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Cornell Club of Sarasota-Manatee

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Start in 1957

Excerpts from a history that is undated, written by Hugh Westfall '34 & Elenor Rodriguez '49.

Horace M Doyle (Ag 1913), his wife, and his aunt, Dr. Gertrude Martin (Arts 1923), ...should be credited with starting the Cornell Alumni Club of Sarasota and Manatee Counties. Dr. Martin was the motivating force behind Horace Doyle.

In early 1957 Horace contacted the Alumni Office in Ithaca, phoned a number of Alumni living in the area. The first meeting was held in the Spring of 1957 in the free meeting room of the then Sarasota Bank & Trust Company of Sarasota on Main Street. The meeting started at 7:30 p.m. with Horace Doyle as Chairman, and 12 to 15 alumni in attendance. It was the consensus that there was enough interest to start a local Alumni Club.

It was decided to hold the next meeting in late Fall and to elect officers and a board of directors at that meeting... Post card notices were mailed to all known Cornell alumni in Sarasota, Manatee, Venice and Arcadia, about 125 at that time.

 At this second meeting, held in the same room, Horace presiding...(what followed is the above list). Others may have been present. A donation of $.25 to $.50 from each was collected to cover the cost of mailing cards for the Secretary.

 Three luncheon meetings were held in the Winter and the Spring of 1958 on the Roof of the Sarasota Terrace Hotel, of which Hugh Westfall was the General Manager. Attendance averaged 20 to 30. The same officers were reelected for the 1958-1959 year. The Ithaca Alumni Office was most helpful and realized we were a “going” organization. Hunt Bradley, then Cornell Alumni Secretary, expressed an interest in visiting the club during the next winter season.

...The Sarasota Herald Tribune took photos at some of the meetings and gave us good publicity. Meetings were held at the Terrace Hotel, and attendance increased... In the Spring of 1959...dues were set at $2.00 per year.

...The club was originally the “Cornell Club of Sarasota” but later because so many Alumni were coming from Manatee County, the Club was renamed “Sarasota-Manatee Cornell Club, Inc.”

1957 Board of Directors 
and Charter Members

Horace M. Doyle AG '13, President

H. B. Switzer AG '12, Vice-President 

Elenor Rose Rodriguez HE '47, Secretary-Treasurer


Officers, Board of Directors and Charter Members:

Albert ("Bert") Blunt, Jr. Eng '07**        
Dr. Gertrude Martin Arts '23*** 
Dr. George F. Bock Arts '18, MD '21*** 
Sherman Peer Law '06* & *** 
Leo J. Brennan M.E. '13** 

Marcel K. Sessler C.E. '13** 

Hildegarde Buffington Arts '23***                                 

Erskine Wilder M.E. '05*** 

Mrs. Horace Doyle***  

Hugh E. Westfall Hotel '34***

*Trustee/Cornell University

** Board of Directors                                  

*** Charter Members           

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