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Growing up in Claremont, Mary Lois Seifert ’67 heard a lot about Pomona College. “The small class size, sense of community, and high quality of faculty appealed to me,” she says—but going to college in her hometown did not. And that’s what led her to discover Occidental. After graduating with a degree in religion, she did her master’s in social work at the University of Chicago, which led to a career in the medical field. “Toward the end, I was a social worker in a home hospice setting,” says Mary Lois, who retired in 2008 and lives with her husband of nearly 43 years, Lynn Comeskey, in Santa Cruz. Lynn graduated from Pomona in 1960—he and Mary Lois later met in Palo Alto—and served two years in the Army before attending Stanford Business School. After a career as a general contractor and commercial real estate investor, he now volunteers on a building crew for Habitat for Humanity. Mary Lois and Lynn love to travel, especially in Europe, so History of Civilization “provided a foundation for appreciating the many threads that weave together throughout history,” she says. Singing Bach’s B-Minor Mass in College choir along with the Glee Club and orchestra under conductor Howard Swan set “a high bar for any choir I sang with after that,” she adds. The Comeskeys have two grandkids, ages 11 and 14, and “We expect they will go to a small liberal arts college, as did their parents and grandparents,” Mary Lois notes. In that spirit, the couple has designated a planned gift to the College’s general scholarship endowment: “We both place a high value on liberal arts education.”

ExplOring l.A. WiTh TOm CArrOll ’08 /// nO JusTiCE, nO pEAs: insidE ThE Oxy FOOd COnFErEnCE

High on the Liberal Arts

SENIOR COMPS

Photo by Marc Campos

“Thanks to alumni such as Mary Lois Comeskey, whose legacy gift will support endowed scholarships, Occidental will be able to provide our students with access and opportunity for generations to come,” says President Jonathan Veitch. Mary Lois and Lynn concur: “Our hope is that more young people will have access to quality colleges such as Oxy to prepare them as citizens of the world.” oxy.edu/magazine

Occidental College Office of Gift Planning M-36 | 1600 Campus Road Los Angeles CA 90041-3314 | Phone: 323-259-2644 Email: giftplanning@oxy.edu | oxy.edu/giftplanning | facebook.com/BenCulleySociety

The origins, anxieties, and caffeinated outcomes of an Oxy institution


OXYFARE 

Snapshots from Volume 39, Number 3 oxy.edu/magazine OCCIDENTAL COLLEGE

Jonathan Veitch President Wendy F. Sternberg Vice President for Academic Aairs and Dean of the College Rhonda L. Brown Vice President for Equity and Inclusion & Chief Diversity OďŹƒcer Charlie Cardillo Vice President for Institutional Advancement Vince Cuseo Vice President of Enrollment and Dean of Admission Rob Flot Vice President for Student Aairs and Dean of Students Amos Himmelstein Vice President & Chief Operating OďŹƒcer Marty Sharkey Associate Vice President for Marketing and Communications Jim Tranquada Director of Communications editorial staff

Nacho Age 10

Aleksandra Sherman Assistant Professor Cognitive Science

Tank Striped Spirit Muscle Tee (100% cotton) by League Collegiate Outfitters Sizes S-XL, $28.95

Occidental College Bookstore oxybookstore.com To order by phone: 323-259-2951 All major credit cards accepted

Dick Anderson Editor Samantha B. Bonar ’90, Jasmine Teran Contributing Writers Marc Campos Contributing Photographer Gail (Schulman) Ginell ’79 Class Notes Editor SanSoucie Design Design DLS Group Printing

Alumni Reunion Weekend June 23-25 1. Clockwise from upper left, Alumni Seal honorees Kylie Schuyler ’82 (service to the community), Sally Ann Parsons ’62 (alumna of the year), Judy Lam ’87 (service to the College), Esau Berumen ’97 (professional achievement), Sara El-Amine ’07 (Erica J. Murray ’01 Young Alumni Award), and Mark Garcia ’87 (service to the College). 2. Leslie Scott ’87 and Carole (McPherson) Lewis ’87 catch up at Saturday’s reception. 3. Steve Hinchlie ’55, co-recipient of the Fifty Year Club’s Auld Lang Syne Award, with Fred Hameetman ’61. 4. President Jonathan Veitch and Eric Moore ’83. 5. No parking on the dance oor— not when Oswald gets into the groove with Jordan Narducci ’07. 6. Lois Aroian ’67 enjoys a coee with Frank Van Der Baan ’67 prior to Sunday’s Fifty Year Club meeting. 7. A Taylor-made selďŹ e at Saturday’s Oxy GOLD pool party with 2007 grads Rob Lucero, Devin Wasley, Paul Cardona, and Sarah Bowles. 8. Theater professor John Bouchard, son Jack, and wife Nan. Bouchard was this year’s recipient of the Fifty Year Club’s Io Triumphe Award. 9. Foosball combatants included 2012 classmates (from left) Jason Park, Alma Garcia, Yelka Kamara, Irene Li, and Aaron Stark (far right). 10. Twins redux: Gregory Impert ’02 and Doreen (Peden) Siodmak ’56. 11. 2007 grads Hernan Orozco, Sam PeĂąa, Sean Ganley, Daisy PeĂąa, Jayson Williams, Miko Quisumbing, and Adam Reilly on Saturday night.

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Published quarterly by Occidental College Main number: 323-259-2500 To contact Occidental magazine By phone: 323-259-2679 By email: oxymag@oxy.edu By mail: Occidental College OďŹƒce of Communications F-36 1600 Campus Road Los Angeles CA 90041-3314

Family & Homecoming Weekend October 20-21

Cover illustration: Gwen Keraval Oxy Wear photo: Marc Campos

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Letters may be edited for length, content, and style. Occidental College online Homepage: oxy.edu Facebook: facebook.com/occidental Twitter: @occidental Instagram: instagram.com/occidentalcollege

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Andy Collins ’07—who led the Tigers to a 27–0 SCIAC record during his three-year tenure as quarterback (2004–2006)—will be inducted posthumously into the Occidental Athletics Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility on Friday, October 20, during Family & Homecoming Weekend. (Collins died in 2011 at the age of 27.) Other 2017 inductees include Stephen Haas ’63 (track and field), the 1982 NCAA national champion women’s tennis team, and Blair Slattery ’94 (basketball and tennis). For more information, visit oxyathletics.com. We look forward to seeing you back on campus for a weekend celebration of the Occidental family! Photo by Kirby Lee

alumni.oxy.edu


SUMMER 2017 Hoppy Swarts ’41 was a fixture on the Southern California surfing scene for most of his life.

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Features 14 Edible Complex Foodies, wonks, and utensil-minded gourmands chew over a buffet of  topics as Oxy hosts an international gathering of food studies scholars.

18 Walking in L.A. Tom Carroll ’08’s YouTube videos  explore the forgotten fringes of the City of Angels, while schooling viewers about some lesser-known landmarks—and there’s no test at the end.

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Mr. Rohde’s Wild Ride Raconteur and adventurer Joe Rohde ’77 brings a world of influences and his liberal arts training to his work as a Disney Imagineer.

OxyTalk Retiring professors Anne McCall Schell and Diana Card Linden enlightened generations of minds in psychophysiology and cognitive science.

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First Word President Veitch on the life of friend and mentor Eugene Lang, who died April 8, and the tradition of philanthropy that lives on Oxy today. Also: Readers weigh in on the Herrick organ and the “Faces of Oxy.”

From the Quad Alumni, colleagues, and a U.S. president recall the late Roger Boesche’s immeasurable impact. Also: highlights from Commencement, spring sports standouts, a class trip to Manzanar, Oxy’s 3rd LA series, and more.

Page 64 Eamon Armstrong ’06 travels the planet researching the best festivals of every flavor —and he won’t stop until he’s built a global community.

38 Tigerwire Class notes for odd years.

Extra Stresstrial Senior comps can be time-consuming, mind-bending, and soul-crushing —but they inspire many Tigers to unimagined heights.

30 Chairman of the Board As a teenager, Lewis “Hoppy” Swarts ’41 first dragged a heavy redwood paddleboard into the waves off  Hermosa Beach. Decades later, with his beloved sport in dangerous  waters, he became the father of  organized surfing.

CREDITS: Sue Swarts Beacham ’66 and Doug Beacham ’64 Swarts | Max S. Gerber Rohde | Marc Campos Herrick organ | Sam’s Photo Services Pitcher Alexis Funaki ’19 | Kevin Burke Schell | Jacob Avanzato Armstrong


FIRST WORD » FROM PRESIDENT VEITCH

Friend, Mentor, and Model Philanthropist Photo by Marc Campos

The life of Eugene Lang, who died April 8 at the age of 98, was a classic rags-to-riches story. Born in New York City, the child of immigrants, he grew up in a tenement apartment. He was working in a Manhattan restaurant when a chance encounter with a Swarthmore trustee changed his life; a scholarship and a Swarthmore degree followed. A pioneer in technology transfer, licensing, and the marketing of intellectual properties, he became a very wealthy man —“the quintessential entrepreneur,” as Forbes called him. But for me, the most compelling part of Gene’s life is not how he earned his wealth but what he did with it. As I learned during my tenure as dean of the Eugene Lang College at the New School in New York, his philanthropy was guided by a deep sense of personal responsibility. “Giving is not giving back,” he once told The New York Times. “There is no quid pro quo. Giving is selffulfillment.” Gene was best known for the promise he made in 1981 in a commencement speech to graduating sixth graders at P.S. 121 in East Harlem—his alma mater. His

Eugene Lang speaks at President Veitch’s 2009 inauguration.

college. His experience at Swarthmore had been a transformative experience for him, and he was an impassioned advocate for the liberal arts. It was a gift from him that established the New School’s Lang School as an undergraduate college that combined the liberal arts and sciences with civic engagement. As he said at my Oxy inauguration in 2009, “Higher education has a primary obligation to include social responsibility and participatory citizenship among

Eugene Lang was thoughtful, engaged, fully committed, always recruiting new partners, and above all, joyful in service to others. impulsive pledge to provide a scholarship to every member of the class admitted to a four-year college eventually led to the creation of his I Have a Dream Foundation, which has helped more than 18,000 lowincome children from across the country succeed in school and enroll in college. It was his work with the foundation that led President Bill Clinton to present him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1996. Gene was also deeply concerned with what students learned after they got to 2

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its essential learning values.” Gene’s evangelism had a powerful impact on me, and is one of the reasons why I jumped at the chance to submit my resume when Occidental was looking for a president almost a decade ago. I was not the only person to fall under his spell. In pursuit of additional support for what quickly became known as his Dreamers, he persuaded an impressive list of high-profile New Yorkers to join him in sponsoring public school classes and play-

ing a personal role in guiding students through school, as he did. Among his recruits were investment banker Felix G. Rohatyn and Reuben Mark, president of the Colgate-Palmolive Co. His was an expansive, participatory form of philanthropy, one that was deeply rooted in his belief in the importance of his responsibility to others. At Oxy, we have been fortunate to benefit from a similar tradition of philanthropy, one that has moved alumni, parents, and friends to make a transformative Oxy education available to generations of students. Instead of Rohatyn and Mark, Oxy has its own impressive list of names during my tenure: Anderson, Berkus, Cannon, Choi, Crosthwaite, Edgerton, Hameetman, Hinchliffe, Kahane, McKinnon, Mullin, Payden, Samuelson, Selleck, and White, to name a few. These are among the donors that have made many of the College’s most distinctive programs possible, from our one-of-a-kind United Nations program to our state-of-the-art career center that helps students translate their valuable liberal arts skills in the marketplace. Gene was a visionary, but he also was a businessman with a very practical turn of mind who flew coach and took the subway. When I became dean of the Lang School in 2004, enrollment was small, morale was low, and fundraising was almost nonexistent. The school’s relationship with Gene was, by his own acknowledgment, not everything that either side had hoped. Over the next five years, as we worked together to raise up the school, Gene served as an inspiring model of what effective philanthropy looks like: thoughtful, engaged, fully committed, always recruiting new partners, and above all, joyful in service to others. I continue to apply the lessons I learned from him today. He will be missed.


FIRST WORD

» FROM THE READERS Delayed Gratification Many thanks to David Kasunic and Edmond Johnson for rescuing the Herrick organ (“Organ Recovery,” Spring)! It is a true treasure and needs to be played and shared. As an organ performance major at Occidental, I studied with David Craighead and Clarence Mader. I gave my junior and senior recitals in Thorne Hall, so I had to learn how to deal with the time delay (the console being in the front of the hall, and all of the pipes in the back of the hall). Carolyn Pryor ’57 Campbell

Out of Sight It was gratifying to read Peter Gilstrap’s article on the Herrick Chapel Schlicker organ, with a few references to the history of the organ at Oxy. There is a general misconception about the organ per se, and Gilstrap gives this away in his second paragraph. Accordingly, I would submit that no musical instrument of any kind at any point in history is visually hidden away from its player or its listeners. Does anyone go to a concert by the Los Angeles Philharmonic orchestra and not expect to see the orchestra as well as hear it—not see the violinist or pianist as they play a concerto? I think not. So why celebrate the fact that the Herrick Chapel organ is hidden away? It is a fact of musical life, many hundreds of years old, that the pipe organ has been out in the open for all to see and hear it, which, of course, seems to be axiomatic with all musical instruments. European builders have always understood this and have been aware of the organ’s intrinsic visual beauty. This is a notion American architects have not understood until rather recent times, and have previously pretended to solve the problem of pipe organ placement by simply hiding it. The real question, then, is this: Why did Herrick Memorial Chapel have to be so badly designed with respect to the pipe organ placement in it given in memory of Mildred Miles? I know for a fact that the late Clarence Mader, College organist at the time, fought to have the organ properly placed in the open. Besides the sheer musical and artistic visual aspects of his idea, regular servicing, i.e. tuning and occasional

regulating of the pipe organ, would have been less expensive for the College over the years, since access to it would be immeasurably easier. But, no, Mader’s counsel was ignored. Why? Because the architect had a fixation on the stained glass window in the middle of the west wall and thought the organ would detract from this. How little he understood! Having the pipe organ out in the open would have saved the building of the vertical closets on either side of the sanctuary, a cost themselves, while the pipes could easily have been designed to accent the stained glass window in the center and add to the overall beauty of the chapel. The premise is simple: When one pays a dollar for an organ, one expects to hear a dollar’s worth of organ, not 60 cents’ worth. George E. Klump ’57 La Crescenta

Addie’s Magic Moments I worked with Addie McMenamin ’40 in the late 1970s (“Alumni’s First Lady,” Spring). She was my mentor. Her humility, kindness, gentle diplomacy toward all, and resolute sense of fairness was combined with a keen and unwavering business savvy. Addie had an encyclopedic memory for alumni as well as any and all familial Oxy connections. Regardless of how much time had passed since an alumnus or alumna had been on campus, Addie was able to extricate some personal tidbit of information on that person that amazed them and us. During an alumni trip to Ireland with Bob Ryf, then dean of faculty, she helped me rescue an alumna who had missed a connecting flight to Dublin. (No cellphones back then!) The lost traveler had no way to contact us but was met days—and dazed— later at the Sligo train station by Addie’s smile and warm greeting. It also was during this trip that I learned of her daily search for a “magic moment”—an outward symbol of her unwavering optimism. Addie choreographed class reunions, local and regional events, Fifty Year Club gatherings, and myriad presidential receptions with military-style organization but always with a smile and calm demeanor. She held dear a commitment to the core values of a liberal arts tradition.

Addie dedicated herself and her work to Oxy. It was an honor to know Addie and John, whom I stayed in touch with during their devoted and loving life together. Jean Keefe Parry ’70 Santa Barbara

Bullish on Barber I’m a California native, but after 36 years in North Carolina, I’m a William Barber fangirl (“‘A Grownup Conversation,’” Spring). Rev. Barber recalls the desperate and determined leaders of the ’70s, the people who made us believe we could change anything. When I first moved to North Carolina in 1981, the state was a beacon in the American South, illuminating the benefits of education, environmental sensibility and empowerment. Over the past few years, as that light has dimmed, Rev. Barber has injected energy to inflame us back into action and belief. He is the real deal, and I commend Oxy for recognizing his role in protecting what is right and good in the American Dream. Barber has announced his resignation from the N.C. NAACP later this year to launch a renewed Poor People’s Campaign. Stay tuned: He is not done. Diane Lennox ’73 Durham, N.C.

Art Appreciation I really appreciated the photo and caption on Rafa Esparza’s art installation (“Faces of Oxy,” Spring). It’s nice to see such interesting art going up around campus! I can just picture myself walking up Mount Fiji and finding such a beautiful sculpture with the face of kitchen assistant Freddy Ortiz on it. One of the things I loved so much about Oxy when I was there was getting to know the dining and facilities staff, and it’s awesome to see this aspect of Oxy put into physical form in such a unique way. I would love to see the entire installation sometime and to hear the oral history accompaniment. Thanks to all who contributed to such a wonderful project. I’m glad programs like the Kathryn Caine Wanlass Charitable Foundation continue to provide support for endeavors such as this. John Eaton ’11 New Orleans SUMMER 2017

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FROM THE QUAD

Boesche points to his office in Swan Hall soon after his arrival at Oxy in 1977.

Larger Than Life Roger Boesche retired in May after 40 years at Oxy. He died two days later. Alumni, colleagues, and a U.S. president recall his immeasurable impact

One year after his arrival, Roger Boesche’s colleagues knew they were on to someone special. Writing on behalf of the political science department, “We have never seen student evaluations more positive, and … we cannot recall any first-year professor who has had such unanimous praise from students,” Professor Larry Caldwell noted. “In short, Professor Boesche has had an absolutely smashing first year. We are tempted to apply the adjective ‘unparalleled.’” Three years later, seniors in the Class of 1981—who arrived at the College alongside Boesche—voted him the Loftsgordon Award for Outstanding Teaching “for exceptional ability to communicate and inspire.” “He is active, aware, compassionate, and humble,” Devin Dougherty ’81 said in presenting the award at Commencement. Turning to Boesche, he added, “Because of what you’ve done for yourself and many others, 4

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and because of the individual that you are, I cannot leave Oxy with anything but an extreme amount of optimism.” It was a sentiment echoed by generations of students over his 40-year Oxy career. Accompanied by his wife Mandy, Boesche was saluted with a standing ovation at Commencement on May 21 on the occasion of his retirement as Arthur G. Coons Professor in the History of Ideas. Two days later, he died in his sleep at home. Boesche was 69. “We have learned from Mandy that Roger’s last words were about Oxy and his time at the College, and that in a lifetime of memorable moments, Sunday’s outpouring of love and respect from the Oxy community was the icing on the cake,” Occidental President Jonathan Veitch said in a campus message announcing Boesche’s death. “Roger’s impact on our community was profound. He will be deeply missed.”

Boesche was widely known as President Barack Obama ’83’s favorite college professor, a distinction noted in obituaries in the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, and Washington Post. “Your classroom is where my interest in politics began,” Obama said in a May 2016 note congratulating Boesche on his pending retirement. “Posing questions that have challenged societies through the ages, your teaching and research remind us of the importance of constant inquiry and debate—lessons that are at the core of our democracy and that I’ve drawn on throughout my life, particularly in this Office.” In a sympathy note to Mandy, the president added: “As you know, he had a great impact on my life, as he did with thousands of students who he instructed and inspired.” “Outside of my parents, he was the greatest teacher of my life,” Miracle Messages founder Kevin Adler ’07 wrote on Facebook


FROM THE QUAD

Photos courtesy Mandy Boesche | Commencement 2017 photo by Marc Campos

left: Boesche with his most famous pupil during an Oval Office visit in 2009. below: As a freshman at Stanford. bottom: Accepting the Loftsgordon Award from Devin Dougherty ’81 at Commencement in June 1981.

top: Wife Mandy, Roger, and daughter Kelsey at Yosemite National Park in 2015. above: “Everything I learned from him shaped who I am today,” said Janette Sadik-Khan ’82, former New York City transportation commissioner and principal of Bloomberg Associates (with Boesche in 2010). right: Boesche acknowledges a standing ovation at Commencement on May 21. A public celebration of his life was held July 8 in Thorne Hall.

—one of dozens of tributes on social media following the news of Boesche’s death. “As we embraced at his retirement party, Roger whispered to me: ‘You’re my hero.’ As always, even when feted by hundreds of former students and colleagues in his moment in the sun, Roger gave his students more than we could possibly give him. In my case, he made me want to be better than I am.” “Roger changed my life, from the very first class, to the day I graduated, everything I learned from him shaped who I am today,” Janette Sadik-Khan ’82, former New York City transportation commissioner and principal of Bloomberg Associates, told the Los Angeles Times. “It was not only about political theory. It was about ideas, about society, community, and public service.” A scholar of de Tocqueville and theories of tyranny, Boesche was renowned for his ability to make the complex comprehensible.

“He recounted the great people and ideas in political philosophy with an uncanny knack for storytelling that made even Kant and Hegel accessible,” Joe Dingman ’13 said in a Facebook tribute. Diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis as a teenager, Boesche refused to give in to the disease that eventually shrank his 6'1" frame more than a foot, traveling with his family to more than 120 countries. “His daring travels through mountains, rocky roads, and caves in his wheelchair taught me that with enough determination and resilience anything is possible,” Jenna Mowat ’16 wrote. Born in Tulsa, Okla., Boesche went to Stanford University, where he earned his undergraduate and doctoral degrees in political science. There he also met, fell in love with, and married the former Mandy Reynolds. In addition to being a two-time Loftsgordon honoree, he also received the Sterling Award,

Oxy’s most prestigious faculty honor; the Tod and Linda White Teaching Prize; and served as president of Faculty Council. At Boesche’s retirement party April 25, Eric Newhall ’67 concluded his remarks with a favorite passage from William Faulkner’s short story “The Bear,” saying: “This passage is about the end of a bear hunt that has been going on for many years, but it can be applied to the end of anything that has been wonderful in this life, in this instance the official end of a wonderful career.” “It seemed to him that there was a fatality in it. It seemed to him that something, he didn’t know what, was beginning; had already begun. It was like the last act on a set stage. It was the beginning of the end of something, he didn’t know what except that he would not grieve. He would be humble and proud that he had been found worthy to be a part of it too or even just to see it too.” SUMMER 2017

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FROM THE QUAD

lefy: Joshua Harmon (an English major from Washington, D.C.) made a splash as the lead character in “Before the Interview,” classmate Danny Scharar’s comedy short for his media arts and culture production comp. below: Logan Justice (philosophy, Hong Kong) and Shannon Jones (sociology, San Francisco) cheer on a classmate midway through the ceremony.

‘Guts, Grit, and Ganas’ California Attorney General Xavier Becerra implores Oxy’s Class of 2017 to swing for the fences in fostering change

Becerra was praised by President Jonathan Veitch for his three decades of public service, “for the grit and ganas you have demonstrated as an advocate for those less able to advocate for themselves, and for never forgetting those with whom you have walked.” The child of immigrants, Becerra was the first in his family to graduate from a four-year college.

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Drawing on his experience as a father and 12-term congressman, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra urged the Class of 2017 to work to change the world for the better as the keynote speaker at Occidental’s 135th Commencement ceremony May 21. Becerra wove together advice he received from Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), the veteran civil rights leader, with the example set by one of his Eagle Rock neighbors to urge the graduates to not only earn a living but work for change. “John Lewis would always say to us, as we were getting ready to go into battle on an important issue, ‘If you want to make a difference, you got to get in the way. You got to get into trouble—good trouble,’” Becerra told an audience of 4,000 in Remsen Bird Hillside Theater. He contrasted Lewis’ advice with that of a family friend, Danny House, whose daughter played softball with Becerra’s daughter.

“Every time his daughter would get up to bat, Danny always used to say, ‘Vanessa, when you get up there, you be a hitter. If that ball is anywhere close to you, you get up there and smack it.’” Both men, he said, were delivering the same message: “Every time you have a chance to get up to the plate, you’ve got to take advantage. … Folks, we’re going to change the world. We’re not just going to walk to first base. We’re going to smack that ball and get in the way.” In closing, Becerra encouraged the new graduates to have the guts, grit, and ganas (“look it up—it’s a great word, a combination of grit and guts and so much more”) “to get up there and be the hitter. If you do that, we will create the next greatest middle class, and we will continue to have the glass half full for this country. That is your mission.”


FROM THE QUAD

left: Confetti rains down on the Class of 2017. above: Three amigos: Klaus Ito (biology, San Marino), Isaac Glanzrock (geology, Bainbridge Island, Wash.), and Cruz Riley (art history and the visual arts, St. Louis). below center: Nick Yeh (diplomacy and world affairs and theater, Taipei, Taiwan) and Michael Cao (economics, Beijing) mark the end of a fouryear journey. below right: Monique Gibbs (sociology, Hidden Valley Lake) and Colette de Beus (economics, Redondo Beach) look to the future.

above: Jeh Johnson Jr. (mathematics, Montclair, N.J.) with his sister Natalie; father, Jeh Johnson; and mother, Oxy trustee Susan DiMarco. Johnson ran a leg in both the winning 4x400m and 4x100m relays at the SCIAC Championships this spring. right: Beth Braker, professor of biology, embraces son Benjamin Scott (biology, Riverside). far right: President Veitch congratulates Jenna Nelson (physics, Albuquerque, N.M.) far left: New York Times reporter Andrea Elliott ’96, winner of the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for feature writing, accepts her honorary doctorate. left: Honorary doctorate recipient Brenda Shockley ’68, Los Angeles deputy mayor for economic development and former president of Community Build, a nonprofit she helped found. right: Will Nahmens (cognitive science, Redwood City) cools down post-ceremony.

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FROM THE QUAD

Photo by Marc Campos

From left, 2017 graduates Ernani, Morales, and Mortazavi made the most of their financial support.

Access and Opportunity For seven out of 10 students, financial aid helps enable the path to Oxy. Three recent grads recount their journeys, discoveries, and what comes next Giving promising minds access to a worldclass education has long been among Oxy’s core values. In the 2016-17 academic year, more than $41 million in financial support created life-changing opportunities that enabled countless Oxy students to pursue their dreams, discover new interests, and forge a path to exciting careers ahead. Three newly minted graduates share their stories. Malena Ernani ’17 was born on Margarita Island, off the coast of Venezuela. When she and her mother moved to California in 2000, “We lived in a working-class Latino neighborhood, and my mom worked her butt off to give me opportunities and the education that I deserved,” she recalls. A politics and French major with a minor in gender, women, and sexuality studies, Ernani started the Planned Parenthood Club as a sophomore to raise awareness about reproductive justice. She also interviewed prospective high school students who were interested in applying to Oxy as a work-study in the admission office. And she studied French feminist literature abroad in Paris. Without scholarship and grant support, Ernani says she would not have been able to attend Oxy. She navigated her way through the financial aid maze with Gina Becerril, now Oxy’s director of financial aid. “She un8

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derstood where we were coming from, that there are constraints for people who come from all different types of backgrounds,” Ernani recalls. “It was obvious that the College was trying to help me, as opposed to being just another number in the applicant pool.” Now with the Teach For America program, Ernani is back in San Francisco undergoing elementary education training as well as going through the certification process for bilingual education. “I’m really excited to meet my kids soon,” she says. “My dream of going back home and working came true.” Marjorie Morales ’17 appreciates the way the human body moves as much as the way it works. The kinesiology major and biology minor from San Francisco served as co-president of People of Color in STEM, but also participated in HyperXpressions Dance Company and Dance Production. Morales was born a year after her mother immigrated to the United States from the Philippines in 1994. Her family moved to America specifically for the educational opportunities, and in terms of financial aid, “Oxy was the most generous out of all the schools that I looked at,” she says. Upon entering Oxy, Multicultural Summer Institute “changed my life,” she recalls. “It changed the way that I look at and treat

people [and] the way that I think about myself and my identity.” Morales is applying to research programs while volunteering at hospitals, with a goal of starting medical school by fall 2019. Prior to arriving at Oxy, at a brunch for admitted students, she remembers meeting an Oxy alumna who was a doctor. “She told me that Oxy will not make you a doctor in four years; however, it will make you a better person, and that in turn will make you a better doctor. And that has stuck with me.” Ashkan Mortazavi ’17 traces his interest in economics back to the West’s sanctions on his native Iran. “I was able to witness firsthand the effects that the sanctions had on the country, specifically on the relationship between the government and people,” says the economics major, who moved with his family to Kirkland, Wash., at age 8. “After seeing the success that the sanctions had in bringing Iran to the negotiation table and in eventually producing a nuclear treaty, I began viewing economics in a new light. I started seeing the discipline as a tool to prevent wars, pollution, and financial crises.” In the coming months, Mortazavi will be working as a research analyst in the New York City office of NERA Economic Consulting. There was a time, he says, when going to college did not seem feasible: “I didn’t have any money even to fly down here to visit.” When it came down to choosing schools, “Oxy by far was the most understanding of my situation.” Financial aid allowed him to pursue his studies both at Oxy and at Cambridge University as a junior, and it inspired him to raise money to build a well in Liberia through a fundraising event at Oxy called Date Night. The well, in a village in New Buchanan, prominently bears a plaque that reads “Occidental College.”


FROM THE QUAD

Photos by Marc Campos

left: More than 10,000 Japanese Americans were incarcerated at Manzanar. below left: Students examine a mess hall with exhibits. below: Phil Shigekuni, who was incarcerated at Camp Amache, Colo., visited Oxy on April 13.

Nam and his Hist 248 students at the Manzanar Monument with the inscription, “to console the souls of the dead.”

Lessons From Manzanar Seventy-five years after the Japanese-American incarceration, students in Paul Nam’s Modern Japan class visit an internment camp and discuss its legacy In freshening the syllabus last semester for his Modern Japan course—which covers the country’s history from the 1868 Meiji Restoration to the present—adjunct associate professor Paul Nam revamped the curriculum with an eye toward what he calls “current political circumstances.” “I really wanted to give my students the tools to see how Japan descended into fascism [that precipitated the country’s entry into World War II],” says Nam, who received the 2014 Loftsgordon Memorial Award for Outstanding Teaching. A second unit within the course that Nam expanded dealt with the wartime incarceration of Japanese-Americans under Executive Order 9066, signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on Feb. 19, 1942. “Technically, that is American history, but we’re allowed some liberties in our classes,” Nam says. The primary text for the section was Personal Justice Denied, a 1982 report by the U.S. Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians studying the causes and consequences of the incarceration.

Located some 220 miles northeast of Los Angeles, Manzanar War Relocation Center was one of 10 remote, military-style camps where more than 110,000 Japanese American citizens and resident Japanese aliens were incarcerated during WWII. Manzanar was designated as a National Historic Site in 1992, and after visiting the site with his wife over winter break, Nam decided that the time “seemed appropriate” to take his class to Manzanar—which his students enthusiastically endorsed. With funding from Oxy’s L.A. Encounters program, Nam arranged a trip to the site March 25, followed by an overnight stay in the nearby Alabama Hills. Prior to the trip students visited the Japanese American National Museum in Little Tokyo. At the end of the tour, a number of people who had gone through the camps joined Nam’s class for a Q&A session. After making the roughly four-hour trek to Manzanar, participants had lunch in the reconstructed mess hall before taking a guided tour of the facility and looking around

the exhibitions, including a pair of reconstructed barracks. “What really struck me was how they had this natural beauty around them,” Nam says of the camp’s Eastern Sierra Mountains locale, “and to be denied their citizenship and their freedom there—to be imprisoned and incarcerated amid this beauty. It must have been such a dissonance.” “The students were really perceptive,” Nam says. During a debrief at their overnight campsite, “they pointed out that the Manzanar tour “had more of a summer-camp feeling” (complete with a basketball court on the premises), compared to the solemnity of the Japanese American National Museum. Nam’s class was not the only reminder of the U.S. government’s World War II incarceration of Japanese-Americans. A yearlong event series, Never Again brought speakers, film screenings, and exhibits to campus, culminating with an April 13 roundtable discussion in Choi Auditorium, organized by Nam’s students, featuring a panel of Japanese Americans and Muslim Americans that included WWII internee Phil Shigekuni; Rosie Yasukochi ’18, an art major from Seattle, whose grandmother lived in the camps; Karim Sharif ’18, an English major from Los Angeles; and activists Taz Ahmed and Marwa Abdelghani. “I’m so proud of my students because they did the roundtable discussion,” says Nam, a graduate of Williams College. “This is the ideal of what a liberal arts college class should be—to transcend the classroom and to make use of your surroundings.” SUMMER 2017

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FROM THE QUAD

Photo credits: Eddie Ruvacaba (track), Sam’s Photo Services (softball), Marc Campos (Scott)

Left: Jeh Johnson ’17 passes the baton to Hugh Pegan ’18. Center: Dallas Boyle ’18 brings the heat. Right: Bryan Scott ’17 goes deep at Rams training camp.

‘Damn Proud’ to Be a Tiger From nine All-Americans and two SCIAC players of the year to a no-hitter in baseball and a tryout with the Rams, spring was a highlight reel for Oxy sports All-SCIAC sprinter Hugh Pegan ’18 of Ukiah picked up three of Tiger track’s nine AllAmerican awards at the 2017 NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Geneva, Ohio, in May. The mathematics major’s performance helped Oxy score in the 200 meters, the 4x100 meter relay, and the 4x400 meter relay and finish 20th overall— the best finish in the country for any SCIAC men’s team. The championships marked the end of a successful season for the Oxy men who continued to close ground with ClaremontMudd-Scripps, losing to the Stags at the SCIAC Championship meet by a mere 1.5 points. Led by javelin thrower Sabrina Degnan ’19 of Atascadero, who set a new Oxy record of 147 feet to win the SCIAC championship, the Oxy women placed third in conference. For the second year in a row, head track coach Rob Bartlett was named SCIAC Men’s Coach of the Year. Assistant coach and sprints specialist Tyler Yamaguchi was named U.S. 10

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Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association West Region Assistant Coach of the Year for the third consecutive year. After leading Oxy to its best conference season in program history, softball coach Ali Haehnel and assistant coaches Raven Freret and Tod Shimamoto were named the SCIAC Coaching Staff of the Year. The Tigers finished 11-17 in conference play, nearly doubling their previous best win total of six. Although Oxy baseball came down from last year’s heights, Luke Wetmore’s squad notched its third consecutive winning campaign (22-17 overall, 13-11 conference). Second Team All-SCIAC pitcher Nolan Watson ’17 threw the 15th varsity no-hitter in school history in a seven-inning, mercy-rule 16-0 win over CMS at Anderson Field on March 24. As the game progressed, “I tried not to let it creep in and distract me,” Watson said afterward. “The feeling was indescribable, a relief and a weight off my shoulders. It’s just an honor to be a part of Occidental history.”

Lacrosse players Alessandra Pelliccia ’20 of McLean, Va., Sierra Slack ’18 of Vorhees, N.J., and Emma Barrow ’20 of Simi Valley were named IWLCA First Team All-West. All three were named First Team All-SCIAC, and Pelliccia was named SCIAC Offensive Player of the Year—a first for a first-year in conference history. The attacker led SCIAC in goals, points, ground balls, and draw controls. The Tigers finished the season 11-6 overall and 5-5 in SCIAC play, advancing to the conference tourney as the No. 3 seed. Dylan Jirsa ’18 of Estes Park, Colo., was named SCIAC Men’s Golfer of the Year after finishing with the lowest total score after seven rounds of conference golf. Swimmer Austin Lashley ’18, an AllSCIAC performer in the 100 and 200 fly, was named a CSCAA Scholar All-America Team Honorable Mention. Lashley also set school records in the 200 fly and 50 free, and swam a leg of Oxy’s school record-setting 400 free relay. Not to be outdone, both the men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams earned Team Scholar All-America honors for posting above a 3.0 GPA in the spring semester. Quarterback Bryan Scott ’17 of Rolling Hills, who last fall became SCIAC’s all-time leader in passing yards, completions, and total offense, ended the year with an invitation to try out at the Los Angeles Rams rookie camp in May. While accepting the Roy Dennis ScholarAthlete Award at the annual athletics awards banquet, the sociology major talked about how he was embarrassed to tell people back in high school that he was coming to Oxy because he’d not received offers from Division I schools. But when he introduced himself to the general manager, coaches, and other Rams players at camp he proudly said, “I’m an Occidental Tiger and I’m damn proud to be one,” earning roars from the crowd.


FROM THE QUAD

numerology

Surveying the Climate A new study on sexual assault at Oxy underscores a perceptual gap between survivors and bystanders Photos by Marc Campos

A small increase in the percentage of Occidental students who report having been sexually assaulted coincides with a rise in the number of students who reported the assault to an Oxy official, according to the College’s 2016 sexual assault climate survey. Some 10 percent of survey respondents reported they had been assaulted while at Oxy, up from 8 percent in 2015, survey results show. The number of survivors reporting their assault to Oxy officials increased 5 percent over the same period, from 18 percent in 2015 to 23 percent in 2016. Still, 13 percent of survivors told no one, up from 8 percent in 2015. A new survey question about bystander intervention—the preventative technique taught to all Oxy students—revealed a major gap between the general student population and survivors, according to Teresa Kaldor, the College’s director of institutional research. At an April 14 presentation of survey results, Kaldor noted that 80 percent of bystanders who observed sexual assault reported they intervened, while only three of 53 survivors reported any intervention. “While there are signs of an increase in trust in the College, clearly we still have a lot of work to do,” said Ruth Jones, Occidental’s Title IX coordinator. “The thing that’s most challenging is that we are educating the community about issues, but haven’t been able to take the next step of changing behavior. We need to continue to focus on how we can get people to change their behavior.” Jones and Kaldor also discussed the results of the College’s first climate survey for faculty and staff. Some 21 percent of faculty, administrators, and staff experienced unwanted verbal behaviors on campus, while 27 percent experienced unwanted verbal behaviors off campus. “That’s unacceptable,” Jones said. “We will be including a broader section on verbal

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2016 SEXUAL ASSAULT CLIMATE SURVEY HIGHLIGHTS • Half of reported assaults (53 percent) occurred in Oxy residence halls, up slightly from last year. Some 15 percent took place elsewhere on campus. • Touching was part of most reported assaults (87 percent), followed by vaginal penetration (42 percent) and oral penetration (26 percent). • Around 40 percent of sexual assault incidents occurred during students’ first year at Oxy, 45 percent during the second year. • Assault by a stranger is relatively rare. Some 81 percent of survivors said their assailant was another Oxy student; 66 percent said it was someone they knew. • Alcohol was a factor in most reported assaults. Some 68 percent of survivors reported their assailant drinking alcohol; 72 percent of victims reported their own drinking of alcohol. • Coercion or threat of force was a factor in 47 percent of reported assaults.

harassment to new employee training to try to help address this.” On a more positive note, around 90 percent of faculty and staff reported that they had received Title IX training over the last two years, and three-quarters remember all or most of what they learned.

Applications for admission to the Class of 2021— a 5.6 percent increase over the previous year, and a new record. The uptick in interest coincides with a New York Times survey that ranks Occidental No. 11 among U.S. liberal arts colleges (and 28th among 170 leading public and private colleges and universities) with the most economically diverse enrollment—“a measure of which top institutions are doing the most to promote the American dream.”

$2,680,000 Amount of a five-year grant awarded to Oxy’s Upward Bound program by the U.S. Department of Education. The program, which helps low-income high school students and students who would be the first in their families to attend college, has run continuously at Oxy since 1966. In June, all 21 of Oxy’s Upward Bound seniors graduated from high school.

3 Alumni snagging primetime Emmy nominations this year: Suzanne Sotelo ’93 (Outstanding Lighting Design/Lighting Direction for a Variety Series, “Dancing With the Stars”) Alissa Haight Carlton ’98 (Outstanding Casting for a Reality Program, “Project Runway”), and double nominee Ryan Rambach ’14 (Outstanding Picture Editing for an Unstructured Reality Program, “Born This Way”). Emmy night is September 17. SUMMER 2017

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FROM THE QUAD

Photos by Marc Campos

3rd Wave Three popular mayors and an unpopular measure take center stage as Oxy’s 3rd LA resumes the dialogue

A wide-ranging conversation with newly reelected Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and timely debates on the city’s slow growth movement and the fate of scarce open space highlighted the 2017 edition of Occidental’s Third Los Angeles Project, titled City on the Verge. Developed in conjunction with his urban and environmental policy class of the same name, 3rd LA is “really a natural and complementary extension of Oxy’s commitment to a sustained engagement with the city and region,” explains Christopher Hawthorne, architecture critic for the Los Angeles Times and adjunct professor at Oxy. Garcetti offered a preview of how he will approach development issues during his second term in a March 23 conversation with Hawthorne in front of a Thorne Hall audience of more than 600. The rise of Measure S—the slow-growth initiative decisively rejected by voters March 7—was rooted in the longstanding debate over the nature of development and the city’s failure to update its 35 community plans, Garcetti said. The plans languished because of the 2008 recession’s impact on the city’s budget that led the city council to prioritize police services ahead of planning, as well as the complicated politics of finding community consensus. While labeling Measure S “the death cough of a past approach to planning,” Garcetti cautioned against dismissing the concerns that lay behind it. The city’s current goal to update community plans every six or seven years, he said, “is hugely ambitious. That is what bubbled up out of Measure S.” 12

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Clockwise from top: Silver Lake Reservoir panelists, Mayor Garcetti, and Mayors Garcia and Brown.

Six days before voters went to the polls, a panel discussion on “The Politics of Housing: Measure S and the Future of Growth in Los Angeles” was held March 1 at the Architecture and Design Museum. While the panelists agreed that the city’s current land use system is not working, disagreements surfaced over what the best solution might be. Activist/blogger Ken Alpern defended Measure S as a straightforward effort to ensure developers follow existing rules. Crenshaw Subway Coalition executive director Damien Goodmon agreed, adding, “Billionaire developers have been able to get whatever they want, and city hall doesn’t give a darn about anything but what they suggest.” Manuel Pastor, Turpanjian Chair in Civil Society and Social Change at USC, called Measure S “a terrible solution to the problems being raised—but the issues being raised are the right issues.” Former city planning director Gail Goldberg concurred, calling for “a framework and a vision we can all agree on as to what this city should be.” The debate over regional planning continued March 29 with Compton Mayor Aja Brown, 34, and her Long Beach counterpart

Robert Garcia, 39, two of the youngest city leaders in Southern California. Affordable housing is a key issue in both cities, the two agreed. “We need to have more discussions about what good planning looks like, and the choices to be made, as a region,” Brown said. The April 19 series finale focused on one of the city’s most contentious public-space issues: the future of the Silver Lake Reservoir, which is no longer a source of drinking water. Again, development policy entered the fray, as panelists and audience members debated the need for open space versus the potential to repurpose part of the site for public uses, such as affordable housing. “What is damaging affordability isn’t the reservoir—it’s developers who tear down affordable housing and build small lot developments,” said Anne Marie Johnson, co-chair of the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council. On the other hand, “It’s such an incredible opportunity. It’s never going to happen again,” said Alexander Robinson, assistant professor of architecture at USC. “There is so much potential to guide an approach that serves everyone, more or less.” The conversations will continue.


FROM THE QUAD

» MIXED MEDIA Reconsidering Roots: Race, Politics, and Memory, edited by Erica L. Ball and Kellie Carter Jackson (University of Georgia Press; hardcover, $79.95; e-book, $27.95). Alex Haley’s 1976 book was a publishing sensation, selling over a million copies in its first year and winning a National Book Award and a special Pulitzer Prize. The 1977 ABC miniseries was a galvanizing national event, drawing Super Bowl-sized ratings, earning 38 Emmy nominations, and changing overnight the discourse on race, civil rights, and slavery. Essays from emerging and established scholars ask readers to reconsider the limitations and possibilities of Roots—which, although dogged by controversy, must be understood as one of the most extraordinary media events of the late 20th century, a cultural touchstone of enduring significance. Ball is professor of American studies at Oxy. My Journey From Warrior to Gypsy: Poems by Tom Yeager ’71 (CreateSpace; paperback, $9.90; e-book, $3.99). At age 11, Yeager began riding and jumping horses, becoming a state champion and lifetime horse lover. Realizing that he needed to learn more than just the horse world, he started writing poems at Oxy as a way of expressing

himself. After college he lived in Kyoto, Japan, teaching English to children and businessmen, later returning to the United States as a management consultant and business owner. He is now retired and divides his time between California and Saigon. Global Cities: Urban Environments in Los Angeles, Hong Kong, and China, by Robert Gottlieb and Simon Ng (MIT Press; hardcover, $35; e-book, $24). Over the last four decades, Los Angeles, Hong Kong, and key urban regions of China have emerged as global cities in financial, political, cultural, environmental, and demographic terms. Gottlieb and Ng trace the global emergence of these areas and compare their responses to six urban environmental issues. Los Angeles has been the quintessential horizontal city, the capital of sprawl; Hong Kong is dense and vertical; China’s new megacities in the Pearl River Delta, created by an explosion in industrial development and a vast urban migration, combine the vertical and the horizontal. All three have experienced major environmental changes in a relatively short period of time. Gottlieb and Ng document how each has dealt with challenges posed by ports and the movement of goods, air pollution, water supply and quality, the food system, transportation, and public and private space. Finally, they discuss the possibility of change brought about by policy initiatives and social movements. Gottlieb is emeritus professor of urban and environmental policy and founder of the Urban and Environmental Policy Institute at Occidental.

Megan Leavey, directed by Gabriela Cowperthwaite ’93 (DVD and Blu-ray, Sept. 5; digital HD, September). Blackfish documentary filmmaker Cowperthwaite makes her narrative debut with the story of a Marine and her dog, based on real-life war hero Leavey and her bomb-sniffing partner, Rex. Kate Mara plays the title role, who winds up in the Corps’ K9 unit on cleanup duty, where she’s thrust together with an ill-tempered German shepherd prior to their deployment to Iraq. (The two bond, of course.) Cowperthwaite’s hand-held camerawork brings authenticity to the combat scenes, and her animal instincts may leave you reaching for a well-earned tissue by the film’s climax.

Oscar Wilde’s Historical Criticism Notebook, edited by Philip E. Smith II ’65 (Oxford University Pres; $125) This volume contains the newly transcribed and annotated text of one of Oscar Wilde’s unpublished notebooks that functioned as a major ante-text for the composition of Wilde’s first postgraduate essay, Historical Criticism, written in 1879 as an entry for the Chancellor’s English Essay Prize at Oxford. Including materials drawn from both classical and modern historians and philosophers, Wilde’s notebook not only tells us much about his practices of composing and editing the language that appears in the essay, but also shows his wit and comparative imagination at work finding parallels in early modern history and literature for his chosen examples. Smith is associate professor emeritus of English at the University of Pittsburgh, where he taught from 1970 to 2014. Clothesline Religion, by Megan Buchanan ’02 (Green Writers Press; $14.95). A poet and professional dancer, Buchanan had a daughter at 22, lived abroad in Ireland and France, and came home again to Southern California and the Southwest mountains. Her debut poetry collection spans open roads, backyard vegetable gardens, Irish pubs, country dance halls, Vermont screenporches, midnight river valleys, artist studios, and the world of waking dreams. An urban and environmental policy major at Oxy, Buchanan’s poems have appeared in such journals as The Sun magazine, make/shift, A Woman’s Thing, and multiple anthologies. She lives in Guilford, Vt., with her two children. Bengali Cowboy, by Rounak Maiti ’16 (Pagal Haina Records; available to stream or purchase at rounakmaiti.bandcamp.com). A “concept country album about identity, space, and relationships,” Maiti recorded Bengali Cowboy at home, in his Oxy dorm room, and live, with him mixing, mastering, and producing all 10 songs. A native of Cleveland, he moved with his family to Mumbai, India, at age 5, returning to the States to study cognitive science at Oxy. Maiti now calls Los Angeles home, where he plays in two bands, Campus Security and Small Forward, alongside his Oxy friends. SUMMER 2017

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Far left: Conference attendees on a Mexican food tour of Boyle Heights walk by a mural by Ernesto de la Loza. Center: Food conference attendees eat from food trucks Kogi and White Rabbit in the Academic Quad. Left: La Monarca Bakery, which has grown to nine L.A.-area locations, was stop No. 2 on the food tour.

Foodies, wonks, and utensil-minded gourmands chew over a buet of topics as Oxy hosts an international gathering of food studies scholars BY SAMANTHA B. BONAR ’90 PHOTOS BY MARC CAMPOS

x e l p m o C e l Edib The main course at the conference banquet: gluten-free Pacific Trail elk, Plum-Port reduction, and artichoke with ramps, edible flowers, peas, and pea tendrils.


far left: Attendees endure the midday heat to enjoy the food trucks’ offerings. left: Associate professor of sociology John T. Lang, whose research examines the social relations around food consumption, hosted the conference.

HE TOPICS wEREN’T YOUR TYPICAL COLLEGE CURRICULUm—the gourmandization of scrapple, peasant farms in Sardinia, fraudulent honey, artisanal cheesemaking, urban chicken ownership, mexican beer, Kentucky bourbon, even Indonesian fecal coffee—but these weren’t your typical classroom inhabitants. Sporting tattoos ranging from pineapples to shrimp, hundreds of food scholars from around the world converged on the Occidental campus June 1417 for the Agriculture, Food, and Human Values Society/Association for the Study of Food and Society annual meeting and conference. Since 1992, the AFHVS and ASFS have gathered each year for food, fellowship, and free-wheeling conversation. This year’s theme was “migrating Food Cultures: Engaging Pacific Perspectives on Food and Agriculture.” It’s “a unique opportunity to see, hear, and visit with a vast array of leading international food studies scholars in one place,” says Occidental associate professor of sociology John T. Lang, who organized the conference. In addition to the lectures and panels, the conference featured excursions around such themes as food justice in Los Angeles and mexican food in Boyle Heights (with some participants sampling edible crickets at El mercadito). Local food trucks served lunch in the Academic Quad; some out-of-towners were spotted tackling kogi tacos with knives and forks, while Filipino fusion burritos were requested “gluten-free.” A banquet on campus showcased the bounty of California, particularly foods found along the John muir Trail (elk was an Instagram favorite). with a cafeteria-sized menu of topics to choose from, you didn’t have to be a “foodie” or a wonky

food scholar to find the conference fascinating. Grab your figurative fork and dig in! Food is not addictive—but Lay’s Southern Biscuits & Gravy potato chips might be. The winner of Lay’s 2015 “Do Us a Flavor” contest (concocted by a 25year-old woman from Noblesville, Ind.) is a personal temptation of Janet Chrzan of the University of Pennsylvania, who largely debunked the notion of food addiction. Unlike alcohol, tobacco, and opiates, “No specific nutrients have been found to be addictive in humans,” she said. However, Chrzan added, highly processed foods can be addictive, because “we’re putting drugs in our food.” These are not your grandmother’s sugar and salt and fat: “It’s the refining process that makes something a drug.” Even still, food cannot trigger an addiction cycle, added Janet Chrzan, a nutritionist and medical anthropologist at the University of Pennsylvania—not even carbs or sugar. “You cannot develop tolerance to food or experience withdrawal symptoms. Even a high intake of sugar can’t trigger the biological addiction response,” she said. If anything, overeating can be classified as a behavioral problem similar to gambling. Addiction, on the other hand, “is a chronic brain disease.” “Trump seems to have an attitude toward the food movement.” So said David Beriss of the University of New Orleans in a panel on federal food policy. Beriss pointed out cuts to agencies that regulate food and public health, as well as ties between the Trump administration and industry lobbyists such as the National Restaurant Association, which opposes the minimum wage for restaurant workers.

above left: Music, appetizers, and drinks were on the menu during the opening reception in Sycamore Glen. above right: Spitz’s pita strips and hummus were a hit among the foodies.

above: Vanilla conchas from La Monarca, and a beverage to chase them down with.

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left: The six-taco sampler from Guisados. below: Sharing is caring—on social media. A Boyle Heights fixture since December 2010, Guisados serves homestyle braises on handmade corn tortillas. above: The Mexican food tour of Boyle Heights included a stop at Guisados for tacos. right: Guisados owner Armando De La Torre explains the process of turning corn into masa. above center: Olivia Rojas forms the masa into tortillas for the handmade tacos.

Pulitzer Prize winner Jonathan Gold held a writing workshop on food writing in the digital age. Looking on is Gold’s wife, Los Angeles Times arts and entertainment editor Laurie Ochoa.

Keynote speaker Sharon Friel, professor of health equity and director of the School of Regulation and Global Governance at Australian National University, addressed “The Politics, Policies, and Processes of 21stCentury Trade and Investment: Challenges for Food and Nutrition Across the Pacific Rim.” That’s a mouthful.

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The future of food safety and food assistance programs doesn’t look so bright, either. The proposed 2018 budget cuts to farm-bill programs would amount to $38 billion over 10 years, added Lois Stanford of New mexico State University. Overall, the programs would be cut by 21 percent. Cuts in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) may cue the reemergence of real hunger and malnutrition in the United States for the first time in decades, according to maggie Dickinson of Guttman College/CUNY. Through the success of the food stamp program, “Hunger and malnutrition were largely wiped out in the United States in the 1970s,” she said. However, “There are attempts to cut food assistance now,” including a tightening up of the conditions under which people can qualify for food stamps. Consumers want GMO labels—mostly because they oppose genetically modified foods. Seventy-eight bills have been introduced regarding Gm foods from 1996 to 2016, most to do with labeling, according to Sara Velardi of the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry. A bill passed in 2016 requires that Gm and bioengineered foods be identified on labels. The federal label specifically states that the food “would not occur in nature.” Kraft Singles do not occur in nature. The pasteurized American cheese product—patented by James L. Kraft in 1916—contains less than 51 percent real cheese; powdered milk makes up the difference. “while Kraft Singles and processed cheese originally represented the ingenuity of America and the hope of controlling nature that prevailed in the early 20th century, it now remains a prime example of the industrial food system that remains due to convenience, habit, and tradition,” said Karen Sudkamp of Chatham University. “Personally, I’m still going to look at Kraft Singles with a little but of nostalgia, thankful that they allowed me to love other cheese and actual cheese.” SUMMER 2017

Jonathan Gold draws the line at endangered species. “Aren’t you privileging an animal over an entire culture?” by being publicly against eating shark fin soup, a Canadian scholar asked Gold, the Pulitzer Prize-winning food critic for the Los Angeles Times. “No,” Gold replied. “People can stop eating shark fin soup now, or they are going to have to stop eating it anyway 50 years from now when the sharks are extinct.” Insects are high in nutrition, protein … and ick factor. Eating insects would solve a lot of the world’s nutritional problems, according to a talk by Gina Hunter of Illinois State University. A cricket, for example, has almost as much protein as beef and much more iron (96 percent of the RDA vs. 15 percent). “Farming” insects has a minimal environmental impact, so they’re ecofriendly to boot. The problem? People don’t think of insects as animals—and they certainly don’t think of them as food. Hunter cites “a ton” of research on “how to create the consumer”—whether the strategies will be effective is another story. Big food? Big problems. International food trade practices are not set up to encourage good nutrition and good health, according to Sharon Friel of Australian National University. malnutrition affects all regions, she said, noting that almost a billion people are undernourished worldwide—and almost 2 billion are overweight. Both are “very significant health issues.” Unfortunately, food has become commodified, she added, with trade agreements dominated by large countries and large corporations. “The big mega-regionals are all about the investment pathways. It’s all about investment rather than the movement of goods between countries. International trade and investment agreements pose direct challenges to health policies.” The aboriginal word for broccoli means “white people’s trees.” There is “very, very low vegetable con-


sumption among Aboriginals” in Australia, and “very high sugar-sweetened drink consumption and high consumption of highly processed carbs, especially white flour,” according to Danielle Aquino of Australia’s menzies School of Health Research. This leads to the question: How do we maintain cultural tradition while improving nutrition and health? “Nutrition improvement is not only an issue of access, affordability, and knowledge, but also one of negotiating ambivalent and evolving identities in relation to the contemporary food supply,” Aquino said. She points to broccoli—or munanga trees—as “the middle class white person’s quintessential food.” A 6.1 earthquake in Italy in 2012 caused aftershocks for Parmigiano cheese supplies worldwide. According to Jess Canose of Chatham University, more than 300,000 wheels of cheese were damaged or destroyed in the main cheese production area of northern Italy, “an unimaginable loss” to the industry especially in lost time, considering how long it takes Parmigiana to age. In the aftermath, the Italian government, international concerns, local banks, and other businesses rallied to save an industry in crisis. To which Canose raised the question: “would America show the same solidarity for our trademark Tennessee whiskey, Vidalia onions, or Florida oranges if they were hit with a natural disaster?” For peanut butter, maybe. Durian, however, is “the blue cheese of fruit.” Known for its very high sulfur content and equally strong malodor, Ty matejowsky of the University of Central Florida called durian “the ultimate take-it-or-leave-it food … tastes like heaven, smells like hell.” In his presentation titled “Raising a Stink: Anthropological Reflections on the Divisive Delights of Durian in Contemporary Filipino Foodways,” matejowsky also noted that durian can be dangerous. Durian fruits are “really heavy, heavier than a basketball, and the spikes are really hard, like huge rose thorns. People have actually died after being hit in the head with a durian.” Similar to how oranges are iconic to Florida, durians are to the Philippines. “Even among diehard enthusiasts, few locals take pleasure in durian’s distinctive smell,” matejowsky added. There is respect for the foreigner who seeks durian out, even if that is followed by disdain for the foreigner who brings it on a bus. Food can be used as a tool of oppression—as well as liberation. “Food is a revolutionary survival strategy. It allows oppressed people to regain their health,” noted Analena Hope of Cal Poly Pomona, speaking on a panel titled “Gentrification and Food Justice.” Food sovereignty tends to be seen as an international concept applied to the developing world, but those same concepts can be applied to inner cities as well. Food sovereignty centers people over profits and reaffirms food as a basic

left: Conrado Gomez, Oxy’s chef de cuisine, plates the “bounty of California” for the June 16 banquet. below: Attendees raise a glass during the banquet inside Gresham Dining Hall.

human right. Solutions include urban farming such as planting parkways, free breakfast programs for schoolchildren, and access to information and materials to make healthier choices. Los Angeles is now the second-largest Mexican city in the world. Sarah Portnoy of USC calls Southern California “a region of mexico unto itself” with its own authentic “mexican” food, including taco trucks (the first tacos emerged in Los Angeles in 1918). mexican food in L.A. used to be mostly norteno; now most mexican food in L.A. is from central mexico, although every region above: No food photo and demographic is represented. “Alta California” cui- opportunities went to sine is a new term that refers to the rise of classically waste. below: Oxy intrained mexican chefs, rooted in traditional cooking and structor Gloria Lum (on cello) was among working in high-end restaurants. a quartet of musicians Megan Elias needed a history of American cook- performing selections books—so she wrote it. Elias is the author of Food on by Georg Philipp Telemann and Joseph the Page: Cookbooks and American Culture (University of Haydn over dinner. Pennsylvania Press, 2017). Just don’t expect to find any recipes. “It’s about how people have thought about food,” she said. “If you read it, you will recognize why we think about food the way we do in America in the 21st century. It’s about taste in the broader sense.” Elias participated in the “meet & Greet an Author” sessions in Samuelson Pavilion, where publishers displayed books covering everything from food in the How about a nice Picon Punch? Greco-Roman world and medieval In a Johnson 200 session on Anatolia to the GmO debate. many “Diaspora, Migration, and books tackled a single subject: salt, Identity,” Iker Arranz of UC cod, Twinkies, beans, eggs, chiles, Santa Barbara livened up his presentation on the Basquepecans, pomegranates, seaweed, American “picon punch” coffee, and bananas, among others. and the reconstruction of Sam Malone is the new Sam identity in immigrant communities with a recipe, which we share with you below: Adams. Ninety-percent of craft beer brewers and owners are Build a highball or Picon Punch* Collins glass with 2½ oz. Torani Amer male, between ages 24 and 51, and ice. Add Amer and or Amer Picon white, according to Antoinette Pole grenadine, stir, top 1 tsp grenadine of montclair State. Thirty percent with club soda, then 1-2 oz. club soda the brandy float. ½ oz. brandy have master’s degrees. Peter Gilstrap and Jim Tran*“This is a drink of the diaspora,” not found in Spain. quada contributed to this story. SUMMER 2017  OCCIDENTAL MAGAZINE

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Tom Carroll ’08’s YouTube videos explore the forgotten fringes of the City of Angels, while schooling viewers about some lesser-known landmarks— and there’s no test at the end

By JASMINE TERAN Photos by MARC CAMPOS

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or someone who embraces life in the slow lane, Tom Carroll ’08 is making the most of 21st-century communication. Over the last four years, the Southern California native has produced more than two dozen episodes of his YouTube series “Tom Explores Los Angeles,” which offers off-thebeaten-path looks at the seemingly mundane but history-rich spots that dot the city’s landscape. Typically four to 12 minutes in length, Carroll’s videos have generated tens of thousands of views while familiarizing audiences with such overlooked or forgotten locales as the old Los Angeles Zoo, which closed in 1966; Hawthorne Plaza mall, which closed in 1999 “but remains standing as a postmodern cathedral to failed commerce”; and Llano del Rio, Los Angeles’ first and only socialist colony. “I like giving people a shortcut to some piece of knowledge that might spark something in them,” says Carroll, a freelance artist who comes from a long line of educators and aspires one day to teach himself. “Hopefully they will pursue that and find out more on their own.”

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As far back as third grade, Carroll began finding his way around Los Angeles on trips into the city with his dad, Stan, a three-time mayor of La Habra Heights and community college professor. “We’d go to Philippe’s, Pacific Dining Car, Grand Central Market,” he says. “I remember riding Angels Flight when it still worked.” These early expeditions helped form his understanding of the many factors that shape the city’s personality, from points of interest that highlight a variety of cultures to the restaurants that once served particular socioeconomic groups. Many of the locales featured on “Tom Explores Los Angeles” are news to Angelenos who may miss the hidden pockets on their freeway drive and rush-hour traffic jams. One reason Carroll finds them: He bypasses car commutes whenever possible, a habit that dates back to Oxy. He rode his bike a lot, took the 83 bus that goes from Oxy to downtown, and explored the L.A. music scene with his buddies at KOXY, the College radio station. “I was lucky to have friends who were very engaged with the city so I could just piggyback on them and tap into their knowledge.”


Screenshots from “Tom Explores Los Angeles”

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“Not everything has to have an end product,” explains Carroll about his on- and off-camera adventures, including a two-day, 56.2-mile walk along the L.A. River last fall.

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As an art major at Oxy, Carroll took advantage of many opportunities to get to know the city better. “My friend Max Podemsky ’06 ran this club called the Architecture Fellows,” he explains. “That was really fun because we got school funds to take field trips. We took an L.A. Conservancy walking tour of the theater district on Broadway.” Through an independent study with art professor Amy Lyford his senior year, Carroll deepened his knowledge of the city’s history with a self-selected syllabus that included such essential works as City of Quartz (1990) by Mike Davis, Los Angeles: The Architecture of Four Ecologies (1971) by Reyner Banham, and The Reluctant Metropolis (1997) by William Fulton. All that knowledge proved useful for Carroll’s work as a tour guide, first at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art as an undergraduate, and later at the California State Park next to Chinatown. “At those two places I learned what a boring tour is, when you lose people, and just trying to remember to talk in short declarative statements as a way to keep people’s attention,” he says.

Carroll leads an Oxy Engage group of firstyears on a tour of Downtown L.A. in 2008.

tom explores … 1. The White Cross A huge glowing cross is connected to early Hollywood and two outdoor theaters. 2. Murphy Ranch Tucked away in Rustic Canyon is an abandoned Nazi-sympathizer compound. 3. The Salton Sea What does a landscape on the brink of destruction look like? 4. The Piggyback Yard Union Pacific’s last railyard may become a wetland park along the L.A. River. 5. Breaking Out of Lincoln Heights Jail It’s hard to do. 6. Triforium Built in 1975 for $950,000, the sculpture has been praised and ridiculed.

With his button-down shirts and horn-rimmed glasses, Carroll guides his video viewers through landmarks of varying degrees of cultural importance. The one closest to his heart is Triforium, artist Joseph Young’s 60-foot, multi-colored musical public sculpture at the intersection of Temple and Main streets and “one of the more campy and colorful facets of downtown,” as he says in Episode 3. Carroll’s affection for the sculpture (whose nicknames include “the psychedelic nickelodeon” and “the million-dollar firefly”) dates back to a field trip downtown—part of an art class with professor Mary Beth Heffernan—in which students were assigned to build replicas to-scale of artworks they came across. (Carroll chose Triforium.) His YouTube video was seen by Claire Evans ’06 and her Yacht bandmate, Jona Bechtolt. Together they began to dream of Triforium’s renovation, a return to the forward-thinking artist’s original vision of light and sound, which includes technological components not possible upon its construction in 1975. This vision is one step closer to completion thanks to a successful campaign for a $100,000 My LA2050 grant. Despite the fact that Triforium’s construction ran $700,000 over budget during its initial assembly, Carroll explains that the sculpture as it stands is “not in its final form. Allow us to complete this vision and then you can hate it.” Of all the places he’s filmed, the scariest was probably Lincoln Heights Jail, he says, “because we were locked inside, and there’s asbestos and pigeon stuff, so it smelled terrible, and I didn’t want us all to get arrested because we were trespassing.” Luckily, Carroll and his crew all got out. “That’s the problem when you don’t pull permits,” he says. “But from a filmmaking standpoint, it made for a much stronger third act.” SUMMER 2017  OCCIDENTAL MAGAZINE

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BY DICK ANDERSON ILLUSTRATION BY TODD WEBB • PHOTOS BY MARC CAMPOS


ZANDER SILVERMAN ’17 For his senior comp, the urban and environmental policy major from Bainbridge Island, Wash., explored the potential benefits of an afterschool skateboard mentoring program pairing college students with middle schoolers in Pasadena Unified School District.

SKATING TO SUCCESS

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eventy-odd years before Movember came into existence, the Occidental newspaper sponsored the College’s first mustache-growing contest on campus. The bewhiskered winner was Leonard Janofsky ’31, later a prominent attorney and president of the American Bar Association, who recalled the honor upon his class’ induction into the Fifty Year Club in 1981. An even more distinguishing Oxy milestone emerged during Janofsky’s senior year. “The faculty came up with the brilliant idea that seniors take a comprehensive examination in their major,” he recalled. “This was a first in the history of the College, and we were the unfortunate victims. The alleged purpose of the comprehensives was to develop a system of examination that would discourage ‘cramming,’ that would develop comprehension, and not place emphasis on the memorization of facts. I know that many of us were deliriously happy about being made the guinea pigs for this experiment,” he deadpanned, “particularly in view of the fact that shortly after we left the campus it was dropped.” But you can’t keep a brilliant idea down. Defying its naysayers, the senior comprehensive reemerged to become a signature component of the Occidental experience, planting its seeds under President Remsen Bird, taking root alongside History of Civilization in the era of Arthur G. Coons ’20, and flowering under Richard C. Gilman and beyond. It has weathered curricular change and student dissent, taking many

REPORTER PHAGES FOR THE DETECTION OF HUMAN BACTERIAL PATHOGENS

forms along the way. The most common one today is a longform paper that offers a deep dive into a subject of the senior’s choosing. But other comps may entail fieldwork, exams, presentations, or creative media. Oxy’s commitment to comps has not gone unnoticed. A 2015 U.S. News & World Report survey of senior academic officers from more than 1,500 colleges and universities included Occidental among the top 12 institutions “with stellar examples of senior capstones” (in the very good company of Brown, Duke, Princeton, Stanford, Yale, and half a dozen others). Such accolades fail to convey the cycle of dread, panic, and euphoria that accompanies the process. “Each year the term ‘comps’ travels around Occidental like the latest virus,” Drew Snyder ’19 wrote in the Occidental Weekly in February. “Everyone is mildly aware of what it is and who is currently dealing with it, but most are too frightened to actually approach the topic.” What’s changed, in what we will call the presentations era, is the sense of community that senior comps bring to campus. In the 2015-16 academic year, more than 190 seniors in 15 majors made comps presentations to the public. (By comparison, 266 students participated in Dance Production.) And each year, with an athleticslike zeal, students, colleagues, family, and members of the campus community show up in Morrison Lounge, or Choi Auditorium, or Mosher 2, or Thorne Hall, or the Mullin Art Gallery—to listen, to learn, to ask questions, and to commemorate the end of a long, hard journey.

Editor’s note: A tip of the cap to Hillia Aho ’17 and Aissa Bennett ’17, whose E.T.-inspired comps poster for Media Arts and Culture inspired us, in turn.

CHELSEA BLANKENCHIP ’17 After reading a wealth of scientific literature, the biochemistry major from Carmichael chose to examine the intersection of viruses and bacteria, specifically how viruses could be used to detect bacterial pathogens. “By studying how to detect bacteria that cause disease in humans, I felt like I was a ‘good guy’ hunting the ‘bad guys’,” Blankenchip says. The most important thing she took away from her comp “was the ability to work independently.” A side benefit? Boosting her self-confidence about public speaking. “I was happy that I was able to complete my presentation,” she adds, “despite all the nerves leading up to it.”

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CYNTHIA MAGALLANESGONZALEZ ’17 The sociology major from North Long Beach interviewed more than 28 refugee mothers from poor or developing countries who took work in Morocco to better provide for their families back home. A quote from one of the women provided the main title for her comp: “I’m not a good mother now, but I will be in the future.” Over spring break, MagallanesGonzalez presented her research at an international conference in Morocco, and she is returning to the country on a Fulbright Scholarship to expand her comps research.

As it was originally conceived, a senior comprehensive was designed to test the totality of a student’s knowledge over the course of their Oxy career. It was a formula that, some would argue, favored the sciences (which deal with constants) over the humanities and social sciences. (Science majors would doubtless argue otherwise.) The classic comps structure was an exam broken down into sections—sometimes essay questions, sometimes multiple choice or true/false. To most alumni that we talked to for this article, the specifics of the tests have grown murky over time. But the emotions that ran with them remain vivid—like a recurring bad dream. Warry McElroy ’60, a psychology major, remembers. “They took place over two days, about six hours each. There was no verbal requirement and there was no paper that had to be written. They were all purple mimeographed tests, with 1 to 21/2 hours for each section. They were focused on our majors, but they pulled in what we should have learned from all of the core classes we were required to take to graduate—especially History of Civilization. They were literally comprehensive. We all dreaded them because they covered all four years and our graduation depended on our passing them. We kept our notes from every class we took and studied them all.

BLACK AFRICAN TRANSNATIONAL MOTHERS IN A TRANSIT MIGRANT COUNTRY

“What I will never forget are the dreams I had the nights afterward until the grades were posted on the wall in the psych department hallway, which was then on the first floor at the south end of Fowler,” McElroy adds. “I dreamed of big, colored billiard balls floating around over me, and in place of the numbers, every one of them had a big F. Whether it was by the grace of God, the psych department’s mercy, or my actual achievement— most likely the combination of all three—I got a C-plus.” The modern era of senior comps can be traced to the 1969-70 academic year, when student dissatisfaction with the exam process made inroads with the faculty in the economics and political science departments. After a list of 20 potential essay questions was circulated to poli sci seniors just before the holidays—four of which would actually appear on their written examination—the seniors countered with a proposal of their own. Twentyfive out of 38 senior poli sci majors signed a statement written by Roger Fonseca ’70 suggesting that a seminar required of all seniors to be set up for the spring term. “If learning is the goal, we feel that a plan such as this is the only fair and feasible way of teaching the diverse disciplines covered by the comprehensive questions,” the statement read. “If, on the other hand, the comps are viewed by the faculty as necessarily only as a testing device, we strongly urge that they be eliminated entirely.” The senior economics majors followed suit with a similar statement, and as a result, the senior seminar was born. Among the earliest faculty advocates of the revised approach was Jane Jacquette, Bertha Harton Orr Professor in the Liberal Arts Emeritus, who was a poli sci instructor back in 1970. “Graduate schools tend to look more favorably upon students who have passed comprehensives,” she told the Occidental. “Inasmuch as we are a way station between high school and grad school—and that is, for better or worse, a fact—comprehensives serve an important function.” During her 18 years as College registrar (1980-98), Evelyne Glaser ’57 says, failure to pass or complete comps prevented countless seniors—including many DWA majors—from walking at Commencement. Like other components of an Oxy education (such as passing a foreign language or fulfilling a lab requirement), completing your senior comp is required to graduate. What it means to be comprehensive is a question left up to each department. “Typically the comps project is about the demonstration of mastery in the field of one’s major—both to themselves and to the faculty,” says Amy Lyford, professor of art history and visual arts, who recently served as associate dean of curriculum and academic support. While many departments have written comps that require primary and secondary research sources— “That’s the trend,” Lyford says—the comprehensive itself can take many forms. Within the department of art

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and art history, for instance, an art history major is required to take a yearlong senior seminar that will produce not only a research paper of 25 pages or more, but also present an oral presentation of their findings. A studio art major, meanwhile, is required to produce an exhibit of their own art accompanied by a written artist’s statement. “Each department defines what that level of mastery is and what the organization of that mastery will be,” Lyford says. “Departments increasingly see student research as being central to their comprehensive experience, and part of doing that is communicating that research to people outside of yourself.”

TOBY ELLENTUCK ’17

FANTASTICAL HOMES & DEREGULATORY REALITIES

Inspired by an Oxy class called Sustainable Justice, the media arts and culture major from New York City studied how reality TV shows like “House Hunters” and “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” contributed to the subprime mortgage and housing crisis—and how the demise of the Sears Catalog’s “Modern Home” kits (sold from 1908 until 1940) dovetailed with the Great Depression.

It’s not uncommon for students’ work to find an audience outside Oxy. Benjamin Weiss ’16, who is studying for a Ph.D. in sociology at USC, received distinction for his comp, “Patterns of Interaction in Webcam Sex Work: A Comparative Analysis of Female and Male Broadcasters.” A reworked draft will be published in the journal Deviant Behavior. Mackenzie Israel-Trummel ’09’s comp turned into “The Double-Edged Sword of Disaster Volunteerism: A Study of New Orleans Rebirth Movement Participants,” copublished with associate professor of politics Caroline Heldman in the Journal of Political Science Education in 2012. Heldman also shepherded Rebecca Cooper ’13’s comp into ART AS POWER IN AN “Hidden Corporate Profits in the U.S. Prison INDIGENOUS CONTEXT System: The Unorthodox Policy-Making of the American Legislative Exchange Council,” which was published in Contemporary Justice Review. listened to more than 30 hours of oral testimonies from Geology major Robert Bogue ’17 of Eagle Rock pre- the USC Shoah Foundation, and read different literary sented his senior comps project (on high carbon dioxide testimonies as part of her secondary research. flux rates at Mammoth Mountain) at the American Geo“Comps are a really cool opportunity here at Oxy,” physical Union’s Fall Meeting in San Francisco last De- she wrote in a blog for the Oxy admission website.” They cember, winning the Outstanding Student Paper Award. teach you academic independence, research skills, and Subsequently, Bogue spent a week in Costa Rica in the ability to be a scholar in your field.” March as a part of a NASA/JPL team to investigate the This spring, Denzel Tongue ’17, a sociology major and role of carbon dioxide, vegetation, and climate change. public health minor from Oakland, did a content analysis Four years ago, Raffy Cortina ’13, an art history and of New York Times articles from the 1980s—at the height the visual arts major from the Bronx, N.Y., won a Student of the “war on drugs”—to better understand how the Academy Award from the Academy of Motion Pictures media framed drug users during the crack epidemic. Arts & Sciences for his 13-minute short Bottled Up— “My initial hypothesis was that the coverage was which premiered at Oxy that spring as part at the Senior going to be more lenient than the crack epidemic, which Comprehensives Film Festival. basically turned out to be true,” says Tongue, a first-generation college student who is now working as a health For her senior comp in history, Aviva Alvarez-Zakson policy fellow with the Greenlining Institute in Oakland. ’15 studied the experiences of young women in ThereAs demanding as Tongue found comps to be, “Because sienstadt, the WWII concentration camp in German- I really cared about my project, it was cool to go through occupied Czechoslovakia, and how the circumstances the process,” he declares. “It was a culmination of everyof their imprisonment impacted their development. She thing I had been learning over the years.”

MIRIAM HAMBURGER ’17 The religious studies major from Belmont, Mass., explored how “Native American art and its subsequent marginalization reveals discrimination within the Western art world and how art is a political tool in challenging such an oppressive framework.” The music and images of the DJ collective A Tribe Called Red, shown above, can be looked to as a guide for “art as activism,” Hamburger writes.

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Rohde models a Bhutanese mask of cartonnage, “which is basically papier-mâché,” he explains. In Tibetan Tantric cosmology, the red Mahakala is “the remover of all mental obstructions.”

Mr. Rohde’s

Wild Ride Raconteur and adventurer Joe Rohde ’77 brings a world of influences and his liberal arts training to his work as a Disney Imagineer BY PETER GILSTRAP PHOTO BY MAX S. GERBER


right: For Aulani, which opened in 2011, Rohde worked with a cultural advisory board that included civic leaders, hula masters, and local artists. “They don’t care that you’re building a 15-story beachfront hotel,” he says. “What they care about is that you’re trying to create a place that speaks with a Hawaiian voice.”

I Young Joe kneels by two of his early papiermâché artworks (in collaboration with his father), a large crucifix and a tribal mask. “Papier-mâché is cheap and easy to work with, perfect for a kid like the kid I was.”

far left: The new waterand-light show “Rivers of Light” at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. above: The new Guardians of the Galaxy ride at Disney’s California Adventure “is ultimately a prison-break story,” Rohde says. left: This Mouseeared cutie was among the first visitors to Pandora— The World of Avatar on opening day May 27. Photos courtesy the Walt Disney Co. and Joe Rohde ’77

MAGINEER is a job title that manages to sound anachronistic, futuristic, and magical all at once. What sort of boutique concern could create such a position? Disney, of course. Walt Disney Imagineering, to be exact, which the Los Angeles Times recently characterized as “the company’s highly secretive arm devoted to theme park experiences.” And if there’s one man who knows the secrets, perhaps the Imagineer ne plus ultra, it’s Joe Rohde ’77. Disney’s executive designer and vice president of creative. He was the lead designer for Disney’s Animal Kingdom, the zoological theme park in Bay Lake, Fla. He helmed the design team for Oahu’s beachside complex Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa. Most recently, he was behind the transformation of the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror

ride into Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout at California Adventure, as well as the creative director for Animal Kingdom’s Pandora—The World of Avatar. Both attractions opened to great acclaim (and long lines) in May. A conversation with Rohde is a ride unto itself. His knowledge on myriad topics runs deep and wide, and his verbal gifts are astonishing, accented with impulsive gesticulations and a gallery of facial expressions. And there’s his trademark collection of tribal earrings, about a half dozen or so, that he’s worn for years in his left ear, with the distended lobe to prove it. Rohde frequently asks and answers his own questions, often shifting into the Runyonesque urgency of present tense as he delves into complex theories of design, expounds on SUMMER 2017  OCCIDENTAL MAGAZINE 25


left & below: Rohde has remained involved in the planning of Disney’s Animal Kingdom since the park’s initial conception in 1990.

Rohde’s big break came on Disney’s Animal Kingdom, the brainchild of Michael Eisner. “The only reason a junior designer like me got the assignment was that nobody really wanted it, figuring it would be just a zoo, and likely not get done,” he recalls.

above & right: Rohde describes Aulani, the Hawaiian hotel, as “an intellectual outgrowth of Animal Kingdom because it, too, is about a subject we don’t control … Hawaiian culture and Hawaiian voices talking about Hawai‘i.”

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the intricacies of story and art, and weaves tales of adventure and wildlife conservation —perhaps his two greatest passions—in remote corners of the globe. If you could hear his brain working, it would be thrumming along like a Wankel rotary engine at full bore. “The term now is so much more well known, but Imagineering used to be very secretive,” Rohde says in his Burbank office. “It wasn’t a place that spoke about itself, it was not a place that people knew about.” Thirty-seven years ago, Rohde was one of those people. Soon after graduating from Oxy as an art major, he was teaching theatrical set design at Chaminade College Preparatory School, his high school alma mater in Northridge, assuming he would end up working in theater or film. Then Rohde experienced a life-changing, Lana Turner-atSchwab’s Drugstore moment.

Longtime Disney vice president of engineering John Zovich’s children were among his students, and Zovich had seen school productions featuring Rohde’s work. “The theater department at the time did not have very big budgets, yet we made these rather impressive, elaborate productions in terms of set and costume design,” he recalls. “So Zovich comes into my office saying, ‘You’re wasting your time here, kid. You should be working for Walt Disney Imagineering.’ “I knew nothing about Walt Disney Imagineering—just nothing,” admits Rohde, who initially “blew off ” Zovich. “The Disney Company is never going to hire a person like me—hair and hippie—there’s no way.” He was wrong. But let’s back up. Disneyland and Rohde were both born in California in 1955—the theme park, which opened that July, is two months his senior— but at this stage they had little else in common. His parents were both native to the Hawaiian Islands, and took the family back to the homeland when Rohde was 2. Father Martin was a cameraman, with credits including Blue Hawaii (1961) and The Endless Summer (1966). “If it was a film shot in Hawai‘i, he worked on it,” says Rohde. “He filmed President Kennedy’s visit to Hawai‘i [in June 1963].” He grew up in Makiki, the same Honolulu neighborhood as another future Oxy high-achiever, Barack Obama ’83. “It was a very working-class, lower-middle-class kind of neighborhood, still is,” Rohde says. “My brother suffered a traumatic brain injury when he was very young, and so my parents


left & below: In transforming the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror into a Guardians of the Galaxy attraction, “The building is instructing you about the power, the fortresslike quality of the whole thing,” Rohde says. “For the deep-diving fan, there’s plenty to see as well.”

never had any money because of medical bills. We lived in this old, vast, decrepit estate house with servants’ quarters and a carriage house that had a carriage in it.” Young Joe found his escape through reading and being “creative.” The family moved to Los Angeles when Rohde was in junior high as his father followed film and TV work, which included shooting on 1968’s Planet of the Apes. The running-through-the-cornfield scene where the apes hunt down and capture Charlton Heston? That’s Martin Rohde’s footage. “My dad would take me to work,” Rohde continues. “He’d say, ‘Hey, you’re not going to school today ’cause we’re going to flip a car over. You got to see this. We’re going to crash an airplane, we’re going to blow up a bridge! You got to see this stuff!’” Back lots and movie ranches became an influential playground for Rohde. “I would just kind of lurk around these places watching how things got done as a kid,” he recalls. On the old 20th Century Fox shooting ranch —what is now Malibu Creek State Park—“I would just wander off on 40,000 acres full of moldering old castles and trains and Davy Crockett forts and Che Guevara villages and that whole weird stone Planet of the Apes city. It was an odd formative experience.” Facing his next formative learning experience after high school, “Occidental was the only college I applied to,” he says. “I figured I was going to be in the arts, and Oxy had a theater program that was fairly well respected. The work that I do now leverages heavily on the type of liberal arts education that I got from Occidental.”

Rohde mustered his way through college through a mix of grants, scholarships, and work. (As a member of the kitchen crew at Oxy, “One of our jobs was pulling the dishes out of the big Hobart dishwashing machine and stacking them to be sent out again for food preparation,” he recalled on Instagram.) In helping art history professor George Goldner prepare his slide shows, “I got this incredibly steeped and distilled art history training on top of the courses I took,” he says.

scenic painter, and things began looking up —until Epcot was completed. Facing a layoff, he began farming out his abilities to producers in the company as an illustrator, which brought him to a crucial career nexus. “I get coupled with this guy who’s a very good mentor in design but not a very good speaker.” Now, Rohde has always been good at speaking. His gift of gab allowed him to leapfrog from the back end of production to the front end of conception. “So all of the training that comes along with a liberal arts education—the critical But it was a climb to reach thinking, the ability to comthe work he does now, one municate the principle of unthat began with the mysderstanding—all that comes terious role of Imagineer into play and suddenly I’m in 1980. “I got this super Rohde in 1980, about a month the talking guy.” entry-level job at a place I after starting his job at Imagi“When Joe talks, it causes knew nothing about and I neering. He’s working on a foam the IQ of everybody in the model of the interior pyramid didn’t know how to do from Epcot’s Mexico Pavilion. room to go up by 25 points,” anything,” Rohde admits says two-time Oscar nominee of his entrée to Disney. He was tasked with Bob Rogers, founder and chairman of BRC building intricately detailed models that Imagination Arts, an experience design firm. went far beyond the foam-core and Popsicle- “He just has this way of making you feel stick variety that he was creating as a high more literate than perhaps you really are, so school teacher. much better educated than perhaps you re“I start out on the Mexico Pavilion, which ally are, because he uses very sophisticated is at Epcot Center, my very first job,” he re- ideas from philosophy and cultural heritage calls. “Luckily I fall into the more sculptural and psychology, but he uses those terms in a parts of model building that I am quite good way that brings you along and he makes you at—the faux rocks and ruined pyramids, that think you understand them.” kind of stuff.” Prior to Animal Kingdom, Rohde’s biggest Riding the work wave provided by the design creation was a bar called the Advenmassive Epcot project at the Walt Disney turer’s Club at Disney World’s Pleasure IsWorld Resort, Rohde flexed his skills as a land. But when Michael Eisner took over as SUMMER 2017  OCCIDENTAL MAGAZINE 27


right & below: “Every story starts at the beginning,” Rohde says of his approach to all his attractions, including Pandora— The World of Avatar. “A tremendous effort has been made to make sure this land stands on its own.”

right: Rohde often treats his more than 17,000 Instagram followers (@joerohde) to insights about Pandora’s flora and fauna. far right: Sons Kellan and Brandt sample the “cheeseburger-flavored pods of Pandora” with Dad. The interior filling was inspired by a childhood invention of theirs, “Hamburger Hash.”

Disney chairman in 1984, Rohde’s star took off. It may have helped that in an initial pitch meeting with Eisner, Rohde sauntered in with a Bengal tiger in tow—yes, a living, breathing friend of Oswald. That sort of stunt gets you noticed. “So I get an assignment to do a project that Eisner wants called the Animal Kingdom,” he says. “Nobody wants this job. They don’t believe it’s going to get built, and everyone conceptualizes it in terms of pre-existing phenomena like a zoo. Because of that I am able to get this assignment with a very limited pedigree behind me.” Breaking ground in 1990, the 580-acre Animal Kingdom, divided into seven themed areas, took eight years to build. With a storytelling message built around animal conservation and nature—not “Once upon a time ”—the park posed a world of challenges and questions, namely, “What does it mean to be Disney inside this thing?” Rohde says. “One 28 OCCIDENTAL MAGAZINE

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of the first premises is we will not be able to use that whole purified, idealized look.” That Disney aesthetic “implies that I am walking inside of a story that I know,” he adds, with characters and a plot. “That’s not the story of live, wild animals. “They’re caught up in actual action of history, time, and change.” Attendant with the entertainment factor inherent in the park, there was the subtext message of conservation education. “This required extremely high levels of research and cultural engagement,” says Rohde. “So we set up a culture of deep collaboration with the community of conservation scientists and zoo operators and wildlife conservation people, outside forces with a limited vested interest in our business. And that led to this park, which has a very different look and feel and is, in fact, the epicenter of a global wildlife conservation effort. We have tens of millions in conservation funds dispersed around the world.”

After Pandora—The World of Avatar opened inside Disney’s Animal Kingdom in May, waiting times reportedly stretched up to three hours. The 12-acre sci-fi environment is a recreation of the fictional moon Pandora introduced in director James Cameron’s 2009 megahit Avatar, with attractions such as the Na’vi River Journey and the 3-D ride Flights of Passage (on the back of a flying banshee, no less). The project is a collaboration with Cameron and producer Jon Landau of Lightstorm Entertainment. “When we first met Joe, he seemed more like a bohemian world traveler than the artist that we discovered him to be,” says Landau, who will begin concurrent production on four Avatar sequels this fall (to be released over five years beginning in 2020). “Joe really looks at the whole picture of things: What are you trying to evoke from the people who are responding to your creation? That’s what we fell in love with about Joe, because that’s the way we look at our films.” And Rohde—who stresses that the key to successful Imagineering is collaboration—is a fun guy to work for, Landau adds. “The leadership qualities that I saw Joe exemplify were that—at the same time he needed to be


bringing people into battle—he would also be the one to go out to dinner with them, pick up a whole fish that had been served and start using it as puppet and singing through it, and making everybody feel so comfortable. Yeah, Joe might be their boss, but you know what? That’s Joe Rohde.” At an estimated cost of $500 million (more than twice the budget of Avatar), Rohde and his team’s Pandora takes guests into a world of floating mountains, bioluminescent fauna, and extraterrestrial creatures come to life. “Imagine the most complicated architectural job ever being done, coupled with the need to make all of that more richly detailed than any opera set you will ever see,” he says of the almost-six-year project. “That stuff gets hard.” What guests leave with after experiencing all of this is of paramount concern to Rohde, a tenet that echoes back to Disney himself. “The key thing about Walt that is still operative today is this very high level of respect for the audience,” he says. “You’re intellectually respecting the audience’s capacity to digest story at multiple levels, and to engage at multiple levels, and those change with time and with the product. But the principle is there.”

Although Rohde’s intense research process has taken him and his team to remote parts of China, Katmandu, and the Yucatan Peninsula, “Those are business trips,” he says. “I like real adventure. In the modern world, that takes quite an effort.” In fall 2013, Rohde and a small crew traveled by horseback to the treacherous Altai Mountains in Western Mongolia on a monthlong expedition to raise funds for the Snow Leopard Conservancy. In the face of blizzardlike conditions and ill-tempered camels, Rohde executed a series of “stupidly large paintings in the field or habitat where one would see the snow leopard under the idea that the leopard and the land are one thing.” Twenty-five of Rohde’s paintings were exhibited at Ojai’s Primavera Gallery in 2014, and a 59-minute film documenting his “awakening,” The Leopard in the Land, played the festival circuit prior to its home video release in 2015. (All proceeds from the paintings and film benefit the conservancy.) Rohde gets excited just recounting the Ripleyesque expedition: “I don’t really know where we’re sleeping tonight. What’s going to happen tomorrow? What we know is, we were dropped off here in this valley, we have 29 days to make it to this other valley where we’ll get picked up. … I’m painting in the damn blizzard. I can’t tell you how much I love this!” This globetrotting romantic, this creator of lands and kingdoms, calls Altadena home. Rohde and his wife, Melody Malmberg ’79, have two sons, Kellan, 23, and Brandt, 20. In Ojai, a couple of hours north, the family has “a little cabin surrounded by open land, and you can hear a lizard walking on a rock,” he says. “It’s the only place I can think of where I’m actually doing kind of nothing.”

Doing nothing, even kind of, is a rarity for Rohde. “I find myself quite busy,” he says of his Disney work. “There is no other creative discipline that comes close to the complexity and technical challenge of what we do. There are a thousand things to be done that have never been done before—and that’s really interesting to me. You have to surprise people. “The architecture of my career—how it works, how I am able to do all of this stuff— is this: The application of classic, thematic, literary theory to the entire human enterprise of large-scale ensemble design,” he says. “One can go on and on, but all that Occidental stuff comes home every single day. Every single day.” Peter Gilstrap wrote “Organ Recovery” in the Spring issue.

top: Setting up camp in Mongolia during a 2013 expedition to remote parts of the Altai Mountains to paint the endangered snow leopard. Rohde made his brushes by hand from local materials. Camels carried his canvases. above: Rohde paints after a snowstorm. left: Painting a portrait of a family in Nepal.

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CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD Photos courtesy Sue Swarts Beacham ’66 and Doug Beacham ’64 (pages 30-33), the California Surf Museum (pages 31, 32), and Occidental College Athletics (page 32)


AS A TEENAGER, LEWIS “HOPPY” SWARTS ’41 FIRST DRAGGED A HEAVY REDWOOD PADDLEBOARD INTO THE WAVES OFF HERMOSA BEACH. DECADES LATER, WITH HIS BELOVED SPORT IN DANGEROUS WATERS, HE BECAME THE FATHER OF ORGANIZED SURFING BY DOUG BEACHAM ’64

ewis Earl Swarts Jr. was born June 25, 1916, in Tulsa, Okla. He was known throughout his life as “Hoppy,” a nickname given to him by his oilman father, who was reading a Hopalong Cassidy novel at the hospital the day his son was born. The family eventually moved to Redondo Beach, and in 1930, at the age of 14, Hoppy learned how to surf on a 120-lb. redwood plank paddleboard in the waves in front of the Biltmore Hotel in Hermosa Beach. He found his passion, an infatuation that literally stayed with him until the day he died. Preeminent 20th-century surfing photographer LeRoy “Granny” Grannis first met Hoppy in 1934 when they were students at Redondo Beach High School. Hop and Granny took an immediate liking to each other and would drive in borrowed cars to go surfing at Palos Verdes Cove. They were among the earliest members of the Palos Verdes Surfing Club, the second-oldest surfing club on the mainland.

top: Hoppy Swarts ’41, second from left, and his pals from the Palos Verdes Surfing Club in an undated photo. above: Surfing buddy Ade Huber, left, and Hoppy test the waters. opposite page: Hoppy (sporting his trademark straw hat) remained active in competitive surfing until the age of 70. Whenever he took off on a wave, younger surfers stopped what they were doing to watch.

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Hoppy, center, and his friends traded their surfboards for roller skates in this undated photo.

As its numbers grew, the Palos Verdes Surfing Club attracted the best surfers in Southern California (and, arguably, the nation). In the words of co-founder John H. “Doc” Ball, “The club was comprised of mostly younger and under-employed surfers who sought a level of excitement unmatched in tennis, golf, or other outdoor activities.” But the club was well organized, with bylaws, codes of conduct, and guidelines of decorum and dress in meetings—including snazzy green club jackets. (My wife, Sue Swarts Beacham ’66— Hoppy’s daughter—wishes she had his jacket today.) Members of the all-male club were required to take an oath upon entering the fellowship. A member was expected to “own his own board,” to “ride his own board satisfactorily,” and “to at all times strive to conduct [himself] in a manner becoming a Club Member and a gentleman.” That oath, taken as a young man, may have been the inspiration for the effect Hoppy had on the sport of surfing later in his life—at a time when it needed him the most. Even before he enrolled at Occidental, where he majored in math with a minor in education, Hoppy enjoyed success as a competitive surfer. In 1934, he and female surfing pioneer Mary Kerwin won the first tandem, male-female surfing contest held in Hermosa Beach. He placed seventh in the 1938 Pacific Coast Surf Riding Championships, and took fifth in 1940. He was also prominently featured in Doc Ball’s seminal 1946 photo book California Surfriders, and photos of him were featured in both National Geographic and Popular Mechanics. Doc once said of Hoppy, “His go32 OCCIDENTAL MAGAZINE

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Doc Ball’s photo of Hoppy was featured in a September 1944 National Geographic article. Oxy tennis great Pat Henry Yeomans ’38 once told Hoppy that he had “the best body [she] had ever seen.” INSET: In addition to playing football at Oxy, Hoppy was a member of Kappa Sigma fraternity.

for-broke approach in the surf was in part because he was the most nearsighted surfer on the coast, and often didn’t know what he was getting into!” After completing his undergraduate studies in 1941 and a teaching credential in 1942, Hoppy took a job as a research associate at the MIT Radiation Laboratory in Cambridge, Mass. He was granted a U.S. patent for the airborne radar conical antenna he designed there. After World War II, he worked for the Navy in microwave communications, was assigned to the antennae laboratory at UC Berkeley (where he also earned a master’s in electrical engineering), and the Naval Ammunition Depot in Oahu, Hawai‘i, from 1953 to 1956 (surfing the waves at Makaha, right in front of his home on the beach). For the next 15 years he worked for Hughes Aircraft and TRW designing various kinds of space radar antenna systems. Years later, after a professional career as a physicist and electrical engineer, he re-

turned to Oxy in 1971 for his student teaching credential. For the next 10 years he taught high school mathematics in Southern California. Hoppy always considered work a sideline, and surfing his real occupation. A pair of attempts to combine his work and his passion—a line of surfboards in the early 1960s and an artificial surfing reef in Hermosa Beach—never caught a wave with the public. His real calling, as it happened, was saving the sport from its own burgeoning popularity. By the early 1960s, surfing was changing. The success of the movie Gidget (1959) and its beach-movie offspring, coupled with the availability of lighter weight surfboards, created a boom in the sport. Beach cities were in the process of enacting anti-surfing legislation because of overcrowding and the “sometimes malicious behavior of teenage surfers.” Old-time surfers, including Hoppy, realized that the sport was in trouble unless something was done.


A group of concerned surfers concluded that competition might be a solution to the image problem. Hoppy and an ad hoc group of concerned surfers addressing the issue concluded that, “Give society a winner, a champion, no matter what the sport, and it will become something they could not only understand, but cheer, and hopefully protect.” So they decided to act. Hoppy became president of the first public surfing organization, the United States Surfing Association, formed in 1961. For the first four years of its existence the USSA acted as a political action group, fighting surfing restrictions on both the East and West coasts. But in 1965 it changed course to concentrate almost exclusively on surfing competition using the judging and scoring system Hoppy literally created in his front room. In 1966, Hoppy was one of 12 inductees into the inaugural class of the International Surfing magazine Hall of Fame, alongside Mickey Dora, Greg Noll, Dale Velzey, Dewey Weber, and the legendary Duke Kahanamoku. The following year, the USSA split into regional groups and Hoppy became the first president of the Western Surfing Association. He remained with the WSA for the rest of his life. After Sue and I returned to California in 1969, we helped Hoppy run contests up and down the Southern California coast from the Ventura County line to San Diego. He had established the contest format, competition rules, and judging criteria that are the nucleus of every modern surfing event. Surfers were scored by judges sitting in beach chairs and marking their grades on pre-printed scoring sheets. The sheets were then taken by runners to scoring tables, where they were tabulated by hand. It was a primitive but effective system. Not until the late 1970s and the advent of the Radio Shack personal computer was Hoppy able to create a program to organize the heat results. As the contests grew larger and larger, soon the best surfers in the world competed for trophies and exposure in surfing magazines. The exposure led to endorsements and, eventually, to professional surfing contests televised on ESPN. Hoppy’s younger friends, who are still alive today, describe how his tutelage led them into careers as contest managers and professional judges. “He was a hero figure in

the surfing community,” says Steve Pezman, publisher of The Surfer’s Journal, who gave the eulogy at Hoppy’s memorial service. “In my slice of time, Hoppy was a promoter of the sport, honoring something he loved. … He was a sweet, positive, foundational contributor to a sport and movement coming of age.” Even as he devoted most of his energies to judging, Hoppy continued to surf competitively until 1984. In 1983 at the age of 67— in a field that included surfers 20 years his junior—he won the Grandmasters West Coast Championship at Ocean Beach. His style, to the end, was graceful and smooth. On June 9, 1988, Hoppy was standing in line at L.A. International Airport to board a flight for a contest he was to run in Santa Cruz when he suffered a fatal heart attack. He died doing what he wanted to do, for the sport that became his passion as a young man. Hoppy was buried at sea near one of his favorite surfing spots on July 18, 1988. A large number of surfers paddled out just beyond the break, and after paying their respects to Hoppy for his life and his contributions to surfing, his son, Buzz, released his ashes into his beloved California surf amidst a ring of Hawaiian leis. “I think of him as the godfather of modern surfing competition on the West Coast,” surf historian Drew Kampion recently said of Hoppy. “I remember his sublime equanimity in the midst of many a pointless fracas. Ironically, he seemed to understand that contests are whimsical undertakings that should never be confused with reality. While observing the truth and beauty of mathematics in trying to bring objectivity to a subjective medium, he always appeared to keep the core values in focus: camaraderie, respect, and fun.” The most poignant reflection on Hoppy’s life came recently from John Grannis, son of his lifelong best friend. Hoppy gave John his first surfboard when he was 4, a board he fashioned in the workshop above the house the Swarts family owned on the Strand in Hermosa Beach. Hoppy taught John how to surf and encouraged him to become a professional at the age of 17. And he taught John how to be a contest judge, something he still does today. Almost 30 years since Hoppy’s passing, John had to pause for several moments to compose himself. He recalled that he only saw his father cry twice in his lifetime—

top: Hoppy, front row, third from left, was inducted into the International Surfing magazine Hall of Fame in 1966. Directly above him is Duke Kahanamoku, the five-time Olympic medalist in swimming who brought the ancient Hawaiian sport of surfing into the 20th century. above: Hoppy’s legacy lives on at the WSA Hoppy Swarts Memorial West Coast Championships, held each May at San Onofre State Beach.

when his mother died, and on the day Hop died. Why did he think Hoppy and Granny were so drawn to surfing? “It’s the rush of being pushed forward by an extremely powerful force,” he replied. “A surfer riding a wave is at one with nature.” Recently my wife and I were watching a TV documentary about people who had led extraordinary lives. I casually asked her if she had ever known anyone who had led such a life and, without hesitation, Sue replied, “My father.” I thought about her response for a second, and realized she was absolutely right. Watching Hoppy surf was like watching an artist create a great painting. He rode waves with long, graceful movements in his uniquely classical style born out of riding those cumbersome planks long ago at the Cove. It took Hoppy just one paddle to get into the wave from the perfect break point. I asked him once how he was able to do that, as I was thrashing about trying to get up, and he replied, “Practice, my son, practice.” Sue and Doug Beacham live in Grants Pass, Ore. Doug wrote “One-Hit Wonder” in the Fall 2013 nagazine. SUMMER 2017  OCCIDENTAL MAGAZINE 33


OXYTALK

Self Discovery Retiring professor of psychology Anne McCall Schell urged every student to be their Best Possible Self— and she took her own advice to heart

Schell admits she didn’t know much about Occidental when she applied for an opening, but her dissertation adviser, a friend of professor of psychology emeritus Dave Cole M’48, vouched for the College’s reputation. Photos by Kevin Burke (2017), Joe Friezer (1976)

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As an undergraduate at Baylor University, and later in graduate work at USC, Anne McCall Schell had her heart set on a life in physics. But in her second year of grad school, “I figured out I really didn’t enjoy it that much,” says the Waco, Texas, native. “I was studying nuclear physics, and it had become so abstract. It was all mathematics, and you weren’t looking at anything you could see directly. I found the people around me more interesting than physics, so I switched over to psychology.” Generations of Oxy students would come to thank Schell, who retired this spring as a professor of psychology after 46 years at the College. She leaves a sizable thumbprint on the College and the lives of her students, both in their ability to do field work and participate in experimental psychology. Shortly after her arrival in 1971, Schell established the psychophysiology lab, which studies the way the mind and body interact. The early 1970s were heady times for social psychology research. At Stanford, professor Philip Zimbardo had launched his famous prison experiment, in which he used students, playing the roles of prisoners and guards, and mock prison cells to show the corruptible power of the penal system. “It was really the time in which research into the functioning of the brain was starting to kick off strongly in terms of the mind/brain interaction,” Schell says. Different from cognitive psychology, which considers such factors as learning, memory, attention, reasoning, and decisionmaking, psychophysiology measures changes in heart rate, skin conductance and blood distribution to measure stress, attention,


OXYTALK

and emotion. Schell’s lab experiments included administering mild electrical shocks to students while they looked at neutral pictures, such as a flower or a cat, or at “biologically prepared stimuli,” including images of spiders or snakes. “We wanted to see if basic emotional responses could be acquired without people being aware of why they were acquiring them,” Schell says. “When we have emotional responses and we don’t understand why we’re having them, we tend to make up reasons for ourselves because we don’t like unexplained emotional responding. “The research indicates that you can’t make people feel negative about something without their being aware of why they have that negative feeling,” she adds. “If I say to myself, ‘The reason I feel anxious when I see that picture is because it was paired with a shock,’ it means they tried to manipulate me.” Looking back over her career, Schell is proudest of the work she did with individual students, both in the research lab, but also in teaching a practicum in which students were required to spend eight hours per week with a community organization in the mental health field. The experience helped students decide whether psychology was their calling. “As the only woman and the youngest member of the psychology department, Anne’s very presence was deeply meaningful,” says Jacki Rodriguez ’77, professor of Latino/a and Latin American studies. “She represented a ‘possible self ’ for me. She was then and remains 40 years later a powerful figure for me.” By far Schell’s most popular course was on abnormal psychology—a subject she calls “just inherently fascinating: the study of things like obsessive-compulsive disorder, depression, and schizophrenia. Why do people with schizophrenia have auditory hallucinations? How does obsessive-compulsive disorder come about? How do phobias develop?” Schell’s expertise has always been a work in progress. The 1990s were known as the Decade of the Brain, coined by President George H.W. Bush as a time when national health agencies were working “to enhance public awareness of the benefits to be derived from brain research.” “We have research tools, such as magnetic resonance imaging, that weren’t even dreamed of when I started in psychology,” says Schell, who plans to remain professionally active in retirement. She will continue to

Schell’s circle of friends includes, from left, Thomas Freese ’87, Kayla Adem ’15, Jonathan Wynn ’96, professor of psychology Nancy Dess, and Heather Banis ’82.

publish scientific articles (she co-authored a number of studies with her students). Reflecting on her own arrival at Oxy in 1986, professor of psychology Nancy Dess says Schell was “unfailingly encouraging and supportive. In addition to being a wonderful role model as a scientist, she offered excellent advice for balancing responsibilities as a faculty member.” And, Dess adds, “She was scary smart.” Schell is clear on one point: Her courses were never easy, and her students were expected to do lots of writing. “Some of them moaned about it, and it might have even surprised some of them that they could actually do it,” she says. “And then when they go on to graduate school, they are a leg up on most other students.” Through it all, she urged every student to be their Best Possible Self, a happiness exercise torn straight from the pages of Psych 101. Thinking back to her own academic days, and her late-game career change, Schell is unequivocal about her students’ aspirations.

“I’ve always said, ‘If there’s something that you really want to do, have a try at it,’” she advises. “‘You’re young, you’re not married, you don’t have a family, and you don’t have a mortgage. Go for it.’” Her sizable Swan Hall office—decorated with folk art from places such as Mexico, Ecuador, and Burma—overlooks a grove of Oxy’s landmark jacaranda trees, which erupt in a blaze of purple every spring. It’s the envy of her colleagues: “Ask any member of the department; I really got the nicest office.” Travel is in the immediate offing for Schell and her husband of 37 years, psychiatrist Allen Chroman. At her retirement party, department chair Brian Kim, associate professor of psychology, lauded her “Southern charm” and her “genuine concern for everyone’s personal well-being.” “I don’t tend to be confrontational when there’s any kind of conflict,” Schell says. “I try to find ways of working things out in an amicable way. I try to function as a conciliator rather than an adversary.”—andy faught SUMMER 2017  OCCIDENTAL MAGAZINE 35


OXYTALK

A Lifetime of Memories Retiring professor Diana Card Linden made the leap from biology to cognitive science, building a program into a department while being mindful of her students

For all her victories in competitive badminton doubles, professor of cognitive science Diana Card Linden never enjoyed much success playing singles. “I don’t have the kind of personality that you need to be a winner at singles, in which you say, ‘I have my opponent by the throat, and now I’m going to punish them,’” admits the longtime member of the Manhattan Beach Badminton Club. As a doubles competitor, “I was a really good cooperative player,” she adds. Logically enough, cognitive science figures heavily into sports: Athletes are forced to blend thought, learning, and organization in ways that allow them to withstand the pressures of competition. It also forms the bedrock of the liberal arts experience in that it tells a person not what to think, but how to think by harnessing disciplines ranging from linguistics and computer science to biology and philosophy. That interdisciplinary nexus, Linden says, drove her approach on the court as well as in the classroom, from which she retired this spring after 35 years at Oxy. And while badminton wrecked her knees, both of which she’s had replaced since December, her love for cognitive science endures. Cognitive science became an academic discipline in the 1950s, when researchers started asking new questions: Are the mind and the brain the same thing? If they aren’t, can it be shown? The field has since tried to develop models around the mind, both in terms of artificial intelligence and making predictions about human behavior. 36 OCCIDENTAL MAGAZINE

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“The wonderful thing about cognitive science is there’s no one answer,” says Linden, who received her bachelor’s, master’s, and Ph.D. at UCLA. “So, you apply a lot of different disciplines, and all of it comes together to add something to understanding how the mind works.” Linden’s road to cognitive science came about largely by happenstance. She was hired by Occidental in 1982 to teach courses in cell biology and developmental biology. Around 1996, a student approached her to share his enthusiasm for Oxy’s nascent cognitive science program, created by Saul Traiger, professor of cognitive science and philosophy, who has taught at the College since 1985. Over time, Linden’s interests had broadened. In biology, her research focused on studying molecules at the neuromuscular junctions of frogs. “There are not too many people who are interested in that, and there are not a lot of problems you can solve in the world with that focus,” she says. “I did enjoy it, but I started thinking, ‘Why am I killing all of these frogs? Where is this getting me?’ I decided it was too narrow. Cognitive science approached studying the brain from many different points of view.” After three years as director of Oxy’s Center for Teaching and Learning, Linden became Oxy’s first full cognitive science professor when the program became a department in 2002. Today, the department is home to four full-time faculty members. “I have taken neuroscience courses, and actually taught a psychobiology course be-

Linden played an instrumental role in introducing cognitive neuroscience into the cog sci curriculum, educating faculty as well as students, and developing the team-taught, interdisciplinary approach to Cog Sci 101. Photo by Kevin Burke

fore my time at Oxy,” says Carmel Levitan, associate professor of cognitive science, who has co-taught Cog Sci 101 with Linden. One day in class, Linden “was lecturing about calcium channels and I suddenly got it,” she says. “In the classroom, she is able to make neuroscience not only fascinating, but understandable.” “Diana is beloved among cog sci majors,” adds Andrew Shtulman, associate professor of psychology and  cognitive science. “Every advising session, I had students tell me they wanted to take classes with Diana either because they had heard great things about her from their friends or because they


OXYTALK

Associate professor Carmel Levitan notes that Linden’s Cog Sci 101 students have described her instruction as “life changing,” by assessing themselves and each other with many of the actual tools used by professionals.

had taken classes with her already and wanted to take more.” Cognitive science major Pablo Romano ’14, who took every class Linden taught, will enroll at Stanford Medical School this fall, and he’s considering going into neurology. “Professor Linden helped me dramatically along the way,” he says. “She was particularly helpful in helping me find balance, not only in the classes that I was taking, but also in my personal life. She certainly played an important part in why I found Oxy so special.” Many of Linden’s students have gone into business careers. Others work in technology, where they act as an interface between pro-

grammers and program users. Her most popular course was Cog Sci 104, Introduction to Neuroscience, which drew Oxy students from across the spectrum of majors. Perhaps Linden’s biggest legacy is encouraging women to enter the field. Cultural stereotypes have limited female participation in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). Research shows that women fill just 30 percent of the jobs in those fields. Oxy’s approximately 70 cog sci majors are mostly split evenly between men and women, in no small part due to Linden. “I think I appeal to students by being approach-

able,” she says. “And when I have women in my classes who are struggling, either because it’s a STEM class and they don’t understand stuff, or they feel inferior to men, I basically say, ‘What do you want to do? And why aren’t you doing it?’ And then we discuss it.” In retirement, the Sherman Oaks resident will continue running a private practice in educational therapy, something she’s been doing since 2002. (She’ll also make silver jewelry and tend to her drought-resistant garden.) While challenges can be due to learning disabilities or psychological problems, Linden’s job is “to help people find where their weaknesses are and where their strengths are.” Linden’s influence was evident in written notes left at her department retirement party: “Almost all of the comments said, ‘You made a huge difference in my life. You made me believe in myself. Without you, I wouldn’t be where I am,’” she says. “I think that’s what students will remember about me—that I really cared about them.”—andy faught SUMMER 2017  OCCIDENTAL MAGAZINE 37


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Obituaries Edward F. Ellison ’39 died Oct. 13, 2016, in Irvine. A retired owner of the Ellison Engineering Co., he was a member of Phi Gamma Delta and the Glee Club and played baseball while at Oxy. Lilia (Jensen) Johnson ’40 died May 25, 2017, in Arbuckle. She was a member of Zeta Tau Zeta at Oxy. A mother of two, she was preceded in death by husband Richard Johnson ’37 in 1995. Paula (Lowry) Galbraith ’41 died June 6, 2017, in Pasadena. Paula attended Occidental and graduated from UC Berkeley. On the day after Pearl Harbor, Jack Connolly Jr. slipped an engagement ring on her finger during church. She skipped commencement ceremonies to marry him on May 16, 1942, in San Francisco. He died in 1983, and Paula would marry for a second time five years later, to Eric Galbraith, whom she met during her travels in England. The couple maintained homes in both countries for 25 years, until Eric’s death in 2014. Paula was a mother of three and an active community volunteer. When the first of her 10 grandchildren began to arrive, she became known as “Polly” and treasured that name. In addition to her children (Paula, Joe, and Elise) and grandchildren, she is survived by 19 great-grandchildren. Rosemary (Walker) McLean ’41 died May 22, 2017, in Bandon, Ore. She was preceded in death by her husband, the Rev. Robert McLean Jr. ’41, in 1991, and is survived by four children, including Margaret Taylor ’67. Mary Fitz Randolph Hobler ’44 died May 26, 2017, in Skillman, N.J. A native of Bronxville, N.Y., she later lived in La Jolla for 10 years, where her father, well-known genealogist Howard Randolph, wrote a book on early La Jolla history. Soon after graduating from Occidental, she married Herbert W. Hobler in 1944 while he was serving in the Army Air Corps, and moved to Princeton, N.J. While her children were in elementary school, “Randy” volunteered at the YMCA. After her husband founded Princeton radio station WHWH, she joined him there for 10 years as assistant treasurer of the board. She later pursued a master’s degree in counseling at Rider University, graduating in 1975. For 18 years Randy was a career counselor and was also one of the founders of Youth Employment Services in Princeton. She served on numerous boards and wrote or co-wrote a number of historical books and many other historical articles

related to Princeton. Upon moving to Stonebridge in Skillman in 2004, she produced a monthly Stonebridge newsletter. She also wrote histories of her maternal grandmother’s life, and of her youth in Bronxville and La Jolla. Randy took up painting in midlife, and was well known for her landscape works and paintings of many Princeton historic homes. She also designed and built beautiful dollhouses; enjoyed solving New York Times crosswords; and was a lifetime lover of books, chocolate, and all things British. In addition to her husband, she is survived by son Randolph; daughters Deborah Hobler ’70, Mary Hyson, and Nancy Hobler; six grandchildren; and 10 great-grandsons. Lt. Gen. Thomas H. Tackaberry ’45 died April 3, 2017, in Fayetteville, N.C. A highly decorated former commander of the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, he served in combat in Korea and Vietnam, earning three Distinguished Service Crosses, five Silver Stars, and a Soldier’s Medal, among other awards, during a 38-year military career. Later, he briefly served as a real estate manager before joining a private firm, BDC Corp., as the head of a six-person team that advised the military of the Republic of China. He is survived by his wife, Lilian, and sons Burt, Thomas, and Steven. Mary Joan (Mann) Imes ’47 died Dec. 30, 2016, in Kaneohe, Hawai‘i. She was preceded in death by husband Richard Imes ’47 in 2015, and is survived by two children. James R. McIntyre ’47 died Feb. 15, 2017, in Ashland, Ore. After receiving his master’s in geology from UC Berkeley, James worked as a consulting geologist engaged in petroleum and geothermal exploration. This work involved travel to and often residence in a number of U.S. and foreign locations. He retired with his wife to southern Oregon. Robert M. Russell ’47 died Feb. 3, 2017, in Upper Arlington, Ohio. Born in New York, Bob spent his teen years in Arizona, where he graduated from Tucson High School. After Occidental and Harvard University’s Officer Training School, he entered the U.S. Navy during WWII. While serving on the islands in the Pacific Ocean, Bob developed his love for the sea that he passed along to the rest of his family. After the war ended, Bob attended Princeton Theological Seminary. Most of his service as a Presbyterian pastor was in the eastern United States. He met wife Ruth in Princeton and they were married in 1950. They spent 63 years together, including time in Scotland; Wilmington, Del.; and New Haven, Conn. They later moved to Columbus, Ohio, where

Bob was an integral part of campus ministry at the Ohio State University for the next 50 years. The Columbus Citizen Journal named Bob one of Columbus’ “Men of the Year” in 1974. Bob is survived by four children, 12 grandchildren, and 10 great-grandchildren. Jack Dayan ’48 died March 15, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. He is survived by wife Helen and three children. Dwight Harper ’48 died Feb. 22, 2017, in Green Valley, Ariz. Dwight was a member of ATO and Tiger Claws at Oxy. He was retired as vice president of development for Public Storage Inc. He is survived by wife Marylou (Chandler) Harper ’43 and three daughters. Betty (Guinn) Kerr ’48 died June 10, 2017, in Santa Barbara. Betty married a fellow Oxy grad, Stanford N. Kerr ’47, who died in 2014. “She remained fond of Oxy through herlong life and kept countless keepsakes from her friendships and her growth as a musician while at Oxy,” son Jeffrey writes. John T. Knox ’49 died April 4, 2017, in Richmond. While at Oxy, John was a member of the Oxy Players and participated in student government, debate, and theater. After Oxy, John received his J.D. from UC Berkeley’s Hastings College of Law in 1952, eventually becoming a partner in San Francisco’s Nossman, Guthner, Knox & Elliott law firm. He also served for 20 years in the California State Legislature as assemblyman for the 11th Assembly District and as the Assembly Speaker Pro Tem. He is survived by wife Jean (Henderson) Knox ’48 and three children, including Mary Knox ’84. William D. Eldred ’50 died April 29, 2017, in Glendora. Bill was born and raised in South Pasadena and San Marino. After a two-year stint in the U.S. Navy during WWII, Bill went to Oxy on the G.I. Bill. There he met his wife, Joan Hemborg ’52, and lived in the on-campus veterans’ housing until graduation. Bill and Joan lived in Northern California and Covina for a short period of time and then settled in Glendora in 1962, where they raised their three children. Bill started his career as a salesman at the familyowned Fowler Brothers’ Bookstore in downtown L.A., became a Fuller Brush salesman, and cofounded Plato Products, a metal plating company and manufacturer of soldering tools and equipment, where he worked for 50 years. Bill was a member of Glenkirk Presbyterian Church for 50 years and served as a deacon and elder and on many committees. He also was active with Oxy and served on the Alumni Board of Governors and the College Board of Trustees in the 1970s and 1980s. Bill was preceded in death

by Joan in 2013 after 62 years of marriage and is survived by daughters Karen and Gretchen, son Kirk, six grandchildren, and sister Doris Eldred ’47. Ermet C. Mathews ’50 died Feb. 17, 2017, in Sonoma. Born Ermete Cretarolo in 1925 in Haverhill, Mass., he moved to Los Angeles with his parents and three siblings. After high school, he joined the Navy, then put himself through Occidental and Loyola Law School. He opened his own firm practicing probate law. He was preceded in death by his wife and dancing partner of many years, Eleanore. He is survived by four children and three grandchildren. Jean R. Miller ’50 died Feb. 20, 2017, in Anaheim Hills. After receiving her master’s in library science from USC, she worked as manager of library information services for Beckman Instruments in Fullerton. Stephen L. Smith ’50 died April 17, 2017, in Huntington Beach. He grew up in Glendale and served in the Navy, training in small craft landing boats for the invasion of Japan. Steve met wife Jean Genter ’48 at Oxy, where he received both a B.A. and a master’s in education administration. He became an elementary school principal in the Glendale Unified School District. The family lived in La Crescenta. Steve retired after 36 years, after which he and Jean moved to Fallbrook, where they enjoyed country living for 27 years. He was an elder in the Presbyterian Church and served on both the Fallbrook Community Planning Group and the Land Use Committee. He was also a member of the Fallbrook Rotary Club. Steve enjoyed traveling, golf, and woodworking. Survivors include his wife of 68 years, Jean; son Christopher; daughter Janet; and four grandchildren. Richard Schauer ’51 died May 10, 2017, in Bellevue, Wash. Richard spent his youth fishing and hunting, and crewed fishing charters as a part-time job throughout high school and college. At Oxy, he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and was a Rhodes Scholar nominee. While in college, he joined the U.S. Naval Reserve, serving from 1950 to 1952. He attended UCLA School of Law, where he was elected to the Order of the Coif and was editorin-chief of the UCLA Law Review. He was later voted Alumnus of the Year and named a fellow of the American Bar Foundation, a distinction reserved for one-third of one percent of the lawyers in each state. He married wife Loretta in 1963 and that same year was appointed to the Los Angeles Municipal Court by California Gov. Edmund Brown. In 1965, Richard SUMMER 2017  OCCIDENTAL MAGAZINE

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TIGERWIRE Photo courtesy Occidental College Special Collections

Jim Bush, whose three-year tenure as track and field head coach (1962-64) produced five national champions, one Olympian, and school records at every event from the 100 to the mile, died July 10 in Culver City. He was 90. After taking the Fullerton College track program from worst to first in its conference, Bush was hired at Oxy in 1962 to succeed Chuck Coker. After Oxy beat UCLA all three years under Bush, legendary Bruins coach Ducky Drake retired, and Bush was recruited as his replacement. Bush guided UCLA to five NCAA track and field championships during his 20-year tenure, and was the head U.S. track coach at the 1979 Pan-American Games. He picked up a Super Bowl ring as a conditioning coach with the Oakland Raiders in 1984, and a World Series ring with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1988. Bush returned to the college ranks as an assistant track coach at USC in 1989, retiring in 1994. He was inducted into the Oxy Track & Field Hall of Fame in 2001 and also is a member of the National Track & Field, U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association, and UCLA halls of fame. “Jim’s affection for Occidental and the track program was exceedingly strong,” says track standout and former athletic director Dixon Farmer ’63. “His influence on the sport and the student-athletes he coached was immense.” Survivors include his wife of 36 years, Francoise.

was elevated to Superior Court, becoming one of the youngest judges in California history. He was recognized as Judge of the Year by the Los Angeles Trial Lawyers Association in 1975, and two years later was elected as the presiding judge of the Los Angeles Superior Court. In that position, he was the first presiding judge in California history to also be the son of a presiding judge (Justice B. Rey Schauer). Throughout his career, Richard presided over several highprofile cases, including a lawsuit filed against the University of California Board of Regents by Angela Davis over her dismissal as a professor because of her affiliation with the Communist Party. After retiring from the bench in 1984, Richard re-entered private practice with a firm in Century City, prac62 OCCIDENTAL MAGAZINE

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ticing business law and serving as a mediator and arbitrator. Richard and Loretta traveled widely, exploring exotic societies, places, and wildlife in over 60 countries and all seven continents. Richard is survived by Loretta, son Steven, daughters Kimberly and Stacey, eight grandchildren, and a greatgrandson. Gilbert D. Totten ’51 died March 31, 2017, in Chicago. Gil moved to Pasadena from Beverly, Ill., as a teenager. At Oxy, he received both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in history, and was awarded Phi Beta Kappa. He was called to active sea duty service in the Korean War with his U.S. Navy Reserve unit. Later, he received a fellowship to Harvard University from the Ford Foundation; there he received a master’s degree in history and Mid-

dle Eastern studies. For years, Gil was a season subscriber to the Chicago Lyric Opera and the Chicago Symphony. He also was a lifelong member of Lincoln Park Zoo, the Art Institute, and the Field Museum. He was an avid traveler with the Oriental Institute, hot air balloon aviator, book collector, library volunteer, gourmet cook, and a charter member of the Fort Dearborn-Chicago chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution. His business career was focused on U.S. oil industry publications as district manager for the Petroleum Publishing Co. in Chicago. Thomas L. Drouet ’53 died April 8, 2017, in Whittier. A math professor at East Los Angeles College, he loved teaching and inspired many students to reach for their dreams. An amateur astronomer and committed supporter of the Los Angeles Astronomical Society, Orange County Astronomers, and Griffith Observatory, he also participated in astronomy outreach programs at local schools, enthusiastically sharing the sky’s wonders with the scientists of tomorrow. Tom also loved performing as a clarinetist with the Los Angeles Police Band, Covina Band, and for more than 30 years with the UCLA Alumni Band. He is survived by daughters Marie and Louisa. L. Ashley Robinson ’53 died May 1, 2017, in Littleton, N.H. After his Oxy graduation, Lou attended Columbia Law School, where he was selected to be a member of the Columbia Law Review. He started his career at the law firm White & Case in New York City and later became a partner in Burlingham, Underwood and Lord, which specialized in maritime law, also in New York City. Lou lived the first 67 years in Bronxville, where he served on the board of trustees as well as a governor of the Bronxville Field Club. After his retirement, he moved with his wife, Yvonne, to Jefferson, N.H., and wintered in the San Francisco area. Lou met Yvonne when the two were partners in a platform tennis tournament in Scarsdale, N.Y. His first wife, Nancy, died in 1971. In addition to Yvonne, survivors include son Gary, daughter Susan, and four grandsons. Walton R. Cook ’55 died Dec. 15, 2016, in Boise, Idaho. Walton was raised in Newhall, where the family owned a dairy farm. He was drafted into the Army during the Korean War and served as a combat engineer, and was honorably discharged after two years of military service. Walton attended Occidental and UCLA, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in business. He married the love of his life, Judith Mae Freudenthal, in 1959. They lived in

San Fernando and had three children, Lawrence, Christine, and Curtis. After leaving the California Forest Service, where he was a firefighter, he worked in the insurance industry as a senior claims adjustor. In 1973, the family moved to Boise. An avid skier and sports fan, he and Judy had Boise State football season tickets for many years. In addition to his children, he is survived by his twin grandchildren, Blake and Jennifer. Richard S. Ludlow ’55 died April 26, 2017, in St. Augustine, Fla. While studying history, he worked in the College’s building department and was a member of the La Encina staff. Following graduation, he joined the management training program of Shell Oil, serving in the marketing and real estate divisions in Los Angeles, Long Beach, and New York City. In 1970, Richard and his family moved to Jacksonville, Fla., where he began in real estate development and later served as a senior vice president in the real estate department of a major area bank, from which he retired to become a consultant in the field. He was a member of Meninak, a service club, and led the Commodores, an organization of boat owners and crew members that promoted Jacksonville. He is survived by his wife, Reba; daughters Susan, Betsy, and Deanna; three grandsons; and his former wife, Jean (Hodges) Ludlow ’57. Virginia (DiTullio) Royer ’56 died April 8, 2017, in Glendale. Ginny’s life was all about music. She grew up accompanying her father’s cello students on the piano. When her sister began playing the flute, Ginny added flute to her repertoire. Soon, the three of them became the DiTullio Trio, playing many broadcasts from the Los Angeles County Museum of Arts. Ginny was a member of the National Association of Recording Arts and Sciences and recorded two albums with her sister. She was an accomplished accompanist and collaborated with many of Los Angeles’ top musicians. She was the pianist and harpsichordist for the Glendale Chamber Orchestra and, in her later life, gave piano lessons to many of the area’s young people and adults. Virginia was an active member of the Glendale Committee for the L.A. Philharmonic. She also was a docent at the Pasadena Showcase House of Design and loved working with third-grade children when the Music Mobile van was brought to the elementary schools. Ginny was preceded in death by her husband of 60 years, Richard, in 2015, and is survived by son Ronald, daughter Yvonne, and three grandchildren. Donald C. Beall ’58 died Nov. 18, 2016, in Torrance. After serving in


TIGERWIRE Photo by Marc Campos

the Army, Don worked in real estate before owning several South Bay bars and restaurants. He was proudest of his partnership with Ray Cobb in the Raintree, which a longtime friend once called “the hottest nightclub in the South Bay.” Survivors include his wife of 21 years, Mary; children Donette, Scott, and Suzanne; stepdaughters Lynn Elias and Mandy Parkes; and five grandchildren. Wayne S. Dryden ’59 died July 18, 2016, in Tennessee. A native of San Marino, Wayne was a member of Phi Gamma Delta while at Oxy and later practiced family law. He is survived by daughters Brooke and April and five grandchildren. George Spangler ’59 died Nov. 9, 2016, in Huntington Beach. George played four years of football at Oxy and was a member of the men’s physical education fraternity, Phi Epsilon Kappa. He enjoyed a long career of teaching and coaching, 38 years of which were spent at Newport Harbor High School. George was a member of the Newport Beach Lifeguard Department for 40 years and met his wife, Linda, while working as a tower guard in summer 1957. George was an avid outdoorsman and enjoyed camping, hiking, and hunting with family and friends. In addition to his wife, he is survived by sons John and Jason and four grandsons. Linda Lesh ’60 died April 28, 2017, in Ladera Ranch. After Oxy, Linda got her teaching credential at Long Beach State, and she taught elementary school in El Monte and Glendale for over 30 years. She also sang in the choir and played in the hand bell choir at First Baptist Church of Pasadena. Linda loved to travel, whether doing a mission trip to an Alaskan orphanage or to the Holy Land and Greek Isles with her mother and friends, or a dream trip to Ecuador. Her favorite trip, however, was backpacking or pack mule camping into the back country of Mammoth/June Lakes every summer to hike, fish, or just commune with nature, taking photos which she would later paint in watercolor. Thomas T. Triggs ’60 died March 5, 2016, in Huntington Beach. He was a longtime vice president of Bank of Hawaii in Honolulu. Survivors include his wife, Faye. Howard L. Rosenfeld ’61 died March 17, 2017, in Pasadena. Hal graduated from USC School of Medicine in 1965. He was boardcertified in plastic surgery in 1979, and served on the medical staff of Huntington Hospital in Pasadena for 36 years, where he also was a member of the hospital’s ethics committee. He was active in the state and county medical associations, a mediator for the L.A. Superior Court, and an expert reviewer

for the California Medical Board. He enjoyed spending time tending and exhibiting his bonsai trees. As a member of the L.A. Opera Docs, he combined his love of music with his medical expertise when called on to treat injured or ill cast members. He is survived by daughter Ariel and son Samuel. Graef “Bud” Crystal M’62 died April 18, 2017, in Las Vegas. After more than four decades of making a good but quiet living advising clients such as American Express and General Electric, Bud became the foremost critic of excessive compensation, such as the alleged excess of the employment contract that he’d helped the Walt Disney Co. negotiate with Hollywood super-agent Michael Ovitz. In a 1996 article for Slate, Bud explained he had warned then-CEO Michael Eisner he would put his critic hat back on if the contract became an issue, which its $140million severance provision later did. As a Bloomberg News columnist on executive pay for eight years starting in 2000, Bud prepared yearly reports identifying the most overpaid top executives, based on models he developed that compared compensation with a company’s size and performance. He received his bachelor’s degree in psychology from UC Berkeley and a master’s degree in the same subject from Occidental. He focused on pay packages as an adjunct professor at the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley, and was the editor of the Crystal Report on Executive Compensation and the author of six books. Bud is survived by his wife, Sue, and a daughter and two sons from his previous marriage. Duane Hostetter ’62 died March 27, 2017, in Georgetown, Texas. He is survived by wife Sharon and two children. R. Terrell Jones ’62 died Feb. 20, 2017, in Thousand Oaks. Terry was a member of SAE and the tennis team and senior class president. Edwin A. Millar ’62 died May 25, 2017, in Rosemead. Prior to attending Oxy, he served in the Air Force, where he was a base choir director in England. Ed sang in the Glee Club at Oxy and was a member and chapter president of Kappa Sigma. After Oxy he worked for Sears as a supervisor in the maintenance and repair division. Ed was choir director at the Church of the Lighted Window in La Cañada Flintridge and the Community Christian Church in Huntington Park and was lead tenor at the First Congregational Church of Los Angeles. He also sang in the choir at Oneonta Congregational Church in South Pasadena and was a leader in the National Association of Congregational Christian Churches. Ed is

Aram Nersissian, associate professor of chemistry, died May 26 of pancreatic cancer. He was 58. Nersissian was a graduate of Lomonsov Moscow State University, one of Russia’s most prestigious universities, and received his Ph.D. in biochemistry from the Institute of Biochemistry of the Armenian Academy of Sciences. He was awarded a Humboldt Postgraduate Fellowship at Munich University, where he was one of the original contributors to the NIH gene bank. After joining the Occidental faculty in 2004, Nersissian continued his research as a regular participant in the Undergraduate Research program. One of his students, William Reeves ’16, was honored last year by the American Society of Hematology for a novel anticoagulant Reeves and his student colleagues discovered under Nersissian’s guidance. Nersissian served as chair of the chemistry department and was working on student recommendations up to a week before his death. In his own work, he developed a new method to manufacture a human blood coagulant by substituting a small segment of the human gene with the analogous segment from the Japanese puffer fish. His new gene produced a protein that exhibited dramatically enhanced clotting activity relative to commercially availably drugs, a protein that has drawn significant interest from pharmaceutical companies for its potential to create a new clinical therapy for hemophilia. Nersissian is survived by his wife, Aroussiak, sons Miran and Tigran, daughter-in-law Stephanie Tardif ’10, and granddaughter Julia.

survived by wife Gay, three children, and two grandsons. Stephen R. Kinkade ’67 died Feb. 11, 2017, in San Rafael. He was a CPA with his own firm in Novato. Alan R. Tabrum ’69 died Jan. 2, 2017, in Wilkins Township, Pa. An avid paleontologist at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Alan published many papers and discovered and named several species of small mammals. Survivors include his wife, Jenny, and son, Jeffrey. Alexander A. Silva Jr. M’70 died April 25, 2017, in Southport, N.C. Alex received his master’s in urban affairs and wore many hats throughout his career. He was a

speechwriter for vice presidential candidate Edmund Muskie in 1968, “advance man” for the visiting Chinese ping-pong team in 1972, a political appointee by President Carter as deputy assistant secretary of the Navy for equal opportunity, focusing on the Women at Sea program, and special assistant to the comptroller general at the General Accounting Office. He is survived by his wife, Donna, and daughters Samantha and Laura. William A. Dorvall ’82 died May 1, 2017, in Huntington Beach. He majored in economics at Oxy and was a member on the track team. He worked as a portfolio manager. SUMMER 2017  OCCIDENTAL MAGAZINE 63


PAGE 64 Photo by Skyler Greene

Armstrong began his Oxy career by setting a foundation for a life in theater, declaring theater as his major, acting in productions like Stephen Sondheim’s A Little Night Music and participating in Occidental Children’s Theater. After taking a break from his studies for personal reflection, he transitioned into a new interest in history and a passion for sparking change within his campus community. Armstrong’s study of history and religious studies plays an unexpectedly large role in his job. “I don’t write about festivals—I write about the human experience and social commentary within festival culture,” he explains. “I actually studied Whiteness [the critical theory and social justice course] at Oxy and then I went to South Africa to their Burning Man Armstrong stays cool at and wrote about white privilege as an American experiencing race in the Lightning in a Bottle festival in Paso Robles. South Africa. … The way that Oxy taught me how to think has perBelow: Speaking at the meated everything in my life.” What the Festival at Travels to festivals around the globe are now commonplace for Wolf Run Ranch, Ore. Armstrong, but his venture into the music world began closer to home in the Bay Area. After using a newfangled tool called social media to create a following for his post-college band I Can Dress Myself, Armstrong’s insight into the technology helped him carve out a space within the Burning Man organization. After volunteering to do social media management for an event off Playa d’en Bossa beach in Ibiza, his work was noticed by local event producers, who began contracting him to promote their street fairs and annual music events. Armstrong’s critical eye gave a unique insight into the promotional work. “I was doing these short-term marketing campaigns for these events,” he says, “but I was basically building one big nightlife community that I could leverage for these different events.” This was exactly the kind of mission that Fest300, an online guide to the world’s best festivals, was building on. Armstrong was hired on as its community manager and began helping the digital website grow into Everfest. Photo by Joffrey Middleton-Hope What can you do with a liberal arts degree? For “It’s my business to create a global festival comhis part, Eamon Armstrong ’06 builds communimunity,” Armstrong says. This includes linking muties, dresses fabulously, and travels the world maksicians, visual artists, and producers to create spaces ing friends. It’s a vocation of his own creation, and for people to engage in creativity, expression, and one befitting an individual who, as a child, “loved openness. “The beautiful thing is that there are fessinging and dancing and all the attention.” tivals for everyone,” he adds. “There are festivals As creative director of Everfest, a festival marfor introverts, there are festivals for people who keting platform that recently raised $3.6 million in love books. You’ve got to find your vibe.” Through his work and his lifestyle, Armstrong capital from Live Nation, Armstrong traveled to 18 Choose Your Own Adventure aims to share the value of festivalgoing and the festivals in 10 countries just in the last year. Among Armstrong’s advice for those self-exploration that accompanies the experience. his recent destinations: Rainbow Serpent in Victolooking to connect across festival scenes? Go to another Traveling internationally with the United Nations ria, Australia; Desert Hearts in San Diego; and Garcountry to attend a festival, Population Fund after graduation showed him that bicz Festival in a tiny village in Poland. regardless of the theme. Spend it wasn’t his path to supporting and sustaining Despite initially regarding higher education as days camping with a niche community. Engage in selfchange in the world. But his ultimate mission—to something more naturally found on the East Coast expression. And for those who help culture grow globally—remains the same in (“I had the stereotypical ‘autumn leaf’ college view don’t want to leave the culture Armstrong’s current job. in mind”), the New Mexico-raised Armstrong found inside the festival gates, “I think that the way to be suc“To me, being able to offer tools online to dishis way to Occidental thanks to a high school friend cessful is to try to discover cover new festivals is the mature adult expression who insisted they venture to the nearby coast. “It your most authentic expresof using my talents, and my inexhaustible desire was such a warm, welcoming environment,” he resion in the world and work really hard at the things you for attention, as well as really deep love of people calls. “I wanted to study theater at the time, and love most and eventually and wanting to break down walls and barriers,” he the theater program was really cool. I ended up decobble that together into says. “If you celebrate with another culture, you’ll ciding to go to Oxy because I’d had such a great exsomething that makes money.” fall in love with them.”—jasmine teran perience visiting there.”

Festival of Life

Eamon Armstrong ’06 travels the planet researching the best festivals of every flavor—and he won’t stop until he’s built a global community

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OXYFARE 

Snapshots from Volume 39, Number 3 oxy.edu/magazine OCCIDENTAL COLLEGE

Jonathan Veitch President Wendy F. Sternberg Vice President for Academic Aairs and Dean of the College Rhonda L. Brown Vice President for Equity and Inclusion & Chief Diversity OďŹƒcer Charlie Cardillo Vice President for Institutional Advancement Vince Cuseo Vice President of Enrollment and Dean of Admission Rob Flot Vice President for Student Aairs and Dean of Students Amos Himmelstein Vice President & Chief Operating OďŹƒcer Marty Sharkey Associate Vice President for Marketing and Communications Jim Tranquada Director of Communications editorial staff

Nacho Age 10

Aleksandra Sherman Assistant Professor Cognitive Science

Tank Striped Spirit Muscle Tee (100% cotton) by League Collegiate Outfitters Sizes S-XL, $28.95

Occidental College Bookstore oxybookstore.com To order by phone: 323-259-2951 All major credit cards accepted

Dick Anderson Editor Samantha B. Bonar ’90, Jasmine Teran Contributing Writers Marc Campos Contributing Photographer Gail (Schulman) Ginell ’79 Class Notes Editor SanSoucie Design Design DLS Group Printing

Alumni Reunion Weekend June 23-25 1. Clockwise from upper left, Alumni Seal honorees Kylie Schuyler ’82 (service to the community), Sally Ann Parsons ’62 (alumna of the year), Judy Lam ’87 (service to the College), Esau Berumen ’97 (professional achievement), Sara El-Amine ’07 (Erica J. Murray ’01 Young Alumni Award), and Mark Garcia ’87 (service to the College). 2. Leslie Scott ’87 and Carole (McPherson) Lewis ’87 catch up at Saturday’s reception. 3. Steve Hinchlie ’55, co-recipient of the Fifty Year Club’s Auld Lang Syne Award, with Fred Hameetman ’61. 4. President Jonathan Veitch and Eric Moore ’83. 5. No parking on the dance oor— not when Oswald gets into the groove with Jordan Narducci ’07. 6. Lois Aroian ’67 enjoys a coee with Frank Van Der Baan ’67 prior to Sunday’s Fifty Year Club meeting. 7. A Taylor-made selďŹ e at Saturday’s Oxy GOLD pool party with 2007 grads Rob Lucero, Devin Wasley, Paul Cardona, and Sarah Bowles. 8. Theater professor John Bouchard, son Jack, and wife Nan. Bouchard was this year’s recipient of the Fifty Year Club’s Io Triumphe Award. 9. Foosball combatants included 2012 classmates (from left) Jason Park, Alma Garcia, Yelka Kamara, Irene Li, and Aaron Stark (far right). 10. Twins redux: Gregory Impert ’02 and Doreen (Peden) Siodmak ’56. 11. 2007 grads Hernan Orozco, Sam PeĂąa, Sean Ganley, Daisy PeĂąa, Jayson Williams, Miko Quisumbing, and Adam Reilly on Saturday night.

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Published quarterly by Occidental College Main number: 323-259-2500 To contact Occidental magazine By phone: 323-259-2679 By email: oxymag@oxy.edu By mail: Occidental College OďŹƒce of Communications F-36 1600 Campus Road Los Angeles CA 90041-3314

Family & Homecoming Weekend October 13-14

Cover illustration: Gwen Keraval Oxy Wear photo: Marc Campos

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OCCIDENTAL MAGAZINE

Letters may be edited for length, content, and style. Occidental College online Homepage: oxy.edu Facebook: facebook.com/occidental Twitter: @occidental Instagram: instagram.com/occidentalcollege

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Andy Collins ’07—who led the Tigers to a 27–0 SCIAC record during his three-year tenure as quarterback (2004–2006)—will be inducted posthumously into the Occidental Athletics Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility on Friday, October 13, during Family & Homecoming Weekend. (Collins died in 2011 at the age of 27.) Other 2017 inductees include Stephen Haas ’63 (track and field), the 1982 NCAA national champion women’s tennis team, and Blair Slattery ’94 (basketball and tennis). For more information, visit oxyathletics.com. We look forward to seeing you back on campus for a weekend celebration of the Occidental family! Photo by Kirby Lee

alumni.oxy.edu


Office of Communications F-36 1600 Campus Road Los Angeles CA 90041-3314

summEr 2017

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How Lewis “Hoppy” Swarts ’41 Saved Surfing

Alt Disney: Imagineer Joe Rohde ’77

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summEr 2017

Growing up in Claremont, Mary Lois Seifert ’67 heard a lot about Pomona College. “The small class size, sense of community, and high quality of faculty appealed to me,” she says—but going to college in her hometown did not. And that’s what led her to discover Occidental. After graduating with a degree in religion, she did her master’s in social work at the University of Chicago, which led to a career in the medical field. “Toward the end, I was a social worker in a home hospice setting,” says Mary Lois, who retired in 2008 and lives with her husband of nearly 43 years, Lynn Comeskey, in Santa Cruz. Lynn graduated from Pomona in 1960—he and Mary Lois later met in Palo Alto—and served two years in the Army before attending Stanford Business School. After a career as a general contractor and commercial real estate investor, he now volunteers on a building crew for Habitat for Humanity. Mary Lois and Lynn love to travel, especially in Europe, so History of Civilization “provided a foundation for appreciating the many threads that weave together throughout history,” she says. Singing Bach’s B-Minor Mass in College choir along with the Glee Club and orchestra under conductor Howard Swan set “a high bar for any choir I sang with after that,” she adds. The Comeskeys have two grandkids, ages 11 and 14, and “We expect they will go to a small liberal arts college, as did their parents and grandparents,” Mary Lois notes. In that spirit, the couple has designated a planned gift to the College’s general scholarship endowment: “We both place a high value on liberal arts education.”

ExplOring l.A. WiTh TOm CArrOll ’08 /// nO JusTiCE, nO pEAs: insidE ThE Oxy FOOd COnFErEnCE

High on the Liberal Arts

SENIOR COMPS

Photo by Marc Campos

“Thanks to alumni such as Mary Lois Comeskey, whose legacy gift will support endowed scholarships, Occidental will be able to provide our students with access and opportunity for generations to come,” says President Jonathan Veitch. Mary Lois and Lynn concur: “Our hope is that more young people will have access to quality colleges such as Oxy to prepare them as citizens of the world.” oxy.edu/magazine

Occidental College Office of Gift Planning M-36 | 1600 Campus Road Los Angeles CA 90041-3314 | Phone: 323-259-2644 Email: giftplanning@oxy.edu | oxy.edu/giftplanning | facebook.com/BenCulleySociety

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