Class News: 2006

'52 wives
for Liz (Elizabeth Ballou Duffield)

Each a book whose cover knows no equal
'52 chapters related down the years.
Each by her own loved as could be no other
and to her husband's roommates still a 'mother'
whose loss is a giant tear in the fabric
--a whole class weeps as in the darkest night
her star above its silent vigil keeps.

Dan Wilkes, written for inclusion in the Order Of Service for Liz on April 20, 2006.


Bill Gough '52 responded to a question from Dan Duffield about the meaning of "Mind-Being Research," a subject raised in Bill's contribution to the 50th Reunion Book of Our History, with the following explanation:

Your note has stimulated me to attempt to explain the meaning of the exploration that we have called "mind-being research."
The name was proposed in 1979 by the co-founder of the Foundation, Virginia Gruye Gates, an interior designer and psychic. Being an engineer who worked in physical science research most of my life, I was as confused with the term initially as you are now. However, Virginia convinced me that we needed to go beyond the mind-body concepts currently prevalent and suggested that we recognize that something exists beyond our physical body and our mind. The dictionary defines being as "something that actually exists" - it is real. In philosophy it means one's "essence." In effect it is what we are as "human beings." Thus, FMBR has defined Being as our body-mind-spirit composite. We are an integrated system in which our minds interact with and affect both the physical body and the spiritual aspects of our Being. This theme appeared to be a worthy cutting edge direction for a scientific research quest.
Gradually I began to understand the deeper meaning and significance of mind-being. The Foundation for Mind-Being Research was established to serve as a forum to bring together and synthesize all kinds of content that have been taken apart over time, but which belong together in harmony. We believed that the time had arrived to step back and look at what the sciences, the world religions, and the metaphysical have separated, and put them back together as a unity. My personal focus over the last twenty-five years was to seek to understand the philosophy of science and the implications of quantum theory, relativity, biophysics and the emerging physics models and apply them to this goal.
The Foundation continues to seek clues or guides to this synthesis process. This has been accomplished by exploring four sources: First through our knowledge of modern science; Second through a recognition of the mysteries and underlying assumptions of modern science; Third through an appreciation of the wisdom of ancient science and religion; and Forth through personal experiences of individuals, including myself, who have expanded the boundaries of their perception - experiences that constitute "white crows." William James said: "If you wish to upset the law that all crows are black . . . it is enough if you prove one single crow to be white."
Our everyday experiences tell us that the world is flat, a perception that is more than adequate most of the time. However, when we sail or fly around our spherical earth or look at it from a space shuttle, that perception has to change. The flat world perception is an analogy to a Newtonian (classical physics) approach to reality. It works for most day-to-day activities. I realized that most persons including engineers, scientists, psychologists and doctors still hold to a Newtonian world-view. However, the three dimensional sphere analogy corresponds to a "mind-being" approach - a composite "body-mind-spirit" reality. This approach is consistent with the data supporting theories like relativity and quantum theory, and the perennial wisdom of the great spiritual traditions. As we use our minds to explore our Being, we realize that we are not confined to our physical body and we are led to a new vision on what the future for human beings and civilization could be.

Bill invites comments, sent to William C. Gough, FMBR Chairman of the Board,


Jim Melchert's "Amazing Ceramics"

Don Oberdorfer has contributed the following report:

Jim Melchert gave a public talk on his amazing ceramics at the Katzen Arts Center of the American University in Washington, D.C., on May 20. Jim traveled from his home in Oakland, California, for the event celebrating his wall-mounted works, which are formed by breaking ceramic tiles and glazing them along the natural patterns of breaks. Breaks are not random but reflect pre-existing natural patterns in the tiles, Jim explained in his talk. The museum described Jim as "at the center of the San Francisco Bay area’s ceramic arts movement, creating conceptually driven pieces of great innovation and beauty.”

Don and Laura, Skip Nalen, and Carol Saunders (in the absence of Hal, who was in Moscow) attended Jim's talk. For background information on Jim's career in the arts, see his entry in the Book of Our History.

1952 Stadium: A Class of '52 "Enduring Mark" Recognized

It's particularly fitting that we take note of the 1952 Stadium as an "enduring mark" as we remember Don Kahn, the spark behind the enduring marks program within the Class of '52 leadership ranks. Linda and Sid Liebes have passed on this statement of appreciation from Harvard grad Nicholas Wolf, father of Becket Wolf, Princeton '97.

Dear Linda,
Seeing you in New York at the Brearley, class of '56 50th reunion, and hearing that your husband was class of '52 at Princeton, I wanted to share with you that our son Becket, class of '97, was captain of Princeton Lacrosse in '97, two time all-America, and a member of 3 National Championship teams. I can tell you that he arrived at Princeton just in time to practice and play games in the Class of '52 Stadium, a perfect venue for the sport, and a place that now holds fond memories for all of us, especially parents, who liked to see their boys close up.
A full stadium that rocks is perfect for any sport, a stadium that holds 25,000 and is only partially filled for a game, is a disappointment. I don't know who designed the stadium, but let me tell you it was great for excitement, great on acoustics for the band and screaming fans, with sight lines that should be studied by anyone thinking of building such a place. The parking is adequate, which usually is not the case, and the all-weather field is a key to early season practices, when the snow can just be plowed to the side of the field. Please let your husband and his classmates know that this parent, and your classmate at Brearley, my wife of 47 years Patricia, heartily thank all of you for your vision and sacrifice on behalf of Princeton Lacrosse. This is not an official letter of any kind, but just a note from (of all things) a Harvard man who is envious of your college spirit.

Nicholas Wolf
International Business Attraction
New Jersey Commerce, Economic Growth & Tourism Commission
20 West State St.
Trenton, NJ 08625-0820


Hellwarth Elected Fellow of the American Academy
of Arts and Sciences

In announcing the election of Robert W. Hellwarth '52 and others as Fellows, Academy President Patricia Meyer Spacks said that "Fellows are selected through a highly competitive process that recognizes individuals who have made preeminent contributions to their disciplines and to society at large."
The Academy was founded in 1780 by John Adams, James Bowdoin, John Hancock and other scholar-patriots. In the years since, the Academy has elected as Fellows and Foreign Honorary Members "the finest minds and most influential leaders from each generation, including George Washington and Ben Franklin in the eighteenth century, Daniel Webster and Ralph Waldo Emerson in the nineteenth, and Albert Einstein and Winston Churchill in the twentieth."
The newly elected Fellows will be inducted into the Academy on October 7 at the Academy's headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts. For the full press release, go to, and for USC's explanation of Bob's work on nonlinear optical devices, to to


Diplomatic Memo:
Baker, Bush Family Fixer, Will Advise President on Iraq

The New York Times, April 24, 2006

WASHINGTON, April 23 — In the late 1960's, an anguished President Lyndon B. Johnson sought advice from a respected elder statesman on the Vietnam quagmire. In part because of the private counsel of former Secretary of State Dean Acheson, a onetime hawk turned skeptic on the war, Johnson shifted course in 1968, halting the bombing of North Vietnam and announcing that he would not run for re-election.

The analogy is far from perfect, but Republicans and Democrats are seeing parallels between the quiet designation last month of former Secretary of State James A. Baker III to head up a Congressionally mandated effort to generate new ideas on Iraq and the role of Acheson, who served under President Harry S. Truman.

Mr. Baker, a longtime confidant of the first President Bush who has maintained a close but complicated relationship with the current president, plans to travel to Baghdad and the region to meet with heads of state on a fact-finding mission that officials say was encouraged by both father and son and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

"If you had a health problem, you'd want somebody to give you a second opinion," said Representative Frank R. Wolf, an influential Virginia Republican who helped recruit Mr. Baker for the job. "What the United States needs on Iraq is some fresh ideas from people able to speak out, and no one is more qualified to do that than Jim Baker."

The options that might be available at a time of rapid developments in Iraq, including the moves on Saturday toward establishing the country's first permanent, post-invasion government, are unclear. An official involved in enlisting Mr. Baker, who was granted anonymity because Mr. Baker has asked those associated with the effort not to speak to the press, said it would be a mistake to think that he could find a silver bullet.

"How Baker comes at this will be crucial," the official said. "He's a very shrewd fellow who doesn't want to be window dressing. He could come up with nothing or it could be a very big deal. To my mind, Dean Acheson and Lyndon Johnson is the model."

At a time of growing American disenchantment with the war, but no real consensus on what better course there might be, the choice of Mr. Baker to lead what is called the Iraq Study Group is filled with historic and familial significance. It is also seen as the most telling sign yet of the administration's willingness to admit that it needs help in weighing its options and generating public support for them.

People close to Mr. Baker say that he was extremely concerned about being seen as second-guessing President Bush's foreign policy aides and made sure to get Mr. Bush's approval in person before he took on the job.

Mr. Baker declined to be interviewed, but at a news conference this month, he said it was not his intention to engage in "hand-wringing about the past" but to focus on the path ahead "on a bipartisan basis in the hope that we can come up with some advice and insights that might be useful to the policy makers in Washington."

He is co-chairman of the group along with Lee H. Hamilton, a Democrat and former congressman who served as vice chairman of the commission that studied the intelligence failures related to the attacks of Sept. 11. Mr. Baker and Mr. Hamilton chose the other members of the group, trying to pick respected people who would be prepared to take a fresh look at the situation, they said.

Among their team are William J. Perry, a former defense secretary under President Clinton; former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani of New York; the former Supreme Court justice Sandra Day O'Connor; and Vernon E. Jordan Jr., a longtime civil rights leader, Washington power broker and confidant of President Clinton.

What gives Mr. Baker's role weight, however, is that while he has never publicly deplored the decision to go to war, he wrote in his memoirs that he had opposed ousting Saddam Hussein in the Persian Gulf war in 1991 out of concern that it would have led to an Iraqi civil war, international resentment of the United States and eventual loss of American support for an occupation. He has told colleagues that he feels vindicated.

Two officials involved in setting up the study group, who were granted anonymity because they did not want to be associated with criticism of Ms. Rice, said she resisted it and was unimpressed with its potential to come up with alternatives to what the administration had already been doing.

But Sean McCormack, the State Department spokesman, said Ms. Rice was enthusiastic and is "going to make sure that the State Department provides everything they need to complete their work."

The Iraq Study Group is receiving funds from Congress with the help of Mr. Wolf, who is chairman of the appropriations subcommittee in the House that controls the budget of the State Department. The group has several subgroups, including a set of retired military commanders.

It is getting staff assistance from four academic and policy centers: the United States Institute of Peace, a government-financed entity; the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington; the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University in Houston; and the Washington-based Center for the Study of the Presidency.

Completing the team selected by Mr. Baker and Mr. Hamilton are Robert M. Gates, a former director of central intelligence; Leon E. Panetta, Mr. Clinton's onetime chief of staff; former Senator Charles S. Robb, a Virginia Democrat; and former Senator Alan K. Simpson, a Wyoming Republican.

Some officials involved in the study group say the mission reflects a growing realization inside the Bush administration that the course in Iraq is not working, and dissatisfaction with a foreign policy team that has not successfully trained the Iraqi military or brokered a political order that could win confidence of Iraq's disparate sectarian groups.

This is not the first mission for which the Bush administration has drafted Mr. Baker. Two years ago, Mr. Baker carried out a mission to win debt relief for Iraq. That effort was more successful among Europeans than among Arabs, particularly the Sunni-dominated Persian Gulf countries like Saudi Arabia, where distrust of the Shiite-led Iraqi governments remains high.


Distinguished Service Award for Bob Oakley

The May/June issue of Foreign Affairs magazine includes the following announcement:

"The American Committees on Foreign Relations
Distinguished Service Award
for the advancement of American public discourse of foreign policy
2006 Recipients

Hon. Donald P. Gregg
Hon. Robert B. Oakley

"The first recipients of this Distinguished Service Award, Ambassadors Gregg and Oakley have given their time and attention to public discourse on foreign policy under ACFR's auspices continuously and unstintingly since the organization's inception in 1995.

"ACFR is a national nonprofit association dedicated to promoting dialogue between local and regional civic leaders and foreign policy makers and other experts. ACFR Committees are active in 33 cities around the United States: see

"The Award will be presented at ACFR's Annual Dinner Meeting on Friday Evening, May 12, in the Benjamin Franklin State Dining Room of the U. S. Department of State, Washington, D.C."


'52 "Gauchos" Ride the Uruguayan Pampas

By: J.C. ("Chips") Chester

This year's annual horseback ride took place in the wide-open, expansive "pampas" of Uruguay about 2 hours north of the capital, Montevideo-in the state of Florida (pronounced Flo-ree-da).

Alas, I must report that participation was limited to Bob Jiranek ('52) and the author.

As was reported in our Class Notes, our beloved classmate, Arthur Collins, died last September after a long struggle with cancer. Our esteemed Class widow, Margo Fish (widow of Howard M. "Mac" Fish '52), decided to drop out this time around and concentrate on her usual run in the Boston Marathon. Margo, it should be noted, is definitely not in the category of a "wimp"!

Uruguay is the second smallest country in South America-after Equador-and it has a total population of 3.5 million people. This contrasts with approximately 13 million cattle and 9 million sheep. Meat exports are, therefore, the mainstay of the Uruguyan economy. Tourism, not only from abroad (especially from the U.K.), but also from neighbors Argentina and Brazil is also an important source of income. Gambling is legal in Uruguay, but not in its neighboring countries. So the various casinos in and around Montevideo are an attraction. The so-called "Tupamaros" or urban guerillas that destabilized the regime some decades ago are now represented in the cabinet and in the majority party in parliament. Their original radicalism, I am told, has been tempered by leadership responsibility.

This year we were accompanied on our ride by Bayard Fox, founder of Equitors, Inc., the organization which has made arrangements for horseback rides in some 30 countries worldwide. (Bob and I have now been on ten of them). Bayard is a Yalie of our approximate vintage and owns a ranch in the Bitter Root Mountains of Wyoming where he keeps his corporate headquarters in Dubois, Wyoming. Bayard is a classmate of Jay Sherrerd; before college the two attended Episcopal Academy in Merion Station, Pennsylvania. Aside from his equestrian interests, Bayard is an expert catch and release fly fisherman, who led Bob Jiranek, Dr. Bill Stephenson (who is the Master of a Hunt in East Texas and rode with us in Tuscany two years ago) plus some additional participants on a three day fishing expedition for Dorado on the Rio Kequay in the northwestern part of the country. The Kequay River flows into the Uruguay River which comprises much of the border between Uruguay and Argentina. Considerable dedication was required as it rained for three solid days and nights-leaving our sportsmen wallowing in water and mud. Bob caught a Dorado-but at a rather steep price. The fishing trip was prior to the commencement of our week's horseback ride.

My lack of fishing qualifications saved me from this fate. Instead I was shown the sights of Montevideo and the ocean resort of Punta del Este by Mr. Francisco (Pancho) Ravecca, a native Uruguayan who has degrees from Stanford and NYU and is a close friend of my Exeter classmate, Peter Brooke. I thought wistfully, but not too long, about my fishing buddies while I was being entertained at dinner at the Punta del Este Yacht Club!

By the time our ride began, however, the sky had cleared and we enjoyed absolutely perfect weather for the next 6 days. We started at the El Ceibo ranch or "estancia", managed by our chief organizer, Carmen Passarella and her husband, Jose Hernandez, and then spent 2 nights there plus 2 nights each at 2 additional estancias. The topography was generally flat with seemingly endless, rich grasslands filled with cattle and sheep.

This time we had only experienced riders, so we managed to cover quite a bit of ground (up to 45 miles one day). The horses were mostly various mixes of criollos-similar to our Western cow ponies-very surefooted and capable, but often with somewhat rough gaits. My original horse fell in that category, so I managed to persuade our guide to give me her large (very comfortable) Percheron-cross mare, while my horse ended up with Bob-who found her both spirited and smooth (for some unknown reason). At least we all ended up satisfied with our respective mounts.

Where we will end up a year hence is anyone's guess. But meanwhile we continue to ride into the sunset.

For now-best wishes to all classmates and


April 11, 2006


Princeton Personality:
Independent Scholar George Newlin '52

Princeton Town Topics describes George Newlin as "corporate lawyer, venture capitalist, amateur concert pianist and opera singer [who] has succeeded in everything he set out to do." But it is his current, third career, as independent scholar researching Dickens, Trollope and other Victorian novelists, that George says is categorically "the most enjoyable of any of my careers."His analysis: there is thesis - law, antithesis - music, and synthesis - literature. "Somehow, it all came together," he says.
George's encyclopedic thousands of pages on Dickens and Trollope have been published. His work on George Eliot is to be published next month, and he is now working on Thomas Hardy. His life has had its ups and downs, but apparently has never been dull.
For the full text of the Town Topics article - a companion piece to George's personal contribution to The Book of Our History that he put together for our 50th Reunion - go to the Town Topics website,
and to the column by Jean Stratton.



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