The Rhodes Trust announced yesterday that Tim McGinnis DS'09 has been named a 2014 Rhodes Scholar, one of just thirty-two American college students to receive the scholarship. After initially attending Princeton University, Tim took a leave to attend Deep Springs for two years, then returned to Princeton where he graduated summa cum laude in Anthropology last summer. He is currently working on behalf of a non-profit health clinic in Sierra Leone. He will pursue studies in the history of science, medicine and technology at Oxford beginning next year. Rhodes Scholarships provide all expenses for two or three years of study at the University of Oxford in England. Scholarship criteria read, in part: "high academic achievement, integrity of character, a spirit of unselfishness, respect for others, potential for leadership, and physical vigor" - criteria familiar to Deep Springers.
Once in England, Tim will likely get to share stories with Noam Finkelstein DS'08 who graduated from Oxford last summer and now works in London.
Sean Eldridge DS'04 has launched his candidacy to represent the 19th House District of New York in the US Congress. Sean resides in the Hudson River Valley in upstate New York where he is president of Hudson River Ventures, a company providing investment capital to small businesses in the area. Previously, Sean was political director for Freedom To Marry. The general election is November 4, 2014.
Clemson University presented the 2013 Benton H. Box Award to Lee Talbot DS'48 in recognition of a teacher "who by precept and example inspires in students the quest for knowledge and encourages curriculum innovation to inculcate an environmental ethic as a rule of conduct." The award was created in honor of the seventh director of the National Park Service. The Hartzog awards program at Clemson honors world-renowned environmental leaders.
An ecologist and geographer, Lee has been at the forefront of environmental research and policy throughout his long career, having served three U.S. Presidents. Among his many continuing activities, he teaches at George Mason University, and we congratulate him for recognition of his work with students and the environmental sciences and policy department.
We learned this summer that Dr. Erik Pell DS'41 passed away on August 14 from natural causes at his home in Webster, New York. He was eighty-nine years old. Erik Mauritz Pell was born September 22, 1923 in the rural woods of Delarna, Sweden, the sole surviving son of Eric and Kirsten Pell. His father obtained a degree in electrical engineering and immigrated to the United States when Erik was one. After the death of his mother from tuberculosis in 1931, Erik, then seven years old, came to the United States to be raised by his father in Wisconsin.
Erik arrived at Deep Springs College in the summer of 1941, completing a two-year degree before joining the U.S. Navy during World War II. In his autobiography years later, Erik recalled his delight at the technical and mechanical challenges of life at Deep Springs. He found the work required to live in such isolation to be deeply inspiring. One project of his was to build new mahogany tables for the dining room; which served the college for fifty years until the building was fully renovated in the 1990s. He also felt that in the midst of his intellectual awakening at Deep Springs, the most valuable classes for him were ultimately composition and public speaking - the two courses required of every DS student for ninety-five years.
He attended Marquette University as part of the Navy's V-12 program, obtaining a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering. He received further engineering training under the auspices of the Navy at Bowdoin College and Cornell University before serving briefly as a radar officer. After the war ended, he returned to Cornell University where he earned a Ph.D. in physics in 1951. Dr. Pell began his professional career at the General Electric research labs. In 1961, he was recruited by the Xerox Corporation (then named Haloid-Xerox) and within a year was named to head the solid state physics lab. Dr. Pell was part of a nucleus of scientists hired by Xerox in the early 1960s to build a world-class scientific research laboratory that could compete with other booming post-World War II corporate research labs including those operated by Bell Telephone, General Electric, and RCA. In 1971, he was named manager of Xerox's Webster Physics Research Laboratory.
In later years, Dr. Pell held staff positions responsible for coordinating research being done at Xerox's several laboratories around the world, including its famed lab in Palo Alto California, which developed laser printers and computer word processors. Dr. Pell recounted the scientific history of the invention of xerography and the later Xerox research effort necessary to commercialize the idea in his book From Dream to Riches -- the Story of Xerography, published in 1998. Dr. Pell's son Terry describes his father as "a man of steadiness, calm, and a cheerful confidence that life would bring good things" who had a fascination with all things technical from his early childhood.
When he received an Alumnus of the Year award from Marquette University, Dr. Pell was quoted as saying: "I define success as achievement of one's personal ambitions and enjoying the satisfaction one experiences as a result." Dr. Pell took time out from his career to direct a Telluride Summer Session at Deep Springs in 1958. Throughout his life he remained an avid supporter of the college and counted numerous alumni from multiple classes as his friends. His brilliant memories of student life at Deep Springs - and his warm-hearted way of sharing them - will be missed along with him.
His wife, Ann Christine died in 2008 from complications of a stroke. Dr. Pell is survived by his two sons, Terence and Bartley; his daughter, Holly McConnaughy; and five grandchildren. A memorial service was held August 24th in Webster New York.
Donald Attwood DS'60 Emeritus Professor at McGill University in Montreal recently completed Inside-Outside: Two Views of Social Change in Rural India co-authored with B.S. Baviskar. The book is a study of rural life as examined by two academics from very different backgrounds; one an insider - Sociologist Baburao Baviskar who grew up in the small village of Pilkhod in western peninsular India - and the other an outsider - Anthropologist Donald Attwood who grew up in suburban Illinois. Dr. Baviskar was a professor of Sociology at University of Delhi (who died in 2013 at the age of 83 just as the two friends were completing their book). The two had collaborated on numerous research projects since first meeting in 1969 while Don was doing fieldwork in India as a Fulbright scholar.
The book explores how the varying perspectives of two different observers (Western & Eastern, distant & familiar) can strengthen the value of fieldwork and result in more nuanced and informed study. The authors unravel a number of stereotypes regarding presumed cultural and economic constrictions of rural Indian life. Dr. Baviskar serves as both subject and researcher, telling his own life story in the process. And to further illustrate the book's premise, Dr. Atwood tells of his own early life and experiences in India as well. In his summary, Professor Attwood states: This is not a bookish book. Our book has come to resemble a mythical beast - a sphinx, griffin, or centaur - with parts combined from various creatures. We tell our own life stories and also a variety of stories from villagers we have known. Some of these stories are interesting or amusing in themselves, others offer insight into larger issues. The book is slated for publication by Sage Press in India in late 2013. Distribution in North America is yet to be determined.
The Deep Springs community learned earlier this year that William "Bill" Mack DS'68 passed away on January 27, 2013 at his home in Maine. Deep Springs Trustee Michael Kearney DS'69 shared his memories of William, who was greatly respected by many of his fellows in the Student Body of the late 1960s:
"Bill was an artist and craftsman, interests that he developed early as both his parents were artists. At Deep Springs he pursued those interests almost surreptitiously. He took advantage of every art or artisans course that appeared. He twice proposed that the Student Body purchase rock cutting equipment. I found no evidence that a such a purchase was approved. At the time the dean's entertainment budget was limited to $26 and was controlled by the Student Body.
Bill graduated from Indiana University. He and his wife Ann both went to law school at Berkeley; Ann first, Bill later, each working to support the other. While Ann was in school, Bill was selling his photographs on Telegraph Avenue. As artist and businessman Bill gained sufficient credibility that he counted a group of anarchists among his clients. When Bill arrived at their house, they had an illuminated sign in the window that said "Smash the State". Although he interrupted his artistic career to practice law, he was always planning a return.
Moving to Thomaston, Maine when he retired, Bill began his craftsman career as a wood turner, enamelist, jewelry maker, photographer, boat designer, boat builder... this list is incomplete. Riffing on the family's nickname for him, the "serial hobbyist," he adopted the name of The Serial Craftsman for his business. In my opinion that name was an understatement. Jan Vleck DS'69 and I visited Bill and Ann in April of 2012, and Bill took us on a tour of his projects and workshops. Retirement enabled parallel projects. Standing in the midst of one workshop, he would talk about work underway in another. He and his wife bought a beautiful mid 19th century house. It had a detached carriage house with at least two workshops, wood working, boat building and satisfied a house insurance requirement that a torch not be used in the workshops of the main house, a major renovation work in progress by itself.
Bill exhibited his woodturnings and enamels at Art Space Gallery in Rockland, Maine. His sculpture "Counterpoint" was exhibited at the show "Maine Wood 2012" at the Messler Gallery, Center for Furniture Craftsmanship, Rockport, Maine. He was an avid fly fisherman. Essential to fly fishing is the craft of tying flies. When not fishing, Bill was designing and sketching boats to build. His favorite spot in the world was the porch at Pat-a-Mac Cottage, Bayville, Maine, looking out at Linekin Bay. The cottage had been in his family for years and was among the motivations for retiring in Maine.
Before his law career and his law degree, Bill was a Deep Springer. When Bill arrived in the summer of 1968, Deep Springs College was a mess. It was in financial crisis. The original trustees, lifetime appointees who had contemplated shutting down the school entirely, were slowly being cajoled to move on by Bob Aird DS'21. The school was being roiled by the Free Speech riots at Berkeley, brought by visitors from Telluride Berkeley Branch. The student body was in turmoil with mid-term and upper class men departing early. There were many infractions of student body rules, including alcohol, drugs, and unauthorized visits to Nevada. The SB minutes recorded a single meeting in which 11 members were censured. The staff turned over faster than the students: One ranch manager had left under a cloud early in 1968, not to be convincingly replaced until Merritt Holloway arrived in late 1969. Dean Barney Childs DS'43 had resigned in the fall of 1968, though he agreed to stay on until his replacement, Randall Reid DS'49, could arrive in late 1969. We went through two mechanics and six or more cooks.
The students provided much needed stability; by May of 1969 a student body of 9 operated the ranch. Somehow, a Telluride Association Summer Program at DS was launched in 1969 against this background. During that time, Bill was always unflappable. He liked everyone; always had a smile; was always the mediator, looking for common ground. However, classmate R. Kent Davis DS'68 observed, Bill was dairy boy an abnormal amount of the time. It worried some. I wasn't sure but that he liked the cows better than us. With years of hindsight, I realize Bill was the only sane student there. The cows were a normally sensible decision on Bill's part.
I arrived at Deep Springs in June 1969; Bill returned for the '69 fall term. The LC - Alan Kaufman DS'67 I think - assigned us to ongoing work that had us in the drained cesspool next to the new guest cottage. I do not remember the details of the work. I do remember the tone and some of the conversation as we worked. I was a first year probing the wisdom of a second year. Over the summer I had learned that 1968 had been challenging year. The more we first years learned about the prior year, the more horrified in some sense we were.
I think the conversation was provoked by reflecting on a prior night's vitriolic SB meeting. "Vitriolic." Bill used the word. I had not heard it before. When I asked what it meant, he explained it without losing a beat, without an attempt to score points as had characterized the meeting of the night before. All in all, he provided his views on what had happened in the last year, pros and cons, and ultimately why he had returned for a second year. So many mistakes, misdeeds and crises had occurred, the year provided a wealth of education in a petri dish. The Deep Springs community was reinventing itself. Randall Reid, Herb Reich DS'17, and John Mawby DS'53 joined the one remaining long term faculty member, Joseph Balachowski. They were followed soon by Roger Dell and ultimately Merritt Holloway.
Bill was not beneath taking a dramatic stand. He was brutal at the game of Risk. More pertinent though, Eric Reid DS'77, who was 12 or 13 years old and part of the DS family community at the time recalls, I remember Bill for his good nature, and easy smile. I think I also remember him place-kicking a can of beer that another student had decided was allowed at round-up. That incident provoked another SB meeting of massive self censure. Bill did not pen the censure motion. His example provoked it.
Denis Clark DS'69 observed that Bill was adept at keeping up the social contract day to day with good-natured communitarian instincts, yet staking out firm boundaries when it came to the foundations of Nunn's experiment and how we carried it out. Integrity was an explicit value there, and Bill's was complete as far as I could see; more than my own, for sure, and most others.
He committed a large part of his life to his career as a lawyer in the field of consumer credit protection, first at Severson and Werson, then at American General Finance, and Norwest Financial/Wells Fargo. Although he would have preferred to be a full time artist, he brought the same dedication and mediation skills he exhibited at Deep Springs to his legal career. His doing so enabled his wife to retire early, pursue her interest in antiques, and raise their son Andrew. Early retirement enabled him to return to his passion for artistic expression in many forms. Bill passed away on January 27, 2013, in his sixty-third year. Remembering Bill is to remember much of what makes life good and worthwhile."
Another book is forthcoming from the ranks of Deep Springs alumni, and just in time for the summer garden season. Saving the Season: A Cook's Guide to Home Canning, Pickling and Preserving is being published by Knopf, a division of Random House on June 25. Kevin West DS'88 wrote the book as an extension of his multi-year blog saving the season. The book covers a wide variety of recipes using multiple techniques for preserving fruits and vegetables of all kinds and is illustrated with hundreds of beautiful photographs taken by Kevin himself. After thirteen years on staff as a writer and editor with W magazine, Kevin now writes freelance about food, culture and travel from his home base in Los Angeles. He has recently worked with Metabolic Studios to assess the history and potential of agriculture in the Owens Valley foodshed. Edward Pimental DS'10 spent his break from Deep Springs assisting Kevin with final fact-checking of the text.
Eric Swanson DS'65 has retired from the World Bank after over thirty years at the organization. He began as a researcher and focused much of his career on developing and improving access to economic data and statistical analysis for developing countries. He was an economist in the Bank's research department and the International Economics department. He ultimately rose to become Senior Advisor to the Bank's Development Data Group. Eric's wife Devon Hodges retired from teaching at George Mason University this May. The couple have departed Washington D.C. in style, embarking on a ten-week bicycle trip across the country to their new home in Washington state. You can follow their travels on northwestbybike.blogspot.com
Journalist Philip Kennicott DS83 has been awarded the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for criticism. Phil is currently the art and architecture critic for the Washington Post which also announced the honor. The Pulitzer is considered the highest achievement in journalism. His award is based on articles about a photographic exhibit at the Corcoran Gallery, an architect's work at the National Building Museum and an essay on graphic and violent photos. On staff at the Post since 1999, Phil has previously served as classical music critic and culture critic for the premier masthead in the nation's capital.
In addition to his 'day job' at the newspaper, Phil writes extensively on general cultural subjects and is a contributor to Opera News and also a regular reviewer for Gramophone. You can follow his work at his website www.philipkennicott.com.
Three alumni authors have been traveling recently in support of new books published since the beginning of the year.
Ted Shelton DS84 had his book "Business Models for the Social Cloud" published by John Wiley & Sons in February. The book investigates the opportunities and challenges present for businesses in the growing convergence of social networking, the mobile internet, and cloud computing. Ted analyzes a 21st-century business model utilizing facets such as co-creation ecosystems rather than hierarchical or linear systems and offers insights for business leaders and entrepreneurs to succeed with emerging technologies - rather than be defeated by them.
Ted is a Managing Director of the U.S. Advisory practice at PwC (formerly PricewaterhouseCoopers), a corporate auditing and consulting firm, where he helps clients and organizations improve their business performance. He has devoted his career to innovation in software development and business management over the past twenty five years.
The latest novel from Peter Rock DS86 is "The Shelter Cycle", published in April by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. The book traces its origins to Peter's experience working on a Montana cattle ranch in the early 1990s, where his neighbors were devoted followers of the Church Universal and Triumphant. Peter, who teaches writing and literature at Reed College in Portland, Oregon, returned frequently to Montana over the past four years to conduct extensive research and numerous hours of interviews. His resultant novel dramatizes events around the night of March 15, 1990 when thousands of church members entered underground bunkers in anticipation of a nuclear holocaust and the end of the world. The book goes much further to explore the implications for some of the affected individuals twenty years later.
Peter has published five previous novels and a collection of short stories. You can read his reflections on his latest work here or check out one of the publicity events by visiting his author website www.peterrockproject.com. Arrival of "The Shelter Cycle" has been greeted with positive reviews highlighting Peter's unique creativity and sensitivity.
Journalist and firefighter Zac Unger DS91 has been making the interview rounds this winter with his most recent book "Never Look A Polar Bear in the Eye", a non-fiction look into the condition of polar bear populations at the top of the world that is also a family adventure story. Zac set out in 2008 to write the definitive book about the impending collapse of the species. During his research however, Zac discovered the issues are far more complex than most people realize, and although global warming is a genuine problem for polar bears in general, different sub-populations are affected in different ways, and in fact the polar-wide population has increased in the past forty years.
Zac lived with his wife and three young children for several months in Churchill, Manitoba to experience the most active borderland where humans and polar bears interact. The resulting book is both an investigative report on the politics and science of polar bear conservation, and a first-hand account of life spent shoulder-to-shoulder (if not eye-to-eye) with these amphibious omnivores.
"Never Look A Polar Bear in the Eye" was published by Da Capo Press in January. Zac has conducted numerous interviews with media outlets in Europe and Asia, as well as in the U.S. ranging from Fox News to NPR. In addition to serving as a paramedic/firefighter in Oakland, California for fifteen years, Zac has written for The Economist, Explore, Men's Journal, The Atlantic, Slate, and other publications. His previous book, "Working Fire" was published in 2005. You can check out his work at www.zacunger.com.
Bruce Laverty (DS '43) passed away at home in Pasadena CA on February 2nd, 2013. He was 86. Bruce was born December 7, 1926, in Alameda, California, the second child born to Laurence and Winifred Laverty. From a very young age and living not far from the shores of San Francisco Bay, Bruce developed a love of water and the nautical world that stayed with him throughout his life. Following the early passing of both of his parents and stints living in Oakland, California and on a ranch in Wyoming, he spent the remainder of his childhood raised by his uncle, Arthur A. 'Cy' Ross, a friend of the Nunn Brothers, in Burlingame, California. Here, he enjoyed outings on his tiny boat, The Sinkwell, traveling the state of California with his brother Gordon and Uncle Cy on the latter's business trips, and attending Burlingame High School.
At the age of 17 he enrolled as a student at Deep Springs College, and would remain active as part of the school's community throughout his lifetime. By the time he reached Deep Springs, Bruce already had significant labor experience under his belt, having worked on cattle ranch in Wyoming, a farm in Idaho, and a tungsten ore mine in California. He devoted much of his time at Deep Springs to an intensive curriculum designed to prepare him for further study in engineering. Despite his practical focus, he spoke of his courses with E.M. Johnson, a professor of etymology and literature, as one of the highlights of his experience in the Valley, and he attributed to Johnson's teaching a lifelong love of reading.
Bruce left Deep Springs in 1944 to enter a Naval ROTC training program at the University of Washington. After completing his Bachelor's in Civil Engineering there and with the help of his old professor E.M. Johnson, Bruce moved to Cornell University, where he obtained his Master's in Civil Engineering and subsequently taught in that department. From 1949 to 1989 he worked with Southern California Edison Co. as a field construction engineer and manager of hydroelectric projects in the Sierra, as well as fossil fuel and nuclear power stations around the southwest. He served on the Business Round Table and participated in corporate efforts to support the charitable work of the United Way of Los Angeles.
Bruce enjoyed numerous lifelong friendships with other accomplished people including highly respected Los Angeles attorney Earl Woolverton. He loved traveling to Europe and enjoyed a number of memorable ski vacations in the Alps. He also made annual pilgrimages to the family farm in Idaho, keeping in close contact with his Uncle Cy until Cy passed away. Bruce was an avid reader and enjoyed walking, art, and staying informed on world news.
Bruce was deeply involved in the Deep Springs community throughout his life. In addition to his steadfast support as a member of the alumni community, he served as a member of the Board of Trustees from 1983-1991, during which time he was a key participant in the construction Deep Springs' own hydroelectric plant. Deep Springs will deeply miss his presence.
Bruce is survived by his brothers Gordon Laverty and Ross M. Laverty, their wives Marjorie Laverty and Doree Laverty respectively, nephews Larry, Ross, and Robert Laverty, nieces Annette Laverty and Helen Laverty McPeak, and dedicated friends Lori and Ernie Lateer.
Bruce will be laid to rest next to his Uncle Cy in Kuna, Idaho.
In other musical notes, James Wilson DS'03 sends word that his band The Sons of Bill released a new CD at the end of March, called Sirens. The album has been receiving great reviews and was described as "Brilliant" by American Songwriter magazine. James and his bandmates (brothers Sam & Abe Wilson, Seth Green and Todd Wellons) are currently touring in support of the release. Find out more at their website Sons Of Bill. We're glad to have had James perform a fantastic solo set here in the Main Building last fall, and we can vouch for his Americana indie-rocker chops.
The Morgan Library and Museum of New York City has named Joel Smith DS'83 as the institution's first-ever Curator of Photography. The Morgan was established in 1906 and now holds several thousand photos in its collection, ranging from amateur photographers to vintage prints from major masters. Joel is currently curator of photography for the Princeton University Art Museum, where he has served since 2005 and curated numerous exhibitions. Joel received his Ph.D. from Princeton in 2001. His books include: Edward Steichen, The Early Years, Steinberg at the New Yorker, and The Life and Death of Buildings: On Photography and Time. You can find information on The Morgan Library and Museum at www.themorgan.org Joel begins his new position in September of this year.
We learned that Dan Ihara DS'64 passed away on March 13 due to complications from atypical Parkinson's Disease. He was 64 years old. A third-generation Japanese-American, "Danny" was born in Cleveland, Ohio and grew up in Gardena, California before entering Deep Springs in the fall of 1964. At Deep Springs, his main interest was in literature studies and he served a term as student body president. Danny went on to complete studies at UC Berkeley, and he applied for Conscientious Objector status during the height of the Vietnam War. Danny settled in Humboldt County and lived there for over 40 years, where he taught economics and international development at Humboldt State University. He served as Director of the Center for Environmental Economic Development and was deeply committed to solving the crisis of global climate change, a topic at the center of his doctoral dissertation. In 2010, Danny organized a renuion/memorial ceremony for his compatriots at Deep Springs College on the 40th anniversary of the death of David Mossner DS'63 who was killed in action in Vietnam. Danny made many good friends during his long tenure at Humboldt. A note on his work can be found here.
Steven Gregory DS'07 passed away on December 21, 2011. After leaving Deep Springs, Steven attended Bard College, from which he graduated last year. At the time of his death he was living at home in Churchville, Pennsylvania, preparing to pursue graduate work in English as preparation for a teaching career.
Deep Springs was represented at Steven's December 28th memorial service by President David Neidorf, Toby Altman DS'06, Brian Judge, Nate Sibinga, and Charles Pletcher (all DS'07), and Steve Carmody DS'08. His fellow students recalled Steven's love of poetry and working with animals, and his habit, when working as feedman, of singing to the fresh eggs from the henhouse as he washed them.
Norton Dodge, DS'43 CB'46 TA'46, passed away on November 5, 2011. Dodge was emeritus professor of economics at Saint Mary's College of Maryland and the University of Maryland. Deep Springers knew him as a classmate, teacher, and host on Cremona, his 1,000-acre Maryland farm and vineyard. The world knew Dodge best as a collector of dissident art from the Soviet Union, who accumulated one of the largest collections of "unofficial" Soviet art in the world.
Dodge was born on June 15, 1927, in Oklahoma City. He completed two years of high school at the Southern Arizona School, where he was at the top of his class, the secretary of the governing council, and a member of the Boys' Roping Association (he won second place in roping at two Tucson rodeos). He entered Deep Springs after his sophomore year in high school, at the age of sixteen, bringing his own saddle with him. Dodge intended to study engineering and art (he listed "collecting commercial art" as one of his hobbies). His interest in art had been piqued when his father-then dean of the graduate school at the University of Oklahoma-set up a campus art studio for Native Americans.
At Deep Springs, Dodge served as student body president, student trustee, and a "tough labor commissioner," as Bob Gatje DS'44 recalls. In a publication by Saint Mary's College of Maryland, Dodge recalls learning an important lesson about gregarious animals and politics at Deep Springs. He recalls "driving a hundred head herd of cattle one time, with a certain cow who thought its calf was left behind and kept turning back to find it. I kept having to retrieve this stubborn cow so it would rejoin the herd and find its calf, but it kept turning back. Exasperated, I thought if I'd had a pistol I'd have liked to shoot it. I then recognized that I was thinking like a dictator - like Hitler or Stalin who brooked no dissent from their citizens. I learned a lesson from this event about the fragility of democratic ideals, a lesson which increased my respect later for Soviet dissidents and encouraged my efforts to help them."
Director Simon Whitney DS'19 encouraged Dodge's interest in economics at Deep Springs. After graduating, Dodge matriculated at Cornell, living at the Telluride House and joining the Telluride Association. After completing an MA in the Russian Regional Studies Program at Harvard, Dodge began work on a PhD in Economics. In 1955, he accompanied his father on a trip to the USSR, where he assisted with his father's research on Russian education. He and his father gave four interviews about their experience, which appeared in U.S. News and World Report in 1955. "Stalin had died, but the Soviet Union wasn't very open and the interviews with Norton and his father, if not a sensation, achieved some renown as a view that not many Americans had," recalls Bill Allen DS'42.
On that trip Dodge was also researching Soviet tractors for his doctorate, "Trends in Labor Productivity in the Soviet Tractor industry: A Case Study in Industrial Development." After finishing his PhD, Dodge turned his focus to the status of women in the Soviet Union. According to John McPhee's 1994 book on Dodge, The Ransom of Russian Art, Dodge "suspected that this was one sociopolitical area in which the American situation might benefit from the Soviet example." McPhee quotes Dodge as saying, "I felt that in many ways women were discriminated against in the United States in a rather shameful fashion. Many areas that were closed to American women by tradition or convention had been opened up in the Soviet Union." While women were still expected to do the bulk of housework in Russia-and were de facto excluded from the highest ranks of most professions-a variety of career paths were open to them that were still effectively closed in the US.
During research trips to Russia for his book Women in the Soviet Economy: Their Role in Economic, Scientific, and Technical Development, Dodge began to get acquainted with Russian dissident art, aided in part by Julian "Pete" MacDonald DS'43, his classmate from Deep Springs, then the Junior Economics Officer in the American embassy in Moscow. In spite of the relative cultural thaw that followed Stalin's death in 1953, art in the USSR remained heavily regulated, and art that was abstract or that challenged "socialist realism" in any number of ways was forbidden. However, Dodge managed to make contact with a network of dissident artists, who, often supported by spouses or day jobs, made "unofficial art" in relative secrecy. Over the next thirty years or so, Dodge collected 10,000 works of art from artists across the Soviet Union. He used funds gained through early investments with Benjamin Graham and his disciple, Warren Buffett, to acquire pieces from hundreds of artists and help support emigre artists and their families. Dodge is lovingly remembered as a somewhat bumbling, absent-minded figure. He spoke mediocre Russian, and recalls using a 1914 Baedeker and a flashlight to navigate cities throughout Ukraine, Georgia, Belarus, and Soviet Central Asia. Dodge carried some art out of the USSR in his suitcase; diplomatic contacts helped him carry out some larger art among their personal effects.
Dodge largely stopped traveling to the Soviet Union after Evgeny Rukhin, a close contact and a leading dissident artist, was killed in a fire in his studio in 1976. Dodge-and other dissident artists-suspected that the KGB had set the fire as a warning to other artists. Dodge continued to acquire paintings remotely, through his contacts in the USSR, and amassed most of his collection through a network of contacts after he stopped visiting the USSR, eventually collecting 22,000 works,and organizing over 50 displays of Soviet dissident art. He and his wife, Nancy, donated the entire collection to the Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers, where it is now on permanent display as the Norton and Nancy Dodge Collection of Soviet Nonconformist Art.
"It wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that Norton singlehandedly saved contemporary Russian art from total oblivion," says art critic Victor Tupitsyn in The Ransom of Russian Art. Dodge felt that "it would be tragic if these artists were to die without their work being seen outside Russia. The courage of these people...they worked often in isolation with no audience other than their wives and families and a small circle of friends. They risked harassment and interrogation. Also I thought, if anything is going to happen to change the system for the better it had to be through greater freedom of expression. These people were sticking their necks out. They were risking everything."
Dodge was professor of economics, first at the University of Maryland, and later at St. Mary's College of Maryland, where he also served as a Trustee. Dodge lived on Cremona with his wife Nancy, where he hosted many Deep Springers, and three Telluride Association Summer Programs on the economics of the environment. Preservation of the environment was a longstanding concern for Dodge, and he worked in the last decade of his life to ensure that Cremona would be preserved for future generations. In the fall of 1986 and again in the fall of 1988, Dodge returned to Deep Springs to teach. In a publication from St. Mary's, he reflects: "I wondered what it would be like to return after 42 years. The mountains and the ranch were the same. The students were still very academically talented, but not so well-rounded with experience in high school student government or other leadership opportunities. However, I taught some of the best students of my career during those months at Deep Springs."
Norton Dodge is survived by his wife, Nancy Ruyle Dodge; his sister, Alice Dodge Wallace; his nephew, William D. Wallace; and his niece, Margaret Wallace. A private memorial service will be held in the spring. Memorial contributions may be made to The Cremona Foundation, 41000 Cremona Road, Mechanicsville, MD 20659.
We learned recently that Hugh O. Nash DS'41 passed away on September 15, 2011 in Lancaster, California. He was 88 years old. Hugh Nash was born March 4, 1923, and spent his early years at Yenching University in China, where his parents were teachers; his first language was Chinese. Nash attended Westtown School, a Quaker school in Pennsylvania, where he was a successful athlete, the editor of the school newspaper, and worked chopping wood for the school. Hugh came to Deep Springs in 1941 intending to be a mechanical engineer; he followed in the footsteps of Fred Balderston DS'40, who had matriculated Deep Springs from Westtown the year before.
While a student here, Hugh's father Vernon Nash, an eminent Quaker thinker and prominent in the World Federalist Movement, taught a course on post-war world planning, and his mother Mary Rooker Nash taught a course on psychology. Nash's classmate, Erik Pell DS'41, recalls a respected student who tended to keep to himself. "His opinion was always respected, though he was more quiet and reserved than the rest of us." Pell recalled deep admiration on Nash's part for his father and the ideals his father worked for. After Deep Springs, Hugh joined the army, studying Japanese at Cornell as part of his training. When World War II ended, he returned to Cornell to finish his degree, where he lived in the Telluride House and became a member of the Telluride Association. After graduating, Nash worked until 1964 as a writer and editor at World Government News, Inside Carrier, and Time Inc.'s Architectural Forum.
However, New York City didn't suit Nash, and in 1964, he left his writing career to move west and join the burgeoning environmental movement. He spent much of his life working as an editor and aide to renowned environmentalist David Brower, first at the Sierra Club, and later at Friends of the Earth. Nash edited the Sierra Club Bulletin and the magazine for Friends of the Earth, Not Man Apart. He also edited several books published by Friends of the Earth, including "Progress As If Survival Mattered: A Handbook for a Conserver Society." In the forward to that book, Brower wrote: "when you have reached the edge of an abyss, the only progressive move is to turn around, and step forward." This summarized Nash's attitude towards environmental problems. In addition to his work editing publications for environmental groups, he testified before Congressional subcommittees to prevent the damming of the Colorado River. He also fought against placing a nuclear power plant on the San Andreas fault.
In 1986, Nash built an off-the-grid solar-powered home near Mt. Shasta in California, where he lived until three years ago, hiking with his dogs, reading, writing, and enjoying the wilderness he so loved. According to his niece Eve, Nash spoke about Deep Springs often. In a letter he wrote while working at Friends of the Earth and after becoming a caretaker for a nature preserve in Napa Valley, Nash credited Deep Springs with making him a "firm believer in the mind-clearing power of alternating between academic and physical endeavor."
Jon "Dewey" DeWeese DS07 took a break recently from his duties as Deep Springs Cook and BH Manager to vacation in Oaxaca, Mexico. Specifically, he stayed at the bed and breakfast hotel owned and operated by Paul Cleaver DS54 in Puerto Escondido. Dewey reports that the Hotel Tabachin is a warm, friendly and lovely place to refresh. Paul invites all Deep Springers to visit - contact him ahead of time at firstname.lastname@example.org for alumni rates!
Nathan Deuel DS97 is currently working as a freelance reporter in the Middle East. He recently posted on The Awl from Beirut, Lebanon following the death of Osama bin Laden. His work has been published in Rolling Stone, The Atlantic, Slate and The Village Voice, among others. Nathan's wife Kelly McEvers is the Bagdhad correspondent for National Public Radio.
The Brooklyn Academy of Music is currently producing Si Cuba!, a celebration of Cuban arts and culture in New York City. The festival is the brainchild of BAM producer Nicholas Schwartz-Hall DS80. Nick has served as line producer at the venerable Brooklyn performing arts institution for four years. The festival includes performances by over 200 individuals from Cuba, including The National Ballet of Cuba, multiple dance companies and musicians, film screenings, art exhibits and lectures. BAM is partnering with several other venues across New York City to present the festival from March through June. You can find more information at the festival site.The year of preparation for the events included working with the US State Department to clear travel for the many artists.
The historic public library of Nyack, New York, in the Lower Hudson River Valley was recently rededicated after a multi-million dollar renovation. The project was spearheaded by Roger Seiler DS59 who serves as president of the Nyack library board of trustees. An article in the LoHud.com Journal relates the story of the renovation.