but it’s a perfect metaphor for how I tackle challenges.”
  • Quotation: “As Albert Einstein once said, ‘Imagination is more important than knowledge.’ This quote has defined my approach to learning.”
  • Narrative: “It was a cold winter’s day when I first discovered the magic of turning a blank page into a world full of characters, stories, and ideas.”
  • Metaphor: “Like a caterpillar transforming into a butterfly, my high school years have been a period of profound metamorphosis.”
  • Humorous Statement: “Being the youngest of five siblings, I quickly learned that the best way to be heard was to become the family’s unofficial lawyer.”

Conclusion: The Qualities of a Good Essay Hook

As I wrap up this article, I want to share a few last tips on qualities that a good essay hook should have. Keep these tips in mind when writing your essay hook and using the above essay hook examples:

First, relevance . A good hook should be directly relevant to the topic or theme of your essay. The hook should provide a preview of what’s to come without giving too much away.

Second, Intrigue. A great hook should make the reader want to continue reading. It should create a question in the reader’s mind or present a fascinating idea that they want to know more about.

Third, uniqueness. An effective hook should be original and unique. It should stand out from the many other essays that the reader might be going through.

Fourth, clarity. Even though a hook should be captivating and original, it should also be clear and easy to understand. Avoid complex sentences and jargon that might confuse the reader.

Fifth, genre conventions. Too often, my students try to be so creative in their essay hooks that they forget genre conventions . The more formal an essay, the harder it is to write the hook. My general approach is to focus on statistics and facts, and avoid rhetorical questions , with more formal essay hooks.

Keep in mind that you should run your essay hook by your teacher by showing them your first draft before you submit your essay for grading. This will help you to make sure it follows genre conventions and is well-written.


Chris Drew (PhD)

Dr. Chris Drew is the founder of the Helpful Professor. He holds a PhD in education and has published over 20 articles in scholarly journals. He is the former editor of the Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education. [Image Descriptor: Photo of Chris]

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Essay Writing Guide

Hook Examples

Last updated on: Nov 20, 2023

Hook Examples: How to Start Your Essay Effectively

By: Nova A.

15 min read

Reviewed By: Jacklyn H.

Published on: Feb 19, 2019

Hook Examples

Tired of getting poor grades on your high school or college essays? Feeling lost when it comes to captivating your professor's attention?

Whether you're a high school or college student, the constant stream of essays, assignments, and projects can be overwhelming. But fear not!

There's a secret weapon at your disposal: hooks. 

These attention-grabbing phrases are the key to keeping your reader hooked and eager for more. In this blog, we'll explore powerful essay hook examples that will solve all your essay writing concerns.

So let’s get started!

Hook Examples

On this Page

What is an Essay Hook?

An essay hook is the opening sentence or a few sentences in an essay that grab the reader's attention and engage them from the very beginning. It is called a " hook " because it is designed to reel in the reader and make them interested in reading the rest of the essay.

The purpose of an essay hook is to:

  • Grab the reader's attention from the very beginning
  • Create curiosity and intrigue
  • Engage the reader emotionally
  • Establish the tone and direction of the essay
  • Make the reader want to continue reading
  • Provide a seamless transition into the rest of the essay
  • Set the stage for the main argument or narrative
  • Make the essay memorable and stand out
  • Demonstrate the writer's skill in captivating an audience

Check out our complete guide on how to start an essay here!

How to Write a Hook?

The opening lines of your essay serve as the hook, capturing your reader's attention right from the start. Remember, the hook is a part of your essay introduction and shouldn't replace it.

A well-crafted introduction consists of a hook followed by a thesis statement . While the hook attracts the reader, the thesis statement explains the main points of your essay.

To write an effective hook, consider the following aspects:

  • Understand the nature of the literary work you're addressing.
  • Familiarize yourself with your audience's preferences and interests.
  • Clearly define the purpose behind your essay writing.

Keep in mind that the hook should be directly related to the main topic or idea of your writing piece. When it comes to essays or other academic papers, you can employ various types of hooks that align with your specific requirements. 

Learn more about Hook Statements in this informative Video!

Hook Sentence Examples

To give you a better understanding of the different types of essay hooks, we will be discussing essay hook examples.

Question Hook

Starting your essay by asking a thought-provoking question can be a good way to engage the reader. Ask your reader a question that they can visualize. However, make sure to keep your questions relevant to the reader's interest. Avoid generalized, and yes or no questions.

Rhetorical questions make up good hooks.

  • “How are successful college students different from unsuccessful college students?”
  • “What is the purpose of our existence?”
  • “Have you ever wondered whether Hazel Grace and Augustus Waters would have been still together if he didn’t die of cancer?”
  • "Ever wondered what lies beneath the ocean's depths? Dive into an underwater adventure and uncover the wonders of the deep sea."
  • "Have you ever pondered the true meaning of happiness? Join us on a quest to unravel the secrets of lasting joy."
  • Ready to challenge your limits? How far would you go to achieve your dreams and become the best version of yourself?"
  • "Curious about the future of technology? Can you envision a world where robots and humans coexist harmoniously?"
  • "Are you tired of the same old recipes? Spice up your culinary repertoire with exotic flavors and innovative cooking techniques."
  • "Are you ready to take control of your finances? Imagine a life of financial freedom and the possibilities it brings."
  • "Ever wondered what it takes to create a masterpiece? Discover the untold stories behind the world's most celebrated works of art."

Quotation Hook

A quotation from a famous person is used to open an essay to attract the reader's attention. However, the quote needs to be relevant to your topic and must come from a credible source. To remove any confusion that the reader might have it is best to explain the meaning of the quote later.

Here are the quotes you can use to start your essay:

  • “Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world.”
  • If your topic is related to hard work and making your own destiny, you can start by quoting Michael Jordan.
  • “Some people want it to happen; some wish it would happen; others make it happen.”
  • The only way to do great work is to love what you do." - Steve Jobs
  • "In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity." - Albert Einstein
  • "Don't watch the clock; do what it does. Keep going." - Sam Levenson
  • "Believe you can and you're halfway there." - Theodore Roosevelt
  • "The best way to predict the future is to create it." - Peter Drucker
  • "The harder I work, the luckier I get." - Samuel Goldwyn
  • "Don't let yesterday take up too much of today." - Will Rogers

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Statistic Hook

Here you use statistical data such as numbers and figures, percentages, etc. to hook the reader. This is mostly used in informative writing to provide the reader with new and interesting facts. It is important to mention the source.

  • “Reports have shown that almost two-thirds of adults in the United States of America have lived in a place with at least one gun, at some point of their life.”
  • Another persuasive essay hook example about people’s psychology and lying is mentioned below:
  • “It is noted by Allison Komet from the Psychology Today magazine that people lie in every one out of five conversations that last for at least 10 minutes.”
  • "Did you know that 8 out of 10 entrepreneurs fail within their first year? Discover the secrets of the successful 20% and defy the odds."
  • "According to recent studies, people spend an average of 2 hours and 22 minutes on social media every day. Is it time to reevaluate our digital habits?"
  • "Did you know that over 75% of communication is non-verbal? Explore the power of body language and unlock the secrets of effective communication."
  • "Research shows that 1 in 4 adults suffer from mental health issues. It's time to break the stigma and prioritize our well-being."
  • "Did you know that nearly 70% of consumers rely on online reviews before making a purchase? Build trust and boost your business with positive feedback."
  • "According to recent data, the global e-commerce industry is projected to reach $6.38 trillion by 2024. Don't miss out on the digital revolution."
  • "Did you know that 80% of car accidents are caused by distracted driving? Let's put an end to this dangerous epidemic."

Anecdotal Hook

An anecdote is a short story relevant to the essay topic, illustrated to gain the reader’s attention. This story can be derived from a personal experience or your imagination. Mostly, an anecdote is humorous; it makes the reader laugh and leaves them wanting to read more.

It is mostly used when writing narrative or descriptive essays.

If you are a non-English speaker and call the support department or the helpline and hear:

  • “If you want instructions in English, press 1. If you don't understand English, press 2.”
  • “ An elderly person came to buy a TV, asked the shopkeeper if they had colored TVs. When told that they are available, he asked to purchase a purple one.” 

Here are some more anecdotal hook examples:

  • "Picture this: It was a cold winter's night, the snowflakes gently falling from the sky, as I embarked on a journey that would change my life forever..."
  • "I still remember the day vividly, sitting in my grandmother's kitchen, the aroma of freshly baked cookies filling the air. Little did I know, that day would teach me a valuable lesson about the power of kindness..."
  • "It was a crowded subway ride during rush hour, everyone lost in their own world. But then, a stranger's act of generosity restored my faith in humanity..."
  • "As I stepped onto the stage, the spotlight shining down, my heart pounding with a mix of excitement and nerves. It was in that moment, I realized the transformative power of facing your fears..."
  • "In the heart of the bustling city, amidst the noise and chaos, I stumbled upon a hidden park, an oasis of serenity that reminded me of the importance of finding peace within ourselves..."
  • "The dusty attic held countless treasures, but it was the tattered journal that caught my eye. As I flipped through its pages, I discovered the untold story of my ancestors, and a connection to my roots I never knew I had..."
  • "Lost in the maze of a foreign city, unable to speak the language, I relied on the kindness of strangers who became my unexpected guides and lifelong friends..."
  • "As the final notes of the symphony resonated through the concert hall, the audience erupted in a thunderous applause. It was in that moment, I witnessed the pure magic that music can evoke..."

Personal Story

Starting with a personal story is the right way to go when writing a personal narrative or admissions essay for College.

There is no such rule that the story has to be yours. You can share your friends' story or someone you know of.

Remember that such hooks aren't suitable when writing a more formal or argumentative piece of writing.

  • “My father was in the Navy; I basically grew up on a cruise. As a young boy, I saw things beyond anyone's imagination. On April 15, 2001…”
  • "Growing up, I was the shyest kid in the classroom. But one day, a simple act of courage changed the course of my life forever..."
  • "I'll never forget the exhilarating rush I felt as I crossed the finish line of my first marathon, defying all odds and proving to myself that anything is possible..."
  • "At the age of 18, I packed my bags, bid farewell to familiarity, and embarked on a solo adventure across the globe. Little did I know, it would become the journey of self-discovery I had always longed for..."
  • "As a single parent, juggling multiple jobs and responsibilities, I faced countless obstacles. But my unwavering determination and the support of my loved ones propelled me towards success..."
  • "It was a rainy day when I stumbled upon an old, forgotten journal in my grandmother's attic. Its pages held untold stories and secrets that would unearth the hidden truths of our family history..."
  • "The sound of applause echoed through the auditorium as I stepped onto the stage, my heart pounding with a mix of nerves and excitement. Little did I know, that performance would be a turning point in my artistic journey..."
  • "After years of battling self-doubt, I finally found the courage to pursue my passion for writing. The moment I held my published book in my hands, I knew I had conquered my fears and embraced my true calling..."
  • "As a volunteer in a remote village, I witnessed the resilience and strength of the human spirit. The people I met and the stories they shared forever changed my perspective on life..."
  • "In the midst of a turbulent relationship, I made the difficult decision to walk away and embark on a journey of self-love and rediscovery. It was through that process that I found my own worth and reclaimed my happiness..."

In the next section we will be discussing hook examples for different kinds of essays.

Surprising Statement Hook

A surprising statement hook is a bold and unexpected statement that grabs the reader's attention and piques their curiosity. It challenges their assumptions and compels them to delve deeper into the topic. Example:

  • "Contrary to popular belief, spiders are our unsung heroes, silently protecting our homes from pesky insects and maintaining delicate ecological balance."
  • "Forget what you know about time management. The key to productivity lies in working less, not more."
  • "In a world where technology dominates, studies show that the old-fashioned pen and paper can boost memory and learning."
  • "You'll be shocked to discover that the average person spends more time scrolling through social media than sleeping."
  • "Contrary to popular belief, introverts possess hidden powers that can make them exceptional leaders."
  • "Prepare to be amazed: chocolate can actually be beneficial for your health when consumed in moderation."
  • "Buckle up, because recent research reveals that multitasking can actually make you less productive, not more."
  • "Did you know that learning a new language can slow down the aging process and keep your brain sharp?"
  • "Hold onto your hats: studies suggest that taking regular naps can enhance your overall productivity and creativity."
  • "You won't believe it, but playing video games in moderation can enhance problem-solving skills and boost cognitive function."

Argumentative Essay Hook Examples

The opening paragraph of an argumentative essay should be similar to the opening statement of a trial. Just as a lawyer presents his point with a logical system, you must do the same in your essay.

For example, you are writing about the adverse effects of smoking, and arguing that all public places should be turned into no smoking zones. For such essays, good hook examples will be statistical such as:

“According to the World Health Organization consumption of tobacco kills about five million people every year, which makes it more than the death rate from HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria altogether.”

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Persuasive Essay Hook Examples

The main idea or aim for writing a persuasive essay is to convince and persuade the reader to do something. It is also written to change their beliefs and agree with your point of view.

Hook sentences for such essays are a shocking revelation that the reader is curious to learn more about.

“On average each year, humans release 38.2 billion tons of carbon dioxide approximately. Due to this, the level of carbon dioxide has increased significantly, more than it has been in centuries. If you think climate change is nothing to worry about then you are highly mistaken.”

Narrative Essay Hook Examples

Simply put, a narrative essay is just like a story. In other types of essays you need to pick a side, argue and prove your point with the help of evidence. A narrative essay gives you a freehand to tell your story however you may please.

It can be a story inspired by your life, something you may have experienced. If you feel like it isn’t exciting enough you can always transform it using your imagination.

Examples of a hook sentence for a narrative essay can be something like:

“I was riding the bus to school; the other kids were making fun of me thinking I couldn’t understand them. “Why are his eyes like that?” “His face is funny.” A Chinese kid in America is probably like a zoo animal.”

Subject-wise Hook Examples

Here are 20+ interesting hook examples across various subjects:

  • Technology: "Imagine a world where machines can read our thoughts. Welcome to the future of mind-reading technology."
  • Health and Wellness: "Did you know that a simple 10-minute meditation can change your entire day? Unlock the transformative power of mindfulness."
  • Environment: "The clock is ticking. Discover the urgent and astonishing truth behind the disappearing rainforests."
  • Travel: "Pack your bags and leave your comfort zone behind. Uncover the hidden gems of off-the-beaten-path destinations."
  • History: "Step into the shoes of a time traveler as we unravel the untold secrets of ancient civilizations."
  • Science: "Prepare to be amazed as we dive into the mind-bending world of quantum physics and its implications for our understanding of reality."
  • Education: "Traditional classrooms are a thing of the past. Explore the innovative and disruptive trends shaping the future of education."
  • Food and Cooking: "Savor the tantalizing flavors of a culinary revolution, where unexpected ingredient pairings redefine the boundaries of taste."
  • Psychology: "Unmask the hidden forces that drive our decision-making and explore the fascinating world of subconscious influences."
  • Art and Creativity: "Witness the collision of colors and ideas in a mesmerizing display of artistic expression. Unlock your inner creativity."
  • Finance: "Escape the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle and discover the path to financial freedom. It's time to take control of your wealth."
  • Sports: "Feel the adrenaline surge as we uncover the captivating stories behind the world's most legendary sports moments."
  • Relationships: "Love in the digital age: How technology has transformed the way we connect, flirt, and navigate modern relationships."
  • Self-Improvement: "Embark on a journey of self-discovery and learn the life-changing habits that lead to personal growth and fulfillment."
  • Business and Entrepreneurship: "From startup to success story: Explore the rollercoaster ride of building and scaling a thriving business."
  • Fashion: "Step into the fashion revolution as we decode the latest trends and unveil the stories behind iconic designer collections."
  • Music: "Unleash the power of music: How melodies, rhythms, and lyrics can touch our souls and evoke powerful emotions."
  • Politics: "Behind closed doors: Delve into the intriguing world of political maneuvering and the impact on global affairs."
  • Nature and Wildlife: "Journey to the untouched corners of our planet, where awe-inspiring creatures and breathtaking landscapes await."
  • Literature: "Enter the realm of literary magic as we explore the profound symbolism and hidden meanings within beloved classics."

In conclusion, these were some catchy hook examples just to give you an idea. You can make use of any one of these types according to your paper and its requirements. Generate free essays through our AI essay writer , to see how it's done!

The key to making your essay stand out from the rest is to have a strong introduction. While it is the major part, there’s more that goes into writing a good essay.

If you are still unable to come up with an exciting hook, and searching “ who can write my essay ?”. The expert essay writers at are just a click away.  Reach out to our essay writer today and have an engaging opening for your essay.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a visual hook.

The visual hook is a scene that captures the audience's interest by encapsulating something about the movie. It usually occurs around 15 minutes into it, and can be found in marketing or reviews of movies.

Nova A.

As a Digital Content Strategist, Nova Allison has eight years of experience in writing both technical and scientific content. With a focus on developing online content plans that engage audiences, Nova strives to write pieces that are not only informative but captivating as well.

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Apr 5, 2023

How to Write an Essay Hook | Tips, Tricks, and Examples

What does fishing and essay writing have in common? It's all about the hook! Just like a fisherman needs a good hook to catch a fish, you need an excellent essay hook to reel in your readers. If you're tired of your essays flopping like a fish out of water, don't worry - in this article, we'll teach you how to craft a hook that will have your readers hooked from the very first sentence. Get ready to bait your audience and catch their attention like a pro!

Welcome to the world of essay writing! Crafting an essay that captivates your audience from the very beginning can be challenging. As a student, you might have struggled with the question, "How do I write an essay hook?" The answer is simple: you need to grab the reader's attention and keep them engaged from the first sentence. But how do you do that effectively?

Don't worry; that's where comes in! Our AI tool is designed to help students write essays that stand out, with powerful hook examples for essays that will make your paper impossible to put down.

That's why we've created this blog post to help you understand what a hook is, and how to write one and provide you with some hook essay examples that will inspire you to take your writing to the next level. Whether you're writing a persuasive essay, a narrative essay, or a research paper, we've got you covered!

But first, let's talk about what an essay hook is. A hook is an initial statement in an essay, typically the first sentence or a group of sentences that grab the reader's attention and make them want to read more. It's the first impression you give to your reader, and it can make or break your essay.

A good hook should be intriguing, thought-provoking, and relevant to your topic. It can be a question, a quote, a statistic, a personal anecdote, or anything else that piques your reader's interest.

How to Write a Hook

Now that you know what a hook is and why it's important, let's dive into how to write a hook that will grab your reader's attention.

Start with an Interesting Fact or Statistic

One of the most effective ways to start an essay is with an interesting fact or statistic that relates to your topic. This will immediately grab your reader's attention and make them curious to learn more.

For example, if you're writing an essay about the impact of climate change on the ocean, you could start with a startling statistic like "The ocean has absorbed 90% of the heat produced by global warming, causing it to become 30% more acidic in the last century alone."

Use a Metaphor or Simile

Metaphors and similes can be powerful tools for creating an engaging hook. By comparing something familiar to your reader with something unfamiliar or unexpected, you can pique their interest and create a sense of intrigue.

For instance, if you're writing an essay about the importance of education, you could start with a metaphor like "Education is the key that unlocks the door to a brighter future."

Pose a Question

Asking a thought-provoking question can be an effective way to hook your reader and encourage them to think about your topic in a new way. The key is to ask a question that is relevant to your topic and that will make your reader curious to find out the answer.

For example, if you're writing an essay about the benefits of meditation, you could start with a question like "What if just 10 minutes of meditation a day could reduce your stress levels and improve your mental clarity?"

Share a Personal Anecdote

Sharing a personal story or anecdote can be a powerful way to connect with your reader and make your essay feel more relatable. It also shows that you have a personal stake in the topic you're writing about.

For instance, if you're writing an essay about the importance of mental health, you could start with a personal anecdote like "I remember the moment I realized I needed to prioritize my mental health. It was a sunny day, but I felt like I was drowning in darkness."

By using one of these techniques, you can create an essay hook that is engaging, relevant, and memorable. So the next time you sit down to write an essay, remember to start with a hook that will reel in your reader and keep them hooked until the very end.

Example Essays with Engaging Hooks

The End of Innocence: How Technology Is Changing Childhood


From playing in the backyard to scrolling through screens, the childhood experience has drastically changed in the last few decades. Technology has become an integral part of our lives, and children are not left behind. With the emergence of smartphones, tablets, and other smart devices, the digital age has paved the way for a new kind of childhood experience.

However, this change has raised some serious concerns about the impact of technology on children's lives. In this article, we will explore the end of innocence and how technology is changing childhood.

Digital Age and Childhood:

With the advent of technology, childhood has evolved. Smartphones, tablets, laptops, and other smart devices have changed the way children play, learn, and communicate. The digital age has brought a wealth of information and entertainment that was not available in the past.

Children can now access an extensive range of educational resources, connect with peers, and entertain themselves at the touch of a button. However, this has led to concerns about the impact of technology on children's physical, social, and emotional development.

Physical Development:

Technology has made it easier for children to engage in sedentary activities such as watching videos, playing games, and browsing the internet. This has led to concerns about the impact of technology on physical development.

According to the World Health Organization, physical inactivity is one of the leading risk factors for global mortality. With children spending more time in screens, there is a real risk of obesity and other health problems. Furthermore, the excessive use of screens can lead to eye strain, headaches, and other health issues.

Social Development:

Technology has changed the way children interact with each other. Social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter have given children a new way to connect with peers. However, social media can also be a source of cyberbullying, online harassment, and other negative experiences. 

Furthermore, the excessive use of screens can lead to social isolation, as children spend less time engaging in face-to-face interactions.

Emotional Development:

The impact of technology on children's emotional development is a subject of debate. While some studies have found a positive relationship between technology use and emotional development, others have found the opposite.

The excessive use of screens can lead to addiction, anxiety, and depression. Furthermore, children who spend more time on screens are less likely to develop empathy and emotional intelligence.


In conclusion, the digital age has changed childhood, and the end of innocence is a real concern. Technology has brought a wealth of benefits, but it has also led to concerns about the impact on children's physical, social, and emotional development. As parents, it is important to strike a balance between technology use and other activities.

Encouraging children to engage in physical activity, spend time with friends and family, and pursue hobbies can help to mitigate the negative effects of technology. By being mindful of the impact of technology on childhood, we can help our children to grow into healthy, well-rounded individuals.

The Price of Perfection: Why Society's Standards Are Hurting Us

Perfection is a goal that many people strive for in their lives. Society often places a great deal of emphasis on achieving perfection, whether it is in our appearance, career, or personal life. However, the pursuit of perfection can have a negative impact on our mental and emotional well-being. In this article, we will explore the price of perfection and why society's standards are hurting us.

The Perfectionism Trap:

Perfectionism is the belief that one must be flawless in all aspects of life. It is a personality trait that can lead to a range of negative outcomes, including anxiety, depression, and stress. Society often reinforces the notion that perfectionism is desirable, which can lead people to feel inadequate or inferior when they fall short of this ideal.

The Cost of Perfection:

The pursuit of perfection can have significant costs, both personally and socially. At an individual level, it can lead to burnout, anxiety, and depression. Perfectionism is often associated with high levels of stress, as individuals feel pressure to meet unrealistic expectations. This can lead to physical health problems, such as headaches, muscle tension, and insomnia.

At a societal level, the pressure to be perfect can lead to social isolation, as individuals feel unable to meet the expectations of their peers. Social media has exacerbated this problem, as individuals compare themselves to others who seem to have achieved perfection in various aspects of their lives.

This can lead to a sense of inadequacy and low self-esteem, as individuals feel they cannot measure up to the standards set by others.

Breaking Free from Perfectionism:

Breaking free from the trap of perfectionism requires a shift in mindset. It requires recognizing that perfection is not achievable and that mistakes and failures are a natural part of the human experience. Learning to embrace imperfection can lead to greater emotional resilience and mental well-being.

It also requires challenging the societal norms that reinforce the importance of perfectionism. This includes questioning the unrealistic expectations placed on individuals in various aspects of life, such as their appearance or career success.

In conclusion, the pursuit of perfection can come at a significant cost to our mental and emotional well-being. Society often reinforces the notion that perfectionism is desirable, which can lead individuals to feel inadequate or inferior when they fall short of this ideal.

Breaking free from the trap of perfectionism requires a shift in mindset and a willingness to embrace imperfection. By recognizing that perfection is not achievable, we can work towards greater emotional resilience and mental well-being. It also requires challenging the societal norms that reinforce the importance of perfectionism, so that we can create a more compassionate and accepting society for all.

Breaking the Stigma: Why Mental Health Matters

Mental health is a crucial aspect of our overall well-being, yet it is often stigmatized and overlooked in our society. Many people suffer from mental health issues, but due to the stigma surrounding these conditions, they may not seek the help they need. In this article, we will explore the importance of mental health and why breaking the stigma is so crucial.

The Impact of Mental Health on Our Lives:

Mental health plays a crucial role in our overall well-being. It affects our emotions, thoughts, and behaviour, and impacts how we interact with others and the world around us. Mental health issues can have a significant impact on our daily lives, leading to difficulties with work, relationships, and overall functioning.

The Stigma Surrounding Mental Health:

Despite the prevalence of mental health issues, there is still a significant stigma surrounding these conditions. This can lead people to feel ashamed or embarrassed about seeking help, which can delay treatment and lead to more severe symptoms. Stigma can also lead to discrimination and negative attitudes towards individuals with mental health issues, which can further exacerbate their symptoms and impact their quality of life.

Breaking the Stigma:

Breaking the stigma surrounding mental health is crucial to ensuring that individuals receive the help they need. It requires challenging the negative attitudes and misconceptions that contribute to the stigma. This includes promoting awareness and education about mental health issues, as well as encouraging open and honest conversations about mental health.

By creating a more accepting and supportive environment for individuals with mental health issues, we can help to reduce the stigma and improve access to care.

The Importance of Seeking Help:

Seeking help for mental health issues is crucial for both individuals and society as a whole. By addressing mental health issues early on, we can prevent more severe symptoms and improve overall functioning. It also helps to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health, as individuals who seek help can serve as role models and advocates for others who may be struggling.

Mental health is a crucial aspect of our overall well-being, yet it is often stigmatized and overlooked in our society. Breaking the stigma surrounding mental health is crucial to ensuring that individuals receive the help they need. It requires challenging negative attitudes and misconceptions about mental health, promoting awareness and education, and encouraging open and honest conversations.

By doing so, we can create a more accepting and supportive environment for individuals with mental health issues, and improve access to care for all.

From Zero to Hero: The Power of Resilience

Resilience is the ability to overcome adversity and bounce back from challenges. It is a powerful trait that can help individuals achieve success in all areas of their lives, from personal relationships to professional pursuits. 

Life can be full of challenges and setbacks that can leave us feeling defeated and discouraged. But what sets successful people apart from those who struggle is their ability to bounce back from adversity and keep pushing forward. This ability to overcome obstacles and persevere in the face of adversity is known as resilience, and it can be a powerful tool for achieving success in all areas of life.

In this article, we will explore the concept of resilience, its benefits, and strategies for building it. We'll also look at real-life examples of resilience in action and how it can help us go from zero to hero in our own lives.

Defining resilience: What it is and why it matters

Resilience is the ability to adapt and thrive in the face of adversity, trauma, or stress. It involves being able to bounce back from setbacks and continue moving forward despite challenges. Resilience is not a fixed trait; rather, it can be developed and strengthened over time through deliberate practice and the cultivation of a growth mindset.

Resilience matters because life is full of challenges, both big and small. Whether it's a difficult job interview, a breakup, or a health issue, we all face obstacles that can derail us if we don't have the tools to cope. Resilience helps us stay strong in the face of adversity, maintain our focus on our goals, and continue making progress even when the going gets tough.

The benefits of resilience: How it can improve your life

There are many benefits to developing resilience. Here are just a few:

Increased self-confidence: When we develop resilience, we become more confident in our ability to handle challenges and overcome obstacles. This increased confidence can spill over into other areas of our lives, helping us take risks and pursue our goals with greater vigour.

Improved mental health: Resilience has been linked to improved mental health outcomes, including lower rates of depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This is because resilient individuals are better able to cope with stress and trauma, and are less likely to be overwhelmed by negative emotions.

Greater success in personal and professional pursuits: Resilience is a key predictor of success in both personal and professional endeavours. Individuals who are more resilient are better able to persevere in the face of challenges, bounce back from setbacks, and stay focused on their goals.

Strategies for building resilience: From mindfulness to self-care

While some individuals may be naturally more resilient than others, resilience is a trait that can be developed and strengthened over time. Here are some strategies for building resilience:

Practice mindfulness:

Mindfulness can help us develop a greater awareness of our thoughts and emotions, and learn to regulate them more effectively. This can be especially helpful when we are facing challenges or setbacks.

Cultivate a growth mindset: 

A growth mindset involves believing that our abilities can be developed through hard work and dedication. This mindset can help us stay motivated and focused even when we encounter obstacles.

Practice self-care: 

Taking care of ourselves physically, emotionally, and mentally is essential for building resilience. This may include getting enough sleep, eating well, exercising regularly, and engaging in activities that bring us joy and fulfilment.

Real-life examples of resilience in action

There are countless examples of individuals who have demonstrated remarkable resilience in the face of adversity. For example:

Oprah Winfrey grew up in poverty and was a victim of abuse, but she persevered and went on to become one of the most successful and influential people in the world.

J.K. Rowling was a struggling single mother when she wrote the first Harry Potter book, which was rejected by multiple publishers. But she kept writing and eventually found success, becoming one of the bestselling authors of all time

Another factor that contributes to resilience is having a positive outlook. People who are resilient tend to focus on the positive aspects of a situation, rather than dwelling on the negative. They also have a sense of optimism and hopefulness, which allows them to see the light at the end of the tunnel even in the darkest of times. 

In fact, studies have shown that having a positive attitude can help individuals cope better with stress and adversity, leading to increased resilience.

In addition to having a positive outlook, building strong relationships with others can also help to foster resilience. Having a support system of family, friends, and even colleagues can provide a sense of belonging and connection, which can be critical during difficult times. This support system can also provide emotional and practical support, helping individuals to better manage and overcome challenges.

Furthermore, resilience can also be strengthened through learning and personal growth. By taking the time to reflect on past experiences, individuals can gain valuable insights into their own strengths and weaknesses. This self-awareness can help them to develop a greater sense of resilience, as they become better equipped to deal with future challenges.

Finally, taking care of one's physical health can also contribute to resilience. Engaging in regular exercise, getting enough sleep, and eating a healthy diet are all important factors in maintaining physical well-being. By prioritizing physical health, individuals can better cope with stress and adversity, allowing them to bounce back more easily when faced with difficult situations.

In conclusion, resilience is a powerful trait that can help individuals overcome adversity and achieve success in all areas of life. Whether it is through developing a positive outlook, building strong relationships, or prioritizing physical health, there are many strategies that can be used to build resilience. 

By focusing on these strategies and working to develop a greater sense of resilience, individuals can learn to transform themselves from zero to hero, achieving their goals and living their best lives.

In conclusion, the essay hook is a crucial element in any essay, as it is the first thing that readers will see and can make or break their interest in the rest of the essay. There are many different types of essay hooks that can be used, from rhetorical questions and anecdotes to statistics and quotes.

By understanding the different types of hooks and how they can be used effectively, writers can capture their readers' attention and keep them engaged throughout the essay.

To create a successful essay hook, it is important to consider the audience, the topic, and the purpose of the essay. By tailoring the hook to these factors, writers can create a hook that is not only attention-grabbing but also relevant and meaningful.

Fortunately, with the help of , creating an essay hook has never been easier. Our AI-powered writing assistant can help you create essay hooks with its AI autocomplete feature, can help you create essay hooks that will capture your readers' attention.

So, if you're struggling with your essay hook or looking for a way to streamline your writing process, sign up for today. Our powerful writing assistant can help you take your writing to the next level, and with a free trial available, there's no reason not to give a try.

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How to Write a Hook that Captivates Readers

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A hook is a compelling opening sentence or paragraph in an essay or article. Its purpose is to grab the readers’ attention and entice them to continue reading. A hook must evoke an emotional response or pique curiosity to keep the readers engaged.

Are you trying to figure out how to write a hook? Stick around because this blog has all the guidelines you need to write one like an expert  paper writing service  provider. So, let’s get started!

Table of Contents

Types of Hooks for Essays

Your essay or  research paper’s  hook can be in any of the five types:

Anecdotal Hook

Starting with an anecdote is a good way to keep the readers interested. Ensure that the anecdote relates to your topic and makes your readers feel like they’re part of the narrative.

For example:

“Sarah sat at the edge of the cliff. The wind whipping through her hair as she stared into the vast expanse of the Grand Canyon. Little did she know that this moment would be the catalyst for a life-changing decision.”

This hook introduces a character, Sarah, and a dramatic setting, the Grand Canyon. Doing so creates intrigue and leaves readers wondering about Sarah’s decision. Here, the reader is immediately invested in the story and eager to learn more.

Question Based Hooks

Another effective hook is to pose thought-provoking questions. This type of hook encourages readers to engage with the content right from the start actively. 

Here’s an example:

“What if everything you thought you knew about success was wrong? What if the key to achieving true fulfillment lies in embracing failure and redefining your definition of success?”

This hook presents a series of thought-provoking questions challenging the conventional wisdom about success. 

Statistical or Factual Hook

This hook type is particularly effective when the statistic or fact is relevant to the main content. 

“Did you know that 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail by February? Discover the secrets to making lasting changes and achieving your goals beyond the first month of the year.”

This hook uses a surprising statistic about the failure rate of New Year’s resolutions to capture readers’ attention. It entices readers to continue reading to uncover shared strategies and insights.

Witty or Humorous Hooks 

Humor and wit can be great ways to keep your readers interested and make their reading experience more enjoyable. If the content is funny or lighthearted, this kind of hook can grab people’s attention.

“They say the early bird catches the worm, but what about the night owls? Discover the surprising advantages of embracing your nocturnal nature and redefining productivity on your own terms.”

This hook puts a fun spin on a well-known phrase about night owls and productivity. 

Scenario Based Hook

This kind of hook appeals to their senses and feelings, establishing an instant bond.

“The sun dipped below the horizon, casting a warm, golden glow over the tranquil beach. As the waves gently lapping against the shore, a sense of peace and possibility filled the air. Beckoning those who dared to chase their dreams!

This hook paints a picture of a beautiful beach at sunset, creating a sense of tranquility and motivation. It provides a vivid image full of detail that draws readers in and captures their imaginations. 

Understanding How to Write a Killer Hook 

A hook is like a doorway to your content. It sets the tone for establishing a connection with your readers. 

It can be a stirring statement, an interesting question, an amusing anecdote, or a shocking fact.

Why is a Strong Hook Crucial in Capturing Readers’ Interest?

Having an eye-catching hook can be a major game-changer when grabbing people’s attention. It’s like a magnet, luring them in and making them want to read your writing.

If you don’t have a good hook, people might not stick around to hear what you have to say. Moreover, a strong hook also sets the tone for your entire writing. 

Examples to Understand the Impact of a Strong Hook

Compelling Statement:

“In today’s busy world, have you ever thought about how you can get more done in a shorter amount of time?”

This hook immediately grabs readers’ attention by talking about a common problem. It plays on people’s need to be more efficient and leaves them wanting to find the solution.

Thought-Provoking Question

“What if the key to happiness lies not in acquiring more, but in letting go?”

This hook gets people thinking by asking a thought-provoking question that goes against the grain. It makes readers question their own opinions and views. Luring them in to see what kind of answers the piece offers.

Intriguing Anecdote

“As the clock struck midnight, she found herself standing on the edge of a decision that would change her life forever.”

This hook straight away pulls readers into a dramatic scenario. Trying to spark their curiosity about the character’s problem. Makes them desperate to find out the results of their choice.

Surprising Fact

“Did you know that the human brain can process images 60,000 times faster than text?”

This hook throws out an unexpected and captivating fact that gets readers interested. It brings up an interesting piece of info. Also gives a hint at what more can be discovered in the rest of the article.

Pro Tips to Craft a Killer Hook

You can use the following techniques to write a killer hook.

Target Audience – Identification, Preference, and Interest

Before you write a hook, it’s important to understand your audience well.

To identify your target audience, consider the following factors:

  • Demographics: Age, gender, location, education level, occupation, etc.
  • Psychographics: Values, beliefs, hobbies, lifestyle choices, etc.
  • Behavior: Online habits, preferred platforms, browsing patterns, content consumption habits, etc.

Understanding Target Audience Preferences and Interests

After identifying your audience, it is important to know their interests. Here are some guidelines from the expert  research paper writing services  provider. 

Surveys and Questionnaires 

Send out surveys to your audience to get their thoughts and feelings directly. Ask what they like, what interests them, and what captures their attention. Look at the answers you get to find out what people usually think.

Social Media Listening 

Keep an eye on social media sites where your desired demographic hangs out. Check out what they’re interacting with, what they’re talking about, and the kind of lingo they use.

Effective Hook for Effective Writing

Once you’ve figured out what your audience likes and dislikes, you can craft a hook that resonates with your audience. Here are a few ideas to help you do that while writing an essay:

Pinning the Pain Points 

Identify the challenges, problems, or pain points your audience faces and address them directly in your hook. For example, “Tired of struggling to find time for self-care? Discover a simple solution that fits into your busy schedule.”

Appeal to Their Aspirations

Tap into your audience’s aspirations, goals, or desires and use them to create an emotional connection. For instance, “Imagine a life filled with adventure and travel. Uncover the secrets to fulfilling your wanderlust dreams.”

Use Their Language 

Pay attention to the language, phrases, and terminology your audience uses. Incorporate those words in your hook to make it relatable and resonate with their communication style.

Focus on Relevancy 

Ensure that your hook directly relates to the topic or content you’re offering. Make it clear how your content will provide value or satisfy their interests. For instance, 

“Discover the latest fashion trends that suit your body type perfectly.”

Create Curiosity 

Intrigue your audience by hinting at valuable insights or solutions they can expect to find in your content. Pose a question or make a statement that sparks their curiosity and leaves them wanting more.

Impactful Hook for a Perfect Write-up

Stick to these guidelines below for writing an effective hook:

Keep Your Opening Sentence Concise 

The first line of your hook matters in getting people to pay attention. Keep it short, powerful, and interesting right away. Don’t waste time with long intros or too much background info. Drop a punchy sentence that sets the tone for the rest of your content.

Consider the following example:

“Unravel the mysteries of the universe in just five simple steps.”

Creating a Sense of Curiosity or Suspense

Creating intrigue can capture your readers’ attention and keep them hooked. Think of it like this: curiosity and suspense are like bait to draw people in. 

For example, you could open with a question or Statement that will make your readers want to know more. Or you could set up a scene that creates a sense of anticipation for what comes next.

“She stood at the crossroads, a single decision separating her from the life she had always dreamed of.”

This opening sets up a suspenseful situation. Makes readers eager to find out what choice the character will make and what the consequences will be. 

Add Emotions to Evoke a Strong Reaction:

Feelings resonate with readers and get an intense response. By tapping into people’s emotions, you can create an instant link and interest.

“Heart pounding, palms sweating, she took a deep breath and stepped onto the stage. It was her moment to shine.”

It creates an emotional connection and builds anticipation as readers root for the character to do well. Stirs up many feelings and encourages readers to continue reading to find out what happens next.

Key Ingredients of a Good Hook 

While writing a hook, ensure:

Clarity and Conciseness 

Make sure the hook is simple and to the point. Cut out any extra words that could weaken its effects.

Emotional Appeal 

See if the hook gets the emotions out of the readers you want. Think about adding or making the elements stronger to get the readers feeling something.

Relevance and Connection 

Make sure the hook is closely connected to the rest of the article. Tweak the hook to strengthen the link between the start and the rest of the text.

Language and Tone 

Be mindful of the words you use, how you say it, and the type of writing in the hook. Try to make sure it’s something that your target audience will like and expect.

Common Mistakes to Avoid 

Overly long or complicated hooks.

Avoid making a hook statement overly long. Long and convoluted hooks for writing can confuse or overwhelm readers. As a result, they will lose interest before they dive into the main content.

Using Clichés or Generic Openings

Using clichés or generic openings in your hook can make it predictable and uninteresting. Generic openings fail to capture readers’ attention because they offer nothing new or intriguing.

“Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, there lived a brave hero who embarked on an epic journey to save the world from evil.”

This opening might sound familiar and reminiscent of classic fairy tales. Still, it doesn’t provide any unique or surprising elements. 

To avoid clichés and generic openings, strive for originality and fresh perspectives. Here’s a revised hook that takes a different approach:

“In the darkest corners of a forgotten realm, a reluctant outcast discovers an ancient secret that holds the power to reshape destiny.”

Failing to Deliver on the Promises Made in the Hook

When readers are hooked by an intriguing statement or a compelling question, they expect the content to deliver on those promises. Failing to do so can lead to disappointment and a loss of trust.

Ensure that the hook in essay accurately reflects the main content and sets realistic expectations for readers. Here’s an example:

“Discover the ultimate secret to becoming a millionaire in just one month!”

If the content that follows this hook doesn’t provide a legitimate and achievable path to wealth creation, readers will feel misled and may lose interest. While writing hooks, ensure that the hook’s promises align with the content and deliver valuable information or insights.

Writers need to use a catchy hook in their write-ups. It is like setting the tone for your entire piece, and it can create an emotional connection between you and your readers.

Hopefully, this blog post helped let you know how to write a hook for an essay. If you are still confused, don’t hesitate to count on the professional expertise of  our writers .

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Essay Writing Guide

Hook Example

Nova A.

20+ Hook Examples to Grab Reader’s Attention

15 min read

hook example

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Are your essays falling flat with a disinterested audience? Do you find it challenging to keep readers engaged from start to finish?

The truth is, if you don't capture your reader's attention right away, they might just click away or, worse, never even start reading your essay.

But how can we make sure that does not happen? 

An essay hook is what you need to meet this challenge. It is an attention grabber that hooks your reader’s interest.

Here, we will discuss several catchy hook examples to make your piece of writing more engaging. You can also read the types of hooks and tips to write effective hook statements for your essay. 

So, let’s start with the blog!

Arrow Down

  • 1. What is an Essay Hook?
  • 2. Examples of Different Types of Hook
  • 3. Hook Examples for Types of Essays
  • 4. How to Choose a Good Hook?
  • 5. How to Write a Good Essay Hook?

What is an Essay Hook?

An essay hook, often found at the beginning of an essay introduction , serves as an opening sentence that immediately grabs the reader's attention. These hooks are a common feature in high school, college, and various academic assignments.

It's vital to understand that hooks are distinct from introductions; they complement introductions rather than replacing them. A well-crafted hook should be self-contained, avoiding the pitfalls of being dull or predictable.

Purpose of Hook in Writing

An effective hook serves two primary purposes. 

  • Firstly, it sets the tone for the essay by providing the reader with a glimpse of the topic's essence. 
  • Secondly, it constructs a compelling introduction that tempts the reader to dive deeper into the essay's content.

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Examples of Different Types of Hook

In this section, we will explore different types of essay hooks and hook sentence examples. We will look into how these hooks can be used for writing different academic papers.

Question Hook

You can grab the reader’s attention by asking them an intriguing question that they would want to know the answer to. When posing a question, think about the interest of the reader and the things they would want to learn more about.

Avoid making your question generalized or simple Yes or No questions. For instance, asking a general question such as “Do you watch television?” won’t grab their attention and make them think it over. 

Using rhetorical questions to engage the reader is always a good idea!

Question Hook Example

Here are 10 hook question examples:

An anecdote can be a personal story or a product of your imagination. Provided that the story is relevant to your focus topic.

Typically, an anecdote is a funny statement, written to make the reader laugh and want to continue reading further.

Our lives are full of stories. Every day something interesting, funny, or strange happens. So, why don’t you use such stories to attract the reader’s attention?

Anecdote Hook Example

An anecdotal hook should be directly related to the central theme of the paper, demonstrating its relevance and connection to the main idea.

A "quote hook" is a type of hook used in writing that involves opening an essay with a quotation from a notable person, a famous author, or a respected source. The purpose of a quote hook is to immediately capture the reader's attention and establish the relevance of the topic by providing an authoritative statement.

A well-chosen quote can add credibility to your writing, evoke emotion, or introduce a key theme or idea that you intend to explore in your essay. It can also set the tone for the piece, whether it's persuasive, informative, or narrative.

Quotation Hook Example

The following is a quotation hook example that you can consider for your essay. 

Statistical Facts 

Fact or statistic hook is a type of hook used in writing that involves opening an essay or piece of content with a numerical fact or data point. The purpose of a statistical facts hook is to immediately engage the reader's interest by presenting them with a surprising, statistic related to the essay's topic.

This type of hook is particularly effective when writing an informative essay or persuasive essays that rely on data and evidence to support the main argument. 

Statistical Hook Example

Below is an interesting statistical hook example:

Personal Story

Starting a piece of writing with a personal short story is a good idea when writing narrative essays or a college application essay .

It doesn’t have to be an experience that you faced firsthand; it could be something that happened with a friend or a relative.

Personal Story Hook Example

Here is a great hook example for a personal story essay that you can consider. 

Description Hook

This hook is a vivid description of a scene or event to draw readers' attention to your writing. A well-written descriptive hook will make your readers want to know more about what is in the rest of your paper. 

Descriptive hooks are most commonly used in narrative essays but can be used in any type of writing. 

Description Hook Essay Example

The following is an interesting example of a description hook that you can read for your better understanding. 

Metaphor/Simile Hook

The metaphor/simile hook is used to help readers think about a particular topic in a different way. Your readers will think about the meaning and the context in which the topic is being addressed. 

A metaphor directly compares two things that are not related to each other. 

Metaphor/Simile Hook Example

Literary quotes.

When writing book reviews, it is often a good idea to use literary quotes. However, it is important to keep in mind that these quotes may not be appropriate for use in persuasive or expository essays .

We remember visual information more efficiently than words. When we see something, our brains quickly turn it into a picture. Scenes are often used in descriptive or narrative essays.

Scene Hook Example

Hook examples for types of essays.

There are different types of essays according to their structure and purpose. For instance, an argumentative essay is a serious essay written to persuade the reader on an argument. Whereas a narrative essay could be a light-hearted narration of an event. 

You can not use a funny question to start an argumentative essay. Similarly, you can not use a serious fact to start a funny narrative essay. 

The table shows hook examples for essays:

Let’s explore in detail some interesting hook examples according to different types of essays.

Expository Essay Hook Example

Hook: "Did you know that bees are responsible for pollinating one-third of the world's crops?"

Explanation: This hook explains the surprising and essential role that bees play in our food production, setting the stage for an expository essay that will explore this topic in detail.

Argumentative Essay Hook Example

Hook: "Is the use of technology making us more connected or driving us further apart as a society?"

Explanation: This hook presents a thought-provoking question about the impact of technology on human relationships, signaling that the argumentative essay will analyze and argue different perspectives on this issue.

Descriptive Essay Hook Example

A hook example sentence for a descriptive essay is as follows: 

Hook: "Imagine standing on a pristine white beach, the turquoise waves gently caressing your toes, and the scent of saltwater filling the air."

Explanation: This hook invites the reader to visualize a tranquil scene, creating anticipation for a descriptive essay that will provide vivid details and sensory experiences of this beautiful location.

Persuasive Essay Hook Example 

A hook example sentence for a persuasive essay is as follows:

Hook: "What if I told you that a simple change in diet could extend your lifespan by years?"

Explanation: This hook raises a compelling question about the potential health benefits of dietary choices, hinting at the persuasive argument that will follow in the essay.

Narrative Essay Hook Example

A hook example for narration is as follows: Hook: “I am really not sure if it is a real memory or just something that became more solid over time. But I am not sure that my neighbor once tried to murder me.”

Explanation: This hook introduces doubt about the authenticity of a memory involving the neighbor's alleged murder attempt.

Compare and Contrast Essay Hook Example 

Hook: "Apples and oranges—two fruits that couldn't be more different in taste, texture, and appearance." Explanation: This hook highlights the contrast between apples and oranges, signaling that the compare and contrast essay will explore the differences and similarities between these two fruits.

Process Essay Hook Example

A hook example sentence for a process analysis essay is as follows:

Hook: "Have you ever wondered how your favorite chocolate chip cookies are made?"

Explanation: This hook engages the reader's curiosity about the process of making chocolate chip cookies, setting the stage for a process essay that will provide step-by-step instructions.

Cause and Effect Essay Hook Example 

A hook example sentence for a cause and effect essay is as follows:

Hook: "In the realm of environmental science, the butterfly effect is real."

Explanation: This hook introduces the concept of the butterfly effect and its relevance to environmental science, foreshadowing a cause and effect essay that will explore the ripple effects of small actions on the environment.

Analytical Essay Hook Example

A hook example sentence for a analytical essay is as follows:

Hook: "Unlocking the hidden layers of Shakespearean sonnets is like deciphering a cryptic code."

Explanation: This hook uses a metaphor to describe the complexity of analyzing Shakespearean sonnets, indicating that the analytical essay will delve into the intricate language and themes within these works.

Hook Examples In Speeches

Hook: “In the United States, people are still fighting to be free. Many are fighting for free access to resources, free speech, and even the right to marry.”

Hook: “Getting revenge can easily become an obsession for many people. Some really crave for that kind of thing when they are being wronged.”

How to Choose a Good Hook?

Choosing a good hook involves engaging your audience, creating interest, and setting the stage for your content. Here is how to choose a good hook: 

  • Know Your Audience: Understand the interests and preferences of your target audience.
  • Relevance is Key: Ensure your hook directly relates to your content's topic.
  • Shock or Surprise: Use shocking facts, surprising statistics, or intriguing anecdotes.
  • Tell a Story: Engage emotionally with personal stories or narratives.
  • Pose a Question: Ask thought-provoking questions that make readers curious.
  • Quotations: Share powerful quotes from relevant authorities.
  • Visual Imagery: Use descriptive language to create vivid mental images.
  • Conciseness: Keep your hook brief and to the point.
  • Test and Refine: Experiment with different hooks and refine based on audience response.

Now that you have learned various techniques for crafting effective hooks, you're well-prepared to start writing one.

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How to Write a Good Essay Hook?

Here are the points that you need to keep in mind to write a hook for your essay. 

Step#1 Know the Kind of Literary Work 

First, it is important to have a clear vision in mind of the literary work you have selected for your paper. Here you need to describe what a certain essay type demands and what types of techniques you require to support your arguments in your essay. 

Step#2 Create an Outline

Always create an essay outline to see how the information can be organized better and which points need to be highlighted. Try to find an attention grabber that adds to the significance of that point. 

Step#3 Who are You Writing for?

Know your target audience and choose a way in which you want to develop your work. Your hook statement should be according to it. If you are writing for children, write in simple language. If you are writing for professionals, take the specific language into account. 

Step#4 Know the Purpose of Writing Your Essay

Choose hooks that fit your paper. Know the type of essay you are writing and its purpose. You can go for funny hooks if you are writing a paper on a light topic. If you are writing a conference paper, then you should be more formal. 

To Sum it Up!

Now you know the different ways to start your essay or research paper. You are the one to decide which hook is better and more effective to use according to the type of paper. Don’t forget to take into account the preparatory steps and figure out what type of hook is best to use.

You know that starting with a hook can make or break your academic essay. However, it is not always easy to come up with the perfect anecdote or statement for an opening line. 

Luckily, you can get help from . Our team of professional writers is ready to craft impeccable essays tailored to your needs, ensuring academic success without the stress.

Why struggle with complex assignments when you can ask us to " write my essay online " and experience the difference firsthand? 

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a good hook sentence.

FAQ Icon

A good hook sentence is a sentence that grabs the reader’s attention or compels them to read your essay further. It is supposed to make your essay more interesting and engaging for them.

A great technique to use is starting out by making an assertive claim about your topic. This will help in grabbing the reader’s attention the moment they begin reading your essay.

What comes first, thesis or hook?

The hook of your essay is the first line of your introductory paragraph or can be more than one also. But the essay hook is written first.

A thesis statement follows it. It is included as a mini-outline of the essay and tells the readers about the essay’s content. Further on, the transitional hook sentence is added at the end of the paragraph.

What is the purpose of a hook?

The main and foremost purpose of a hook is to grab the attention of readers and hook them to your work. It creates an interesting and enticing start to an essay or any other assignment and connects the readers to your work.

What is a hook statement?

The hook is the first sentence of your introduction, and it should be interesting. A great way to start your introduction is by writing an engaging, concise, and clear hook. This will spark curiosity in the reader, which leads them through all that you have written about.

How long is a hook in an essay?

The hook is 1-2 sentences of your essay are important because they help capture the reader's attention. They will continue reading if they are interested in what you have to say.

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How to Write an Essay Introduction (with Examples)   

essay introduction

The introduction of an essay plays a critical role in engaging the reader and providing contextual information about the topic. It sets the stage for the rest of the essay, establishes the tone and style, and motivates the reader to continue reading. 

Table of Contents

What is an essay introduction , what to include in an essay introduction, how to create an essay structure , step-by-step process for writing an essay introduction , how to write an introduction paragraph , how to write a hook for your essay , how to include background information , how to write a thesis statement .

  • Argumentative Essay Introduction Example: 
  • Expository Essay Introduction Example 

Literary Analysis Essay Introduction Example

Check and revise – checklist for essay introduction , key takeaways , frequently asked questions .

An introduction is the opening section of an essay, paper, or other written work. It introduces the topic and provides background information, context, and an overview of what the reader can expect from the rest of the work. 1 The key is to be concise and to the point, providing enough information to engage the reader without delving into excessive detail. 

The essay introduction is crucial as it sets the tone for the entire piece and provides the reader with a roadmap of what to expect. Here are key elements to include in your essay introduction: 

  • Hook : Start with an attention-grabbing statement or question to engage the reader. This could be a surprising fact, a relevant quote, or a compelling anecdote. 
  • Background information : Provide context and background information to help the reader understand the topic. This can include historical information, definitions of key terms, or an overview of the current state of affairs related to your topic. 
  • Thesis statement : Clearly state your main argument or position on the topic. Your thesis should be concise and specific, providing a clear direction for your essay. 

Before we get into how to write an essay introduction, we need to know how it is structured. The structure of an essay is crucial for organizing your thoughts and presenting them clearly and logically. It is divided as follows: 2  

  • Introduction:  The introduction should grab the reader’s attention with a hook, provide context, and include a thesis statement that presents the main argument or purpose of the essay.  
  • Body:  The body should consist of focused paragraphs that support your thesis statement using evidence and analysis. Each paragraph should concentrate on a single central idea or argument and provide evidence, examples, or analysis to back it up.  
  • Conclusion:  The conclusion should summarize the main points and restate the thesis differently. End with a final statement that leaves a lasting impression on the reader. Avoid new information or arguments. 

how to right a good hook for an essay

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to write an essay introduction: 

  • Start with a Hook : Begin your introduction paragraph with an attention-grabbing statement, question, quote, or anecdote related to your topic. The hook should pique the reader’s interest and encourage them to continue reading. 
  • Provide Background Information : This helps the reader understand the relevance and importance of the topic. 
  • State Your Thesis Statement : The last sentence is the main argument or point of your essay. It should be clear, concise, and directly address the topic of your essay. 
  • Preview the Main Points : This gives the reader an idea of what to expect and how you will support your thesis. 
  • Keep it Concise and Clear : Avoid going into too much detail or including information not directly relevant to your topic. 
  • Revise : Revise your introduction after you’ve written the rest of your essay to ensure it aligns with your final argument. 

Here’s an example of an essay introduction paragraph about the importance of education: 

Education is often viewed as a fundamental human right and a key social and economic development driver. As Nelson Mandela once famously said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” It is the key to unlocking a wide range of opportunities and benefits for individuals, societies, and nations. In today’s constantly evolving world, education has become even more critical. It has expanded beyond traditional classroom learning to include digital and remote learning, making education more accessible and convenient. This essay will delve into the importance of education in empowering individuals to achieve their dreams, improving societies by promoting social justice and equality, and driving economic growth by developing a skilled workforce and promoting innovation. 

This introduction paragraph example includes a hook (the quote by Nelson Mandela), provides some background information on education, and states the thesis statement (the importance of education). 

This is one of the key steps in how to write an essay introduction. Crafting a compelling hook is vital because it sets the tone for your entire essay and determines whether your readers will stay interested. A good hook draws the reader in and sets the stage for the rest of your essay.  

  • Avoid Dry Fact : Instead of simply stating a bland fact, try to make it engaging and relevant to your topic. For example, if you’re writing about the benefits of exercise, you could start with a startling statistic like, “Did you know that regular exercise can increase your lifespan by up to seven years?” 
  • Avoid Using a Dictionary Definition : While definitions can be informative, they’re not always the most captivating way to start an essay. Instead, try to use a quote, anecdote, or provocative question to pique the reader’s interest. For instance, if you’re writing about freedom, you could begin with a quote from a famous freedom fighter or philosopher. 
  • Do Not Just State a Fact That the Reader Already Knows : This ties back to the first point—your hook should surprise or intrigue the reader. For Here’s an introduction paragraph example, if you’re writing about climate change, you could start with a thought-provoking statement like, “Despite overwhelming evidence, many people still refuse to believe in the reality of climate change.” 

Including background information in the introduction section of your essay is important to provide context and establish the relevance of your topic. When writing the background information, you can follow these steps: 

  • Start with a General Statement:  Begin with a general statement about the topic and gradually narrow it down to your specific focus. For example, when discussing the impact of social media, you can begin by making a broad statement about social media and its widespread use in today’s society, as follows: “Social media has become an integral part of modern life, with billions of users worldwide.” 
  • Define Key Terms : Define any key terms or concepts that may be unfamiliar to your readers but are essential for understanding your argument. 
  • Provide Relevant Statistics:  Use statistics or facts to highlight the significance of the issue you’re discussing. For instance, “According to a report by Statista, the number of social media users is expected to reach 4.41 billion by 2025.” 
  • Discuss the Evolution:  Mention previous research or studies that have been conducted on the topic, especially those that are relevant to your argument. Mention key milestones or developments that have shaped its current impact. You can also outline some of the major effects of social media. For example, you can briefly describe how social media has evolved, including positives such as increased connectivity and issues like cyberbullying and privacy concerns. 
  • Transition to Your Thesis:  Use the background information to lead into your thesis statement, which should clearly state the main argument or purpose of your essay. For example, “Given its pervasive influence, it is crucial to examine the impact of social media on mental health.” 

how to right a good hook for an essay

A thesis statement is a concise summary of the main point or claim of an essay, research paper, or other type of academic writing. It appears near the end of the introduction. Here’s how to write a thesis statement: 

  • Identify the topic:  Start by identifying the topic of your essay. For example, if your essay is about the importance of exercise for overall health, your topic is “exercise.” 
  • State your position:  Next, state your position or claim about the topic. This is the main argument or point you want to make. For example, if you believe that regular exercise is crucial for maintaining good health, your position could be: “Regular exercise is essential for maintaining good health.” 
  • Support your position:  Provide a brief overview of the reasons or evidence that support your position. These will be the main points of your essay. For example, if you’re writing an essay about the importance of exercise, you could mention the physical health benefits, mental health benefits, and the role of exercise in disease prevention. 
  • Make it specific:  Ensure your thesis statement clearly states what you will discuss in your essay. For example, instead of saying, “Exercise is good for you,” you could say, “Regular exercise, including cardiovascular and strength training, can improve overall health and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.” 

Examples of essay introduction 

Here are examples of essay introductions for different types of essays: 

Argumentative Essay Introduction Example:  

Topic: Should the voting age be lowered to 16? 

“The question of whether the voting age should be lowered to 16 has sparked nationwide debate. While some argue that 16-year-olds lack the requisite maturity and knowledge to make informed decisions, others argue that doing so would imbue young people with agency and give them a voice in shaping their future.” 

Expository Essay Introduction Example  

Topic: The benefits of regular exercise 

“In today’s fast-paced world, the importance of regular exercise cannot be overstated. From improving physical health to boosting mental well-being, the benefits of exercise are numerous and far-reaching. This essay will examine the various advantages of regular exercise and provide tips on incorporating it into your daily routine.” 

Text: “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee 

“Harper Lee’s novel, ‘To Kill a Mockingbird,’ is a timeless classic that explores themes of racism, injustice, and morality in the American South. Through the eyes of young Scout Finch, the reader is taken on a journey that challenges societal norms and forces characters to confront their prejudices. This essay will analyze the novel’s use of symbolism, character development, and narrative structure to uncover its deeper meaning and relevance to contemporary society.” 

  • Engaging and Relevant First Sentence : The opening sentence captures the reader’s attention and relates directly to the topic. 
  • Background Information : Enough background information is introduced to provide context for the thesis statement. 
  • Definition of Important Terms : Key terms or concepts that might be unfamiliar to the audience or are central to the argument are defined. 
  • Clear Thesis Statement : The thesis statement presents the main point or argument of the essay. 
  • Relevance to Main Body : Everything in the introduction directly relates to and sets up the discussion in the main body of the essay. 

how to right a good hook for an essay

Writing a strong introduction is crucial for setting the tone and context of your essay. Here are the key takeaways for how to write essay introduction: 3  

  • Hook the Reader : Start with an engaging hook to grab the reader’s attention. This could be a compelling question, a surprising fact, a relevant quote, or an anecdote. 
  • Provide Background : Give a brief overview of the topic, setting the context and stage for the discussion. 
  • Thesis Statement : State your thesis, which is the main argument or point of your essay. It should be concise, clear, and specific. 
  • Preview the Structure : Outline the main points or arguments to help the reader understand the organization of your essay. 
  • Keep it Concise : Avoid including unnecessary details or information not directly related to your thesis. 
  • Revise and Edit : Revise your introduction to ensure clarity, coherence, and relevance. Check for grammar and spelling errors. 
  • Seek Feedback : Get feedback from peers or instructors to improve your introduction further. 

The purpose of an essay introduction is to give an overview of the topic, context, and main ideas of the essay. It is meant to engage the reader, establish the tone for the rest of the essay, and introduce the thesis statement or central argument.  

An essay introduction typically ranges from 5-10% of the total word count. For example, in a 1,000-word essay, the introduction would be roughly 50-100 words. However, the length can vary depending on the complexity of the topic and the overall length of the essay.

An essay introduction is critical in engaging the reader and providing contextual information about the topic. To ensure its effectiveness, consider incorporating these key elements: a compelling hook, background information, a clear thesis statement, an outline of the essay’s scope, a smooth transition to the body, and optional signposting sentences.  

The process of writing an essay introduction is not necessarily straightforward, but there are several strategies that can be employed to achieve this end. When experiencing difficulty initiating the process, consider the following techniques: begin with an anecdote, a quotation, an image, a question, or a startling fact to pique the reader’s interest. It may also be helpful to consider the five W’s of journalism: who, what, when, where, why, and how.   For instance, an anecdotal opening could be structured as follows: “As I ascended the stage, momentarily blinded by the intense lights, I could sense the weight of a hundred eyes upon me, anticipating my next move. The topic of discussion was climate change, a subject I was passionate about, and it was my first public speaking event. Little did I know , that pivotal moment would not only alter my perspective but also chart my life’s course.” 

Crafting a compelling thesis statement for your introduction paragraph is crucial to grab your reader’s attention. To achieve this, avoid using overused phrases such as “In this paper, I will write about” or “I will focus on” as they lack originality. Instead, strive to engage your reader by substantiating your stance or proposition with a “so what” clause. While writing your thesis statement, aim to be precise, succinct, and clear in conveying your main argument.  

To create an effective essay introduction, ensure it is clear, engaging, relevant, and contains a concise thesis statement. It should transition smoothly into the essay and be long enough to cover necessary points but not become overwhelming. Seek feedback from peers or instructors to assess its effectiveness. 


  • Cui, L. (2022). Unit 6 Essay Introduction.  Building Academic Writing Skills . 
  • West, H., Malcolm, G., Keywood, S., & Hill, J. (2019). Writing a successful essay.  Journal of Geography in Higher Education ,  43 (4), 609-617. 
  • Beavers, M. E., Thoune, D. L., & McBeth, M. (2023). Bibliographic Essay: Reading, Researching, Teaching, and Writing with Hooks: A Queer Literacy Sponsorship. College English, 85(3), 230-242. 

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how to right a good hook for an essay

How to Write a Hook for an Essay?

how to right a good hook for an essay

Have you ever struggled with difficulties while writing your essays? Probably, yes. If so, the biggest problem most likely lies in making your essay catchy. Doubtless, it should contain a nice hook. It is to say that you are supposed to bring into play all your imagination and don't be afraid to be creative. Hooks of good quality shouldn't be too long or boring. Read on to learn how to write a good hook for your essay, written by EssayService team.

What Is a Good Hook for an Essay?

So, what are the hooks for essays? Hooks or hook sentences are opening sentences that aim to attract and capture a reader's attention - to hook them up. Namely, you are to get the audience interested in what you wrote.

Important to note that the hook is based solely on your knowledge. It is in this sense that it will be personal to you. There is no methodology to find the perfect catchphrase for the essay since each person will have a different way of dealing with the subject and therefore introduce their reasoning. 

It must, however, be taken into consideration that your essay hook must absolutely be related to the subject, or at least to the reasoning that you will lead while writing your text. You should not forget to explain it to a minimum. It is important to put a catchphrase not just for the aesthetics of the introduction: it must add something to your reasoning.

how to right a good hook for an essay

8 the Most Popular Types of Hooks

If you don't know which way would be best to start writing your essay, below are some of the most popular hook types with hook examples offered by our write an essay for me service professionals.

types of hooks

Strong Claim

A statement or declaration that will make your readers think about whether they agree or disagree with the point of view mentioned in the hook sentence.

e.g., Online college classes are cheaper and more effective than in-person college classes.    

An intriguing question that will push the audience to read further. The curiosity will get the upper hand if the answer reveals at the end of the essay. 

e.g., That's not to say the life you have now isn't making you happy, but should you settle for just okay? 

Statistics and Facts

You may provide some accurate, interesting, and trustworthy facts to encourage your audience to continue reading. 

e.g., Two out of five Americans can't name a single freedom protected by the First Amendment. 

Stylistic Devices

Use your imagination and include some metaphors or similes to make the text more vivid and engaging.

e.g., Her long hair was a flowing golden river. 
e.g., Bright as the sun. 

Why don't you start your essay by telling a funny joke? That could evoke readers' positive emotions. Use kind humor and avoid sarcastic statements.

e.g., "What is the best thing about Switzerland? I don't know, but the flag is a big plus."

If you are to write a personal essay, you may share your own experience. It can be a memory, event, or even a story that inspired you once. 

e.g., When I was a child, my granny took me to the ZOO. Could you imagine a small three-year-old boy running from his granny directly to the lions' cage?

Scene Description

A vivid description of the scene where the action takes place would push your readers to feel the atmosphere of the story.

e.g., The day of his birth began with lightning striking the house of his parents.

The quote can markedly support and emphasize the thought and idea of your essay.

e.g., "The real test is not whether you avoid this failure, because you won't. It's whether you let it harden or shame you into inaction, or whether you learn from it; whether you choose to persevere." - Barack Obama

Quotes as Hooks for Essays

In an essay, writing a good introduction is usually a very delicate task. There are many methods for writing it, and often you will be tempted to start your essay with a quote. Indeed, a very appropriate quote that fits well with your text can, from the first lines, give your essay the breath it needs.

Quotes could have multiple functions: providing objective information, conveying an emotion, challenging the reader or, quite simply, surprising, and making people smile. 

But be sure to:

  • Avoid using well-known quotes and clichés. They can't be hooks and won't surprise anyone;
  • Be sure that the quote is related to the topic of your essay;
  • Avoid long quotes as they could bore the reader, instead use short and easy to understand quotations;
  • When using an author quote as a hook, be sure of the quote, the author, his work, and the date to avoid mistakes.

Why should you use a quote as an essay hook? A relevant and well-chosen quote can:

  • positively influence the essay grader;
  • make your essay more aesthetic;
  • raise the level of readers' trust and curiosity;
  • sum up your essay with a point pushing readers to think of it;
  • give a persuasive argument;
  • give specific references;
  • concretize your idea or opinion;
  • add authority or animate your writing;
  • provide proof that your further interpretation is justified.

Practical Tips on How to Write a Hook for an Essay

Below you will find several valuable tips from our paper writing service online writers to help you write a perfect hook for your essay.

tips for hook

Tip №1: To create a catching hook, you are to define the thesis - your opinion on the subject. The following questions could help you:

  • What is the topic of my essay?
  • What writing style should I adopt?
  • Who is my target audience?
  • What text structure do I need to establish?
  • What is the purpose of my essay? (persuade, discuss, tell the story, investigate something)

Done? Great! Now keep on reading our step-by-step guide for the hands-on tips and more hook examples.

Tip №2: Start with searching for useful material. Surprisingly for you, it's better to write a hook and an intro after finishing the whole essay. Why? Simply because having the entire essay done, you will understand what is a good hook sentence for your essay.

Tip №3: Define the type of your essay. This step is crucial because an analytical essay or cause and effect essay differ greatly from argumentative, critical, narrative, and descriptive essays as they require using various writing strategies. It goes without saying that the hooks will also differ. Then, the process of writing an essay hook will be much easier. 

Tip №4: Write coherent sentences, and don't forget to use linking words that help not to lose the train of thought.

e.g., in the first place, again, moreover, not only ... but also, as well as, markedly, such as, another key point, especially, for example, the first thing to remember, specifically, for instance, etc.

Tip №5: Never use unknown references. Remember, the hook is made to "catch" the attention of your reader. 

Tip №6: Account for the audience you write for. For instance, if you write an essay for narrow-field professionals, use appropriate hook and language. Conversely, the personal essay could begin with your childhood story or a touching fact of your life.

Tip №7: Use diverse sources to look for good hook sentences and phrases. Namely, you could use historical facts or new info from social media, thus showing that you are an open-minded person who is interested in a number of things.

Tip №8: Always make sure your essay hook is relevant as its purpose is to highlight or reinforce the main idea of the essay.

Essay Hooks Examples

Facts and stats.

Numbers in your hook sentence would definitely draw readers' attention. If you write, for example, an argumentative essay, accurate statistics, interesting facts, and other credible data are the best fit. Mind that in such essays, intro can't be humorous.

e.g., "Somalia, North Korea, and Afghanistan are perceived to be the most corrupt countries in the world, while Denmark, Finland, and Sweden are the least corrupt ones."

"There are 3.725 billion active social media users."
"US adults spend an average of 1 hour, 16 minutes each day watching video on digital devices."

Literature Essay

e.g., Is poetry only the expression of personal feelings?

"To make poetry is to confess," said Friedrich Klopstock, an 18th-century German poet considered to be the creator of "the poetry of experience and experience" (Erlebnisdichtung). Confession is the act of sharing all of your feelings with an outside person, often from the Church, to wash away your sins. In this sense, and following Klopstock, poetry would indeed be the expression of personal feelings. Is it only that?

Quoting an author in a catchphrase is a dangerous exercise, in the sense that this sentence will be the first thing the professor sees in your essay. Citing an author requires knowing exactly what information you are going to give.

Economics Essay

e.g., The Brazilian economy since 2011

Brazil is the seventh-largest economy in the world. After experiencing a period of substantial growth, the economy shows signs of slowing since 2011, due to the stagnation of the prices of export raw materials, the decline in domestic consumption linked to household debt, and lower investment. Affected by the decrease in household consumption, industrial activity, and investment, the Brazilian economy has entered a recession since 2014 (-3.5% in 2015). The recession is forecast to deepen in 2016 due to the tightening of monetary policy to curb inflation and insufficient investor confidence due to political uncertainty.

Generally, such hooks are mainly found in essays on social sciences like economics and geography, or any other subject using a lot of data.

As with the quotations, be certain of the precision of the data that will serve as a hook, and do not forget to cite your sources!

Philosophy Essay 

e.g., Is work a necessary evil?

At first glance, it would seem that work is not something bad. Indeed, work would be something necessary for human fulfillment, as well as leisure and cultural activities, since it would allow the man to improve these physical, moral, and social capacities in order to humanize. We are nevertheless led to wonder if…

You can also start your introduction by using an idea of the resolution of the subject. If you are doing this, then you need to bring up one of your hypotheses, usually what you consider to be the most likely answer when asked the question.

This option will also be useful for writing your complete introduction since it will allow you to question this hypothesis in your intro to draw your text's general problem. It also allows you to start your argument.

"Topical Issue" Essay 

e.g., Are cities in crisis?

Cities, understood as areas where people live, work, consume and have fun, also concentrate a certain number of problems, made up of inequalities and exclusions. In this context, the state has intervened for several decades to try and compensate for this through protean actions grouped under the label "city policy."

Leaning on a news item to create a hook will allow you to put the subject in context. It will even help you put your reasoning in place.

Putting the subject in context will allow the professor to see that you have understood the issue and its challenges in today's world. You can mention laws, social actions, current events, etc.

To put it in a nutshell, using different kinds of hooks is a perfect way to grab your reader's attention. Our research paper writing service professionals have enumerated for you the best tips for writing great essay hooks, as well as the types of hooks. Use our tips and choose the best one for your introduction!

Still can't quite get the hang of the essay hook? No problem! Order an essay on our platform, work with a network of professional freelance writers, and have your assignment ready in no time. Order essays with nice hooks!

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8 Tracks: Beyond the grave, Johnny Cash still shows us how to make music

Plus new music by arooj aftab, tems, danielson.

Lars Gotrich

Lars Gotrich

how to right a good hook for an essay

Songwriter , out June 28, features early '90s demos by Johnny Cash with new backing tracks. Alan Messer hide caption

Songwriter , out June 28, features early '90s demos by Johnny Cash with new backing tracks.

8 Tracks is your antidote to the algorithm. Each week, NPR Music producer Lars Gotrich, with the help of his colleagues, makes connections between sounds across time. A slightly different version of this column originally ran in the NPR Music newsletter .

On My Mother's Hymn Book , a 2004 collection of gospel songs he learned from his mother, Johnny Cash sings, "My life will end in deathless sleep / Where the soul of man never dies / And everlasting joys I'll reap / Where the soul of man never dies." Cash takes refuge in what the sweet hereafter offers, but also recognizes the restlessness of the eternal.

Tiny Desk Premiere: Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives

Tiny Desk Premiere: Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives

8 Tracks: Post-hardcore band Thursday returns, plus glammy metal and skate-punk

8 Tracks: Post-hardcore band Thursday returns, plus glammy metal and skate-punk

Whither the West Coast gangsta?

Music Features

Whither the west coast gangsta.

When an artist dies, there's part of me that yearns for their familiar signatures: the way someone sings or raps, plays the guitar, coaxes unknown tones from a saxophone or lands a drum fill. I come to that music because of that person and the way they understand themselves; I trust them to set me inside their world. For this reason, I have a queasy relationship with posthumous albums: Music often made from the remnants of an artist's body of work, handled by those with varying degrees of separation from the source. In his beautiful essay and podcast on Minnie Ripperton 's final album Love Lies Forever released after her death, Hanif Abdurraqib succinctly summed up the process : "It is a tapestry of well-meaning guesses, set to music."

Unreleased music in Cash's vault has been unearthed before. Rick Rubin's American series, which undoubtedly revived Cash's career, continued after The Man in Black's death in 2003. Out Among the Stars rescued 1980s sessions with countrypolitan producer Billy Sherrill. And a new album Songwriter , out June 28, will join the posthumous Cash catalog. Here's the story: In 1993, then labeless and likely listless, Johnny Cash wrote and recorded a bunch of songs at LSI Studios in Nashville. Shelved and forgotten, the recordings were rediscovered decades later by his son John Carter Cash. As a press release states, they have now been stripped back "to just Johnny's powerful, pristine vocals and acoustic guitar," but with new backing tracks.

When approaching posthumously released music, I ask myself some questions: How much was the artist involved in the process? Not much, obviously; they're gone, but sometimes they leave behind clues. Think of Arthur Russell , the musical polymath whose staggering output was only really heard in the last two decades. Beloved collections such as Love Is Overtaking Me and Calling Out of Context were pieced together from demos and half- or mostly finished studio sessions, then built from a producer's imagination and, most crucially, notebooks left behind by Russell. He left blueprints. Peter Broderick, an experimental/folk artist in his own right, was brought on to mix and restore Russell's audio, essentially taking scraps to make 2019's Iowa Dream . " I had to follow my own intuition and assurance of what I feel ," he said, "but you just never know how close that is to someone's original vision." In so many words, Broderick pinpoints the conflict, but sits with discomfort and the unknown — that feels healthy and respectful to me.

Which brings me to my next question: Are the people involved family or close confidants whom the artist trusted? In the best case scenario, you get something like Mac Miller 's Circles , a close-to-final product brought home by his family and producer Jon Brion. Selena 's incredible Dreaming of You was realized in the months just after the Queen of Tejano Music was shot and killed. Her husband Chris Pérez says that "to be around the voice at that particular time was ... really painful ." There are some posthumous albums made with good hearts, but mixed results (see: Faith Evans and The Notorious B.I.G. 's The King & I ), then others just full of questionable ick (again, Selena, but with her voice digitally aged ).

A more practical question: Has the artist expressed any wishes regarding their music after death? Anderson .Paak famously got a tattoo on his arm that reads: "When I'm Gone Please Don't Release Any Posthumous Albums Or Songs With My Name Attached Those Were Just Demos And Never Intended To Be Heard By The Public." Not sure that's legally binding, but straightforward all the same. Too bad Prince was against tattoos; it might have better communicated what he wanted done with his archives.

But perhaps the most important question raised in thinking about posthumous music: How do I feel about all of this? Does it feel good... or gross? Both? The first single from Cash's Songwriter leads off this edition of 8 Tracks . The song got me in my feels about music made after a beloved artist dies — in this case, 21 years later — and what matters most in doing so. Or, as NPR contributor Briana Younger surmised in a review for a different posthumous release, " It could never be enough, but it'll have to do ." So check out that unreleased Johnny Cash song, plus new music by Arooj Aftab , Cassandra Jenkins and a transcendent Karen Dalton cover.

Johnny Cash, "Well Alright"

"I met her at the laundromat, she was washing extra hot / I said, 'Don't you need a little help with that big load you got?' " The way my eyes bulged out of my sockets when I heard that opening line. Johnny Cash, that sly sonuvagun, wrote a Dear Penthouse song. Who knows what the original recording sounded like, but here, Cash's sturdy, storytelling voice is accompanied by the classic Tennessee Three sound, provided by old bandmates — including guitarist Marty Stuart and bassist Dave Roe — plus drummer Pete Abbott. You can practically hear Cash chuckle and, well, that's all right by me.

Danielson, "Come and Save Me"

From the late '60s until his death in 2008, Christian rock pioneer Larry Norman used his voice, in the words of biographer Gregory Alan Thornbury, as a " machine for killing complacency in religious people ." Personally, my favorite songs captured a curious empathy. Some lyrics were found among "lost" papers and presented to Daniel Smith, ringleader of the 30-year-old indie-pop gospel group Danielson (or Danielson Famile or Brother Danielson, depending on the project). Late in his life, Norman expressed admiration for Smith's idiosyncratic-yet-earnest expression of faith, which makes sense to me: Both embrace radical compassion for a broken humanity, no matter one's belief system. This posthumous collaboration, a sweet and sweeping balm for the lonely, feels like a legacy passed on. Fred Armisen, a longtime Danielson fan, stars in the short film that accompanies it.

Pylon Reenactment Society, "3x3"

When it comes to Athens, Ga., R.E.M. , The B-52s and Pylon should all be mentioned in the same breath. In 2014, original singer Vanessa Briscoe Hay formed this repertoire band to perform Pylon's music, but also write new songs. "3x3," written in 1979 but never recorded, not only restores but extends the spirit of Pylon, dialing up accessible and avant-garde strains of post-punk with a party atmosphere. When I saw Pylon Reenactment Society in Asheville, N.C., recently, "3x3" naturally slotted between the classic "Cool" and "Flowers Everywhere" — I danced the entire time.

Kara Jackson, "Right, Wrong or Ready"

No one sang other people's songs quite like Karen Dalton: She could change the meaning and the mood with the dimension of her voice. "Right, Wrong or Ready" was originally written by Major Wiley, but truly became Dalton's own on her 1969 debut. Kara Jackson , a poet who wowed us with her own debut last year, takes some cues from Dalton — namely, a gnarled understanding of the blues — but slows everything to a dreamy sigh.

Arooj Aftab, "Raat Ki Rani"

Nobody can do Sade but Sade, but Arooj Aftab — here evoking a certain Sade-ness — does understand that sensuality is an action that flows like a soft current. Aftab has a voice that slips through consciousness, like a lingering memory curled around a melody, so it's somewhat thrilling — titillating even — to hear that same soothing voice yearn with steady assurance for romantic love over a sumptuous harp groove.

Tems, "Love Me JeJe"

The song of summer doesn't need heat, but it does need to sizzle. Enter a contender: "Love Me JeJe" borrows its hook from Nigerian Afro-soul singer Seyi Sodimu's 1997 hit of the same name, but Tems — herself a Nigerian singer-songwriter on the rise — leans into a twilight tenderness with soft synths and an intricate drum pattern. It's a quiet beckoning to love, but a communal one lifted up in a call-and-response that will echo across stages and clubs all summer long.

Cassandra Jenkins, "Only One"

Cassandra Jenkins' "Only One" is, at its core, a love song, one measured by questions of time ("How long will this last?"), but also one's threshold for pain. Love hurts, or so some other song tells us, but this love, dimly lit by synths and whispered saxophone, is a "stick figure sisyphus." What a strange and compelling metaphor for how we return to someone, flimsy and beaten down, but willing to fight.

Isaiah Collier & The Chosen Few, "The Almighty"

The title track to The Almighty is more than 18 minutes long. Could I have chosen one of the "shorter" tracks from the Chicago saxophonist's outrageously beautiful new album? Sure, but that would deny y'all the record's colossal closing. Isaiah Collier's tone carves a spiritual, serrated shape, not unlike early '70s Pharoah Sanders . His hard-hitting jazz quartet is joined by additional strings and horns — together they build (and build) with maximalist ecstasy, layering joyous chaos with a revved-up theme that summons the dawn of time.

  • Kara Jackson
  • Arooj Aftab
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An illustration showing a single seat in the middle of a classroom and a crowd of people scrambling to get to it.

Opinion Guest Essay

This Is Peak College Admissions Insanity

Credit... Illustrations by Pete Gamlen

Supported by

By Daniel Currell

Mr. Currell, a lawyer and consultant, was deputy under secretary and senior adviser at the U.S. Department of Education from 2018 to 2021. He is a trustee of Gustavus Adolphus College.

  • May 1, 2024

Selective college admissions have been a vortex of anxiety and stress for what seems like forever, inducing panic in more top high school seniors each year. But the 2023-2024 admissions season was not just an incremental increase in the frantic posturing and high-pressure guesswork that make this annual ritual seem like academic Hunger Games. This year was different. A number of factors — some widely discussed, some little noticed — combined to push the process into a new realm in which the old rules didn’t apply and even the gatekeepers seemed not to know what the new rules were.

It happened, as these things often do, first gradually and then all at once.

It started with a precipitous rise in the number of people clamoring to get in. The so-called Ivy-Plus schools — the eight members of the Ivy League plus M.I.T., Duke, Chicago and Stanford — collectively received about 175,000 applications in 2002. In 2022, the most recent year for which totals are available, they got more than 590,000, with only a few thousand more available spots.

The quality of the applicants has risen also. In 2002, the nation produced 134 perfect ACT scores ; in 2023 there were 2,542 . Over the same period, the United States — and beyond it, the world — welcomed a great many more families into the ranks of the wealthy, who are by far the most likely to attend an elite college. Something had to give.

The first cracks appeared around the rules that had long governed the process and kept it civilized, obligating colleges to operate on the same calendar and to give students time to consider all offers before committing. A legal challenge swept the rules away, freeing the most powerful schools to do pretty much whatever they wanted.

One clear result was a drastic escalation in the formerly niche admissions practice known as Early Decision.

Then Covid swept through, forcing colleges to let students apply without standardized test scores — which, as the university consultant Ben Kennedy says, “tripled the number of kids who said to themselves, ‘Hey, I’ve got a shot at admission there.’” More applications, more market power for the schools, and for the students, an ever smaller chance of getting in.

Last year the Supreme Court’s historic decision ending race-based affirmative action left colleges scrambling for new ways to preserve diversity, and students groping in the dark to figure out what schools wanted.

Finally, this year the whole financial aid system exploded into spectacular disarray. Now, a month after most schools sent out the final round of acceptances, many students still don’t have the information they need to determine if they can afford college. Some will delay attending, and some will forgo it entirely, an outcome that would have lasting implications for them and, down the line, for the economy as a whole.

These disparate changes had one crucial thing in common: Almost all of them strengthened the hand of highly selective colleges, allowing them to push applicants into more constricted choices with less information and less leverage. The result is that elite admissions offices, which have always tried to reduce the uncertainty in each new year’s decisions, are now using their market power to all but eliminate it. This means taking no chances in pursuit of a high “yield,” the status-bestowing percentage of admitted students who enroll. But low uncertainty for elite colleges means the opposite for applicants — especially if they can’t pay the full tuition rate.

Canh Oxelson , executive director of college counseling at the Horace Mann School in New York, says: “This is as much uncertainty as we’ve ever seen. Affirmative action, the FAFSA debacle, test-optionality — it has shown itself in this one particular year. Colleges want certainty, and they are getting more. Families want certainty and they are getting less.”

In 2024, the only applicants who could be certain of an advantage were those whose parents had taken the wise precaution of being rich.

An illustration showing one student buried under a huge pile of books and another playing football while holding some books under his arm.

The Early Bird Gets the Dorm

For Ivy Wydler, an elite college seemed like an obvious destination and many of her classmates at Georgetown Visitation Preparatory School in Washington, D.C. were headed along the same trajectory. After her sophomore year of high school, she took the ACT and got a perfect score — on her first try, a true rarity. Her grades were stellar. So she set her sights high, favoring “medium to big schools, and not too cold.”

Touring campuses, she was dazzled by how great and exciting it all seemed. Then she visited Duke, and something clicked. She applied in the binding early decision round.

It’s a consequential choice. Students can do so at only one college, and they have to promise to attend if accepted, before knowing what the school’s financial aid offer will be. That means there is at least a chance an applicant will be on the hook for the full cost, which at Duke is $86,886 for the 2024-25 year. Students couldn’t be legally compelled to attend if they couldn’t afford it, but by the time they got the news, they would have already had to withdraw their other applications.

If full tuition isn’t a deal killer, as it wouldn’t be for Ivy’s family, the rewards are considerable. This year, just over 54,000 high school seniors vied to be one of only 1,750 members of Duke’s incoming class. The 6,000 who applied in the early decision round were three times more likely to get in as the 48,000 who applied later.

Until recently, early decision was a narrow pathway — an outlier governed, like the rest of this annual academic mating season, by a set of mandatory practices laid out by the National Association for College Admission Counseling, which is made up of college admissions officers and high school counselors. Those rules said, for example, that colleges couldn’t recruit a student who was already committed to another school or actively encourage someone to transfer. Crucially, the rules said that colleges needed to give students until May 1 to decide among offers (noting early decision, which begins and ends in the fall, as a “recognized exception”).

The Justice Department thought those rules ran afoul of the Sherman Antitrust Act, which bars powerful industries from colluding to restrain competition. At the end of 2019, NACAC agreed to a settlement mandating that the organization “promptly abolish” several of the rules and downgrade the rest to voluntary guidelines. Now if they chose to, colleges had license to lure students with special offers or benefits, to aggressively poach students at other schools and to tear up the traditional admissions calendar.

At that point, nothing restrained colleges from going all in on early decision, a strategy that allows them to lock in students early without making any particular commitments about financial aid. Of the 735 first-year students that Middlebury College enrolled last year, for example, 516 were admitted via binding early decision. Some schools have a second round of early decision, and even what amounts to an unofficial third round — along with an array of other application pathways, each with its own terms and conditions.

With the rules now abandoned, colleges got a whole new bag of tricks. For example, a school might call — at any time in the process — with a one-time offer of admission if you can commit on the spot to attend and let go of all other prospects. Hesitate and it’s gone, along with your chances in subsequent rounds. “We hear about colleges that are putting pressure on high school seniors to send in a deposit sooner to get better courses or housing options,” says Sara Harberson, the founder of Application Nation, a college advising service.

To inform these maneuvers, colleges lean on consultants who analyze applicant demographics, qualifications, financial status and more using econometric models. High school seniors think this is checkers, but the schools know it’s chess. This has all become frankly terrifying for students, who are first-time players in a game their opponents invented.

Application season can be particularly intimidating for students who, unlike Ivy, did not grow up on the elite college conveyor belt. When Rania Khan, a senior in Gorton High School in Yonkers, was in middle school, she and her mother spent two years in a shelter near Times Square. Since then she and her younger brother have been in the foster system. Despite these challenges, she has been a superb student. In ninth grade, Rania got an internship at Google and joined a research team at Regeneron, a biotechnology company. She won a national award for her study of how sewage treatment chemicals affect river ecosystems. Looking at colleges, she saw that her scores and credentials matched with those of students at the very top schools in the country.

One of the schools she was most drawn to was Barnard. “I like that it’s both a small college and” — because it’s part of Columbia — “a big university. There are a lot of resources, and it’s a positive environment for women,” she said. And it would keep her close to her little brother.

Barnard now fills around 60 percent of its incoming class in the early decision round, giving those students a massive admissions advantage. It would have been an obvious option for Rania, but she can’t take any chances financially. She applied via the general decision pool, when instead of having a one in three chance, her odds were one in 20.

Officially, anyone can apply for early decision. In practice it’s priority boarding for first-class passengers.

Unstandardized Testing

When selective colleges suspended the requirement for standardized testing, it didn’t really seem like a choice; because of the pandemic, a great many students simply couldn’t take the tests. The implications, however, went far beyond mere plague-year logistics.

The SAT was rolled out in 1926 as an objective measure of students’ ability, absent the cultural biases that had so strongly informed college admissions to date. It’s been the subject of debate almost ever since. In 1980, Ralph Nader published a study alleging that the standardized testing regimen actually reinforced racial and gender bias and favored people who could afford expensive test prep. Many educators have come back around to regarding the tests as a good predictor of academic success, but the matter is far from settled.

Remarkably, students still take the exams in the same numbers as before the pandemic, but far fewer disclose what they got. Cindy Zarzuela, an adviser with the nonprofit Yonkers Partners in Education who works with Rania and about 90 other students, said all her students took the SAT this year. None of them sent their scores to colleges.

These days Cornell, for example, admits roughly 40 percent of its incoming class without a test score. At schools like the University of Wisconsin or the University of Connecticut , the percentage is even higher. In California, schools rarely accept scores at all, being in many cases not only test-optional, but “test-blind.”

The high water mark of test-optionality, however, was also its undoing.

Applicants tended to submit their scores only if they were above the school’s reported median, a pattern that causes that median to be recalibrated higher and higher each year. When Cornell went test-optional, its 25th percentile score on the math SAT jumped from 720 to 750. Then it went to 760. The ceiling is 800, so standardized tests had begun to morph from a system of gradients into a yes/no question: Did you get a perfect score? If not, don’t mention it.

The irony, however, was that in the search for a diverse student body, many elite colleges view strong-but-not-stellar test scores as proof that a student from an underprivileged background could do well despite lacking the advantages of the kids from big suburban high schools and fancy prep schools. Without those scores, it might be harder to make the case .

Multiply that across the board, and the result was that “test-optional” policies made admission to an elite school less likely for some diverse or disadvantaged applicants. Georgetown and M.I.T. were first to reinstate test score requirements, and so far this year Harvard, Yale, Brown, Caltech, Dartmouth and Cornell have announced that they will follow. There may be more to come.

The Power of No

On Dec. 14, Ivy got an answer from Duke: She was rejected.

She was in extremely good company. It’s been a while since top students could assume they’d get into top schools, but today, they get rejected more often than not. It even happens at places like Northeastern, a school now ranked 53rd in the nation by U.S. News & World Report — and not long ago, more than 100 slots lower than that — and which spends less per student on instruction than the Boston public schools .

“There’s no target school any more and no safety school,” says Stef Mauler , a private admissions coach in Texas. “You have to have a strategy for every school you apply to.”

Northeastern was one of the 18 other schools Ivy applied to, carefully sifting through various deadlines and conditions, mapping out her strategy. With Duke out of the way, her thoughts kept returning to one of them in particular: Dartmouth, her father’s alma mater. “My mom said, ‘Ivy, you love New Hampshire. Look at Dartmouth.’ She was right.” She had wanted to go someplace warm, but the idea of cold weather seemed to be bothering her less and less.

Meanwhile Rania watched as early decision day came and went, and thousands of high school seniors across the country got the best news of their lives. For Rania, it was just another Friday.

A Free Market in Financial Aid

In 2003, a consortium of about 20 elite colleges agreed to follow a shared formula for financial aid, to ensure that they were competing for students on the merits, not on mere dollars and cents. It sounds civilized, but pricing agreements are generally illegal for commercial ventures. (Imagine if car companies agreed not to underbid each other.) The colleges believed they were exempt from that prohibition, however, because they practiced “ need-blind ” admissions, meaning they don’t discriminate based on a student’s ability to pay.

In 2022, nine current and former students from an array of prestigious colleges filed a class action antitrust lawsuit — later backed by the Justice Department — arguing that the consortium’s gentlemanly agreement was depriving applicants of the benefits of a free market. And to defang the defense, they produced a brilliant argument: No, these wealthy colleges didn’t discriminate against students who were poor, but they sure did discriminate in favor of students who were rich. They favored the children of alumni and devoted whole development offices to luring the kinds of ultra-rich families that affix their names to shiny new buildings. It worked: early this year, Brown, Columbia, Duke, Emory and Yale joined the University of Chicago in conceding , and paying out a nine-figure settlement. (They deny any wrongdoing.) Several other schools are playing on, but the consortium and its rules have evaporated.

This set schools free to undercut one another on price in order to get their preferred students. It also gave the schools a further incentive to push for early decision, when students don’t have the ability to compare offers.

For almost anyone seeking financial aid, from the most sought-after first round pick to the kid who just slid under the wire, the first step remained the same: They had to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid form, or FAFSA.

As anyone knows who’s been through it — or looked into the glassy eyes of someone else who has — applying for financial aid can be torture at the best of times. This year was the worst of times, because FAFSA was broken. The form, used by the government to determine who qualifies for federal grants or student loans, and by many colleges to determine their in-house financial aid, had gotten a much-needed overhaul. But the new version didn’t work , causing endless frustration for many families, and convincing many others not even to bother. At mid-April, finished FAFSA applications were down 29 percent compared to last year.

“The FAFSA catastrophe is bigger than people realize,” says Casey Sacks , a former U.S. Department of Education official, now President of BridgeValley Community and Technical College in West Virginia, where 70 percent of students receive federal funds.

Abigail Garcia , Rania’s classmate and the 2024 valedictorian of their school, applied to in-state public colleges as well as Ivies. She couldn’t complete the FAFSA, however, because it rejected her parents’ information, the most common glitch. She has financial aid offers from elite schools, all of which use a private alternative to the government form, but she can’t weigh them against the public institutions, because they are so severely delayed.

For most students, 2024’s FAFSA crisis looks set to take the uncertainty that began last fall and drag it into the summer or beyond. “That’s going to reduce the work force in two to four years.” Ms. Sacks says. “FAFSA completions are a pretty good leading indicator of how many people will be able to start doing the kinds of jobs that are in highest demand — registered nurses, manufacturing engineers, those kinds of jobs.”

As the FAFSA problem rolls on, it could be that for the system as a whole, the worst is still to come.

Can Any of This Be Fixed?

On the numbers, elite college applicants’ problems are a footnote to the story of college access. The Ivy-Plus schools enroll less than 1 percent of America’s roughly 15 million undergraduates . If you expand the pool to include all colleges that are selective enough to accept less than a quarter of applicants, we’re still talking about only 6 percent of undergraduates. The easiest way to alleviate the traffic jam at the top is to shift our cultural focus toward the hundreds of schools that offer an excellent education but are not luxury brands.

Luxury-brand schools, however, have real power. In 2023, 15 of 32 Rhodes scholars came from the Ivies, nine from Harvard alone. Twenty of this year’s 38 Supreme Court clerks came from Harvard or Yale. If elite colleges’ selection process is broken, what should we do to fix it?

Here’s what we can’t do: let them go off and agree on their own solution. Antitrust law exists to prevent dominant players from setting their own rules to the detriment of consumers and competitors.

Here’s what we won’t do: legislate national rules that govern admissions. Our systems are decentralized and it would take a miracle for Congress not to make things worse.

But here’s what we can do: Hold the schools accountable for their processes and their decisions.

Institutions that receive federal funds — which includes all elite colleges — should be required to clearly state their admissions criteria. Admissions as currently practiced is designed to let schools whose budgets run on billions of taxpayers dollars do whatever they want. Consider Stanford’s guidance to applicants: “In a holistic review, we seek to understand how you, as a whole person, would grow, contribute and thrive at Stanford, and how Stanford would, in turn, be changed by you.” This perfectly encapsulates the current system, because it is meaningless.

Colleges should also not be allowed to make anyone decide whether to attend without knowing what it will actually cost, and they should not be allowed to offer better odds to those who forgo that information. They should not offer admissions pathways tilted to favor the rich, any more than they should offer pathways favoring people who are white.

It just shouldn’t be this hard. Really.

The Envelope Please …

Ivy has the highest academic qualifications available inside the conventional system, and her family can pay full tuition. Once upon a time, she would have had her pick of top colleges. Not this year.

Over the course of the whole crazy admissions season, the school she had come to care about most was Dartmouth.

Along with the other seven Ivies, Dartmouth released this year’s admissions decisions online on March 28, at 7 p.m. Eastern. Ivy was traveling that day, and as the moment approached, she said, “I was on the bed in my hotel room, just repeating, ‘People love me for who I am, not what I do. People love me for who I am, not what I do.’”

She was rejected by Duke, Vanderbilt, Stanford, Columbia and the University of Southern California, where Varsity Blues shenanigans could once guarantee acceptance but, as Ivy discovered, a perfect score on the ACT will not. She landed on the wait list at Northeastern. She was accepted by Michigan and Johns Hopkins. And Ivy was accepted at both her parents’ alma maters: the University of Virginia and Dartmouth, where she will start in September.

For Rania, the star student with an extraordinary story of personal resilience, the news was not so good. At Barnard, she was remanded to the wait list. Last year only 4 percent of students in that position were eventually let in. The same thing happened at N.Y.U. and at the City University of New York’s medical college.

A spot on a wait list tells applicants that they were good enough to get in. By the time Rania applied to these schools, there just wasn’t any room. “It was definitely a shock,” she said. “What was I missing? They just ran out of space — there are so many people trying to get into these places. It took two weeks to adjust to it.”

She did get lots of other good news, a sheaf of acceptances from schools like Fordham and the University at Albany. But then came the hardest question of all: How to pay for them? Some offered her a financial aid package that would leave her on the hook for more money than undergraduates are allowed to take out in federal student loans. Even now, some colleges haven’t been able to provide her with financial aid information at all.

Rania had all but settled on Hunter College, part of the City University system. It’s an excellent school, but a world away from the elite colleges she was thinking about when she started her search. Then at almost the last moment, Wesleyan came through with a full ride and even threw in some extra for expenses. Rania accepted, gratefully.

For Rania, the whole painful roller coaster of a year was over. For so many other high school seniors, the year of broken college admissions continues.

Daniel Currell, a lawyer and consultant, was deputy under secretary and senior adviser at the U.S. Department of Education from 2018 to 2021. He is a trustee of Gustavus Adolphus College.

The Times is committed to publishing a diversity of letters to the editor. We’d like to hear what you think about this or any of our articles. Here are some tips . And here’s our email: [email protected] .

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Aerial view of Commencement 2022

  • Class Notes

The Latest News from Your Classmates

May / June 2024


Scroll down for the debut of Group Notes, which comprises alumni news about members of Cornell groups—including campus activities, alumni organizations, and more—across generations. Want to see your group represented in future sections? Email us for information!

Welcome back, classmates! Read on for another excerpt from the essay I wrote about my time at Cornell, originally written for and published by my fraternity, Alpha Delta Phi, and featured in the last two Class Notes sections:

We had regular parties in the basement at Alpha Delta Phi, but there was little or no hard liquor. We drank beer from a keg, the tapping of which was a skill we all learned. I think it was mostly the local Stegmaier’s, which was not a particularly good beer, but it was cheaper. Singing was a big pastime, and knowing the words to all the songs was important to your standing with your brothers and your date.

One event I will never forget occurred during the spring of 1946, when we were sharing the house with Kappa Alpha. At a Saturday night party downstairs, the president of KA was sitting on a stool at the bar, surrounded by co-eds who were listening, I suppose, to his war stories. Suddenly, he grabbed an ice pick from behind the bar and drove it into his lower leg! There were shrieks and shocked looks from the co-eds. Then he pulled out the ice pick, pulled up his pant leg, and showed a wooden leg that he had acquired as a result of war injuries!

Thomas Wells ’43 , BArch ’50, proposed to the fraternity that he decorate the walls of the two rooms in the basement, which were our bar and party area. We said OK, and he arrived with two co-eds from architecture or fine arts. Over weeks, they covered the walls with the “figures” of Abner Dean, a very popular cartoonist/artist at that time. For a time, it became the talk of the campus, and we got a big kick out of it. You can even see pictures of it in the background of a 1948 Cornellian yearbook: a picture of a group singing at the usual table in the Alpha Delt bar (on page 364) and then one of me between two women (at right on page 385), both with the paintings in the background.

Late one night, [ Peg Wilharm Tuttle ’48 and I] drove out the east bank of Cayuga Lake to watch the sunrise—and when it came up behind us, I proposed, and she accepted. Ray Tuttle ’48

I married a Cornellian, Margaret (Wilharm) , Class of 1948. She was an Alpha Phi, and I never dated her at Cornell. That we ended up married was a real series of incidents. One day in my fifth and final year, I got on the bus outside Olin Hall to go downtown. I recognized and sat down beside a girl I remembered from a course I was taking in industrial and labor relations (ChemEs were required to take a liberal arts course in year five, and my choice was career-oriented, not culture-oriented, as the ChemE school might have intended). Peg always sat near the front of the classroom next to the same boy, whom I assumed was her boyfriend but later learned was a Chi Psi brother of her boyfriend keeping an eye on her. We talked on the way downtown on the bus and learned an odd coincidence: my family and I lived in Cleveland, and I had just taken a job in Pittsburgh after graduation, while she had lived all her life in Pittsburgh, but her dad’s company had just moved to Cleveland, where she would go after graduation. So we parted with no plans to ever meet again.

Working in Pittsburgh, I used to go back to see my folks in Cleveland occasionally. On one trip, I joined my parents in grocery shopping, because next door was a sporting-goods shop and I wanted to buy a new squash racquet. After shopping, I joined my parents in the grocery store, and there was a somewhat familiar face at the cheese counter: Peg Wilharm! She later told me she was with her parents only because they were going to shop for a new car, and she went along hoping to persuade them not to buy another black Buick.

I asked her out for a beer and supper and soon learned that the boyfriend was no longer—and we dated in Cleveland and Pittsburgh, where she visited an uncle there to see me. I asked her back to an Alpha Delt house-party weekend and, late one night, drove out the east bank of Cayuga Lake to watch the sunrise—and when it came up behind us, I proposed, and she accepted. So Cornell and Alpha Delt had important roles to play. ❖ Ray Tuttle ( email Ray ) | Alumni Directory .

I hope you all took the time to fill out and return the Share Your News form that was recently mailed to you. If you haven’t yet, it’s not too late! Please do send us your news—via the hard-copy form or the online news form —so our future class columns can be full of news from all of you. Whether your news is ordinary or extraordinary, we want to hear it! ❖ Class of 1949 ( email c/o Alexandra Bond ’12 ) | Alumni Directory .

In my previous two columns, I highlighted short bios of some of the accomplished women of our Class of the Century. In this issue I highlight classmate Marion Steinmann , author of the book Women at Work: Demolishing a Myth of the 1950s (2005, Xlibris). Marion modestly included as co-authors “The Women of the Cornell Class of 1950.” Also, her book’s dedication, “To the men we married who encouraged us to follow our dream,” is gracious because, unlike those about whom she wrote, Marion didn’t marry until age 50, had no children, and did not earn an advanced degree.

The women that Marion interviewed demolished the myth that, in the 1950s, women had little choice but to be housewives and not be employed outside the home. These courageous women earned a total of 134 advanced degrees including 22 PhDs and five MDs. Among the 134 were 13 college professors, 11 attorneys, one judge, and five engineers, as well as others.

An education in the Cornell College of Home Economics, while including studies in science and the liberal arts, was not designed for advanced degrees. It’s therefore remarkable that our intelligent, energetic, and forward-looking colleagues were able, with good humor and perseverance, to overcome family responsibilities, academic obstacles, and gender prejudices to move into advanced degree programs in law, medicine, education, business, and other professional fields.

Marion attended West High in Rochester, NY, where she excelled academically and was editor of the school newspaper. She came to Cornell with national and state scholarships to major in microbiology in the College of Agriculture. On campus she was a member of Octagon and Kappa Alpha Theta sorority, was vice president of the Women’s Self-Governing Association, and with her intense interest in journalism served as news editor of the Cornell Daily Sun .

Remarkably, upon graduation, she (an Aggie, not a journalism major) was hired by the prestigious Life magazine. That speaks highly of a Cornell BS in agriculture and Marion’s high intellect and writing competence. At Life she was a reporter in the science department, writing on an amazing variety of subjects such as archeology, astronomy, genetics, moon exploration, lasers, holography, the first open-heart surgery, and bone transplants. Over her 22 years with Life , she was promoted from writer to assistant editor, and when the weekly Life ceased publication in 1972, she was the associate editor.

Henry Erle ’50 , MD ’54, lives in a high rise with views of the Robert F. Kennedy and George Washington bridges and the Weill Cornell college campus.

Thereafter she was a freelance author of books primarily in the field of medicine and healthcare, as well as articles for the New York Times Magazine , the Saturday Evening Post , Smithsonian Magazine , Cornell Alumni Magazine , and others. Her books included Island Life , Life and Health , The American Medical Association Book of Back Care , The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Parent’s Guide to Allergies and Asthma , and The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Guide to Childhood Infections . In 1971 Marion received the American Medical Association’s award for an article, “Fighting the Genetic Odds.”

In 2000, accessing surplus class funds, our class approved publication of the history of our class with the title Curfews, Chaos and Champions , co-edited by Marion and classmate John Marcham . Because it was also a history of the tumultuous post-WWII times , it was subsequently republished under the title Postwar Cornell: How the Greatest Generation Transformed a University, 1944–1952 . The original book was also converted into an engaging film. At the 1965 class Reunion, copies of the film and original book were given to all attendees and later to those unable to attend.

For 10 years, Marion served with me as class co-correspondent, responsible for writing news of class members for the Class Notes section of each issue of the former Cornell Alumni Magazine . Our relationship was cordial and professional, but I learned little about her personal, non-work life. Her obituary was the lead in the obituary section of the April 20, 2020 issue of the Philadelphia Inquirer , which mentioned that she had climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro. And after a late-in-life marriage to Charles Joiner, Temple University Chair of Political Science, they lived in Chestnut Hill in Philadelphia, where she enjoyed cooking, gardening, and entertaining.

I received a nice note from Henry Erle , MD ’54 (New York, NY), Weill Cornell Medicine Roberts Family Professor Emeritus of Internal Medicine. With his parents and younger brother, he escaped from Nuremberg, Germany, in 1939, where in 1938 his grandfather had been murdered during Kristallnacht. He attended Stuyvesant High School and came to Cornell on a Regents Scholarship. The highlight of his campus life was meeting Joan (Greenblatt) at Hillel House, whom he married in 1952 and, as he says, “made up for my lost childhood.” After Cornell med school, until retirement in 2007 at age 78, he practiced internal medicine at Cornell/New York Medical Center, now Weill Cornell Medicine.

Wife Joan earned an MD at New York University in 1954, did post-doc studies in psychiatry, and taught and did research at New York Psychoanalytic Institute. Joan died 10 years ago after a struggle with Parkinson’s disease. Henry has two physician sons, David and Steven , MD ’86 , and five grandkids. At the time of this writing, Henry was living on the 46th floor of a high rise with views of the Robert F. Kennedy (formerly Triborough) and George Washington bridges and the Weill Cornell college campus, studying a variety of contemporary topics, and planning a visit to his younger brother in Florida. ❖ Paul Joslin ( email Paul ) | 13731 Hickman Rd., #4207, Urbandale, IA 50323 | tel., (515) 278-0960 | Alumni Directory .

Frances Goldberg Myers writes, “The big event of the year was my 94th birthday. Living in an over-50 community, I am acknowledged mostly as a ‘role model’ by the newer, younger residents, since I speak up at meetings, participate in many community activities, and make new, younger friends as they buy into the community. With the death of Shelley Epstein Akabas in 2023, I have only one friend left who knew me when I was 17.

“My children, Ken ’77 (Yale PhD), Pam ’78 , and Nathaniel III ’82 , DVM ’87, are all active in their chosen careers and contributing to making the world a better place. Ken is the Gerson Curator of American Art at the Detroit Institute of Arts; Pam is executive director of the prize-winning, nationally recognized Asheville Art Museum (NC); and Nathaniel, known as ‘Chip,’ is a doctor of internal medicine in his own veterinary practice. The following generation of Cornellians is Sarah ’13 , daughter of Ken, a silviculturist for the National Forest Service in Nebraska with a Penn State MA (yes there is a forest in Nebraska, the only planted forest in the U.S.; planted by the CCC in the 1930s). We are waiting to see if Benjamin, son of Chip, will join the Cornellian family.

Living in an over-50 community, I am acknowledged mostly as a ‘role model’ by the newer, younger residents. Frances Goldberg Myers ’51

“I’ve been a widow since 2004 but keep busy making new friends and participating in a variety of activities and wondering what has happened to America. Social media has certainly changed society. I was in Home Ec but took advantage of all the wonderful Cornell professors in government, labor relations, Asian policy, architecture, and literature to get an introduction to the wide world. But Home Ec provided me with entry into various jobs, from publishing to mental health rehabilitation, community organizing for people with disabilities at the county level and volunteer work in several areas.

“I now find new areas to learn about, so life is exciting. I am happy participating in the community around me. My neighbors feel that I provide historical context to people who think of the ’50s as ancient times. I never felt that we were the Silent Generation—we were active in our communities, active politically and socially, raising solid families, and trying to build a better society. Looking back, those years were hopeful and optimistic, in which we believed the world would be a better place for all after surviving the Depression, a world war, the Holocaust, and an atom bomb.

“I am grateful for my Cornell education—I learned much, but mostly I learned to love learning. But clearly my favorite memory is meeting Nat Myers ’49 , BA ’51, on the first day of classes in September 1949 at the Ivy Room in the Straight. Thank heavens my 10 o’clock class in the History of Labor Unions was dismissed because the professor had been delayed in returning to campus. I had never been to the Straight at 10 o’clock before, but when I went in, I saw a table with people I knew. As I sat down, I was introduced to Nat, who had returned from his Navy enlistment. At 11, he joined me on my walk across campus to Balch. We talked for more than an hour and listened to the noon Chimes. And that was the beginning of the rest of my life. We celebrated 55 years of being together until his death in 2004.”

Thank you for writing, Frances! We hope any classmates reading this will send us a letter. ❖ Class of 1951 ( email c/o Alexandra Bond ’12 ) | Alumni Directory .

Joanne Holloway McPherson writes from Findlay, OH: “I recently moved to a new apartment, the second one since I sold the house I lived in for 29 years in 2019. With each move I downsized, but I still have too many possessions. I try to adjust to the new technology, which is supposed to make our lives easier but, at least in my case, makes it more difficult. The devices constantly need recharging. My solution is to take a nap and recharge myself.”

James Strub writes from Colorado Springs: “I gradually became a mountain hiking machine, and I reached all 54 of the Colorado 14ers and Mount Whitney in California by 1961, all by the grace of God—sometimes with more grace required than other times (e.g., little things like lightning). I’m regularly using a USFS-provided ponderosa pine pole for balance, everywhere I go.” James enjoys teaching the Bible to the Judeo-Christian residents at MacKenzie Place, a nearby retirement community—something he’s been doing for 12 years now.

I gradually became a mountain hiking machine, and I reached all 54 of the Colorado 14ers and Mount Whitney in California by 1961. James Strub ’52

James adds, “I’m also keeping in regular touch by phone or email with daughter Heidi and her husband, Charley, in St. Augustine, FL. They are planning to come out here in April for my 95th birthday. And I’m keeping in close touch with son Jordan ’81 and his very gifted and delightful wife, Michele, who made a very successful career as a principal manager for Progressive Insurance.” Some of his favorite memories of Cornell were “playing the carillon and playing the four-manual pipe organ we used to have on the Bailey Hall stage. I also enjoyed the architecture professors, especially John Tilton 1913 , MArch 1914, whose favorite teaching was: ‘Remember—there is a difference between a Venetian blind and a blind Venetian.’”

Bernard Patten writes: “I am a systems ecologist, long retired from University of Georgia but not retiring. I’m continuing my research on an environmental system theory, ‘Network Environ Analysis,’ and the proverbial magnum opus, ‘Holoecology.’” ❖ Thomas Cashel, LLB ’56 ( email Tom ) | Alumni Directory .

Alan Perlmutter writes from California that his son, Ben ’12 , is taking over the family business: Big Sur River Inn. “After many years as a consultant in organizational development and 36 years as the general partner of the Big Sur River Inn, I am happy to pass the reins to our son Ben, who is taking over as managing partner of the family business. Ben will continue to welcome Cornell alumni from all over the world as they visit the inn, which is Big Sur’s first restaurant and resort,” says Alan. He adds that Ben is still singing with the Hangovers and is well prepared for being the host of the popular and historic inn.

Have you ever had a broken leg? Bob Neff , JD ’56, can sympathize. He spent much of the first half of last year hopping around on one leg while healing broken bones in the other one. He then made up for that confinement—while escaping the chilly weather in North Carolina—as he enjoyed sailing in the South Pacific.

Hospitalization and healing similarly took up half of last year for Caroline Mulford Owens , former Class of ’53 president. She reports that she’s now back to normal with a daily visit to the gym and participation in several community organizations. “I’m fortunate to be living on a beautiful lake with a view of the sunset across the water,” she reports.

I’m fortunate to be living on a beautiful lake with a view of the sunset across the water. Caroline Mulford Owens ’53

Jack Brophy has documented his time in the U.S. Navy with photos and lots of stories. He found his Cornell experience useful when assigned to develop recreational activities for the crew of the USS White Marsh . “The captain authorized the crew to empty a large storage room in the bow and create a lounge and recreation room for the sailors off-duty. They were motivated to make something nice, and they did, with fresh paint and new furniture. For the opening, I decided to organize a talent show. We had a pedal pump organ used for religious services, and I found a fiddler from the South who was fantastic. As the ship rolled, he wrapped his bow arm around a Lally column and played on undaunted. The other acts were entertaining but not as memorable. I guess this qualified me as ‘Recreation Officer.’”

John Nixon sends special thanks to the 148 members of the Class of ’53 who donated nearly $5 million last year, setting a new donor record for any 70th Reunion in Cornell history. Our class also recently donated $10,000 to the Class of 1953 Tradition Fellowship, which provides an annual scholarship for an incoming student. Your generous donations serve many worthwhile causes.

Please share your current news. We’d love to hear from you! ❖ Caroline Mulford Owens ( email Caroline ) | Jack Brophy ( email Jack ) | John Nixon ( email John ) | Bob Neff , JD ’56 ( email Bob ) | Alumni Directory .

As you read this column, Dave , PhD ’60, and Mary Gentry Call report that more than 20 classmates have signed on to celebrate our 70th Reunion on campus. Hopefully a few latecomers will join them with a month to go and put us over 26 attendees. This would be a record for a 70th Reunion. Dave and Mary have planned a fun and informative program with easy transportation to and from all the events from our class headquarters at the Statler Hotel.

This has been a slow month for classmate news, but we did hear from two of you and we thank you. Barbara Jones Jenkins of Northfield, MN, writes that she spends much of her time reading and keeping her email inbox below the 300s. She also served as the financial director of the Cannon Valley Elder Collegium and took several of their courses. On a negative note, Barbara says that she has been trying to improve her tennis serve after 50 years but recently ruptured her right bicep reaching for a volley. Let’s hope Barbara will soon make a complete recovery and get back to working on her serve.

Allan Griff ’54 , who was in the Sage Chapel Choir and the a cappella Chorus, has written a song about Cornell.

Allan Griff of El Cerrito, CA, who did a lot of formal singing in his undergraduate days, including in the Sage Chapel Choir and the a cappella Chorus, has written a song about Cornell, the melody of which is an Irish traditional folk song, “Roddy McCorley.” It brings back memories of our days on the Hill. Called “Leaders of Us All,” here are the lyrics:

“All around the world Cornellians go to do what we do best. / We teach, we build, we serve, we fix, we earn our keep and rest. / We’ve caught the pass of knowledge, and we’re running with the ball. / And it can’t be denied, we’re our people’s pride, the leaders of us all. / Wherever we Cornellians meet, it brings a smile and tear. / We’ve got a bond of friendship that cannot disappear. / We tell of days and nights we shared when we were growing still, / And we feel a little warmer when we think of our days on the Hill. / We remember the Straight, the statues on the Quad, the gorges, and the lake. / Teagle, the Taylors, Sage and the Libe, all these our memories wake. / Engineers, Hotelies, Aggies, and Arts, HumEcs, ILRs, stand tall / ’cause it can’t be denied, we’re our people’s pride, / the leaders of us all.” ❖ Bill Waters , MBA ’55 ( email Bill ) | Ruth Carpenter Bailey ( email Ruth ) | Class website | Alumni Directory .

Frank Baldwin (Ithaca, NY) is planting trees and doing trail management in Pine Tree Wildlife Preserve on East Hill. He also attends a local folk song club on Sunday evenings. He recalls that “our group in Ithaca and Cornell induced the National Episcopal Church to support the treaty to abolish nuclear weapons.” ❖ Class of 1955 ( email c/o Alexandra Bond ’12 ) | Alumni Directory .

I hope you all took the time to fill out and return the Share Your News form that was recently mailed to you. If you haven’t yet, it’s not too late! Please do send us your news—via the hard-copy form or the online news form —so our future class columns can be full of news from all of you. Whether your news is ordinary or extraordinary, we want to hear it! ❖ Class of 1956 ( email c/o Alexandra Bond ’12 ) | Alumni Directory .

With our undergrad status of in loco parentis , one restriction denied freshmen the right to have an automobile on campus. Do you recall how one classmate protested that rule? In spring 1954, Edward Jay Epstein brought a horse and buggy to campus. Whether it was because of that infraction or something else, Ed was asked to leave Cornell. He later returned to earn his BA in 1965 and MA in 1966, both in government. His master’s thesis on the official government investigation into the Kennedy assassination became his first book, Inquest: The Warren Commission and the Establishment of Truth (1966).

Ed continued his graduate studies at Harvard, earning a PhD in 1973. His doctoral dissertation became the book News from Nowhere: Television and the News (1973). Ed taught at Harvard, MIT, and UCLA, and then decided to return to New York City and to focus on researching and writing books. Known for his keen, independent mind, Ed later investigated U.S. intelligence and counterintelligence, the international diamond trade, the business of Hollywood, and the data leak by NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

Ed himself was the subject of the 2017 documentary Hall of Mirrors , which premiered at the 55th New York Film Festival. Of his many books and articles, his last book, Assume Nothing: Encounters with Assassins, Spies, Presidents, and Would-Be Masters of the Universe (2023), is considered this investigative journalist’s memoir. His recent passing in January 2024 was attributed to COVID. While he had no immediate survivors, he will be missed by all those friends who attended his many storied social gatherings at his Manhattan penthouse.

On the distaff side, we also note the passing of Ruby Tomberg Senie in September 2023. After earning her Cornell BS in 1957 and becoming mother to two sons, Ruby added a Cornell BSN in nursing (1975), an MA in teaching from Columbia University (1978), and a PhD from the Yale University Department of Epidemiology and Public Health (1984). She was an epidemiologist with the women’s health and fertility branch of the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta when she was asked by then-Cornell President Frank H.T. Rhodes to be a panelist on the 1992 Reunion forum in Bailey Hall. The topic was “Ethical Issues in Healthcare: The Lessons of Tuskegee.” This coincided with our 35th Reunion, so likely some of us attended this discussion. (Special thank you to Cornell Archivist Evan Earle ’02 , MS ’14, for finding this information in an old Reunion booklet.)

In spring 1954, Edward Jay Epstein ’57 , BA ’65, MA ’66, brought a horse and buggy to campus.

Ruby also was on a 1996 panel at the Cornell Club in NYC. This forum, sponsored by the women of the Class of 1958, focused on lifelines submitted by hundreds of Cornell alumnae. Ruby was then a leading breast cancer researcher at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in NYC. Ruby’s career continued and culminated as an associate professor at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University.

On a personal note, Ruby and I met about a decade ago. Her dear friend, classmate Beth Ames Swartz , had come to NYC for the opening of her new art series at a gallery in Manhattan. At a restaurant meal that followed for our classmates, Ruby and I sat next to one another. Our paths had never crossed on campus, but we soon were deep in conversation. She told me of her book Epidemiology of Women’s Health (2013), a more-than-500-page tome that explored the major health challenges and conditions specifically affecting women. Ruby included contributions from leading authorities in the field.

She and I saw each other only a few times over the years when she rented a summer cottage in the Berkshires in Massachusetts, where she enjoyed the Tanglewood musical venue offerings. Through emails, we became fast friends. We last saw each other at our 65th Reunion. Ironically, it wasn’t breast cancer, but an undiagnosed tumor that, once discovered, gave her only a few more weeks of life. Ruby, a perpetual student, teacher, and author, had thoroughly enjoyed the rich culture of opera, museums, theater, and classical music so present in NYC. Earlier this month, Beth told me her new art series, Quantum Light, was inspired by Ruby. You can view her artwork here . Both Beth and I agree that it was our privilege to be close friends of such a remarkable woman.

On a lighter note, we saw Ron Dunbar and his spouse, Pru Dalrymple, at our 65th Reunion. Both having been widowed in the early 2000s, they found each other through and have been happily living together in Philadelphia for nearly six years. They are taking advantage of their good health to travel. Over a year ago, a Road Scholar trip had them island-hopping to see many ancient ruins in Greece. Last March they enjoyed a week in the Galápagos and then spent several days in a remote lodge in the upper Amazon watershed rain forest.

A more recent road trip included a visit with Bob and JoAnne Eastburn Cyprus , who have owned and lived for 30 years on a 60-acre farm near Nashville, TN. Ron and JoAnne had been high school classmates in Wellesley, MA. Ron and Pru fly to Seattle and Portland, OR, several times a year to visit Pru’s two sons and families. Ron’s Korean-born daughter and family live only 12 miles from Ron. After a long academic career, mostly in library science, Pru occasionally teaches online for Kent State University. Ron’s Cornell BEE degree remains in the background to the spreadsheet work he now does to help small nonprofits. ❖ Connie Santagato Hosterman ( email Connie ) | Alumni Directory .

Warren Wildes is living in St. Paul, MN, with his wife, Mary, spending three months of the year in California. He finds great satisfaction in working in the woodlands next door, raising wood ducks, and developing oak “nurseries” at the University of Northwestern, St. Paul, where they have lived since 1977. This passion continues as he and Mary fund Northwestern’s environmental science program, which places emphasis on the woods and the two lakes with campus shorelines. He is also a dedicated supporter of the Cornell Sapsucker Woods Ornithology Lab and participates in the FeederWatch programs while in California each winter. Warren has continued to express his interest in music by leading the Centennial Stompers Dixieland Band with Mary as vocalist, which plays at senior homes, churches, and centers in the Twin Cities metropolitan area. The band is in its 10th year with 18 performances in 2023, and excerpts can be found on YouTube .

Stefan Belman , DVM ’61, shares his favorite Cornell memory: “In Mann Library in 1959 I was seated in the informal reading room, and seated across from me was a most attractive blonde woman smoking. I walked over and bummed a smoke. A few minutes later I walked over to her again and invited her to walk with me to the pomology department and let me buy her an apple. Anita (Lesgold) ’60 , MS ’61, later returned to Sigma Delta Tau and told her roommate, Carrie Warnow Makover ’60 , about meeting this ‘interesting guy.’ Sixty-four years later, we have two children and four grandchildren.” Anita received her BS at Cornell, earned an MD from New York University’s medical school, then taught pediatric neurology there. Their son, Matt , DVM ’89 , practices in Salt Lake City and enjoys back country adventures. Grandchildren Ben ’19 , BA ’18, and Elisabeth ’18 graduated from Cornell with Phi Beta Kappa and summa cum laude recognition. Ben currently works for Amazon and attends Georgetown Law School. Elisabeth just graduated from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and is training for surgery at Beth Israel Hospital and Harvard. Stefan and Anita move between Columbia Falls, MT, Huntington, NY, and New York City.

Arthur Shostak and his wife, Lynn Seng, moved nine years ago from Philadelphia to Alameda, CA, to escape winter and be closer to their grandchildren. Before retiring, Arthur was a sociology professor at Drexel University. Arthur published 34 books; his latest, published in 2017, is titled Stealth Altruism: Forbidden Care as Jewish Resistance in the Holocaust. After researching survivors’ memoirs and interviewing those living, he developed a strong “help” narrative, to be learned in the future alongside the “horror” narrative that now dominates. The book’s cover photograph illustrates his thesis: men in striped pajamas stand in rows, with two men in the front row surreptitiously supporting a collapsing man between them. Arthur indicates that altruism arises out of innate impulses in people, is supported by the tenets of Judaism, and was encouraged by rabbis who took on leadership roles. He is preparing two more books: a study of ways societies have of memorializing and a lengthy memoir. His favorite Cornell memory: earning the highest GPA in the ILR school, which leveraged a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship for a PhD at Princeton.

Philip Getter ’58 is still producing shows, most recently Hadestown, winner of the 2019 Tony Award for Best Musical.

Philip Getter is still producing shows, most recently Hadestown, winner of the 2019 Tony Award for Best Musical, which has been on Broadway since April 2019. A touring company first presented Hadestown at the John F. Kennedy theater in Washington in October 2021 and is still touring the U.S. and Canada . A new company held a successful opening of Hadestown at the Lyric Theatre in London’s West End in February 2024. The CD of the original cast production won a Grammy. Philip also produced Once Upon A One More Time , featuring Britney Spears’s music, and was co-producer of A Christmas Carol starring Jefferson Mays, and Terrence McNally’s Frankie & Johnny in the Clair de Lune starring Audra McDonald. Philip sits on several boards of corporations and foundations.

Philip’s wife, Elaine Sheinmel, passed two years ago. Elaine was his partner in Getter Entertainment, involved in producing Broadway shows. He is now a partner in Archer Entertainment Group with his stepdaughter, Courtney Sheinmel, who was a practicing attorney and wrote and published many young adult and children’s books. The partners are working on several future productions.

In February, Philip flew to London to see Hadestown, which was sold out and with such good prospects that the run was already extended. Courtney and her 4-year-old son, Archer, who loves musicals, accompanied him. Archer enjoyed his first airplane ride, double-decker bus rides, and packed performances of Hadestown . While in England, Philip spent a great deal of time with his oldest son, Douglas Getter, a London attorney, and his two granddaughters, Tesa, 17, and Sara, 20, both “brilliant, beautiful, and with great personalities.” He has two other children: Laura, who has three children, and Michael. ❖ Barbara Avery, MA ’59 ( email Barbara ) | Dick Haggard ( email Dick ) | Alumni Directory .

Linda Rogers Cohen sold her house in Great Neck—home for 56 years—and moved to the Upper West Side of NYC. “It’s an exciting change that eliminates worry about the roof when it rains and brings me practically next door to my daughter Carrie Cohen ’89 , her husband, Rick Lipsey ’89 , and their four children; brings me closer to the museums I love; and finds me surrounded by too many, too-tempting restaurants.”

Mary Gail Drake Korsmeyer also sold her house of 50+ years. She moved last November to Sherwood Oaks, a continuing care community in Cranberry Township, PA. “This community of some 300 residents is about 35 miles north of my old house and a short drive from my daughter’s residence. It has many active groups and services, including delicious meals, and is providing me with interesting new friends.” Mary Gail is retired from her partnership in the law firm of Peacock Keller in Washington, PA. Daughter Carol is a founding partner of Dupee Strengths-Based Consulting; son David is deputy director of the NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, CA; and son Keith is a professor of marine science at Hawaii Pacific University in Honolulu. In addition to grandchildren, she has three great-granddaughters and one great-grandson. About once a month, Mary Gail participates in a Zoom gathering with a baker’s dozen of ’59, ’60, and ’61 grads, all friends since Cornell and members of Delta Delta Delta, including Susan Kunkle Bogar , Sallie Whitesell Phillips , Linda Johnson Kacser , and Erna Fritsch Johnson ’61 .

Linda Rogers Cohen ’59 moved to the Upper West Side, where she is ‘surrounded by too many, too-tempting restaurants.’

Another move after 50+ years: Hardy Eshbaugh and his wife, Barb. They have moved to the Knolls, a retirement community in Oxford, OH. “Our children helped us with the move, which was accomplished with a minimum of difficulty,” writes Hardy. “We had an advantage in that our old house did not have an attic, basement, or garage, which meant we had not accumulated a lifetime of stuff. But there was still lots to part with, especially boxes of books! We have more or less settled in and have made many new friends. Even Roxy, our dog, is adjusting. Now it’s on to the next phase of our lives.” Hardy is professor emeritus of botany at Miami University in Oxford, known primarily for his research on chili peppers and on the flora and biogeography of the Bahamas.

About five years ago, Kate Sickles Connolly moved to River Woods, a continuing care retirement community in Exeter, NH. Prior to that, the retired clinical electron microscopist “lived a wonderful familial, professional, and municipal inclusion life associated with Dartmouth Medical School in Hanover, NH. I am enjoying an active life in both mind and body and hope to continue my Cornell connection virtually for years to come.”

A nominations committee is working on a slate of officers to serve our class for the five years following our Reunion on June 6–9. The final slate is expected to be completed in early May. Any classmate interested in serving as an officer is encouraged to contact our Reunion chair, Jerry Schultz ( email Jerry ). The list of nominees will be displayed at our Reunion headquarters in the Statler Hotel and presented at the class gathering on the morning of June 9.

Closing factoid: At the beginning of February, living ’59ers included 1,108 degreed and 460 non-degreed members—a total of 1,568 alumni. ❖ Jenny Tesar ( email Jenny ) | Alumni Directory .

Still living in North Falmouth on Cape Cod with his spouse, Patty, Leonard Johnson writes, “I was sorry to hear that Neil MacDougal had died. I first met Neil in seventh grade in Boynton Junior High in Ithaca. He was one of the good guys. Last fall I went back to Ithaca for the first time in 10 years. We had a great reunion with Carol Treman des Cognets and several of my other childhood pals. A highlight was lunch at the Inn at Aurora, a must-visit. My favorite memory is walking down through the Baker dorms and watching the sun set over West Hill. What brings him the most satisfaction? Says Leonard, “Patty and I are still cycling a lot—2,000 miles last year! I am still involved in the effort to preserve open spaces here on Cape Cod. I also really like negotiating complicated land deals.”

Edith Rogovin Frankel , who lives in Freehold, NJ, sadly shares, “I lost my husband over 15 years ago and my partner some three years ago, so life has taken a change. However, I’m fortunate to be in good health, I also have two daughters and seven delightful grandchildren ranging in age from 14 to 27. I’m also still doing research and teaching and will leave my New Jersey home to spend a month in Florida, where I’ll be giving courses at Florida Atlantic University and in both Boca Raton and Jupiter in February. This is an annual practice and preparing the lecture series (two different ones this year) is great fun.”

David Ahl , who lives with his wife, Betsy, in Morristown, NJ, reports, “With the pandemic behind us, my wife and I are spending more and more time on mission trips to Guatemala, Haiti, and Peru, helping to build small schools and homes. We have also been on cruises to the Philippines, Vietnam, Australia, Malaysia, Indonesia, Iceland, Greenland, and Hammerfest, Norway, the northernmost town on the planet. We like the smaller ships of Regent, and Betsy especially enjoys Silversea’s expeditions, which we’ve recently taken to Antarctica, Zanzibar, South Africa, the Seychelles, and some smaller ports in the Mediterranean. Unfortunately, excursions and construction work don’t agree with my advanced arthritis, so I’m looking at new hips and knees in 2024. My grandson Wyatt just started in the ECE College, so I’ll be visiting Ithaca more than in the past.”

Send your news to: ❖ Judy Bryant Wittenberg ( email Judy ) | Alumni Directory .

Guess what? Some of our classmates are going back to Cornell. It’s true. Read on to find out more!

First, we hear from classmate Gerold Yonas , who was interviewed for the Write on Four Corners podcast last August. A physicist and engineer, Gerold served as chief scientist for Ronald Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative, or “Star Wars,” project, and worked as a vice president at the Los Alamos National Laboratory counterpart, Sandia Labs. You can listen to the episode here .

Ruth Schimel in Washington, DC, is writing her eighth book, Small Steps to Your Continuous Thriving, the Best is Yet to Be . “I have published monthly on YourTango about personal and professional development. Dipping into the arts, I’m showing collages at a neighborhood exhibit, and creating ways to include them in my career and life management consulting practice. I’m active and presenting for TTNWomen on finding meaning and purpose with one’s storytelling, for example. Happy to share my newsletter, launched last year, curated for recipients. I’d love to hear from you.”

From Cindy Johnson Pratt about going back to Cornell: “It was a great thrill to attend the Cornell graduation of my eldest granddaughter, Susie Foster ’23 (whose grandfather is the late Bert Foster ’60 ), in environmental engineering. I had graduated in February 1961 (in three and a half years), so I never had graduation pomp and circumstance. I borrowed my granddaughter’s cap and gown and had my picture taken in front of DG on Triphammer Rd. Now I’ve graduated properly! We just downsized and moved to a retirement community in independent living only a few miles from where I’ve lived for the last 50 years on Lake Minnetonka.”

Steven Stein sent a photo of his Cornell family, nine of whom are Cornell graduates. The impetus of the family gathering was to attend the graduation of his granddaughter, Mimi Stein ’23 , and to celebrate the family’s gift of a bench in memory of his late wife, Susan (Volpert) ’62 , and himself. “Three Generations of Stein Cornellians, 1961 to 2023.” Wow!

From Pat Laux Richards : “ Jack ’60 and I were thrilled to attend our granddaughter’s Cornell graduation last May. Anderson ‘Annie’ Rogers ’23 graduated from Bowers CIS.”

And, lastly, Marco Minasso writes, “I have great memories of Cornell. So it’s with great pleasure that my granddaughter, Sofia ’27 , is now attending Cornell. That makes five of us alumni in our Cornell extended family: my daughter, her husband, me, and two grandchildren! I’m still in Yonkers and after 60 years in the wine business I still drink wine!” Good for you and Sofia! ❖ Susan Williams Stevens ( email Susan ) | Doug Fuss ( email Doug ) | Alumni Directory .

The College of Veterinary Medicine has established the Stephen J. Ettinger 1962 , DVM 1964, Scholarship in honor of this outstanding veterinarian whose broad-reaching influence has impacted the college and the veterinary profession.

Stephen is considered a founder of specialization in veterinary medicine, having helped establish the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine and serving as president of cardiology in that group—from which he received the inaugural lifetime specialty achievement award . He has authored hundreds of journal papers and key foundational textbooks, including Canine Cardiology (1970) and the Textbook of Veterinary Internal Medicine , the ninth edition of which published in January 2024. He has served on the Cornell University Board of Trustees, the Dean’s Leadership Council, and the Advisory Council and received a Daniel Elmer Salmon Award for Distinguished Alumni Service in 2010.

From San Antonio, TX, John Graybill , MD ’66, sends word that he has retired as emeritus professor of medicine. “I was chief of my division of infectious diseases for six years at University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio and had about 250 peer-reviewed publications, mostly in medical mycology and with AIDS patients, and a lot of non-reviewed publications. I left all of that in 2008. My wife, Sue, and I continue to enjoy retirement. For 30 years we have done medical volunteer work in Mexico, Bogotá, Costa Rica, and Guatemala. We have aged out of the volunteer work but have bought a home in Guatemala and spend 3–5 months a year there. With the hot summers here in Texas, it is great to be in Guatemala at 5,300 feet in the mountains, with a climate like Denver. We love Latino culture. My addictive hobby in Guatemala is growing orchid species, and Guatemala is a great place for it. I tie them to tree branches and have a few on tables, a thousand in all. Up in Texas (not healthy for orchids), I have gotten into HO and N gauge model railroading. My N gauge is coffee-table sized and can go with us when we move sometime, if ever, to a retirement home. I am finally reaching the point of knowing how outdated I am in my profession of clinical academic medicine and am stopping medical journals, medical societies, and ultimately my medical license. Age will claim us all, but orchids and model railroading are good hobbies to have.”

John Abel retired from the Cornell civil engineering faculty in 2004 but continues to live in Ithaca on the west shore of Cayuga Lake. His wife, Lynne (Snyder) , died in 2006, and since 2010 his son Bill has lived with him. “Together we enjoy movies, TV series, travel, and Cornell sports events, as well as lakeside living. We spend holiday seasons with daughter Britt Abel ’91 and her family in the Twin Cities. After 12 years on the board of the Cayuga Lake Watershed Network (mission: to advocate for the health of Cayuga Lake and its watershed in a changing world), I have decided to step aside this coming August. I served as treasurer during eight years of growth, but my proudest accomplishment was through working with three talented interns from Cornell, one each in three of the last four summers. I guided their creation, revision, and updating of two handbooks advising watershed residents how to help alleviate climate change while preserving the quality of the lake.

I am excited to have completed the conversion of our home to fully electric. John Abel ’62

“While writing about the effects of extreme weather on our lake and watershed, I decided to ‘walk the talk’ on climate change. I am excited to have completed the conversion of our home to fully electric using community-subscription solar power from a photovoltaic farm in nearby Newfield, NY. I installed deep geothermal heat pumps, discarded our gas furnace and water heater, upgraded our heating and electric infrastructure, and replaced our gas dryer with a ventless hybrid electric version and our stove with an induction stovetop. We were able to turn off our natural gas connection! I also drive a plug-in hybrid car since 2017.

“I remain active as former president and advisor for the International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures (IASS), my professional association involving engineers, architects, and researchers. This coming year, after a pandemic hiatus of four years, I will resume international travel to annual IASS symposia, this year in Zurich and next year in Mexico City.

“Daughter Britt, on the faculty of Macalester College, will be teaching in Vienna again this spring semester (fourth time since 2009), and her husband, Scott Burglechner ’91 , is able to join her thanks to his remote work possibility for U.S. Bank. Grandson Will graduated from Colorado College in May and is starting his second social-service job in the Twin Cities while deciding about long-term plans. Granddaughter Natasha Burglechner ’25 will spend her junior spring semester at Cornell’s program in Seville, Spain.”

I’d be in denial if I didn’t admit that we are all beginning to wind down. Still, it is lovely to read the bits and pieces you send along detailing your lives and activities. Please keep them coming—until we can’t.

There’s a snowstorm raging outside my NYC window as I write this late spring column. To bridge this gap, I urge you to check out our class website , where you will find entries posted in a timely fashion in their entirety in our “Classmate News” section. We love to post your photos, so send them along too. ❖ Judy Prenske Rich ( email Judy ) | Alumni Directory .

I think my first sentence for the Class Notes column should be: Please send me news via email at this link ! I am running low on news. The news in this column comes from Christmas cards that I received from Cornell classmates.

Barbara Hartung Wade , MEd ’64, writes, “I was called out of retirement again, to teach two seventh-grade Spanish classes until the end of June 2023.” Even though she was employed, she and her daughter, Kimberly, went to Cancún in February, followed by a trip to Florida with Kimberly and her husband, Bernard. In September, Barbara and a friend had a good trip to Falcon’s Resort in Punta Cana for a week of sun, fun, and golf. In November the family went to their timeshare at the Westin Lagunamar in Cancún for a two-week getaway. “On the third evening there, it was dark and I tripped on an elevated round light in the cement that wasn’t lit and fell. With second-degree friction burns on arms, knees, and shoulder, I was hospitalized for 12 hours with painful surgery to close and clean the wounds.” Barbara had more to say about paying the hospital bill and then the scam involved when she had to change her flight home on Delta. “I’m recovering slowly but grateful it wasn’t worse. These bad experiences are what can happen at our age! We all learn lessons from them.”

Bill and Frankie Campbell Tutt live in Colorado Springs. Frankie writes: “We celebrated our 60th anniversary at our Ohio farm with the entire Campbell clan. We sold our home of 48 years and downsized to a gated community that we love. Going from 5,000 square feet to 3,400 square feet took some dumpsters, but we are in and can accommodate six guests.”

George Ehemann , ME ’66, and Diane Siegenthaler live in Lancaster, PA. “We enjoy visits from grandchildren including our engineering student enrolled at Cornell. We are active in church activities and German Club chorus. Our 60th wedding anniversary is coming up in the fall of 2024. My favorite memory of Cornell was the climb up the frozen gorge at Buttermilk.”

On the Parisian front, I’m teaching at Sorbonne University in the master’s program in orchestra management. Mary Falvey ’63

Mary Falvey splits her time between San Francisco and Paris, France. “On the Parisian front, I’m teaching at Sorbonne University in the master’s program in orchestra management. I gave a seminar there in 2019 and this year the professor asked if I would teach part of the course while he is on sabbatical. I’m giving six seminars together with colleagues of the San Francisco Symphony. I’m continuing as an entrepreneur-in-residence at INSEAD, a global business school in Fontainebleau. I also helped a French startup in the quantum dot space raise Series A financing. This fall I plan to rent a house in Brittany as a successor to my country home in Calistoga, which I sold in 2022, and to add to my three months a year in France. My oldest grandson, Colin, who holds a master’s in environmental engineering from Stanford, was married last year.”

We had dinner before Christmas with Jim , MD ’69, and Christine Newton Dauber . They are now living in a nice senior living facility. Jim writes: “After a 20-year hiatus, Chris and I returned in April to see Monument Valley, Lake Powell, Zion, and Bryce Canyon along with my older sister and her husband. We still spend part of the summer in our condo in Hillsboro, OR. Our Thanksgiving celebration was quiet but appreciated since Nancy Deeds Meister produced a traditional feast for us and her husband. We spent Christmas here in Tucson but traveled to Hillsboro for New Year’s Eve.”

Thanks to finding our home phone number through Mr. Google, we had a wonderful phone conversation with Tom Stirling , JD ’69, a week ago. Tom lives in Honolulu with his wife, Anita. Two recent milestones for Tom: “Upon my February 28 retirement as a Honolulu lawyer, Anita and I were off on a tour of Vietnam and Cambodia at considerably greater expense than my first tour (all paid for by the Army 57 years ago). Also, I just made my 200th blood donation (first time was at Cornell when I was told donors could get out of ROTC drill that day). Since each donation can be used for up to three recipients, I may have more than 500 blood relatives out there somewhere.” ❖ Nancy Bierds Icke ( email Nancy ) | 12350 E. Roger Rd., Tucson, AZ 85749 | Alumni Directory .

Welcome to my last column before our 60th Reunion—so I’m hoping if you have news for your classmates that you will see them at Reunion and regale them in person. Meantime, here’s the news I do have.

Wayne Mezitt , MBA ’66, who lives with wife Elizabeth (Pickering) ’65 in Hopkinton, MA, catches us up on a lot! He writes, “In July 2023, Beth and I published a book, For the Love of Gardening , which describes our family experiences as we commemorate the 100th anniversary of our family business, Weston Nurseries. I retired from full-time management of the nursery in 2007, and since then, our son Peter and his wife, Karen, have managed all operations of the business started by my grandfather and grandmother in 1923, where I still serve as board chairman. I also enjoy ‘playing’ at Hort-Sense, the tiny business I started in 2010 as a personalized horticultural production and advisory service.

“We’re justifiably proud that we’ve been successful in shepherding Weston Nurseries into our fourth generation of family ownership. Passing the business along to our fourth generation enables Beth and me to continue exploring our passions for horticulture, travel, and family/friend relationships.

“I am editor-in-chief for the Leaflet , Massachusetts Horticultural Society’s monthly member electronic newsletter. I also serve as chair of the Massachusetts Invasive Plant Advisory Group, a voluntary collaborative representing organizations and professionals concerned with the conservation of the Massachusetts landscape. Beth manages all our family and social relationships and serves as chair of our Hopkinton Public Library friends organization.

“Our youngest son’s family lives near our ski house in Vermont, and our other three children live near us, enabling us to spend time with our nine grandchildren. In November Beth and I visited New Zealand, where Beth’s dad was born, reconnecting with relatives and enjoying their springtime, just as our Hopkinton winter was setting in. We’re now discussing the possibility for traveling to Latvia, the Mezitt family’s origin, in July, avoiding Hopkinton’s oppressive humidity and heat.

I’ve begun composing a new book about Rhododendron ‘PJM,’ a now well-known plant that my dad, Edmund Mezitt ’37 , BLA ’39, developed decades ago. Wayne Mezitt ’64, MBA ’66

“I’ve also begun composing a new book about Rhododendron ‘PJM,’ a now well-known plant that my dad, Edmund Mezitt ’37 , BLA ’39, developed decades ago at Weston Nurseries. Peter and Karen have just added another garden center operation to our Weston Nurseries ‘family,’ all in Massachusetts, to now include Lincoln, along with Chelmsford, Hingham, and Middleborough, complementing our main base in Hopkinton. We applaud their commitment and enthusiasm!

“We still maintain contact with a number of Wayne’s Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity brothers and Beth’s Kappa Alpha Theta sorority sisters, although several have recently passed away. With all that keeping us busy, we’ve not paid much attention to most aspects of our Cornell experience, but we’ll welcome updates with any of our friends who have been out of touch.”

Next is David Evans , who with wife Sherry lives on St. Simons Island, GA. He writes, “I retired in 2019 after a career in project management services for large corporations providing governmental services to the U.S. government, while also spending 31 years in the Air Force and Air National Guard as a fighter pilot. Currently, Sherry and I are enjoying our retirement in the wonderful beach community, which is 80 miles south of Savannah, where my Welsh ancestors arrived in the 1650s. A shout-out to my freshman roommate Bill Lacy .”

In other news, Phyllis Rivkin Goldman , MS ’67, and Michael Troner are enjoying their retirements in Boston and Miami, respectively. They are co-chairs of the Class of ’64 Annual Fund and are busy planning to reach out to all of our classmates to support the Annual Fund and in particular our Class Legacy: the Class of 1964 JFK Award for Cornell seniors entering public service. They hope for a big turnout for our 60th Reunion and an even bigger response to their requests for support. Each of them has grandchildren at Cornell and the Troners especially look forward to the graduation in May of granddaughter Rachael Ricisak ’24 before our Reunion.

Lastly, a message from our class president, Ken Kupchak , JD ’71: “Sixty years ago this June we shed our obligatory bonds to Cornell. Celebrate we shall at Reunion. Our ‘modest’ footprint, however, continues and remains indelibly printed in Cornell’s story. This is especially true with respect to the then- and now-timely JFK Award. We have just transitioned this charge to a self-perpetuating board composed of our great awardees. This ensures that the Cornell Class of 1964’s influence will survive our playing time on Cornell’s fields. Hope to see you this June. If you ask nicely, I may save some healthy milk punch for you!”

That’s it for now. On behalf of our class officers, we hope to see you at our 60th Reunion on Cornell’s campus on June 6–9, 2024. As for your news, please keep it coming! Update me by email, regular mail, our class website , or our class Facebook page . ❖ Bev Johns Lamont ( email Bev ) | 720 Chestnut St., Deerfield, IL 60015 | Alumni Directory .

From Joan Hens Johnson : “There were 21 people attending the Cornell annual Florida luncheon arranged by Judy Kellner Rushmore in January. We all enjoyed sharing stories and congratulating the class gift committee on the success of the fall 2023 pilot project of our well-being coaching at the Skorton Health Center. This initiative, funded by the Class of 1965 student mental health fund, will continue because the program is so impactful. Jeff Kass , the leader of our gift committee, provided me with an excellent summary that I shared at the luncheon. He wrote, ‘All results thus far indicate our class gift is funding a program with real and positive impact on the lives of current and next-generation Cornellians.’ Students overwhelmingly supported these statements: ‘I am making progress toward my well-being goals’; ‘I am noticing positive changes in myself that are keeping me encouraged’; ‘I am substituting more healthy/helpful thoughts and behaviors for less healthy/helpful thoughts and behaviors.’ The news of the successful pilot program created a positive buzz among all those at the luncheon.”

Commenting on the highlights of the past year, Myron Jacobson spoke of the river cruise he and Michele took from Amsterdam to Budapest “even though the Danube dried up as we finished with a bus!”

Jim Bennett writes, “Failing any meaningful hobby, I’m looking for my fifth consecutive full-time role to give back to Northeast Ohio. It looks like it will be a major initiative funded by the City of Cleveland and private monies to assemble and remediate 1,000 acres of abandoned inner city properties, market individual sites to companies, and provide jobs for a number of economically disadvantaged residents along a five-mile inner city corridor.”

George , MD ’69, and Judy Arangio spent last October in the Italian regions of Piemonte and Tuscano, especially appreciating the Lucca symphony playing Mozart and Puccini operettas and the international truffle festival in Alba, as well as Barolo, Barbaresco, Moscato wine tasting, and visiting sites on Lake Como.

Dave Bridgeman relates, “Karen and I just celebrated our sixth wedding anniversary. The last six years have been the best of our entire lives! The cruises and vacations are nice, but the best part is getting to be with each other in perfect love, peace, and harmony.”

After four years’ absence, Stephen Appell ’65 traveled to Ithaca via the Campus-to-Campus bus for a weekend of Cornell basketball.

Judy Rushmore and Dave Koval and Linda and Walt Gadkowski are moving to Vi at Bentley Village in Naples, FL, where Ashok , ME ’65 , and Fay Thomas Bakhru , MAT ’66 , are already in residence. Before moving, Judy and her family are touring South Africa.

After four years’ absence, Stephen Appell traveled to Ithaca via the Campus-to-Campus bus for a weekend of Cornell basketball—and this time, to root only for the women’s team. Having apprised the Statler staff of the purpose of his visit, they welcomed him with a goodie bag of Cornell souvenirs, including a basketball cap, and made him feel like a VIP. Steve watched the women players defeat Dartmouth the first night and give a good battle to a formidable Harvard team the next. He was gratified that the coaches and players expressed appreciation for his show of support. Steve also saw the women’s team play at Columbia earlier in the season, and on February 10 he traveled to New Haven to see the outstanding men’s team give Yale all it could handle before succumbing in the last four seconds, 80–78, in an epic battle of undefeated Ivy teams.

Steve Hand is another avid Cornell sports fan. He notes that he is a fixture in Ithaca at all Cornell women’s and men’s hockey games. “Steve Appell joined me last weekend for women’s basketball, hockey, Glenwood Pines, and Purity ice cream.” In January, Steve Hand went on a trip to Disney World with his wife, son, and two grandchildren and everyone had a fun time. Thanks to Steve for managing the Cornell Class of ’65 webpage, which has information about classmates and past Reunions and photos, and also the link to find the Cornell Class of 1965 Freshman Register.

The subject of health is important all through our lives, and Bud Suiter , MBA ’67, has just finished reading two books of interest: Young Forever by Dr. Mark Hyman ’82 and Drop Acid by Dr. David Perlmutter. He states: “The books summarize amazing research results, particularly recent stuff over the last five years.”

Applause to Alan Lockwood , MD ’69, who received a Lifetime Achievement Award from Physicians for Social Responsibility in 2023. Alan is a CAAAN volunteer and frequent contributor to the Lifelong Learning series at Kendal at Oberlin.

Thanks to everyone who has contributed to the column and please continue to forward your news to: ❖ Joan Hens Johnson ( email Joan ) | Stephen Appell ( email Stephen ) | Alumni Directory .

As we near two years to our 60th Reunion, our classmates continue to report on the various jobs, activities, and travels that make up their lives. Susan Porter Bass never imagined working in farming but reports working in a vineyard and winery. Dick Lockwood , MNS ’68, spent 20 years as a part-time faculty member at Brandeis University’s Heller School. He was a union organizer with classmate Larry Bailis at Brandeis for adjunct and non-tenured faculty.

Currently Dick is a member of the board of directors of the Bullough’s Pond Association, a neighborhood environmental defense organization to keep the pond from becoming a swamp. His current hobbies are ice skating and swimming. Dick visited Vietnam last year with his oldest son, Dan ’94 , to show him the village in the Mekong Delta on the Cambodian border where he lived from 1968–70 with the International Volunteer Organization. He reports that 58 years have changed the country for the better. The family travels to Brazil every year to visit his wife’s family in Salvador, Bahia.

John Cobey has been practicing law for 55 years. He is also chairperson of Neighborhood Health, a charity that provides medical services for the homeless. He also chairs the Hamilton County (OH) Law Library, is on the Art Academy board, is an officer of the Literary Club (the oldest one in America), and is on the Rockdale Temple board. In ’66 he never imagined that he would someday have a lawsuit about an outer space problem—the world has certainly changed. John and his wife have two successful and happy sons.

Ira Sadoff retired as Arthur Jeremiah Roberts Professor of Literature at Colby College in 2015. He remains an active and publishing poet. In 2020, his ninth collection of poems, Country, Living , was published by Alice James Books. This past December the Academy of American Poets published a new poem, “ Thank You .” Ira is passionate about classical music and jazz. He lives near Woodstock, NY, where there’s “good music galore.” He never imagined he would be spending his life as a professor teaching literature and poetry, and writing poetry and criticism, for 50 years. At Cornell, he describes himself as a “poor student” taking all the wrong courses with the wrong professors. At the end of his junior year, he finally had the courage to try writing poetry. He feels blessed to have this lifetime passion.

Dick Lockwood ’66 , MNS ’68, visited Vietnam last year with his oldest son, Dan ’94 , to show him the village where he lived from 1968–70.

After 36 years, Marty Skelly Remis retired from the CDC as a Public Health Advisor, Quarantine Division. She spent 33 years at the Chicago Quarantine Station and three years as Deputy Bureau Chief, Quarantine Branch, Atlanta, GA, retiring in 2008. Although she never imagined living in Florida, she is active in many activities in Sarasota. They include NAMI Sarasota and Manatee Counties, Meals on Wheels, All Faiths Food Bank, Habitat for Humanity, and Key Chorale. She now enjoys playing tennis and mahjong. She and her husband have time to travel. Trips included an Alaska cruise, a vegan Caribbean cruise, and driving 192,000 miles in their Class B RV after she retired. In the summer, they spend time on Tuscarora Lake in Erieville, NY, with the whole family. The family visits them in Florida in winter.

Nancy Decker Stephenson is a retired registered dietician and office manager for a veterinary practice. Her activities include volunteering with meals for the homeless and the DAR. Hobbies now include gardening, reading, classical piano, and travel. She never imagined going to Japan and China. Other countries visited include family visits in the Netherlands, plus trips to Norway, Switzerland, France, Italy, Greece, Hungary, Austria, Germany, Scotland, Israel, and Colombia. Family activities include annual reunions, vacations, and holiday/birthday get-togethers.

Donna Swarts Piver is a retired educator. She volunteers at a nursing home and critical care facility. She continues to recover from a massive stroke and is making great progress with bi-weekly physical therapy sessions. In mid-December, she traveled to New Jersey to visit Anne Evans Estabrook ’65 , MBA ’66, and other friends. Donna recently moved to the Glenridge, a continuing care complex in Sarasota, FL. She reports that she loves it and the people.

Debby Kirschner Wolf sadly informed us of the passing of her husband, Marty ’63 , DVM ’66. They met at Cornell and were married for 57 years. They were blessed with two children and six grandchildren. Leith Mullings passed away in December 2020. She was an authority on the foundations of racial and class oppression and the intersectionality of race, class, and gender.

Paul Mlotok passed away in March 2021. He was an oil industry analyst who worked for various companies and was an advisor to the Department of State, the CIA, and various OPEC oil ministers. Anthony Rerecich passed away in June 2023. He was a computer programming professional who worked for various banks and computer companies. He was a veteran and accomplished runner, and he enjoyed sailing and genealogy. ❖ Susan Rockford Bittker ( email Susan ) | Pete Salinger , MBA ’68 ( email Pete ) | Alumni Directory .

Larry Dominessy , ME ’68 (Louisville, TN) reports: “I have been retired since my early 50s. I have remained active but have removed working for money from the equation. I have happened on some broad experiences in the military, Peace Corps, and Foreign Service, which built my confidence beyond the impression of a business teacher at Cornell.

“When I studied engineering at Cornell, as a fluke I took an elective in the business school. The teacher was a retired business executive. He had us write a paper and gave personal interviews to critique what we had written. I was in my fifth year at Cornell but basically, he called me an ignoramus with no ability to express myself. It shocked me but it was hard to argue with.

“I enjoy my informal study of recent history and wish I would have known what I am learning now earlier in life. All of the people whom I would like to ask questions of are dead. I guess I can’t blame myself because most of us are too busy with life to appreciate what is going on (good and bad) until it is too late.

“At Cornell, I got the distinct feeling I was in over my head, at least the first couple of years. Struggling with money certainly did not help. I took ROTC, which seemed to be a refuge from tough engineering courses. I did well the first year until I realized I just did not have the time to put in it, and ROTC did not count toward graduation anyhow. I finished second from the bottom of my ROTC class (the other person had a problem keeping in step!), but I still got a commission and a ticket to Vietnam. However, in the end I would not trade my experience of four years in the Army for anything.”

Peter Buchsbaum (Stockton, NJ) writes: “My wife, Elaine, and I, now married 56 years, are joining Dick and Eileen Barkas Hoffman ’69 for a cross-country rail trip in mid-May. Meanwhile, I’ve continued work with Jewish organizations, having been elected to the executive board of the World Union for Progressive Judaism, and I also joined the Commission on Social Action of the Union for Reform Judaism in the U.S.

We spend summers and parts of autumn at our island home near Acadia National Park in Maine. Peter Buchsbaum ’67

“We spend summers and parts of autumn at our island home near Acadia National Park in Maine and are completing 50 years of living in still semirural Hunterdon County, NJ. Our first grandchild is now a 1-year-old living in Rockville, MD. I’m somewhat creakier but still okay, which means I had to do some snow shoveling recently.”

Roger Abrams (University Park, FL), who was professor and dean emeritus of Northeastern University School of Law, previously dean at Rutgers University and Nova University law schools, and on the faculty at Case Western Reserve University School of Law, passed away last November 12. A graduate of Harvard Law School, Roger was an expert on sports and labor law and legal education. He served as a salary arbitrator for Major League Baseball and was a permanent arbitrator for the television, communications, electronics, and coal industries.

Roger practiced labor law, was a civil rights litigation attorney with Boston firm Foley, Hoag & Eliot, and wrote books on alternative dispute resolution, labor arbitration practice, and the business and history of sports, among other subjects. His Sports and the Law has been cited as the leading sports law casebook. A colleague, Libby Navarrete, recalled that Roger was the epitome of a great lawyer, dean, and arbitrator. “He was a very good listener, and always extremely careful and sound with his decisions. He handed out justice with precision.”

Lawrence McGuinn (Westfield, NY) died last November 20. “After graduation,” the Jamestown, NY, Post-Journal reported, “he took over the management of the Wilson Hill Farm and later expanded to establish Lin-Ary Vineyards. Larry enjoyed his lifetime career as a viticulturist. He served for a number of years as secretary and as president of the Westfield Maid Cooperative. Larry was a life member of the Sigma Pi fraternity. He was also a member of the Chautauqua County Cornell Cooperative Extension. Larry enjoyed his family, grape farming, sunsets over Lake Erie, photography, wildlife, the Buffalo Bills, and dogs.” ❖ Richard Hoffman ( email Richard ) | 2925 28th St. NW, Washington, DC 20008 | Alumni Directory .

With spring upon us and summer close by, I have more news from our classmates to share—but we’d like even more news, so please let us know where you are and what you are doing!

Corinne Dopslaff Smith has brought us up to date. She writes, “So very many decades have flown by since graduation that I don’t think I have submitted an update since serving as class correspondent way back in the ’70s.” Corinne remains active in our class and currently serves as our website community manager, a job that did not exist in the ’70s! She will be using this position to help connect classmates who want to reconnect with those they have lost contact with. Expect to hear from Corinne soon as she prepares to embark on this new initiative.

Corrine writes, “The first three decades of my working career—starting immediately after graduation—were spent at IBM, working both with clients internationally (favorite activity) and in internal marketing (not so favorite). About a month after full retirement in 1998, I was bored and initiated a new career, winding up at Milliman, an international actuarial firm. On the personal side, in 1971, I married Bob Smith, the most interesting private pilot/sailor/raconteur/fierce friend you would ever want to meet. No kids, but many, many wonderful doggies. Bob and I attended every Reunion but one, and he grew to love Cornell and all our dear Cornell friends and their spouses as much as I did. We loved living both down the shore in New Jersey and in our apartment near Lincoln Center in NYC. Bob sadly died last April. He is missed by all who knew him—most of all me. I continue to live down the shore (in Spring Lake) and in Manhattan.” Seven DG sisters from our class connect each month with Bernice “Neecy” Bradin as Zoom leader. The group includes Corinne, Neecy, Mary Sander Alden , Mary Jo Bastion Ashley , Beth Deabler Corwin , Susan Clark Norwood , and Janie Wallace Vanneman .

Jay Waks ’68 , JD ’71, his wife, Harriet, and classmate Joan Gottesman Wexler ’68 took to the sidewalks, logging nearly 2,300 miles through year-end 2023.

Susan Norwood writes that after a few years at Tulane University, where she received an MEd in counseling (1972) and served as the program director in the University Center, in 1973 she became the director of guidance and college counseling at an independent school in New Orleans. She was also active as a traveling ERB test consultant, a role she continued in for several years after leaving the independent school in 1995. “Even as I developed a practice as a family mediator, restorative practitioner, and trainer, working in juvenile and family courts, eventually I circled back into schools to apply mediation skills to practice restorative discipline—an alternative to suspension and expulsion. Now pretty much retired since 2016, my time is taken up volunteering for the New Orleans affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, serving on that board as well as conducting family education and support groups and Mental Health First Aid trainings.” Susan also serves on the board of the Center for Restorative Approaches, which provides training and tools for restorative approaches in schools, workplaces, and the criminal justice system. With all that she continues to do, Susan writes that she has the most fun on any given day playing pickleball!

Jay Waks , JD ’71, his wife, Harriet, and classmate Joan Gottesman Wexler turned pandemic isolation into outdoor social occasions by taking to the sidewalks and paths on a wide variety of routes in and around their Larchmont-Mamaroneck, NY, communities, logging, so they say, nearly 2,300 miles through year-end 2023. And Jay reports they are still at it!

Happy to report that Sharon Lawner Weinberg , PhD ’71, and I, Steve , MBA ’70, JD ’71, attended our fourth annual South Florida TEP reunion this past winter, with two other members of our class present, Jane Frommer Gertler (and husband David ’67 , ME ’68) and Gordon Silver . The event was hosted by Richard Marks ’67 , MBA ’68, and wife Carol. Also attending were Rick Bailyn ’67 , MD ’71, and his significant other, Margo Printz-Brandt, Ted Feldmeier ’67 , BS ’71, and wife Joan, Norm Stern ’66 and wife Jo, Norm Stokes ’66 , Lloyd Richard Dropkin ’66 , MD ’70, and wife Joan, Ralph Janis ’66 and wife Rhoda, Norm Meyer ’66 , Mike Caplan ’66 , and Myron Jacobson ’65 . A great time was had by all.

I look forward to receiving more news and updates from all of you! Please email me with news about you and your family that you want to share with our classmates. ❖ Steve Weinberg, MBA ’70, JD ’71 ( email Steve ) | Alumni Directory .

Our 55th Reunion: June 6–9, 2024! Our Reunion chairs, Cindy Nixon Dubose and Sally Knowlton , have been hard at work planning a great Reunion. Cindy writes: “We’ll celebrate our 55th Reunion on June 6–9, and we hope you’ll join us! It will be a great opportunity to enjoy our class events and gatherings, attend University lectures and forums, explore the beautiful campus, and, of course, reconnect with friends and make new ones! We hope you’ll stay in touch, encourage other classmates to attend, and plan to celebrate with us! The registration materials and schedule of events will be sent in April and will have all the details of our weekend. (By the time you read this, you may have already received the materials.) There is early-bird pricing for registration until May 15, so we hope you’ll register early.

“Our class headquarters will be in the brand new, fully air-conditioned Toni Morrison Hall. It has spacious common rooms for socializing and gathering, an incredible dining hall, and a very convenient location in the new North Campus area. For on-campus housing, the single and double rooms are arranged in suites, also with plenty of space and amenities. Our wonderful registration chairs, Larry and Nancy Jenkins Krablin , will be handling the room reservations and the accommodations.

“For those arriving Thursday, we’ll have a casual welcome dinner buffet in the HQ and a traditional ice cream social in the evening. We’ll join together for breakfast in the Morrison Dining Hall on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday mornings. Everyone can attend and participate in our Friday morning class forum with Cornell historian Corey Earle ’07 . We’ll enjoy dinners (catered by the Heights Restaurant) on Friday and Saturday evenings, and a barbeque lunch with entertainment by the Sherwoods. In between our planned events during the weekend, there will be lots of time to explore campus, revisit familiar places, see new sights, and attend other engaging University events and programs. We hope to see you in June to celebrate our 55th together.”

Doug Mock ’69 is very talented with the guitar, harmonica, and kazoo, and if we’re lucky, we’ll get to see and hear him at our Reunion this June.

What a wonderful schedule that’s been planned by Cindy and Sally. If you’ve never been to a Class of 1969 Reunion, it’s never too late! We’re a welcoming group. It’s also worth coming to see all the new buildings and other changes on the Cornell campus.

Our presidents, Greg Baum and Robert Tallo , are asking everyone to consider being an officer for our next Reunion cycle—leading up to our 60th! We are looking for most positions, so feel free to nominate a classmate; we also accept self-nominations! We are definitely looking for a class correspondent.

We heard from our classmate Richard Hagelberg . He has been the CEO of Kidstuff Playsystems for the past 41 years. His wife thinks he should retire! Richard and his wife love to travel, especially on river cruises. His favorite Cornell memory: the camaraderie of the Big Red Band!

At our Zoom meeting this past January, we were entertained by classmate Doug Mock , who played folk songs from the ’60s and ’70s. He’s very talented with the guitar, harmonica, and kazoo, and if we’re lucky, we’ll get to see and hear him at our Reunion this June.

Lastly, fill in those forms and come to Reunion 2024! ❖ Ingrid Dieterle Tyler ( email Ingrid ) | Class website | Alumni Directory .

As I sit at my computer and assemble this column, the most amazing thing currently is that it is the beginning of February and the outdoor temperature here north of Chicago is above 50 °F, with absolutely no piles of dirty snow. It’s more like early spring than mid-winter here.

February is always time for the Cornell Alumni Leadership Conference (CALC), a gathering of class officers and other alumni, this year in Baltimore. Although I won’t be attending, CALC also indicates some milestones for class events. It will be preceded this year by an online meeting of our class officers with one of the most significant items on the agenda being preparations for our 55th Reunion, June 5–8, 2025. Even though, as I write this, Reunion is more than a year away, preliminary planning has already begun. If you have any thoughts or ideas, and wish to be involved or to volunteer, contact Sally Anne Levine , our class president. Find her contact info (and others) through the Alumni Directory .

Ellen Celli Eichleay (Pittsburgh, PA) writes, “I still live in Pittsburgh, where I have always lived, and have a large contingent of friends and family. Since the age of 37, I have walked two miles a day so I am in a lot better shape than many of them—so I spend a lot of time cooking, driving, and helping where I can. With the sudden realization that my twin grandsons were now the age of my father and his brother when they came to the U.S. in 1913, last year I wrote a book for them about the brave journey my grandparents took to come to the U.S. At the age of 30, with two little boys and speaking no English, they started by oxcart, then train, and then to the sister ship of the Titanic , the Olympic . They left the beautiful Casentino valley in Tuscany behind and came to the dirty, gritty town of Monessen, PA, where the steel mills provided work and there was real education for their sons. My uncle and father both went to Carnegie Mellon and graduated first and second in their respective classes and lived the American Dream. So my twin grandsons now have the place, names, and dates correct for future reference.

“I volunteer as a narrator of books with some Western Pennsylvania connection for the Library of Accessible Media, a division of the Carnegie Library. My husband, John ’68 , and I like to travel and we have done a lot in 2023. I only have one child in Pittsburgh, so I also travel to see these twins in North Carolina and my much younger granddaughter in New Mexico. I am very grateful for the charmed life I have led, and I think it all goes back to that decision my grandparents made to leave Italy in 1913.”

I celebrated happily with Bridget Murphy ’70 our 75th birthdays in New York City last summer. Ellen Celli Eichleay ’70

Ellen adds, “I celebrated happily with Bridget Murphy our 75th birthdays in New York City last summer. Bill , ME ’71, and Gail Post Wallis we see with some regularity, and it is always a great time when it happens. We met them for a weekend in Montreal in late September. We were wandering through the museum there and at the end of a corridor was a very modern painting. I asked them if it looked like a hockey mask and when we got up close, its title was ‘Dryden’!”

Continuing the creative energy that seems to envelop our classmates, Larry Kraft (North Springfield, VT) has had his first stage play, a tragicomedy titled Waiting for a Eulogy , both published and performed. This full-length play, which includes references to campus life at Alpha Sigma Phi, is inspired by Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett. Larry’s play was scheduled to have its “world premiere” by the Springfield (VT) Community Players in April. It has also been accepted for publication by OPEN: Journal of Arts and Letters , which “offers a range of contemporary aesthetic experiences made available through its several media platforms.”

More creative energy is evidenced by Ellen Saltonstall (New York, NY) in the publishing of her fifth book, Empowered Aging: Everyday Yoga Practices for Bone Health, Strength, and Balance. From the press release: “Embrace the journey of remaining active while aging. This comprehensive guide by seasoned yoga therapist Ellen Saltonstall offers a fresh perspective on living with courage, vitality, and grace. Drawing from the wisdom of yoga, this book provides professional guidance, gentle adaptations, and compassionate support to improve your bone health, strength, and balance while enhancing your overall well-being so you can enjoy the fullness of life at any age.”

Yet another creative classmate many of us know is artist Andrea Strongwater (New York, NY). You may remember her as the creator of the Cornell puzzle that was a Reunion memento. Her creativity is now a part of an exhibit at Cornell’s Mann Library called “From Nabokov’s Net.” A noted writer and professor of Russian literature at Cornell from 1948–59, Vladimir Nabokov was also impassioned by butterflies. While in Ithaca, he collected hundreds of specimens from across the U.S., which he donated to the Cornell University Insect Collection. The exhibit, part of which is a selection from his collection, also includes artwork by Andrea, including a butterfly describing in Latin the classification of the butterfly named after Nabokov. This butterfly is also being made into a sticker to be given away and used as a part of the publicity. The exhibit runs through August, so attendees to this year’s Reunion will have the opportunity to see it.

As always, you may contact me directly (see below) or you may use the University’s online news form . ❖ John Cecilia, MBA ’79 ( email John ) | Alumni Directory .

For those of you not on Facebook, you missed splendid images taken by Gilda Klein Linden and her husband, Jeff Krawitz, from their long winter trip to Southeast Asia. I’m glad I don’t have to select a favorite among those from Hong Kong (Victoria Peak, variously shaped double-decker buses, and more neon lights than discos in the ’60s), Cát Bà Island (seafood and cruising), Ha Long Bay, Hue, Mekong River sites, and a Vespa tour of Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon, per localspeak), and still more pix from Bangkok, Phnom Penh, and Singapore. Actually, I would choose a favorite from Angkor Wat, the newly restored Hindu Buddhist temple near Siem Reap—if my top picks weren’t all of Gilda herself, a smile beaming in every shot she’s in.

During the pandemic, they traversed the U.S. and along the East Coast in their tow-behind camper trailer. They have now been to all 50 states. As soon as possible after COVID, the two were in the air to Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana, and Namibia. That’s not all. In toto, they’ve cruised the Caribbean, a thousand miles up the Amazon, and from Seville to Lisbon. Some jaunts include family (Tanzania/Zanzibar and London/Cotswolds). More is scheduled this year. She’s been to all seven continents and swum in all seven seas. Considering all the time away, it’s notable that Gilda’s been an EMT with the local ambulance corps near home in Fair Lawn, NJ, for 32 years and also volunteered to give COVID vaccinations in the first 18 months that these were available to the Bergen County Medical Reserve Corps. She can easily see two of her boys: her middle son lives six miles away with his wife and family while the older one and partner have moved to eastern Pennsylvania. Seeing her youngest son and his husband requires flying to London … and we can imagine what a joy that is for this traveling classmate!

Robert Bloch tells us that over last November’s 20–22 weekend, 23 Psi U fraternity brothers, with some of their wives and girlfriends and “wannabe Psi Us from SAE” enjoyed an informal reunion. The death, earlier in 2023, of Barry Cermak prompted them to get together. Attendees from the Class of ’70 were Steve Hirst and Art Walsh . From our class, attendees were Tom and Amy Brereton , Warren and Donna Baker , Leo , ME ’72, and Laurie Bettan Reinsmith ’72 , Eddie Kosteva , MBA ’73, Gary Cokins , and Robert and Nancy Bloch. From the Class of ’72 were Ed and Tracy Marinaro , Mike Jones , Chris Hart , PhD ’83, Chuck Parr , Mike Kozel , David Commito , John Gollon (and his girlfriend, Jen), and Fred Hoefer . Brothers from ’73 were Ed Mace , Kellen Smith , Stu Millheiser , Pete Durkalski , Dick Bell , and Mike Dempster . Joining from SAE were John Morehouse ’72 and Steve Kramer ’72 . Happy stragglers streamed through the State Diner Sunday morning.

Gilda Klein Linden ’71 has been to all seven continents and swum in all seven seas.

A highlight of cocktails and dinner along Cayuga Inlet at the Boatyard Grill included a sampling of fine wine from brother Mike “Vittler” Jones ’72’s Lagunita Vineyard (Amador County, CA). They tailgated the next afternoon and had barbecue at the Antlers after a tour of the old Psi Upsilon house (now repurposed as a grad student residence and activity center). Brothers took side trips to Taughannock and other parks and wandered the campus. They saw much that had changed, yet a demonstration in front of the Straight suggested much had not!

Howard Rodman is still screenwriting (an adaptation of a novel for Amazon Studios), television writing (staffed on “The Idol” from HBO-MAX), novel writing (latest, The Great Eastern, “a sprawling, lavish, literary, 19-century, anti-colonial adventure novel from Melville House”), teaching (professor at USC), and cultural “bureaucrating” (VP of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences). He had been named a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the Republic of France and this year was promoted from Chevalier (Knight) to Officier.

Some have asked me to report on a Cornell’s Adult University’s January expedition to Antarctica. Ordinarily your correspondent has easy access to words … and words and words. But, in the case of the planet’s southernmost, least-populated, fifth-largest, and most arid continent, I still struggle to articulate the awe of what our merry band experienced aboard the SH Vega . The quiet. A wider range of blues and grays than you can imagine. Vast emptiness. More kinds of ice than you’ve heard of. Nearly no falling snow. Proximity to creatures of land, sea, and air—who were unconcerned as we walked nearby on ice or snow and cruised close on small Zodiacs or our 150-passenger ship. Superb Cornell teaching, exquisitely appointed ship, fine food and drink, and as companionable a group of Cornell alumni and friends as one might like. Because of the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators, ships operate within the Antarctic treaty system and aim to have minimal impact on the fragile environment. Thus, once we’d left Ushuaia, Argentina, we saw only one other boat as we plied the Beagle Channel and Drake Passage and meandered meaningfully among the icebergs, sea ice, and islands of the Antarctica Peninsula that’s closest to South America. Put this wondrous place on your list and until you get there, explore online. Ask me for the short film of our excursion if you wish. ❖ Elisabeth Kaplan Boas ( email Elisabeth ) | Cara Nash Iason ( email Cara ) | Alumni Directory .

I just returned from the Cornell Alumni Leadership Council (CALC) meeting in Baltimore—something new for me, but, as it turns out, an event that hundreds of alumni from all graduations have been attending repeatedly for years. It was great meeting up with classmates and meeting new friends. Cornellians came from all over the country and even abroad. Among the events I attended was an impressive lecture on leadership during challenging times by four-star general, former Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army, and distinguished senior lecturer of leadership at the Johnson School, George W. Casey Jr., and an informative discussion of antisemitism and racism on the Cornell campus. A dinner in a nearby restaurant organized by our enthusiastic and energetic class president, Nancy Roistacher , was delicious, but more importantly lots of fun. For those of you in the Class of ’72 who may be interested in attending a future meeting, there is no need to be a class officer or in a leadership position to attend CALC—all Class of ’72 alumni are welcome.

News from our classmates continues to come in. Richard Joslyn , PhD ’77, writes in from Jenkintown, PA, that he retired in 2020 after a 44-year career at Temple University as a professor of political science, associate dean, vice provost, and dean of Temple’s campus in Japan. He recently published a book with Temple Press, called The History of Temple University Japan . Currently he and his wife, Kathleen, get the most satisfaction from taking care of their granddaughter, Anabel, age 13. His summers are spent at a cottage on Keuka Lake, one hour west of Ithaca, where he and Kathleen kayak, drink wine, and have a boat that goes 8 mph! Among his memories of Cornell are singing with the Glee Club and going to hockey games at Lynah Rink, becoming politically active, and standing outside Willard Straight when the students who had occupied it in protest of racism on campus came out bearing guns, thus witnessing, in real life and real time, the famous Newsweek magazine cover photo.

Richard Joslyn ’72 , PhD ’77, spends summers at a cottage on Keuka Lake, one hour west of Ithaca, where he and Kathleen kayak, drink wine, and have a boat that goes 8 mph!

Nancy Kollisch (Rancho Santa Fe, CA) is grateful that everyone in her family is doing well, and that she continues to walk and travel in her retirement. She fondly remembers having a great time at Cornell, despite, she claims, being a “nerd!”—which actually may have been a good thing, she says, for it kept her out of trouble. Clearly, she worked hard and accomplished great things.

Mark Schimelman writes that he retired 12 years ago and is enjoying the freedom and time with his family. He sadly recalls the passing 12 years ago of Joel Shapiro ’73 , his best friend in college (besides his wife, Shelley (Grumet) ’73 ).

Elias Savada , another attendee of CALC, writes in from Bethesda, MD, that after graduation he moved to the Washington, DC, area and settled into a career in film history and archiving, starting with the American Film Institute (then based at the Kennedy Center) and ultimately founding and (still) running the Motion Picture Information Service, which provides about 400 customized copyright research reports annually. He and his wife, Andrea, are still waiting for grandkids as his son, Daniel, and daughter, Shira, have other ideas. Back in 1995 Elias co-wrote Dark Carnival , a biography of film director Tod Browning ( Dracula , Freaks ) that was recently revised into a larger, limited-edition volume (with a paperback due later this year). He writes film reviews and also writes about craft beer.

Keep the news coming. We’re all interested! ❖ Susan Farber Straus ( email Susan ) | Frank Dawson ( email Frank ) | Alex Barna ( email Alex ) | Wes Schulz , ME ’73 ( email Wes ) | Alumni Directory .

By the time you read this, the election will have ended, but I’m hoping our long-serving class president, Paul Cashman , has been elected to the Board of Trustees. He is dedicated to Cornell and would serve everyone well. Go Paul!

Rich Saltz , MBA ’74, our current class co-president, and his spouse, Lynn (Rosenbluth) ’75 , attended the wedding of their daughter Marcy ’06 on Rich’s birthday in a restaurant in Greenwich Village. Marcy married Andrew Ogulnik. Adding to Rich and Lynn’s joy, their son Ted ’12 became engaged to Alyson Stein ’13 .

Vicki Simons writes that COVID helped her feel more attached to Cornell, following the wonderful online offerings. She especially enjoyed Corey Earle ’07 ’s class on “all things Cornell.” Attending the 50th Reunion was the icing on the cake. As an architect, she marveled at the new and exciting buildings on campus, “a literal Who’s Who in architecture.” Vicki has also been traveling since retirement. Her favorite trip was to South Africa, Botswana, and Zimbabwe for a safari. She’s also enjoyed a Cornell trip with alumni to Northern Italy.

Steven Fruchtman , too, has recently returned from a trip to Tanzania, Kenya, and Rwanda. “Wonderful people and fabulous sights.” His three children still bring the most satisfaction these days, as he still works running a biotech company focused on drug discovery. His best memory of Cornell remains meeting his buddy Chuck Keibler .

Mary Gilliland , MAT ’80, has just published a new book of poetry, Ember Days . She is a senior lecturer emeritus at the Knight Institute for Writing. An award-winning poet, she has previously published The Devil’s Fools and The Ruined Walled Castle Garden . She has also received a Council of the Arts Faculty Grant from Cornell, where she created and taught seminars, such as “Ecosystems & Ego Systems” and “America Dreaming.”

It was great to hear Jody Gandolfi ’73 and Bill Cowdery ’73 play piano again after 50 years!

Bill Chamberlain echoed the fun had at the 50th Reunion. He was delighted to connect with friends from his time at Cornell. He heard the cool story of how Greg Kishel and his wife, Karin, met in the Peace Corps. He also caught up with Nancy Roistacher ’72 and Wayne Merkelson , JD ’75, Dave and Patty Miller Ross ’72 , Ed Cobb , Pam Meyers , Bill Welker , MBA ’75, Bill Cowdery , PhD ’89, and Bill Cagney . A special thanks to Nancy and Wayne for putting together a wonderful Risley reunion. It was great to hear Jody Gandolfi and Bill Cowdery play piano again after 50 years! Bill is currently acting in Tracy Letts’s The Minutes . Otherwise, he’s mostly retired and working remotely very part time as a pre-law advisor at Reed College in Oregon.

Laura Davis had the pleasure of screening her latest documentary, Virulent: The Vaccine War , at a recent Cornell Intercampus Vaccine Symposium. It was co-presented by Weill Cornell and the Veterinary College’s Department of Immunology. Virulent examines the consequences of vaccine hesitancy and denial. After it was first screened, the COVID pandemic hit and it “became a very different film, one about the national conversation about vaccine safety and mandates.” We hope to be able to see it soon.

Denise Meridith has been reappointed to the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Advisory Council. She’s also continuing her participation with the Cornell Technology Business Network and her long tenure with CAAAN in Arizona. Since retiring from the Bureau of Land Management, she has started two consulting companies.

Ann Prezyna and her spouse, Gordon Lewis, have been adapting their ranch in southeast Arizona as the climate becomes hotter and drier. They purchased a heat pump to replace their propane heat and AC unit and now have an electric bill below $25 a month. They power their EVs with solar panels. Their other home is a houseboat in Seattle. Ann is actively engaged in preserving our natural world. Her law firm, Animal and Earth Advocates, continues to pursue lawsuits to protect the land she loves. She misses the Vietnam War protests, when the community was actively engaged. Ann sees such activism as much needed now.

So be sure to keep us up to date on your life. ❖ Phyllis Haight Grummon ( email Phyllis ) | Dave Ross ( email Dave ) | Pam Meyers ( email Pam ) | Alumni Directory .

In case you’ve missed the emails, our 50th Reunion is this June. (What!) If you haven’t signed up yet and want to go, please do so now. I still remember when my mother, Ethel Potteiger Myers ’35 (who, BTW, knew Martha Van Rensselaer and was there when that hall opened), attended her own 50th in 1985. She was still talking about that when I accompanied her to her 75th in 2010, just a couple of months before our eldest daughter, Annalise ’14 , began her freshman year. So it’s a big deal, and if you haven’t attended Reunion in a while, or ever, please consider joining us. Hey, you don’t want to miss Larry Kleinman and me reliving our DJ days at WVBR when we go back on the air live from our class headquarters at RBG Hall Friday night! Make sure “your” song is included in the 50th Reunion playlist—send your favorite to John Foote ( email John here ).

If you are going, don’t forget to check out what your “Affinity Groups” (sports teams, Greek houses, residential halls, choral/instrumental groups, clubs, etc.) will be doing there. Go to this website and scroll down to “50th Reunion Affinity Outreach” for the complete list. (There are email links in the heading to Mary “Mi” O’Connell and Diane “Kope” Kopelman VerSchure .)

And, whether or not you can attend, don’t forget that this is a wonderful time to consider giving back. Our 50th Reunion campaign co-chairs, Jim Irish and Andrea Glanz , and participation chair David Miller are leading the effort to once again make our class truly notable.

Speaking of getting back together, a number of us “represented” at the Cornell Alumni Leadership Conference (CALC) at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront the last weekend in February, including Beth Allen , former class president Dale Lazar , JD ’77, Ellen Perlmutter , Bill Quain , and me. Dale said afterward, “I enjoyed visiting with our classmates and all of my Cornell friends. It was a great turnout.” Steve Piekarec came up from Northern Virginia Friday night to host the Cornell classes of the ’70s reception at the Pratt Street Ale House (as he did previously), so ’74s were prominent there as well. Although I had attended parts of CALC in the past, when it was in D.C. or Baltimore, this was the first time that I had signed up for the full event (including staying at the Marriott Friday night). As an officer of the Cornell Club of Washington (DC) as well as our class itself, I found it very valuable. The schedule was pretty tight (15 minutes between sessions—like classes!) beginning Friday afternoon at 2 p.m. and all day Saturday, ending with a gathering with Alumni Affairs regional representatives at the hotel bar after CALC officially ended at 5:30 p.m. I recommend it and would go again.

You don’t want to miss Larry Kleinman ’74 and me reliving our DJ days at WVBR when we go back on the air live Friday night [of Reunion]! Jim Schoonmaker ’74

From the mailbox: David Hirschland writes, “I laughed when I saw that Nancy Dworkin Miller ’73 ’s favorite Cornell memory was hearing James Taylor. One of my favorites was Nancy, a percussionist, leading the way to the Big Red Pep Band in ‘Sweet Georgia Brown.’”

Esteban Rosas writes from Mexico, “I remember and miss the infamous ‘Baja Chemical Company’— Blaine Rhodes (‘Cisco’), Robert Hoff (‘the Fat One’), and me (‘Speedy’). We wrote a project for a course in chemical engineering 50 years ago, along with slides and cassettes (no iPhone then). We got a D, but we had so much fun—even the profs wanted a copy to show the new students. Hope we can meet again this coming summer.” Esteban adds, “Cornell has been part of my life, and when I have visited (last in 2017) it feels like taking a refreshing boost for the times to follow. I still work, and I think I will do it till the end. I had some years in recess but got bored and started again. I have a little consulting regional office, and I also participate as an advisor to the company in Washington, DC, of my former roommate from North Campus, Don Gross .”

As for his family, Esteban has one son, two daughters, and three fantastic grandsons; “my pride and joy—they play with me in a jazz band, the Stray Cats. My wife, Rosa, and I will complete 49 years of happy marriage just before our class’s 50th Reunion. Rosa and I are excited to attend Reunion. I will play my sax and acoustic guitar as part of a band on Saturday, June 8, in Klarman Hall. We will play ’70s music for your entertainment. All the class is invited.”

Perry Jacobs has forwarded several links he thought we might like to know about. “To receive the ‘Big Red Thread,’ the recently created newsletter from the Athletics Department covering all of Cornell’s teams, email . The intro by Nicki Moore, the new Director of Athletics (and Cornell’s first female AD), is always a fun read.” (Editor’s note: She did a terrific job hosting a panel of Cornell alumni athletes at CALC.) Perry also recommends “Cornell Hockey 401: The History, Art, and Science of Ice Hockey at Cornell” (which you can livestream here ) and the recent Cornellians story about Mike Schafer ’86 , the longest tenured coach in Cornell men’s hockey history.

We thank all for their contributions and invite you to continue to send in your news. ❖ Jim Schoonmaker ( email Jim ) | Molly Miller Ettenger ( email Molly ) | Alumni Directory .

It is mid-February as I write, and I can’t wait until the clocks change so it will be light in the morning and early evening! I am also looking forward to June to go up to Ithaca for Reunion to scout out places and activities that we can use/copy for our 50th Reunion, June 5–8, 2025! Put the dates on your calendar, and get ready to see old friends and definitely new buildings on campus. If you want to get involved with the planning, have an idea for an event, or would like to volunteer for the next five years, please contact me ( Deb Gellman , email me here ) or our Reunion chair, Susan Fulton ( email Susan ).

Last fall, I went to a conference honoring former Cornell history professor Walter LaFeber at Cornell Tech on Roosevelt Island. A group of former students discussed many of his works and gave personal anecdotes about his impact on their lives, personally and professionally. One of the presenters was Andrew Rotter . Andy retired from the Colgate University Department of History, where, he says, for nearly 35 years he taught courses in U.S. foreign relations, in the spirit (but without the skill) of his Cornell mentor. He and his wife, Padma Kaimal (Swarthmore ’79), live in Hamilton, NY, where he spends his time writing, jogging, cross-country skiing, sitting on the village planning committee, and teaching in a medium-security prison. He has two adult daughters, a son-in-law and one daughter’s significant other, and two grandsons, ages 6 and 2, all living two hours away in Albany.

In the fall, I also traveled to Washington, DC, for a girls’ weekend with Steffi Feit Gould , Karen Lauterbach , and Ting Magill Kamon . Steffi and husband Perry ’74 had a busy 2023. Son Keith and his wife, Sophie, added daughter Violet to join big brother Miles in April; son Jason married Maddie in May; and they all (including son Andrew ’05 and wife SiChang) went to Portugal in September to help celebrate Steffi’s 70th! Karen and Mark Powers spent his 70th tucked away on a Nat Geo ship off the coast of Iceland. They saw a live volcano spewing lava, breaching whales, and puffins. Mark just published a short story, “Rabbits,” in the literary journal Does It Have Pockets . Ting and Mark Kamon spend lots of time visiting their sons Jake (and spouse Megan) and Mike (and spouse Lindsay), daughter Emily (and spouse Jason), all of their grandchildren, and Kappa and DU friends. Ting is an active member of the Chester River Chorale, which has numerous concerts during the year.

Mark Powers ’75 spent his 70th tucked away on a Nat Geo ship off the coast of Iceland.

I spent Christmas and New Year’s with Lynn Arrison Harrison , which coincided with her birthday. Her son Willie, daughter Katie, and grandson Dean came from Burlington, VT, and Naples, FL, respectively to help us celebrate her 71st! Her son Ridgley was at Disney World with his family but was with Lynn for her 70th. Lynn spends time gardening, kayaking, hiking, and doing various other outdoor activities in Saranac Lake, NY. Pam Hanna writes from Ithaca, NY: “I turned 70 last July. Surprisingly, it was a bit of an existential moment for me. Knowing that (for real!) most of my life is now in the past gave me great pause, more than I ever expected! Certainly more than turning all the other ‘milestones’—i.e., 21, 30, 40, 50, 60. BUT, I got celebrated in style, with a large family gathering including two of our three sons, their partners, and two of our grandkids. We enjoyed Stewart Park, Myers Park in Lansing, a lake cruise, dinner at the Boatyard, and so much more, with a whole crew. I loved every minute! Ithaca cooperated with fine summer weather. Here’s to more birthdays!” Elyse Byron had a party at her favorite bar in Illinois with a great dance band and about 50 friends and family for her 70th. In addition, she spoiled herself with a trip to Antarctica!

Bob Brennan , ME ’76, and wife Claire took the whole family on a vacation to Costa Rica. They took their four kids, the kids’ spouses, and their three grandchildren. They rented a villa for everyone in Tamarindo, on the west coast. They then all went to a resort in Monteverde in the Central Valley area. Sun and sand, then mountains and nature.

Rich Marin , MBA ’76, lives in San Diego, CA, with wife Kim. Even though the kids are in the East, and Kim and he get back east regularly and see lots of Cornell pals, they consider themselves Californians now. Rich spends his time doing lots of investment expert witness work, especially since ending his teaching career (Cornell for 10 years and University of San Diego for three years). “I’ve written several books and write a 1,500-word story for my blog every day.” He does heavy-duty hillside gardening, something he learned working at the Cornell Plantations, when it was called that. His other pastime is riding the hills and deserts on one of his BMW motorcycles. Kim is still singing cabaret both in California and in New York. Last year they traveled to Egypt and Jordan.

I know that many of you celebrated your 70th in grand style and we all would love to live vicariously through those adventures (I know I love to hear the stories). Please share them with your classmates and plan on joining us in Ithaca next year! If your email contact information is “dated,” please send me a note and I will have you updated in the University records, or send updates here . Most of our Reunion updates will be via email so we would love for your contact info to be up to date! ❖ Deb Gellman , MBA ’82 ( email Deb ) | Karen DeMarco Boroff ( email Karen ) | Mitch Frank ( email Mitch ) | Joan Pease ( email Joan ) | Alumni Directory .

Rich Gallagher was one of my first friends on campus, thanks to a pre-freshman-year Wilderness Reflections bike trip on Cape Cod, so it was a treat to hear from him recently. Rich wrote, “It’s been a good while since I sent any class news, so here’s what’s new with me. I discovered that retirement was overrated and am now back in practice part time as a psychotherapist, serving all of New York State via telehealth. Since going back into practice I’ve published a new self-help book ( The Anxiety Journal , Rockridge Press) and presented a new treatment protocol for obsessive-compulsive disorder at a major clinical conference.”

Rich has written many great books of practical psychology, on topics from customer service to improving your small talk to dealing with fears and phobias. You can learn more about him on his website !

Bruce Behounek and his spouse, Diane, live in Yardley, PA. Bruce continues to keep up with medicine, but his greatest satisfaction comes from family time, including with two grandchildren, Mason and Harper. His best memories of Cornell include football, hockey, and lacrosse games. In more news from Pennsylvania, Nancy Arnosti writes that she enjoys “spending time outdoors with people whom I love. I am preparing to retire from my executive compensation consulting practice serving life sciences companies in mid-2024. My children are thriving—both in the Bay Area. I only have to take one trip to visit both. My partner and I are enjoying our 12th year together while living 135 miles apart.” Nancy’s favorite Cornell memories are “ Uri Bronfenbrenner ’38 , Walter LaFeber, David Levitsky, and other inspiring professors—and having friends from all over the U.S.” Happy retirement to you, Nancy!

Martha Frucht Rives and husband Darden are enjoying small-town living in Exeter, NH. Martha writes, “I am making art in my studio, serving on the New Hampshire Art Educators’ Association board, and serving on the Scholastic Art Awards of New Hampshire board. I recently had a show of my artwork at the Levy Gallery in Portsmouth, NH. I am working on promoting my art and having more exhibitions.” (Editor’s note: You can view some of Martha’s stunning artwork here .) Other things that bring Martha satisfaction include her son, Greg, who “is happily living and working in New York City, and bowling, ice skating (yes, I still ice skate at almost 70—great exercise!), playing bridge, and traveling.” Her fond memories of Cornell include “working on the yearbook, taking photos of campus life, being outside on a beautiful day, and having breakfast with friends at the Green Dragon (glazed chocolate donuts—yummy!).” Can confirm—those donuts were great.

Jim Sollecito ’76 procured and donated 280 unique varieties of hydrangea to Cornell, totaling more than 810 plants on the campus.

Amy Lubow reports, “I’m a landlady in Brooklyn, NY. One of my sons also attended Cornell and is now an endocrinologist married to an emergency room doctor.” From Northport, MI, Philip Loud writes that he’s enjoying “projects and building things, from furniture to fences to outbuildings to Adirondack chairs. In retirement, I’m volunteering with our local schooner school-ship organization.” (Must break in again: see for more on this amazing Great Lakes program.) Philip adds, “I had a new titanium knee installed last February and probably will do the second next winter.” His favorite Cornell memories are “my time as a member of Phi Gamma Delta, walking around our beautiful campus … oh, and some classes. Ha.”

Barbara Saunders-Adams is taking satisfaction from writing, reading, tennis, hiking, and friends. She reports that she’s “writing a monthly magazine for the Pelham (NY) Jewish Center and editing, plus leading a monthly Jewish book discussion for the PJC. My son Aaron recently signed a recording contract and is going on tour around the country. My daughter Shira opened a gardening business in the Hudson Valley called Honeybee Horticulture. My husband, Sam, hikes daily on the New Paltz trails with our puppy, Finley.” Barbara’s best memory of Cornell is “hanging out with friends in the Straight, discussing everything.”

Congratulations to John Banner , who writes, “In March 2023, I ran the Tokyo Marathon, thus completing the ‘World Marathon Majors,’ starting with Boston, New York, Chicago, Berlin, London, and, lastly, Tokyo.” John is “project-developing a state-of-the-art energy plaza in Palm Springs, CA, offering green hydrogen for FCEVs (fuel cell electric vehicles) and H2ICEs (hydrogen internal combustion engines), DC fast charging for BEVs (battery electric vehicles), CNG (compressed natural gas), and conventional fuels, for commissioning in late 2025.” And, John adds, “Two movies written by my screenwriter daughter, Rebecca Banner, released in 2023: True Spirit (Netflix) and Space Oddity (Hulu).” Congrats to her, too!

And thank you to Jim Sollecito , who was an ornamental horticulture major at Cornell. He procured and donated 280 unique varieties of hydrangea to Cornell, totaling more than 810 plants on the campus. This is the largest singular planting of a species in the history of Cornell. Professor emerita Nina Bassuk ’74 and members of the Cornell wrestling team also helped to plant the campus hydrangea collection over the last eight years. (If you’d like to view the hydrangeas on campus, you can find maps and walks here .)

Learning a lot of science and living vicariously through your news this time, friends! Please let us know what you have been up to. ❖ Pat Relf Hanavan ( email Pat ) | Lisa Diamant ( email Lisa ) | Alumni Directory .

A few more of our classmates have joined the ranks of retirees and, as expected, continue to engage in a wide range of fun, purpose-filled, and exciting activities. Here’s what’s happening in their lives.

Bill Grant lives in Ponte Vedra, FL, with Cindy, his wife of 37 years. After a successful and varied professional career, Bill retired and in 2022 founded a company called Homes for Hometown Heroes , a real estate firm that “gives back to those who serve.” Bill and Cindy also created Grant Realty, a real estate investment and management company, to manage the goal of passing on their legacy to their four children and 11 grandchildren.

In addition to his real estate work, Bill is very active in Cornell and community volunteer activities. He enjoys meeting prospective Hotelies through his work with CAAAN and he serves on the board of the Cornell Club of Northern Florida. He also spends a lot of time coaching his granddaughters’ YMCA basketball team and enjoys mentoring teenagers to achieve their goals.

With all of that, Bill and Cindy somehow found time last year to take an “epic” 51-day cruise to the South Pacific and French Polynesia. Next up for them is a tour to Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam.

Bill’s favorite memories of Cornell include his graduation day, running into Statler Hall with his fellow graduates and trading his graduation cap for a chef’s hat. Thirty-three years later he proudly watched his son Daniel ’10 graduate from Cornell and receive his commission as the lone Marine Corps Second Lieutenant. Bill is most grateful for his Cornell education and all the amazing Hotelies and Cornellians he’s met along his journey.

Amy Birnbaum writes, “I retired from a long career at CBS News in February 2022. I am reconnecting with old friends and volunteering for political and academic projects. Life is sweet! My husband, Bernard Furnival, and I are traveling more. My daughter is on the West Coast and my son and his fiancée are on Manhattan’s West Side.”

After retiring from a career in biotechnology as a molecular biologist turned medical writer, Linda Gritz started writing Yiddish songs. (You can listen to her songs on YouTube !) This was doubly surprising since she is not fluent in Yiddish and has just a basic knowledge of music. So Linda was extra surprised when she won the People’s Choice Award for Best New Jewish Song at the international Bubbe Awards! This annual award is based on the Grammy awards, and “Grammy” was playfully translated into Yiddish as “Bubbe” (grandma). Linda also came in third in the juried award for Best New Jewish Song. Congratulations, Linda!

Linda Gritz ’77 won the People’s Choice Award for Best New Jewish Song at the international Bubbe Awards!

John Molinda has a lot going on in retirement. He primarily does volunteer work for the energy policy committees for the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and American Nuclear Society. Otherwise, John stays involved in activities for Cornell and Carnegie Mellon. He is also active in sports including tennis, golf, skiing, mountain and road biking, and windsurfing and still likes to check out local rock bands.

Catching up with old friends and classmates brings John the most satisfaction these days, and he’s enjoyed a lot of it lately. He writes, “This year has been a 50th high school reunion year for most of us in the Cornell Class of ’77. Four of us from Mount Lebanon High School (Pittsburgh area) Class of ’73 went on to Cornell and three of us made it back for the 50th reunion—including Patty Cox Yeates , MBA ’78, who I had not seen since Cornell days, and Mark Halper , who traveled from his home in England, where he is a freelance journalist and a part-time leader of a band called Ghostweed.”

John also attended the 50th reunion for South Hills Catholic High School Class of ’73, where he spent two years, and caught up with Cornell ’77 classmate Don Lee , BS ’83. John adds, “I consider this 50th high school reunion year a kickoff for the countdown to our own 50th Reunion at Cornell.” I agree, John, and encourage all our classmates to start planning to come back to Ithaca, June 10–13, 2027, for our 50th Reunion!

Jone Sampson writes that she and her husband, Sam Weirich, finally retired in 2021 and built a small home in Bedford, WY. They are enjoying hiking and fishing in the summer and skiing and snowshoeing in the winter. Jone and Sam also love visiting their three daughters, who are scattered across the country in San Francisco, CA, Boulder, CO, and Portland, OR.

In February, Cara Lebowitz Kagan , Karen Wellin , and I attended this year’s Cornell Alumni Leadership Conference, held in Baltimore, MD. It’s always great to connect with some of my fellow class officers, meet fellow alums, learn about what’s happening on campus, and explore a variety of leadership topics. Add to all that a large dose of Big Red spirit and it was a fun, educational, and inspirational weekend.

We enjoy hearing from you and having the opportunity to share your stories with our fellow classmates. Please keep all of your news and views coming in! ❖ Mary Flynn ( email Mary ) | Howie Eisen ( email Howie ) | Alumni Directory .

Greetings, classmates! Thanks to my partner-in-posting, Ilene Shub Lefland , for handling the last two columns. The ’78 inbox wasn’t very full for this column. I tried turning over the laptop and shaking vigorously—no luck. I don’t recommend trying this strategy to find specific emails.

Mike Bernard (Albuquerque, NM) writes: “I took a U.S. Tennis Association seniors class over the summer and started playing tennis for the first time since college. I now walk two rounds of golf a week and play tennis for two hours twice a week and am still gaining weight!” Bruce Clements is also a tennis and golf buff. He’s lived in Saratoga Springs all but nine years of his life. He is inching closer to selling his independent insurance agency. His daughter and son both attended graduate school after Cornell. He has served in the Lions Club for over 40 years, and he continues to compete in golf and tennis.

On the legal front, Mark Green is the Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Appeals Court, the statewide intermediate appellate court in Massachusetts. Mark writes: “On December 5, 2023 (and again on December 12), I was joined on panel by two of my colleagues who are also Cornell alumni: Justice Eric Neyman ’90 and Justice John Englander ’80 . Though the three of us have served together on the Court since Justice Englander’s appointment in December 2017, this was the first occasion on which the three of us sat together on panel, for an ‘all Big Red’ sitting.”

I took a U.S. Tennis Association seniors class over the summer and started playing tennis for the first time since college. Mike Bernard ’78

On the travel front, Scott ’77 and Elaine Zajac Jackson started off 2024 with a Cornell Alumni Travel trip to Antarctica. They started in Buenos Aires and then embarked on the Antarctica cruise with two Cornell professors. They hoped for smooth sailing and lots of penguins and adventures. This is their second Cornell Alumni Travel trip. Their first was “Untamed Alaska” about five years ago. In August 2023, Julian Vrieslander , PhD ’81, and I went to the Netherlands for a reunion with some of his cousins, then went to Italy—and promptly caught COVID. This put a damper on the last leg of the trip in Venice. Fortunately, both of us recovered without any long-term issues.

On March 12, the classes of ’77 and ’78 cosponsored a webinar titled “Seasons of Perfection: Big Red Championship Lacrosse and Richie Moran.” The panel was moderated by our own David Bilmes , who was sports editor of the Cornell Daily Sun . Panelists were Dan Mackesey ’77 and fellow ’78ers Chris Kane and Tom Marino . The fourth panelist was Christian Swezey, author of We Showed Baltimore: The Lacrosse Revolution of the 1970s and Richie Moran’s Big Red (Cornell University Press). Many thanks to Kent Sheng , BA ’82, for helping pull this together.

Not only is Joe Holland , MA ’79, a best-selling author (his latest book is Make Your Own History ) and attorney, but he co-founded Beth-Hark Christian Counseling Center . It is still going strong after nearly 40 years and provides free mental health services, a soup kitchen, and a food pantry. February 23 marked the premiere of Harlem Grace , a short docudrama of his early years serving the neighborhood.

All for now. Stay well and see you in June! ❖ Cindy Fuller , PhD ’92 ( email Cindy ) | Ilene Shub Lefland ( email Ilene ) | Alumni Directory .

Brad Spencer writes, “I am living in D.C. Although I retired from law firm practice a few years back, I have recently become chairman of the board of Melwood Inc.—one of the nation’s largest AbilityOne Contractors with the federal government. Melwood secures employment of disabled individuals through federal contracts, as well as through employment in the private sector. In addition, I have been pleased to work with many dedicated individuals who seek to make affordable housing/independent living for disabled individuals a reality in the nation’s capital and beyond. In all, it is the culmination of this ILRie’s dream of working to create a more fully integrated and inclusive workforce.”

Brad adds, “As my primary hobby, I have been singing with other Washington Cornellians and former CU Glee Club director Scott Tucker in the Washington Men’s Camerata. My new grandson, Easton Yip, was born in Honolulu.” Of his time on the Hill, Brad fondly recalls singing with Jon Wardner , Steve Whitney , Steve Bronfenbrenner , MBA ’81, and Barry Jacobson ’70 , BA ’74, in the Glee Club!

Sharon Flank shares, “Though it’s not where I thought linguistics would take me, I am happily leading research efforts for two projects in personalized medicine using 3D printing—and just notched my 11th patent, this one joint with my younger daughter, Becky Maksimovic ’19 , ME ’20.”

Bill Gallagher writes, “I’m in my fifth year teaching, now at CEVRO Institute in Prague. The weather is very much like Ithaca. I have students from five different countries, so the school has a real international flavor. My American metaphors don’t have quite the same impact as they did back in the U.S., so we’re ‘growing into appreciating each other’ as the semester progresses. Very much a ‘beef and beer’ kind of town—like a big medieval village with a Chapter House every few blocks. I got to visit my first Prague Christmas markets. After the school year, I’m looking forward to seeing everyone at Reunion!”

D. Dina “Debbie” Friedman , BA ’78’s new short-story collection, Immigrants , was published by Creators Press in November 2023. She also has a new poetry collection, Here in Sanctuary—Whirling , out in February 2024. (More info can be found at her website ). Happily retired after many years of teaching business communication at UMass, Amherst, Dina divides her time between writing, social activism, gardening, and caring for her toddler grandchild, Manu. Dina recently completed a memoir, Imperfect Pitch , about her complicated relationship with her musical family legacy, though her years as a Cornell chimesmaster remain a highlight of her time at the Big Red and in her musical life. (See her recent “Chime In” essay !). She also continues to explore how to live a creative life in a creatively challenged universe in her blog, “ Music and Musings .”

As always, everywhere I go I run into Cornell alums! This summer, I met a few on my travels! Leslie Lewit ’79

Leslie Lewit writes, “As always, everywhere I go I run into Cornell alums! This summer (a very busy one), I met a few on my travels! In October, my older sister and I took the Uniworld ‘Enchanted Danube’ River Cruise and the first new friends we met were Roland ’76 and Dona Young . We enjoyed their company and Roland had a lot of fun Cornell stories to share. My husband and I were away for two weeks in Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and Helsinki, and of course the small group we traveled with from our Temple Sinai of Roslyn (NY) had connections to Cornell too.

“During the year, I enjoy connecting with all the opportunities afforded to us alums via Zoom and in person, including lectures in politics, art, and travel. However, I especially enjoy Big Red Reads —the books and discussions online offer a lot of amazing info and stimulation. I also manage the Temple Sinai Reads program, and I’m a member of a Roslyn/Lloyd’s Neck Harbor women’s book group. I really enjoy walking miles for exercise while listening to books!

“This year, in a period of six months, we had three weddings! My stepdaughter Lindsay Milner (University of Michigan ’14), married Jesse Katz of Tenafly, NJ, on April 8 in Cancun. On July 22, my son, Jacob Lewit (University of Pittsburgh ’15), married Jenna Strauss of Westfield, NJ, at the Park Loft in Oceanport, NJ. Jenna and Jesse went to University of Maryland together and graduated in 2014! And on October 14, my middle stepdaughter, Mariel Milner (Wisconsin ’13), married Joe Spina of Levittown, PA (Penn State ’12) in Livingston Manor, NY. Guess what good and welfare news I may be sharing next year?!

“I am still dabbling in my interior design and space planning business, currently working with a client who’s building in the Hamptons, as well as a few clients in NYC and Roslyn. I have a consulting business reviewing architectural plans for clients who are in the process of renovating or building. My DEA and space planning experience ensure that the new spaces will have adequate traffic flow and space for the clients’ needs and furniture placement, as well as better aesthetics. I am also a LMSW (Adelphi ’02) and have renamed my business Absolute Heads & Homes—because if your head isn’t in the right place, how can you enjoy your home? If you ever want to connect or say hi, I’d love to hear from you. See you all soon!” ❖ Cynthia Ahlgren Shea ( email Cynthia ) | Danna Levy ( email Danna ) | Linda Moses ( email Linda ) | Alumni Directory .

Hail to thee, classmates. Paul Bechly ’s fondest memory of his years at Cornell is “graduating with a BS in chemical engineering. It was a lot of hard work that led to a lot of good outcomes.” One of those outcomes is that he was just elected as a fellow of the American Institute of Chemists. Congratulations!

Paul just completed 30 years working at Morgan Stanley and has no plans on retiring. When his nose is not on the grindstone, he and his wife, Beth Wells, “have been making an effort to travel the world. We have experienced 130 countries and visited all seven continents.” Unlike your indolent correspondent, he “wakes up every morning with a goal to make the day count for something good.”

Beth Rubin reports that it has been a big year for her family: “In May, our younger daughter married her beloved in the redwoods of California. Then I retired from my position as dean of adult and online education at Campbell University, after developing an associate’s and bachelor’s degree program for incarcerated men and women at two prisons in North Carolina. Our success rate was amazing (approximately 60% of those who started completed an associate’s degree, and 80% of those completed a bachelor’s degree); we had graduation for 17 people in the fall. And the State of North Carolina voted to provide $1,000,000 every year to help the program grow in new prisons, ensuring long-term viability and necessary student support.

“My hoped-for relaxing retirement was interrupted by family needs—a sister needing care after major surgery, a father-in-law who passed away suddenly from a heart attack, and a mother who was diagnosed with stage four cancer and died two months later, on Christmas Eve. So, a long year of joy and sadness ended for us. My mother’s funeral gave me the opportunity to reconnect with cousins who we’d long been out of touch with. My husband, Dane McGregor, is, thank heavens, healthy, and our two kids are working their way through graduate programs. I went on Medicare (like so many others) and hope to travel the world for the next 10 years!”

Paul Bechly ’80 was just elected as a fellow of the American Institute of Chemists.

Beth’s favorite memory from her time at Cornell was “being on the women’s ice hockey and rugby teams. Walking home after games, with my hair freezing (in winter); it was so still and beautiful.” Nowadays, she enjoys her body combat lessons at the local Y.

Steve Benjamin , ME ’81, MBA ’82, reports, “In May 2023, our daughter Megan ’10 had her fourth child. Sheri and I love being grandparents to all four of our grandkids. I’ve got the three older ones skiing. And every February for the past seven years, quite a few Fijis from my era meet up at Alta, UT, for some excellent skiing and camaraderie. The group typically includes Dave Ayers , Tom Croskey , Doug Henderson , MBA ’88, and Dave Phelps ’81 . Others have joined us over the years, and we plan to continue this annual tradition until we can’t. We hope the group will continue to grow.”

Brian Fristensky relates, “Love can be found any time in life. In December 2022, I was so happy to marry Teresa Mayer, also a U.S. expat living in Winnipeg. In attendance were both her and my grown children, and her mother in person, and friends and relatives from all over North America by teleconference. 2023 has been a year-long honeymoon of sorts, in France, Monaco, Hawaii, and elsewhere in the continental U.S.” Brian is a professor of genetics at the University of Manitoba, specializing in bioinformatics. His favorite memory from Cornell was “singing with the Glee Club in Sage Chapel … and at Johnny’s Big Red!” These days, he is making memories singing tenor with the Winnipeg Philharmonic Choir.

Please write to any of us with any news you’d like to share with the Class of ’80. ❖ David Durfee ( email David ) | Leona Barsky, MS ’81 ( email Leona ) | Dik Saalfeld ( email Dik ) | Chas Horvath, ME ’81 ( email Chas ) | Alumni Directory .

I just had my six-year work anniversary with Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America. I’m very proud of the work that I do! Construction of the new Gandel Rehabilitation Center at Hadassah Hospital was rapidly accelerated in the wake of October 7. Originally it was going to be finished in the second or third quarter of 2024, but when the war broke out, it had to be finished yesterday. The first patients began receiving care in January, with plans to double capacity in the coming weeks. Since October 7, Hadassah has raised more than $16 million, with $5.5 million going specifically to expedite the work on the Gandel Center.

Near me in Fort Lauderdale is Steve Greenapple , JD ’84, an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) attorney at SES ESOP Strategies, Stevens & Lee. Steve loved the Chimes concerts on the Hill, the waterfalls (all of them, but most especially Taughannock), and mud-sliding down Libe Slope. He has four great kids, a beautiful marriage, and a career more satisfying than he ever imagined possible. He’s been traveling again—both personal and for business. If you find yourself here in paradise, he hopes you will give him a ring!

This year’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Lecture on campus focused on the importance of understanding and addressing systems of oppression and their impact on multiple identities, including race and gender. Kimberlé Crenshaw , professor of law at the UCLA School of Law and at Columbia Law School, spoke at the event, “The Urgency of Intersectional Justice,” on February 19 in Sage Chapel. Kimberlé is a pioneering scholar and writer on civil rights, critical race theory, Black feminist legal theory, race, racism, and the law. Her work has been foundational in critical race theory and in intersectionality, both terms she coined. She is also known for raising awareness about police violence against Black women through her work with the #SayHerName campaign.

Theresa Kronik Wrobel started an e-bike store with all proceeds going to support the Boys & Girls Clubs of Mercer and Warren counties in New Jersey. She found her passion for biking among the steep hills of her hometown, Ithaca, NY, during her teenage years. She continues now with rides in hilly northwest Mercer and western Hunterdon counties with the Princeton FreeWheelers, and she does mountain bike riding in Utah. In recent years she combined her love of biking with community involvement by volunteering with the Bike Exchange and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Mercer County. She is excited to continue these efforts at Princeton eBikes.

Bob Zeidman (Las Vegas, NV) recently published his firsthand account of the story of his debunking the 2020 election fraud “proof” presented by Mike Lindell and the subsequent arbitration that awarded Bob $5 million. The book is titled Election Hacks . Bob writes, “Lindell, the founder and CEO of MyPillow, publicly declared he had proof of voting machine tampering that threw the 2020 election. Having invented the field of software forensics, I was invited by Lindell in 2021 to examine and verify the alleged proof. What I found was bogus data, manipulated results, and dangerous conspiracy theories.”

Terry Steinberg recently earned her purple sash in kung fu and her green sash in kung fu sword. Kung fu is a great exercise, she says. Terry started out as a beginner, and the practice has improved her strength, flexibility, and balance. She lives in Silver Spring, MD.

Theresa Kronik Wrobel ’81 found her passion for biking among the steep hills of her hometown, Ithaca, NY, during her teenage years.

Peter Zenneck is happy in retirement, spending time in London and on the island of Mustique. Elise Kuebelbeck Johnson and her husband, Roderick, also live in London. Elise’s areas of expertise are healthcare, acupuncture, and shiatsu. To their delight, their five children are also in London.

Lisa Dietrich Zimmerman , DVM ’85, is still working as a part-time veterinarian in Nassau, NY, where she grew up. She does mostly ultrasound and surgery. She and her husband, Bill , DVM ’85 , ski all over the U.S. and participate in masters ski racing for fun. They live on a 300-acre farm and walk on it every day. President Rhodes was an inspiration to her, and she loved his speeches. Her favorite memories are of polo houses and roommates Celeste Starr Frohm ’80 , Julie Hansen ’80 , PhD ’89, Hal Schott ’80 , and Sue Seaman Knight . She also has many fond memories of OTS parties, dancing, partying, and surviving the rigors of vet school.

In New England, Sarah Garlan Johansen is an emergency physician at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, NH, and faculty at Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. Living in Etna, NH, she shares that she’s blessed to have had three healthy children, an amazing husband, and a fulfilling emergency medicine career. She adds that she’s grateful for many things, including that she was able to perform for nine years in professional theater, live in a beautiful vacationland, spend a year in NYC with her son while on Broadway, have wonderful adventures like climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa, cook many yummy things, and care for many medical students and residents.

Arjun Yodh (Merion Station, PA) tells us that after Cornell, he did his PhD at Harvard and a post-doc at AT&T Bell Labs. Then he joined the physics faculty at University of Pennsylvania, where he has been since 1988. He married Lai Yee Hom in 1986. They are still married and have three kids (grown-up now), Elliott, Jeremy, and Zach. Collectively, they like sports (especially baseball), music (piano), and traveling.

Clay Pittman (Bellbrook, OH) tells us he had two great roommates, Glenn Russo and Carlos Guevara , and really enjoyed their company. His ROTC classmates were great as well, and he really appreciated their friendship and support. After graduation he had a long career in the Air Force as an engineer and pilot. He met his wife at a squadron Christmas party, and he says they have been blessed with six children and a wonderful life together. He retired in 2015 and started a second career in academia. He is still working hard and enjoying the college faculty experience.

Lana Carlsson-Irwin (Wayland, MA) is the co-business owner at Irwin Engineers Inc. Of her time at Cornell, she says she loved summertime going to the reservoir; endless games of mau-mau in those Collegetown digs; the party she threw herself at 106 South Quarry— Mike Pliss ’80 brought his friend, Andy Irwin , ME ’82, who became her husband; playing frisbee on campus with Ellen Wolaner , Mark Amos , and others; and going to the waterfalls with the same gang. Andy and Lana got married graduation weekend. They moved to the Boston area, had three kids, and started their own business, which is now 25 years old. They recently had their first grandchild. They love to travel and continue to explore new places. Lana went to law school too, but she didn’t really like the practice at the major Boston firm and quit to have those kids.

Let us know what’s doing with you—we want to know what’s going on with you, your life, and your daily thoughts! ❖ Betsy Silverfine ( email Betsy ) | Alumni Directory .

Our online memory book has now closed to new entries. If you haven’t yet, or want to again, give it a look to read about old friends and learn more about the fascinating and diverse lives and memories of your classmates.

Manuel Choy of Saratoga Springs, NY, checks in to tell us that he owns a financial planning and investment firm and that his two adult children are now married and engaged, respectively. He enjoys his family, traveling, helping his clients, gardening, and playing basketball. As to his favorite memory from Cornell, his only comment was a big smiley face drawing. That tells it all for a lot of us!

From Corte Madera, CA, Nir Margalit writes to tell us that he is the chief legal officer of a family office investment business. He is one of our classmates who is in the “I still have young children” club, and his biggest satisfaction is his family of wife Jennifer and daughters aged 5 and 8. He enjoyed a “wonderful month in summer 2023 in Israel before the horrible attack.” His favorite memory of Cornell times is “my friendships”; again, heck yeah!

Jennifer Gardiner reports, “On a Christmas trip to visit my three grandchildren (ages 2, 1, and newborn), two of whom live in Virginia, I met up with Steve and Lisa Mummery Crump . They were visiting their daughter and grandson in D.C. We caught up on my life in Charlotte, NC, where I am in my 13th year as the full-time director of the Low Income Taxpayer Clinic at Legal Aid of Arkansas, and the Crumps’ exciting life in Switzerland. I also still play tennis or platform tennis daily, and Lisa still rides horses regularly. I would love to connect with Cornellians closer to home, like in Charlotte!”

The Memphis-based Blues Foundation has named Mark Stenzler ’82 as a recipient of the 2024 Keeping the Blues Alive Award.

Continuing the thread of classmates as authors from Doug Skalka ’s last column, we heard from Mary Ellen Plubell Miller , who lives in Johnson City, TN, with spouse Dan: “I wrote, published, and launched a book in 2023. Fill the Dam Thing Up! Building Connections: Communicating Throughout the Lifecycle of Infrastructure Projects is the story of my seven-year journey as lead communicator on a major ($400 million) infrastructure (dam) project in northeast Tennessee. It’s a communications playbook for project managers and communicators. Cornell gets several mentions! It is available on Amazon in paperback, e-book, and Audible formats.”

The Crumps are not the only classmates living in Switzerland. Mark Stenzler has been recognized for the 35+ years that he has dedicated to putting the blues out there on the airwaves from his base in Bern, Switzerland. The Memphis-based Blues Foundation has named him as a recipient of the 2024 Keeping the Blues Alive Award. This lifetime achievement award was presented to him in January during the 2024 International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN.

I can’t improve on the foundation’s announcement: “Mark Stenzler, a native New Yorker and former radio pirate with Radio Free Ithaca, has been a passionate radio broadcaster on both sides of the Atlantic since 1978. In the 1980s, he relocated to Switzerland, where he continued his career in radio. A true blues enthusiast and a staunch supporter of public radio, Stenzler is widely recognized as the host of ‘Blues Zeppelin,’ a program he initiated in 1989. Guided by the motto ‘Working hard to make reality a lot less painful,’ he has dedicated his time and talent to create a blues program that offers a blend of the finest blues music, news, and engaging interviews. The show can be heard on several radio stations, including Radio Bern (RaBe) in Berne, Switzerland; Radio LoRa in Zurich, Switzerland; Diis Radio in Canton Valais, Switzerland; WRFI Community Radio in Ithaca; and CJRO Community Radio in Carlsbad Springs, Ottawa, ON, Canada. Stenzler’s contributions extend beyond the airwaves, as he actively collaborates with numerous festival organizers, music promoters, venues, and blues artists at various stages of their careers. From providing first-time airplay to working with award recipients, including Blues Foundation BMA and KBA winners, Stenzler has played a pivotal role in supporting and nurturing the growth of blues musicians and bringing them to the attention of the global blues community.” ❖ Mark Fernau ( email Mark ) | Nina Kondo ( email Nina ) | Doug Skalka ( email Doug ) | Alumni Directory .

Sylvia Han , CFA, CFP, and CSRIC, our classmate and class council member, led a timely Zoom discussion for our class, “Top 10 Retirement Considerations,” on March 19. Sylvia, who works as a wealth management advisor at Merrill Lynch, notes that “a shift has occurred in retirement planning compared to previous generations.” She discussed important issues like defining a vision, financial planning, investment risks, income source planning, sustainable spending rates, Social Security maximization, healthcare costs, and more. For more information feel free to email your class correspondents below.

Anna Esaki-Smith writes, “I’m a very proud Class of ’83 graduate of the College of Arts & Sciences. I went to the 40th Reunion this past summer and had a great time, reconnecting with both the campus and old friends.” Kudos to Anna, who has written a terrific young adult nonfiction book, Make College Your Superpower: It’s Not Where You Go, It’s What You Know, that was published by Rowman & Littlefield in April 2024. Anna adds, “Most books for teenagers about college are full of tips on writing killer college essays or nailing those SATs. Mine gives students a bird’s-eye view on how a university education connects to a tech-disrupted workplace that values skills and creativity.” A wonderful addition to students’ college prep toolkits! Anna also recently penned a “Chime In” essay for Cornellians , which you can read here .

Congratulations to  Helen Schulman ’83 , whose latest book,  Lucky Dogs , was selected as one of Oprah’s ten Best Novels of 2023!

Congratulations to Helen Schulman , whose latest book, Lucky Dogs , was selected as one of Oprah’s ten Best Novels of 2023 ! Helen is presently the fiction chair of the Creative Writing Program at the New School in New York City, where she is a tenured professor. Helen is a New York Times best-selling author of seven novels, including Come with Me and This Beautiful Life . She has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the New York Foundation for the Arts, Sundance, Aspen Words, and Columbia University.

Neal Moran writes from New Brunswick, NJ. “I retired earlier this year after 36+ years in banking regulation. I’m keeping busy, including starting a blog called ‘ Upon Further Analysis .’ The blog focuses largely on banking, financial markets, and regulation, but also covers sports, culture, and current events.”

Dan Carlucci and wife Ellen write that they are keeping quite busy in medicine and more. Dan is chair of medical specialties at Reliant Medical Group, a division of OptumCare, and a clinical cardiologist. Reliant serves over 300,000 patients in eastern and central Massachusetts; Dan leads more than 100 specialty clinicians. Ellen is vice president, development, marketing, and communications at UMass Memorial Health–Marlborough Hospital. Dan and Ellen love their time in Northborough and Marion, where they can’t wait to re-start summer sailing adventures with their three adult children on the aptly named boat, No Agenda . Speaking of which, Dan is planning a September 2024 sequel to the original No Agenda weekend—look out for invites! ❖ Stewart Glickman ( email Stewart ) | Nancy Korn Freeman ( email Nancy ) | Alyssa Bickler ( email Alyssa ) | Jon Felice ( email Jon ) | Alumni Directory .

We have some great news to share! Deborah Dawson was recently surprised by Nancy Pistole , who flew from California to New York to join her along with Maurya Kilroy and Karen Kwik Kernan for a reunion. They all met freshman year in High Rise 5 and have been dear friends ever since.

Brad Will sends greetings from New York’s beautiful Mid-Hudson Valley! Over the past four years, his spouse, Sari, and he have been “transitioning” to the Finger Lakes region, his “home away from home” for five years in the early 1980s. They love spending time there, so much so that they have purchased land on which to one day build a “deep green” house and a small commercial property in the Village of Dryden, right up the street from Cornell. More recently, they bought a property that will eventually have several homes constructed. “My transition from architect to developer has begun!” he writes. It’s been an exciting phase, says Brad, and they have a two-bedroom apartment available for travelers to their old school at their “Little House on the Lot” in Dryden. At the time of this writing, Brad was looking forward to their annual BArch dinner in NYC and their trek to RPI to watch the amazing Cornell men’s hockey team take on the Engineers in early February 2024. Big Red almost always prevails! This year has been active and interesting, with projects advancing in both regions—houses, hotels, restaurants, and subdivisions. Seeing good friends is always a great treat, as they did in New Hampshire last summer and in Texas last fall. They look forward to an even more exciting year ahead, with many milestones pending. Is Brad retiring? “No, not yet—much to do!”

Timothy Brown ’84 , MBA ’92, set his first-ever novel at Cornell.

Timothy Brown , MBA ’92, has a very Big Red family! He is a dual-degree Cornellian himself (Arts ’84, MBA ’92), married to another, Nancy (Grambow) ’85 , PhD ’94. In fact, between his wife’s parents and sisters, his brothers, and their daughter, his family has a combined total of 13 degrees from Cornell! Further, his father-in-law, Richard Grambow ’55 , DVM ’57, received the Frank H.T. Rhodes Exemplary Alumni Service Award and the Salmon Award for Distinguished Alumni Service. Thus, it was only fitting that Timothy set his first-ever novel at Cornell. He initially self-published it as A Bolt from the Blue , but recently had it professionally edited and republished under a more distinct title, Cloning the King . It is a scientific/history thriller that explores the nexus of breakthrough cloning technology and medieval history.

Hope to see you at Reunion 2024 next month, June 6–9! And, don’t hesitate to write to your class correspondent: ❖ José Nieves ( email José ) | Alumni Directory .

Hello, fellow 1985ers! Hope all are doing well. I do have a bunch of news from fellow alums, so here you go!

Amy Smith Linton wrote in that she has been busy promoting her first book , She Taught Me Everything . The most enjoyable part for her has been showing up as a guest at book clubs, either via phone or in person, to talk about her novel.

Richard Tuchman reports that he and his wife, Cynthia, retired last year in celebration of their 30th wedding anniversary. They are currently raising puppies in Connecticut. Rick retired from a career in philanthropy, which he describes as “doing well while doing good.”

Susan Stevens Gebo has recently married. She has written, under the pen name S.M. Stevens, a novelette called The Wallace House of Pain , which received a 2023 American Fiction Award. The same story was adapted into a stage script, published by Choeofpleirn Press in their autumn 2023 issue. The characters in the novelette are also featured in her forthcoming novel, Beautiful and Terrible Things (Black Rose Writing, July 2024).

Maria Gallo Ashbrook writes, “The Class of 2023 Commencement weekend was sublime … a string of rare sunny days when Cornell truly is the most beautiful campus on earth. My son, John ’23 , graduated as a government and China and Asia-Pacific studies major (yes, that Mandarin in seventh grade paid off!) and joins big brother Keenan ’20 in D.C. to begin his career. This, of course, warms my little Cornell-in-Washington (’84) heart. I’ve attended nine Cornell Commencements of family and friends, beginning in 1974. This graduation weekend was extra special because we returned to my hometown of Auburn, with festivities across Cayuga, Owasco, and Skaneateles lakes. I guess you can take the girl out of the Finger Lakes, but you can’t take the Finger Lakes out of the girl!”

Virginia Scarola , Maryellen Magee , and Joyce Zelkowitz Cornett had an impromptu reunion in Atlanta when the Cornell Big Red baseball team took on the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. Apparently, back in 1991, Cornell defeated second-ranked Georgia Tech, shocking the collegiate baseball world at the time. It took Tech 33 years to overcome the pain and invite the Big Red to Atlanta. Unfortunately, the Big Red lost the first game, though they had been dominating Tech for most of the game. They lost the second game, which we saw after a great pre-game tailgate catered by SmoQ’n Hot Grill owned by Hotelie David Smith ’81 . Nick Salpekar ’96 of Highland Fine Wine and Alan LeBlanc ’84 , who owns Bold Monk Brewing Company, provided wine and beer. Robert Mandelbam ’81 and Mike Fleury ’78 were great hosts for the event! Cornell did take the third game!

The Class of 2023 Commencement weekend was sublime … a string of rare sunny days when Cornell truly is the most beautiful campus on earth. Maria Gallo Ashbrook ’85

Erin O’Connor writes, “ Gail Fink is the CEMS Program Director at Cornell’s Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, and she travels every December to participate in the graduation ceremonies of her students. CEMS is a global alliance of leading business schools, multinational companies, and NGOs that together offer the CEMS Master’s in International Management. Gail’s friends look forward to attaching their adventures to her travels. This year graduation was in London, so several of us made a trip to enjoy the Cotswolds together. Linda Kao , Susan Herlands Holland and husband Ron Preville, Jim , DVM ’90, and Cheryl Senecal Smith , and me and my partner, Brian Garrett , rented a fabulous Airbnb called the Scotland End Barn in the town of Banbury-Hook Norton for a few days of fun, togetherness, and exploration. Driving was a challenge: thanks to Jim and Ron especially for avoiding oncoming traffic in the wrong lane and near misses with wildlife.

“We visited several towns (and yes, tried to find where the Beckhams lived) with lovely names like Cheltenham, Bourton-on-the-Water, Moreton-in-Marsh, and Chipping Norton. When in England, one must have Sunday roast, and we booked at the Horse and Groom in Bourton-on-the-Hill. Even though we first landed at two different places in the Cotswolds with the same name, we eventually all made it to the same pub and delighted in a very tasty, traditional meal.

“We took full advantage of leaving the car at the BnB and walking to the local venues in our base hometown, but the best had to be our trivia night at the Pear Tree Inn. Naming our team ‘The Yanks,’ we competed with four local teams. When we arrived, the very young bartender texted his mom to hurry and get there because ‘a lot of Americans just showed up.’ A wild time was spent trying to outguess our competitors and the game was tight. We were victorious and became the ‘Damn Yankees’!

“It was such a fabulous time—so wonderful to continue to connect with friends we made when we were so young and have continued to connect with over the years. We mean something to each other, all beginning with our landing in each other’s spheres at our beloved university. Turning 60 in 2023 turned out to be a fantastic celebration that lasted the whole year as we crossed this milestone together.”

Please be sure to send me your news and make a plan to come to Reunion next year! ❖ Joyce Zelkowitz Cornett ( email Joyce ) | Alumni Directory .

My mailbox brings but a few notes from classmates, but lucky for you I have had many Cornell interactions since the start of the New Year.

Our two classmates who wrote in likely had time because they both joined the ranks of the retirees! Elsa Waymer Dempsey retired from technology sales last year and continues to enjoy the good life in Florida. She has been in her husband’s hometown of Venice, FL, for the last 30 years. She and her husband enjoy tennis, gardening, and traveling with their twin daughters, Laura and Erica. Elsa has fond memories of her many friends from field hockey, lacrosse, Pi Phi, and even engineering classes.

Chris Arbogast wanted us to know that, since retiring from software engineering last summer, he has been spending his time sprucing up his home in Nevada.

For many of us, 2024 will bring the opportunity to celebrate an important birthday (if we have not celebrated it already). I wrote this column on February 29, having turned the big SIX-O yesterday. The celebration of Toby-Fest began last month when my husband, Robert Mandelbaum ’81 , and I celebrated our quasiquicentennial (125th) birthday together by hosting a dinner for our friends. We were joined by Steve Kirson from our class, as well as Lynn Mandelbaum ’77 , David Smith ’81 , Jack Chen ’84 , MD ’88, Kathryn Whitbourne ’85 , Frank Goldman ’87 , JD ’94, and Tim , MPS ’88 , and Karen Burkhart Dick , MBA ’13 . Two weeks later, we joined Lori Goldwasser Leiman and her husband, Jose, and Barry Greenblatt ’85 and his bride, Karen, on a brief but celebratory voyage to the Bahamas. Lori, Karen, and I have known each other for over 50 years and have birthdays within six weeks of one another. The winner of the year’s best Facebook birthday greeting was Mark Katz , who likes to remind me of the great fire in Low Rise 9 in December 1982. Mark wrote: “Happy milestone birthday, Toby! Whatever you do, don’t put the appropriate number of candles on a cake and leave the room unattended.” Don’t worry, Mark—there was but one candle on my ice cream scoop last night.

I was thrilled to meet former Big Red pitcher Rob Nelson ’71 , the creator of Big League Chew. Toby Goldsmith ’86

This past weekend, the Cornell Alumni Association of Atlanta hosted the Cornell baseball team when they played a three-game series against Georgia Tech. Families and alumni were treated to tasty tailgating events hosted by David Smith ’81 and Nick Salpekar ’96 . Our team ended on a high note, likely buoyed by the wonderful dinner hosted by Alan LeBlanc ’84 on Saturday night at his restaurant, Bold Monk Brewing Company. The dinner was attended by several members of the 1991 ball team who were the last to play against Georgia Tech. I was thrilled to meet former Big Red pitcher Rob Nelson ’71 , the creator of Big League Chew.

I am very lucky to live in a community with a very active Cornell Club with a variety of events being held throughout the year that offer the opportunity to build friendships with Cornellians from a variety of classes. I hope this column inspires you to write your class correspondents with tales of your 60th birthday bashes and Cornell events. ❖ Toby Goldsmith ( email Toby ) | Lori Spydell Wagner ( email Lori ) | Michael Wagner ( email Michael ) | Alumni Directory .

Welcome to another edition of “What are my classmates up to and why haven’t I sent an update to Whitney and Liz?” Just a reminder that our classmates want to know what you are doing—and a reminder that it doesn’t need to be a major life event! Here’s the latest from my inbox.

Jill Feasley wrote that she and Diane Hirschhorn recently completed RAGBRAI, a 500-plus-mile bike ride across the entire State of Iowa. “After graduation, we promised to visit each other in person at least once a year. For a long time, she would visit me in D.C., or I would visit her on the West Coast. When we turned 40, she suggested we could ‘go somewhere else.’ So, I came up with a 50-year plan to visit all 50 states alphabetically and this year we are up to Iowa. We hope to visit Wyoming when we are 90!”

Jeff Cohen just returned from his annual skip trip out west (Park City this year) with a whole bunch of Kappa Sigs. Those joining Jeff this year included Barry Silverman , Brian Kraff , Dave Alexander , Dave Price , David Andrade , Gabe Boyar , Greg Kennedy , Gregg Rockower , Joe Gottlieb , Randy Wolpert ’86 , Jay Goldstein ’86 , and Rick Bullotta ’84 , BS ’85. In Jeff’s own words, “It’s good to know that even while all of us have grown up, and life has steered us in different directions, we can all interact with each other as if we were all sophomores living in the house together. We just go to bed much earlier.”

Lisa Rathmann Stewart and husband Mike enjoyed catching up in person with several Tri Delta classmates during their 52-day national parks road trip in June/July 2023 from San Diego, CA, to Minneapolis, MN, in their Toyota Sienna “converted” minivan. Unbeknownst to them, Taylor Swift was in concert in Minneapolis the same weekend as Lisa’s Kiwanis Convention, which made walking the streets of Minneapolis a bit more colorful seeing the “Swifties” in costume. While in Minneapolis they enjoyed visiting with Kate St. Vincent Vogl and Debbie Brown ’88 and their spouses. Heading west, they stopped in Moscow, ID, for a visit with Lisa’s parents, Dan ’56 , BChemE ’57, and Pat Lasky Rathmann ’59 . Lisa and Mike ended their road trip with a visit with Tri Delta classmates Chris Neimeth Heijenga and Heidi Heasley Ford and their spouses in Mt. Hood, OR. In July 2024, the Stewarts are looking forward to their next road trip destination in Denver, CO, where they plan to connect with Karen McBride Cleary and Dianne DeMallie in Colorado Springs while exploring the national parks in Colorado. Lisa says, “It’s been so much fun to connect with Tri Deltas while on the road. I highly recommend this as a retirement activity!”

Jill Feasley ’87 and Diane Hirschhorn ’87 recently completed a 500-plus-mile bike ride across the entire State of Iowa.

Alexa Coin Florence shared that she continues to enjoy her staging and design work, including overseeing the design of their new brewery (Great River Brewery) in downtown Davenport, IA. This is a reboot after flooding forced them to close in 2019. “I did manage to perform in one show last February, Barefoot in the Park ; it was a blast and I hope to find (and get cast in) some other production this year. We spend a lot of time with and caring for our elderly parents. While difficult, we cherish this remaining time we have with them. We took two great family trips last year: spring break in New Orleans and in August, Munich, Salzburg, and Vienna. Scott ’88 and I also have tried to go on quarterly long-weekend getaways that have really helped us take a break from our daily responsibilities/concerns.” Their oldest child, Ben, lives in NYC and works for Broadbeam Media. He’s also founded a startup and his own marketing group. Alexa’s youngest, Gabe, is a sophomore at Iowa State University, studying culinary food science. Scott continues to work on growing their business—pizza and specialty baking lines—while they work on reopening their brewery.

Joanne Cappucci Penne , MBA ’93, has been enjoying her work as an independent strategy and innovation consultant for the last 10 years for the Innovation Umbrella . Her oldest, Matt, is a sophomore (engineer) at Vanderbilt, and her youngest, Grace, is a sophomore in high school (with a driver’s license, so out the door every day …). Their 2023 highlight is that they are now a TWO-dog family. Luna is a beautiful 3-year-old Lab, and Toaster is a scrappy, cute rescue. They are inseparable and adorable and provide ongoing entertainment!

Our class council continues to sponsor online webinars to keep us informed, connected, and involved. I hope you will join one in the future and spread the word to your classmates. Keep in touch and continue to share your news by emailing either of us: ❖ Whitney Weinstein Goodman ( email Whitney ) | Liz Brown, JD ’90 ( email Liz ) | Alumni Directory .

Greetings, Class of ’88! I want to start out this column by inviting you to join our Class of ’88 Facebook group . It is a great way to stay in touch with our class, reconnect with old friends, and be the first to hear about upcoming events.

Now, onto the latest news from both near and far. Cindy Bishop Christian and her husband, Joe, moved to Tucson, AZ, in November 2020 from Minneapolis, MN. They recently finished a kitchen renovation and are working on landscaping their surroundings, filled with beautiful cactus plants. They love biking, the Sonoran Desert, and beautiful sunsets. Cindy still works at her family business, Brick Meets Click. Her son, Sean, is an avid competitive cyclist, and he attends Arizona State University online so he can race in Europe with Aevolo and USA Cycling U23 teams. Her daughter, Anna, attends Savannah College of Art and Design in Atlanta, GA, and also races on her university cycling team. Cindy joined the Cornell Club of Southern Arizona and invites any classmates living in the area to join.

Back on Cornell’s Ithaca campus, Beth Milles , associate professor of Performing and Media Arts, directed the production of Desdemona in the fall to celebrate the 30th anniversary of famed Cornellian Toni Morrison , MA ’55 ’s Nobel Prize. Beth is the founder of Banter Company, which adapts classical theater shows for the modern audience. She joined the Cornell faculty in 2001. During the span of her theatrical career, Beth has guest lectured at Harvard University, Brown University, the University of Texas, Austin, Southern Connecticut State University, and Loyola Marymount University. We look forward to hearing about more upcoming theatrical productions.

Harlan Protass writes in from New York City, where he is a criminal defense lawyer and runs his own firm. He is also an adjunct professor at Cardozo School of Law, where he teaches a seminar on federal sentencing guidelines. He has two kids, a daughter, 8, and a son, 10, with his wife who is a literature professor at the CUNY Graduate Center. Every January for the past dozen years, Harlan returns to Ithaca to attend a hockey game with his Alpha Sigma Phi (Rockledge) brothers. “We spend the weekend laughing.” Harlan also noted that “the level of development in Collegetown is a bit shocking. It’s virtually unrecognizable from the 1980s. And, sadly, none of our watering holes still exist.”

Andrew Turner ’88 , MPS ’93, has been appointed the director of Cornell Cooperative Extension.

Speaking of Cornell’s hockey team: Save the date for the next Frozen Apple hockey game on November 30, 2024 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. It’s a wonderful event to get together with fellow Cornellians and cheer on our men’s hockey team. This year’s game was well attended by ’88s and Cornellians from other graduating years.

News flash from Ithaca: Andrew Turner , MPS ’93, has been appointed the director of Cornell Cooperative Extension and associate dean for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the College of Human Ecology. He began his five-year term on December 1, 2023. In his new role, Andrew will oversee the development and setup of several programs including food systems, nutrition, and sustainable energy for Cornell Cooperative Extension, which has a presence in every county in the State of New York. For the past few years, he has worked with and led the New York State 4-H youth development programs. Good luck, Andrew, in your new position on Cornell’s Ithaca campus.

Traci Nagle earned her PhD in linguistics at Indiana University in Bloomington, IN. After teaching for a couple of years, she realized “teaching was not my passion,” so she shifted to administration and now works in the research development office at Indiana University, where she works with faculty to get funding for their research. Recently, Traci was at a conference in Denver and she hung out with Larry Goldman at the beautiful botanical gardens. During Reunion weekend, she was thrilled to reconnect with her freshman roommate Sue Henry Muldoon . They laughed and danced the night away with Jake White and his wife, Sharon Rose. Last fall, Traci spent a weekend in New York City with Lori May and Gail Frieden Le Coz . Lori lives in Columbus, OH, and works as a business analyst for a corporate credit union. Meanwhile, Gail was visiting from her home in London. Together they enjoyed two Broadway shows and dined on New York style-bagels.

That’s all for now from Toronto, Canada, where the spring flowers are blooming. Please keep sending your news to me. I love hearing from our classmates both near and far. ❖ Pamela Darer Anderson ( email Pam ) | Alumni Directory .

As this issue of Cornellians is released, we are about one month away from Reunion 2024! Our indefatigable Reunion chairs— Shannon Gallivan Bol , Carol Borack Copenhaver , Debbie Schaffel , and Dave Scher —have been working for months already. Menus are planned, entertainment is scheduled, housing is being finalized. And the dust is about to be blown gently off the ancient tome containing the magic sunshine spell that is always cast immediately before the planes land and the cars pull into Ithaca. So check your calendar now. There’s just enough time. Come back and visit the Straight—the true home of facetime. “Test” the Suspension Bridge. Listen to the Chimes. (“Groovy Kind of Love” anyone? Maybe not …) Join the rest of us for what is sure to be an all-too-brief weekend of fun, relaxation, great memories, and old friends (plus plenty of new ones too because everyone has at least one very Big Red thing in common).

Now for a wee bit of news from our classmates. (At Reunion you get and share lots and lots of news, by the way.)

One of our illustrious Reunion chairs, Shannon Gallivan Bol (a woman with the heart of an explorer), writes, “I love when road trips take you to places where you have friends! I saw Carol Borack Copenhaver last fall and I also got to visit with Denise Host , who lives in Suwannee, GA. I recently relocated to New Jersey as the result of a new job. I’m excited to be living near many Cornell friends, including Karen Leshowitz Colonna and Michele Dowling Johnson . I started working for Prime Healthcare as regional vice president, managed care. I’m responsible for region two, which is basically the Northeast with hospitals in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island.”

Another faithful attendee of Reunions past, Doug Merrill , ME ’90, MBA ’91, recently joined the University of Vermont as its regional innovation officer. In this role, Doug leads the GaN Semiconductor Tech Hub that was designated by the U.S. Department of Commerce in October 2023. Doug is looking forward to helping UVM integrate more fully with the technology and manufacturing firms in the region. Doug and Lisa (Peskin) ’90 have lived in Shelburne, VT, for 18 years. Older son Alex ’21 , ME ’21, just moved to Seattle to start a new job with SpaceX. Younger son Jack ’24 is in his senior year at Cornell, studying computer science. Doug and Lisa are fortunate to have Chris Ford and Emily and Bill Kallock ’90 living nearby and see them often in the Green Mountains or on Lake Champlain.

Lisa Spellman Porter ’89 has received numerous awards, including the National Science Foundation Career Award.

Lisa Spellman Porter has also shared that she has a new professional position—associate dean for faculty and graduate affairs for the College of Engineering at Carnegie Mellon, where she has been on faculty since 1997. In this new role, Lisa provides strategic direction and manages matters related to graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and faculty in the college. Upon hearing this news, I let my fingers wander around the old Internet a bit and learned some things that the ever-modest and unassuming Lisa did not go out of her way to share. For instance, she has received numerous awards during her career, including the National Science Foundation Career Award, Visiting Professor for Women in the Engineering Sciences awarded by the Swedish Research Council, and the Carnegie Mellon Order of the May. According to Dean Bill Sanders, “Lisa is an exceptionally thoughtful and effective leader who has built strong working relationships across campus and has demonstrated exceptional commitment to Carnegie Mellon and the broader academic community.”

And lastly, Melinda Fellner took advantage of the online news form to share the following: “I am thrilled to announce my youngest son Simon’s acceptance to the College of Arts and Sciences for the Class of 2028! Simon follows his brother Miles ’25 and his brother Harry ’22 ! I am the chair of the tax department at Carter Ledyard and Milburn in New York City. Best to all in 2024!”

Thanks for the good wishes and for using the online news form , Melinda! We hope you all will spend a minute or two filling out the form to let us know what you’ve been up to (work, hobbies, day-to-day life, etc.), what’s giving you the most satisfaction lately, what some of your favorite Cornell memories are, and any other bits and pieces that fill us in on you. We’re eager to hear! ❖ Kris Borovicka Gerig ( email Kris ) | Anne Czaplinski Treadwell ( email Anne ) | Lauren Kidder McGarry ( email Lauren ) | Stephanie Bloom Avidon ( email Stephanie ) | Alumni Directory .

We start this column with a message from class president Caroline Misciagna Sussman : “Calling all classmates! Dust off your devices—it is time to start planning for our 35th Reunion—and we need you! Reunion 2025 will be a doubly significant one since we were unable to hold an in-person gathering in 2020. We are anticipating a huge turnout, and we want the event to be like no other!

“It will be 10 years since we have had the opportunity to come together as a class. With all that has changed in the world since 2015, we feel a heightened sense of urgency to make this Reunion truly exceptional from every angle, and we would greatly appreciate your help in doing so. The spectacular plan we had in place for 2020 will serve as a launching point for Reunion 2025. Mark your calendars, save the date: June 5–8, 2025, and help us create an unforgettable weekend of memory making!”

Our class council and Reunion chairs are gearing up for the Reunion planning kickoff meeting on October 5. We’ve got a lot to do before then, namely fundraising and building social media connections. If you would like to help with Reunion planning, please contact one of our Reunion chairs, Dave Coyne or Elinor Langfelder Schwind . If you have stayed well-connected and can help build our affinity group and class connections on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and other social media platforms, contact class correspondent Rose Tanasugarn or web community manager Kristyn Benzinger Whitney . If you can serve on the fundraising committee and contact classmates to encourage contributions to our class, please contact Cornell Annual Fund co-chair Karen Mitchell . They can all be reached at .

Last fall, Karen became chief human resources officer at Newmark, a NYC commercial real estate advisory firm. She and husband Rob Chodock ’89 plan to celebrate both their 25th anniversary and son Hudson’s bar mitzvah in southern Spain, where Rob spent a semester abroad. Karen regularly catches up with our Chi Omega sisters Maria Scaltro , MBA ’02, Kristen Alloway Sokol , Alisa “Gil” Gilhooley Brown , Marla Spindel , Jennifer Radner Elgin , and Tracy Dillmann Kulikowski at her house in Rhode Island or during their annual trip to Mexico.

In February, I caught up with Cornell Asian Alumni Association secretary Ivan Sim ’95 and vice president of community engagement Charles Wu ’91 at a rain-postponed Cornell Cares beach clean-up. About 20 Cornellians, family, and friends from the Cornell Club of Los Angeles gathered at Cabrillo Beach to help Heal the Bay, an environmental nonprofit organization that has been dedicated to making the coastal waters and watersheds in Greater Los Angeles safe, healthy, and clean since 1985.

Representing the U.S. at the 2013 and 2017 World Maccabiah Games in Israel, Monte Frank ’90 , JD ’93, won four silver medals and two bronze medals.

Angel Orengo and I belatedly celebrated our February birthdays over breakfast at Plateia on the UCLA campus. I met Angel’s lovely wife, Rocio Aquino, and although it was the first time I had met them, I felt an instant connection. It turns out that Angel and his family lived in Hong Kong for six years during his time with Sony Pictures. They occasionally visited Osaka and Kyoto, as Angel supervised a distribution sales team in Japan. They are the proud parents of incoming freshman Mia Orengo. Angel and Rocio co-authored a book called The Orchid: The Secret Code of Modern Goddesses , a unique work about emotional resilience, female solidarity, and the power of self-reflection, in that it also allows readers to become active participants in their own personal journeys in growth, home, and self-love. They look forward to meeting Cornellians across the country as they start their book tour to spread their message of positivity—“this or something better, for the highest good of all concerned,” she says, which closely echoes Ezra’s words and the theme of Cornell’s current fundraising campaign, “to do the greatest good.”

Jane Hyun has been on TV, on podcasts, and in print media, addressing the impact of anti-Asian violence and hate crimes affecting Asian Americans in the workplace and in their communities. In April, she launched Leadership Toolkit for Asians , a follow-up to her book Breaking the Bamboo Ceiling . In-person events will be taking place at the Cornell Club of New York and other Cornell clubs, so keep your eyes and ears open. Jane looks forward to helping Asian leaders build their capability to lead and influence by embracing their cultural strengths and mapping achievable career paths. Last year, she launched the “Culturally Fluent Leader Academy,” a virtual and in-person learning experience. Jane has also been an advisor to the diversity council for the American Heart Association.

Monte Frank , JD ’93, received the John Eldred Shields Professional Service Award from the Connecticut Bar Association in recognition of his many years of outstanding service for the benefit of the legal community and the community at large. Monte serves on the American Bar Association’s Advisory Commission to the Task Force for American Democracy and serves as a special advisor to the ABA’s committee on gun violence. An avid cyclist, Monte competes on the road and in mountain bike and cyclocross races throughout the Northeast and Canada. Representing the U.S. at the 2013 and 2017 World Maccabiah Games in Israel, he won four silver medals and two bronze medals. He founded and led Team 26 on the Sandy Hook Ride on Washington (2013–19).

In closing this column, a heartfelt congratulations to David Cohen for his successful re-election to District 4 of the San Jose City Council! You can learn about all the great things David is doing for his community here .

Please let us know how you’re doing the greatest good in your neighborhood! ❖ Rose Tanasugarn ( email Rose ) | Nancy Solomon Weiss ( email Nancy ) | Allan Rousselle ( email Allan ) | Class Facebook page | Alumni Directory .

Family and friends, turkey and football, and … Cornell Big Red hockey at NYC’s Madison Square Garden have become an annual tradition for many during Thanksgiving break. About 100 classmates, friends, and family members joined our class block of seats to re-live the Lynah Faithful traditions and see Cornell play the latest “Safe-ty school! Safe-ty school!”: Boston University.

I ( Joe Marraccino ) found myself there among the spirited sea of red, including friends Michael Clifford ’90 , BS ’91, Chris and Joyce Martir Dugan ’90 , Thomas Greenberg , Sanjeev Dhawan , Jeff Weintraub , MD ’95, Alix Mellis-Brown , John Martin , Andrew Stein ’90 , and Glenn Haber ’92 . I caught up with some of our other hockey enthusiast classmates too.

Eapen Chandy , MBA ’97, graduated with an electrical engineering degree followed by an MBA in ’97, and lives in South Glastonbury, CT, with his wife and four children, ages 20, 18, and 15-year-old twins. Eapen shared a picture taken more than 10 years ago of his uniformly smiling family in the stands. “I am passionate about sports, including Cornell hockey, and it has been an annual family tradition to see a game either in New Haven, CT, or at MSG!” Eapen also loves his music, mostly classic rock, and his career “has been spent largely in financial services. Currently I serve as the treasurer of Coalition Inc., a cyber insurance startup, which is exciting at this stage of my life.” Glad to see Eapen doing well; his life is anything but “Bor-ing! Bor-ing!”

Kulravee Puttharuksa Keegan is a self-proclaimed “suburban hockey mom.” She graduated from the College of Human Ecology with a major in human development and family studies, and currently lives in Eastchester, NY, where she is a practicing physician. Kulravee has been to a number of games throughout the years. “My son and his friends play youth hockey, so they enjoy going, and get a kick out of the cheers, taunts, and Big Red traditions!” The family’s favorite taunt? “It’s all your fault! It’s all your fault!” Of course it is.

I am passionate about sports, including Cornell hockey, and it has been an annual family tradition to see a game either in New Haven, CT, or at MSG! Eapen Chandy ’91 , MBA ’97

Loretta Dougherty Gallo just attended her first Cornell hockey game at MSG, perhaps the start of an annual tradition! Loretta, an animal science major back on the Hill, shared, “I am originally from the Bronx and now live in Pelham, NY, with my husband, Fred ’90 , and our 10-year-old twins, Josh and Hannah. I am a veterinarian and in my (ha ha) free time I enjoy reading and attending my son’s hockey games and my daughter’s horseback riding lessons.” Loretta and family followed the game intently. “It was especially great to be able to share it with our kids, since our son is a goalie playing for Pelham Youth Hockey and Ian Shane ’25 played an amazing game in goal for the Big Red!”

I agree, Ian is no “Sieve! Sieve!” We may see him more regularly at MSG and other professional hockey arenas soon. Loretta and Fred are hoping to continue other Cornell traditions. “The joke in our house is that we won’t force Josh and Hannah to choose Cornell, but with seven undergraduate schools to choose from, why wouldn’t they!?”

The good news is that we all went home happy. “Warm up the bus! Warm up the bus!” Cornell won a thriller against BU. Whether you have attended this annual game in the past or are looking to start a new Thanksgiving tradition, hope to see you with the “Rocket’s ‘RED!’ Glare” next time around!

Got news to share? Use the online news form or feel free to contact one of us directly: ❖ Joe Marraccino ( email Joe ) | Evelyn Achuck Yue ( email Evelyn ) | Susie Curtis Schneider ( email Susie ) | Ruby Wang Pizzini ( email Ruby ) | Wendy Milks Coburn ( email Wendy ) | Alumni Directory .

Paul Sung Bang Yang , ME ’95, enjoys spending time with his family and close friends, as well as visiting and reconnecting with places where he has spent time over his lifetime. He is working in virtual reality, augmented reality, metaverse, and education. He started a global leadership program and is working with real estate developers and making films. His favorite memories of Cornell are spending time with friends, enjoying a good meal, collaborating on projects, watching movies, enjoying the campus, and getting to know some of the professors.

Melissa Ditmore ’90 , BA ’92, writes that the paperback edition of her book, Unbroken Chains: The Hidden Role of Human Trafficking in the American Economy , was released April 30.

Matt Hutcheson , MS ’95, invites you to join him, Jason Markel ’93 , and Doug McGhee online to play the multiplayer game Galactic Trader for free. Enjoy early ’90s Cornell nostalgia flying around the galactic universe, trading luxuries, and battling Thargoids!

John and Janine Blanchard Huber have relocated to Indianapolis, IN. John serves as head of school at Sycamore School, a PS-8 independent coed day school, serving the needs of academically gifted students. The family is planning a visit to Ithaca as the youngest considers college choices!

Brad Minnich has enjoyed a successful career in Hollywood. He specializes in visual effects (CGI), which has allowed him to work on recent films like Batman , Aquaman , Justice League , and many others. His career has taken him around the world to shoot many movies through Europe, Africa, and India. He and his wife, Kiesha, have celebrated 24 years together. They have two inspirational daughters, Laila, 17, and MiaSol, 15, who are leaders in their school and captains of the high school volleyball teams. He enjoys staying in contact with many Cornell alumni and remembers his days on the Hill often—especially being introduced to filmmaking, which help shaped his entire life!

Finally, Amy Frome Saperstein shares that the Cornell Class of ’92 officers organized a cocktail hour in NYC at Effy’s Café on the Upper East Side. About 30 alums gathered and reminisced about their days at Cornell. Most of the group lives in Manhattan but some came from Westchester, New Jersey, and Connecticut. Everyone agreed that more cocktail hours should be planned in the future! ❖ Sarah Ballow Clauss ( email Sarah ) | Wilma Ann Thomas Anderson ( email Wilma Ann ) | Jean Kintisch ( email Jean ) | Alumni Directory .

Classmates, how are you? No, really. I am writing this in February, hoping with every ounce of my being that when you are reading this in May, there is genuine peace in the world and on our campus, with open, constructive communication and support for outlets and oases of healthy socialization.

Our ’93 magician extraordinaire Steve Cohen is still bringing it in NYC at the Lotte New York Palace: you never know who you might sit next to at his show, “Chamber Magic”! Recent guests include actors Cate Blanchett and New York Yankees first baseman Anthony Rizzo. Steve’s new book, Confronting Magic , is now available. It has a sensational foreword by Academy Award-winning film director Guillermo del Toro, and according to the website, “If you’ve been to the show there’s a good chance your photo is included!” Explore his website for info on the book, tickets, and more.

Our class president, Mike McMahon , just returned from an epic trip to New Zealand: “Great trip, highly recommended!” He and our former ’93 president Earl Pinto organized social events for our class officers who reunited in Baltimore, MD, in February for the annual Cornell Alumni Leadership Conference. Please consider joining our class council; we would love to welcome more of you to the party and the planning!

Thank you to our council member Pamela Fabrizio Barry , who shared that she recently reunited with Yvette Politis to celebrate the anniversary of fellow Cornellian Amy Zura Neary ’95 . Tamar Dolgen connects with classmates Jackie Finkel Kauff and Tracy Newman Porosoff as they serve together on Cornell Hillel’s board.

Grateful to Tamar for sharing her recent life update: “After decades of working with startups, global brands, and nonprofits, I transitioned my marketing and communication expertise into college and career advising. I run my own firm, Go Future Advising, and work with the nonprofit Step Ahead Idaho.” Congratulations, Tamar!

Classmates, please connect to share your updates, reunions, or milestones, or for any reason at all (Big Red or not). Take care, and please share. ❖ Melissa Hart Moss, JD ’97 ( email Melissa ) | Mia Blackler ( email Mia ) | Theresa Flores ( email Theresa ) | Alumni Directory .

Happy spring/summer, everyone! I hope all of you plan on going to our Reunion, June 6–9! Thirty years is no joke!

One of our fellow classmates was planning on working in one of the tents on the Arts Quad for Reunion. Derek Edinger , ME ’95, writes, “My wife, Stacey (Girard) ’95 , and I quit our regular day jobs (aerospace and hotel, respectively) back in 2020 and opened Brewery Ardennes in Geneva, NY, in 2021. It’s never too late to make a crazy career change and pursue your passion.”

Paul Bamundo also has a new job update; he recently became CEO of the National Pickleball League (NPL). In this role, Paul will lead this premier league of Champions Division (age 50+) professional pickleball players in its second year in 2024. Paul notes: “It is nice to be the young person in the organization now that I am 50 years old myself! I look forward to seeing many of you as the NPL tours the country this year.” I am sure that many 1994 alums have tried pickleball already at some point!

Lastly, Jarrid Whitney shared some career news of his own. “This past fall, I started a new job at Dartmouth College as the inaugural assistant vice president of enrollment for access strategy. This is a ‘full-circle’ moment for me and my family as I started my admissions career there nearly 29 years ago being on the frontlines of diversity recruitment, met my future wife in that same office, and now have the privilege to be a thought-partner with the college’s leadership on issues of which I’m most passionate. But don’t worry, CU peeps—although I may now have more Green in my wardrobe, it’s all Red whenever CU competes against Dartmouth!”

Keep sending in those updates!  You can send news to me or the other correspondents via email, Facebook, or the online news form . Best wishes for a great summer! ❖ Jennifer Rabin Marchant ( email Jennifer ) | Dika Lam ( email Dika ) | Dineen Pashoukos Wasylik ( email Dineen ) | Alumni Directory .

More 50th birthday stories kick off this month’s column! Elizabeth Leff writes that in March 2023, she and Lauren Blick Rotko , Stephanie Cosner , Jennifer Damashek Strassler , Alyse Kramarow , Stacy Lalin Poritzky , MBA ’00, and Jennifer Stevens Dickson carried on their once-every-five-years girls’ weekend tradition, celebrating the big 50th birthdays in Palm Springs together, including amazing hikes in Joshua Tree National Park. She also had a big birthday bash in Brooklyn, NY, co-hosted by Holly White , with help from her sister, Bonnie Leff ’91 .

The year also saw some work-related changes for Elizabeth—including a new role in the U.N., where she has worked since 2005 (first at UNDP and then at the U.N. Secretariat), leading the team in the Under Secretary General’s office that helps improve how operational support is provided across the organization. In the fall, she also saw off her husband, whom she met at the U.N., on an assignment to Kyiv, Ukraine. Though his assignment in a country at war causes stress, at least it also provides opportunities to meet up in Europe during his R&R, which they already took advantage of—visiting 10 countries in Central and Eastern Europe in a whirlwind trip over the holidays, bringing the number of countries she has visited to 109.

Stephanie Cosner sent in some exciting news of her own as well—she was recently appointed provost at Simmons University, following her role as dean for six years and, prior to that, her work as a tenured professor at Boston College.

Anne Catlin Johnson reports some big-time 50th birthday celebrations, starting in July of last year (her actual birthday was in December!). Writes Anne, “In thinking about how I wanted to celebrate, I realized that the people were more important than the activities or venues, and then went big on plans with great friends! I planned and executed a European adventure with five of my friends from grade school, starting with a glorious cava-soaked spin through Barcelona before proceeding to Geneva and finally Paris. Everyone had a blast, and the trip went off with nary a hitch, so now I am thinking about becoming a boutique travel guide as my next act—message me if you’re looking for an excellent tour leader! In August, we moved daughter Natalie to Colby College (Maine) via a Springsteen concert in Boston—after 40 years of fandom, I finally got to see the Boss! Somehow, I had never seen Billy Joel either, so I went to his show in Baltimore with Matt , ME ’96, and Alison Torrillo French in October, right after taking my dad out to the ballpark for the first game of the ALDS (O’s lost; still a good game).

“Just before Thanksgiving, we headed south to Margaritaville at Sea with another grade-school friend and her family—a short but very fun cruise! The almost-finale week started on December 6 with the musical SIX in Denver, a cooking class on December 7, and Las Vegas on December 8–9 to see U2 at the Sphere with Edie Marshall ’96 . On Sunday, I hiked the 50 Year Trail in Oro Valley, AZ, with my best friend from seventh grade, who is one day older than I am, before we headed to Miraval on my actual birthday for some spa/healing time. A crazy day trip to NYC to see Some Like it Hot before it closed happened on the 20th before we headed to Steamboat for skiing. The last hurrah was a Disney World weekend in mid-January with two more friends from way back. I’m still teaching engineering at the Air Force Academy as a reservist but am planning my winter home in Tucson since retirement and the empty nest are right around the corner!”

In August, we moved daughter Natalie to Colby College (Maine) via a Springsteen concert in Boston—after 40 years of fandom, I finally got to see the Boss! Anne Catlin Johnson ’95

Also stretching out the big 5-0 was Mindy Goodman Sickle , whose celebration started 50 days before her birthday in June. Writes Mindy, “My husband and kids gave me a small gift every day leading up to my birthday. My friends and family, including Sara Ende Masri ’96 , pitched in on certain days. I then had a few small celebrations with family and friends. The celebrations culminated in a trip to Curaçao with my husband and no kids. It was exactly what I wanted.” Mindy and her husband currently live on the Upper West Side of Manhattan and have three kids: Preston, 19, a first-year student at Syracuse; Jordyn, 18, a senior in high school heading to Tufts next year; and Spencer, 15, a sophomore. “Raising kids here is challenging and rewarding,” she says. “My kids went to three different high schools in three different boroughs; they’ve been traveling around the city via public transportation since they were in sixth grade, and my two oldest got their driver’s licenses at 17 so they can be our ‘Uber’ driver home after a night out!”

Now for some non-birthday related arts and culture news! Brett Schwartz shared that on November 11, he was awarded an Emmy at the 65th Annual Chicago/Midwest Emmy Awards presented by the Chicago/Midwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. He won the award for his film, Raised Up West Side, in the category of Outstanding Achievement for Documentary–Cultural.

Best-selling children’s author Michelle Knudsen released her new picture book, Luigi, the Spider Who Wanted to Be a Kitten , on March 5, 2024. It’s illustrated by Kevin Hawkes, who illustrated her book Library Lion , and she is very excited to share it with readers.

And, of course, we cannot let a column go by without a shout-out to another Cornell legacy! Melissa Biren Singer shared that she and husband Scott ’94 ’s younger daughter, Jordana, was accepted to the Cornell Class of ’28 (human development major in CHE). She will be joining her older sister, Kayla ’25 , who has been loving her Cornell experience. Writes Melissa, “We are looking forward to the girls having a year together on campus and will be visiting as much as they will let us!”

Stay connected and safe, classmates. ❖ Alison Torrillo French ( email Alison ) | Class website | Class Facebook page | Class Instagram page | Alumni Directory .

Registered dietitian nutritionist Frances Largeman-Roth has recently published a cookbook called Everyday Snack Tray , which, in the words of the subtitle, offers Easy Ideas and Recipes for Boards That Nourish for Moments Big and Small . There are tips for snack trays to suit a wide variety of occasions—including playdates, tailgates, romantic get-togethers, and various holidays—as well as guidelines on how to make them more nutritionally sound.

Frances is a contributor to several publications, including , Parents, Parade , and Shape , and has appeared on the “Today” show, the “Dr. Oz Show,” the “Rachael Ray Show,” “Good Morning America,” “Access Hollywood Live,” QVC, CNN, and more. She is a member of the James Beard Foundation and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Frances, her husband, and their three kids live north of Manhattan, in Dobbs Ferry, NY. To learn more, visit her website or follow her on Instagram . ❖ Janine Abrams Rethy ( email Janine ) | Marjorie Polycarpe Jean-Paul ( email Marjorie ) | Catherine Oh Bonita ( email Catherine ) | Alumni Directory .

Couples’ therapist Alison Bulman recently offered sage advice to Big Red alums in a Cornellians story about mindful communication. “The key is getting to a place of compassion toward your partner. And you do that by getting curious about what it’s like to be them, putting yourself in their shoes—in other words, empathy,” she says. “The idea is to approach each other with acceptance and talk about what it’s like between us right now . In our society, we talk way too much about things—work, the weather, surface stuff. We talk very little about our feelings. If we talk about what’s happening between us right now, we’re going to feel much closer to the other person, much more intimate.” Based in the New York metro area, Alison holds a master’s in social work from NYU and practices online therapy. She also hosts couples’ workshops and offers an online course designed to promote intimacy, among other offerings.

I hope you all took the time to fill out and return the Share Your News form that was recently mailed to you. If you haven’t yet, it’s not too late! Please do send us your news—via the hard-copy form or the online news form —so our future class columns can be full of news from all of you. Whether your news is ordinary or extraordinary, we want to hear it! ❖ Sarah Deardorff Carter ( email Sarah ) | Erica Broennle Nelson ( email Erica ) | Alumni Directory .

Having celebrated our 25th Reunion on campus last June, many of us are celebrating our 30th high school reunion this year! Reunions, official or not, are always great opportunities to reconnect with friends, reflect on the lessons we have learned, and recommit to continued growth. The Class of 1998 has much to celebrate with family and friends, and this column is the place to share all the great and fun things we have accomplished.

U.S. Army Lt. Col. Brett Walker recently wrote an article featuring our classmate Jamie Critelli and his work as a U.S. Army Major of the 353rd Civil Affairs Command (CACOM). Here is a snippet: “Food supply chains and the associated effects on future military operations is one of the many nuanced civil-military fields in which the soldiers of the 353rd CACOM provide expertise to the U.S. military. Maj. Gustavo Ferreira and Maj. Jamie Critelli of the 353rd CACOM have published nine scholarly papers on the agriculture-related limits to proposed military actions across the globe. Critelli worked his way through the ranks, having joined the Army in 1998 through Cornell University’s ROTC program.”

Jamie learned of the Army’s 38G Civil Affairs program—which provides military leadership with subject-matter experts in 18 specific fields—from a civil affairs officer while they were deployed together in Iraq. “I was the first person in the unit to put together a 38G packet,” he said. “A few months later I came across Maj. Ferreira and helped him submit a packet. Since then, I’ve put together about 40 packets for 38G. I do about two per month.” Articles that these two co-authors have published include “Does China Have Enough Food to Go to War?” and “Taiwan’s Food Resiliency—or Not—in a Conflict with China.”

Starting a new adventure? Connected with an old friend? Share your latest news with us by filling out the online news form or you can always email me. ❖ Uthica Jinvit Utano ( email Uthica ) | Alumni Directory .

Adam Ross joined law firm Keane & Beane PC on January 1, in their Long Island office in Melville, NY. Adam represents public employers in a broad range of employment-related matters. For school districts and BOCES, he provides guidance on probationary periods, tenure, recall, and performance reviews. He previously served as general counsel to the United Federation of Teachers. Congrats, Adam!

Reunion 2024 in June will feature our very own Andrew Ross Sorkin as the esteemed Olin Lecturer! Andrew is an award-winning journalist and author, CNBC “Squawk Box” co-anchor, DealBook founder/editor, and co-creator of the Showtime series “Billions.”

What is something you’re doing now that you never thought you’d be doing? What is your fondest memory of your time at Cornell? What brings you the most satisfaction these days? No matter if your news is big or small, please take a moment to write to us and stay connected with our class. ❖ Class of 1999 ( email c/o Alexandra Bond ’12 ) | Alumni Directory .

Hello out there! I hope this little note finds you in good health and spirits. I am enjoying the warmth of the season in a new home, and, as you can imagine, it’s a busy time. It was nice to receive news from fellow alumna Katie Dealy .

In her own words: “Since June 2022, I have served as the director of engagement in the Office of U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy. Despite lots of travel, it has been a profound honor to serve in this role, with these colleagues and during this time, particularly as we have raised awareness around the youth mental health crisis and the epidemic of loneliness. For the last 12 years, my husband, Alan Polansky, and I have lived in Evanston, IL, with our three boys (ages 15, 12, and 8). When I am not at work, and not on the sidelines of a youth sporting event or theatrical production, I’m chairing the Cornell Class of ’64 JFK Award alumni board, and playing phone tag with dear friends from Cornell days.”

That sounds incredible; thanks for sharing, Katie. What are you up to in this great, big, wide world? I’d like to read about it, and I’m sure I’m not alone. So share your story with us through the Share Your News link below, or drop me a note! ❖ Denise Williams ( email Denise ) | Alumni Directory .

As I write this update, the Cornell Daily Sun (hope you all still read this from time to time!) just published a story about the Faculty Senate voting to discontinue median grade visibility on transcripts, a practice started 15 years ago. We can add this to the list of “glad we didn’t have to deal with that back in our day” (see also: Snapchat, doxxing), which feels like a good way to appreciate entering our midlife phase.

Speaking of now-defunct initiatives that started after our time on the Hill: would you like Cornell to bring back the New Student Summer Reading Project ? (I am still meaning to read Guns, Germs, and Steel , which had kicked things off after our graduation in Summer 2001 … maybe this time?) If so, here’s a contender: Hidden Hate: The Resilience of Xenophobia by Mathew Creighton . Once merely one of our classmates, Mathew is now an associate professor in the School of Sociology at University College Dublin, a national coordinator of the European Social Survey in Ireland, and the principal investigator of a Horizon Europe project, EqualStrength , which assesses prejudice in work, childcare, and housing throughout Europe.

Fun fact: Our class has 3,593 living alumni, plus 65 “non-degreed” classmates. If you’re one of them and you’ve read this far, go to our class Facebook group or Instagram page (or find me on Linkedin: I’m the only Nicole Neroulias Gupte ) and send a message that says “tower pumpkin.”

Spotted in person: my husband, Salil Gupte , and I ran into Erin Colling Cleofe at Seattle’s University Village Apple Store over winter break, and we also met up with neighbors Chisaki Muraki and Schaun Valdovinos . Everyone’s doing a pretty good job keeping up with their outdoorsy kids, PNW style. I hope to see them again—and any other classmates around?—next month when we’re back in town again from Delhi. (P.S., for more on me and Salil, check out the Cornell Daily Sun ’s column in the new Group Notes below!)

My husband, Salil Gupte ’01 , and I ran into Erin Colling Cleofe ’01 at Seattle’s University Village Apple Store over winter break. Nicole Neroulias Gupte ’01

Spotted on social media: Eddie Perez-Cortes caught up with Michael and Susan Mueller Hanson while in D.C. over New Year’s. “The kids had a great time visiting the monuments,” he writes. Nageeb and Fatema Gunja Sumar took their kids to the Harvard-Cornell game at “Lynah East” soon afterwards. Mike Kalogiannis started a new position as “field medical, vaccines” at Pfizer. Ali Solomon Mainhart was part of an exhibit, “From Lines to Laughs: Women+ on Men” at the Society of Illustrators, in New York City—then got to celebrate her wedding anniversary with a mid-February snow day. (The best gift for a coupla teachers, amirite?)

Speaking of gifts for teachers, did you ever take a class with Prof. Juris Hartmanis? He passed away in 2022, but I’ve just come across the tribute to him penned by Ryan Williams , ME ’02, a professor of electrical engineering and computer science at MIT. An excerpt: “I don’t know why Professor Hartmanis believed in me. During that period in my life, I felt like nobody else did, and it felt odd that the Turing Award winner was the one who believed the most.” I only took one engineering school class—CS 99, convinced by Jackie Sobota that we should try to get some entry-level knowledge while working the CIT Help Desk and supervising the Mann Library computer labs!—but I’m reminded of a few of my busy teachers in Ag and Arts who also found ways to encourage students at pivotal moments. We salute you, good teachers everywhere.

And lastly, Marisa Laks , one of our class officers and a Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) Equity Fellow, will be speaking at the group’s annual conference in Las Vegas in July. Check out the article she wrote for the CSTA Voice on “ Creating a Sense of Belonging in the CS Classroom .”

Don’t forget to get in touch with your local Cornell alumni group to see if they’re planning a student send-off this summer! Those are great opportunities to answer questions from anxious parents (if not the kids themselves) and network with fellow alums.

Want to share an update or a memory, or get back in touch with classmates? Interested in proposing an event or helping out with our 25th Reunion planning? Please let us know by posting to our Cornell Class of 2001 Classmates Facebook group or sending an email to your friendly class correspondents. And, as always, visit our class website for more information and volunteer opportunities. ❖ Nicole Neroulias Gupte ( email Nicole ) | James Gutow ( email James ) | Alumni Directory .

What is something you’re doing now that you never thought you’d be doing? What is your fondest memory of your time at Cornell? What brings you the most satisfaction these days? No matter if your news is big or small, please take a moment to write to us and stay connected with our class. ❖ Class of 2002 ( email c/o Alexandra Bond ’12 ) | Alumni Directory .

Adam Crouch recently became CEO of Redbubble, the largest marketplace for independent artists, whose designs get printed on graphic tees, stickers, and other items. Redbubble is based in San Francisco and Melbourne, and in the past year had 5 million customers buying 4.8 million different designs. Congratulations, Adam! ❖ Jon Schoenberg , ME ’03 , PhD ’11 ( email Jon ) | Candace Lee Chow , PhD ’14 ( email Candace ) | Alumni Directory .

There’s still time for you to make plans to join us on the Hill for our 20th Reunion, June 6–9! Reunion can be as short or as long as you want it to be—you can make it an all-inclusive weekend or a quick overnight trip, attend all the sponsored events or choose your own adventure. Come alone, bring a guest, or bring the whole family! There is something on the schedule for everyone, with dozens of events planned for the weekend, including performances, athletic events, Greek receptions, tent parties, lectures, tours, and meals.

Our class headquarters is Mary Donlon Hall on North Campus. Refreshments and activities will be available all weekend. Most of the meals are taken care of, but there is plenty of opportunity to hit your favorite spot. There will also be plenty of family-friendly activities available at HQ and throughout campus.

Class-specific events include: a wine tour, a tour of the Cornell Veterinary Biobank (where you can explore the world of scientific preservation), a cocktail hour and dinner at the Nevin Center welcome tent, and breakfast in the new Toni Morrison Hall on North Campus. And, of course, the Olin Lecture (featuring Andrew Ross Sorkin ’99 , award-winning journalist and author), a Chorus and Glee Club concert, the Reunion 5K through the Botanic Gardens, Redstock (where Cornell musicians and bands unite for an epic alumni concert), Cornelliana Night, tent parties, and more can be enjoyed throughout the weekend.

It’s hard to believe 20 years have come and gone. Don’t miss this chance to come back to the Hill for a fun-filled and memorable weekend! ❖ Jessi Petrosino ( email Jessi ) | Alumni Directory .

Believe it or not, our 20th Reunion is only one year away—June 5–8, 2025—so be sure to mark your calendars! We have extra celebrating to do this time around, after our 15th Reunion was made virtual, so let’s make this one a weekend to remember. And if you don’t yet pay dues, now’s a great time to start! Help us support our class and our next reunion by signing up here —and submit an online news form so our future class columns can be full of news from all of you! ❖ Hilary Johnson King ( email Hilary ) | Jessica Rosenthal Chod ( email Jessica ) | Alumni Directory .

We don’t have any news to share from these classes this round. We hope you took the time to fill out and return the Share Your News form that was recently mailed to you! If you haven’t yet, it’s not too late! Please do send us your news—via the hard-copy form or the online news form —so our future class columns can be full of news from all of you. Whether your news is ordinary or extraordinary, we want to hear it! ❖ Classes of 2006–2008 ( email c/o Alexandra Bond ’12 ) | Alumni Directory .

There’s still time for you to make plans to join us on the Hill for our 15th Reunion, June 6–9! Can you believe it’s been 15 years since we graduated from Cornell? So much has changed for us and for Cornell, but the sense of belonging to the Cornell family remains constant. Whether you’ve frequented campus since graduation or haven’t made the trip back yet, now is the perfect opportunity to explore all the changes, revisit your favorite spots, reconnect with old friends, and rediscover your love for Cornell. Start making plans to join your friends and classmates for an amazing weekend filled with class festivities and university events.

You can indulge in athletic activities, attend lectures, take tours, join Greek receptions, participate in college events, enjoy musical performances, attend tent parties, and more! Reunion can be as brief or as extended as you desire—an all-inclusive weekend vacation or a quick overnight trip. Our class has organized several special events for families and individual travelers alike. Attend an ice cream social on Saturday afternoon or choose to visit some beloved wineries along Cayuga Lake. Socialize with old friends at our class receptions and savor dinners by Cornell Catering. Family-friendly events, such as “Fun in the Sun,” are abundant, ensuring there’s something for everyone, whether you’re bringing the kids or attending solo.

Desiree Nattell writes, “I was named first on the 2023 Social Intelligence Insider 50 list. It’s an international who’s who in social media listening/insights/analytics and I was thrilled to be included!” Desiree is a senior analyst, strategy and insights, for Universal Parks & Resorts. “I studied sociocultural anthropology as an undergrad: how people and cultures grow and develop. Anyone in social intelligence can tell you that’s what we’re watching every day; social media just allows growth and development faster than we would have thought possible 20 years ago. My studies didn’t teach me what to think, but how .”

Matthew Gizzo shares, “I was just promoted to shareholder at Ogletree Deakins Nash Smoak & Stewart PC, a labor and employment law firm with more than 55 offices internationally and nearly 1,000 attorneys. I work out of the New York City and Dallas, TX, offices. In September 2023, my wife, Alycia, and I welcomed our first child, Brayden Paul.”

I was named first on the 2023 Social Intelligence Insider 50 list. Desiree Nattell ’09

Political consultant Iris Delgado writes, “I was just appointed to serve as a trustee to Middlesex College by the County Board of County Commissioners.” Iris fondly recalls the “Valentine’s Snowmageddon in 2007” on the Hill.

In 2024, Eva Kestner ’s original music was used by Cambridge International Curriculum in over 160 countries and 10,000 schools—and she was in the cover image of Harper Collins Publisher’s music textbook. From the blurb on her website : “Born in Tokyo, Japan, Eva was raised by a family of scholars and artists with mixed German and Japanese heritage. From a young age she learned how to play piano after her father introduced her to classical music, while she simultaneously learned Taiko (a broad range of Japanese percussion instruments) after her mother introduced her to the Japanese arts. After graduating from the International School of the Sacred Heart in Tokyo, Japan, she attended Cornell, where she earned a BA in philosophy. While there, she joined the Cornell Percussion Ensemble. The following year, she co-founded the Taiko drumming student organization called Yamatai Taiko and she was the lead drummer and musical director. After graduating, she returned to Japan and started performing professionally. She started her solo career a year later.

“Today, she brings Japanese Taiko drumming and song to a brand new context of pop music and also performs with many distinguished artists, musicians, dancers, and Taiko drummers across multiple genres. Eva does not only perform using Taiko—she also uses a number of other instruments that have a distinct flavor of the Japanese environment including koto (Japanese harp), voice, and piano. Eva also works in the field of education and teaches Taiko drumming workshops to both children and adults, and is also involved in humanitarian efforts such as raising awareness for the disabled.” ❖ Jason Georges ( email Jason ) | Alumni Directory .

Hi, Class of 2010! We have a couple of updates to share.

Ingrid Su has started a new multi-language greeting card business, YS Notes . She shares that the idea was first spawned 13 years ago when she sent herself an email to her Cornell inbox with website links on how to enter the greeting industry. Though it’s coming up on our 15th Reunion, it’s never too late to make a dream a reality!

James Hunsberger has been promoted to partner of Axinn, Veltrop & Harkrider, effective the first of this year. He is based in Washington, DC, and focuses on antitrust matters. He has had extensive experience representing U.S. and foreign companies across various industries in high-stakes antitrust matters.

Congratulations to both of our classmates! Share your news at the link below. ❖ Michelle Sun ( email Michelle ) | Alumni Directory .

“I just won a Primetime Emmy for my work on FX/Hulu’s ‘Welcome to Wrexham,’” writes Miloš Balać ! “Having spent three years of my life working on the project in Wrexham, Wales, as the co-executive producer, it has been incredibly fun and satisfying to be recognized with the award for Best Unstructured Reality Program.”

“I first went to Wrexham in October 2020 as the supervising producer on season one, and officially wrapped on the project after three years in July 2023—I was promoted to co-executive producer for season two. As the main point of contact with the world of Wrexham, I cast and fostered relationships with the series’ primary subjects, including members of the Wrexham soccer team, the wider Wrexham community, and team owners Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney. I developed season-long story arcs on the ground, produced and directed the majority of field shoots, wrote and conducted interviews, operated B cam, and set the series look in collaboration with the showrunner and director of photography. In post-production, I produced and oversaw story edits across multiple episodes and reviewed cuts for both seasons of the series.

“Living in Wrexham for the majority of the past three years was truly an incredible and fulfilling experience—Wrexham will be part of my life forever. However, after so long away from home, I decided to amicably step away from the project and return to New York in summer 2023. I’m currently working on a new project that has not yet been announced, so I unfortunately can’t say more!” ❖ Class of 2011 ( email c/o Alexandra Bond ’12 ) | Alumni Directory .

Colleen Brill and Jake Rosen welcomed their son, Leo Michael, on December 16 at 5:22 a.m. Congratulations to you both, and welcome, baby Leo! ❖ Peggy Ramin ( email Peggy ) | Alumni Directory .

Andrew Boryga has released his debut novel, Victim , which, according to the publisher, is “about a hustler from the Bronx who sees through the veneer of diversity initiatives and decides to cash in on the odd currency of identity. This propulsive satire asks what real diversity looks like—and how far one man is willing to go to make his story exceptional.”

Erica Barnell writes, “I hold an MD/PhD from Washington University, and during my medical training I founded a healthcare company called Geneoscopy. Our company has recently successfully concluded an extensive prospective clinical trial involving 8,920 patients to evaluate the effectiveness of our leading diagnostic tool, ColoSense, in detecting colorectal cancer and advanced adenomas in average-risk individuals over the age of 45. In January 2023, we submitted these crucial findings to the FDA as part of our pre-market approval process. I am delighted to share that we have since completed all our FDA audits, including our 100-day meeting with the FDA. Furthermore, we’re thrilled to announce that our research and the associated data have been accepted for publication in the Journal of the American Medical Association .”

JC Tretter was recently inducted into the Cornell Athletics Hall of Fame! Though his time as an athlete on the Hill was spent mostly as a backup tight end on the football team, JC went on to have a 9-year career as an NFL offensive lineman, playing for the Green Bay Packers and the Cleveland Browns. You can read more about him in this recent story . ❖ Rachael Schuman ( email Rachael ) | Alumni Directory .

Hello, Class of 2014! Two of our classmates, Dana Lerner and Katia Lin , were recently honored with the Robert S. Harrison ’76 Recent Alumni Volunteer Award. Dana has served as a Class of 2014 Annual Fund representative and Reunion campaign co-chair since graduation and has also volunteered as part of the Cornell Alumni Advisory Board and the Cornell University Council. Katia has volunteered as part of the Cornell Alumni Admissions Ambassador Network since graduation and served as the VP of social programming for the Cornell Club UK since 2019. Congratulations, Dana and Katia!

With our 10th Reunion coming up in a few short weeks, I would love to hear about your Reunion experiences or any exciting life updates from the last five years to include in a future column. Please send me your stories! ❖ Samantha Lapehn Young ( email Samantha ) | Alumni Directory .

We have a lot of people starting new jobs—even careers—in this issue of Class Notes! We are so proud of our classmates for all their accomplishments.

Kwabena Nimo started Intelligenia, which he describes as a company that “focuses on creating sustainable, synergistic management solutions aimed at leveraging state-of-the-art business methodologies that interface AI and machine learning with consumer-driven data. At Intelligenia, we provide robust industrial and manufacturing techniques to keep pace with the ever-changing economic landscape, while focusing on delivering clinically proven products and results derived from Six Sigma best practices.”

Alana Harris left the world of law to become a teacher. You can learn more about her experience in this 2020 profile posted by the College of Human Ecology.

Carolyn Creneti got a new job as the neuromuscular lab lead at Children’s Wisconsin, and Elisa Raffa has started at CNN as a weather anchor and as a correspondent on all domestic and international platforms. Congratulations, everyone!

Do you have a new job, too? Some other milestone hit? Any other news you’d like to share? Email your class correspondents. ❖ Caroline Flax ( email Caroline ) | Mateo Acebedo ( email Mateo ) | Alumni Directory .

Misha Inniss-Thompson and her mom, Michelle Brown-Grant ’88 , were recently featured in a Cornellians story about their shared vocation: helping kids succeed, with a focus on the needs of Black girls and their communities.

Both mother and daughter majored in human development and minored in Africana studies on the Hill, and both pursued careers that have delved into education, childhood and adolescent development, and the building and sustaining of Black community. “Our work feeds off each other,” Misha observed. “In so many ways, the educator that I am today is largely informed by the ways that my mom interacts with her students, the ways that she prominently displays positive representations of Black people and folks of color more broadly.”

Siddhant Gokhale recently co-wrote a book, Scaling Up Development Impact . “While solutions to tackle some big development challenges (e.g., access to electricity, health, and literacy) already exist, few attain a scale that matches the magnitude of the problem, even though this is critical in meeting the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. This book offers concepts, questions, and tools to accompany the scaling process. Weaving together real organizational experiences, the book offers a unique perspective on development—one that puts people experiencing the problem at the center of co-creating solutions, one that emphasizes adaption and frequent iterative experimentation, and one that looks at scaling from the purview of navigating complex systems.” ❖ Class of 2016 ( email c/o Alexandra Bond ’12 ) | Alumni Directory .

We don’t have any news to share from these classes this round. We hope you took the time to fill out and return the Share Your News form that was recently mailed to you! If you haven’t yet, it’s not too late! Please do send us your news—via the hard-copy form or the online news form —so our future class columns can be full of news from all of you. Whether your news is ordinary or extraordinary, we want to hear it! ❖ Classes of 2017 & 2018 ( email c/o Alexandra Bond ’12 ) | Alumni Directory .

There’s still time for you to make plans to join us on the Hill for our 5th Reunion, June 6–9! We can’t wait to celebrate with you! The entire university opens its doors and rolls out the Big Red carpet with dozens of activities, lectures, tours, and meals. If you sign up by May 15, you can lock in the early bird rate.

Registration includes continental breakfast every day, our class dinner on Saturday night, late-night and daytime food, unlimited alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, a souvenir, and numerous 2019-exclusive and university-wide events.

Clara Dickson Hall will be our home base for the weekend. Breakfasts, late-night gatherings, and other activities will take place in and around Dickson. Saturday’s class dinner will be held under a tent on the new Ruth Bader Ginsburg Hall plaza on North Campus. Housing is available to everyone who would like to stay on campus, as the dorms are transformed into hotels for the weekend. We’ll have rooms in Dickson (mostly singles) and Jameson Hall (mostly suite-style). You may request housing in quieter dorms, share a room with a friend or significant other, or reserve blocks of rooms near friends.

Class-specific events include: a Dairy Bar ice cream social, a wine tour, a lawn game tournament, and a tour of what’s new on campus. And, of course, the Olin Lecture (featuring Andrew Ross Sorkin ’99 , award-winning journalist and author), a Chorus and Glee Club concert, the Reunion 5K through the Botanic Gardens, Redstock (where Cornell musicians and bands unite for an epic alumni concert), Cornelliana Night, tent parties, and more can be enjoyed throughout the weekend.

To keep up to date with class-specific details, follow us on Instagram ( @cornell2019reunion ). We’re so excited to CU in June! ❖ Class of 2019 ( email c/o Alexandra Bond ’12 ) | Alumni Directory .

“I recently joined a cohort of hundreds of other artists whose artwork landed on the moon as part of the first official art collection there,” writes Sam Price . “This payload, aboard a nickel disk designed to last for a billion years, was part of the first landing from the U.S. in over half a century and the first landing ever by a private company. My artwork is part of a digital series raising money for wildlife conservation in Africa. You can read more here !”

Elisabeth Crotty was recently selected as a 2024 Design and Technology Fellow of Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics (FASPE). “Now in its 14th year of operation, FASPE annually grants 80–90 fellowships to graduate students and early-career professionals in the fields of business, design and technology, journalism, law, medicine, and seminary. Fellows participate in a two-week program in Germany and Poland, which uses the conduct of professionals in Nazi-occupied Europe as an initial framework for approaching ethical responsibility in the professions today. The FASPE curriculum takes advantage of the power of place with daily seminars and dialogue at sites of historic importance, often specific to their profession. By educating students about the causes of the Holocaust and the power of their chosen professions, FASPE seeks to instill a sense of professional responsibility for the ethical and moral choices that the fellows will make in their careers and in their professional relationships.”

I recently joined a cohort of hundreds of other artists whose artwork landed on the moon. Sam Price ’20

Elisabeth is a security technical program manager at Microsoft, working to protect the world with rapid and thorough response to security vulnerabilities. She studied information science, systems, and technology at Cornell, where she developed a passion for building technology in a way that is not only responsible but creates positive social impact. She says, “I was drawn to the FASPE program because I would love to be surrounded by others in design and technology who share a passion for understanding how the products we’re creating, and the way in which we create them, may impact our users and non-users alike. I want to be a part of this program to have a dedicated space to focus on ethical issues and develop strategies to initiate and approach these conversations across disciplines. I think this program will better prepare me to be a leader in this industry that is constantly changing and doesn’t always create space to reflect.” ❖ Class of 2020 ( email c/o Alexandra Bond ’12 ) | Alumni Directory .

Brian Forness is a global banking and markets analyst at Goldman Sachs, where he recently teamed up with a group of fellow analysts, including Valentina Xu ’22 , to take part in the global Goldman Sachs Gives 2023 Analyst Impact Fund Award competition. Teams who enter must identify, study, and ultimately pitch the work of a chosen nonprofit organization to Goldman Sachs leadership; the grand prize is $250,000 donated to that organization.

Though more than 300 teams entered this year, Brian’s team made it to the final round and earned both second place and the “Fan Favorite” prize, which in total secured a grant of $125,000 for their chosen nonprofit, Trickle Up—which seeks to partner with women in extreme poverty and provide them with financial support, training, and mentoring to ensure they build sustainable livelihoods for themselves.

Brian’s volunteerism included co-founding and serving as president of Cayuga Capital, a Cornell student-run educational nonprofit focused on personal finance, taxes, and investing, and serving on the e-board for Cayuga’s Watchers, among many other activities related to his passion for finance and entrepreneurship.

Amanda Hernandez is the volunteer coach for the Cornell University Dance Team. The team placed eighth in the Universal Dance Association’s National College Dance Team National Championship in Orlando, FL—the most competitive collegiate dance competition in the U.S. Amanda writes, “We were one of 11 teams who advanced to the finals, and this was an astonishing achievement, given that our team has only attended the championship twice before and we were founded in 2017.” ❖ Class of 2021 ( email c/o Alexandra Bond ’12 ) | Alumni Directory .

Andrew Lorenzen is among the 51 new Marshall Scholars announced today by the Marshall Aid Commemoration Commission. Andrew majored in government and performing and media arts and minored in English. A published author, he is currently completing a master’s degree in creative writing at NYU. With the scholarship, Andrew will pursue a master’s in politics and communication at the London School of Economics, followed by a master’s in narrative futures at the University of Edinburgh.

In December 2023, our very own Emma Cameron , BS ’21, fulfilled a lifelong dream by winning the title of Miss Rodeo America! She’ll be spending 2024 representing the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, logging some 50,000 miles as she travels to a variety of events and appearances around the country—including performing at nearly 100 rodeos. You can read more about her in this recent Cornellians story .

Emma Cameron ’22 , BS ’21, fulfilled a lifelong dream by winning the title of Miss Rodeo America!

As Emma explains in the story, rodeo pageants resemble conventional ones, like Miss America, in a number of ways. For example, contestants have to demonstrate poise and stage presence, excel in interviews, perform in group numbers, and model stylish outfits. (Hers included a striking copper-colored metallic dress—which she helped design—for the competition’s “Western trendy” fashion show.)

“The big difference for us is that instead of singing or dancing, our talent is horsemanship,” she says. “We have a whole day dedicated to evaluating how well we can ride a horse, and we have interviews and a written test on equine science, veterinary knowledge, and the overall industry, to make sure we can represent it well.”

At the Miss Rodeo America competition—which has been held since 1956—Emma beat out 30 other young women for the crown and won several awards, including the one for horsemanship. Her prizes include scholarships as well as a large wardrobe of Western-style clothing, jewelry, and accessories, which she sports at her many appearances. The highlight, of course, is the elegant Miss Rodeo America crown. No ordinary tiara, it’s specially designed to slip onto the variously colored cowboy hats that coordinate with her outfits. ❖ Class of 2022 ( email c/o Alexandra Bond ’12 ) | Alumni Directory .

Lorlei Boyd develops AI tools for Gray Decision Intelligence , a software company that provides platform evaluation software to colleges and universities. She first started at Gray DI as an analyst but quickly transitioned into a developer (she led the integration of generative AI into Gray’s interface). While grounded in critical thinking, she draws from her humanities background at Cornell to approach her work in shaping technology with a human element. ❖ Class of 2023 ( email c/o Alexandra Bond ’12 ) | Alumni Directory .

Agriculture and Life Sciences

Samson Hagos , MS ’04 , PhD ’07 , is an earth scientist at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in southeast Washington State, where he models the lifecycles and variability of precipitation and extreme weather events across various regional and global scales. During his time on the Hill, Samson studied the causes of the decade of catastrophic droughts across the Sahel region in Africa. He co-authored a breakthrough paper about these causes and Sahel’s rebound to normal precipitation levels with his advisor and mentor at Cornell, climate scientist Kerry Cook. Samson grew up in drought-stricken East Africa in the 1980s. Despite this and the often-scarce availability of water throughout the world, Samson is optimistic: “We need to work together, wherever we happen to be geographically. We need to look out for the less fortunate. Collectively, we have the tools to solve our water problems. Humankind is a very resourceful and cooperative species.”

Architecture, Art, and Planning

Christine Song , MArch ’09 , is a senior associate at the architecture firm Elkus Manfredi in Boston. Christine currently has a leading role in major projects in Boston and Cambridge, including the redevelopment of the National Transportation Center facility in Kendall Square. In 2023 she was named to NEREJ ’s Rising Star List for her complex designs on high-rise buildings and her influence on the cityscapes of Boston and Cambridge.

Arts and Sciences

Photographer Julia Cumes , MFA ’98 , has been named the Arts Foundation of Cape Cod’s 2024 Artist of the Year. The award recognizes a Cape-based artist whose work shapes thought, inspires change, and creates a deeper sense of connection in the community. Her photography has taken her to India, Rwanda, Thailand, Lebanon, Tanzania, Cuba, Kenya, and more. She has photographed the aftermath of several of the world’s recent natural disasters, including Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the 2004 earthquake and tsunami in the Indian Ocean, and the floods in Eastern Kentucky in 2022. Last year she launched Photo Artfolio , an online organization that serves as a resource center and gallery to support emerging and established photographers. “As a young photographer, I experienced firsthand the profound impact of having mentors in my photographic journey,” Julia says. “Their guidance, support, and insights were instrumental in shaping my skills and artistic vision. It is with this understanding of the value of mentorship and a strong photography community that the idea of Photo Artfolio was born.”

Nick Roth , MA ’11 , PhD ’14 , has a new project—a movie titled Hanky Panky that is written, co-directed, and co-starred in by Nick himself. The movie is about a man and his talking napkin best friend who must save the world from a killer, evil top hat in a cabin deep in the Utah mountains—all while also learning to love. It came out on April 19 and is available on Amazon, Apple, Google, and more.

Amarildo Gjondrekaj , MBA ’19 , is founder and CEO of Adro, a financial technology company that provides financial services for people who are moving to the U.S. from another country for school or work. Adro is launching this summer. Several classmates have joined his team, including Sara Schmitt , MBA ’19 , as COO, and Lalo Gonzalez , MBA ’19 , as a user experience/user interface designer.


Eric Betzig , MS ’85 , PhD ’88 , has been announced as a 2024 inductee into the National Inventors Hall of Fame for his co-invention of a super-resolution imaging technology called photoactivated localization microscopy. This allows scientists to distinguish individual molecules and study biological structures and processes with unprecedented resolution. Eric will be inducted on May 9, 2024 in Washington, DC, at the annual ceremony. This honor is also being awarded posthumously to another Cornellian, Alice Stoll , MS ’48 , for her invention of fire-resistant fibers and fabrics.

Alexander Boys , MS ’16 , PhD ’19 , recently started a position as an assistant professor in the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College. He is researching the development of bioelectronic implants for applications in regenerative medicine and rehabilitation engineering. Alexander previously worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Cambridge for five years.

Industrial and Labor Relations

Cindy Vogel Ryan , MILR ’99 , was recently appointed as MassMutual’s head of human resources, where she’ll oversee the company’s HR organization and advance its people strategy. At MassMutual, a life insurance and financial services company, she will manage a range of areas including talent acquisition, employee relations, and diversity, equity, and inclusion. Cindy has over two decades of HR leadership experience, including 25 years at Cigna, where she most recently served as chief human resources officer.

Veterinary Medicine

Charles Hjerpe , DVM ’58 , lives in Davis, CA, with his wife, Sue Davis Hjerpe ’58 , and enjoys following the trials, tribulations, and triumphs of their three children and six grandchildren who live throughout the country. Their grandson Cooper Austin Hjerpe was drafted with the 22nd pick in the first round of the 2022 MLB Draft by the St. Louis Cardinals and is now with the Peoria Chiefs on injured reserve following elbow surgery. Charles fondly remembers his days at Lambda Chi Alpha and “all the camaraderie that went with fraternity living. Studying with my wife-to-be in the evenings at Tri Delt on Beebe Lake during 1957–58 was also memorable.”

Welcome to our newest offering: Group Notes! Like Class Notes, these columns are written by alumni, but they comprise news about members of Cornell groups—including campus activities, alumni organizations, and more—across generations. If you would like to see your group represented here, email us for more information!

Cornell Daily Sun

Hello fellow Sunnies, and welcome to Group Notes! I’m excited to introduce this new column, which will highlight the achievements and celebrate the lives of Sun alumni. As one of Cornell’s oldest, most storied student organizations, the Cornell Daily Sun boasts a vast and accomplished alumni network. Sunnies make a significant impact in journalism, philanthropy, business, medicine, and many other fields. We create thought and inspire change. I’m proud to introduce you all and share your stories, both personal and professional.

If we haven’t met, I’m Vee Cipperman ’23 . Like many of you, the Sun formed the backbone of my college experience. I served consecutively as news editor, editor-in-chief, and senior editor (the paper’s best position!). Since my graduation in December, I’ve worked as a graduate fellow in Sun operations and alumni outreach. I enjoy cooking, running, and exploring Ithaca’s many natural gems, and I hope to pursue a long career in journalism and communications.

But enough about me. I’ve gathered plenty of exciting news about you and your fellow alumni. In the past few months, you’ve launched exciting projects, embarked on new careers, and expanded your families. 2024 is shaping up to be a busy year for Sun alums!

Following five years at the Wall Street Journal , Haley Velasco ’15 ( Sun editor-in-chief) started working at McClatchy in 2022. As an editor, she leads growth strategies for 30 papers including the Kansas City Star , the Miami Herald , and the Sacramento Bee . Haley writes, “This is also my second semester teaching a ‘Social Media in Journalism and PR’ undergraduate class at Seton Hall University, where I teach audience strategy, social media platforms, and work through brand analysis.”

Sun alumni continue to make waves as professional reporters. Jessica DiNapoli ’08 , BA ’07, (senior editor) writes that she recently returned to work at Reuters, “covering consumer products companies.” Justin Peters ’03 (columnist) will cover the 2024 Summer Olympics for Slate . He also co-owns Tampa-based comedy club the Commodore, “thus bringing me closer to achieving my lifelong dream of becoming ‘Florida Man.’” Carl Leubsdorf ’59 (associate editor) celebrated 44 years as a reporter at the Dallas Morning News and Tribune Content Agency last March. He writes, “My wife, fellow journalist Susan Page, will be releasing a biography on Barbara Walters in the spring.”

Sun alums have also launched exciting projects outside the journalism world. Phil Mazo ’03 (cartoonist) released a short comedy film called “I’m Phil,” which won the 2022 Coney Island Film Festival for Best Comedy Short. Ed Zuckerman ’70 (editor-in-chief) published Wealth Management , a thriller novel, in 2022. He writes, “One character in the book is a Cornell graduate, but she didn’t work on the Sun . Her loss.” This book is yet another twinkle in Ed’s star-studded career as a journalist, nonfiction author, and writer-producer on TV shows including “Law & Order.”

Many Sun alums have found their calling outside the media industry. Zachary Silver ’19 (sports editor) covered Major League Baseball for four years before pivoting to communications. He writes, “I have learned that even if I’m out of the field, it’s easy to stay connected.” He keeps up with the friends that he made in the press box, and he reports that he’s still cheering from the sidelines.

Phil Mazo ’03 won the 2022 Coney Island Film Festival for Best Comedy Short.

Chloe Gatta ’12 (business manager) lives in Manhattan and works in strategic communications at Hiltzik Strategies. Maryam Zafar ’21 (editor-in-chief) pursues research in environmental health epidemiology and writes for the Harvard Public Health Magazine . She reports that she will begin medical school in fall ’24.

Andy Guess ’05 (editor-in-chief) lives in New York City and works as an assistant professor of politics and public affairs at Princeton University. He writes, “Remember, New Jersey and you, perfect together.” Rochelle Li ’21 (HR manager) works in healthcare management for global consulting firm ZS. She writes, “I currently live in New York City and spend my free time engaging in various cozy hobbies, including baking, embroidery, and houseplant growing.”

Several Sun alums stick close to home, pursuing careers here in Ithaca. Amanda Soule Shaw ’00 , MBA ’05 (business manager) serves as the associate dean for administration and finance for the Cornell Jeb E. Brooks School of Public Policy. She writes, “I live in Ithaca with my husband and two teenage sons, who regularly fight over wearing my Cornell Daily Sun sweatshirt to school and around town.” Kirkpatrick Sale ’58 (editor-in-chief) lives in the Ithaca area with his wife. He reads the Sun online each morning.

Other alumni, including Salil Gupte ’01 (managing editor) and Nicole Neroulias Gupte ’01 (features editor) make a big impact abroad. Salil serves as president of Boeing India, “opening a new 43-acre campus with India’s Prime Minister and launching a new training program for women pilots.” Nicole serves on the board of governors of Delhi’s American Embassy School. She is pursuing a master’s degree in library and information science from San Jose State University.

They write, “Our two kids, R.J. and Katia, are also busy with school, Scouting, taekwondo, music programs, and being dragged around the world.” Nicole and Salil invite any Sunnies visiting Delhi (during the school year) or Seattle (over summer breaks) to reach out on LinkedIn.

To close our first Group Notes column, I’ll share some exciting news about Sun families. In 2023, Carl Leubsdorf celebrated the wedding of his son, Will. Jessica DiNapoli and her husband, Sachin Shah, welcomed their son, Michael, in August 2023.

That same month, Haley Velasco got engaged—she reports that she’s currently planning her wedding. Chloe Gatta got engaged in November 2023; she and her fiancé, Aayush Srivastava, plan to get married in Philadelphia.

It’s been great to hear all your fun stories. To my contributors, thank you for your time! If you’re interested in submitting an update for a future Cornellians column or the Sun alumni blog, please reach out to me . It’s always exciting to see where Sunnies end up in the world, and how you’re all working to change it for the better. Shine bright! ❖ Vee Cipperman ’23 ( email Vee ) | Alumni Directory .

University Chorus & Glee Club

Willkommen! Bienvenue! Welcome! To the brand spankin’ new Cornell Chorus and Glee Club (a.k.a. “Glorus,” according to the current students) Group Notes column! I am excited to be your correspondent and to share all of your updates.

A little bit about myself: I, Alison Torrillo French ’95 , graduated from Cornell in 1995, sang Alto 2 (woot!) in the Chorus all four years, and was a part of After Eight. Outside of singing, I majored in communications in CALS, wrote for the arts and entertainment section of the Daily Sun , and was president of Women in Communications. I now am a solopreneur, running my own consulting company, aptly named Alto Solutions ! I live outside Washington, DC—where I recently got to see many of you when the Glorus came down for winter break tour—with my husband (and classmate, but he was a Big Red Band geek), Matt French ’95 , ME ’96, and our two kids, Ray, 13, and Ben, 11 (who both adore visiting Cornell—in particular, the Dairy Bar!). I have sung with several a cappella groups and bands in the area and can often be found belting it out at karaoke night with friends.

Now let’s dive right into your updates, shall we? Also in the Washington, DC, area, where the spirit of Cornell music-making lives on, is Brad Spencer ’79 , who sings in the Washington Men’s Camerata along with fellow Glee Clubbers Robert Harris ’80 , Kenyon Erickson , MPS ’81 , Jason Rylander ’93 , Eugene Stromecki ’82 , Michael Schrier ’90 , and Shea Murphy ’20 —all under the direction of former CUGC director Scott Tucker and the first woman to serve as the Camerata’s associate director, Chorus alum Julie Huang Tucker ’05 . Writes Brad, “We have sung more than a half dozen times with the National Symphony Orchestra and recently made NFL history by singing on a state-of-the-art recording of the Washington Commanders’ new fight song.”

Yet another D.C.-area Glee Clubber who is continuing to sing is Bill Welker ’73 , MBA ’75. He has been a member of the Choral Arts Society, whose season started with the singing of Rachmaninov’s “Symphony of the Bells” (prepared by Scott Tucker) and then William Walton’s “Belshazzar’s Feast,” conducted by Marin Alsop, both performances at the Kennedy Center. Bill is looking forward to singing Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana in the spring.

We recently made NFL history by singing on a state-of-the-art recording of the Washington Commanders’ new fight song. Brad Spencer ’79

Living in Cincinnati, OH, Jessica Graus Woo ’93 —my co-president of the After Eight Alumni Council—writes that she recently got to catch up with Steve Merz ’91 at a grad school event. Steve lives in Maine and is running a behavioral healthcare organization. “It had probably been 25 years since we’d seen each other, but it was like no time had passed,” says Jess. As I write this in February, I am excited myself to catch up with Jess and others at the Cornell Alumni Leadership Conference in Baltimore—I’m sure I’ll have some news to report afterward.

Jeanne Arnold ’78 is also keeping the music alive and is busy doing local theater on the East End of Long Island. She has done The Producers (ensemble), Cry-Baby (stage manager), Taming of The Shrew (Tranio), and Macbeth (Seyton and First Murderer). She is active in Corchaug Repertory Theatre, North Fork Community Theatre, and Northeast Stage. She also recently got together with friends to perform a Broadway tap dance number and has sung lead with some bands. Her favorite Chorus memories are Carnegie Hall with Michael Tilson Thomas in 1977 and our centennial Reunion in 2022.

Finally, TP Enders ’90 , ME ’96, shared an update from Robert Pierce ’61 , who, after having been widowed, reported re-finding joy through singing by joining the Encore East Side NYC Chorale. The group is run by Encore Creativity, a national choral organization for age 55+ adults. He invites NYC-area singing alumni to join him. The group does not hold auditions, rehearses weekly at Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church (E. 73 rd Street), and is in particular need of male voices. There’s more information on Encore’s website and Facebook page .

That’s it for the inaugural column. All of your updates are certainly music to my ears. Please keep them coming. Until we meet again … ❖ Alison Torrillo French ’95 ( email Alison ) | Alumni Directory .

Top image: Photo by Ryan Young / Cornell University

Published May 1, 2024

The Best New Movies on DVD, Blu-ray and 4K Released in March and April 2024

James Cameron, Stephen King and the Ocean’s trilogy all arrive

The Abyss

Physical media is here to stay.

And as we move further into 2024, we are impressed by the new releases from big studios and boutique labels, all of whom are dedicated to preserving the lost art of taking a disc out, putting it in a machine and enjoying it.

We’ve got two months’ worth of top choices, on Blu-ray and 4K UHD. Long live the collector.

“Over the Edge”

Over the Edge

This is why we love Shout Studios. Because they’ll rescue a movie like “Over the Edge” from relative obscurity, clean it up, load it with special features, and send it out into the world. This low-key cult classic from Jonathan Kaplan, future director of underrated ‘90s thriller “Unlawful Entry” (also just released from Shout), straddles the line between social drama and something more drive-in, as it follows a bunch of troubled kids as they case mischief. (This was 1979, truly the halcyon days of youth gang movies.) The movie was lovingly shot in Colorado, which gives it a unique look, with better-than-expected performances by a young Matt Dillon and Ellen Geer (among others). This movie comes equipped with commentary tracks, several new making-of featurettes and a feature-length documentary, plus marketing materials.

“Aliens,” “The Abyss,” “True Lies” 4K

how to right a good hook for an essay

Unquestionably the most controversial home video releases of the year, three James Cameron classics finally come to high-def home video and the results are decidedly mixed. First, the good: “The Abyss” looks like a million damn dollars and not a penny less. And the array of special features are very much appreciated, including the exemplary doc “Under Pressure,” which runs for about an hour and will really make you appreciate your job on dry land. “Aliens,” which at least has had a Blu-ray release, and “True Lies,” are a little trickier. Both have been digitally de-noised, with some very clear AI-assisted upscaling (one YouTube video looked at the problematic upscaling). Everything is given an uncomfortable, waxy feeling. But here’s the thing: “True Lies” hasn’t been on physical media since a crummy DVD release a million years ago. And even if it looks a little “off,” it’s still a totally adequate way to watch the movie. When things like grain are prioritized again, maybe we’ll get our ideal transfer. Instead, we’ll take what we can get. (Even with the controversy, all three titles are selling out everywhere and very hard to find.) It’s also great having all the special features together. It’s tough to not recommend these discs, even with those reservations. A net win.

“Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom” 4K

Aquaman 2

“Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom” was unfairly savaged when it was released this past Christmas, and given only a cursory promotion from Warner Bros., which has already moved on to a new DC Universe led by James Gunn. Which is a shame. Because the movie is actually really fun and charming and it makes no sense that the most popular movie in the DCEU would get such a halfhearted release (and pull in less than half of what the original did). This time Jason Momoa has to stop Black Manta (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II), who has a magical trident or something. The plot doesn’t really matter, especially when director James Wan is having this much fun. Sure you can tell it was cut to ribbons in the editing room (consider that two separate actors filmed cameos as Batman and neither one made it into the final cut) but what is there is hugely enjoyable. The disc looks and sounds amazing with an expected bounty of special features, including a half-hour-ish long making of doc. What a catch!


One of last year’s best, most underrated movies finally hits physical media. (Sadly, it is only available on Blu-ray. Let us pray that somebody embarks on a 4K at some point.) Directed by Michael Mann and starring Adam Driver as Enzo Ferrari, a man driven to succeed but whose streamlined approach to success covers up his messy home life, with a wife who resents him (Penelope Cruz) and a mistress (Shailene Woodley) squirreled away with their secret love child. Of course, this being a Mann film, there’s a lot of time devoted to the “process” of racecar driving and some of the more thrilling race sequences ever. There’s not much in the way of extras on this disc, besides some brief making-of documentaries that feel like extended promotional materials, plus the trailers. One day somebody will pick up this movie and give it the full bodied presentation and supplements it deserves. But this is a pretty solid disc to enjoy while we wait.

The Boy and the Heron

“Quigley Down Under”

Quigley Down Under

This is really one of the best surprises of the year. “Quigley Down Under” is a fun, slightly old-fashioned adventure from 1990 that stars Tom Selleck as an American cowboy who travels to Australia. There he runs afoul of a businessman (Alan Rickman) who wants him to deal with the local aboriginals in ways that he simply cannot abide. There’s fighting and shooting and all sorts of fish-out-of-water comedy, most of which still plays innocuously. But it’s a handsomely crafted lark, from Simon Wincer, who had just worked on “Lonesome Dove.” And Selleck, then a less problematic figure, gives it his all. And honestly it’s a miracle Shout! Studios took on the job of polishing up “Quigley Down Under,” which now looks and sounds better than it ever has on home video before (and maybe better than when it appeared in theaters more than 30 years ago. There are special features devoted to the movie’s armorer and an interview with actress Laura San Giacomo. But all of this is icing on the cake. It’s just good to have Quigley in 4K.

“The Shining”

The Shining

It’s hard to relay just how important the Stephen King miniseries were in the 1990s – it started with “It” but included things like “The Tommyknockers,” “The Langoliers” and “The Stand.” But perhaps the biggest (and definitely the ballsiest) was “The Shining,” a new take on his beloved novel, this time directed by Mick Garris and starring Steven Weber in the Jack Nicholson role and Rebecca de Mornay in the Shelley Duvall role. King had famously disliked the Stanley Kubrick movie and this was his chance to rewrite history. Literally. He wrote the script. And it really is a fascinating adaptation of his novel, retaining much of the particulars of the story without the mood and atmosphere of Kubrick’s movie. If you’ve wanted to revisit, this disc from Shout! Studios is so, so wonderful. It looks and sounds really terrific (you’ll instantly be transported back to your family couch, sweeps week, 1997) and comes with a host of extras, including commentary tracks (featuring Garris, King and Weber), deleted scenes and marketing materials. Time to embrace “The Shining” and appreciate everything it brings to the table. All work and no play, well, you know the rest.


For its 25th anniversary, A24 has released Darren Aronofsky’s debut feature, the twitchy, conspiratorial “Pi,” in dazzling 4K. (You can also buy a Blu-ray version.) If you’ve never seen “Pi,” it’s a black-and-white fever dream about a mathematician who starts to unravel the hidden code of everyday life. It’s great. And it totally established Aronofsky as one of the most exciting filmmakers of his generation. Working with skilled artisans who would go on to become regular collaborators (folks like cinematographer Matthew Libatique and composer Clint Mansell), “Pi” sucks you into its elaborate, lo-fi world and doesn’t let you go. Included on the disc are a pair of commentary tracks from 1998, some behind-the-scenes footage, deleted scenes, and the 1998 Sundance Film Festival Directing Award acceptance speech that Aronofsky gave. Plus a music video. Because everything had a music video back then. If you’re a fan of Aronofsky and have never seen “Pi,” do yourself a favor and pick this baby up.

“The Ring” Collection 4K

The Ring

This “Ring” box set contains “The Ring,” “The Ring Two” and “Rings,” a more recent attempt to rejuvenate the franchise. But we know what you really want. And yes, it’s worth spending $80 on the box set just to get it. The release of the set was actually delayed so that Gore Verbinski could personally approve the new native 4K restoration. And the new scan, sourced from the original camera negative, is really incredible. It also sounds wonderful. And, what’s more, there’s a new, feature-length documentary called “Ghost Girl Gone Global,” that explores the world of “The Ring” and how it became an international sensation. There are some other special features, including interviews and marketing materials, from earlier versions. And a definitive, warts-and-all director’s cut remains damnably elusive. (There was an entire subplot where Chris Cooper played a child murderer that was just lost, among other things.) The other discs have stuff too – “The Ring Two” has an director’s cut and a new audio commentary, among other things – but “The Ring” really is the centerpiece of this box set and rightly so. It took an already classic Japanese horror movie and gave it a western spin without losing any of the elemental terror that made the original so essential.

“Carrie” 4K


The story of the new “Carrie” is infamous – the movie was made with the epistolary structure of the original Stephen King novel, Carrie White’s reign of terror documented by several narrators. During the edit, this was all stripped away, leaving a bafflingly straightforward and by-the-books remake of Brian De Palma’s immortal classic. This wasn’t director Kimberly Pierce’s fault, of course. But it is still maddening. Sadly, this 4K release of the 2013 movie doesn’t get us the director’s cut we are all craving (and deserve). But it does look better than it has in the theaters, with a 2K digital intermediary that has been upconverted. (The sound is still a 5.1 mix that accompanied earlier releases.) There are also some new special features, including a 22-minute interview with production designer (and frequent David Cronenberg collaborator) Carol Spier and an interview with the author of a book called “Adapting Stephen King,” about this take on the material. There are also archival features, including alternate and deleted scenes and behind-the-scenes docs, along with marketing materials. They’re all going to laugh at you … if you don’t go through every special feature.

Peter Pan

The connections between David Lynch’s filmography and “The Wizard of Oz” are discussed, thoroughly, in this 2022 documentary. It’s broken up into segments, with different voices talking about how Lynch has processed and reimagined the classic film, with folks like critic Amy Nicholson, filmmaker John Waters and documentarian Rodney Ascher all chiming in. If you weren’t a Lynch-head before watching this documentary, you might be afterwards. This was released as part of Criterion’s new Janus Contemporaries series, which means that it comes in at a lower price point and with fewer special features. But the disc is just as essential as any of the Lynch discs that Criterion has put out already (with a new 4K edition of “Blue Velvet” on the way!) Along with a lonely documentary is a “Meet the Filmmakers” documentary where director Alexandre O. Philippe talks about why he made “Lynch/Oz.” Click your heels together three times and then pick up his superb disc.

“The Runner”

The Runner

Madjid Niroumand plays a young orphaned boy living in an Iranian city attempting to make it in the big city – collecting bottles, trying to secure odd jobs, finding joy in the little things – who eventually gets roped into a race (hence the title). One of the first – if not the first – post-revolution Iranian films to gain the attention of the international film community, “The Runner” deftly mixes a child’s point-of-view with the harsh realities of the real world. Nothing about it feels phony or cloying. But you can’t help but marvel in the small triumphs of the main character. The fact that Criterion is putting out a new special edition of the film is another kind of triumph. There is a new conversation between “The Runner” director Amir Naderi and filmmaker Ramin Bahrani, an audtio interview from 2022 with Niroumand, a short film by Naderi and promotional materials, plus an essay by critic Ehsan Khoshbakht.

“To Die For” 4K

To Die For

This is a disc to die for. Gus Van Sant’s “To Die For,” arguably his very best movie, features what might be the finest performance ever from Nicole Kidman, which is really saying something. If you’ve never seen the movie, she plays a woman who conspires with her young lover (Joaquin Phoenix) and his dim bulb friends (among them: Casey Affleck) to murder her husband (Matt Dillon). (Incredibly, it’s based on the true story of Pamela Smart.) The script, by the legendary Buck Henry, is note perfect, oscillating seamlessly between satire and unease, and Van Sant pumps up the atmosphere with one of Danny Elfman’s great scores and a wintery New Hampshire setting. Criterion’s exclusive new 4K is ravishing and a 5.1 track is much appreciated (the previous release only had stereo). There’s also a brand new commentary track, recorded last year, featuring Van Sant, director of photography Eric Alan Edwards and editor Curtiss Clayton, plus a trailer, deleted scenes and a new essay by Jessica Kiang. Wonderful.

“Cutthroat Island” 4K

Cutthroat Island

Considerably less controversial than the James Cameron transfers, there seems to be new color timing applied to “Cutthroat Island,” with the 4K transformation produced last year and overseen by StudioCanal. It’s a different experience. But the transfer is solid (just hold onto your old Blu-ray, in case you don’t feel the same). “Cutthroat Island” was, of course, a notorious bomb when it was released, continuing the curse of the pirate movie (until Johnny Depp broke the curse a few years later) that saw Geena Davis playing opposite Matthew Modine, who was a last minute replacement for Michael Douglas. Frank Langella plays a sneering villain. Is the whole thing a little silly? Sure. But looking back on it, the scale of the production (which was enough to bankrupt an entire production company) is really staggering and the amount of stuff they did for real truly commendable. This 4K disc, an exclusive to Walmart, features a commentary from sorely underrated director Renny Harlin, along with documentaries about the production and writing of the movie, plus smaller docs on the editing and scoring of the movie. There is also a Matthew Modine short film and some EPK stuff from when the movie was originally released. “Cutthroat Island,” despite its reputation, is very much worth your time. And this is the best its looked since theaters, festooned with special features that glitter like mighty doubloons.

“Werckmeister Harmonies” 4K

Werckmeister Harmonies

Almost indescribable, this towering achievement from Béla Tarr and Ágnes Hranitzky, is a “mesmeric parable of societal collapse is an enigma of transcendent visual, philosophical, and mystical resonance” (according to Criterion’s official write-up). Based on a 1989 novel by László Krasznahorkai and comprised of 39 shots, achieved by a small army of cinematographers, the film is an examination of Hungary’s communist era, while also looking at the reaction a visiting circus has on the townspeople. So, yeah, it’s sort of a combination of “Russian Ark” and Ray Bradbury’s “Something Wicked This Way Comes” (and its underrated Disney adaptation). The movie looks absolutely jaw-dropping in 4K, with a new uncompressed monaural soundtrack. In terms of bonus features, you get an entire extra movie in “Family Nest” from 1979, Tarr’s first feature. Plus a new interview with Tarr by critic Scott Foundas. For those ready to take the leap, “Werckmeister Harmonies” will make a splash.

physical media releases

“The Departed” 4K


Martin Scorsese’s Oscar-winning Boston-set crime movie, a canny update of Hong Kong thriller “Infernal Affairs,” is finally in 4K. We don’t need to tell you what it’s about. You’ve memorized every line and have dressed up like Jack Nicholson’s character for Halloween, complete with a severed hand in a Ziploc bag. You want to know how the presentation of the movie, which stars Matt Damon and Leonardo DiCaprio as double-crossing crooks and cops, compares to earlier home video releases. We can report that it looks amazing, with a new 4K master that was overseen by Scorsese’s editor Thelma Schoonmaker. Some other Scorsese upgrades have been controversial (we’re looking at you, “Mean Streets”) but it’d be hard to find fault in this transfer. The audio on this release, a DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio mix isn’t all that different from earlier releases but still sounds good to us. And there’s even a new documentary called “Guilt and Betrayal: Looking Into the Departed,” to augment earlier extras like a pair of half-hour documentaries and some deleted scenes. Just order it. You know you want to.  

“Rolling Thunder” 4K

Rolling Thunder

To quote the great Wayne and Garth: we are not worthy! John Flynn’s appropriately skuzzy revenge thriller, starring William Devane and a young Tommy Lee Jones, gets a glorious 4K edition, with a new transfer (sourced from an original camera negative) and a DTS-HD Master Audio Dual Mono mix. There are also, incredibly, new special features, including two commentary tracks (one with co-writer Heywood Gould), and new special features devoted to the early films of John Flynn, an interview with the movie’s composer Barry De Vorzon and tons of material from earlier releases, including documentaries and promotional stuff. In “Rolling Thunder” Devane plays a former prisoner of war and Vietnam vet, whose return to suburban life is marred by memories of his experiences overseas. When some thugs break into his house, murder his family and leave him with a hook for a hand, he goes on what can only be described as a roaring rampage of revenge. (Jones is his old war buddy, all to happy to join in the bloodthirsty quest for vengeance.) It’s one of Quentin Tarantino’s favorite movies, as you can probably understand, and was an early script by Paul Schrader, who, early in the process, imagined a scene where Devane would meet another Schrader character – Travis Bickle from “Taxi Driver.” Truly the crossover we need.

“I Am Cuba” 4K

I Am Cuba

One of international cinema’s most influential features and one of the hardest to come by, “I Am Cuba” has now been lovingly restored and re-released by the Criterion Collection, in 4K no less. A co-production between the Soviet Union and Cuba, “I Am Cuba” is an anthology film of sorts, made up of four separate episodes that lovingly capture Cuba on the precipice of extraordinary change. When the film was first released, neither Cuban or Soviet audiences shrugged it off. But it was an unparalleled artistic and technical achievement (some of the shots in the black-and-white film were shot with infrared cameras borrowed from the Russian military). In the early 1990s Martin Scorsese fought to have the film restored, which was then screened at various film festivals, while the true weight and influence of the film was taking hold, not only in Scorseses’s work but in things like “Boogie Nights” (the shot descending into the pool is a direct reference) and scores of other filmmakers. And now Mikhail Kalatozov’s masterpiece is back, looking incredible and festooned with extras like a 2004 documentary on the making of the film, a 2003 interview with Scorsese, a new appreciation of the film by cinematographer Bradford Young, the trailer, an alternate Russian-dubbed soundtrack and a new English subtitle translation. Viva “I Am Cuba.”

“Andor” Complete First Season 4K


Arguably one of the very best “Star Wars” stories ever, “Andor” is ostensibly a prequel to “Rogue One,” itself a prequel to the original “Star Wars.” But it’s also so much more. In tracing the journey of Cassian Andor (Diego Luna, never better), who goes from scrappy smuggler to radicalized leader of the Rebellion, it encompasses all of “Star Wars” lore, particularly the fight between fascistic forces and those who struggle to oppose them, while also offering those touchstones from a new perspective – the “ground floor” of a rebellion built not from strategists and military might but by everyday people yearning for freedom. Under the watchful eye of Tony Gilroy, it goes beyond mere entertainment to touch something profound and true. Just spellbinding stuff. This 4K set looks outstanding and the Dolby Atmos track packs a punch. There are also documentaries devoted to the development of the project and specific aspects, including the heist episode, the prison section of the first season and the show’s complicated visual effects. At the very least this will eat up some time as we wait for season 2.

“Ocean’s” Trilogy 4K

Ocean's Eleven

Steven Soderbergh’s beloved “Ocean’s” trilogy arrives on 4K. You can buy the movies individually – “Ocean’s Eleven,” “Ocean’s Twelve” and “Ocean’s Thirteen” – or together in a more affordable three-pack. (We recommend the three-pack. Are you really going to leave any of these movies out?) These movies were obviously commercial smashes but they are also artistic triumphs – the jazzy, chronologically untethered first movie, which took a so-so Rat Pack movie and enlivened it, like “Die Hard” mixed with Soderbergh’s “The Limey;” the sequel, which repurposed an existing script that Warner Bros. owned and used it as an excuse for Soderbergh to pay homage to weird 1960s European movies; and the third film, which luxuriated in its vibrant colors, fake casino setting and Al Pacino hamming it up as a delicious new villain. While there are no new special features on these three discs, all of the movies sport new 2160p/HDR10 transfers and new DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio mixes. And that’s worth the price of the box set alone. This set hits the jackpot.


One of the more quietly influential films of the 1990s, “Dogfight” stars River Phoenix as a Marine about to ship out, who gets invited to a “dogfight” – a party where he and his Marine buddies compete to bring the most unattractive woman to the party. (Cruel, we know.) He meets Lily Taylor, a waitress and aspiring folk singer, who he invites to the party. But what could have just been a cruel joke turns into something more tender. While some at the time claimed that the movie was overly sentimental, it is actually sweet without ever turning saccharine, thanks largely to director Nancy Savoca’s gentle touch and Phoenix and Taylor’s fully realized performances. Plus the soundtrack, full of folk heroes like Bob Dylan and Pete Seeger, add a real sense of time and place. (The movie begins the day before the JFK assassination.) Criterion’s wonderful disc features a new restoration supervised by Savoca, an audtion commentary with Savoca and producer Richard Guay, new interviews with Savoca and Taylor conducted by Mary Harron, plus new interviews with most of the technical team behind the film (including cinematographer Bobby Bukowski and editor Tim Squyres). This is a must-own disc. Even if you haven’t seen it before, you’ll fall in love.


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  1. How to Write a Hook for an Essay: Practical Guide

    how to right a good hook for an essay

  2. Hooks for Essays Guide

    how to right a good hook for an essay

  3. What is a hook

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  4. How to Write a Hook for an Essay: Guide, Tips, and Examples

    how to right a good hook for an essay

  5. Help Writing A Hook For An Essay

    how to right a good hook for an essay

  6. 7 Sensational Essay Hooks That Grab Readers’ Attention

    how to right a good hook for an essay


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  1. How to Write Great Essay Hooks (Tips + Examples)

    2. Bold claim hook. When working on an argumentative essay, I always write with the mindset that nobody has the time to read my thoughts from start to finish.So, I have to get to the point quickly and make a solid argument worth people's time.. That's when opening with a bold claim works best. Condense all your views on the topic into a few thought-provoking lines that would make readers go ...

  2. How to Write a Hook: 10 Ways to Capture Your Readers' Attention

    Writing a compelling hook takes skill. But you can use any of the following ways of writing a hook to get you started: 1. The Surprising Statistic Hook. Presenting a surprising fact or statistic is a great way to grab the attention of your audience. For example, an essay on the orphan crisis may begin with:

  3. How to Write a Hook for an Essay: Guide, Tips, and Examples

    Set the Scene. When wondering how to write a good hook for an essay, consider setting the scene. Open in the middle of a key moment, plunge in with vivid details and conversation to keep your essay flowing and attract the reader. Make the reader feel like they are seeing a moment from your life and have just tuned in.

  4. Good Hooks for Essays: 14 Hook Ideas with Examples

    If you want to wow your teacher, polish the introduction. Add something interesting, funny, shocking, or intriguing. Good essay hooks help you build an emotional connection right from the start. Think of an essay hook as bait for your readers. Our expert team has prepared numerous examples of hooks for essays. You'll find hook examples for an ...

  5. How to Write the Ultimate Essay Hook

    Here are seven ideas to choose from: 1. Story. Everyone likes a good story. If an interesting story or anecdote relates to your essay topic, the hook is a great place to include it. For example: In January 2023, two children were playing outside in a Los Angeles neighborhood.

  6. How to Write a Hook for an Essay

    For instance, let's say I am writing a statement for a university application and the prompt asks the writer to describe a time when they overcame a great challenge or obstacle. The hook for such an essay might go like this: "I found myself face down on the wet mud, covered in equal parts hot shame and cold dirt.

  7. How To Write A Great Essay Hook (With Examples)

    When it comes to essay hooks, you want to strike a balance between capturing your audience's attention and giving them a concise overview of what your essay is about. 7. Tweak the tone. The tone of your hook sets up the tone for the rest of your essay - so it's pretty important that you align your tone with the topic.

  8. How to Get the Perfect Hook for Your College Essay

    5. Just Start Writing. Sometimes the hook of your college essay isn't clear. Rather than getting hung up, start developing your essay and see if it adds clarity as to how to best implement a hook. Some students even find that it's easiest to write a hook last, after writing the body of the personal statement.

  9. How to Write the Hook of an Essay

    Here's an example of the steps you can follow that help you outline your essay. First paragraph: Establish the thesis. Body paragraphs: Supporting evidence. Last paragraph: Conclusion with a restatement of the thesis. Revisit the first paragraph: Find the best hook. Obviously, the first step is to determine your thesis.

  10. How to Write an Essay Introduction

    Step 1: Hook your reader. Step 2: Give background information. Step 3: Present your thesis statement. Step 4: Map your essay's structure. Step 5: Check and revise. More examples of essay introductions. Other interesting articles. Frequently asked questions about the essay introduction.

  11. How to Write a Hook: Top 5 Tips for Writers

    Tip 5: Don't Stop at the Hook. Some writers focus so much on nailing the opening hook that they forget to make the rest of the essay equally strong. Your reader could still stop reading on the second page, or the third, or the tenth. Make sure you use strong and engaging writing throughout the piece.

  12. 73 Essay Hook Examples (2024)

    Techniques for Good Essay Hooks. Here are a few techniques that you can use to write a good essay hook: Use a Quotation: Sometimes, a relevant quotation from a well-known author or expert can help establish the context or theme of your essay.Next time you're conducting research for an essay, keep an eye out for a really compelling quote that you could use as your hook for that essay.

  13. 80+ Interesting Hook Examples

    Grab the reader's attention from the very beginning. Create curiosity and intrigue. Engage the reader emotionally. Establish the tone and direction of the essay. Make the reader want to continue reading. Provide a seamless transition into the rest of the essay. Set the stage for the main argument or narrative.

  14. How to Write an Essay Hook

    A hook is an initial statement in an essay, typically the first sentence or a group of sentences that grab the reader's attention and make them want to read more. It's the first impression you give to your reader, and it can make or break your essay. A good hook should be intriguing, thought-provoking, and relevant to your topic.

  15. How to Write a Hook

    Scenario Based Hook. This kind of hook appeals to their senses and feelings, establishing an instant bond. Here's an example: "The sun dipped below the horizon, casting a warm, golden glow over the tranquil beach. As the waves gently lapping against the shore, a sense of peace and possibility filled the air.

  16. How to Write a Hook: The Definitive Guide

    Create an outline of your essay to make sure everything flows. Think about stories that draw your attention and how the writer is able to do it. Set the scene for your essay. Set the tone of your essay. Determine what structure you want to establish. Check your facts, statistics, and quotes for accuracy.

  17. 7 Tips for Writing an Attention-Grabbing Hook

    7 Tips for Writing an Attention-Grabbing Hook. Written by MasterClass. Last updated: Sep 1, 2021 • 5 min read. How do you get a reader interested in what you have to say? One technique is to use a great hook—an opening so exciting that it convinces a reader that your story is worth reading.

  18. Types of Hook & 20+ Hook Examples to Kick-Start Your Essay

    Hook Examples In Speeches. Hook: "In the United States, people are still fighting to be free. Many are fighting for free access to resources, free speech, and even the right to marry.". Hook: "Getting revenge can easily become an obsession for many people.

  19. How to Write an Essay Introduction (with Examples)

    Here are the key takeaways for how to write essay introduction: 3. Hook the Reader: Start with an engaging hook to grab the reader's attention. This could be a compelling question, a surprising fact, a relevant quote, or an anecdote. Provide Background: Give a brief overview of the topic, setting the context and stage for the discussion.

  20. How to Write & What Is a Good Hook for an Essay

    Back up your thesis with evidence using examples for everybody paragraph. By the end of a paper, restate the thesis and write a conclusion. Look for ideas for your hook: statistic, anecdote, quotation, facts, etc. Add the hook to the beginning of the introduction, keeping in mind that it should always relate to your essay topic.

  21. How to Write a Hook for an Essay: Practical Guide

    Practical Tips on How to Write a Hook for an Essay. Below you will find several valuable tips from our paper writing service online writers to help you write a perfect hook for your essay. Tip №1: To create a catching hook, you are to define the thesis - your opinion on the subject.

  22. Example of a Great Essay

    Your essay introduction should include three main things, in this order: An opening hook to catch the reader's attention. Relevant background information that the reader needs to know. A thesis statement that presents your main point or argument. The length of each part depends on the length and complexity of your essay.

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