In the world.
Aaron Phelps has a bachelor's and a master's degree from Cornell University, though this is not what makes him special. Aaron has another degree from Cornell for which he paid no tuition, received no scholarships, and for which he logged no all-nighters.
Aaron’s third degree from Cornell is actually his first: a diploma from Cornell High School, home of the Chiefs.
Aaron Phelps BS ’99 and M Engr ’99 is the only graduate of Cornell High and Cornell U whom I've been able to identify.
In June, on my way out of Cornell, Wisconsin, I stopped by the corner of North 7th Street and Squire Drive. The guys at Turk’s Bar and the White Pages shared the address. In the driveway was a young man washing his black 1970 Chevy Nova. “No, Aaron’s my big brother,” offered Eric (17). He gave me Aaron’s cell (in Iowa) and I called him on my way back to Madison.
Aaron graduated in 1995 from Cornell High.
He was 4th in his class –– of 32.
Good in math and science – hence agricultural engineering.
He's with John Deere living in Denver, IA.
But the Ivy League was not the usual path for these graduating seniors. UW-River Falls, UW-Eau Claire, UW-Madison, technical colleges and work were more popular choices. Aaron’s parents encouraged him to aim high and a four-year degree was a goal. So was Division I athletics.
|Aaron Phelps '99 circa 1995|
But Aaron's Cornell story starts a long time ago – almost a 100 years ago with his paternal grandparents who lived in the pineries in the early 1900s about the time Brunet Falls, Wisconsin became Cornell, Wisconsin.
Aaron’s parents, Jerry and Michelle Phelps, grew up in Cornell, Wisconsin and together attended Cornell High. Aaron (33) is the oldest of four boys (Brandon, 28, Catlon, 24, Eric).
Nearby acreage on which the Phelps hunt has been in the family for over a quarter century. A title search of this property begins with the United States Government. Then Ezra Cornell. Eventually Phelps.
And, yes, it is true. A few second growth trees from this land (Cornell's original land grant) were felled to pay for a portion Aaron's tuition (or books, rent, food...). First sold to build a university; a century later, sold again to send a student there.
So it’s time to talk with the parents.