Beselot Birhanu '17 has been awarded the Thomas H. Wyman 1951 Medal. She concentrates in the health sciences and anthropology. Bessy's summer internships have been at hospitals in Lima, Peru and New York. She has worked as a resident counselor in Drew House and the new Greenways dorms. Ms. Birhanu speaks Spanish and Amharic, the language of Christian Ethiopians. Thus, she has also pursued studies in antiquities with her background in a cradle of humanity . She also is certified and works as an EMT. Tom would be fascinated by her background. The Thomas H. Wyman 1951 Medal, established in 2003 by his classmates, is awarded to that member of the senior class who best represents the highest standards in scholarship, athletics, and/or extracurricular activities, community service, integrity, character and humanism.
Amherst College has announced the establishment by Kirk and Phyllis of a chaired professorship to be awarded to a faculty member whose teaching and scholarship include the interdisciplinary investigation of law, religion, philosophy and society with an emphasis on ethics. Biddy Martin has now written Phyllis and John: "I am deeply grateful for your remarkable gift, which has a transformative impact on the entire Amherst community." Martin wrote that Wills Is a member of the National Humanities Center and authored an invaluable text Christianity in the United States. The installation of David Wills as the Kirkpatrick 1951 Professor. was in Pruyne Hall in Fayerweather Building on Sept. 19, 2014 at 4:30 PM followed by a reception in the Beneski Museum of Natural History.
by Andrew Hacker '51
After nationwide reviews praising Andy Hacker's latest book critiquing higher education, Amherst has provided its alumni a multimedia portfolio highlighting the book and Andy. Don't miss our classmate's own take on his documentation of the growth of spending in our revered universities. Andy's sharp insights so familiar to the class of 1951 is not front page on the college web site, however. You can link from the topics below to catch other aspects of the sheer fun of Andy's intellect and wit. The audio interview with Andy is especially hard to find, a tiny pointer scale, which you need to click to start the sound. Watch out.
Message from the Author - Andrew Hacker '51
Most of my books have been quite sweeping in scope, dealing with race and sex and wealth, not to mention the fate of the American nation. But a few years ago, my domestic partner Claudia Dreifus, suggested that I descend from my Olympian perch and look at my own backyard: the academic world, which I’ve inhabited all of my adult life. I agreed; but on the condition that we write it together. She’s an award-winning journalist, and would ensure that the book would focus on real people. That’s how Higher Education? got started.
The best way to give a taste of what we’ve done is to cite some of our chapter headings, which convey much of what we say.
In real dollars, tuition charges have tripled in the last generation, more than any purchase Americans are called upon to make. Why College Costs So Much explains why. One cause is proliferating bureaucracies (“director of “collaborative engagement,” “coordinator of learning immersion experiences”). Another is an amenities arms race (five-story climbing walls, orange-ginger tofu steak for dinner). In these and other cases, it’s students who pay, with two-thirds now graduating in debt.
College sports entertain close to 100 million spectators each year, with many more watching on the tube. Yet of the 629 football teams, only 14 cover their costs. The Athletics Incubus shows how even low-profile teams skew campus priorities. The University of Texas spends $56,859 on each of its volley ball players, leaving less money for classroom instruction.
Even at liberal arts colleges, promotions now call for research, not dedicated teaching. Almost a third of the Williams faculty is on sabbaticals in a typical year. The Professoriate wonders how much of what they publish is really needed. In a recent 14-year period, academics churned out 2,791 papers on William Faulkner. Their real purpose: to bulk up résumés.
Medical care is supposed to enhance a nation’s health. And higher education? In The College Crucible: Add Students and Stir, we ask how those classroom-campus years actually affect individuals. In fact, holders of bachelors’ degrees do differ from their high school counterparts. But not in ways colleges would like you to believe.
As should be evident, we’re not pleased with many of the turns higher education has been taking. Too much of it isn’t higher; much isn’t even education. (We don’t count fashion merchandising or resort merchandising as liberal arts.) But in our travels, we came across several Schools We Like. We explain why Arizona State University and Notre Dame, and Evergreen State College and Raritan Valley Community College, do better by their students than many institutions with prestige names.
Revival of Student Singing of Amherst Songs - Hobie Cleminshaw
As I have indicated to several of you, when the class of 1951 was at Amherst the singing of Amherst songs by students was an important and enjoyable part of our experience at Amherst. This same tradition continued for many years after our graduation and then for some reason faded away. On the basis of talking to many students, it seems clear that most students(excluding members of the singing groups) do not know the words to the songs or have regular occasions to sing the songs. With your help and input, several members of our class would like to see what steps might be taken to revive this tradition, which fosters school spirit; strong bonds with Amherst, other students and alumni; bridges among the many diverse groups and students on the campus; a stronger sense of community.
Here are some possibilities for your consideration:
I want to acknowledge that several of the above ideas came from my conversations with you.
Regards, Charles H.(Hobie) Cleminshaw, President, Class of 1951
Marcus Munsill and Robert W. Fritz
I am sorry to report the death of two classmates: Marcus Munsill and Robert W. Fritz. Marc Munsill died on February 27, 2013. Before entering Amherst, Marc served in the U.S. Marine Corps during 1945-1947. At Amherst he was a popular member of DKE, having served as president during his senior year. Marc was an excellent athlete in golf and football and the recipient of the Tom Ashley football award given to the player who "best played the game." For 25 years he worked for a yarn manufacturing company, and in 1981 he formed his own yarn company. Those who knew him regarded Marc as a kind and thoughtful person and a great friend. He leaves four children, nine grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.
Bob Fritz died on May 14, 2013, in Seattle, WA, after an illness of some months. His Chi Psi brothers and others will recall his friendly smile and his outstanding career at Amherst. He won four letters in football, and in his senior year he served as business manager of "Sabrina" and as chairman of the House Management Committee. Also, Bob was chosen for Sphinx and Scarab. After Harvard Business School and three years in the U.S. Navy Supply Corps, Bob started a long business career, which included consulting and working with early-stage growth companies and troubled companies in turnaround situations. His son has set up a site with pictures and memories: forevermissed.com/robert-walter-fritz
Hobie Cleminshaw '51
NEW YORK ANNUAL 1951 DINNER
Dick Sexton reports on the 43rd ’51 dinner in NYC: An impressive get-together of 1947-51 classmates (including three former alumni class presidents), from near (the City, Andy Hacker and Dick Sexton, and New Jersey, Skip Hunziker and Norma) and far (Chicago, Washington D.C., Vermont, Cleveland, Baltimore, and Philadelphia, respectively, Dick Denison, Len Kolsky, Gary Holman and Joan, Dave Fulton, Nebs Blaisdell, and Jeff Hartzell, with real social “interchanges” (better than the new kind, Facebook, Twitter, et al. )
Conversations included college days, the new curriculum, and good friends. I handed out an excerpt from a 1951 essay by Professor Baird on English 1-2: (“…some decent writing does get done, and the student sees it happen. I am well pleased when he finds himself saying, as one surprised, ‘Why I know what I am talking about.’ And there may be by-products. The student may come to respect good writing, however plain. He may even recognize as the marvel it is the human being’s power of making order out of chaos.”)
Sexton argued that such wisdom from the old written print world is needed for resistance to the deterioration of public discourse in today’s tv sound bite culture.
NORTHAMPTON -- As a Northampton District Court judge of 25 years, Alvertus Jackson Morse used a common-sense approach in the administration of justice and was remembered here in legal circles as a kind and decent man who brought an old-school, fatherly quality to the bench. Morse, a Northampton native who also served seven years handling care and protection cases in Franklin County Juvenile Court at the end of his career, died Sunday at his Pelham home. He was 80.
"He's noteworthy in terms of how he went about the business of judging," said Judge W. Michael Goggins, acting presiding judge of Northampton District Court. "He was incredibly patient and also incredibly, genuinely inquisitive about each matter that came before him. The result of that was generally whatever the matter was before him, when it was over, everybody felt that they were well heard."
Morse, a Republican, whose grandfather Alvertus Jason Morse was mayor of Northampton from 1916-19, was the third generation of his family to practice law in the city, said his son, Richard Morse, of Amherst. Jack Morse graduated from Amherst College in 1951 and from Cornell Law School in 1954, and served in the Army from 1954-56 before returning to Northampton to practice law with his father, Alvertus Davis Morse. He served two terms on the Northampton City Council and ran unsuccessfully for mayor in 1963.
His ascent in the halls of justice came in 1973 when, after years of closing real estate deals, drafting wills and researching land records with his family law practice, Morse was tapped by former Gov. Francis W. Sargent as a special justice. Morse had little to no criminal trial court experience when he was appointed, but he nevertheless would develop into an outspoken and compassionate justice, say attorneys who appeared before him over the years. After six years as a special justice, Morse was named presiding judge in Northampton District Court in 1978 and served until 1997.
"He always tried to do the right thing, which is what you want from a district court judge." said Northampton attorney Stella Xanthakos, who appeared before Morse as both a prosecutor and defense attorney over the course of a decade. "He had a lot of personality. He had a very big heart." hortly after leaving Northampton District Court, Morse was called back to handle care and protection cases in Franklin County Juvenile Court, which he did for seven years. "Those are emotional and protracted cases," Goggins said. "Not a lot of guys would have done that. That was hard, hard work."
In a Gazette interview in 1989, more than a decade after being named presiding district court judge, Morse said he never let his position of authority get to his head, or as he put it, "a feeling that I'm some kind of God Almighty." "That's something that I always resented," he said. "When judges put on their robes and forget they are lawyers. Sometimes they forget they are a member of the human race."
Class of 1951 In Memorials
MEMORIAL: JOHN JONES FRAUTSCHI ’51 (1929 - 2017)
John’s obituary is posted on the college IN MEMORY site, which we commend to you. This brief memorial complements the Madison, Wis., tribute to his achievements and generosity with specifics important to fraternity classmates. How did Frautschi get to Amherst? Many Amherst students were legacies and in pipelines to campus. For others the key was Admissions Dean Bill Wilson. John came aboard from a Colorado Springs Prep noted for snow skiing and a family of iconic Wisconsin grads, e.g. president of the Alumni. Yet Wilson was able to sell John on Amherst’s providing a reach beyond existing positions. John was especially devoted to STEM studies, the ski club and Theta Delt. From Amherst, John headed for a B.S. degree at Carnegie Tech, foremost in graphics and printing. Conscripted, the army sent John to Ft. Belvoir to apply his knowledge to formidable printing requirements in the military. With such a diverse background, John started with the Democrat Press turning out statehouse jobs. In that era of growth and rapid technical innovation in print, John made continuous adaptations. The company was renamed Webcrafters to brand the new technology applied. The product line went national in quantity and quality of text books with accessories. As publishers and politicians inked adoptions for school systems, many turned to Webcrafters to produce 24/7, up-to-date text packages. Your Amherst kin may have used these colorful texts in their studies. As for the outreach of brother Jerry, he managed a key investment, his wife’s smash hit, American Girl. An educational hallmark few Amherst homes lack. John’s marriage and family were made in heaven and his son Kip ’85 is an able Amherst grad. John could not escape adversities, especially as his dear copilot Mary succumbed to cancer. This tragedy came too early.
MEMORIAL: ROBERT J. RUNSER '51 MBA (1929 - 2010)
Robert James Runser, 81, of Stony Point, Virginia, passed away on Saturday, July 17, 2010. He was the loving husband of the late Vera Runser and beloved father of the late Jeffrey Runser and his daughter who survives him, Robin Runser. He is also survived by his “grand-dog” Sierra, who played a special role in his life.
Bob was born in Berkley, California on May 12, 1929. He was a prominent financial executive. As Vice President Comptroller of the Signal Companies, in the early 1980s he oversaw the largest corporate merger in U.S. history at the time. In retirement, he served on a board charged with making recommendations to Congress on reorganizing the nation’s failed savings and loan system. He was a 1951 grauate of Amherst College and was awarded an MBA from the the University of California. Berkley. He was a eminent CPA, like his father before him.
He was active in community service in California as the Chairman of both the Los Angeles and San Diego chapters of the March of Dimes. Upon retirement, Bob and Vera moved to their lovely farm in Albemarle County. They traveled extensively and both enjoyed their active participation in Virginia politics. Bob was an avid golfer and fisherman.
His daughter Robin expresses heart-felt thanks to the outstanding, caring and compassionate staff at Martha Jefferson House in Charlottesville. Both she and Bob considered them part of the family. A funeral service for Bob will be conducted in the chapel of Teague Funeral Service on Saturday, July 24, 2010 at 10:00am. Friends and family will gather at the chapel one hour prior to the service. Interment will immediately follow in Monticello Memory Gardens.
MEMORIAL: THOMAS W. GIBBS III '51 STB (1930-2010)
ST. THOMAS — The Very Rev. Thomas W. Gibbs III, dean of the All Saints Cathedral Episcopal School, died Sunday in his home.
Dean Gibbs, 80, had delivered his final two sermons at All Saints Cathedral Church that morning, reflecting on the lesson of Mary and Martha in the Gospel of Luke.
“Dean Gibbs will be missed, because he’s been a familiar face for all of us,” All Saints Senior Warden Reubina Gomez said. “He’s seen our children and grandchildren go through life. He went suddenly, and he will be missed.”
Gomez, who said she has known Gibbs for more than 50 years, called him “a great advocate for punctuality, education and discipline.”
Gibbs came to the Virgin Islands and All Saints in 1958 from Evanston, Il., where he was bapitzed and confirmed as an Episcopalian at St Andrews Church, and became the rector of All Saints. Although officially retired, he served as acting rector for the church and dean for All Saints after Dean Ashton Brooks left two years ago, until his sudden death.
Throughout his time here, Dean Gibbs held leadership positions in the Episcopal Diocese of the Virgin Islands. Tom was a graduate of Evanston High School in Illinois where he was a top student and track star. He received a BA degree from Amherst College In 1951, where he was the first black to join the social fraternity Phi Alpha Psi. He lettered in track, was a member of the student council and elected to the Sphinx honorary society. He was initiated to the scholastic honor society, Phi Beta Kappa as a senior. He served in the US Army during the Korean Conflict where he was assigned to army intelligence.
After discharge, he enrolled in the Episcopal Seminary in Cambridge, MA where he earned STB degree. His initial calling was with the national church, before going to the Virgin Islands. He became the legendary headmaster of the Episcopal Prep School there. Numerous graduates went on to Ivy League universities (including the governor) and also to his alma mater.
The Phi Psi Affair: “Unfraternal Conduct”
The obituary for Thomas Gibbs ’51 (In Memory, Fall 2010) contains only a brief allusion to an important event in Amherst history, an event in which Gibbs played the central role. In the spring of 1948 the undergraduate members of Phi Kappa Psi, the Amherst chapter of a national fraternity, issued an invitation to Tom Gibbs, a black freshman, to join the fraternity. Although Phi Kappa Psi was not one of the five Amherst fraternities that at that time still had exclusionary rules, the leaders of the national organization did not react favorably when they learned of the Amherst chapter’s intentions. After some not-so-cordial negotiations during the following summer and fall, the Amherst students notified the national organization of Phi Kappa Psi that they were determined to proceed with Gibbs’ initiation. At that point the national organization suspended the Amherst chapter, which reorganized as Phi Alpha Psi, a local fraternity. Three weeks later Gibbs, together with the other sophomore pledges, was formally initiated into Phi Alpha Psi.
Although it now seems hard to believe that an invitation to a black student to join an Amherst fraternity could cause such a furor, the “Phi Psi Affair” was national news. In The New York Times alone that fall there appeared at least six news items on the topic and an editorial, which read in part: “The Amherst College football team beat Williams on Saturday by a score of 13 to 7, but it may be that another sort of victory, won on the Amherst campus on Friday, will be longer remembered. Until Friday, Amherst had a chapter of the national Phi Kappa Psi fraternity. On Friday that chapter was suspended by the national executive committee for ‘unfraternal conduct.’... In this episode we see the real meaning of a liberal education. An Amherst degree has always been respected. It will be more respected now.”
Robert H. Romer ’52
BOWERS, Fredson Thayer Jr. 82, of Newton Highlands, died at his home February 18, 2010. He was the beloved husband of Barbara (DeVito) Bowers for 54 years. Devoted father of Mary Ellen Bowers of Cambridge, Joyce LeBlanc and her husband Robert of Green Oaks, IL, Julie Quattrucci and her husband Louis of Scituate, Pamela Ward and her husband Justin of Lovell, ME, Carolyn Leskanic and her husband Mark of Needham and Fredson T. BowersIII of Hong Kong.
BornApril 7, 1927, Bowers attended Newton High and theFessendenSchool. He served in the US Navy from 1945 to 1946. Fred was a 1951 graduate ofAmherstCollegewhich he attended as a veteran. He majored in political science, was on the ski team and joined the Kappa Theta fraternity. Fredson contracted polio from which he made a courageous recovery. He became an underwriter for the Cigna Insurance, until his retirement.
Fred was the loving grandfather to Bobby, Jason, Emma, Lou, Jack, Conrad, Austin, Zoe, Matthew, Lauren and Hailey, and the brother of the late Joan (Bowers) Stout, Peter and Stephen Bowers.
Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10:30 amon Monday at Mary Immaculate of LourdesChurch, 270 Elliot Street, NewtonUpper Falls. Burial St. Mary's Cemetery in Needham. Instead of flowers, donations may be made to St. Francis House, 39 Boylston Street, Boston, MA02116or www.stfrancishouse.org.
Memorial: Geoffrey Gordon Jackson ’51, MS (1929-2009)
JACKSON, Geoffrey Gordon Of Norwell, MA andCotuit,MA formerly ofChevy Chase,MD andWashington,DC diedDec. 23, 2009 at the age of 80. He leaves behind his loving wife Patricia Jackson and two sons: Joshua Banfield Jackson and Lincoln Desmond Jackson.
Geoff attended The Putney School, Kiski Prep and graduated fromAmherstCollegeclass of 1951. His father also attended Amherst, before becoming an army officer in WW I. Geoff enlisted in the Coast Guard as a medical corpsman during the Korean War. He then received his Masters fromColumbiaUniversity. He had a long career in hospital administration and was later involved with the supervision and refinement of medical coding for Cigna.
He was a devoted father and grandfather. He was an avid reader; he loved to ski, play hockey and was a devotee of opera. Throughout his life he played a wide variety of music on the piano ranging from classical to jazz to pop. Although Geoff raced and cruised on larger yachts throughout his life, his true love was for his Cotuit Skiff #60, a 14' 6" class of wooden boat raced only in Cotuit. His sons continue to maintain and race the boat Geoff built in 1954. In his later years he took great pleasure watching his grandchildren carry on this racing heritage.
He grew up inChevy Chase,MDandWashington,DC. Geoff's family originally hailed from Denver and Colorado Springs, CO where the family history is preserved at the Pioneer Museum (the original family homestead), as well as at Colorado College, the Denver Public Library and Brandeis University.
Relatives and friends are invited to join the family at a Memorial Service, 11 a.m.Sat., Jan. 2, 2010at CotuitFederatedChurch, 40 School Street, Cotuit, MA02635with a reception following at the CotuitCenterfor the Arts. Donations in his memory may be made to the ACM Yacht Club, Cotuit, MA, The Cotuit Center for the Arts Cotuit, MA or American Heart Assn. 20 Speen St., Framingham, MA 01701. For an online guestbook, please visit http://www.mcnamara-sparrell.com/