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.
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.