The University of Utah Press will publish next month the long awaited history of Deep Springs College by historian Dr. L. Jackson Newell DS'56, former President (1995-2004) and Trustee (1987-1994) of Deep Springs. The book, titled The Electric Edge of Academe: The Saga of Lucien L. Nunn and Deep Springs College chronicles L.L. Nunn's background in the American west and his establishment of Deep Springs as the final achievement of his educational pursuits in the early twentieth century. Having assembled the story during a decade of archival research with assistance from his wife Linda, Jack examines in great detail the successes and trials of the college, the Student Body, and the faculty and staff, chronicling the story of this experimental educational endeavor over nine decades.
Jack is Professor Emeritus of Educational Leadership at the University of Utah, where he also served as dean of liberal education for sixteen years. You can read more about the book at University of Utah Press. The book includes a forward by William Vollmann DS'78. You can pre-order author-signed copies of the book directly from Deep Springs by sending $40 to the Office Cowboy at Deep Springs, HC72 Box 45001, Dyer, NV 89010. While supplies last.
Edwin Wesely DS'45 passed away peacefully at his Manhattan home on Feb. 15. He was 85 years old. Ed served two terms on the Deep Springs board of trustees in the 1990s, and was a long-time volunteer on behalf of the college over the years. Ed was born into a European Catholic immigrant family in New York City and attended Brooklyn Tech High School before coming to Deep Springs in the summer of 1945. He subsequently graduated from Cornell University and received his law degree from Columbia Law School. He went on to a highly distinguished legal career as a federal prosecutor, and a litigation partner with Winthrop, Stimson, Putnam & Roberts (now Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman) for 37 years.
Ed was a dedicated humanitarian, serving many years as Chairman/ President of CARE, the leading international relief and development agency, and was a co-founder of CARE International in 1982. Throughout his career, he received many honors including Foreign Press Association World Humanitarian Award 1988. Ed was a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, served on numerous nonprofit boards and chaired multiple legal committees in the Federal Court system. Ed and his wife Marcy visited Deep Springs numerous times together during the past quarter century; he will be remembered by his many friends and colleagues as someone with a sharp intellect, charming wit, and enormous heart.
Journalist Graeme Wood DS'97 has been making the rounds of national news media interviews this week, with appearances on NPR, CNN, MSNBC and elsewhere. His cover article on the March issue of The Atlantic magazine, What ISIS Really Wants, and How To Stop It presents a very timely and thorough analysis of the terrorist organization and circumstances surrounding its expansion. Graeme is a lecturer in political science at Yale University, and a contributing editor to The Atlantic and The New Republic.
The college is sad to report the death in Chicago on January 22 of Jon Shotola DS'97 at the age of 35. After finishing the program at Deep Springs, Jon had completed his BA in Cognitive Science at Brown University, then became a private pilot and flight instructor.
Jon's classmates at Deep Springs remember him as a spirited debater and a brilliant, kind, hilarious, and generous friend, one who especially treasured public speaking, cooking, and hiking. One of Jon's classmates put it well: Jon is deeply missed by me and so many others. I will always cherish the time we spent together.
A fixture in local politics in San Francisco and Northern California for over twenty years, James Stearns DS'79 has "closed up shop" for the foreseeable future. As reported in the SF Weekly, Jim is closing his successful political consulting business to pursue other interests and spend time with his children before they run off to college. Jim's office in San Francisco has provided numerous opportunities over the years for younger DS alums to learn their chops at retail politics.
We learned this week of the death of one of Deep Springs' most prolific authors. Park Honan DS'46 died on September 27 in Leeds, England, where he had lived and worked for over 40 years. Park was a professor of American and English Literature at the University of Leeds and authored five major biographies of English literary figures. The New York Times book section published a posthumous acknowledgment of Mr. Honan's career and contributions to the field.
In an essay from 1964, Park wrote of his alma mater, "Deep Springs means to discourage any passive attitude toward life, by which responsibility is allowed to go by default to those who always stand ready to seize it unworthily."
The Eleanor Roosevelt Leadership Center at Val-Kill honored their annual medalists at a ceremony in Hyde Park, New York. Among this year's six honorees was William vanden Heuvel DS'46.The Eleanor Roosevelt Val-Kill Medal recognizes individuals who "make a significant contribution to society in the arts, education, citizenship, philanthropy, community services and other humanitarian concerns that reflect Mrs. Roosevelt's ideals." Ambassador vanden Heuvel is the founder and chairman emeritus of the Four Freedoms Park Conservancy, and former U.S. ambassador to the European Office of the United Nations. You can learn more about the Eleanor Roosevelt Center. Also among the medal honorees was Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor and publisher of The Nation.
The college community further learned the sad news that William "Bill" Allen DS'42 died in Washington D.C. on October 11. Details can be found at today's notice in the New York Times. He is one of the presumably rare members of any class to get elected as labor commissioner and, years later, serve as chairman of the board of trustees during an eight year term. He also returned to the College several times to teach a course on Constitutional Law - and join many a late-night chat with students in the Boarding House.
Born in 1926 in Palo Alto, Calif., Bill Allen left Deep Springs after two years to attend Stanford in 1944 but was drafted into the Army in 1945 where he served in the Korean occupation forces and attained the rank of staff sergeant. He returned to Stanford in 1946 and graduated in 1948. He reported for the Associated Press for the next five years, working in Fresno, Calif., and then as a legislative correspondent in Sacramento. In 1953 he entered Stanford Law School where he was president of the law review. Graduating in 1956, he served during the 1956-57 Supreme Court term as the chief law clerk to Chief Justice Earl Warren.
In 1957 he joined the Washington law firm of Covington and Burling, where he charted a wide-ranging practice in appellate litigation and administrative law over a career spanning 45 years. He led the Judicial Review Committee on the Administrative Conference of the United States, a public-private board that is the chief policy-writing arm of the administrative part of the federal court system. He also served in the early 1980s as the chairman of the Administrative Law Section of the A.B.A. He led a number of the firm's groundbreaking pro bono matters, including the first open housing act to be enacted south of the Mason-Dixon Line; it was for many years the model for any such act in the South. In the 1980s his pro bono work centered on death penalty cases, including several appeals to the Supreme Court; he argued four cases before the Court. He also taught administrative law at Stanford Law School, Cornell Law School, and Howard Law School. Following his death, a spokesman for his firm--with reference to his pro bono activities--credited Allen with a deep commitment to public service and, in the opinion of his colleagues, with "legendary" qualities of creativity and decency.
Allen was an avid track and field fan, demonstrated by his attending six Summer Olympics. He and his late wife, the former Joan Webster Emmett, were active in Arlington County Democratic politics for many years. He leaves three sons, Edwin, Neal, and Kent, and eight grandchildren.
Deep Springs mourns the loss of distinguished alumnus and board member Dr. Robert Lamb Sproull, DS'35,CB'38 TA'38 who passed away peacefully yesterday at his home in Rochester New York on Oct. 9. The University of Rochester has announced Bob's passing here: Robert Sproull Tribute. Robert Sproull was born in 1918 in Illinois. He joined the Deep Springs Student Body in 1935 and spent three years in the Valley. In later years he would often fondly recall the fulfilling manual accomplishments of the labor program, even including the use of horses to do much of the fieldwork around the farm. Already an accomplished student, he taught calculus to his fellow students in the SB. He went on to receive a bachelor's degree in English and ultimately a Ph.D. in Physics from Cornell University in 1943.
Dr. Sproull began his career as a physicist during the Second World War. His experimental thesis became classified due to its applications with microwave magnetrons. He taught physics to Navy and Marine students, and microwave theory to Navy and industrial engineers. He received an assistant professorship in physics at Cornell in 1946 and advanced quickly. He was the first director of the Laboratory of Atomic and Solid State Physics as well as the Center for Materials Research. He became director of the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA, later known as DARPA) from 1963-1965, which was established by President Eisenhower in 1958 amidst the depths of the Cold War to develop new technologies with potential military application. Dr. Sproull promoted greater cooperation among academia, government and industry toward that end, and many technologies ultimately found significant roles in the civilian world, as well.
Bob became Vice-President for academic affairs at Cornell in 1965. In 1968, he moved to the University of Rochester to become provost, and subsequently served as president from 1970 to 1984, during the particularly tumultuous period extending from the campus unrest of the late 1960s through the steep inflationary period of the 1970s. He was an equal advocate for both the humanities and the sciences, boosting the university's endowment and leading establishment of the Laboratory for Laser Energetics, which became a leading research lab. He also served as chairman of the Defense Science Board from 1968-1970. He retired as Chief Executive from University of Rochester and resumed teaching as a Professor of Physics in 1985.
Dr. Sproull was a member of the National Academy of Sciences. He served on a variety of corporate boards, including Xerox and Bausch & Lomb, and in later years worked as an advisor for the departments of Energy and Defense. He also served as a trustee of Cornell University and Wilkes-Barre College.
Bob served two separate terms on the Deep Springs board of trustees, the first time from 1967-1975, and again 1983-1987. He was highly regarded as a constant champion of the college. Chris Breiseth, former president of both Deep Springs and Telluride Association, who knew and worked with Bob for over fifty years, described him as "A paragon of Deep Springs alumni - generous and hardworking, tough-minded and perceptive." During the college's campus-wide reconstruction in the late 1990s, a generous and timely gift from Bob and Mary Sproull provided the funds to build the new Student Body Dorm, where the Students have lived ever since. Mary pre-deceased Bob in 2012; the two had been married for 70 years. Bob is survived by his son, Robert, daughter Nancy, and three grandchildren.
Dr. John Sinning DS'48 passed away on August 22, 2014 at his home in Davenport, Iowa. He was born in 1932 in Oberlin, Kansas, the son of Dr. John and Helen Sinning. He grew up in Marshalltown, Iowa and came to Deep Springs fresh out of high school in the summer of 1948. After two years, he transferred to Cornell University and ultimately received his medical degree from Cornell University Medical School in New York City. He completed his rotating internship at University of Oregon Medical School in Portland, Oregon, where he met and married Beverly Reinhardt in 1957.
He then served two years in the US Army in Karachi, Pakistan, as a captain in the Army Medical Corps. He was the first military medical officer deployed to Pakistan for the purpose of establishing a medical outpatient clinic for The Headquarters Military Assistance Advisory Group and their families. He also made periodic field trips to outlying isolated areas to attend and care for military personnel and their dependents. He was awarded an Army commendation for meritorious service.
John completed a general surgery residency at the University of Indiana Medical School in Indianapolis in 1965, whereupon he and his family settled in Davenport. He practiced orthopedics there until his retirement in 1998. He was a fellow of the American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons, the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society. He also was a member of the American Medical Association, Iowa Medical Association, and the Iowa Orthopaedic Association. John's lifelong passion for learning led him to serve on the Davenport School Board for 11 years. As president of the Iowa QC Blood Bank, he facilitated the merger of the Iowa and Illinois Blood Banks in the Mississippi Valley Blood Bank. As a long-time member of the First Presbyterian Church of Davenport, he served as an Elder and Deacon and taught Sunday School. He is survived by his loving wife of 56 years, Beverly, their children Alicia, John III, Andrew and James (all married) and their eight grandchildren.
During the recent mini-reunion of 1950s & 1960s alumni over Memorial Day weekend, Jan Vleck DS'69 ran the second-ever Deep Springs Valley marathon. Jan first pioneered the event in 2008, using a course he plotted that goes (roughly) from the Main Building to Highway 168, heads north towards the mouth of Wyman Canyon, back east to Hwy 168, south on the highway to Elephant Hill, cross-country on jeep trails to Deep Springs Lake, then back up the lake road to campus with a couple laps of the Main Circle for good measure. In this year's race (which he ran in the opposite direction), Jan set a personal best on the mile-high course of 3:52:11 - shaving nearly 40 minutes off his 2008 pace. Jan encourages/invites other alumni to take a turn at the course next time they visit for a reunion. You can set a course record in your own age category!
During the reunion, we learned of the July 2010 death of devoted civil libertarian and ACLU of Ohio board member David Shevin, DS'69. More information about David's life is available here: David Shevin Tribute
Dylan Kenney DS'08 has received a Paul Mellon Scholarship to attend Clare College, Cambridge, where he will pursue an MPhil in Early Modern History. The Mellon Foundation awards grants to support scholarship for 3 years of study in British art and architectural history at Clare College. Dylan finishes at Yale this spring and will relocate to merry old England in the fall.
Author and Professor of English Peter Rock DS'86 has received a 2014 Guggenheim Fellowship for Creative Arts - Fiction. The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation awards fellowships to provide financial assistance research and artistic creation. Guggenheim Fellowships are awarded to established professionals who "have already demonstrated exceptional capacity for productive scholarship or exceptional creativity in the arts." The highly competitive awards (only 5% of applicants, on average, receive annual fellowships) were established in 1925 and are considered to be one of the premier awards for recognition of a recipient's calibre in their field. Peter will use his award to further his current project: Spells a fragmentary novel that is a collaboration with five photographers. You can follow Peter's work at his website.
Jay Pulliam DS'78 Professor of Geophysics at Baylor University, Texas, will conduct extensive field research of seismic hazards on the island of Hispaniola this coming summer. Jay's research involves placing sixteen sensors throughout the Dominican Republic to monitor seismic activity in the northeast Caribbean basin, in order to better understand potential effects on local site conditions on the island. The research will build on data gathered by a team that Dr. Pulliam led in 2013 in Santo Domingo, as well as research Jay participated in previously in 2005 an 2007, using ocean bottom seismographs. The devastating 2010 earthquake in Haiti highlighted the importance of understanding seismic risks in this geologically complex area where the North American plate is sliding laterally past the Caribbean plate. Jay is conducting the research in collaboration with the Institute of Seismology in Dominican Republic. You can learn more about Jay's past research here.
Journalist Nathan Deuel DS'97 brings us word that his book Friday Was the Bomb will be published by Dzanc Books on May 13. Nathan recently settled in Los Angeles with his wife, NPR correspondent Kelly McEvers and their young daughter. He is a former editor for Rolling Stone and The Village Voice. In 2008 he moved with Kelly to Saudi Arabia where she was working as a foreign correspondent. There they had a daughter, and later, while she filed reports from Baghdad and Syria, car bombs erupted and one night a firefight raged outside the family's apartment in Beirut. They struggled with the decision to stay or go home. At once a meditation on fatherhood, an unusual memoir of a war correspondent's spouse, and a first-hand account from the front lines of the most historic events of recent day--the Arab Spring, the end of the Iraq war, and the unrest in Syria--Nathan's volume is a collection of timely and absorbing essays. Dzanc Books was founded in 2006 and is based in Michigan.
The Anthropology and Environment Society - a section of the American Anthropological Association - has awarded the Julian Steward Prize to Erik Mueggler DS'80 for his 2011 book The Paper Road: Archive and Experience in the Botanical Exploration of West China and Tibet. The prize is awarded every other year in recognition of the "most outstanding book in the area of environmental anthropology." The award was established in 2003 and is named in honor of Julian Steward DS-1918 who is recognized as one of the leading anthropologists of the twentieth century, and the originator of the theory of cultural ecology. Julian Steward was a member of only the second class of students after Deep Springs' founding in 1917 and became interested in anthropology upon getting to know members of the native Paiute tribe who still lived in the region at that time. Professor Mueggler teaches anthropology at The University of Michigan and was a 2002 recipient of the MacArthur Foundation Fellowship award.
Paul Stanton Davis DS'77 died in Seattle, WA on January 10, 2014, of complications following cancer surgery. He was 54 years old. Paul was born in Stamford, CT, and graduated from Greenwich High School. Seeking a change from his New England upbringing, Paul went west to Deep Springs. His preferred labor assignment was dairy boy; his pet project the construction of a solar heating system on the dairy barn's roof for a solar energy class. He felt he gained the most from classes in composition and public speaking.
Technology's power to transform individual lives and entire societies informed Paul's interpretation of a life of service. When he transferred to Brown University in 1981, he planned an independent major, technology in society, combining courses in history, sociology, engineering, and computer science. In 1984, Paul bought an original Macintosh computer, and became an early believer in the possibilities of "personal" computers. Moving to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1986, Paul used his computer savvy to overhaul computerized subscriptions for the Whole Earth Review, and went on to work on the hypertext version of the Whole Earth Catalog. He worked at the Bay Area Discovery Museum, forming an interest in expanded computer use by non-profits. This led him to pursue a Master of Non-Profit Administration at the University of San Francisco. In 1994, Paul became the first Mac software tester for a small start-up called Netscape, where his chosen title was 'Empiricist.' In 1999, former Netscape colleagues lured him to Seattle and Amazon.com, where he managed the team responsible for keeping the website running. That experience led to an eight-year hiatus from the tech industry, but in 2008, Paul joined data visualization start-up Tableau Software. He stayed through six years of rapid growth and a successful IPO. Tableau's CTO described him as "the leader and heart and soul of the Server testing team."
Paul showed extraordinary courage and perseverance in the face of illnesses that shaped, but never defined, his life. In 1981, he was diagnosed with an aggressive non-Hodgkins lymphoma. Radiation and chemotherapy were brutal - and lifesaving - but had devastating long-term side effects. In 2002, months after walking a marathon for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Paul developed chemotherapy-induced heart failure. His response was to train as a life coach, helping people living with chronic medical conditions. In 2004, he underwent surgery for a radiation-induced oral squamous cell carcinoma, which recurred in 2013. With his customary eloquence, heart and wit, Paul chronicled his battles with cancer at http://nosmallplans.com/pvtsm and http://nosmallplans/again. Paul was an avid cyclist, crossing the United States at 21, and recently, riding a power-assisted bicycle on Seattle's hills. He took great pleasure in esoteric English folk dancing and straight-ahead jazz. He shouted the correct answers at Jeopardy contestants on TV, and delivered clever wordplay with a small, sly smile. Paul enjoyed tending a small flock of backyard chickens, and providing a lap for his favorite cat. He listened intently, argued brilliantly, gave generously. Paul was happily married to architect Kimberly McKittrick, whom he met at Brown.
Bridgewater State University in Bridgewater, Massachusetts has appointed Vern Penner DS'57 as Diplomat in Residence for the Spring, 2014 semester. Vern will deliver a series of guest lectures to BSU's Center for International Engagement and in support of the college's international activities and programs, giving particular focus to Cape Verde, where Vern was United States Ambassador from 1986-1990. BSU is establishing an institute for Cape Verdean Studies - the first of its kind in the U.S. - that will run an annual summer leadership course for young Cape Verdeans beginning in July, 2014 and expects to open an American School in Praia, Cabo Verde.
February has been a tough month, as we received news of the passing of yet another alumnus. Calvin Chapman DS'43 died on February 23, 2014, in Novato, California after 86 years of adventure and making the world a better place. Reared in Berkeley, California by Cal & Jane Chapman, he attended Berkeley High. He came to Deep Springs with the entering class in the summer of 1943, but decided to return to Berkeley in the fall. He attended University of California at Berkeley for a semester, and subsequently Yale University thanks to winning a scholarship competition from the 11 westernmost states and territories of Hawaii and Alaska. After graduation from Yale, he worked first as a lumberjack in southeast Alaska, then as an industrial engineer for Union Carbide and later for Boeing Aircraft Corporation.
In 1950 "Doc" (as he was affectionately known) met Imogene, a United Airlines stewardess and Denver native, on a blind date in Seattle, Washington. They married in 1956 and had five children. During their marriage, Doc graduated from University of Rochester with a Doctor of Medicine, became an Air Force lieutenant, and entered the School of Aerospace Medicine at Brooks Air Force Base, Texas. Over the next 20-plus years, he worked as an Air Force flight surgeon, hospital commander, and command surgeon for the Air Force Security Service. One of the most rewarding duty tours was a year at Bien Hoa, Viet Nam. Working as dispensary commander and leading a volunteer medical service effort for Vietnamese villagers, Doc Chapman earned another nickname, "Jungle Doctor." He personally treated over 20,000 Vietnamese while in country, during his off hours.
After retirement as a full colonel, Cal became a specialist in emergency medicine, becoming board-certified at age 60 and passing "the boards" again at 70. Working in emergency rooms, and directing hospital-wide emergency medicine programs, he provided ER care to thousands more people until the age of 75. At that point, he moved into "locus tenens" family practice, no longer working 24 hours straight or more (!), on ER shifts. Towns in which he worked included San Antonio, Sterling City, Weimar, Coleman, Abilene, Monahans, and Tenaha, all in Texas, a couple in Oklahoma, and the Lafayette, Indiana area.
Doc's and Imogene's five children all survive their parents, along with nine wonderful grandchildren. Imogene, a professional musician, passed away in 2012. Cal went back to work one last time at a family practice job in Indiana, finishing that stint in late May 2013. By his estimate, Doc provided medical care to more than 110,000 individual patients in his 55-year career. Known to his DS classmates as "Cal", he is remembered as a good and gentle person - someone who embodied the Nunnian ideal of service throughout his life.
Two members of the Deep Springs class of 1945 passed away recently. Norris Smith DS'45 died on Feb. 4, 2014 in Wallingford, Connecticut. He was 84 years old. "Norrey" was born in San Francisco in July, 1929 and grew up in Palo Alto. He left the Palo Alto High School at the age of 16 to study at Deep Springs College. After two years, he transferred with a scholarship to Cornell University, graduating 1951 with a B.A. in Government and Cultural Anthropology. When the Korean War began, Norris joined the Air Force and was assigned to Chinese language study. He was a Chinese interpreter during the peace negotiations at Panmunjom in 1952-53. He received an honorable discharge in 1954 and with a grant from the Ford Foundation went on to complete a master's degree in East Asian studies at Harvard.
Norris joined the U.S. Foreign Service and for 10 years held various posts in East Asia, including service in Laos, Viet Nam and Thailand. He returned to Washington D.C., to study Japanese and subsequently spent five years in Tokyo, where he was responsible for educational exchanges, a network of libraries, and other cultural programs. He was then a student at the National War College in Washington, D.C. Norris spoke three foreign languages, Chinese, Japanese and French. Later, in Beijing, he was Minister Counselor for press and cultural affairs. He helped to revive the educational and artistic and commercial relations that were suspended in the 1950's. In 1971, Norris left the Foreign Service and joined the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory where he was responsible for public relations and worked as spokesman and senior editor for the lab's news bureau. He later collaborated with Sidney Crain in 1987 to author a history titled, "The Supercomputing Era". He resigned from Lawrence Livermore Lab to found and edit a new magazine, Super Computing Review. In 1989, Norris began writing full time about computers and the Internet. He retired in 2005 to pursue personal writing interests.
Buffalo, New York native Newton Garver DS'45 died on Feb. 8, 2014 after a long illness at his home in East Concord, New York. He was 83. Newt received an A.B. from Swarthmore, a B.Phil. from Oxford, and PhD. in Philosophy from Cornell. A member of Telluride Association, he served for three years on the board of directors in the late 1950s. He began his academic career as an instructor of English at the National College of Choueifat, Lebanon in 1954. Following stints as an instructor at Cornell and University of Minnesota, Newt joined the faculty at University of Buffalo in 1961, where he would teach for over 35 years. He was Professor of Philosophy, specializing in the study of ethics & policy, philosophy of language, Wittgenstein, and peace & conflict. He was appointed a SUNY Distinguished Service Professor in 1991.
He devoted his life to his beliefs in social justice, sometimes taking unpopular stands. In the early 1960s he was a co-founder of "Citizens Council on Human Relations" advocating racial integration and equality. As a young UB professor in 1964, he risked dismissal when he joined five other colleagues in refusing to sign a loyalty oath regarding what he would teach about the government. He became an active opponent of the Vietnam War, both through academic committees and also through his religious affiliations as a Quaker in the New York Friends. He remained active both socially and intellectually until very late in life. In his retirement, he worked on behalf of Bolivian Quakers, establishing an education fund to provide school supplies and resources to the impoverished community. He visited Bolivia multiple times in direct support of the effort. His writings and personal pursuits can be found at his website www.newtongarver.com
The Webster University School of Education in St. Louis, Missouri, is hosting their fifth annual Conference on Current Trends in Special Education. Warren Rosenblum DS'83, associate professor of history at Webster in the Department of History, Politics and International Relations, will give the keynote address on February 22nd, "A Legacy of Persecution: On the Treatment of Persons with Disabilities in the Twentieth Century." Disability rights is the theme of Webster University's current Year of International Human Rights.
We learned this week of the passing of two former SB members from the early 1950s.
John Bruce Hays DS'54 died on Jan 3, 2014 in Corvallis, Oregon. He was 76 years old. John was born in Springfield, Illinois and later moved to Southern California where he graduated from Monrovia High School. He turned down a Naval ROTC scholarship to Stanford University in order to attend Deep Springs, arriving in the summer of 1954. John subsequently attended the University of New Mexico on an ROTC scholarship. He majored in chemistry, math and social life, and met Judith Gumm. The couple married in 1961 while John was honoring his obligation to the U.S. Navy, serving three years on a minesweeper - and they remained together for the rest of his life.
Science called to John, so he resigned his commission and enrolled in the physical chemistry graduate program at the University of California, San Diego. During the first years of graduate school, he continued in the Naval Reserve as an officer on a World War Two-era destroyer. He earned a doctorate in physical chemistry in 1967 and did postdoctoral research at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. He joined the faculty at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, earning the position of full professor. However, he always wanted to return to the West and in 1987 became Chairman of the Agricultural Chemistry Department at Oregon State University. He later resigned as chairman in order to pursue his research full time. John was internationally recognized as an expert in mammalian and plant DNA repair. He continued his research part time after retiring from OSU in 2010.
He loved classical music and could identify almost any piece after hearing just a portion of it. A sports enthusiast, John was particularly fond of pick-up basketball, where he made many good friends. After his knees objected, he became an avid bicyclist who could go the distance. He was active in the Episcopal Church of the Good Samaritan, where he pursued his interest in social justice. John enjoyed fine wine, Camp Sherman and the Metolius River. A family man, he was happy spending time with his cousins and grandchildren.
Frank A. Walker DS'52 passed away on May 1, 2013 in Louisville, Kentucky. He died peacefully in his sleep with his wife of fifty-five years, Rosina Neidich Walker, at his side. He was 79 years old. Dr. Walker was born in San Francisco and came to Deep Springs in the summer of 1952. Following Deep Springs, Frank completed undergraduate studies at UC Berkeley, then graduated from medical school at McGill University in Montreal, where he met and married Rosina. He later pursued a Ph.D. in genetics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He was also a Fellow of the American College of Physicians. Dr. Walker practiced medicine in underserviced communities, multiple states, and several countries, including Canada and Saudi Arabia. As a researcher, he published many articles in prominent journals on causes of mental retardation, and lobbied through articles and testimony for screening of newborns for early indication and response. He was also active in matters of public health, particularly in the prevention of lead poisoning.
Dr. Walker held teaching positions at multiple universities, including Medical College of Wisconsin, where he was also the director of the Department of Metabolic and Genetic Disorders at Milwaukee's Children's Hospital. After his research career, Dr. Walker practiced pediatrics in Louisville. Following retirement from private practice, he contributed to research on metabolic disorders and served on the institutional review board for University of Louisville and Bellarmine University.
Dr. Walker was a man of great spirit and courage. Though he was never athletic, after being severely injured in a car accident in 2009, he fought through multiple setbacks in his determination to walk again - which he did. He was a Christian who practiced his faith by using his knowledge to help others and provide for those he loved. They take comfort in the knowledge that he is at peace. "For this God is our God for ever and ever; he will be our guide even to the end." Psalm 48:14
McGraw-Hill is releasing a new corporate biography authored by Brad Edmonson DS'76 and published by Berrett-Keohler. The book is called Ice Cream Social: The Struggle for the Soul of Ben & Jerry's. Through interviews and research, Brad chronicles the ambitious goals of the company's founders, tracking the rise and fall and rise again of one of the most well-known companies leading the drive for corporate and social responsibility in the marketplace. Check it out on Good Reads or Amazon. And, if you're ever in Ithaca, maybe Brad will autograph your copy!
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.