Cross & Crescent a Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity publication
INSIDE: Uncovering Cancerâ€™s Secrets Nobel recipient provides new strategies for cancer detection and treatment Keeper of the Torch CEO of Statue of Liberty Foundation Recruitment Trends March 2006 . XCIII . Issue 3
Cross & Crescent a Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity publication Features Chapter News 3 Chapter and Alumni News Fraternity News 8 Recruitment Trends History 10 Designing a New Spirit of Fraternalism
Uncovering Cancer’s Secrets Having earned both the Nobel Prize and the National Medal of Science awards, J. Michael Bishop is one of the world’s leading scientist in cancer research. His astonishing discoveries have led to new strategies for both cancer detection and treatment. By Jason Pearce Cover Photo: © Courtesy University of California, San Francisco, All Rights Reserved.
Keeper of the Torch When her torch gets too heavy, Steve Briganti, the CEO of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Foundation, provides support. Having raised $500 million for renovations and digitized 22 million immigration records, Briganti helps Lady Liberty stand tall. By Bill Farkas
Publisher: Bill Farkas Editor: Jason Pearce Assistant Editor: Chris Barrick Illustrator: Jeff Reisdorfer Podcast Voice: Fuzz Martin Photographer: Walt Moser Assignment Editor: Jon Williamson Historian: Mike Raymond Contributing Editors: Jono Hren Aaron Jones Ray Lutzky Adam Schnepp George Spasyk Douglas Weeks
Content for consideration should be submitted by the fifteenth of the month. Lambda Chi Alpha 8741 Founders Rd Indianapolis, IN 46268-1338 (317) 872-8000 firstname.lastname@example.org www.lambdachi.org www.crossandcrescent.com
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Chapter News Chapter news, alumni news, and reports of death Arkansas (Gamma-Chi)
David J. Deitz (2006) was among 40 students nationwide to receive the 2006 Gates Cambridge Scholarship. Deitz is majoring in biochemistry, political science, and philosophy.
Sean McGarrigle (2003) competed in the 2006 Visa World Championships in Torino, Italy.
He will begin graduate studies at the University of Cambridge in October 2006.
The Visa Championship is a three-part online computer game simulating Olympic events. McGarrigle won the U.S. tournament earning him the right to represent the country in the World finals in Torino.
Arkansas State (Iota-Theta)
Randy H. Carmack (1963) January 12, 2005. Steven W. Brown (1971) January 19, 2006. Brown served as a public school teacher and administrator for more than 30 years.
While in Torino, McGarrigle attended multiple Olympic events, including the opening ceremonies, and appeared on NBC’s “The Today Show”.
James W. Peelle (1963) January 22, 2006.
East Carolina (Iota-Epsilon)
California-Riverside (Delta Nu)
Charles Conklin (1963) February 24, 2006.
The chapter celebrated their 10th Anniversary at a banquet on Sunday, January 29, 2006. High Alpha Nick Walker 2006) served as the evening’s MC. In attendence were active brothers, alumni (including some of the original founders), members of the university administration, General Fraternity staff, and dates.
Ferris State (Iota-Psi)
Hope College named one of its downtown buildings the “Anderson-Werkman Financial Center” in honor of Bill Anderson (1963) and fellow vice president Barry L. Werkman.
Central Florida (Beta-Eta)
Anderson joined Hope College’s staff in 1966 as director of accounting. He was appointed controller in 1968, chief fiscal officer in 1972, vice president for business and finance in 1973, and senior vice president for finance and development in 2001.
Bart Barnes (1973) and David Gilstrap (Indiana State 1965) are involved in a project to rebuild the historic Bridgeton Covered Bridge in Parke County, Indiana. The bridge was destroyed by arson in April 2005.
Most recently, Anderson led the college’s “Legacies: A Vision of Hope” campaign, which raised more than $140 million.
Floyd Tefft (1943) December 31, 2005. Tefft served in the army during WWII, then graduated from the University of Wisconsin Law School in 1947.
Florida Tech (Beta-Nu)
The chapter hosted Founders Day Weekend on February 24–26. The highlight of the festivities was a beach side bon-fire. There were 15 alumni in attendance.
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Indiana State (Iota-Epsilon)
A number of alumni are involved as university volunteers. There are six Lambda Chis on the Indiana State’s Foundation Board, including Bud Mitsos (1951). Charlie DeMaio (1973) served as alumni association president during the 2002–2003 school year and had three members on the board.
General Assembly The 51st General Assembly will take place July 19–23, 2006, across the street from Downtown Disney at the Buena Vista Palace Hotel in Orlando, Florida.
This year, the university formed a steering committee to study and move forward with a major fund-raising campaign. Of the 12 university alumni members, four are members of Lambda Chi Alpha.
Conference participants will help determine the laws and policies of the Fraternity and learn how to improve chapter operations.
Programming: • Chapter Development: workshops on ritualism, operations, recruitment, standards • Alumni Development: Advisers College and Alumni Conference • Council of Presidents • International Ritual Exemplification • Impact Leadership • Interaction: meet members from all over the country • Free time to explore and enjoy Disney and Orlando
Robert M. McMullen (1975) February 20, 2006.
In conjunction with Alpha Chi Omega, the chapter raised $500 by hosting a Valentine’s Day compatibility search. Students were encouraged to fill out surveys and pick up the results for a charge of $2.50. All proceeds benefited the American Heart Association.
Deadlines: • International Ritual Team Applications: April 1, 2006 • Early Registration ($50 discount) Due By: May 8, 2006 • Regular Registration Closes: June 15, 2006 • Chapter Award Applications: May 1, 2006 • Impact Leadership Level IV Applications: May 1, 2006 • Registration and Payments: June 15, 2006
The chapter has exceded their Fall scholastic goals by raising their cumulative GPA from a 2.35 to 2.80. Last year, the chapter had the worst GPA for any Greek organization but now ranks second.
This venue is the perfect complement to a family vacation at Disney and Orlando attractions. For more information, visit www.lambdachi.org/conferences/2006ga/.
Walton Draper (1975) Febuary 10, 2006.
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Steve Marin (2006) and Ethan Rein (2007) were among 24 initiates inducted into the Order of Omega, a national Greek honor society with chapters at more than 300 colleges and universities in the United States. They join Nate Whetsell (2005) who was initiated last year and is now in graduate school at Northwestern.
William Gerber (1951)
Ronald E. Kickert (1953) Roger Scholle (1958) Tyler Curtis (1959)
Ohio State (Gamma-Tau)
Rt. Rev. Donis Patterson (1951) February 3, 2006. Patterson served as the Episcopal bishop of Dallas from 1983-1992. In his retirement, he served as assistant bishop of the Central Gulf Coast from 1992–1995, and as bishop in residence at St Luke’s Cathedral in Orlando from 1996. He also enjoyed a successful ministry as a US Army chaplain and as a parish priest.
Following the untimely death of High Pi Jamie Quackenbush (1970) in December, Jefferson Williams (Tennessee 1979), who served in the position from 2000–2004, graciously agreed to serve as acting High Pi until a successor is found. Williams is a faculty member in the University of Michigan School of Business.
The chapter is involved in a Habitat for Humanity project. The projects entitled “Four Houses, One Family and OU Habitat for Humanity” also involves: Delta Delta Delta sorority, Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority, and Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity.
Curtis E. Bottum (1948) February 14, 2005. Wilbur J. Perry (1949) July 5, 2005. Perry was responsible for the publication of the fraternity’s first Official Songbook, composing several of the songs included and providing new arrangements of all existing Lambda Chi Alpha songs. Subsequently, he conducted a chorus for the first audio tape recording of Fraternity songs.
Each house wss responsible for raising $10,000 and nearly every member of each house has devoted time to the construction of the house. Also, the chapter won a contest put on by Axe male grooming products to have their bathroom made-over.
John M. Stapleton (1949) March 26, 2005. Matthias R. Goebel (1951) April 4, 2005. William W. Hinkley (1967) September 12, 2005.
Murray State (Lambda-Eta)
Waymon Marshall “Monty” McTigue (1977) January 30, 2006.
North Carolina-Greensboro (Phi-Theta) Matthew Perry (2006) and Jim Lincoln (2006) were part of a group of 100 that partook in the Polar Plunge to benefit the Special Olympics. Perry and Lincoln stole the show by taking the dip into Oak Hollow Lake’s 39-degree water dressed as the Blue’s Brothers.
Robert Cullins (1982) was appointed president & CEO of Maxxium Japan. Maxxium is one of the largest global spirits and wine marketing and distribution companies.
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Oklahoma City (Theta-Delta)
SPC Ben Simons (2005) was recently deployed to Louisiana in support of Hurricane Katrina relief. He works as a communications specialist and is a member of HSB/1-108 Field Artillery Regiment.
Doug Weeks (1999) accepted a position as assistant press secretary to the governor in Oklahoma.
Lance Cpl. Cole Taylor (2005) is currently conducting pre-deployment training with his Marine Corp Reserve unit in preparation for an upcoming deployment to Fallujah, Iraq, in the very near future.
The chapter recruited 13 new associate members, its largest group in Spring formal rush in recent years. Starting with 10 members, the chapter has more than doubled its size.
South Florida (Lambda-Mu)
Spc. Brent Nordman (2003) and Cpt. Eddie Grey reunited while serving in Iraq. The two men joined the fraternity at the same time.
Pennsylvania State (Zeta)
The chapter recently initiated their 1500th brother. The chapter has seen is an increase of leadership on campus to 88 percent, and has a GPA that ranks 5th out of 49 NIC recognized fraternities
Cpt. Grey is a company commander in a transportation Company, and Spc. Nordman is a medic for the Combat Support Hospital.
William O’Connell (1988) and Thomas Hayes (1984) are currently serving tours in the middle east.
Southeast Missouri State (Delta-Phi) Members of the chapter attended the men’s basketball game against Murray State. Since the game was televised on ESPN2, the men carried signs hoping to give a hello to Bill Rasmussen (DePauw 1954), founder of ESPN.
SPC Dan Pulket (2004) recently completed a deployment with C TRP 2/104 CAV, conducting Hurricane Katrina relief in New Orleans, Louisiana. SGT Vincent Vella (2004) is currently serving with C 2/104 CAV, under the 3rd Infantry Division in Ramadi, Iraq. He will soon be awarded the Army’s new Combat Action Badge for combat actions he has been involved in during the past few months. SPC Chris Wright (2004) has been serving alongside Jim Mattes in Kosovo as part of the multinational United Nations Peacekeeping force for the past 12 months. He too works as a human intelligence specialist. SPC Justin Demarchi (2005) recently completed a deployment with D TRP 2/104 CAV, conducting Hurricane Katrina relief in New Orleans, Louisiana.
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Texas-San Antonio (Phi-Upsilon) Robert Linder (2007) and Jennifer Villarreal were named Mr. and Ms. UTSA at the Homecoming menâ€™s basketball game February 11, 2006.
Linder is a junior marketing major sponsored by the UTSA Ambassadors. He is the chapterâ€™s alumni relations chairman a member of Sigma Kappa Upsilon Honor Society, Omicron Delta Kappa Leadership Society, University Center Fees Advisory Committee, the American Marketing Association and the Honors Alliance.
Calendar March 2006 Mar 11: California-Davis Chartering (Davis, CA) Mar 12: FEA Spring Board Meeting (Washington, DC) Mar 22: Alumni Reception (Indianapolis, IN)
Wake Forest (Theta-Tau)
Norris McDonald (1975) is the president of the African American Environmentalist Association. He recently returned to the chapter for homecoming and expressed his time there was one of the greatest experiences of his life.
April 2006 Apr 22: Truman State 20th Anniversary Banquet (Kirksville, MO) Apr 23-24: NIC Annual Meeting (Washington, DC) Apr 27: Alumni Reception (Washington, DC) May 2006 May 12-13: East Tennessee State 50th Reunion (Johnson City, TN)
William & Mary (Epsilon-Alpha)
Paul Horne (1991) earned the National Board Certification in Adolescent and Young Adult Social Studies in November 2005. The achievement is recognized as the highest certification for a teacher in the U.S.
June 2006 Jun 3-4: Grand High Zeta Meeting (Indianapolis, IN) July 2006 Jul 7-12: FEA Summer Meeting (Tucson, AZ) Jul 19-23: 51st General Assembly (Orlando, FL) Jul 21-22: Foundation Board Meeting (Orlando, FL)
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Recruitment Trends Lambda Chi Alpha has 40 percent fewer undergraduate members than it did 20 years ago In the two most recent issues of the Cross & Crescent, articles stated that our Fraternity has realized a 40 percent decrease in membership in the last 20 years. This information caught some of our readers by surprise. After all, if college enrollment is at an all-time high, shouldn’t our chapters be experiencing growth? Unfortunately, there isn’t a direct correlation. Fraternity membership declining Many factors may have caused our membership decline. Lambda Chi Alpha, much like many of its peers, has suffered a nearly annual membership decline for the last 20 years. Several driving forces have led to our decrease in membership, including alternate campus organization opportunities, better institutional housing options, a giant influx in the amount of minority students, and an increase of non-traditional students attending colleges and universities. Students are no longer rushing to join fraternities. Instead, they are taking advantage of other, more appealing co-curricular options. What has caused the drop? According to The Chronicle of Higher Education, only 19.3 percent of incoming freshman expected to perform some sort of community service in 1996. By 2005, that number jumped to 26.3 percent.
By Josh Lodolo (California State-Northridge 2004)
Social fraternities have lost sight of the importance of community service and do not promote their efforts to the campus community. Greek lettered organizations like Alpha Phi Omega, a national co-ed community service based fraternity, focus primarily on just one of our dozen core values and are recruiting a large number of our potential members as a result. Another challenge for fraternities is the large number of multi-cultural based student organizations and fraternities that have originated as a result of the increase in minority students. Between 1996 and 2005, the number of minority students attending colleges and universities increased from 19.6 percent to 25.6 percent. Students have a natural desire to affiliate with those who are similar, so the opportunity to be part of an organization based on one’s culture is appealing. Umbrella organizations like the National Association of Latino Fraternity Organizations are providing guidance to these cultural based organizations and will continue to gain a greater market share as colleges and universities become more diverse. Student housing options on college campuses have drastically evolved in the last few decades. Students no longer have to share bathrooms with dozens of other undergraduates, nor do they have to eat hamburgers turned into meatloaf day after day. Today’s residence halls are state of the art, with apartment style rooms, individual bathrooms, and gourmet meal plans. Sure,
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the old style dorms still exist on some campuses, but they are being replaced by new structures at an amazing pace. Additionally, colleges and universities are increasingly requiring undergraduates to live on campus in university owned structures. In 1996, only 59.9 percent of incoming freshman lived on campus; whereas in 2005, 79.3 percent of those students did. Simply put, students are choosing new state of the art housing facilities over our outdated fraternity homes. Special interest clubs are also being developed by innovative students across the country, detracting interest from fraternities. If someone doesn’t like any of the current groups on campus, he can simply create his own. University of California , which houses close to 1,000 clubs and organizations, is a great example of college campuses supporting new organization endeavors. These special interest groups are as specific as the Rubber Band Club or the Peanut Lovers Club. With so many choices, each with an increasingly narrow focus, students are finding less time or interest in associating themselves with the more broadly focused social organizations. Specifically, the percentage of freshman wanting to join a social fraternity, sorority, or club has dropped to 9.5 percent. Ten years earlier, nearly 15 percent considered it very likely they would affiliate themselves with a fraternity or sorority. A final major cause for our Fraternity’s recruitment decline is what student affairs professionals term “the ever-evolving student.” Year after year, students come from different backgrounds, have different direction, and have very different financial resources available to support their collegiate
experience. In 1996, only 39.5 percent of incoming freshmen expected to work part-time while going to school, and that number jumped to 47.2 percent in 2005. The traditional student of yesterday, whose parents supported his entire undergraduate experience, is becoming more and more extinct as society’s priorities alter. With nearly half of our student body holding part-time jobs and more students becoming involved with co-curricular activities, it is becoming more and more difficult to recruit undergraduate leaders. What are we doing to combat this trend? Values-based recruitment is a term that has been tossed around the fraternal community for several years, but what does it really mean? Likewise, fraternities continue to encourage their chapters to recruit year-round, 365 days a year. What does that mean? Bottom line — recruitment is relationship building. Like any field of work involving interpersonal communication, building relationships is the key to finding success. People join people, not organizations. We believe building relationships based on values we will deliver better results. The General Fraternity has developed programs to promote the core values on which Lambda Chi Alpha was founded. The four main pillars in our Fraternity are leadership, scholarship, community service, and a positive social experience. Too often, chapters forget the first three and focus primarily on having a good time. Sure, students want to have a good time, and they deserve to have fun. However, our groups must live by our Creed and put it in action on a regular basis, especially when they represent the Fraternity. In 1981, 79.5 percent of male freshmen reported drinking beer “occasionally” or “frequently” — that number dropped to
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Rush vs. Recruitment Rush Chapters participate in a somewhat organized short-term program in which prospects are invited to participate in rush through the IFC. The common prospect involved in these activities is called the “likely joiner.” A person who already wants to join a fraternity and generally has an incorrect perception of fraternities based on mass media. There are occasions when educated men participate, but that is not the norm. “Likely joiners” are estimated to make up 11.5 percent of the total number of incoming students. Recruitment Chapters actively recruit members through specific marketing, personal contact, and true chapter related activities. The potential members include “likely joiners” but focuses on the “maybe joiners.” “Maybe joiners” are men on campus not pursuing a fraternity but have not decided against one. They make up an estimated 80 percent of incoming students.
49 percent in 2005. If our groups continue to recruit through social events while promoting alcohol, the pool of prospective students will continue to get smaller. Through semiannual consultant visits which each chapter, annual international conferences facilitated by headquarters staff members, and the support of fully-trained alumni mentors; the message of values-based recruitment is delivered on multiple levels. As we go forth, we anticipate our environmental challenges to continue. By remaining aware and sharing these issues with alumni and undergraduates, we will find ways to adapt, evolve, and combat these trends in our effort to recruit leaders of tomorrow.
Designing A New Spirit Of Fraternalism Democracy, equal representation, and majority rule were our early hallmarks
Founders, Organizers, and Builders Robbins credited the creation of Lambda Chi Alpha to three distinct groups of fraternal leaders.
Why was lambda chi alpha fraternity created? Our Fraternity is not a product of circumstance or luck. We were purposely built upon a firm foundation of ideals and principles by men of character and vision.
The first group were the founders of the various local clubs, fraternities, and societies that became our earliest chapters. A few of these local groups like the Alpha Brotherhood of Sigma Phi Delta at Brown University (Iota Z) and Delta Phi Fraternity at New Hampshire State College were created with the intent of becoming national organizations.
Part of the drive to create Lambda Chi Alpha was derived from the dissatisfaction our earliest members had with other fraternities. Some of the local fraternities and clubs that would later join our organization, were opposed to the older fraternities, their political monopolies, and their elitism. All of our earliest chapters were designed with a new spirit of fraternalism that would follow new practices of organization, recruitment, and service.
Robbins called the second group the organizers composed of men like Warren A. Cole (Boston 1909) who had the enthusiasm, stamina, and vision to create a new fraternity. Robbins gives Cole much credit for conceiving a plan to unite existing local groups into a national fraternity. He also credits Coleâ€™s untiring work on behalf of our Fraternity as ...possibly the greatest single Warren A. Cole factor in its growth. Other men like Samuel Dyer (Maine 1912), Albert Cross (Pennsylvania 1913), and Ernst J. C. Fischer (Cornell 1910) were singled out by Robbins as prominent organizers of our Fraternity.
Equal Chapter Representation L. F. Robbins (Brown), writing in the October 1919 issue of The Purple, Green, and Gold magazine believed that Lambda Chi Alpha was more democratic than the older fraternities of his day. At least as democratic as the culture of our country would allow prior to the late 1960s. He believed that our fraternity was more democratic because most of our early chapters were already existing groups.
The final group were the builders who refined our organization so that it took a respected place as a leader in the fraternal world. While coming into leadership positions after the founding of our Fraternity, these men strengthened the internal organization of Lambda Chi Alpha and made vast contributions to our ritual heritage. This powerful group of men stamped their creative and innovative mark on our organization. We would not recognize Lambda Chi Alpha today in the absence of such famous Lambda Chis as Jack Mason (Pennsylvania 1913), Ernst Fischer (Cornell 1910), Ray Ferris (Pennsylvania 1913), Bruce McIntosh (Depauw 1916), and Linn Lightner (Franklin & Marshall 1918).
Robbins correctly pointed out that such governance features as equal chapter representation in the General Assembly; an elected Grand High Zeta (board); and the equality of our members in our Constitution and Bylaws were adopted in the earliest years of our existence. The principles of absolute democracy, equal representation, and majority rule are all hallmarks of Lambda Chi Alpha. No chapter, geographical area, or individual has the power to impose its will on the general membership. The earliest political crisis of our Fraternity was settled by members who were already committed to the ideals of democracy. Clearly, one aspect of our fraternityâ€™s historical foundation is the concept of democracy.
By Mike Raymond (Miami-OH 1967)
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In a very short span of time, the work of our founders, organizers, and builders placed Lambda Chi Alpha among the finest fraternal groups on many college and university campuses.
associated with sacrifice. The union of these two concepts can be stated as “pure and growing service to others even to the point of sacrifice.” It can also be stated that this principle of service is based on a self-sacrificing love for others, symbolized by the cross, and the ideal of perfect brotherly love.
Our founders, organizers, and builders created more than just another college fraternity. They created a strong organizational foundation that has lasted nearly 100 years.
Our Fraternity was created by a variety of men who shared a number of important values that are reflected in our organizational structure and in our belief system.
Lambda Chi Alpha is not the oldest fraternity, it is not the largest, and it is not the wealthiest. However, it is a robust organization that protects something deeper that cannot be seen by those who are not members. As Robbins said, “things that lie deeper must be brought to light and then analyzed.”
Why did they work so hard to create Lambda Chi Alpha? Did they do it for personal power, prestige, or gain? Did they do it from a spirit of interfraternal rivalry or for a brief four year friendship? No, they did it because they believed in democracy, religious values, brotherhood, and service. Our Creed of Lambda Chi Alpha embodies these values and serves as a guide to our conduct as men.
Judge of Character How do we judge a fraternity? Robbins builds a strong case that outsiders form their opinions about a fraternity by judging the character of the men who belong to the group. What justifies the existence of a fraternity like ours? Our only justification is also our only product — our members as seen by others.
We are called upon by our founders, organizers, and builders to serve others without the expectation of reward or recognition. We are called upon by our Creed to sacrifice for others to the point of suffering and humiliation. Ultimately, we are called upon to distinguish ourselves from other men by bravely following the difficult path to reaching the goal of perfect service to others.
All of our symbols, like our badge, coat of arms, and letters, give evidence of something deeper that is part of our experience as members of Lambda Chi Alpha. Our Constitution and Bylaws, ritual, and even our personal experience of membership don’t tell the whole story. There is a principle that is reflected in all of the outward signs of our fraternal bond. That principle, which can be found in every A symbolic aspect of Lambda Chi Alpha, is the spirit of service.
staff meeting from the early portion of the fraternity’s history
The clearest expression of this core principle can be found in our creed. The symbolic importance of the crescent and cross both point to the ideal of service to others. It is important to note that the Creed mentions the crescent first. We normally say, “the Cross and Crescent.” The crescent usually symbolizes purity and growth while the cross is
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Uncovering Cancer’s Secrets Nobel Prize recipient J. Michael Bishop provides new strategies for cancer detection and treatment Educated in a two-room schoolhouse in rural Pennsylvania, J. Michael Bishop (Gettysburg 1957) excelled in academics. The son of a minister, he knew little of science and was instead captivated by history, literature, and philosophy. To this day, he insists he never intended on becoming a scientist. Yet on February 14, 2005, President George W. Bush named Bishop a recipient of the 2003 National Medal of Science, the nation’s highest honor for science and technology. Sixteen years earlier, he received the 1989 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Not bad for a scientist who would consider choosing the career of a string quartet musician, “with exceptional talent,” he adds. Prepared for Chance Winning either award would easily represent a lifetime of achievement. For Bishop, however, he says he was just in the right place at the right time. “Chance only comes to the prepared mind,” says Bishop. “You have to recognize that you are in the right place at the right time to exploit opportunity once you come upon it.” Bishop began his research career working on the replication of poliovirus. But soon after arriving at the University of California at San Francisco in 1968, he shifted his attention to Rous sarcoma virus, hoping to explore the fundamental mechanisms of tumorigenesis. In 1970, he was joined by another scientist, Harold Varmus. Together, Varmus and Bishop directed the research that led to the discovery of protooncogenes — normal genes that can be converted to cancer genes by genetic damage.
Their work eventually led to the recognition that all cancer probably arises from damage to normal genes, and provided new strategies for the detection and treatment of cancer. Bishop and Varmus received the 1989 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. They also won the 1982 Albert Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research for their proto-oncogene work. Bishop has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and he holds honorary degrees from Gettysburg College, Miami University, Rochester University, and Harvard University. Bishop and Harold Varmus. Photo by Mikkel Aaland.
Follow rules or break them With this much recognition, one might think Bishop is either a brilliant scientist or simply someone who is quite good at winning awards. If you’re wondering the latter, Bishop wrote a book entitled How to Win the Nobel Prize: An Unexpected Life in Science. “I have not written an instruction manual for pursuit of the prize,” says Bishop. Instead, the book is more of a reflection on the experience of being a Nobelist, some history about the award, and a review of his own career as what he calls an “accidental scientist.”
By Jason Pearce (Elon 1994) involved in doing a piece of science that merits the Nobel Prize,” he says. “You’d be silly to say there is a recipe for it.” But there may be a recipe for coming up with profound scientific discoveries. In addition to timing, Bishop says that a scientist must be willing to take a chance in order to make a major discovery. “Usually, making a major advance involves breaking a previous rule,” he says, pointing out three lessons he’s learned the hard way. “First, the outsider often sees things more clearly than the insider and should not be intimidated by his inexperience. Second, the scientist must trust her or his own imagination, even if, perhaps especially if, it runs counter to received wisdom. Third, there is no substitute for intellectual daring: if you want to rise above the pedestrian, you must be prepared to take risks.” “Breaking rules is one of the fundamental connections between creativity in various fields. And so then you come to the problem of what happens after you have broken all of the rules,” Bishop ponders. It will be a long time before scientist are able to break all of the rules, mostly because they are still uncovering new ones. But brilliant findings like Bishop’s discovery of the cellular origin of retroviral oncogenes gets us one step closer.
“The title was meant to be ironic,” he says, explaining how it started out as a joke for a lecture title. “But it was so amusing to people that I thought I would keep it for the book.”
Transgressing Boundaries In addition to being a leading contributor to cancer research for the past 30 years, Bishop serves as chancellor and university professor at the University of California at San Francisco.
In reality, there’s no formula for earning the Nobel Prize. “There’s so much luck
“Teaching lies at the heart of culture,” says Bishop. “If we didn’t transmit knowledge
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from one generation to the next, culture would die out.” When it comes to cancer, Bishop is clearly one of the world’s most knowledgeable experts. “Our understanding of cancer has advanced almost miraculously over the last 20 years,” says Bishop. “It is thrilling to say that we have been able to make progress. That we have, through human ingenuity, gained insight to this immense human problem. So in that sense, there is a desire to communicate, to explain, and to make clear.” Bishop admits science has not been succeeding very well in communicating its discoveries. “Our public education has by and large failed to convey the kind of understanding about science that can be used throughout life to appreciate a new finding. If you are not a science major, the kind of science instruction available to you is just completely off target.” As a minister’s child who obtained his elementary education in a two-room school, Bishop heard little of science while growing up. His high school was also small, consisting of 60 graduating students. And despite completing his degree in chemistry, Bishop graduated from college still knowing nothing of original research in science.
If science is to make greater progress, scientists must do a better job of communicating knowledge to the public, and the public needs to be more open to new intellectual insights. “The consequences are a poorly informed public,” says Bishop. “There is perhaps no more profound disconnect between the community of science and the general public than the continuing strife over evolution.” The scientific debate between evolution and intelligent design is being played out in schools and by politicians. Many scientists don’t want a debate, for they maintain that the theory of evolution and natural selection is “rock solid,” says Bishop. “Whereas the explanations for the origins of the universe and life remain hypothetical.” “They [creationists] think that humanity was created — poof— 4,000 years ago,” says Bishop. “We in biology know how old life is. We know how old the universe is. Until texts and teaching present an honest and clear image of evolution, the public confusion will continue.” Bishop believes scientists should be supremely honest in their dealings with the public or governmental agencies. “A scientist has to be honest,” he says. “The success of science is built on
Nobel Prize in Chemistry Donald James Cram (Rollins 1941) received the 1987 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for “synthesizing three-dimensional molecules that could mimic the functioning of natural molecules.” J. Michael Bishop and Cram shared similar paths. They both received the Nobel Prize, earned their doctorate from Harvard University, and became professors for the University of California; Cram in Los Angeles and Bishop in San Francisco. Cram synthesized molecules that took the synthesis of crown ethers into three dimensions, creating an array of differently shaped molecules that could interact selectively with other chemicals because of their complementary three-dimensional structures. Lambda Chi Alpha featured Cram in the summer 1988 issue of the Cross & Crescent. He died in Palm Desert, California, on June 17, 2001.
integrity, and that success has never been greater than in our age.” According to Bishop, the most fundamental tenant when talking about science to the public is that scientist should never make predictions. “Science is full of the unexpected,” he says. “The progress in science, in essence, is the unexpected. You look at the major breakthroughs in the natural sciences and they were utterly unexpected.” In the United States, cancer is presently responsible for about 25 percent of all deaths. In the field of cancer research, Bishop is looking for the unexpected. Donald Cram Photo: © Courtesy Rollins College, All Rights Reserved.
President Bush and 2003 National Medal Of Science Laureates. Courtesy National Science & Technology Medals Foundation (NSTMF)
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Keeper of the Torch Steve Briganti has raised more than $500 million for the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Foundation. keeper of the Flame The Statue of Liberty is one of our most treasured memorials. For the world, it represents freedom; for immigrants, it represents opportunity; and for its citizens, it represents independence. But for Steven A. Briganti (Butler 1964), the Statue of Liberty represents everything we are or would like to be as a nation. On July 4, 1986 — the statue’s 100th birthday — President Ronald Reagan declared, “We are the keepers of the flame of liberty; we hold it high for the world to see.”
By Bill Farkas (Butler 1988)
Many people have passed under her towering torch. As the statue neared its 100th birthday, President Ronald Reagan appointed Lee Iacocca to head up a private sector effort to restore the Statue of Liberty. In 1982, Iacocca appointed Briganti to lead the project. Fundraising began for the $87 million restoration under a public/private partnership between the National Park Service and The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation. “It started in a rather unusual way,” says Briganti referring to the Foundation’s beginnings. “No feasibility study, no existing organization, no nothing really. We just sort of started up.”
© Courtesy The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc., All Rights Reserved.
Though Briganti and his team wanted to restore both the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, they soon realized the scale of the project at hand. “We knew we needed to restore the Statue of Liberty, but we weren’t sure about Ellis Island,” he says. “Ellis Island has 27 buildings on 33 acres, so it’s a big place. We realized we couldn’t get everything done all at once.”
As president and CEO of The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Foundation, Briganti is the one responsible for keeping the flame lit. Under his leadership, The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Foundation has raised $500 million, restored the Statue of Liberty and multiple buildings on Ellis Island, and digitized 22 million immigrant records.
The first campaign focused on restoring the Statue of Liberty, which was unveiled on July 4, 1986. The second, third, and fourth campaigns focused on Ellis Island; the most significant being the opening of an Immigration Museum in 1990.
Hope for the Future Between 1892–1924, millions of people arrived by boat at Ellis Island processing centre in hopes of becoming American citizens. They were each greeted by a 305-foot copper and steel statue that was erected on October 28, 1886, as a gift from France.
“The Restoration of Ellis Island was — and I think still is — the largest historic restoration in American history,” says Briganti, who proudly states that “for this project and for the Statue of Liberty, we never took any government money. All of the funding came from the private sector; either from corporations, foundations, private individuals, or through licensing.”
“Forty percent of the American population can trace at least one ancestor through Ellis Island,” says Briganti, who shares a passion for history. “It is on this spot where our lives in this country began,” he says. “Most of us came from somewhere else. We were either poor or persecuted, and were seeking a better way of life. And this country has allowed us to have a better way of life.”
Accessing History Since its opening in 1990, the Ellis Island Immigration Museum has attracted 25 million visitors. But that number pales in comparison to Briganti’s most recent project: the digitizing of all records of arrivals through to the port of New York.
All of Briganti’s grandparents, as well as his mother, first arrived at Ellis Island. “I think about them whenever I visit,” he says. “At the turn of the last century, it was a monumental structure. It had electricity, which many people had never seen. But mostly, it had hope for the future.”
Consisting of some 500 million pieces of historical
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© Courtesy The National Park Service/U.S. Department of the Interior, All Rights Reserved.
information, this project may be his greatest accomplishment to date, attracting 8 billion visitors since going online.
A high school buddy of his, Seth Lewis, introduced Briganti to Lambda Chi Alpha. “I didn’t move in my first semester because I was already living on campus,” he says. “But I lived in the house my remaining three years.”
The American Family Immigration History Center launched online in 2001. This searchable database contains the ship passenger records of 25 million people who entered through the Port of New York and Ellis Island from 1892–1924, the peak years of immigrant processing at Ellis Island.
His leadership qualities soon became evident, for he eventually became chapter president. “In that position, you had to listen to a lot of different ideas,” recalls Briganti. “You had to try to be fair to everybody in making decisions for the house. It was helpful to me in developing an ability to be fair and logical.”
Every ship that docked at Ellis Island had to produce a manifest, which contained the name, age, height, condition of health, and several other pieces of information about every passenger. Most of this historical paperwork was stored on microfiche in Washington, DC, inaccessible to all but the most diligent historian or genealogist.
Fraternities and Ellis Island have a lot in common. They both consist almost entirely of people coming from somewhere else. They also represent new beginnings and opportunities. Lastly, they instill a sense of place when people look back at the pivotal transitioning point in their lives.
Digitizing these records seemed to be an insurmountable challenge. “We started the record center project in 1996,” says Briganti. “At first, we did not plan to put it on the web, for it was only going to exist at Ellis.”
“You move in to a house with a large group of people and you learn how to get along with them, to work with them, and to build a community,” says Briganti. “It’s a good training place. I think that is the value of fraternity; at least it was for me.”
The Mormon Church, which has a particular interest in genealogy, offered to get involved in the project. Eventually, the church and Briganti’s foundation realized the scale of the project and the importance of making its content accessible online.
Since the closing of Ellis Island as a port of entry in 1954, there has been a dramatic change in the ethnicity of this country. “By the year 2050, estimates are that white European Americans — people of European background — will be just one more minority in this country,” says Briganti. “I hope our fraternities are a part of this ethnic change.”
“In all, it took 12,000 volunteers and 5.6 million hours to digitize 22 million immigrant histories,” says Briganti. Visitors from all over the world are now able to access 11 fields of digitized information, view and obtain reproductions of original ship manifests, and even add annotations to passenger and ship records.
“We are a nation of immigrants,” he says. “Whether we came over the Bering Strait or whether we came from Europe, we are a unique nation in the world; a nation that was built almost entirely of people coming from somewhere else, and we need to celebrate that.”
Working With Others Like many immigrants, Briganti’s childhood began in New York City. His family, however, relocated to Warsaw, Indiana, by the time he entered high school. Feeling at home in the Midwest, he enrolled at Butler University.
© Courtesy The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc., All Rights Reserved.
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