We were underway when DON PARK led the Pledge - and
since he and I walked in from the parking lot together, YOE can report
that he was not nervous prior to this scheduled appearance! PP JIM
DOWNIE and JACK HARRIS combined on The Battle Hymn, followed by PP
DAVE WHITEHEAD with an Invocation. DAVE also had some background comments
on the forthcoming event on June 16th, pointing out that our Club
is composed of both intellectuals and Rotarians. These characteristics
don't usually occur together, which should insure everyone attending
will enjoy the show…And the reason for the Delayed in the title for
today is that this Windmill won't appear until next Wednesday!
There were no guests of Rotarians but CLARK McQUAY
introduced Peter Herfert and Kees Norbert, both of whom are from the
Marktoberdorf, Germany club - and Peter is further known as one of
last year's Group Study Exchange visitors. He apparently joined the
club as soon as he returned to Germany - he is in banking, while Kees
is in the lighting business. Several spouses were present, including
SHIRLEY MORE, CLAUDE CUTRIGHT and JUDY WESSLING. Next up was PAUL
SORRELL, who was quizzed by Prexy STEVE about what kind of law he
practices. While his firm specializes in Entertainment Law, PAUL is
one of their litigates, and he enjoys the variety of the practice.
DAVE MATSON then introduced our newest member, BURLEIGH ARNOLD, an
attorney with an international firm that operates in over thirty countries
worldwide. DAVE pointed out that his classification shouldn't be held
against him, since, while he IS an attorney, he doesn't practice law…
ANN ELKIN came forward to present a Ships Clock to Midshipman
James Trotter as the outstanding graduating senior in UCLA's Naval
ROTC program. He was accompanied by Commander Jim Trotter - his dad
- who also happens to be at UCLA, and it was no surprise that the
two of them share many interests! PP BOB WESSLING, substituting for
RUDY ALVAREZ, next introduced our returning Ambassadorial Scholar,
Deborah Goldberg. Deborah has just returned from Rio de Janeiro, studying
International Business, and she found the experience to be most worthwhile.
She quoted extensively from her journal, and thus covered her visit
in some detail.
Upcoming events include June 13th, when the Rotary Auxiliary
will install new officers at the home of the SISKEL'S - time is 11:30.
June 25th is the date for the WVRC Golf Tournament at Los Angeles
CC, and PP JIM SUMNER or PP STEVE SCHERER are the contacts, please.
Moving into our next Rotary year, we will be dark on July 5th, and
will have a joint meeting with Beverly Hills during the week of July
23rd, at their place. We are sorry to announce that KIRK HARNEY has
resigned - the trek from the Marina was simply too far to negotiate.
One housekeeping inquiry, from ANN ELKIN. An incoming Ambassadorial
Scholar, a doctor from Greece and his wife, will be arriving in LA
late in June. They need housing until they find an apartment - for
perhaps two or three weeks. AND, if you have an apartment they can
rent for a year, that would be most helpful. Contact ANN, please.
PP BOB WESSLING (just call me Coach) introduced our
Speaker, Tom Hudnut, who is the Headmaster at Harvard-Westlake School.
BOB first spoke of Tom Fischer, a partner of his at Latham and Watkins,
since it was he who arranged for Headmaster Hudnut to speak at WVRC.
Mr. Fischer is also Chairman of the Board of Trustees at Harvard -
Westlake - which gives him some access to Mr. Hudnut, of course. He
pointed out that Hudnut has been Headmaster since 1987. 1550 students
are enrolled at their two campuses, which cover grades seven through
twelve. Mr. Hudnut graduated from Princeton, started his teaching
career in 1970, and has a Masters from Tufts University. Also seated
at the Head Table was PP HOWARD SISKEL, who served for several years
as Chairman of the Board of Trustees, and whose two daughters are
Tom began by pointing out the major differences between
1964, his last year in high school, and today, as far as college admissions
are concerned. A close, almost-family member was the Director of Admissions,
and his interview consisted of an afternoon visit over ice tea with
his father, the close friend, and Tom. That long ago, one out of every
two applicants were being admitted, compared to one out of eleven
today. The two major changes since then are Demand, and Competitiveness.
Historically, December of 1991 was the low point in
births, which have exceeded past years ever since - this trend will
continue until 2008, at which point a pause should occur. Thus, there
are more students applying each year, while the number of available
spaces remain relatively constant. Where once those applying to the
top-rated schools were essentially from white, upper middle class
families, today's applicants are much more diverse in background.
The Internet has been a major factor in this explosion of applicants
- some students today will apply to fifteen or twenty schools, whereas
in the 60's, most students only applied to a couple of prospective
Tulane offered free admission forms to those who applied
early - which led to a 31% increase in the number of applicants. Carnegie-Mellon
had 3228 applicants for a class with just 128 places. You could call
this marketing - but publicity and the many books now devoted to college
admissions are behind this great increase, also. The biggest edition
of US News and Report is their College Ratings Edition, and this also
causes our competitive instincts to come alive - "I've gotta get in".
It is not hard to figure that parents lead the charge here - but it
should be noted that they are remembering how it was when THEY applied,
and it's a much different ballgame today.
At USC, their average SAT score has gone up by 200 points
in the last ten years, with a GPA of 3.8, and they admit only one
in nine of those applying. To be fair, the SAT scores have been 'recentered'
since the 70's, meaning that kids today are not smarter than they
used to be - it's just that grade inflation makes them look that way.
Harvard, for instance, has 55% of their applicants scoring over 1400
on the SAT. The many Advanced Placement (AP) courses now offered have
helped the average SAT to rise, and many students are able to start
earlier on these college level classes - which helps to boost the
We mustn't forget merchandising…Colleges began offering
merit-based financial awards, which were the bait to draw in top students.
(And to keep the faculty happy, every school seeks some exceptional
students, of course) An example from Harvard-Westlake - two recent
graduates were accepted by MIT, but eventually ended up choosing USC
instead, when SC counter-offered more scholarship help!
The admission process sometimes comes down to playing
God - Mr. Hudnut reminded us that few intellectuals go into Admissions…They
are, however, often trying to make the world a better place, and thus
want to give minorities an opportunity. And being a big alumni donor
doesn't necessarily help - $50 K gifts are no longer 'big' enough
to insure acceptance! We thank you, Tom Hudnut, for a most enlightening
visit, and only regret that there wasn't time for a Q&A.
Thought for the Day - "He who slings mud generally loses
ground" Adlai Stevenson.
YOE, Ernie Wolfe