My years as a trustee of the
Harry Ford called one afternoon. He had a matter of some seriousness to discuss. No ... he didn't want to talk on the phone ... would I please come by the campus on my way home.
An unusual request, I immediately drove to
A senior woman student living off-campus had invited some of her classmates and three teaching assistants to dinner. The entree was stew.
After dinner, she announced they had eaten human flesh. Her boyfriend drove an ambulance and, the night before, there had been a particularly gory automobile accident. This was the source of the "meat."
Could this possibly be true? Campus problems in the sixties erupted all over the country. But, cannibalism. This would top them all.
A sensitive, cooperative officer in the Oakland Police Department confirmed the boyfriend and the accident; but, he insisted, keep your mouths shut. Harry and I decided we wouldn't even tell our Board.
To this day, we don't know whether the student was telling the truth or just spoofing her guests to cause indigestion. She immediately left school with no forwarding address.
On a happier note, smack-dab in the middle of the campus, already restricted in space, was the Carriage House ... a holdover from when the property was acquired.
This handsome, useless building inhibited efficient expansion. As anticipated, the students rallied to its defense. "Save the Carriage House" posters appeared everywhere, and demonstrations on its behalf were commonplace.
Unbeknownst to the students, the trustees had already decided to keep it ... tradition sometimes being more important than efficiency. However, the students were not told.
At the propitious moment, we announced they had won their fight ... the Carriage House would be saved.
One of the pleasures of being Chairman was the opportunity to meet outstanding people. Duke Ellington and Buckminster Fuller, recipients of honorary degrees, were two; but a conversation with Neil Armstong, I found the most interesting.
One of his tasks as the first man on the moon was to set up an
experiment to measure, by radar telescope, the distance between where he stood
The space ship had carried a large aluminum fan which was to be opened. The beam from earth would bounce off it and the distance between the two would be determined within inches.
The fan now opened, Mission Control was advised to proceed. Nothing happened. Three more tries and still no results.
Then, some scientist on earth thought he could solve the problem.
He did. The location of
Into the computer the correction was made, and the experiment was successful.
Armstrong told me the precise distance, but I've forgotten it.
President of the
We had a dinner party in honor of our distinguished guests. To add a proper touch to the occasion, Lulu had found some match books printed in colorful Japanese calligraphy. They were a hit. Our guests would look and attempt to restrain a giggle.
I asked Motosuke Arai, who spoke English, why such great interest in a matchbox.
With some reluctance, he explained the calligraphy was an advertisement for hemorrhoid medication.