1950’s: From Westfield to Boston via Cornell

DSC00057.jpgFrom Westfield, New Jersey, to Maine to Cornell  to Boston:  1952 -1059

Leaving Cornell University and traveling to my new home in Boston had many challenges.  Never thought I would live in a city.  My first college was the University of Maine, a long distance from home n Westfield, New Jersey, a suburban , primarily middle and upper class white people.  U of Maine was half way up to State and surrounded by forests.  I was enrolled in the School of Forestry with a major in Wildlife Management.  Academic Life, Sports, and Fraternity provided a wonderful and productive experience for the future.  (The University of Maine was the first college that Frederick Law Olmsted produced plans which were implemented.)

Cornell became a perfect place to introduce me to a major university setting with significant populations of students from foreign nations, opportunities for social interaction and intellectual dialogue with diverse populations in the faculty, graduate schools and undergraduate colleges.  My doctoral program was focused on “Man Made Farm Ponds.”  The essential research question was to determine the introduction of a plan species from Lake Champlain as increasing habitat for ducks.  The greatest contribution to my life became the immense complexity of how all elements of an environment are connected in some ways and disconnected in others. And proving a hypothesis is not easy.

Being involved as the Director of the Information Center at the student union building, spearheading the creation of a Granduate Forum (getting Hans Bethe, nuclear physicist to be first speaker, and working with others to create social programs throughout the year, was much fun and a continual challenge to be creative, innovative and practical.  However, the reason for my being in Boston for thenext 60 years ws of creating an “After Chapel Coffee Hour.”

My friends were asking me how to meet the girls.  I suggested they go to Chapel and look around to identify someone they wanted to meet.and arrange to get to the door at the same time.  The reports back basically followed the same problem, the girls kept walking and no conversations took place.  Thinking a coffee hour after Chapel Service might work, I made arrangements at the Student Union. To provide an intellectual dimension, I the speaker, a different person each Sunday to join us, which they all did, making for a social/intellectual gathering.


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