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Class Notes Features

The 50 Year Club held its annual dinner meeting and induction of new members at Reunion 2000 on Saturday evening, June 3, in the Houston Field House. This was particularly appropriate since the Field House was celebrating its 50th anniversary. President Jackson greeted people as they entered the reception area.

Approximately 130 members of the Class of 1950 were inducted into the 50 Year Club and received their pins. Two members of the Class of 1945 were there to celebrate their 55th Reunion. Fourteen members of the Class of 1940 were in attendance and received guards for their 50 Year Club pins. John Reid and Earl Radding, both of the Class of 1933, were present to celebrate their 67th Reunion. They were both given brass letter openers with their names on them. Charles Hughes '30 was back to celebrate his 70th Reunion and was presented with a clock.

A special presentation of a key ring was made to Val Dyer '34 in thanks for his many years of dedicated service in the 50 Year Club. After these awards were made, the Class of 1950 presented the 50 Year Club with a 15-foot-high model of the Eiffel Tower that had led their Reunion Parade. Club President Witbeck accepted it and suggested that it be taken out on an appropriate occasion and set afire!

During a short business meeting, the following officers were elected for the ensuing year: President: Paul Witbeck '43; Vice President: Martin Davis '45; Secretary: Joseph Cahill '49; and Treasurer: Kenneth Mortenson '47. Raymond Kukfa and Jack Turner were appointed to the Board of Directors as representatives of the Class of 1950.

Following the singing of "From the Glorious Heights" and the "Alma Mater," the group danced to the melodies of High Society led by Joe Klope '44. The music started appropriately enough with "Moonlight Serenade" by Glenn Miller.—PW


Jaffe '49 Recognized for Lifetime Achievement

Christopher Jaffe '49, an international expert in acoustics, was honored with a lifetime achievement award by the American Institute of Architects for his work in the design of more than 200 concert halls, opera houses, theaters, and pavilions around the world.

Jaffe received the AIA's Institute Honor for Collaborative Achievement in May. The award is given annually to those who have had a beneficial influence on or advanced the architectural profession.

Among Jaffe's works are the Tokyo International Forum, the Hollywood Bowl, the Kennedy Center Concert Hall, Severence Hall in Cleveland, the Zankel Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Radio City Music Hall, the New Amsterdam Theatre, and the Dayton Performing Arts Center.

"His works stand as shining examples of how art and science can be seamlessly blended to produce striking architectural works that delight both eye and ear," enthused one letter of support, signed by 14 of the best-known architects in the world today, including Frank Gehry, Cesar Pelli, James Polshak, Michael Graves, Raphael Vinyoli, and David Schwarz.

"I have always been of the opinion that collaborative efforts between architect and acoustician result in successful buildings that are visually exciting and aurally sound," Jaffe said. "In my 40 years of practice, I cannot think of a project where the architect and I were at loggerheads over design decisions. They were as interested as I in meeting our client's acoustic expectations and I applied all my knowledge and experience to give them as much design latitude as was consistent with our acoustic goals."

Jaffe is a visiting professor in the School of Architecture at Rensselaer, where he directs a new graduate program in architectural acoustics.


The Class of '50: Part of the Greatest Generation

We were born during the Roaring '20s, shortly to experience the Great Depression, and became adults quickly and early with calamitous losses of friend and family during WWII. It was in these crucibles where we learned about loyalty, discipline, and family.

Those of us that survived the War, veterans and civilians alike, and joined the Class of '50, embarked upon the RPI superb education process. Thank you, GI Bill! It was these experiences that prepared and seasoned us to become what Tom Brokaw calls the "Greatest Generation."

If there is one outstanding characteristic of our generation it has been our ability to handle the monumental changes that have occurred in the previous three-quarters of a century.

We were born before: Television, penicillin, polio shots, frozen food, Xerox, plastics, contact lenses, frisbees, and the Pill;

Before Radar, credit cards, split atoms, laser beams, and ballpoint pens;

Before pantyhose (but not panty girdles), dishwashers, clothes dryers, electric blankets, air conditioners, drip-dry clothes, and before man walked on the moon (although our generation put the men on the moon);

Before cell phones, pagers, and digital organizers.

Remember when: You needed food and gas rationing coupons?

You had to mix that orange pill with the white margarine to make it look like butter?

"Windows" were something you hated to wash?

You had to fight for "necking" space in the vestibules of the Sage dorms between 9:45 and 10 p.m.?

You shared one public telephone with the whole dorm or frat?

You knew all the names of all the female students on campus?

The Four Horsemen sang on the Ted Mack Original Amateur Hour?

Ned Harkness turned us into a national hockey and lacrosse power?

You got married first and then you lived together?

Having a meaningful relationship meant getting along with your cousins?

Girls lived in one dorm and guys in another?

Full professors taught undergraduate classes, not teaching assistants? (Thank you, Dr. Faigenbaum.)

We were way before significant others, gay rights, computer dating, dual careers, computer marriage, and O.J. and Monica. We were the day-care center, the group therapy, and the nursing home.

We had never heard of FM radio, tape decks, electronic typewriters, artificial hearts, word processors, pizzas, satellites, McDonald's, instant coffee, the Internet, or Viagra.

For us, time sharing meant togetherness, not computers or condominiums. A chip meant a piece of wood, hardware meant hardware,and software wasn't even a word.

For one nickel you could ride the Staten Island Ferry, ride a streetcar, make a phone call, buy a Pepsi, or buy enough stamps to mail one letter and two post cards. You could buy a new Chevy Coupe for $600—but who had $600? A pity, too, 'cause gas was 11 cents a gallon.

If you lived in Rensselaerwyck you got a babysitter by knocking on the wall of the adjoining apartment. Back then "Reviews" were not editorial comments but the faculty's instruments of exquisite torture; the term "making out" referred to how you did on a 2.0 Jones exam; you could buy things for 5 and 10 cents in 5 and 10 cent stores; walking back up the Approach on a Saturday night was a sobering experience; and going to a dance meant a "Big Band" at Soiree, or Bob Wassung's Campus Serenaders at Mrs. Warren's Sunday afternoon tea dances, where Mrs. Warren attempted to instill us with some social graces.

Chuck Kelly '50
Lake Placid, N.Y.
Chuck wrote this tribute in honor of his 50th Reunion in June.


RAA Honors Brown '54 for Distinguished Service
Photo By: Fred Ricard.

The Rensselaer Alumni Association awarded its highest honor, the Distinguished Service Award, to Glenn Brown '54 at the RAA's annual awards dinner, held June 2 on campus. The DSA was created in 1967 to recognize distinguished service by alumni or friends to Rensselaer, to a profession, to the nation, or to humanity.

President Shirley Ann Jackson presented the award to Brown, who attended the ceremony with his wife, Lynn, daughter, Wendy, granddaughter, Elisa, and mother, Helen.

Brown, who was elected Grand Marshal as a student, has served Rensselaer through the years in a wide variety of volunteer roles, culminating in his service as the first two-term president of the RAA, 1997 to 1999. He has chaired and served on committees involved in fund raising, athletics, academics, class operations, student life, and the Alumni Hall of Fame. He was vice chair of the Rensselaer Annual Fund, 1999-2000. He and his wife, Lynn, are members of the Amos Eaton Society of Patroons.

"Certainly, no other graduate has ever driven more miles to attend more meetings, advanced more viable ideas, offered more guidance to staff, or demonstrated more effectively the role of the volunteer in the leadership of a great university," said Jackson.

Brown is former director of marketing for Eastman Kodak Co., and retired founder, president, and CEO of Rand Incentive Marketing Inc. "It's hard to know what to say at a time like this. 'Hail, dear old Rensselaer, the college of our heart,' " said Brown, recalling the words to a traditional college song.

Brown spoke of coming to Rensselaer 50 years ago, among WWII veterans and dormitories at Tin Town, and recalled memories both amusing and poignant.

"God gives every one of us the gifts we need to grow and succeed. We must be able to look back and know that our days were well spent and worth something," he said.

Brown ended the evening by leading the room in singing the alma mater, but not before he led previous DSA recipients Neal Barton '58, David Diltz '38, and Rob McIntosh '60 in a rendition of the old freshman song "Ah, Me! My Poor Freshie."


The Jimi Hendrix Concert
Troy Armory, April 19, 1968: I was in the third row directly in front of Jimi. It was amazing to say the least! Tom Brocki and I were lucky enough to score the best seats in the house

The one lasting impression I had of the concert, besides the music, was that Jimi was a very nice, humble man. Someone you would like to have as a friend just for his sincerity and humility. He actually apologized and asked for the audience to be patient with him while he changed guitars (from his Stratocaster to a Les Paul) so he could play some blues for us. He then performed some of the best live blues I've ever heard. Mitch Mitchell, the drummer, was great. I recall that he would chew gum the whole time—out of rhythm with the music. Considering the complexity of his stick and foot work, this was an amazing feat. He was noted at the time for the best drummer's hands in the business. Noel Redding, the bass player, just stood still most of the time, providing that solid rhythm for Jimi to play over. There was no fancy stage set or costumes. It was just solid, incredible vintage (although at the time groundbreaking) Jimi Hendrix music.

As this was early in Jimi's career, the sound effects were at a minimum. The sound was super clear and precise. Of course, Jimi did a few of his signature tricks, like tooth guitar picking and guitar at the back of his head playing. Having been to scores of fabulous concerts, including Woodstock, during that wonderfully prolific musical period in history, I must say that the Jimi Hendrix Troy Armory concert stands out as one of the absolute best and most memorable.

John Granito '70
Kaneohe, Hawaii
John's memory was inspired by Rick Hartt's March 2000 column.


DeCusatis '90 Named Outstanding Electrical Engineer
Casimer DeCusatis '90, a senior electrical engineer in IBM Corporation's system/390 server division, was chosen Outstanding Young Electrical Engineer of 1999 by Eta Kappa Nu, the electrical engineering honor society. He was recognized for his outstanding individual contributions to the technology and applications of fiber optics and for his service to youth.

At IBM DeCusatis has contributed to the development of fiber optic data communications networks, the Parallel Sysplex architecture, and a fiber optic wavelength multiplexor. His work has resulted in more than 50 published papers; 16 issued patents and some 21 more filed and pending; and three books to which he contributed and edited. He serves on the editorial board of Optical Engineering.

DeCusatis received his B.S. degree from Pennsylvania State University and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Rensselaer. He attributes his achievements to opportunities in a growing, changing field, saying “the job that I’m doing now didn’t exist 10 years ago.”

Classmates Create Online Copy Service
With one dot-com success under their belts, Jeff Stewart ’91 and David Uyttendaele ’91 have launched a new venture they hope will revolutionize the way business professionals print and distribute their documents.

With more than $20 million in financing and strategic partnerships with Hewlett-Packard and FedEx, announced its Internet-based copy service in February.

Customers download’s Exact Print Software, which allows them to view their document as it will be printed and to select paper and binding options. The documents are then printed at the company’s digital printing facility in Memphis, and delivered overnight by FedEx, whose North American hub is located near the plant. Exact Print Software can also be found pre-loaded on many desktop and laptop PCs. is the second company Stewart and Uyttendaele have formed together—their first venture was the Internet consulting company Square Earth, which was sold to Proxicom in 1998.
Prior to co-founding Square Earth, Stewart was a senior consultant in Ernst & Young’s Financial Services Information Technology Practice. He has also worked at GE Aerospace. He earned his B.S. in management with a concentration in entrepreneurship from Rensselaer.

Uyttendaele,’s chief technical officer, worked in the IT departments at Chase and Salomon Brothers before co-founding Square Earth. He earned his B.S. in electrical engineering at Rensselaer and is a member of Microsoft’s Internet Advisory Board.

John Delbridge ’91, former vice president at Salomon Brothers, has joined his classmates as chief financial officer of
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