In The News

By The Editors / January / February 2002
July 1st, 2007

Push-Button Techie

As an engineer straight out of Brown, Henry Is} '22 helped construct the Providence Water Supply Board's purification plant in Scituate, Rhode Island. Is}, who recently turned 100, was on hand in September to celebrate the plant's seventy-fifth birthday by filling its tank with the press of a button on a laptop. "That," he told the Providence Journal, "was a lot different from the way we used to do it."

Gridiron Scholar

After opening the season with four losses, Penn State head football coach Joe Paterno '50 thought he had lost his touch. Then he turned to literature for inspiration. "As long as he doesn't read anything about Socrates drinking hemlock, we'll be all right," Paterno's son and assistant coach, Jay, told the New York Times in October. Coach Paterno responded by winning his next two games to surpass Paul "Bear" Bryant's 323 victories and become the winningest coach in NCAA Division I-A football history.

Bogged Down with Books

After more than two decades in the book business, Richard Hilkert '52 recently sold his eponymous San Francisco bookstore to catch up on his own reading. "Between all those lovely books and the gracious, elfin company of Hilkert himself," wrote a grieving San Francisco Chronicle reporter in October, "time pooled in the corners of his store, lending his Hayes Street establishment the soothing feeling of some strangely benign quicksand."

Sharp-Eyed M.D.

Days before news about the first anthrax-laced letters emerged last fall, NBC employee Erin O'Connor visited Manhattan doctor Richard P. Fried '64 about a mysterious lesion that had developed on her chest. Fried suspected cutaneous anthrax, but he told O'Connor that she likely had an infected spider bite or Lyme disease. "I just didn't want to alarm her," Fried told the New York Times in October. Just in case, he gave O'Connor a prescription for the antibiotic Cipro and called the New York City Department of Health.

Saving Time

PNC Bank, once saddled with a reputation as one of the most expensive banks in greater Pittsburgh, has been turning around its image in recent years, thanks in large part to Joe Guyaux '72. Guyaux, who joined the bank in 1972, took over PNC's branch-banking division in 1997 and immediately began cutting fees and adding services. "I've never been an instant success at anything," he told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in September. "I spent thirteen years working in the branches. I wouldn't call it a fast path."

Radical Change

Among the former campus radicals whose attitudes toward the military have been transformed by the events of September 11 is Bob Joondeph '72, who as an undergraduate was kicked out of Brown briefly for blocking Navy recruiters from entering campus. "[The September 11 attacks are] more along the lines of World War II than Vietnam," he told the Wall Street Journal. "There, we were in the middle of a civil war, invading someone else's country. Here, there's nothing abstract about killing 5,000 people in your biggest city and striking your military center."

Shampoo and a Budget Cut

In the days after the September 11 terrorist attacks, Starwood Hotels and Resort chairman Barry Sternlicht '82 threw open the doors of his New York City hotels to rescue workers, providing food, drinks, shampoo, and sheets to firefighters and other volunteers. While Sternlicht estimated his hotels lost at least $300 million in business after the September attacks, he still managed to find a silver lining in the financial struggle. "It is good because we will do what is really right for the long haul," he told the New York Times. "We will be a mean, lean operating machine."

Educating Davis

The First Year, a new documentary by Davis Guggenheim '86, traces the struggles of five rookie Los Angeles public-school teachers as they grapple with inadequate resources, troubled families, and an indifferent bureaucracy. "Documentaries about schools had often been made from the outside in, about politics and experts and the crumbling of the schools," Guggenheim explained to the New York Times in September. "What I wanted was an intensely personal story about people who teach."

Going to the Mat

A lawyer doesn't often have the time to spend an entire weekend watching professional wrestling. But for Bradley Small '90, it's all part of the job. As the attorney for twenty wrestlers, including Diamond Dallas Page and Rowdy Roddy Piper, Small advises them on television appearances, merchandising matters, and book deals. Small also represents television and movie actors - as well as an O.J. Simpson juror. "I like the diversity," he told the Los Angeles Daily Journal. "It keeps me smart."

Beyond the Finish Line

Most Olympians retire without gold medals and endorsement deals. Helping them make the adjustment to life after sports is Jimmy Pedro '94, a former judo world champion and fifth-place finisher at the 2000 Sydney games. After returning from Sydney, Pedro was depressed and rudderless before taking over a career-management Web site for former Olympians and hopefuls. "It's really been a dream career, being able to help other people like myself," Pedro told the Rocky Mountain News.

Confecting Money

With Jessica's Wonders now a $400,000-a-year business, the New England baked-goods company, which Jessica Nam '00 started in her dorm room, is cooking up a national distribution deal, People reported in November. Meanwhile, Nam keeps sifting through new concoctions. "Everyone is like, ԓStop inventing. We still need to launch the other twenty you invented,' " she told People. "But I have to keep going back to the kitchen. That's what keeps me alive."

Standing Tall

In November paralympic soccer player Eli Wolff '00 won the first Casey Martin Award, named after the disabled golfer who successfully battled the PGA Tour for the right to ride a golf cart during tournaments. Martin told the Oregonian that it was "awesome" to meet Wolff, who had helped rally support in the disabled sports community for Martin's court battle. The paper reported that Wolff planned to donate the award to Northeastern University's Center for the Study of Sport in Society, where he is a research fellow.

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