George J. Ames '37:   Financier and   Philanthropist
Those Were the Days,   My Friend!


Roar, Lion Roar!

Nicole Marwell '90
Mignon Moore '92
Joshua Harris Prager   '94
Cristina Teuscher '00

Classes of:
| 15-40 | 41-45 | 46-50 | 51-55 | 56-60 |
| 61-65 | 66-70 | 71-75 | 76-80 | 81-85 |
| 86-90 | 91-95 | 96-01 |


Classes of 1915-1935

Columbia College Today
475 Riverside Drive, Suite 917
New York, NY 10115

Columbia College Today sends its warmest congratulations to Shepard "Shep" Alexander '21, who celebrated his 100th birthday on Sunday, February 4. Shep didn't want a big party, preferring an intimate gathering of family and friends, including Joe Coffee ' 41. Among his many, many contributions to the College, Shep has been a long-time supporter of the John Jay Associates Program, his class's representative and a regular at alumni and athletic events. He received the University Alumni Federation's Alumni Medal in 1961 and a John Jay Award for Distinguished Professional Achievement from the College in 1991.

The Class of 1931 will celebrate its 70th reunion on Saturday, June 2, 2001, with a luncheon in Alfred Lerner Hall, the new student center. So far, Eli Ginzberg '31, Seymour Graubard '31 and Peter T. Kourides '31 have said they will attend the reunion luncheon, which is being co-hosted by the Class of 1936. If you haven't signed up, there's still time, so please telephone Heather Applewhite in the Alumni Office at (212) 870-2757 for information.

Sidney Siegel with daughter Laura at their art show
Sidney Siegel '32 with his daughter, Laura Siegel, at "Siegel & Siegel: Father-Daughter Exhibition," a spring show at MTC Building in Oakland, featuring his photographs and her paintings and drawings. Siegel passed away shortly after the exhibition.

Sidney Siegel '32 teamed up with his daughter, Laura, for an art exhibition in California in February and March, shortly before he passed away on March 16 (an obituary will appear in the next issue). "Siegel & Siegel: Father-Daughter Exhibition," held at the 8th Street Corridor Gallery at the MTC Building in Oakland, featured Sidney's photographs and Laura's paintings and drawings. Sidney, who earned a doctorate in physics from Columbia in 1936, had been taking photographs for over 75 years. His photos, which have been exhibited at the Los Angeles Federal Building as well as other California public spaces, tended to focus on nature, architecture and art. He generally tried to emphasize details and intriguing design elements. Laura, who studied at UC-Berkeley, has exhibited at galleries and public spaces in Northern California.

Class of 1936

Paul V. Nyden
1202 Kanawha Blvd. East
Apt. 1-C
Charleston, WV 25301

June 2001 will mark the 65th anniversary of our graduation from college. Notices have already been sent out for reunion events. We request all class members to submit at least a brief note about yourselves to help keep our class notes alive in the next issue.

Class of 1937

Murray T. Bloom
40 Hemlock Drive
Kings Point, NY 11024

I asked Irwin Perlmutter to fill me in on what he had been doing since graduation. His reply:

"Up here in the backwoods (Flat Rock, N.C.), we are about to open the Henderson County Free Medical Clinic, since 90 percent of the population is unable financially to obtain medical care. Just about three years ago I quit doing neurology after almost 50 years in neurosurgery. The 60th anniversary of my medical school class at P&S will be celebrated in May. My youngest son is a neurologist in Florida where all of my five children and seven of my grandchildren live."

Class of 1938

Dr. A. Leonard Luhby
3333 Henry Hudson Parkway
West Bronx, NY 10463

Class of 1939

Ralph Staiger
701 Dallam Road
Newark, DE 19711

Victor Futter is the general editor of the expanded second edition of Nonprofit Governance, jointly published by the Business Law Section and the Society of Corporate Secretaries. As he writes, "Dogging some 40 different authors for their works, getting them revised, etc. is to say the least time consuming." It's a wonder that he still has time to teach at Hofstra Law School two days a week!

Victor Wouk's endeavors are bearing fruit. You will recall that he has been promoting hybrid automobiles which can use both electricity and gasoline for power, such as the Toyota Prius and the Honda Insight. At the North American Auto show in Detroit last January, General Motors, Ford and Daimler-Chrysler moved into the field. The U.S. versions do not have the fuel efficiency that the Prius and Insight have, according to a comprehensive article in the February 20 New York Times. But they have made a start.

Class of 1940

Seth Neugroschl
1349 Lexington Avenue
New York, NY 10028

Our last Class Notes closed with this question to John Ripandelli:

Rip, as an actuary, a question I think the entire class would like your professional answer to: According to our best estimate, with the help of Alumni Office records, at least half of our graduating class is still around, 60 years later. A number of classmates suggested that this is considerably better than actuarially expected. Are they right?

After considerable research, Rip e-mailed that with reference to the mortality tables in use by life insurance companies, a maximum 30 percent survival rate would be in order, rather than our class's estimated 50. Why we are actually doing so much better than the tables is, suggests Rip, "known only to God."

He reports: "I have contacted the Academy of Actuaries, and numbers have not yet been released on the 2000 Table, but looking at the progression of the percentage of 'Survivors' at 60 years, given a graduation age of 22, I would say, off the top of my head, that 30 percent would be a 'cap':"

'41 Table 22 (15%)
'58 Table 22 (21%)
'80 Table (25%)
2000 Table (?)... probably a 10% increase to 28%.

I'd venture that our M.D. and social science classmates could come up with a less mystical answer than Rip's first pass on this remarkable puzzle, particularly after discovering two relevant studies: a longitudinal study of Harvard grads (classes '41 to '44), described in Aging Well, a book by George Valiant, M.D. (Little, Brown), and a New York Times report (1/2/00) of a groundbreaking National Academy of Sciences study, "On the Brink of a Brand-New Old Age." Both studies, in effect, urge "the redesign of old age" in the face of outdated societal attitudes, "with older people encouraged to see themselves as still vital and as contributors to society."

The NAS study describes the 30 years added to average life expectancy in the 20th century as "arguably, the most important adaptive change in human history." Any takers to exploring this?

Nick Stevenson has been president of the Association for Macular Diseases for 18 years, after becoming legally blind with the disease 23 years ago. (According to Nick, at age 75 some 25 percent of men and 33 percent of women have some involvement with the disease, and it's the leading cause of legal blindness.) Most striking to me, listening to Nick describe his transition from a successful business career as partner in a firm of general sugar brokers, was his evolution in turning what could have been a total tragedy into a new lease on life, and an important opportunity for service to others.

During his tenure as president, the Association has grown from local beginnings to an international organization that provides both practical and emotional support to patients and their families, including a large type newsletter, seminars, a telephone hotline, a national roster of resources, and a new Web site ( Nick's full life includes commuting from Princeton to his New York office several times a week, as well as visiting his dispersed children, and going on vacation and Association related travel.

Ed White shares with me (and some others in our class) having chosen the 3/2 professional option, moving to the Engineering School - and losing touch with our class and the College during our fourth year at Columbia. He went on to a distinguished career in his chemical engineering petroleum products specialty. For the last 30 years Ed served as a civilian with the Navy, responsible for R&D on navy fuels, retiring in 1995. "Despite minor aches and ills" he remains active in his ASTM committee work, and travels with his wife, Natalie, vacationing and visiting the two of his four children no longer in the Silver Springs, Md. area. Ed also recently became an inspired e-mail correspondent, from recalling our shared experiences at school to "Putting It All Together - Past, Present and Future", as we've described our ongoing reunion theme. Writing comprehensively about his military and professional life and community service, he explains, "I've listed all of this not as a special case but to show how ordinary it is for those of us who had the Columbia experience and training for service to country, community and society."

Jim Knight has been writing a book with Ed Rice to set the record straight on their very close friend, "The Thomas Merton ['38] We Knew"... from Columbia College 'till his appalling accidental death in 1968. According to Knight, Merton "was monk and mystic, author of books read around the world, Jester writer and editor, fellow hitch-hiker, poet, artist, peace advocate... for us, one of the seminal figures of our time, and very much not the saintly person of pre-fabricated purity that has become his image." Jim has a dozen page excerpt on the Web ( ). I found it an absolutely wonderful read, placing Merton in my remembered College and world, and letting me begin to know Jim and Ed, as well. Jim reports he's recovering from a successful facial tumor operation, and expects to be able to move ahead with Ed and their book soon. Ed's in faltering health, with Parkinson's; his best selling biography of Sir Richard Burton is about to be reissued in paperback. [Editor's note: For a look at the fascinating career of Ed Rice '40, including more on Merton and their days at Columbia, see the feature article]

A closing note - thanks again to John Ripandelli, not only for his actuarial consulting, but also for his picking up and knowledgeably exploring in e-mails to me the war and peace component of our "Class of '40 Legacy for the 21st Century" theme. This despite his inability to attend our 60th reunion, and incorporate in his thinking that wonderful June 3 agenda from Professor Jim Shenton, Dean Austin Quigley and our other distinguished and challenging speakers. Whether you attended or not, if you want to be "where the action is" today, I suggest you start by seeing the movie 13 Days, on the narrowness of our escape from nuclear disaster in the Cuban missile crisis, and ponder its relevance to the very different world we live in today.


Classes of:
| 15-40 | 41-45 | 46-50 | 51-55 | 56-60 |
| 61-65 | 66-70 | 71-75 | 76-80 | 81-85 |
| 86-90 | 91-95 | 96-01 |


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