Rensselaer Alumni Magazine - Spring 2011 - (Page 44)
On Aug 1, 2010, Arthur Slobod celebrated his 100th birthday. He received birthday congratulations from President Obama, as well as other legislative birthday wishes. His family created a DVD which covers some history of his family, his career and education, as well as the party. It serves as an example of a first generation success. Congratulations, Arthur! Arthur grew up in Schenectady, earned his B.S. in physics at RPI, and an M.S. in physics and later a degree in optometry from Ohio State. During WWII he worked for GE on the Manhattan Project. He continued with GE as a development engineer, then worked for Rockwell International as a senior research engineer. During that time he worked on the Minuteman missile, inertial navigation systems, and was the final test senior research engineer for the Apollo program. Following his engineering career, he was a math and science teacher for many years. He is a violinist and is active in the Unitarian Society.
Carl J. “Tommy” Thomsen, former chairman of Rensselaer’s Board of Trustees, died Sept. 22, 2010. After a stint with the U.S. Navy, Thomsen joined Geophysical Services Inc., which later evolved into Texas Instruments. He spent the rest of his career with TI, serving as chief financial officer and member of the board for more than 30 years, retiring as a general director in 1987. He was affiliated with numerous business and charitable organizations, including the Association of Higher Education, American Management Association, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, and the McDermott Foundation, to name a few.
The column keeps going in spite of the dwindling number of “Survivors,” and I will try to make it interesting. I am sorry to start with “Sad News”: Stu Meyerhans (BIE), our Class of ’39 swimming star, passed away Feb. 20. I had heard from Stu not so long ago with reports of an eventful year filled with grandchildren’s graduations and a wedding. He is the one who holds the record (to my knowledge) of the most children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren among the Class of ’39. Rensselaer advised me that one of the older classmates, who came to RPI after graduating from a military academy, has died. William A. McManus, age 97, graduated from the Naval Academy in 1935 (when we were graduating from high school). After earning a master’s degree in civil engineering from RPI he went on to earn a master’s degree in physics
from Ohio State, and then took courses in management at Harvard Business School and continued in advanced schooling at the Naval Postgraduate School. Among his many credits, he was the technical adviser for the movie “The Fighting Seabees,” having developed the curriculum for the new Seabees organization. Bill was one of about six in our class who became well educated along the way, as the Army and Navy realized that officers needed the expertise they could get at RPI. I’m sorry to have to report that Howard Kastan, the same one who just got married, recently passed away. He attended our 70th Reunion in October 2009, and I’m sorry I missed him then. Charles Estey (BEE) contacted me to let me know that he has photos of the Grease Rush, probably not suitable for inclusion in the Alumni News. Another one who saves old photos. Jay Miller (BAE) continues to stay busy with Computer Generated Data (his own program), examining the random walk problem. He volunteers at his church, which is what he has done for 58 years. His wife, Naomi, of 69 years, also works at the church and with the Bayview Manor Foundation where they have lived since 1996. Long walks on the hills of Seattle keep Jay reasonably healthy. Their apartment overlooks Elliot Bay and they watch the large freighters with containers coming and going to and from the Port of Seattle. I heard from John Newkirk ’83 that his grandfather taught the Vibration Theory class, which was the elective I did not take in my senior year. Obviously my column is read by alumni of all classes. The following note became “Sad News” on April 22 when Carl Hjerpe (BME) passed away at his home in Connecticut. Carl had sent me news of a recent visit from an RPI development officer. Carl also said he was involved in writing a book on the WWII Marine Corps operation on Iwo Jima, where he had participated. Carl was a special classmate, and at our 68th Reunion, even though it was hard for him to get around, he came to have breakfast with me and my daughter. The announcement of RPI starting a one-year MBA program leads me to suggest the possibility of getting an engineering degree in three years instead of four. It would require going to school during the summer; it might mean that additional credits might have to be squeezed into a shorter period, but think of what that would do to the total cost of an education. Being able to enter the workforce one year earlier, saving the cost of another year of schooling, allowing RPI to have a larger number of students, as there would be more going for a
Spring came late to campus, but not before students
44 RENSSELAER/SPRING-SUMMER 2011
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rensselaer Alumni Magazine - Spring 2011
Rensselaer Alumni Magazine - Spring 2011
Plotting the Journey to Life
Rensselaer Alumni Magazine - Spring 2011