Previous issue's Profiles | September/October Contents | Gazette home

Ken Alpart
Sculling for Success

A dozen or so Chicago teenagers in black sweatsuits are lolling around on the dock at Penn's Boathouse, taking a well-deserved break from a morning of strenuous practice. One young man complains about suffering from "permanent butt sore," but admits, "I'm addicted. I can't stop rowing." Continued...

Joe Vanderbos IllustrationJessica Dewey
It's a Bird, It's a Plane ... It's Trouble on the Runway

A poster in Jessica Dewey's office poses the question, "When does a goose become an elephant?" Though it sounds like a riddle, the answer -- when an airplane hurtles into it -- is no laughing matter for the fowl or the Federal Aviation Administration. It's Dewey's job as a wildlife biologist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture to help keep two Virginia airports' runways and airways clear of geese, deer, and other mammals, so planes can land and take off safely. Continued...

Hon. Judge Bentley Kassal
A Judicious Photographer

The location was Thailand, and the Hon. Judge Bentley Kassal, C'37, was representing two charities on a photo shoot at a Cambodian refugee camp. As soon as night fell, he was forced to leave. Unwelcome? Hardly, but if he lingered, he might have been robbed by bandits crossing over the Cambodian border. Whether making a hasty exit or trekking up the mountains in Nepal, this 81-year-old retired judge and travel buff has experienced his share of adventure in three decades of volunteer photography work for Save the Children and numerous other charities. Continued...

Frederic Blatt
Hewing Heads out of Words

When sculptor Frederic Blatt's daughter was in high school, she had to turn in a report on Walt Whitman. "She didn't know what he looked like," Blatt says. "That seemed strange. These kids hear about famous people, but don't know their faces. When I grew up we had their pictures on the classroom walls. They're part of our mythology." Continued...

Pamela Ring Axelrod
History for Sale

Pamela Ring Axelrod, W'77, considers herself a matchmaker. As executive vice president and director of the Las Vegas-based Gallery of History, she helps pair history lovers with pieces of the past. The company, founded by her husband, Todd Axelrod, in 1981, has the largest collection of originally-signed historical documents and manuscripts in the world. Through auction or direct sale, even ordinary folks can purchase, say, the autograph of Elizabeth Cady Stanton or Marilyn Monroe's check for a telephone bill, from their extensive, carefully-stored collection. "I like to call it the business of making love matches, because everybody has their hero or heroine, and it's really gratifying when we can put our customers together with the people whom they've admired in history," Axelrod says. Continued...

Harold Shields
Scholarship Pledge

As soon as Harold Shields, C'98, earned his Penn degree, he began planning to help other Philadelphia kids go to college. Shields was one of the 112 Belmont Elementary School students who were promised full scholarships by Penn trustee George Weiss, W'65, a decade ago, through the Say Yes to Education program. Continued...

Joe Vanderbos IllustrationGarrett Reisman
Astronaut Candidate: His Preparation
for Space Walk Began on Locust Walk

It was 5 A.M., and most of Garrett Reisman's classmates were still sleeping. But the mechanical engineering student was wide awake, having crept to the top of one High Rise to glimpse the Space Shuttle flying overhead. "I have very vivid memories of that -- and now," says an enthused Dr. Reisman, EAS/W'91, nearly a decade later, "I get to see the view from the other side." Continued...

Joe Vanderbos IllustrationDick Kay
The Origins of a Monstrous Hit

That fire-breathing lizard which Hollywood spent $175 million to return to movie screens this summer was first brought from Japan to the United States by Dick Kay, C'42, a low-budget filmmaker who's now retired and living in Beverly Hills. Continued...

Southern California Alumni Association
Painting the Town (Hall) Red and Blue

A hundred volunteers from the Southern California Alumni Association recently teamed up with several other Los Angeles community groups to kick off a mural-painting project at City Hall. Continued...

Karl Kwok
Swift Sloop

First Beau Geste, the 49-foot yacht owned and skippered by Hong Kong businessman Karl Kwok, WG'73, led China to its first victory in a major, international ocean-racing teams series -- Australia's Southern Cross Cup. Continued...

Copyright 1998 The Pennsylvania Gazette Last modified 8/25/98