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Legacy Matters The Players Are Come Green Card Revue On The Web Announcements/Inquire
Just got the January AluMag (Maui is l-o-n-g way from Hanover...); noticed Vic Rich gave some nice ink to the Frost statue project/leaders, a fine milestone in our class commitment to enriching life in Hanover on an ongoing basis. The Class of 1961 Legacy: The American Tradition in Performance is another in that line of outstanding contributions, and one which perhaps required even more effort to achieve, in that it also involved raising considerable funds from ‘61s ‘round the girdled earth. In passing the mantle of leadership, as of the 45th reunion, to Cleve Carney, David Birney drafted a letter of thanks and admiration for the class and its generosity of spirit; this was to have been read at a gathering during reunion, but was overshadowed in the crush of activities. Thus, to convey his sentiments in toto, and to reiterate the impact The Legacy has had, not only on the college but the entire UppahValley as well, we reprint his thoughts herewith:
The Players Are Come
Remarks for the 45th Reunion, Class of 1961—June 2006, David Birney
“The actors are come, my Lord.” Hamlet, Act, II, Scene ii.
This line, spoken to Hamlet by Polonius about the approaching company of Players, heralds a titanic shift in the action of the play. As the players (the actors) flood the stage around him, their excitement and deep pleasure in seeing Hamlet are mirrored in his own joy and excitement about the performance to come; their festive arrival provides a fanfare of excitement that heralds the great adventure that is the rest of the play. Hamlet’s journey—one in which we are engaged, actors and audience, both—is a journey of quest, of discovery, exploring ultimately the profound questions of our own lives… Who are we? Why are we here? What is fate? Justice? Joy and Love? Endurance and, finally, Death? The splendid, fearful mystery our own lives.
Well, the Players have come. Thanks to you. Players, musicians, singers, dancers, choreographers, concert performers and ensembles, conductors and jazz legends, all of them…each in his own way, attempting an answer to those ancient questions, each exploring through movement and music, both classic and contemporary, language and action, the limits of who we are and why we are here.
They’ve all come to the HopkinsCenter. And what a royal procession they are: Itzhak Perlman, Midori, Wynton Marsalis, Dartmouth’s own Pilobolus Dance Company, the Momix Dance Company. The Mark Morris Company, The Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, The Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, Kronos Quartet, Body Vox, Rosanne Cash, Dianne Reeves, Keb Mo, Windscape, The Mingus Big Band, The James Carter Jazz Trio…performers from all across America, from around the world.
And you have made that possible.
They’ve come as a result of The Legacy of the Class of 1961—an extraordinary gift to the College and its community…and beyond, to the people of the larger world of this Northeast kingdom. It’s a gift that will continue to entertain, to ask the ancient questions, to celebrate the sheer joy and richness of performance for lifetimes to come…and beyond.
You should be proud. And I am so proud to have been a part of this.
A final word. The Legacy has been a gift to me, as well. Let me explain. I left Dartmouth, like most of you perhaps, with a few close, and closely cherished, friends, and a small community of acquaintances. A small fellowship. My deepest bonds were with the place, itself—the dark, still river; the Green, frozen white on a winter morning; Dartmouth Row in an early mist, Baker Library behind the sprawl of the Green; the brilliant hills beyond the Connecticut in early autumn—and to some few teachers who, by giving so much of themselves, had touched me deeply—who, in fact, had given me a life, though I didn’t know it then…in the theatre, in literature.
In working to help create The Legacy, I’ve had the great and good fortune to speak with many of you, to hear your voices, to listen to so many lives lived over the past 45 years and to discover an extraordinary group of men, men, men whom I didn’t know, would never have known except for The Legacy. You cannot begin to imagine the variety of voices and presences, men who are funny and frank, and foolish, men who are driven and proud, frustrated, wounded, thoughtful, passionate, arrogant and sad and tender. A crowd, a mob, a parade of some of the most wonderful lives I’ve ever encountered.
Perhaps it’s the intimacy of the phone, its sense of being private and personal, but I’ve been very moved. I’ve heard about the regret of divorces, of new marriages, our own, and those of our children, many marriages…I’ve listened, smiling, as children were described with pride and humor, occasional despair and sadness; I’ve learned about prostate surgery—more that I ever wanted to know—and the, ummm, resurgence (shall we say) of desire and delight; I know of businesses built and run with the confidence, pleasure and pride of kingdoms; and, inevitably, I’ve learned of death and disability, and dreams, always dreams.
I’ve discovered that Pete Bleyler smiles, really smiles, although I’m sure it’s because Ruth has reminded him. I’ve even seen him laugh…three times, I think. I’ve learned that I must hold my pockets when I’m around Oscar Arslanian, and hold my heart each time I’ve seen his wife, Nyla. I’ve learned of Terry Ortwein’s courageous and generous heart and the bravery of his Joanne.
Oh, I could go on…
You, all of you, are a festival of grace, of humor, of generosity and spirit. And I’m glad and proud to have rediscovered you, to have re-found us, this great Class. Thank you for that. I shall treasure this time.
(tc responding) Yess! Words of truth, perception, and passion, straight from the heart. If that doesn’t rekindle the fire of pride and accomplishment within your own viscera, I don’t know what would. We have created an unique entity, gents, and one which continues to bear fruit e’en as we foot soldiers inevitably depart this mortal coil. One could even say the Legacy lives, and actually reinvents itself the longer it exists. Further, it provides a vehicle for ongoing exercise of our charitable bent; we continue to grow the corpus with each gift to the Legacy, in memoriam and/or other donations. It has, in short, become a part of us. And that is very, very good. After the reunion had passed, and as we home in on our 50th, a discussion ensued among classmates regarding support to the college. As you are surely aware, most restricted gifts (to specific ends: Friends of Football, The Legacy, etc.) are not counted in the totals raised for the Dartmouth College Fund (fka “Alumni Fund”). In recent years, this issue has become more prevalent as many disenchanted yet loyal alumni have chosen to direct their support to favorite causes, rather than to the DCF where they are used at the Admin/Trustees’ discretion. Although one result of this trend is an apparent decline in participation by the alumni body, it has actually resulted in even more overall support to the ol’ school. So, whereas we may look humble in head-to-head competition with, say, Princeton or Stanford alumni funds, dollars are still pouring into the college’s coffers in record amounts. The issue that concerns Head Agent Don O’Neill, of course, is that gifts to, say, The Legacy may not be counted in the 50th Reunion Class Gift, even though members of the class may have sent in considerable specie—in restricted fashion.
In response to an exchange of e-mails among the Executive Committee, David offered these insights to Don:
“I am a bit puzzled about Bob Conn’s first suggestion [email August 8th] that we “Finish The Class of 1961 Legacy by our 50th”...Is the thought then that we would move on as a class to another project? I doubt seriously that we will find another project that will have such a profound and unexpected impact both on the College and the greater community it serves.
The Legacy funds a major arts institution in the Northeast: North of New Haven and west of Boston, the HopkinsCenter is a force in the entire region, a force for artistic aspiration that The Legacy has helped to extend and enrich.
It helps create a public face for the College: HopkinsCenter, with the support of The Legacy, has become, perhaps, the most visible representation to the world of Dartmouth’s great commitment to excellence.
It is unique as a class project: As both President Wright and former Hop Director Lewis Crickard have noted, The Legacy is unprecedented among alumni efforts, substantial, imaginative, of central importance to the life of the College, and a singular achievement of the Class of ’61.
The Legacy will last the lifetime of the College: For generations to come. It seems to me an effort that has earned the right to be supported and sustained. I note your thoughts, Don, about the DCF, Class participation, and your aspirations for the Fund. I know what it means to be passionate about support for the College. And I want to point out to you and the Executive Committee that there is no conflict between The Legacy and the DCF, nor is there a conflict between The Legacy and The Campaign for Dartmouth. The goals of each enfold each other.
I quote from the Dartmouth College Fund Website. “Annual gifts (to the DCF) support Dartmouth in eight areas...3. The Arts. Supports the Hop and the HoodMuseum, student exhibitions, visiting artists and performers, and initiatives that keep the arts vibrant on campus.”
And from the Campaign for Dartmouth, HopkinsCenter Campaign Goals:
”1. make the arts accessible to the greater student body
2. meet the student interest through expanded programmatic offerings
3. build the HopkinsCenter endowment and reduce dependency on current use funding
4. respond to unique opportunities as they arise.”
Where there is conflict is in a distinction created artificially. The funds supplement and complement each other, and each is a contributor to the goals of the Campaign for Dartmouth. Whether The Legacy acts as a budget supplement to the DCF—money flowing from the Legacy to the Hop allowing monies from the DCF to be allotted elsewhere—or the endowment is viewed as simply enriching the programs of the Hop, both of these processes benefit the Hopkins Center and Dartmouth College.
If you were to look at the donor lists for both The Legacy and the DCF, no doubt you would find the lost percentage of donors. I know for a fact that some donors that gave to The Legacy would not have given as large an amount to the DCF. And I’m sure that it works the other way as well. Some have given only to the DCF. If you add the totals of both funds, however,we are, as a Class, well over the million dollar level (1.3 million, I believe—well over our record established for the 25th). Both the Class and the Executive Committee should be very proud of what’s been accomplished over the last few years.
This is a great, and greatly generous class. Its true generosity is not being fully credited. And that’s too bad. I do not believe that donors want to be instructed: “give to this, not to that.” That’s quite different from the College suggesting where a gift might be useful. And to divide potential gifts is a sure way to lose both donors and support. Giving money is not a one-size-fits-all gesture. Different people will give in different ways to different ends. We should encourage that and simply recognize their heart and generosity. Ideally, there should be no competition. The only response to someone’s generosity in offering to donate should probably be, “Thank you. Thank you very much!”
My suggestion is that we step back and take a breath. We are all a little tired from the fund raising efforts of the last few years. I am. We’ve done a great deal in that time. Now, so soon after the reunion, may not be the time to debate various funds, projects, etc.—not even to identify financial goals. I think we need to take stock of what we have done, acknowledge our achievement, and then give it some real thought. How can we manage both goals? How can we credit both? I agree with you: “It’s not one or the other.” It is both. For the good of the Class, for the good, in the long term, of the College.
In the words of President Wright, words that could apply to both the DCF and The Legacy:“Please…convey Dartmouth’s thanks—and mine—to the members of the great Class of 1961. Their affirmation of the central importance of the performing arts has been critically important to the College and our students . . .”
(now on from tc) As an old scholastic fund-raiser, your scribe would say in brief: Give to what you believe in. If you feel winning the American Alumni Council’s annual “sweepstakes” is paramount, give to the DCF—and trust the powers-that-be to spend your money wisely. If you’d rather direct the use of your money, send it to a favorite campus endeavor—money sent directly to, say, the swim team simply reduces the amount the college would have to draw from the General Fund for that need. ‘Nuff said? Check out the ‘61 website for comprehensive Legacy data. Then please use your Green Card, keyboard, cell phone, carrier pigeon, or other means to share your views on this unique wonder we have created. What are your personal views on perpetuating the college financially, either generally or via specific programs—primarily the Legacy?
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Green Card Revue
We are ever indebted to classmates for their kind submittal of items for this rag. Ron Boss <RonBoss**aol.com> observes: “The 45th was a mellow gathering of old friends. As always, we missed many of our class members who might look better [now] than they will at our 50th. As my SmithCollege wife Marge says, ‘At your 50th they make a point of housing you near the infirmary...’ Looking forward to the mini-reunions.” Howie Bovers <HBovers**atlanticsig.com> admits: “Still working. Started a new business last year. I am building a new liquid natural gas terminal 13 miles offshore in the approach to New YorkHarbor. Need 25 federal and state permits. Project will be completed in 2014. Will be the largest terminal on the east coast. Hope I live that long.” [ditto! - ed.] George Breed <ghbreed**aol.com> reports: “I am in the early stages of forming a Dartmouth Club of Jackson Hole, WY. There are 120 potential members within a radius of 150 miles, a short drive for us residents of Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho.” Bill Burton <docbh**bendcable.com> sent a congratulatory note to our recycled newsletter editor, using proper Hawaiian palaver. Not bad for a native Oregonian... Ron Fagin <Rona.Fagin**comcast.net> submitted a card with a new address, to wit: 10 Paddington Circle; Savannah, GA31410. tel: 912/898-3699; fax: 898-5029; ofc: 354-3954. Tony Horan <anthonyhoran**yahoo.com> was on Maui in October for an American Urological Society convention. “I gave a case report extolling Botox for relief of a chronic regional pain syndrome set off by a hematoma in the scrotum [horrors!]. On the 4th day of the meeting I used a body board to catch a wave, but it caught me. I landed straight down, head into the sand. Ouch! Neck brace from Long’s Drugs followed.”[“physician, heal thyself...” ed.] Bob Hargraves <bobhargraves**adelphia.net> is enjoying retirement in Hanover. “I have kept myself very busy in the last year trying to promote clean, safe nuclear power. Pebble bed reactor technology can help cut carbon emissions by half in this century, and and achieve energy independence in 50 years. I’ve been giving the talk around NH; it is posted at http://pebblebedreactor.blogspot.com. [to which we must emote: “More, uh, power tuya, Bob!” - ed.] Jack Houser’s (no e-mail, no “computator”...) archaic ways were cited in the last WWW. This time he submitted a dissertation on writing. Example: “If I ever fashioned or envisioned myself as a creative writer, my endeavors (much as they impress myself at 4:00AM sipping stingers [pls. recall his country songs, composed on a bar napkin—‘one draft, in ink’—from last issue - ed.]) pale when I, and my brain, scroll through your reportage and editorial musings...I demand that your grave stone say: ‘The Sumbitch Made a Difference.’” Jack doth enjoy our scribblings. And, in all modesty, we must admit that should our humble burial site honestly proclaim those same tidings, we will have lived a life worth the effort. We know for sure that a buncha you gents are so deserving. Bob “Jobbly” Jackson <RBJCPA**Fairpoint.net> wrote after that small seismic event in October which shook up all Hawayah: “Good of you to make the news! Nice of FEMA to send winter clothing & tents! What was the rest of the story regarding AD? [presuming he refers to the raid by security forces on the AD House, under cloak of extreme secrecy—so much so that, even though ‘twas reported in the media nationwide, nobody, to our knowledge, ever found out what it was all about...] Keep your head down!” [always good advice - ed.] Jim “Workshop” Richards www.maplelag.com eschewed the standard Green Card in favor of a color photo postcard depicting his handsome family at their Maplelag Resort in Callaway, MN—“The #1 Cross Country Ski Resort in North America!” Note to Maynard Wheeler: Richards’ complex repeatedly receives resounding acclaim in authoritative travel circles. Suggest we consider (not necessarily in winter, mind you...) a mini-reunion there. Speaking of whom, Maynard submits: “Pete Bleyler, Sandy & Maynard Wheeler and Joan & Ron Wybranowski met with Ahmadu Gidado ‘08, recipient of this year’s Arts Initiative Award pictured below with Roger McArt and Bob Conn. He is a Studio Arts Major with two minors, one academic and the other computer animation. He presented the fruits of his labor, "Impact," to a gathering of 200 in Collis November 27; no '61s could attend, but he showed us the DVD of the performance. The gist is that art could have an impact on other people. He used dance, music, animated characters, and live actors and actresses for the message, and gave the first credit to the Class of 1961. He pulled this all together between his description to us in October at the Fall reunion and the performance 5 weeks later. The stipend we awarded him was essential as he needed it for costumes, publicity, and to rent the hall. Whereas he had hoped to hone down the focus of his interests, this project exposed him to all aspects of performance production, and he liked them all—so now he is even more revved up to the potential of such enterprises. Our award made a difference! On the side, he is Treasurer of the Sheba Hip Hop Group, a member of COSO, which puts on a production in spring in Spalding Auditorium.”
Jack Reno <johnreno**comcast.net> sent the following January update re. Bob Hoagland: “I just spoke with Hoagland about playing golf in a tournament we have here in Fla. each year for Dartmouth men. He can't play this year, as he is having BOTH knees operated on right after New Year's. Tough, but better than hobbling around and not being very active.” [Hoagy: gitchy popo on the mend; Schoening is champing at the bit to get you on the tennis court!—ed.]Bob Conn <rconn**TRIAD.RR.COM> sent this back in December: “There's a major front page article on Tim Grumbacher in Network News, a national newspaper of United Jewish Communities, outlining his leadership in Jewish philanthropy. Tim, who recently stepped down as CEO of The Bon-Ton Stores Inc., in addition to everything else, is pursuing his philanthropic interests. ‘But, as he sees it, giving in and of itself is not enough. He believes philanthropists must use their gifts to inspire others to follow suit: “I always say Jewish giving shouldn't be a private affair. You have to stand up and let people know, because you have to set an example for others.”’ A quick glance at the just-out Why We Give, DartmouthCollege Report on Philanthropy 2006, finds Tim and 4 others at the top of our list of donors.”To which this scribe replies:A Big Bravo Zulu to Tim! Hope he is still keeping fit for the Iron Man competitions as well. He is entirely correct in his views on giving: merely submitting a gift doth not absolve the philanthropist of his commitment. If one is unable to serve the charitable organization personally, then one is obliged to encourage others to join him in fiscal generosity, thereby multiplying the value of his own gift.
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On the web
Brother Conn also posted these New Year’s Eve tidings: “I retired on Friday from WakeForestUniversityBaptistMedicalCenter and expect to open Robert Conn Associates LLC on or about Jan. 8 (after a side trip to the Orange Bowl to watch WakeForest). R. Conn Assoc. LLC is a public relations and writing firm specializing in all forms of writing, brochure preparations and public relations counseling with special emphasis on crisis management, media training, media relations. and public relations planning. One give-away tip: if you find yourself in a crisis that may involve the media, ALWAYS write down all the questions you don't want to answer and prepare answers for all of them; then learn those answers to the point that they appear to be spontaneous. So I'm retiring but hope to have some continuing work.To all, Happy New Year and may you accomplish all you set out to do in 2007. I'm starting out 2007 with my 31st annual reception, a houseful of people, probably about 100 before the afternoon is over -- and I do it myself.” [What a man! How do he find the time/energy...?!]Not to be outdone, Hank Eberhardt replies: “Bob, we pass in the night! You retire and I go back to work TOMORROW [1/2/07] after 5 months of retirement. You did good at WFUBMC and now look forward to a new venture. I set up Annual Giving Consulting with business card, and was ready to go until the HampshireCollege opportunity came along; so AGC is now on hold. Good luck with RCA. Happy New Year from Laurie and me.”Then cometh Frank Ginn: “Happy New Year to all from Madge and me! I certainly admire—and also duplicate—Henry and Bob's approach to retirement. After 5-6 months of retirement, most of which involved summer and fall 2006 on Nantucket, I am also going back to work, about to start 3-4 human resources consulting projects for Chicago-area nonprofit institutions. I am thrilled about all this for many reasons—interesting work, income, making some important contributions to my clients, and enjoying their respect and thanks. Here's hoping that I have the energy, wisdom and opportunity to keep it up.And you all, too. Keep it up! Hope to see you again in 2011!”Tireless David Birney (who never even pretended to retire) gets, uh, into the act: Voices of the War: Operation Homecoming:Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Home Front, in the Words of U.S. Troops and Their Families Carroll, Andrew (Author). Blackstone Audiobooks, Published Jan. 2006“A talented cast (including Scott Brick, Orson Scott Card, Harlan Ellison, Stephen Lang, David Birney John Rubinstein and Stephanie Zimbalist) brings the war in Iraq and Afghanistan up close and personal… They embellish little, allowing the sheer power of the writer's words to carry the dramatic weight. No matter what views the listener may hold toward the war, no one will be able listen to these intimate, heartfelt readings and come away unmoved.” Publishers Weekly, Jan. 2007 - A production of the National Endowment for the Arts. Vic reported on Jack Penn’s recent honors as a board member of Minnesota companies; click here for the full storyabout that former scrap-iron tosser turned business magnate. Father Duane Cox had a painting selected for the Palm Springs Art Museum Member’s Juried Art Show; this is his third such success. A photo depicting the piece, plus the artist in his Jas. O. Freedman Memorial kelly green Dartmouth blazer, follows. .
Dobes also posts an advisory that he, John “Coyote” Wilkins, and Chris “Pinto” Miller ‘63 are hosting an AD mini-reunion February 17. Already in are Philthy Phil Oehler, George “Flea” LeFevre ‘59, Jim Bybee ‘59, Carlos “Seal” Ballantyne ‘64 (who finally graduated in ‘93—a college record...?), and Eric “Outcast” Hansen ‘63; awaiting word from Otter, Ned Riley ‘63, and Jeff Lapic ‘63. Has everyone finished reading Pinto’s latest opus, The Real Animal House? A very interesting take on our senior year in Hanover—you might just read about yourself in it...
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Maynard Wheler touts: “Fall Mini-Reunion in Hanover, Penn game weekend, September 28-29, 2007, scheduled to take advantage of the spectacular fall foliage display. Starts Friday night with cocktails and dinner. Saturday morning student presentations, box lunch and then the football game ending with 'tails with Robert Frost. Saturday evening cocktails and dinner with ‘our’ students and a guest speaker from the college. More details to follow as they become available.” Check the website now for more details. The picture below shows the Homecoming party at the 2006 event.
On merely a curiosity basis at this juncture, how many of you would be interested in buying a miniature replica of the Frost statue? The idea has been batted around by the ExComm, and we thought to poll the class regarding their interest. No details at this time, but would love to see a show of hands to determine if it’s worth pursuing. Pls. send email, cards, etc. to the undersigned, tc.WWW on the www? Another class-wide query: how many of the 340 of you who use e-mail would be interested in receiving your newsletter via the Internet? Among the many benefits are: 1. More prompt delivery. 2. Photos will be in color. 3. Considerable savings (production, printing, postage, etc.) to the class treasury. Please let us know your mana`o (thinking)!
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