The University of Chicago Magazine
1920s and 1930s
30 Since retiring "for three weeks" in 1972, Jerome L. Metz, PhB'30, has spent the past 25 years working with Vance Publishing Co. in Chicago, where he writes the lead article and the Q&A pages for Wood & Wood Products, a magazine whose December 1996 issue was dedicated to Metz.
37 Mark Ashin, AB'37, AM'38, PhD'50, who volunteered to serve as correspondent for the College class of 1937, died on Sept. 5 (see "Deaths," p. 35). Here is the report he prepared on the class's 60th reunion this past June: We hope that this space will be filled every two months with sparkling tidbits of information from members of the class of 1937. In this first issue, however, I thought I'd present a brief account of the emeritus reunion, held June 68, for the benefit of those who were unable to be there: people like Stephen Stepanchev, AB'37, AM'38, in Flushing, NY, who wrote saying that, at 82, he'd love to attend, but doesn't travel much any more, not even to Manhattan; Beatrice C. Weedman, AB'37, in Kokomo, IN, who had a higher priority in attending a granddaughter's birthday out West; and Norman R. Davidson, SB'37, PhD'41, in Sierra Madre, CA-plus a host of others I spoke to on the phone, who had competing engagements or health problems, or whatever.
We held our reunion in conjunction with the class of 1942, with a joint committee in charge of much of the planning, led by Frank Wagner, Jr., SB'37, SM'50, from our class and Jacob L. ("Jay") Fox, AB'42, JD'47. I had a long talk on Friday with Raymond E. Weston, SB'37, MD'41, PhD'42, from Beverly Hills 90210 (the place, not the show). Since I've known Ray from our boyhood days on the old West Side, we had a lot of catching up to do, almost an hour's worth before we had to split.
The most interesting part of the reunion (for me) was the Saturday afternoon seminar in Social Sciences 122. We attracted an audience of close to 80, as we listened to reminiscences from Joseph J. Ceit-haml, SB'37, PhD'41, and Neill Emmons, AB'42, MBA'46, followed by a brief presentation by John W. Boyer, AM'69, PhD'75, the current dean of the College, and lively participation by those present.
Known to generations of bio sci and med school students, Joe, who called himself "a U of C product through and through," remembered his introduction to the charismatic and sharp-witted Robert Maynard Hutchins during orientation and then, over the next four years, the journalistic truth-telling of Harry D. Gideonse and the Mandel Hall lectures of Norman F. Maclean, PhD'40; James L. ("Jimmy") Cate, PhD'35; Louis Wirth; and Maynard C. Krueger, X'30. Joe recalled for us our student lives during those Depression years by describing his various 40-cent-an-hour campus jobs funded by the National Youth Administration. He concluded by remembering his teammates on the freshman football team and the names of friends who later became noted scholars.
Emmons's presentation exemplified the great diversity within a larger unity which has always characterized the University. Coming here to study business and ultimately ending up with an M.B.A. in accounting, Neill found himself learning life-long skills and being stimulated by new ideas in freshman English and the four survey courses of that era's Core curriculum. A special experience was a summer class he had with the novelist Thornton Wilder, who had been recruited by Hutchins to teach here in the middle 1930s. Neill's social life centered around the old C Shop and his fraternity, until the fraternity closed temporarily because of the war. The liberal arts education he received at Chicago profoundly affected his later life-in ward politics, in a Great Books group, in a heavily Republican southwest suburb, and in restoring and protecting the natural life of the woods near his home in Plano, IL. His greatest attachment came when he met his wife-to-be in the C Shop, then had his first date at a Skull and Crescent formal, was married in Bond Chapel, and had the wedding reception at the Quadrangle Club. Like Joe, Neill also could call himself a U of C product through and through.
The formal part of the seminar ended with Dean Boyer, after a brief reminiscence of his own days at Chicago, answering questions on a variety of curricular topics. Space doesn't permit me to go into detail about the question period that followed Dean Boyer's departure for another engagement. One of the highlights was an informal exposition about the tremendous importance for the undergraduate curriculum of the Office of the University Examiner.
Saturday evening featured dinner at the Quad Club for more than 140 alums and a fine speech by Wayne Booth, who spoke on "The Art of Growing Older." That, coincidentally, is the title of his most recent book, now available in paperback from the U of C Press.
38 The 60th class reunion will be held June 57, 1998. Jane Rinder Coulson, AB'38, has volunteered to be class chair.