May 3, 2004

The Other Class of '04

Print More

A recent discovery led The Sun to a wealth of photographs that once belonged to Henry C. Hasbrouck 1904 and capture the memories of his experiences at Cornell 100 years ago. This week, The Sun will run a series based on the pictures in Henry’s photo collection, beginning today with a story about Henry himself and a few of his classmates.

A self-described “heathen,” whose likely occupation he described as “work” in his senior 1904 Class Book, Henry also wrote, “To lie with gumption is a high delight.”

Henry and his friends left a quiet legacy behind them, somewhat hidden in the deceased alumni files in Kroch library. However, upon leafing through the files and reading the Class Book, their histories came to life, revealing figures whose names may not be commonplace, but who nevertheless have made outstanding contributions — or just have interesting stories to tell.

Henry, the former owner of the photographs, was born May 18, 1880 and attended high school in Troy, N.Y. Henry was an outstanding student, both in high school and in college. He earned a free ride at Cornell after scoring the highest in his assembly district on an entrance exam, a policy that the University instituted throughout the state to link Cornell to the public school system.

Henry continued to earn top grades at Cornell, in an era far before grade inflation, according to University historian Carol Kammen. Average grades were between high 60s and low 70s. Fifty-five was passing.