Cuomo on Covid: Vacines in 2 Weeks.


The federal government has informed us that New York will be getting its first 170,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in the coming weeks. If all safety and efficacy approvals are granted, we expect to receive these vaccines doses—from the New York pharmaceutical company Pfizer—on December 15.

The State expects additional doses of both the Pfizer-developed vaccine and the Moderna-developed vaccine this month.  Following FDA approval, the NY COVID-19 Clinical Advisory Task Force will look at the data and provide an additional level of review to the vaccine. This review will not delay distribution of the vaccine and will simply be another safety measure that ensures we can all trust in the vaccine.

The COVID-19 Clinical Advisory Task Force is made up of health experts and medical professionals and is co-chaired by Dr. Charles Rice, the winner of the 2020 Nobel Prize in Medicine. Healthcare workers and nursing home residents will be the first groups of people to receive the vaccine.

For most New Yorkers, though, the vaccine is still months away—and we are faced with a set of challenges to overcome before we get it. Hospitalizations are climbing across the state, and holiday social activity is certain to worsen this trend. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, but in the winter we must fight harder than ever to slow the spread and save lives. Here’s what else you need to know tonight: 

1. The statewide positivity rate dropped slightly to 4.63 percent yesterday. There were 8,973 positive cases from 193,551 tests reported yesterday. The positivity rate in the micro-cluster focus areas was 5.88 percent. Excluding these areas, it was 4.21 percent. 

2. Total hospitalizations rose to 3,924. There were 742 patients in ICU yesterday, up 24 from the previous day. Of them, 373 are intubated. Sadly, we lost 69 New Yorkers to the virus.  

3. Starting next week, I will resume holding scheduled COVID briefings. Instead of daily briefings, this time the briefings will be held on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Briefings are always streamed online at, and are additionally broadcast on Twitter and Facebook Live.   

 4. We are seeing an alarming rise in COVID cases that trace back to “living room spread.” New York’s latest contact tracing data shows that 70 percent of new COVID-19 cases originate from households and small gatherings. Today, the State released a new PSA highlighting the dangers of COVID spread in these smaller, indoor settings. Watch the PSA here 

5. We’ve seen a 262 percent increase in hospitalizations in Western NY over the past three weeks. Even though the region continues to have the highest positivity rate in the state, hospitalizations are increasing across all of New York’s significantly. I implore all New Yorkers to please follow health guidelines—wear a mask, socially distance, get tested, wash your hands and stop the spread.  

Tonight’s “Deep Breath Moment”: Thanksgiving is a tradition that can be celebrated by all members of the American family—including canine and feline members. Last week, Rob and Hillary Dunn of Utica, NY, served “Thanksgiving dinners” to around 80 dogs and 150 cats at the Stevens Swan Humane Society. Each dog received a vet-approved plate of white turkey meat (no bones), canned sodium-free green beans, and canned pumpkin. The couple prepared the meals in the days leading up to the holiday, doing their best to make as many meals for the animals as possible. Visit the animal shelter’s website here and learn about the animals up for adoption.  
Ever Upward, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo 
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WP Superintendent of Schools: Mix of In-person and Remote Instruction to Continue.

WPCNR SCHOOL DAYS. By John F. Bailey. December 2, 2020:

The White Plains City Schools will continue the combination of students attending class in their schools for part of the school week and learning remotely for another part of the week for the foreseeable future.

School unions and some parents last have asked the district to suspend in-school instruction for the 3-1/2 weeks of school in the month of December to learning remotely only (in homes) to control the spread of Covid infections during the holidays coming up.

The request is not being granted at this time.

Superintendent of Schools Joseph Ricca in a live address on the School District Facebook page , addressed the issue saying the present mix of “hybrid learning” would continue. He issued this statement to WPCNR:

The Board of Education and I remain grateful for the tremendous effort and dedication shown by all members of the WPCSD community throughout the pandemic. We are especially appreciative of the district’s Reopening Committee for the critical planning, preparation and guidance provided as we implemented our safe, smart and supported facility reopening in the fall of 2020.

We know that many in our community are understandably concerned with the recent increase of COVID-19 cases in our state and region. As a district, we remain committed to the health and safety protocols that have allowed our professionals to serve our students, in person, while addressing identified positive cases of COVID-19 and mitigating additional community spread.

We remain committed to protecting our community members and serving our children within our facilities for as long as we are able.

Should an adjustment to our in-person schedule become necessary, due to challenges associated with community spread, we are ready to act and pivot to remote learning as necessary. Still, we know that serving our students safely in our classrooms remains our daily goal.

Asked to comment on the New York State analysis of the school district rate of infections since the start of the school year in late September shown below, Dr. Ricca stated in an email to WPCNR today:

“I think that we are fortunate that we have been able to avoid pervasive spread of COVID-19 within the school facilities. We believe that this positive outcome is the direct result of the hard work of our educational community members to follow best practices throughout our school community.

We recognize that the virus is still very much a presence and we know that we will need to contend with it in the near-term.

However, we also know that adhering to best practices for health and safety goes a long way to reducing the potential spread of COVID-19 in our schools.

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Yesterday Westchester had 570 Test Postive. Monday Positive Covids: 527 in Westchester. Infection Rate: 5.3% and Steady.


At 2 PM Today, the NYS COVID TRACKER Reported 570 more persons tested positive for Coronavirus.

Yesterday, Monday afternoon, New York State reported that 9,934 Westchester County persons had been tested, and 527 had tested positive for the corona virus, an infection rate of 5.3%.

The figures for Tuesday December 1, posted at 2 PM, of 10,852 testing, 570 tested positive for Covid, Westchester continues to have an infection rate of 5.3% and has averaged 560 new infections for 3 straight days.

In the last 5 days of November ending Monday, the Westchester infection rate was averaging over 5%. A total of 2,779 Westchesterites have tested positive in those 5 days.

If this rate of positive virus tests persists, the number of infections will have increased in Westchester by another 3,242 people in one week.

In the 7 days ended Monday, November 30, Westchester saw the number of Covid-19 positive persons rise by 3,958.

The number of infections rise depending on the number of persons tested.

Posted in Uncategorized


WPCNR WASHINGTON CONNECTED. From New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. December 1:

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand will hold a video press conference AT 2 PM TODAY to urge Congress to invest $6 billion in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) in the Fiscal Year 2021 Agriculture Appropriations bill.

Nationwide, 1 in 5 parents do not have enough to feed their children.

Millions of Americans, especially women, continue to be affected by widespread business closures and subsequent job loss and more low income households are relying on social safety nets to feed themselves and their families.

WIC providers have reported increased need due to the pandemic and economic crisis, including in New York, where they have experienced a 3% increase in cases since February.

Posted in Uncategorized

County Observes World Aids Day

WPCNR COUNTY-CLARION LEDGER. From the Westchester County Department of Communications. December 1, 2020:

Linda Hakim, a dedicated advocate for those with and at risk for HIV for more than 17 years, will receive a Commissioner’s Special Recognition Award at the statewide 22nd Annual World AIDS Day Event to take place virtually on Tuesday, December 1.

Hakim, who manages the Westchester County Health Department PrEP/PEP Program, is one of 19 awardees selected statewide. PrEP is a preventive treatment that when taken daily can prevent HIV in people who are most at risk and PEP or post-exposure prophylaxis, is medicine taken to prevent HIV after a possible exposure.

She also serves on the Ryan White Part A Tri County Steering Committee and NYSDOH AIDS Institute HIV Advisory Board. Hakim makes herself available to clients 24/7 to ensure they have their medications, access to prevention services, and supports to address issues related to social and economic factors that influence their health.

Health Commissioner Dr. Sherlita Amler said: “Linda Hakim is a passionate and tireless advocate who gives her all to the community she serves. I am thrilled she is being recognized for the wonderful work she does for Westchester residents.”

The 22nd Annual World AIDS Day Event is free and open to the public. Register to participate at The recognition ceremony will take place on World AIDS Day at 11:30 a.m. The New York State Department of Health AIDS Institute is sponsoring these events.

This year’s theme is “The Story of Ending the Epidemic: Past, Present, and Future.” The goal is to highlight personal stories of determination, courage, hope, and progress that New Yorkers demonstrate each day, despite the many challenges they have faced this year. 

In recognition of more than 30 years of fighting the epidemic here in Westchester and around the world, the Westchester County Department of Health reminds residents to get tested for the disease.

Amler said:  “An estimated 1.2 million Americans are living with HIV, and yet one in five don’t know it. Everyone should know their HIV status and free testing is readily available.”

Free rapid and regular HIV testing and PrEP are offered by the Health Department at 20 South Broadway in Yonkers and at 134 Court Street in White Plains. Residents can call 995-5800 for dates and times or view the clinic schedule at

HIV remains a nationwide and worldwide epidemic. HIV.GOV estimates that 38 million people worldwide are living with HIV. Although there are effective treatments for HIV, there is still no cure for HIV and no vaccine to prevent it.

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The Cuomo Plan to Handle the Second Wave. Every Region in NY UP SHARPLY IN INFECTIONS–State-WIDE Positive Test Infection Rate: 4.6%

WPCNR THE LETTER TICKER. From Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. November 30, 2020:

We are entering a new phase in the war against COVID, and therefore a new strategy is required. We need to ensure that hospitals have enough capacity and enough staff to deal with the fall and winter surge that is upon us.

Tonight’s update will be longer than usual, so bear with us, as the details are significant. The Winter Plan to combat the COVID surge is multi-tiered and puts to good use the hard-won lessons we learned from the spring.

First, we will manage hospital capacity to enhance and equalize care.

Second, we will increase and balance testing resources and availability.

Third, we will keep schools open safely.

Fourth, we will try to prevent viral spread that stems from small gatherings.

And fifth and finally, we will operationalize an equitable and safe vaccination program. (You can read more about the plan here, but many key aspects of it are included below.)

 A vaccine is coming and this crisis will end. But until that happens, we must not overstress our hospital systems so we can save lives. That is the point of the Winter Plan, but it’s also a mission we all must get behind. We’ve been through the worst but we’re not done yet. 

Charts of the Day:

The rise in COVID hospitalizations is not limited to one area of New York. In fact, we can see it in every region of the state. Here’s what else you need to know about the Winter Plan: 

1. The State Department of Health is implementing new emergency hospital measures to manage capacity. Hospitals are directed to identify retired medical staff, prepare to add 50 percent bed capacity, and confirm they have the mandatory 90-day stockpile of PPE, among other measures. 

 2. The State will refine the criteria for Yellow, Orange and Red Zones. The refinement will take into account important factors including the rate of hospitalizations, available hospital and ICU beds, and hospital staffing, and is part of our larger strategy of protecting hospital capacity. These changes will be implemented after experts evaluate any “post-Thanksgiving effect” in the COVID numbers. 

 3. If a hospital system is overwhelmed, we can pull an “Emergency Stop.” In addition to the three existing micro-cluster zone levels (Yellow, Orange and Red), New York will add a new “Emergency Stop” level, which will effectively put that area under the NY on PAUSE guidelines from the spring. This new level would be used if a hospital system in that area was at serious risk of becoming overwhelmed.

    4. The State will encourage school districts to keep schools open, particularly K-8 schools. Our efforts will be focused on keeping K-8 and Special Education open as long as it can be done safely—using sustainable, ongoing testing. While local school districts are able to close at levels under the State’s mandatory closure rule, they are urged to keep K-8 schools open whenever it is safe. 

5. Small gatherings have now been identified as the number one spread of COVID-19. At least 65 percent of all cases come from these settings and sixteen states, including New York, have already limited gatherings to no more than 10 people. While the government’s ability to monitor small gatherings is limited, public education on the safety concerns of small gatherings is crucial. Help us spread the word on the danger these gatherings pose.

 6. It will likely be months before a critical mass of vaccinations becomes available. Even though a vaccine is expected to be released in the coming weeks, we’re still a while away from having a vaccine that is widely available. As the State operationalizes vaccine distribution, we continue to base our plan on three pillars: Fairness, Equity and Safety.  

Here’s what else you need to know tonight: 

1. The statewide positivity rate was 4.57 percent yesterday. There were 6,819 positive cases from 148,974 tests reported yesterday. The positivity rate in the micro-cluster focus areas was 6.22 percent. Excluding these areas, it was 4.02 percent. 

2. Total hospitalizations rose to 3,532. There were 681 patients in ICU yesterday, up 14 from the previous day. Of them, 325 are intubated. Sadly, we lost 54 New Yorkers to the virus.  

3. Elective surgeries in Erie County will be temporarily halted on Friday. Currently, the region has the most critical hospital situation in the state. Stopping elective surgeries will free up hospital beds. Elective surgeries consist of surgeries that are scheduled in advance.   

4. Contact tracers allow people to know if they’ve been exposed. This is important for the safety of the individual and the greater community. If you are contacted by a NYS contact tracer, please pick up the phone—if you have caller ID, it will read “NYS Contact Tracing.” Help them do their jobs and keep all of us safer.      

If you were forwarded this email, you can subscribe to New York State’s Coronavirus Updates here.

 Ever Upward, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

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Mayor Tom Roach Monday Covid Update

WPCNR CORONAVIRUS REPORT From Mayor Tom Roach, City of White Plains. November 30, 2020:

The COVID-19 infection rate continues to increase, with 6,117 active cases in Westchester County right now.

This is more than 4 times the number of cases than was reported just 1 month ago. Also within the past month, the County has seen the COVID hospitalization rate increase fivefold.  

 The cumulative number of people who have tested positive in White Plains since testing began is 2,550.  The County estimates there are currently 254 active cases in White Plains, 43 more than Wednesday, the last time we were provided with numbers.  

 We are experiencing a straight line increase in COVID cases that has now been ongoing for over a month. As has been repeatedly shown, the best means of protection we have at this time is to wear your masks when in public.

A second vaccine was submitted to the FDA for emergency approval today, which is more good news on that front, an incentive to keep following the common sense protocols which have been demonstrated to be effective to help stay healthy until vaccines become widely available in 2021.  

 The Westchester County Health Department is partnering with Westchester Medical Center to offer free flu shots to County residents ages 7 and older this Thursday, Saturday and Sunday right here in White Plains at the Westchester County Center. Advance registration is required. Go to the city website,, to access the registration link. 

 The State has once again extended the moratorium on residential evictions as a means of protecting tenants suffering financial hardship during COVID-19. The moratorium has been extended through the end of the year. 

 Our next Covid update will be on Monday, December 7th.  Until then remember, we are standing together by staying apart.

La tasa de infección debido a  COVID-19 continúa aumentando, con 6,117 casos activos en el condado de Westchester en este momento. 4 veces más que el número de casos que se informó hace solo 1 mes. También en el último mes, el condado ha visto que la tasa de hospitalización por COVID se ha multiplicado por cinco.

  La cantidad de personas que han tendido resultados positivos en White Plains desde que comenzaron las pruebas es de 2.391. El condado estima que actualmente hay 210 casos activos en White Plains, 19 más que el viernes, la última vez que recibimos los números.

 Hemos visto un aumento significativo en los casos de COVID por más de un mes. Como está comprobado la mejor manera de protegernos en este momento es usando la mascarilla cuando estamos en público. La buena noticia es que hoy se envió una segunda vacuna a la FDA para su aprobación de emergencia. Esto nos impulsa a seguir los protocolos de sentido común que han demostrado ser tan efectivos para protegernos del virus hasta que las vacunas estén ampliamente disponibles en el 2021.

  El Departamento de Salud del Condado de Westchester se está asociando con el Centro Médico de Westchester para ofrecer vacunas gratis para la gripe. Esto se ofrecerá a los residentes del condado de 7 años en adelante  este jueves, sábado y domingo aquí en White Plains en el Centro del Condado de Westchester. Se requiere inscripción previa. Vaya al sitio web de la ciudad,, para acceder al enlace de registro.

  El Estado ha extendido una vez más la prohibición por desalojos residenciales como una forma de proteger a los inquilinos que sufren dificultades económicas durante el COVID-19. Esta prohibición  se ha extendido hasta fin de año.

 Nuestra próxima llamada está programada para el lunes 7 de diciembre. Hasta entonces. Recuerde: estamos más  juntos manteniéndonos más separados.

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1,591 People Test Positive for Coronavirus in Westchester County, Friday, Saturday,Sunday

WPCNR CORONAVIRUS REPORT. From the New York State Workbook Covid Tracker. November 30, 2020 UPDATED 4 PM E.S.T.:

Sunday results of Covid Testing in Westchester County are in.

They are not encouraging.

In 9,975 persons tested in the County yesterday, 583 tested covid positive requiring quarantine. That is 5.8% the highest infection rate Westchester County has seen in the second wave of growth in Covid infections since September 3.

In the last three days alone,testing has found 1,601 persons have tested positive. In the last 9 days from Friday November 20, through Sunday, November 29, 5,252 have tested positive for covid. The infection of persons tested is up to an average

Persons in Westchester County testing positive for coronavirus continued the spread of persons Covid-positive at the rate of 500 new cases a day over the weekend.

Friday, the 27th 544 tested positive for Covd-19 of 10,790 tested, an infection rate of 5%. Saturday, the 28th, 464 tested Covid-infected out of 9,875 persons, an infection rate of 4.7% .

For the 9 days through Sunday, the infection rate was 4.6%, compared to the 1.1% infection rate the NY State Commissioner of Health has determined keeps the virus from spreading.

The round of 464 new covid cases reported Saturday and the additional 583 Positives unfortunate enough to test positive Sunday raise the number of positive cases in Westchester to 50,693.

In the last nine days, there have been 5,252 new covid cases. Potential hospitalizations from this group should start in two weeks.

The impact of theses 5,252 new cases in hospitalizations remains to be seen and should start to make its impact in two weeks.

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Penumbral Partial Eclipse Awesome, Cloaked in the Mysteries of the Universe

The progression of the Earth’s shadow started to cross the moon at about 2:30 A.M. EST. At approximately 3:30 to 3:45 A.M., in White Plains NY USA, clouds mysteriously weaved past the speeding full moon, 240,000 miles from Earth. Clouds continued to thicken until overcast enshrouded the eclipse at its greatest extent (below) but the veils of the universe crossing the moonface created wonder in the night.
This morning’s Penumbral Partial Eclipse in White Plains at its apex at about 4:20 A.M. The celestial event was cloaked in clouds. The Earth’s shadow can be seen at the right side of the full moon. Clouds and gathering humid air obscured the crispness of the moon event.
The 4:25 A.M. E.S.T. view of the partial eclipse from White Plains NY USA. Clouds seductively drawing curtain on the shadow of the Earth, seen in the darker shading on the right side of the satellite. At Apex of the ‘clipse, the moon was completely obscured by the gathering overcast early this morning.
Up close and personal from California. The live internet cast of the eclipse shows the shadow of the Earth covering about half the full moon at the zero hour. The view in Arizona is in upper right.
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The Old Alma Mater in Our Time at OWU

20201015 Fall Campus

WPCNR Letter Ticker. By John F. Bailey November 29, 2020.

Editor’s Note: A lot has changed at my college, Ohio Wesleyan University, that I graduated from 53 years ago. I often have nightmares of having papers due still. Dostoyevsky and Tolstoy and Dr Ruth Davies one of the greatest influences in my life.

I have memories of my days on WSLN, 91.1 FM, Play-By Play with Jim Whitman from the upper deck in old Edwards Gym. Doing halftime interviews on the court with the mike dropped down from the upper deck. Remote live broadcasts from Pittsburgh and Lexington and all over Ohio; doing sports on Saturday night on the Tom Mahoney (what a voice) Show Impromptu! and later with the notorious deejay Rick Sellers on his Best Sellers Show; hosting Perspective 66 on Saturday mornings and sneaking in a rock and roll top 40 song once in a while and taping interviews to fill the time hauling the heavy old reel-to-reel Ampex Tape Machine. I loved radio.

And of course great radio listening in the midnight hour to WCOL 1230 in Columbus, Ohio “1230 the new WCOL…..LLLLL”, and at night WLS (“In ChiCAAA-GO!”) and learning the Motown Sound from the Motor City (“The BiIIIIIIIGGGG 8!–CKL-WUUUUUU!”)

There was News Directing with Skip L’Heureaux, our documentary Drug Probe he and I did together, interviewing David Brinkley; and of course the loyal WSLN newscasters, Diane Carell and Paul Lucas who never missed a 30-minute newscast, and not to forget Sportscaster Laurie LeCompte. I also thank Rick Billingham host of Folkscene, now a surgeon who introduced me to folk music.

And of course, I met the love of my life: the United Press International News Ticker. I loved the sound of the relentless clack clack clack it made you feel alive. It still does. There were the hilarious typos, (“6 inches of new snot fell this morning.”

Those were the days, my friends at the college radio station shack on the campus where I did sports play-by-play and news but never followed the news interest up until 33 years after I graduated.

I have given to the college because it was a place that taught me not to give up, finish that paper, get it in by midnight and gave me the magic of being on the air. Now I go on the air out of love.

OWU’s Gray Chapel was black with soot when I attended, but a few years ago the college sandblasted it to an autumnal brown, which I was stunned to see and thought was awful when I drove through Delaware taking my daughter to college. Things change but the university should not.

But the point of this nostalgia is the alumni letter I received this week, which instead of dwelling on how bad covid is making the college experience and the whining from colleges consistently making bad decisions on how they reopen, described the campus environment at Ohio Wesleyan this fall. He forgot two restaurants..the L & K where you could walk to get a cheeseburger after midnight, and of course, Bun’s Restaurant for breakfast. Very reminiscent of White Plains City Limits.

The upbeat “we can do this,” attitude that the university instilled in me by some mysterious spirit and my own mistakes mastered is an example of how to handle adversity and all the activities, people, places I did, met and went that opened me up to the world.

I received a splendid letter this week, which crystalized this exerience as no other alumni letter has. Jim Pry, Class of ’67, pointed out an Ohio Wesleyan Alumni initiative, that any college would do well to consider and draw on because it explains in simple terms, the real enrichment of the college experience and service offers and college commitment to reaching out to fix a problem.

If you are a graduate of a college that really changed your life, this letter should motivate you to give to that school, because they need you now. Here is that letter from Ohio Wesleyan Graduate Jim Pry ’67:

Dear John,

What a year! It sounds clichéd, but I don’t think any of us could have predicted, a year ago, all that 2020 would bring. From adjusting to wearing masks, to suddenly social distancing from loved ones, to the increased visibility of the fight for racial equality, and more, we’ve all experienced unprecedented changes this year.

I hope that you, like me, have leaned on your Ohio Wesleyan community during this time, whether via Zoom gatherings or phone calls with friends, or by attending some of the many virtual events OWU has hosted since March.

When thinking back on our time on campus, it’s hard to imagine the impact of 2020 on the OWU experience. Some of my favorite OWU memories include hanging out at the Brown Jug, dam parties, a greasy hamburger at Hamburger Inn, Wilson’s,  C.J. of course, having your date back at the girls dorm by 11 p.m., and the lights blinking off and on.

This fall, students are attending class remotely or wearing masks and sitting at least 6 feet apart (and sometimes in tents!). Extracurricular meetings and events are limited in size and scope, and students and staff have to think creatively about how to maintain essential connections.

Student athletes are still practicing, though not competing this fall, and are adjusting to playing in masks and rigorous cleaning procedures.

Students are persevering, though, because they value the OWU experience and the opportunity to be on campus at a time when so many schools have been forced to close their campuses.

COVID-19 has presented major challenges for Ohio Wesleyan, as costs to safely reopen the physical campus are substantial. Additionally, many OWU students and their families were affected financially and continue to face hardships due to the pandemic, so the University has seen a significant increase in emergency financial aid requests.

Simply put, Ohio Wesleyan needs our support.  

I hope you agree that the value of the residential liberal arts experience that Ohio Wesleyan provides is worth our investment.Your support of the OWU Annual Giving Program will make an immediate impact on today’s students and help the University continue to work toward a safer tomorrow.

I hope you’ll join me in taking a moment to give back to OWU for all it has given us, and to support a safe, transformative OWU experience for today’s students.Our class goal is to raise $120,000 with gifts from at least 110 donors.

I hope you’ll consider joining me in honoring the Class of 1967 with your gift today. 

Gratefully,Jim Pry ’67
  • Reprinted with permission of Ohio Wesleyan University, Delaware, Ohio