HATS OFF TO A FRIEND
  Acclaimed hat-maker Alzie Jackson gave a great deal to the brothers of Tau Epsilon Phi in the 40 years he served as the fraternity's house father, chef, and friend ["Alumni Profiles," June]. So it was only fitting that one of the late milliner's grandsons, College sophomore Ari Johnson, was the first recipient of an annual scholarship created in his name. After collecting $120,000 in donations last spring, the fraternity and its alumni presented a scholarship of approximately $1,500 to Johnson, also a TEP member, at a special ceremony in November. "Not only is this an honor but a blessing to receive this scholarship," said Johnson at the event, attended by many members of Jackson's family and reported in The Daily Pennsylvanian. Johnson will receive the scholarship until he graduates. Then, the University will select future recipients based on criteria that pay homage to Jackson's diversity of interests and perseverance in the face of adversity. Jackson died in 1997. Steven Lerman, W'69, the TEP alumnus who chaired the scholarship committee, said he hopes to continue raising money in Jackson's name; he has set a fundraising goal of $500,000 by June 30, 2002. With that size endowment, he says, it would be possible to fund a $25,000 annual scholarship.


Previous issue's Profiles | January/February Contents | Gazette home



Dr. Barbara Freed,CW'63, Gr'78    
Land of Light and Art
   
Photo by Michel de LorenzoHenri Matisse described the light there as "soft and tender, in spite of its brilliance," and credited it for lightening his palette. Paul Signac wrote to his mother about "the golden banks of the gulf, the blue waves coming to rest on a little beach, my beach, below," and declared, "I have enough here to work on for the rest of my life. It's absolute joy that I've just discovered." Continued...



Andrew Gold, C'94
Internet Tour-Guide

   With his family spread out from New York to Greensburg, Pa., to the San Francisco Bay, Andrew Gold, C'94, thought it was important for his parents to learn to use the Internet so they could all keep in touch. But the Silicon Valley pro was having trouble convincing David Gold, C'57, an attorney, and Nancy Gold, a busy volunteer, to enter the strange new world of hypertext and electronic mail. Like most of his friends' parents, they didn't grow up with computers and felt it would be nearly impossible at their ages to learn their way around the World Wide Web. Continued...



Raqiba Sealy (right),
with Lauryn Hill.
Raqiba Sealy, C'94
Happy Campers,
Responsible Kids

The kids -- some 2,500 of them -- showed up on Halloween to tour a haunted mansion in East Orange, N.J., and catch a glimpse of recording artist Lauryn Hill. But before they left, many had also received free health screenings and signed up for medical insurance. That was no coincidence, according to Raqiba Sealy, C'94, executive director of the Refugee Project, which co-sponsored the event. In fact, her non-profit organization specializes in sneaking in education and social programs while the children it serves are having fun. Hill, who first became famous as the lead singer of the Fugees, founded the Refugee Project in 1996. She brought Sealy on board last March. Continued...

Dr. Fredric Schiffer, C'67
Better than Rose-Colored Glasses?
Mark, a graduate student, was struggling with a psychosis which had first paralyzed him with so much anxiety that he couldn't attend class, and then, until a brief hospitalization, convinced him that he was Jesus, misunderstood by the world. One day his therapist, Dr. Fredric Schiffer, C'67, asked him to put on a pair of special glasses that blocked most of his vision except on his far-left side. "His face screwed up and he said, 'I don't trust you doctor.'" Then Schiffer had him wear another pair of glasses that permitted vision only out of his far-right side. "He becomes absolutely normal," Schiffer recalls in wonder. "He laughs. He says, 'Of course I trust you doctor.'" Continued...


GOLDEN OLDIES
  You may have heard about Ray Evans, W'36, and Jay Livingston, C'37, the Penn alumni duo with a prolific songwriting career that earned them three Academy Awards for "Buttons and Bows," "Mona Lisa", and "Que Será, Será". Arthur Iger, W'49, a retired advertising executive, an adjunct professor of communication arts in Long Island, and "a passionate collector and archivist of popular music," turned up numerous other tuneful alumni in researching his new book, Music of the Golden Age, 1900-1950 and Beyond: A Guide to Popular Composers and Lyricists, (Greenwood Press). Here is a partial list of some more hit songs that owe their existence to Penn alumni:
--"Mr. Sandman" the number one chart record in 1954, written and composed by Francis Drake "Pat" Ballard, who attended Penn in 1918 and 1919.
--"Route 66", "Snootie Little Cutie", "Daddy," written by Robert (Bobby) William Troup Jr., W'41. The latter song topped the charts in 1941, having been written for the Freshman Mask & Wig show of 1940.
--The Cradle Will Rock, a play with music authored by Philadelphia-born composer/lyricist/pianist/lecturer Marc Blitzstein, C'23. Perhaps his most memorable work was the English translation of Bertolt Brecht's famous 1929 opera, The Threepenny Opera, with the music by Kurt Weill -- known principally for the song "Mack the Knife."
--"I'm Flying," "I've Got to Crow," written by Mark "Moose" Charlap, C'50, for Peter Pan on Broadway.
--"Moonglow," "Heaven Can Wait," "String of Pearls," written by Edgar DeLange, who attended Penn in the 1920s and later became a Hollywood stuntman.

   


Previous issue's Profiles
| January/February Contents | Gazette home


Copyright 1999 The Pennsylvania Gazette Last modified 1/7/99