Special Section: The Class of 1955
Celebrates 50 Years of Memories
Remember the Tin Tabernacle and
Quigleys? Football at Griffith Stadium and basketball
at Uline Arena? The student union next to the firehouse?
Members of GWs Class of 1955 remember these places
Much has changed in the past half century.
In 1955 at GW, Cloyd Heck Marvin was president. Strong Hall,
a womens residence, was one of the few campus dorms.
And Greek life dominated the social scene. Today, frat life
still plays a role, but more than 250 other student organizations
sponsor events that shape campus life.
In commemoration of their 50th reunion, GW
Magazine asked members of the Class of 1955 to submit
memories, photos, and updates, which we have published here.
George O. Clark, BA 55, resides
in Edgewater, Md., and is retired after more than 20 years
of working for telephone companies. My degree helped
me with the Telco
I had 13 mini-careers with C&P
(now Bell Atlantic/Verizon) and AT&T. While he
claims that because he was a part-time student, nobody
will remember me, Clark says he has a vivid memory
of his time at GW: Driving from Arlington several
nights a week for nine yearsI had ivy growing up my
legs! When asked to describe daily life 50 years ago
and compare it to today, Clark says that today Cars
last longer, TV dominates free time, and computers control
too much of our lives.
Writing from Nanuet, N.Y., where she has
lived for 42 years after relocating from the Bronx, Miriam
W. Edelstein, BS 55, is a microbiologist. Her
career began at GW, where her strongest memory is of lots
of labs and continued after graduation when she worked
as a chemist for the FDA. Now married for the second time,
this proud GW alumna has four grandchildren
and enjoys skiing. Looking back on daily life 50 years ago
versus the present, she says that these days there
are more conveniences but less leisure.
Crediting GWs chemistry program
and professor Charles Naeser for contributing to a
good basic education, Barbara A. (Guarco) Farley,
BA 55, is a retired biochemist residing in Carlsbad,
Calif. A former Fulbright Scholar at the University of Edinburgh,
Farleys career included research at the National Institutes
of Healths arthritis and metabolic diseases department
and work at the Uni-versity of California Los Angeles and
the University of Rochester. She has two married sons and
four grandchildren and enjoys sunshine, outdoor activities,
gardening, and camping. While she says that today traffic
and health care are better than they were while in 1955,
people are in general less respectful of each other.
A retired cartographer and geographer
residing in Edgewater, Md., Julian G. Gibbs, BS 55,
says his GW experiences were watershed years marking
a transition from youth to adulthood. There were potholes
as well as smooth stretches along the way, but they were
parts of an educational process that worked beautifully.
He has fond memories of Dean Elmer Louis Kayser, whom Gibbs
says was everyones favorite, hands down.
Along with spending more than 30 years as a cartographer
and geographer, Gibbs has been married for more than 50
years, a marriage that has produced an attorney, an
artist/illustrator, a civil engineer, a gallery frame shop
proprietor, and a secondary school teacher. Gibbs
enjoys home and garden maintenance, woodworking, writing,
volunteering, and musical tinkering and a little blue-sky
pondering for good measure. He and his wife enjoy
traveling and report that our abilities to enjoy senior
travel have opened opportunities pole to pole and on all
continents. We recommend travel to all considering but who
have not yet stepped out. Get going now, while you can.
Golden Years wear and tear could trap you in that
Murray F. Hammerman, BS 55,
resides in Rockville, Md., and is a physician and ophthalmologist.
Citing socializing in the student union as one
of his best memories of GW, Hammerman went on to get a medical
degree from George-town, interned at Cincinnati General
Hospital, completed his residency at the Indiana University
Medical Center, and spent two years in the U.S. Navy before
settling in private practice in ophthalmology in Maryland.
He has five children and eight grandchildren, and his youngest
daughter is currently pursuing a masters degree in
interior design at GW. He is a native Washingtonian
and returned to be near my wifes and my two families.
His hobbies are fishing and gardening. His favorite journey
has been to Africa.
Edward L. Ed Jaffee,
Retired as the director of the Washington
office of PPG Industries, Edward L. Ed Jaffee,
BA 55, lives in Springfield, Va., where he has
lived with his wife, Sharon, for more than 30 years. After
enjoying journalism classes with professor Bob Willson,
Jaffee went on to work for The Washington Post and
The Wall Street Journal before going into corporate
communications and public affairs. He is a father of three
and a grandfather of four. At GW, Jaffee was co-editor in
chief of the Hatchet, was president of Pi Delta Epsilon
Journalism Service honorary, and was co-caption of the varsity
track team. He recalls that at the start of the 1954 academic
year, many of us were ready to rebel at a substantial
hike in University tuition: from $12 to $15 per credit hour.
He is currently working on an historical novel about his
grandfathers trek across Europe in 1897 and enjoys
Always a Colonials basketball fan, Arthur
D. Kirsch, BA 55, is a GW professor emeritus of
statistics and of psychology. He received the Trachtenberg
Award for University Service in 1998. Kirsch did graduate
work at Purdue University and worked for George Gallup and
the National Security Agency before returning to GW in 1962.
He has done consulting work in the D.C. area and now resides
with his wife in Silver Spring, Md. The couple has three
children who went to GW.
John D. Marshalk, BA 55,
is retired from a career in sales in management consulting
related to computers and insurance and resides in Hollister,
Mo. He also has been actively involved in Republican politics
for more than 50 years and has ran campaigns, trained workers
and candidates, been a deligate to numerous conventions,
and was selected as a member of the 2004 Electoral College.
He is also involved with the Maryland Jaycees. Marshalk
has been married for more than 56 years, has four children,
13 grandchildren, and 10 great-grandchildren. He and his
wife spent several years full-time RV-ing through
all 48 continuous states and enjoy living close to
My favorite memory of GW was taking
a course by Dr. Jarmo. It is probably my leading memory
about the birth of our expanding universe, writes
Clyde L. McKinney, BA 55. After graduating,
he returned to Charleston, W.Va., worked for the state with
a position in research and statistics, and retired after
25 years. I became interested in the stock market
after leaving the Army. I have traveled over the United
States, Mexico, Eastern Europe, Canada, and went back to
Alaska where I had served in the Army.
Every day of medical school was
thoroughly enjoyable. I will always be grateful for my education
at GW, writes Beale H. Ong, BA 55, MD 59,
a physician residing in Washington. Im still
practicing pediatrics and continue to love it. He
says that if he were a student at GW today, he would still
choose the same field of study as he did 50 years ago.
A surgeon and lawyer residing in Oakton,
Va., Eugene O. Stevenson, BS 55, MD 60,
was a member of the varsity basketball team while at GW.
His favorite class was pathology while in medical school.
After graduation, he completed an internship and a residency
program, and was a surgeon with the U.S. Navy during Vietnam.
He enjoys tennis and karate and has been to Kenya six times.
A retired secretary and retail clerk who
worked for Casual Corner for 22 years, Elizabeth Meyer
Thornhill, AA 55, resides in Kensing-ton, Md.
She says she is thankful for the lifelong friendships formed
at GW. To receive my college education I worked full
time and attended night classesand very early morning
classes. Dean Elmer Kayser called us the dawn patrol.
His course and European literature and European diplomatic
history were my favorite courses. She and her husband
have five children.
Bob Van Sickler, BS 55,
and his wife, Rachel.
Since retiring as a marketing manager
for General Electric, Bob Van Sickler, BS 55,
and his wife, Rachel, built a home in Tampa Palms, Fla.,
and keep busy with civic affairs, gardening, social
life, visiting our children, and doing some serious traveling,
he writes. After graduation, Van Sickler was a design engineer
at Pratt & Whitney in Hartford, Conn., and then completed
ROTC service in Taiwan. He returned to the United States
and joined General Electric in St. Louis, where he earned
a masters degree from Washington University. While
in St. Louis, Rachel Crawford, a Delta Zeta I first met
at one of those Sunday sorority socials at the Delt House
at GW, joined me there. We married and started our family.
See, those socials werent so bad after all.
They have two daughters, one son, and two grandchildren.
With GE, he held engineering, manufacturing management,
and marketing management positions in its lighting business.
In Cleveland, he was product manager for holiday lighting.
I sourced most products in China, Taiwan, Korea, and
Thailand, so I had lots of opportunity for travel.
This spring, the couple travels to the United Kingdom, and
therefore will be unable to make the 50-year reunion. Im
sorry that I wont be able to see old friends again.
I hope there will be other opportunities.
Ziamandanis, BS 55
Judith Drew Wilkinson, BA 55,
a retired CIA reports officer and homemaker, resides in
Oakland, Calif. She is the founder of the Washington Association
for Television & Children, a parent education and child
advocacy organization. Wilkinson has four children and five
grandchildren, all of whom live in the D.C. area. Her GW
memories include putting the Hatchet to bed with my
sister, Joan Drew, while still in our party clothes in the
wee hours. Her favorite class was American diplomatic
history with professor Robert Merriman. Its
hard to say how GW may have influenced my life. I know my
B.A. was useful in my sporadic job hunts in the 70s,
she says. I majored in the currently hot topic of
Middle East affairs. I think Id go for English the
next time around.
Former Colonials football player John
Zimbo Ziamandanis, BS 55, lives in
Albany, N.Y., with his wife, Matina, who he has been married
to for more than 50 years. He has three children and several
grandchildren. Ziamandanis often attends alumni football
luncheons and keeps in touch with several former Colonial
athletes. After GW, he went on to get a masters degree.
He retired as the athletics director of Schenectady High
School in New York in 1998.