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Welcome to the Stanford Class of 1960 Forum (A continuing work in progress) Read me first

Here you can:

1. Take a peek at what happened at our reunion in words, pictures and video -- and add your own photos and comments. Be sure to look through "older posts" at bottom.

2. Follow up on the Class Panel information on “Giving Back” and/or add your own opportunities.

3. Become one of ten authors of this forum.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Would you believe it's time for our 55th?

It's that time again!

Our 55th reunion will take place October 22-25, 2015.  A grand program has been put together for us -- with lots of time for exploring the campus and reunion celebrants!

Registration materials will be mailed in August. Our 55th Reunion Class Book will also be mailed this summer.

If you want more info now, you can type into your browser on the Stanford alumni website.

Or you can contact our Alumni Association Manager Pauline Steinhoffer at and/or our 55th reunion chair,  Lowell Klaisner  (

And you can check this website to get a good look at what happened at our 50th -- and add your two cents on a subject of your choosing!

See you in October!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Make plans for the Orange Bowl!

As you know by now, Heisman Trophy candidate Andrew Luck and the #4 ranked Stanford Cardinal football team are heading to Miami to take on Virginia Tech in the Orange Bowl.  With a record-breaking 11 wins and 1 loss, Stanford has completed its most successful regular season in history, and earned a first-ever trip to a BCS Bowl.  SAA is partnering with the Department of Athletics to host events for Stanford alumni and fans traveling to Miami, including a pre-game tailgate.
Please visit for the latest information on tickets, travel, tailgates and more!

If you can't make the trip to Miami, plan to hold or attend an Orange Bowl party!

Go Cardinal!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

More photos!

    The official class website has just posted 142 photos from our reunion and linked to some of the faculty lectures on iTunes.  May require login.  You can also post yours to share.

If you attended the reunion, thank you. We hope you had a terrific time reconnecting with classmates, enjoying all the events and taking in the sights at Stanford.

And if you didn't make it this year, perhaps the posted highlights will inspire you to return to campus for your next reunion in 2015!

    View '60 reunion photos, audio of select faculty taught classes and video from the weekend:


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Check out new links and photos -- see yourself in action!

-          Stanford’s Reunion 2010 photos starring your class, plus links to video or audio of such events as The ’60 Class Panel (“Giving Back: Classmate-Volunteers Who Have Dedicated Themselves To Marking Our World A Better Place”), and The Roundtable (“Generation Ageless: Longevity and the Boomers”). The link will be activated on November 9th:

-          Stanford’s generic photo preview gallery to tide you over through November 9th:

-          Upload your own pictures to Stanford’s Class of ‘65 Website to share with your classmates:

or here..

Chappies-Ray Funkhouser, Al Dodworth and Doug Newton and current Chappies above

HAS IT REALLY BEEN FIFTY YEARS . . . ? Ray Funkhouser’s Musings on the Stanford ’60 Class 50th Reunion

I had plenty of time to think about it . . . after I’d gone and done it. Classmate Carol McKanna Mitchell badgered me about attending our Stanford ’60 Fiftieth Reunion until finally I figured, what the heck . . . ? Maybe I’ll see a few people I knew Back When, and we can combine it with a trip out to see Mom. And, wife Judy had never been to Stanford, time she confronted my roots. So in May I assembled flights from AA Frequent Flyer miles to SJC (absolutely nothing available to SFO, which turned out to be a blessing). And to ensure a room reserved us at the local Marriott Courtyard.

And then we sat in limbo until October. In the meantime Stanford E-mailed bulletins and reminders. I duly composed and tendered my Class Book page. Ben Gold called in June, asking if I’d make some calls urging people on the Reunion and their Class Book pages. I’ve always hated telephone soliciting, at either end of the line, but took ten from his list. As soon as I said I wouldn’t ask for money, everybody was keen to chat. I finished my quota in no time and felt a little guilty about not taking more (but not guilty enough to call Ben and top up). Hmmm. Maybe the Reunion wouldn’t be so bad.

More E-mails from Stanford, more reminders. The Class Book arrived, a page each from several hundred classmates. This happens every five years, as Stanford stages Class Reunions on that interval, but this was the Big Fifty, after all. People seemed less recognizable in their photos this round, but nevertheless recognizably classmates. The schedule and sign-up arrived: a pretty comprehensive schedule – tours, “Classes Without Quizzes”, panel discussions (Tom Brokaw, whoop whoop!), open houses, mini-reunions, PARTIES! And a pretty proud price tag: $405 a pop. Well, in for a penny, in for a pound, and don’t sweat the small stuff. D-Day impended at an accelerating pace.

And finally arrived. We flew to SJC on October 13, a week before the Reunion, providing time for Santa Barbara. Heeding AccuWeather, we packed for sunny 70s and 80s. That was the first glitch. In short order, Senior Moments beset us. We forgot to get out the valet key for the car park attendant. Ray didn’t have the arrival data handy when we deposited the car. Judy got distracted by an obnoxious passenger and left her carry-on at the security scanner. Ray left his jacket in the airport restaurant.

Fortunately, the last four lapses were inconsequential and easily remedied, though we had to wonder what comedy of errors the remainder of the trip promised. Unfortunately, as soon as we arrived in California AccuWeather flip-flopped, and the next two weeks featured clouds, drizzle and occasional rain. It never got really cold, but we carried a lot of clothing we’d rather have had other clothing than.

Oh well . . . we landed at SJC around 9 pm, got our rental car from Hertz and crashed for the night at a nearby La Quinta. The next morning we set out bright and early down 101. First change from the Good Old Days in California noted: heavy north-bound commute traffic backed up all the way to Morgan Hill. When I was a youth, there weren’t as many as ten cars in Morgan Hill. But south of Salinas it was like old times -- open country, bare hills, live oaks, the ever-scenic “Graduate Tunnel” and surprisingly little traffic. Some things stay eternal. Well, more vineyards than used to be.

Santa Barbara is not at its best in drizzly weather (sure didn’t help the two weddings on the green at the Polo and Racquet Club). I’d brought along a book of Chekov’s plays, and read through them faster than I’d expected to. However, we had a good time seeing Mom (going on 99, in assisted living, still gets my jokes) and had nice visits with niece Laura, and with brother Gene and wife Dee the morning after they returned from Maui: they’d taken off for some R&R, leaving us their condo.

Next stop, Carmel, to spend two nights and then scoot up to Stanford for Reunion registration. We stayed at the Green Lantern Inn, our usual haunt, and picked the right day, the only one sunny and warm enough to make strolling around town a pleasure. Who can be discontented in Carmel-by-the-Sea on a sunny day? Not us!

And so it began . . .

By the time we headed north on 101 commute traffic had abated a little, and on 280 (“The World’s Most Beautiful Freeway”) was even lighter. We followed the directions Stanford sent, pulling into the Old Fogey Parking Lot (reserved for reunions 50th and beyond) with ample time to register before lunch. As we emerged from the car, who should emerge adjacently but Ed White and wife Patti – Ed had been a classmate at Long Beach Poly High as well as at Stanford. As we waited for a golf cart to ferry us to the Reunion Center Aletha Huston and Judy Phillips walked up – Aletha also is from Long Beach and formerly a colleague at Penn State. In the registration line I swapped views on marketing and consumerism with Niel Klein. Carol McKanna Mitchell and Geri Wilder French stopped by to see if Judy wanted to go to the Ladies’ Lunch.

The Reunion commenced on a congenial track and never left it. If I wasn’t greeting old friends -- among Otero dorm, the Chaparral, KZSU, hashing at FloMo and Chem E (Ken King, Dan Hungate, Morgan Jones), there were plenty of those -- I was meeting classmates I hadn’t known previously, or alumni from other class reunions. The food -- boxes, buffets and sitdowns -- was plentiful, high quality and healthy. Count on Stanford to shield its alumni from cholesterol, transfats and excess refined sugars.

We determined after lunch to tour the Linear Accelerator (SLAC), new and state-of-the art when we were there fifty years ago, but alas the tour had already filled. Thus our sole attempt at organized Reunion activities and pastimes. Instead we bumped into dorm-mate Dag Egede-Nissen, occasioning a long chat. Then we strolled through campus to see the new offices of the Chaparral, one of the few college humor mags extant (I’d been editor 1959-60). A current editor, Bill Kemper, showed us around. They had been relocated into cramped quarters in the newly-rehabbed Old Union, too small even to set up the antique tavern table. The requisite clutter and chaos hasn’t yet accumulated, but give them time. It will degenerate to a traditional Chappie office soon enough

New construction on campus was remarkable, not to mention confusing, and I couldn’t figure out how they’d moved all the old buildings further apart. I walked from Wilbur Hall all the way across campus to the chemistry building for morning classes, and I swear it wasn’t nearly that far in 1956. After some further exploration we left to check into the Marriott, by far the nicest Marriott Courtyard we’d ever stayed in. Almost didn’t seem right to be taking a Reunion discount (not that we complained).

Thursday evening featured Dinner on the Quad – a white-tablecloth sit-down grouped by class. Our table included, among others, a Chappie Queen I’d never met, Denise Miner Stanford. Also Linda Markwett Liebes, steered us to Parkside Grille in Portola Valley, for Sunday dinner with my sons. Dinner on the Quad served up perhaps the best slice of beef I’d ever tasted. Quite a gathering, and they fortunately dodged the impending precip.

Prior to that Judy and I attended the Reunion Homecoming Volunteer Reception, of which, by virtue of the ten phone calls I made (nine actually, as the list contained a duplicate), I was one. It featured wine, nibblies and alumni trinkets in the courtyard in front of what used to be the Main Library. I even got a cardinal red ribbon, “COMMITTEE”, to stick on my name badge denoting my VIP status. The attendant speeches stressed the underlying theme of the whole Reunion extravaganza: Numbers, Endowment and Donations. Well, surprise, surprise -- what are alumni for, after all?

Filled, by the end of dinner, with more wine than we usually drink in a week, we’d had enough of Thursday, October 21, so repaired to the Marriott.

Having put bread ahead for the whole ball of wax, we of course were back on campus for breakfast the next morning. Drizzle was in the air, so while food was outside under umbrellas, we ate it at whatever horizontal surface we could find in the Arrillaga Alumni Center lobby. We sort of intended to go to a lecture or panel or something but happened on dorm-mate Mike Hass, standing on a street corner. We wandered around campus with him, culminating with an elevator ride to the top of Hoover Tower (free for Reunion-ites). I’d never done that before, fancied myself too cool for tourist stuff, perhaps. Better late than never, and it really does offer superb views of the campus.

Next on the docket was the Class Lunch, under a large white tent. A “mini-reunion” for my freshman dorm, Otero, had been mooted, but consistent with Otero’s lack of cohesiveness, it never quite gelled – I found Ed Shirley, the ostensible organizer, sitting at a table of non-dorm-mates. No matter, we sat with dorm-mate John Gustafson and wife, Marge. Oteroans abounded: I elsewhere saw Scott Richmond, Jerry Thuesen, Jim Michaelis and Jim Stanford (but never located Van Rudd or Donal Brown).

After lunch Al Dodworth and Doug Newton joined Judy and me for our “official” visit to the Chappie office. This time we found the other editor, Josh Meisel, and two staffers awaiting us. They tolerated our Tall Tales and Selected Lies about the Good Old Days, were quite hospitable, in fact. As long as the Chappie continues to attract such a bright and lively bunch its 2nd century is assured. We were flattered that three of our volume’s covers . . . from 50 years ago . . . graced the (not large) collection of framed covers on the walls. By way of perspective, 50 years ago from our graduation was 1910.

We still had some time, so we trudged out to the new Cantor Center for the Visual Arts (How did they make the whole campus uphill? It wasn’t that way before.). It displays more Rodin pieces than the Rodin Museum in Philadelphia, perhaps challenges the Rodin Museum in Paris. Causing me to wonder just how rare Rodin sculptures really are.

Friday night’s event was the Class of ’60 50th Reunion Party, held in the Arrillaga Çenter for Sports and Recreation, like high school proms in the gym, but infinitely more elegant. The buffet was superb. We sat with the Gustafsons, Doug Newton and Nick Gilman and wife Deborah. It was difficult to recognize people seated at darkened tables around the periphery, but I managed to work the crowd a little. Bumped into Sue Ewing York, Lois LeCount Fowkes and Julie Hirsch Wedekind. Shared Singapore memories with Dave Montgomery. Heard about Stew Gillmor’s latest book. Rounded up Judy Olson and brought her back to the table to meet everybody. The evening’s highlight was Carol McKanna Mitchell and Geri Wilder French (another former Chappie queen) reprising their acts from 1956 Gaieties. Carol belted out some show tunes and red-sequined Geri wowed the crowd with a creditable shimmy. Remarkable that they (in Rams Head) and Al Dodworth and I (in the Chappie) all made our Stanford debuts in November of our frosh year, just two months “fresh off the boat” (and more than a half-century ago).

The next morning was a How Are We Gonna Pull This Off? There was breakfast on campus, but we’d arranged to meet an old Singapore buddy back at the Marriott, and then somehow had to get back for the Class Tailgate Lunch – all in the face of Game Day Traffic. Which was already clogged even as we drove in at 8:30 a.m. But we did it! After an over-breakfast chat with Maurine Marotte Janda and husband Dave we slithered out the back way, saw our friend, then re-slithered through the back roads to Geezer Parking, where we commandeered a golf cart straight to the Tailgate. Smooth as greased silk, and we didn’t miss a thing. The first person we encountered at the Tailgate was Dick Barnes, the class Daily Editor. We shook hands and talked Old Times, and it was only after he’d melted into the throng that I realized we should have photographed that historic event. Oh well . . . I did get a shot of the Tailgate highlight – the Stanford Dollies, whose dance routine suggested Rockette genes. There also was some sort of tree prancing around. Ever in the spirit of occasions, I wore my Stanford Indian cap. I don’t root for trees (no pun intended, if one is there).

We skipped the game and walk-on Class of ’60 fete, as we’d made arrangements with Al and Doug to spend the afternoon with Norma Auer Anderson (’61. a former Chappie groupie, more lately a superb, successful artist) and husband Bob. En route we stopped by the golf course and watched some students tee off. That first drive down off the bluff to fairway #1 was always inspiring. Motorized carts on that course are new, and for students not necessarily an improvement (says this old-timer who only in his 60s stooped to using a pull-cart for his clubs).

Sunday saw festivities winding down. Fewer folks were at breakfast, but we shared a table with John Rogers (’70), currently an appellate judge in Kentucky. We commiserated about Stanford in the late 60s (I was on the faculty then), probably The Farm’s nadir, also parsed FDR’s mischief with the Commerce Clause. Judy and I strolled around campus for a while, took a tour of Palo Alto (they don’t roll the sidewalks up at 9 pm any more)_and the Stanford Shopping Center (farewell, Emporium and Roos Brothers: hello, Nordstrom and Nieman-Marcus).

Then it was time to join Stew Gillmor, Phil Failer, Jim Harvey (‘58) and a few others for the KZSU Mini-reunion at Alpine Inn Beer Garden (formerly Rossotti’s) aka Zott’s, for burgers and more Tall Tales. The afternoon schedule culminated with an Alumni Authors Meet and Greet at the Bookstore. I am in fact an “Alumni Author” and so informed the Reunion people, but apparently the organizers could not round up copies of my three long-out-of-print books (Amazon, anyone?). Or maybe I misunderstood something. Commi si, commi sa. My two sons met us at the Marriott, Scott coming down from Portland to join Brent in San Francisco. We ended the day with dinner at Parkside Grille in Portola Valley, on Linda Markwett’s suggestion – excellent venue, excellent food, a great celebration of two birthdays (mine and Scott’s).

And thus concluded my Class 50th Reunion. The net results:

Despite all our walking I came home five pounds heavier.

We had no more senior moments (that we were aware of) after the first day of the trip. That No Parking sign we overlooked in Santa Barbara doesn’t count.

The Reunion was good for wife Judy’s self-esteem. Mixing with some of my old girlfriends and gal pals – including but not limited to Judy Olson, Norma Auer, Carol McKanna, Aletha Huston, Pat Taylor and Joan Gaffney -- showed her what classy company she’s in. She was impressed by Stanford too, of course.

I’ve never taken “mind expanding” drugs, but the Reunion – consisting essentially of meeting, greeting and mixing with probably close to 100 friends old and new in 72 hours – left me with what must have qualified as a definite “high”. So glorious to feel like 21 again, for a few fleeting days. By the time we got to Stanford I’d finished my book of Chekov plays so had an idea of what “Chekovian” meant. The Reunion was resolutely NOT “Chekovian”. In fact, it was not even “reality”.

But several observations darkly . . .

We’ve all read Orwell’s 1984, with Newspeak, doublethink, thought crimes and memory holes. The lobby of the Arrillaga Alumni Center boasted one of the purest “memory holes” I’ve yet seen. In a case displaying Stanford buttons from Way Back When until now, despite that the “Indian” was our mascot for about 75 years, there is not a single Indian to be found. I noticed among my classmates several “Indian” buttons – I’m not alone in missing Prince Lightfoot.

The amount of new construction on campus is impressive (which is, of course, the idea). However, we kept finding ourselves in vast, expensive, empty spaces -- big, substantial buildings with huge lobbies, large rooms, high ceilings . . . that had nothing to do with the educational mission of the University. Stanford boasts a gigantic endowment, and every year begs the alumni for donations to increase it. Then indulges its “edifice complex” on ostentatious monuments . . . to what? To whom? You tell me. Couldn’t that money be better used for furthering actual education? And/or the University doesn’t need nearly such a pile of it – why not lower tuition? Recently a Princeton grad quipped: “I majored in Entitlement and minored in Delusions of Grandeur.” Could happen here . . .

Political Correctness was stifling; the pervasive “Aren’t We Great and Good” subtext could be cloying; and the leftish slant laid bare during the late 60’s has only solidified. At that time some cried out for more Diversity on campus: “You mean, like a Republican in the Psych Department?” I wondered. To my knowledge there has not been a single one such in Psych during the ensuing 42 years, or few if any elsewhere in the Humanities, Liberal Arts and Social Sciences. Thank goodness for the Hoover Institution, which lends Stanford a modicum of intellectual integrity: too bad its influence enjoys such short reach. Students can too easily emerge from Stanford with an AB and a mentality that falls short of even plain ignorance.

Nevertheless . . .

About 8,000 alumni, family and friends showed up for their several class reunions, and Stanford managed it on an industrial scale with military precision (Yay for golf carts!). It was a festive 72 hour window of opportunity to see people I hadn’t seen for 50 years and may never see again. And it really worked well. Stanford, as ever, knows How to Do It. Thanks to all involved for a great time and an unforgettable experience. “Observations darkly” notwithstanding, Stanford does have a way of evoking people’s Better Angels. It is clear why it remains such a popular choice among young people picking a college. I’m sure glad I went there.

Ray Funkhouser, October 2010

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Beginnings of a Reunion Slide Show

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