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Class of 1977...


Following a gap of more than two years, the Microcosm published a volume covering both 1977 and 1978. The book was dedicated to actor Zero Mostel, Class of ’35. He passed away on September 8, 1977. Famous for originating the movie role of Max Bialystock in The Producers and for stage roles in Fiddler on the Roof and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (among many others), Mostel was noted in a tribute on page 13 as “a 1935 graduate of CCNY and one of its most enthusiastic supporters... Shortly before his death, Mr. Mostel was on the phone with President Robert E. Marshak, agreeing to serve as co-chairman of the National Alumni Committee for the City College Scholar Awards.”

President Marshak addressed the CCNY Class of ’77 graduates in a letter near the beginning of the book, dated December 13, 1976: “By the time you read this, most of the uncertainties that surround the College and the University should have been settled - for better or for worse. But the strain, the uncertain future of public higher education in New York City placed on your careers at the College, you will long remember.” Citing “the end of free tuition and the devastating effects of retrenchment,” he continued to an upbeat conclusion: “I believe that your affection for the College and for the City of New York will not diminish, for I am certain you will find that your academic and extra-curricular experiences at the College have prepared you well for the world you now enter.”

In the “Respice” (look back) section of the yearbook, in addition to the tribute to Zero Mostel, there were photos of protests that took place on campus in the past, moving up to the near present, with students demonstrating against the proposed tuition and one sign reading, “NO TUITION, NO $1,100!”

Tuition was not the only change happening on campus. The physical appearance of CCNY was undergoing a drastic make-over, as a wide angle, 2-page photograph of the North Academic Center under construction, with the Hudson River in view in the background, clearly demonstrated.

A back page of the yearbook includes photographs of some famous female celebrity faces of the day: Farrah Fawcett, Cybill Shepherd, and, wearing her Wonder Woman costume, Lynda Carter. Favorites of the editorial staff? No male celebrities were included.

Finally, on page 198, there is an Editor’s Note that serves both as a thank-you and an apology of sorts: “I would like to take this time for an explanation and to thank many people. As everyone knows the Mike has not been published since 1975. We tried to produce the best book possible in the time allotted to us, and with the problems of the past books on our backs. We had to leave out many of the items that make a yearbook a yearbook, but I felt it was more important that you had something in your hands than promises.”

These class notes are largely excerpted from the 1977/78 Microcosm, Editor-in-Chief James Corrado.



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