penfield class of 1960

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Cathy Shull McCalmon
Boulder, CO


After graduation from PCS in 1960 I went to Cornell (where my parents had gone), studied English, met my husband Byron McCalmon, and got married. We stayed in Ithaca, where our children Margaret (Meg) and Evan were born in 1967 and 1969. Byron worked at Cornell and I for a well-known historian, David Brion Davis. I was fortunate enough to do basic research on several of his books on the rise of antislavery sentiment in Europe and America. Later, I worked part–time as grants editor for the Charles Merrill Trust, a charitable organization administered from the Business School at Cornell. We lived an idyllic life in a leafy suburb of Ithaca, but adventure called in 1976 and we moved to Boulder, CO, after Byron was offered a job at the University of Colorado. I must say, after a week there, I felt that I had died and gone to heaven. No more upstate New York winters or interminable grey skies! We have never looked back, although we still visit Ithaca for Cornell reunions and to see Byron’s sister and old friends.

Our life in Colorado has centered around our family and the University. We skied or hiked, depending on season; played tennis and golf and attended football games, concerts, and plays. At first I worked part-time for an outdoor outfitter, a maker of sewing kits called Altra Kits. Later I joined the staff of the University of Colorado Foundation, where I worked for twenty years and ultimately became a Vice President. I represented CU to major national corporations and charitable foundations, and also raised funds from selected CU alumni. I was part of a team that created the first serious fund-raising effort for the University. Our daughter Meg graduated from the University of California at Santa Barbara, and our son Evan from CU. He later got an MFA degree in creative writing from San Francisco State U. They are now both married and living in the San Francisco Bay area. Our greatest joys of late are our granddaughter Irene McCalmon and grandson Billy Bingley. They were born within a month of each other and will soon be two years old. Needless to say, our orientation is westward these days!
I retired in 1999 (Byron had retired a few years earlier). Now I have the liberty of reading, gardening, sewing, hiking or doing anything I please, more or less. It is a fun stage of life, if it weren’t for the “getting old” part! We also enjoy international travel and domestic travel (frequent trips to California and Florida). I spend part of one day a week tutoring “I Have a Dream” Students at a local high school. The parents of many of these students have little more than third grade educations, yet these kids are, increasingly, the future of our country. They have so few advantages, and I have had so many.

Best Regards to all.

Photo: View from Boulder




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