Class News: 2007

Sunset in Portugal

'52 Equestrians Ride the Atlantic Coast of Alentejo

by: J.C. ("Chips") Chester '52

This year's annual horseback ride took place in Portugal during the first week of May. While "April in Portugal" has been immortalized in song, we recommend early May, when the weather was close to perfect, and all of the spring flowers were in bloom.

Alas, we are down to two classmates for this traditional exercise: Bob Jiranek and the author. Our esteemed classmate, the late Arthur Collins, was sorely missed, as was our Class widow, Margo Fish, who now focuses her awesome energies on running the Boston Marathon, as she did again this year.

This time we arrived a week prior to the commencement of the ride-for purposes of pure tourism. Our guide, Ilona Thykier, is a longtime resident of Cascais, an upscale suburb of Lisbon, and my close friend. Her oldest son, who lives in London, is my godson. Ilona took us all over Lisbon by tram and then to nearby Sintra by car.

As the the guidebook accurately proclaims: "Sintra's stunning setting on the north slopes of the granite Serra, among wooded ravines and fresh water springs, made it a favorite retreat for the Kings of Portugal." Of special note are the "tall conical chimneys" of the Palacion National de Sintra and the unusual Palacio de Pena. In short, Sintra is a must for all visitors.

Ilona also drove us to Alter do Chao, northeast-east of Lisbon, to see the "Alter Real" or Royal Stud-Lusitano stallions (plus a stable full of mares).

While most Lusitanos are grey, the Alter Real are pure bred bay or brown. They are also much larger than the Lusitanos we rode the following week-with thick necks and deeply muscled legs. We were told they were bred primarily for dressage and bullfighting-two rather distinctively contrtasting disciplines. We were guided through the various stables by Mr. Luis Lupi who had been a major official at the World Equestrian Games in Aachen, Germany last August (where my horse participated-alas unsuccessfully). Mr. Lupi's father had been a famous bullfighter, as Ilona recalled from her youth.

On our return to Lisbon, we stopped at a winery run by two brothers-both friends of Ilona's for decades. The Portugese wine is evidently of high quality, but it is considered expensive for the current European market. Cheaper wines from South Africa and elsewhere have undercut sales from Portugal.

To casual outside observers, like Bob and myself, the Portuguese economy appears to be thriving-with many new and expensive cars on the road. Principal exports are cork, olive oil (we were to see vast numbers of cork and olive trees on our ride), and in large quantity: shoes. There has also been a recent emphasis on tourism development-a program in which we were pleased to participate.

However, all local residents told us the same story: the impression of affluence is misleading: there is actually very high unemployment, especially among the highly skilled and educated, and everyone is living on a mountain of debt-a not unfamiliar problem in the Western World. Much of the funding provided to Portugal by the EU has been invested in football stadiums, which have not been notably income-producing, at least so far.

Finally, a week after our arrival in Portugal, our ride began in a section of the country known as Alentejo-the larges, mainly southern region of the country, just above the Algarve in the far south.

We rode mostly along the Atlantic Coast, galloping over beaches and walking up and down nearby hills. During our entire six days, we never saw a cloud in the sky, and the temperature fluctuated from the low 50's at night to about 70-75 degrees Fahrenheit during the afternoon.

My horse, a cross between a French breed (translated as "saddle of France") and a Lusitano was inappropriately named "Jasmine" or fragrant flower. He proved to be just the opposite-strong and sturdy with very comfortable gaits. Bob's gelding, "Pavoratti"-named ostensibly for the famous opera tenor, was a pure and talented Lusitano. He did not sing, but whinnied loudly when separated from the "herd". In actual fact, however, Bob and I have both reached the stage in equestrian life when the right mount is no longer a luxury, but a necessity. Clearly, we were not disappointed.

We were also blessed by having three attractive and congenial lady riding companions-two from Holland and one from Germany. In the same category was our leader and organizer, Claudia Castanheiro, who ran the horse farm owned by her parents. Claudia caught on right away, but it took the other three ladies two days of riding before they realized the Americans were not to be taken seriously.

And so, for those Classmates still "riding into the sunset" of life (and there may be only 2 of us left), we heartily recommend Portugal. The natives are not only extremely helpful and friendly-they even seem to like Americans (perhaps a rarity these days)!



Carpenter wins top award
for academic internal medicine

By: Andrew Kurtzman, Brown Daily Herald

Professor of Medicine Charles Carpenter - admired for his humility, compassion and unassuming demeanor - received the Robert H. Williams Distinguished Chair of Medicine Award, the nation's top award in academic internal medicine, March 3. The award recognizes Carpenter's 51-year career in medicine - teaching students, chairing departments of medicine and endeavoring to help the disadvantaged through medicine.
The award is presented annually by the Association of Professors of Medicine to a "distinguished physician who has demonstrated outstanding leadership as a current or former chair of a department of internal medicine," according to the APM Web site.
Carpenter is widely admired for his teaching ability and patient interactions. "He teaches his fellow physicians medical care and how to deal with patients," said Kathleen Hittner, president and CEO of Miriam Hospital, where Carpenter was physician-in-chief from 1986 to 1998. "His interaction with patients is remarkable - he has an ability to communicate with patients in words and expressions they can understand."

"He is an incredibly generous mentor and a remarkably humble person given the magnitude of his achievements and the impressiveness of his international reputation," said Assistant Professor of Anthropology Daniel Smith, who works with Carpenter to improve treatment for HIV patients in Nigeria.

"(Carpenter is) a real humanist who really cares about people and about the consequences of injustice and inequality, and he (is) inspiring to see for me and for his colleagues," Smith added.
After graduating from Princeton University and attending the Johns Hopkins University Medical School, Carpenter's career began with an internship and residency at Johns Hopkins Hospital.
After completing his residency, Carpenter had aspirations to work abroad. "My wife and I decided that we would work overseas," Carpenter said. "It was 1961, and we went down to Washington to join the Peace Corps. However, they would not take couples, and so I came back to Hopkins and asked my chief to see if we could go overseas. He suggested Calcutta."
Carpenter arrived in Calcutta - now Kolkata, India - in the middle of a widespread cholera epidemic. While working in a hospital on the edge of the city, it became clear to him that proper hydration for afflicted patients was one of the biggest obstacles.
"These people just needed fluids to survive. However, there was no water without (fever-causing) pyrogens. People who had over a liter or so of fluid would get fever and chills, and some patients needed over 12 liters per day," Carpenter said.
Between 1962 and 1964, as director of the Johns Hopkins Research Program in Calcutta, Carpenter successfully implemented a method of oral rehydration that allowed patients to ingest filtered fluids free of pyrogens. Though Carpenter left in 1964 to become the director of the division of allergy and infectious diseases at Hopkins, his program would continue to fight cholera in Calcutta for another decade.
Carpenter moved to Ohio in 1973 to take on the posts of director of the department of medicine at the University Hospitals of Cleveland and professor and chairman at Case Western Reserve University. He came to Rhode Island in 1986.
"After 13 years at Case Western Reserve, I wanted to do more patient care and treatment and less administrative work. Brown's program was very young, and it seemed like a very exciting place to come to," Carpenter said.
Carpenter was appointed physician-in-chief of Miriam Hospital in 1986 and established the immunology center there the following year. " 'Immunology center' is actually a euphemism," Carpenter said. "It is an HIV clinic, but to call it that at the time would have been a stigmatizing thing. At that time, in the mid 1980s, HIV was pretty stigmatizing. It still is, to some extent."
Carpenter began his work with HIV because he felt that - like cholera - it was another serious problem not being addressed adequately. "I started seeing people with HIV infections when I moved to Rhode Island, and so began research. We worked pretty well with that and with the community to get rid of obstacles to effective treatment. Because of (the) small state size and eager legislature, we have been able to do a great deal," he said.
In the 1980s, Carpenter worked to reform and improve HIV treatment as well as extend treatments to communities where it was not typically provided. These outreach efforts included Rhode Island's poorer communities and the state prison system.
"At one point, one of my earliest HIV patients was imprisoned. The guards had her in a bright orange jumpsuit that had 'biological hazard' written on the back. This inmate was discharged several days later, but other patients were infected and similarly mistreated," Carpenter said.
Carpenter's HIV research continues today. Currently, he said, he is working to develop a microbicide for women in Africa to use to protect themselves against HIV.
"The idea behind this is that, in the areas of densest HIV in Africa, the vast majority of transmission is heterosexual, and females have no way to force men to use condoms," he said. "This method will allow women to protect themselves and their partners without needing to force their partner to use a condom."
But despite his global work and research, Carpenter said he gets the most satisfaction from training interns and residents. "You see what they accomplish, and they stay in touch with you for years. It's wonderful to hear from and watch these guys and girls and see how they handle their medical careers."

The Newest Member of the Class of 1952:
Janet Smith Dickerson

Janet Smith Dickerson, now H'52, is the University's Vice President for Campus Life. In proposing that she be invited to become an honorary member of the Class, President Hal Saunders noted that she had been a strong supporter of the University program called Sustained Dialogue, which grew out of the 2002-1952 Connection Project.
Members of the Class met Janet Dickerson at our Class dinner in February 2003, when she participated in a panel session with the student leaders of Sustained Dialogue. She has continued to foster this innovative program, which has spread to the campuses of fifteen other colleges and universities as a successful method of improving interracial understanding.
Vice President Dickerson has oversight responsibility for campus life, including the Office of Religious Life, the Department of Athletics, Princeton University Health Services, the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Students (which is responsible for matters relating to the conduct and discipline of undergraduates, as well as extracurricular activities), Frist Campus Center, and the Pace Center, which promotes civic engagement. Janet works closely with the dean of the college in matters related to the residential colleges and with the dean of the graduate school on specific issues of concern to graduate students. She is a member of the Presidents' Cabinet and serves as secretary for the Student Life, Health and Athletics Committee of the Board of Trustees; has policy responsibility for the housing and dining programs as they affect undergraduates; and represents Princeton in the Policy Committee of the Ivy League. She co-chairs the Undergraduate Life Committee, which reviews policies and makes recommendations about undergraduate nonacademic life. She is a member of the Committee on Examinations and Standings and the Council of Masters. She served as co-chair of the Task Force on Health and Well Being and the four-year College Planning Committee, and is currently co-chair of the Diversity Working Group. She is a University representative to the Boards of the McCarter Theatre and the Princeton-Blairstown Center.
Before coming to Princeton, Vice President Dickerson served as vice president for student affairs at Duke University for nine years. She was dean of the college at Swarthmore College from
1981 to 1991, and associate dean and director of Academic Support Programs from 1976 to 1981. She was the founding director of the Supportive Services program at Earlham College,
Richmond, Indiana, where she also was an associate dean of students and assistant professor of
education from 1971 to 1976.
Vice President Dickerson received a B.A. in English from the Western College for Women in Oxford, Ohio (now Miami University), and a M.Ed from Xavier University in Cincinnati. She did advanced graduate study in counseling psychology at the University of Pennsylvania and received honorary degrees from Xavier and Swarthmore. She has traveled and studied in the Middle East and was a Fulbright administrative fellow to Germany in 1997.


'52 Sons in the Military

Classmate Larry Anderson has sent us photos of his two sons in Afghanistan and Iraq

John Edwards Anderson, Major, USA and Chaplain, Special Forces, Afghanistan, flanked by two Afghans, last year
Tobias Belford Anderson, Captain, USAR, in Iraq in 2005, presently on 2nd tour 2006


Diplomatic Action on the Home Front

Jim Simpson has brought to our attention good work by retired federal judge Charles Renfrew '52. Charlie is the mediator in a dispute on water use among Georgia, Alabama and Florida. The press, with a good picture of Charlie and the governors of Alabama and Georgia in the August 15 Birmingham News, reports that they met August 14 in what Charlie called "a rather historic meeting" to work on a water-sharing agreement for the Alabama-Coosa-Tallapoosa river basin. Charlie said he was "very pleased with the progress" and "very encouraged by the willingness of these two governors." Discussion of a second watershed area involving all three states was set aside because of the absence from the meeting of Florida's Governor Bush.
A federal judge appointed Charlie mediator in the issues in April and set a deadline of August 31 for the three parties to reach agreement.

The Dangers of Diplomacy

Two Class members and the son of another are featured in an on-line NPR story published in connection with a July 26, 2006, broadcast on "Dangerous Postings: Life in the Foreign Service." Retired State Department Foreign Service Officers Bob Oakley '52, a former ambassador, and honorary class member Phyllis Oakley, a former assistance secretary of state, are quoted on the change in the security situation of diplomatic personnel since they were a young Foreign Service couple in Sudan. Phyllis recalls when "the cook and I shared a bicycle, and we didn't have a car yet. He'd take the bicycle to the market in the morning and then I'd ride the bicycle around town going to play bridge or see other people...." That wouldn't happen today: Khartoum is so dangerous now that families aren't even allowed to live there, the report notes.
the full story, go to And while you are there, scroll down to a book excerpt describing a day in the life of a diplomat in Thailand, by Ted Osius III, a State Department Foreign Service Officer and the son of our late classmate Ted Osius II and class associate member Nancy Zimmerman.


Love & Longevity

Class Vice President Steve Rogers and Kent were feted at a surprise party for their 50th wedding anniversary July 1 at their church in Annandale, Virginia outside D.C. Hosts were their four offspring and numerous grandchildren, relatives and friends - about 100 in all. Representing '52 were Class President Hal Saunders and Carol, and Don Oberdorfer. The honorees were being taken to dinner - they thought - by their children, who suggested they stop by the church briefly for some small errand on the way. When they found a hall full of friends and relatives, they appeared really astonished.
The hall was decorated with the flags of seven nations where Steve served as a diplomat and the dinner was eclectic to match. It was a big place but not big enough for flags of the 83 countries (!) where Steve has traveled in his career and post-career. Steve and Kent, who cut two wedding cakes - one of each honoree's favorite - and prepared to depart for a three-week vacation in France several days later.


The University Has a Heart: Marital Longevity Wins

David and Carole Kass celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on June 17 with family and friends at a dinner at the very spot where they first met, the corner on Washington Road which previously housed Prospect Club. It took some doing to arrange it.

Prospect was torn down years ago and a new building, the university’s Center for Jewish Life, was erected there. Dave and Carole, who live in Shaker Heights, chose that venue for sentimental reasons and because many invitees to their celebration live in the East. They discovered, however, that the university has a rule against private functions in campus buildings. Working through the administration’s sometimes labyrinthine processes, they were able to contact an official who generously made an exception. The university is reportedly not too worried about setting a precedent – only those who met on campus property and are celebrating their golden wedding anniversary need apply!

Don Oberdorfer, who was a Kass roommate senior year, and Laura attended. Ruth Anne Foote, widow of another roommate, Bud Foote, was there with several family members. Roy Lawrence, who was the fourth roommate in Middle Dod, sent a written message.


Iranian Nuclear Weapons: Advantage or Liability?

By George B. Lambrakis '52

To read George's insightful piece from the Foreign Service Journal, click here or go to



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