Alumni News, Fall 1997

by Steve Sciamanna, Ph.D., '86, ChE

  ear Fellow Alumni:

Greetings on behalf of your Alumni Association Steering Team. We hope all is going well for you and your families.

On the organization front, I would like to thank Steering Team member Fred Lam (B.S. '83 ChE) for agreeing to serve as the Vice-Chair for the Team and also to represent the Alumni Association at those events when I find myself at work in Kazakstan. Since I wrote to you in the spring, the passage of 1997 has made the jump to "warp" drive. I would like to get you up to speed on the events and activities we have had so far and what is upcoming in the near future.

At the Cupola Era Luncheon: Don Hildebrand (Ph.D. '53 Chem), Leslie Goodrich (Ph.D. '51 Chem), Judson Goodrich (B.A. '50 Chem) and Dick Teeter (B.S. '49 Chem)

"Cupola-Era" Kickoff

Our new "Theme-Era" Group—the "Cupola Era Alumni"—had their kick-off luncheon on March 1, 1997. (This group represents our alumni from the period of 1946-1963.) The event drew 50 of our alumni for sharing old memories and making new friends. Many thanks to Frank Delfino (B.S. '51 ChE), Ken Hulet (Ph.D. '53 Chem), David Lyon (Ph.D. '48 Chem) and Mary Singleton (B.S. '58 Chem, M.S. '60 Chem) for organizing the event. Anyone interested in participating on the steering committee for this group to assist in the organization of future events please contact the above individuals or the College Alumni office. So what do you think—should we start a new "Theme-Era" group for 1964 and beyond? We have already had a few people volunteer to serve on the committee. Any ideas what it should be called? Perhaps the "Free Radicals"?

Richard Wolfe (M.S. '48 Chem) and Gil Klingman (B.S. '51, ChemE)

Job Fair

The "Professional Connections" Alumni Networking and Job Fair held on March 5, 1997 was successful but unfortunately not cost-effective for the College of Chemistry. This was a jointly sponsored event among the Colleges of Chemistry and Engineering and the Business School. About 300 people attended, but only 20 from the College of Chemistry. Approximately 50 companies (with job openings) participated. Of these, 10 were specific for Chemistry and about 20 for Engineering. Future events will be sponsored by the California Alumni Association (CAA) and will be all UC-wide.

Tan Kah Kee Hall Dedication

The Tan Hall Dedication and 125th Anniversary Celebration on April 12, 1997, was a total success. About 400, including Chancellor Tien and Nobel Laureates Y. T. Lee and Glenn Seaborg, attended the dedication and the luncheon. In the days following, the College received more than a dozen letters and calls saying that it was a great event. Many thanks to Camille Oulfson, Jane Scheiber and the small army that organized this event!

SF MOMA with Stanford

The College jointly sponsored, with Stanford, an evening at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SF MOMA) on April 14, 1997, which coincided with the Spring '97 ACS meeting held in SF. The event drew 600 people (50/50 Blue/Red) and was very well organized. With some cajoling from Big Blue, the Stanford folks agreed to have a D.J. and all had a great time. Professors Bob Bergman and Ken Raymond led the Conga line followed by swaying Blue and Red alums. The respective Department Chairs decided that doing more joint events was a "good thing." One idea was to hold a BioTech symposium. Any others?

Former Chem E Chair Goren talking with Laurie O'Connor (B.A. '71 Chem) at the SF MOMA reception.

Cal Day

This year's Cal Day was on April 19, 1997. The College faculty made a presentation to new undergraduates and their parents. In the afternoon was a (back by popular demand) performance by Professor Angelica Stacy doing her "Chemistry Magic." Her show was enjoyed by both little kids and the bigger (adult-sized) ones. Move over, Mr. Wizard!


This year's Commencement was held on May 25, 1997. We signed up 114 new alumni and received $190 in donations for providing cold drinks at the event. Not bad!!

Commencement '97

This fall we have planned the following events, some of which may have already occurred upon receipt of the News Journal :

1. AIChE Alumni Reception - November 18, 1997 in the Emerald Bay Room at the Bonaventure Hotel in Los Angeles. In honor of the 50th anniversary of the ChE Department, Professor Harvey Blanch (our new ChE Department Chair) will make some remarks at the event. Rumor has it that Professor Blanch is guaranteeing a high percentage of faculty turnout for this event.

2. G. N. Lewis Era Luncheon - November 20, 1997 in the Faculty Club. Following the luncheon will be the Gilman Hall ACS Historic Chemical Landmark Dedication, where Professors Kenneth S. Pitzer and Glenn T. Seaborg, along with alumnus Michael Kasha (Ph.D. '45) and the President of the ACS will be the keynote speakers.

3. UCB Alumni Dinner - December 11, 1997 at the Claremont Hotel. This event is organized by six Alumni Associations. The featured speaker will be newly arrived Chancellor Berdahl. Based on last year's event, I recommend getting your reservations in early.

Other Plans:

Entrepreneurship Symposium Another idea Fred Lam floated was to sponsor such a symposium featuring alumni-initiated start-ups or start-ups based on technology developed at the College of Chemistry. Any comments or interest out there?

"Community Outreach" Chemistry Demos

An idea has been brewing amongst a few of us on the Steering Team which I would like to bring to your attention. The idea is to "package" chemistry demonstrations and teaching materials so that our alumni could easily make presentations in local schools. See the information box on page 29.

On-Line Mentorship Program

This program is well underway. However, we need more mentors. Please take the time to check out the description on our home page ( and fill out the form to participate. The time commitment is quite small, and you will be providing a valuable service to the students in our College.

Coincidence or Plot?

As I previously mentioned, I work half of the year in Kazakstan. However, I am not the only College of Chemistry alumnus there. So far I've found Sam Davis (B.S. '79, ChE), Marshall Hix (Ph.D. '88, ChE) and Billy Williams (B.S. '79, ChE). A predecessor to my current position (and still associated with the project) is Arlin Peters (M.S. '70, ChE). Another interesting fact is that three of the five were graduate students of Professor Scott Lynn, and I believe all five took courses from him. Hmm....OK, probably just a coincidence. (Who says we don't stick together?)

If you have any questions or comments please pass them along to Camille Olufson at (510) 643-7379 or via e-mail Fred Lam and I look forward to seeing you at our upcoming events. Stay in touch.

Steven F. Sciamanna, Ph.D. '86, ChE