Milstein Receives
  Hamilton Medal



Robin Yerkes Horton
John Metaxas '80


Heidi Pomfret '92
Howard Selinger '71

Compiled by Lisa Palladino


Edwinston L. Robbins, retired Air Force officer and aircraft executive, Gladwyn, Pa., on February 23, 2001. Robbins, a native of South Norwalk, Conn., worked as an assistant at Street & Smith in New York during the 1930s. He joined the U.S. Army Air Force in 1940, advancing through grades to colonel. He retired from the Air Force in 1957 and took a series of positions with Lockheed Aircraft, including one in Paris. After retirement, he remained for a time in France before moving to Gladwyn. He is survived by his wife, Margaret.


Arthur A. Arsham, attorney, Southbury, Conn., on March 15, 2001. Arsham was a leading authority on transportation law. A 1931 graduate of the Law School, he was adjunct professor of business at the School of Business and NYU's Graduate School of Business Administration. For more than 20 years, he led the "Great Issues in Transportation Law and Regulation" section of the Columbia Executive Management program at Arden House in Harriman, N.Y. During the postwar period, there was a surge of interest in transportation enterprises, and Arsham represented various business interests. He also handled many precedent-setting cases involving complex rate regulations and successfully argued a case before the Supreme Court, Pony Express v. the U.S. Prior to entering the full-time practice of transportation law in 1952, Arsham served as the dean of the Academy of Advanced Traffic in New York and Philadelphia for 20 years. His wife, Geraldine Kaye, purchased the school in 1930 and became the director. She and Arsham built the academy into a nationally recognized training school for transportation executives. During World War II, candidates for officer training in the Army Transportation Corps were selected from the academy; following the war, the school offered professional training to thousands of veterans under the G.I. Bill of Rights. Arsham was founding partner of the New York City law firm Arsham and Keenan, which specialized in transportation issues and practice before the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC). After retiring from the firm in 1979, Arsham moved to Southbury. That same year, he traveled to Beijing to confer with Chinese government officials on the transportation aspects of international trade development. For the next 15 years, Arsham served clients that sought his advice on transportation matters, including Revlon, Pathmark, Johnson & Johnson and the National Small Shipments Traffic Conference. He authored several textbooks on transportation, was a member of several societies and associations and was chairman of the Committee on Admission to Practice of the ICC Practitioners Association. He is survived by his daughter, Alice Moskowitz; her husband, Paul; and three grandchildren and their spouses. Gerry, his wife of 55 years, died in 1986.


Thomas J. Reilly, retired, Nanuet, N.Y., on June 1, 2001. Reilly received a master's from the School of Engineering in 1934. He played football while at the College, and later attended many of the games. He was his class's CCT correspondent for a number of years, and his wife, Doris, who headed the school's Thrift Shop for many years, wrote in a letter to CCT, "He really loved Columbia, and I, too, miss the football games and the class friends."


Seymour Goldgraben, retired physician, Baltimore, on March 15, 2001. Goldgraben, who received his medical degree from NYU, had a general practice in Manhattan from 1942-46, when he joined the V.A. Hospital in Perry Point, Md., as chief of the medical service. He remained with the V.A. until his retirement, also serving as an assistant professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore.

Robert W. Ross, retired conductor, Weslaco, Texas, on September 12, 2001. Ross was born in 1910 in Shenandoah, Iowa, and attended William Penn College in Oskalooska, Iowa, for one year before transferring to the College. He later earned his master's at the University of Arizona. Ross taught music, band and orchestra at Illinois Wesleyan before joining the Navy when World War II began. Following the war, Ross began a 30-year tenure at the University of Oklahoma, first as assistant conductor of bands and later as director of the Oklahoma University Symphony Orchestra. He retired as professor of music in 1975. He also was active in the Lion's Club and the American Legion. He is survived by his wife, Ruth; daughter Robin Osborn; and brother James Grant Ross.

Joseph S. Smatko '36
Joseph S. Smatko '36
Joseph S. Smatko, scientist and retired chemical engineer, Santa Barbara, Calif., on October 7, 2001. A native of Fort Edward, N.Y., Smatko also earned a bachelor's and master's from the Engineering School in 1936 and 1937, respectively, and his doctorate in chemical engineering in 1948. In the 1940s, he was commissioned by the Department of Defense with a post-war secret classification to investigate German advances in electrochemical, chlorine and caustic soda processes; rare metal and nuclear material production; and Norwegian heavy water production. As associate professor at Maryland, where he taught from 1948-52, Smatko's studies led to the development of a thermopile demolition detonator to detonate explosives. As head of the chemical engineering department at Southern Cal, where he taught from 1952-59, among other projects, Smatko directed the department's efforts in catalytic smog control mufflers for trucks. As a senior scientist at Hoffman Science Center, Santa Barbara, Calif., Smatko improved the performance of solar cells and invented the Smatko Fuel Cell, which creates electrical energy from chemical compounds. Smatko also served as senior research chemist at GM's Defense Research Labs, also in Santa Barbara, where he led the space energy systems team in developing the power source for NASA's lunar rover. As chief scientist at McDonnell Douglas's Astropower Laboratory, Newport Beach, Calif., he developed the battery power source for the Viking spacecraft mission to Mars. As senior electrochemist at Stanford Research Institute, Smatko's programs led to development of the state of the art nickel cadmium rechargeable batteries. Smatko had more than a dozen patents and never really retired; in his later years he invented a gold substitute for heart valves and consulted on gold plating techniques used in aerospace connectors. He is survived by his son, Brian; daughter Monica Smatko Christie; brother Dr. Andrew J. Smatko and his wife, Shirley; and several nieces and nephews.


Benjamin H. Brown, retired professor, Cambridge, Mass., on June 12, 2001. Born and raised in Chattanooga, Tenn., Brown took a two-year research fellowship at Clara College in Cambridge after graduating from Columbia. He then returned to Columbia, earning his doctorate in modern English history in 1941. Brown was a World War II veteran, serving in the Navy at allied headquarters in Britain and later Berlin. After the war, he settled in New York City and served as deputy secretary general of the U.S. Mission to the United Nations from 1947-53. Brown also was a freelance writer and international affairs lecturer. He later served as director of the Cleveland Council on World Affairs (1955-58) and then served as vice president of the American University of Beirut (1958-60). For the next 24 years, Brown directed the fellows program at Harvard's Center for International Affairs, where he conducted myriad seminars. He also served as adviser to mid-career diplomats and statesmen at the center before retiring from Harvard in 1983. Brown is remembered as an enthusiastic participant in Harvard life, an informed political and international affairs commentator, a skilled pastel artist, passionate conversationalist and loyal friend. He is survived by his wife, Marguerite; son Timothy; stepchildren Elspeth Macdonald and Mark Woodcock; two grandchildren; two nieces; four step-grandsons; and a step-great-grandson.

James J. Casey, retired attorney, Peapack, N.J., on April 25, 2001. Casey, who earned his law degree at Columbia in 1940, was an attorney at Shea & Gould in New York. After serving in the Navy in World War II, which included active duty in the Pacific Theater, Casey retired as a lieutenant commander. He was a founding partner of Casey, Lane & Mittendorf in New York, and served for a number of years on the Boards of Visitors for the College and Law School. In addition to practicing law, Casey was a member of the United Nations Administrative Tribunal from 1960-63 and a delegate to the U.N. Human Rights Commission. He also served as a director of several corporations and clubs in New York, New Jersey and Rhode Island. A product of New York City Catholic schools, Casey was captain of Columbia's basketball team in 1936-37 and was an important benefactor of the College, Law School and University athletics. He is survived by his second wife, Claudia Prout Casey; children Anne H.C. van den Bergh, Edith Blair Casey and Richard Gambrill Casey; and five grandchildren.

Carl W. Desch '37
Carl W. Desch '37

Carl W. Desch, retired banker, Garden City, N.Y., on July 18, 2001. Desch went on to earn a master's from the University in 1939, and continued his relationship with Columbia until his death. Known in the Columbia community as an engaging raconteur, Desch was a former president of the Columbia University Club Foundation. He also had been a friend and supporter of the American Red Cross of Greater New York since the 1960s and served on a number of corporate boards, including Citibank, Kimberly-Clark and SKF Industries. As a senior executive at Citibank, Desch stressed the importance of philanthropy, and founded the company's matching gift program. He continued his philanthropic efforts by supporting the Columbia College Fund and establishing two scholarships at Columbia, one in honor of his late wife, Katharine W. Desch, and one at the Nursing School in honor of his daughter, Barbara Desch Lenihan, a 1974 graduate. Desch was a leader in College reunion efforts. As noted on his 60th reunion questionnaire, his greatest memory of his time at Columbia was the Rose Bowl victory in 1934. His message to classmates at that time was, "Proud to have been among you at an important part of life." Shortly before his death, Desch made a gift to renovate and name a classroom in Hamilton Hall. He is survived by his daughters, Carol Desoe and Barbara Lenihan; son Carl, Jr.; sister Margaret Hanft; and seven grandchildren.

William H. Pavitt, Jr., retired attorney, Pacific Palisades, Calif., on January 16, 2001. Pavitt received his J.D. from the Law School in 1939.

Kermit L. Pines, M.D., educator, researcher and clinician, Tenafly N.J., on June 10, 2001. Pines, a 1942 graduate of P&S, was a member of its faculty for 53 years and also maintained an active practice. At the time of his death, he was clinical professor emeritus. A military veteran, Pines served from 1944-46 in New Guinea and the Philippines in the 11th Airborne Division as a medical officer, and was highly decorated. He is survived by his wife, Toussia, Barnard '39; sons Jeffrey '69 SIPA '71 P&S '73, and Jonathan '78; and daughter Deborah.

Ira N. Thompson, Frederick, Colo., on June 17, 2001.


Leon Warshaw, New York, on January 4, 2001.


T. Kirby Davidson, Woburn, Mass., on September 14, 2001.

Louis Johnson, retired, Darien, Ct., on July 5, 2001. Johnson, a World War II veteran who served as a radar officer on an aircraft carrier in the Pacific, received a concurrent degree from the School of Engineering and later worked for Ebasco Services, Inc., where he became vice president of long-term planning. He retired in 1983. He is survived by his wife, Eileen.

George T. Scharffenberger '40
George T. Scharffenberger '40
George T. Scharffenberger, business executive, Rolling Hills, Calif., on November 10, 2001. Scharffenberger was born on May 22, 1919, in Hollis, N.Y. After graduation, he joined the accounting firm of Arthur Andersen & Co., where he stayed until 1943, earning his CPA during that time. A World War II Army veteran, Scharffenberger joined International Telephone & Telegraph, where he rose to president of its ITT Kellogg subsidiary. In 1959, he joined Litton Industries in Southern California. He was president of its Westrex Division and later became a senior vice president in charge of defense and space systems, the company's largest group at the time. In 1966, Scharffenberger returned to New York to succeed City Investing's Robert W. Dowling Jr., son of its founder, as president and CEO. Scharffenberger later became chairman and CEO. By means of mergers and acquisitions, he built City Investing into a diversified global company with operations in housing, lodging, food services, insurance and financial services. The company had many subsidiaries, and under Scharffenberger's leadership, annual revenues of the combined enterprise grew from $10 million to $6.5 billion. In the mid-'80s, Scharffenberger divested the subsidiaries and distributed the proceeds to shareholders. Following the liquidation, Scharffenberger continued as chairman of AmBase, an NYSE-listed insurance and financial services company, until his retirement in 1994. He had served as a member of the Board of Trustees of Southern Cal since 1973 and was chairman from 1985-90. He also served as a member of the Board of Regents of Georgetown from 1969-73, and was a member of its board of directors for two terms beginning in 1973. Scharffenberger was awarded honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degrees by USC in 1984 and Georgetown in 1987, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the College of Mount St. Vincent in 1987 and a Distinguished Service Award from the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges in 1989. A close friend of Ronald and Nancy Reagan, Scharffenberger served as a co-trustee of the Ronald Reagan Blind Trust during Reagan's presidency. A longtime and generous supporter of the College, Scharffenberger is survived by his wife, the former Marion Agnes Nelson, whom he wed in 1948; children Ann Scharffenberger Allen, George Jr., John, Thomas, James, and Joan Scharffenberger Laarakkers; brother William '42; and 10 grandchildren.

Bernard R. Rowen, Tacoma, Wash., on October 4, 2001.


Saul H. Haskel, Tuckahoe, N.Y., on June 7, 2001. Haskel, who was the chairman of the 60th Reunion for his class, worked with Boy Scouts of America (National Board). He is survived by his wife, Lavita; sons Peter and James; and daughters Anne and Margaret.

Raymond Raimondi, professor, Middletown, N.Y., August 14, 2001. Born in 1920 in New York, Raimondi was a World War II veteran, serving in the Army Air Corps. He became an English professor at Orange County Community College, where he remained until his retirement in 1987. Raimondi was praised for his civility and was known as an interested listener and conversationalist who cared about the children of his fellow professors. A former student started the Raymond Raimondi Scholarship Fund at Orange County C.C.

Bernard Mandelbaum '42
Bernard Mandelbaum '42
Bernard Mandelbaum, rabbi, Plantation, Fla., on June 19, 2001. Born in Brooklyn, Mandelbaum was president of the Jewish Theological Seminary from 1966-71. He became a student at the seminary in 1942. After his ordination, he held several posts at the seminary, including dean of students, provost, and professor of midrash, or scriptural interpretation. He also held other leadership roles, including serving as president of the America-Israel Cultural Foundation and executive vice president of the Synagogue Council of America. Mandelbaum created and led the Foundation for Future Generations, and was the author or editor of several books. His first wife, Judith, died in 1980. He is survived by his second wife, Marcelle; sister Ethel Salwen; five children: Joel, Dasi, David, Debra Lyman and Naomi Rosenblum; as well as 10 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

Arthur A. Mintz, physician, Queens, N.Y., on November 11, 2001. After graduating from the College, Mintz received his medical degree in 1945 from N.Y. Flower Fifth Avenue Medical School. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1942-47, and remained in the Reserves for 30 more years as a commander. After practicing internal medicine for 20 years, he became a psychiatrist and worked at Creedmoor State Mental Hospital, Queens Children's Hospital, Rikers Island Prison and the V.A. Hospital in Valhalla, N.Y. He last worked for the NYPD's Disabilities Board, retiring at 82. He played piano and organ by ear and taught his method to adults at Roslyn H.S. Skiing, the beach and dancing were other joys he shared with family and friends. He is survived by his wife, the former Ruth Obler; daughter Linda Shriberg and her husband Larry; daughter Kathryn; son Bill and daughter-in-law Linda; five grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.


Otto Apel, surgeon, Stockdale, Ohio, on November 9, 2000. Born in 1923, Apel played football while at the College, and, according to a letter to CCT from former roommate Jack Oliver '45, "made a sensational catch of a long pass from Paul Governali '43 in the last few seconds to win the Cornell game for us." A 1948 graduate of P&S, Apel joined the Army in 1950 and later served as a surgeon during the Korean War at a frontline MASH unit. He developed a surgical technique for repairing arteries that helped save limbs from amputation and was a consultant to the television show "M*A*S*H." His book, MASH: An Army Surgeon in Korea, was published (University Press of Kentucky) in 1998. Not long before he passed away, he was honored by the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame.

Herbert E. Mecke, consultant, South Yarmouth, Mass., on December 31, 2000. Mecke was born on Staten Island, N.Y., and was raised and educated in West Orange, N.J. In 1942, he joined the Army Air Corps, where he flew B-29 bombers. He was stationed on Guam during World War II and flew 15 missions as a co-pilot before the Japanese surrender. At the College, he was a member of the Alpha Delta Phi fraternity. He worked for General Foods and the York Corp., and then became a research specialist in the textile industry. He later worked for Celanese and Deering Miliken before founding H.E. Mecke Associates, an international consulting firm, in 1971. After his retirement in 1990, Mecke moved to South Yarmouth. He was active in helping schools and churches build addiction prevention programs on Cape Cod. He is survived by his wife of 50 years, the former Margaret M. Mather; son James; three daughters, Amanda, Carolyn Farineau, and Laura Midgley; a brother; a sister; four grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.


Wayne Lee Dail, technician, Eatontown, N.J., on September 1, 2001.


Marvin Harris, anthropologist, Gainesville, Fla., on October 25, 2001. (Please see In Memoriam.)

Kenneth C. Holden, clerk, Houston, on June 24, 2001.


Paul B. Burrell, professor, Cincinnati, on January 1, 2001.

Daniel Kocan, Frederick, Md., on September 4, 2001.

Anthony F. Megna, Tamarac, Fla., on May 26, 2001.


Joel Dolin, retired computer executive, on May 30, 2000. After graduating from the College, Dolin earned another bachelor's degree in 1954 and a master's degree in 1955, both from the School of Engineering. According to a letter to CCT from Dick Zeiger '52: "Joe was a bear of a man with a huge heart, jovial personality and engaging warmth. The love of life, classical music, the Yankees, 49ers, stickball, travel, movies and wine were his principal passions. He was a wonderful friend and true brother ever since we were roommates as undergraduates." Dolin is survived by his wife, Sharon; and daughters Jennifer and Claudia.


Edward M. Agnello, lawyer, Little Falls, N.J., on February 23, 2001. A community organizer dedicated to his hometown of Passaic, N.J., Agnello organized the 2nd Ward Educational and Charitable Foundation, a nonprofit group that provides scholarships to graduates of School 11. He also was a guiding force behind three 2nd Ward reunions, the most recent of which, in 2000, attracted more than 400 people. After graduation, Agnello earned a degree from Fordham Law School and practiced law until his death. He is survived by his wife, Virginia; son Glenn; sister Lucille Agnello Harte; and two grandchildren.


Robert J. Krane, physician and researcher, West Newton, Mass., on November 17, 2001. Born in the Bronx, Krane graduated from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in 1967 and served as a medical officer in the Navy during the Vietnam War, 1968-70. Krane received his surgical training at Boston City Hospital and Boston University Hospital, where he remained on the faculty. He chaired the Department of Urology at Boston Medical Center until 1999, at which time he joined Massachusetts General Hospital and was appointed professor of surgery in urology at Harvard Medical School. Krane was a noted researcher and often addressed international medical societies. In addition, he brought physicians from around the world to study at Boston medical centers. He authored more than 150 professional papers and several textbooks, and was a member of more than 20 national and international medical societies. Krane received the prestigious American Urological Association's Gold Cystoscope Award for his contributions to the field, and was the co-founder and editor of The World Journal of Urology. He is survived by his wife, the former Diane Graff, Barnard '65; daughter Jessica, daughter Jennifer Krane Tarleton and her husband, Brett; sons Jonathan '99 Business, and Justin '04; and one granddaughter.

James M. Lester, computer scientist, Waltham, Mass., on May 14, 2001. Born in New Haven, Conn., Lester moved with his family to Princeton in the early 1960s. He attended the College from 1965-67 before graduating from Harvard cum laude in 1969. In 1972, he earned a master's in computer science from Wisconsin. Lester worked in the artificial intelligence field, and for a number of institutions and companies in the Boston area including Image Analysis Lab at Tufts-New England Medical Center, Camex, Archetype and ImageLabs, which he co-founded. He joined Brigham and Women's Hospital in 1994, where he last worked in the department of radiology. He also was faculty member at Harvard. At Brigham, he was the chief developer of a medical information management system that used the World Wide Web. Lester also was an accomplished musician in flute, piano and voice; worked professionally as a musician; was an expert sailor and an avid cook. He is survived by his wife, Nancy; daughters Jessica and Rachel; son Benjamin; mother Ruth W. Lester; sister Anne L. Schager; and two nephews.


Victor V. Kaminski III, Cary, N.C., July 7, 2001. Kaminski was born in Cleveland and graduated from Padua High School in 1975. He played football there, and also at Columbia, where he was an All-Ivy First Team tackle. He attended graduate school at Ohio State, where he received a Ph.D. in organic chemistry in 1984. Kaminski was a successful research scientist at ICI Paints Strongville Research Center, and most recently was at Union Carbide (now Dow Chemical) in North Carolina. He received numerous patents for his work. Kaminski was active in his community, where he coached sports teams for his children in North Carolina, as well as in Parma, Ohio. He also was a Catholic education teacher. He is survived by his wife, the former Donna Wodzisz; children Julie, Donna, Victor IV and Daniel; mother Rose; and siblings Kathleen Jablonski, Karol Coundourides, William and Robert.


James B. McAdams, Orlando, on August 7, 2001.


Mandy Reichman, Scotch Plains, N.J., on September 21, 2001. Reichman was very involved in campus life, serving as former co-chair of Kesher: Reform Jews at Columbia; social life coordinator on the Hillel Executive Board; and coordinator of the Jewish Life Orientation for first-year students. Reichman, who was committed to getting students involved in the political process, interned at New Jersey Senator Frank Lautenberg's office in Washington, D.C., as well as at the office of then-president of the New Jersey State Senate Donald DiFrancesco. Reichman was remembered as an exceptionally warm and giving person who was compassionate, involved and always concerned about the well-being of others. She is survived by her parents, Barry and Meryl; and two sisters.


Nicholas Kemnitzer, Shepherdstown, W.Va., on November 9, 2001. Kemnitzer was a history major and the host of a weekly show on campus radio station WBAR. He is survived by his parents, David and Susan, and brother Alexander.


Search Columbia College Today
Need Help?

Columbia College Today Home
CCT Home

This Issue
This Issue


This Issue
Previous Issue

CCT Masthead