I.I. Rabi, Lionel Trilling, and Virginia Gildersleeve
Several readers wrote to inquire about familiar faces they spied in photographs featured in the Summer 2001 Living Legacies installment. In particular, one photo mentioned in a number of lettersshowing participants at the 1927 Solvay Conferenceincluded figures worthy of special note. Among them were Nobel Prize recipients Irving Langmuir, a 1903 graduate of Columbias School of Mines, and Marie Curie, who won the Nobel Prize twice. For the record, all conference attendees are identified in the photograph below.
I JUST FINISHED READING the Summer 2001 Columbia Magazine, and it was excellent. In the article about I.I. Rabi, there is a picture on page 49 of Professor Rabis last class. I believe the gentleman to the left of Rabi is Joel Klein 67C. Joel recently retired as the attorney general for antitrust and was the attorney responsible for the prosecution of the Microsoft case in Washington. You might want to check with Joel to see if my recollection of what his face looked like in 1966 is accurate.
Bruce Gillers, M.D. 69C
I ENJOYED QUENTIN ANDERSON'S Lionel Trilling at Columbia in the Summer 2001 issue. Anderson mentioned how seriously Trilling approached his responsibilities as a teacher, that it was an occasion . . . to see what powers the student had and how they were being employed. If they were being wasted or misapplied he made it his responsibility to try to help. I was a beneficiary of Trillings generosity. When I was a student in his literary seminar in the fall of my senior year, he was impressed by my contributions in class and sorely disappointed in my writing, a complaint I often heard in college.
Joshua Rubenstein 71C
I WAS DELIGHTED BY your Summer 2001 issue, particularly the profile on Virginia Gildersleeve 99BAR 08GSAS [Virginia Gildersleeve: Opening the Doors by Rosalind Rosenberg].I met Gildersleeve in Tokyo and Kyoto in February 1946 when she was one of four women members of the U.S. Education Mission to Japan, another being Mildred McAfee Horton, president of Wellesley and former head of the WAVES. I was assigned as press officer to the mission to connect these distinguished Americans with the Japanese media.
In touring one of the great Buddhist temples in Kyoto, the monks and military attachés from MacArthurs GHQ arranged for the male members of the mission to make a rest stop in a mossy glade but neglected to find comparable facilities for the ladies. Young man, Dean Gildersleeve said to me, you will please see to it that the ladies of this mission are tended to at once. The military hosts followed orders, and the entire caravan of, say, a dozen sedan cars was rerouted to take the entire delegation back to the hotel where the ladies were comforted.
En route to Kyoto by train from Tokyo, Dean Gildersleeves sleeping compartment was pierced by a bullet shot from the countryside near Lake Bako. She was unflappable and helped put down any speculation that she or the delegation were targets of a Japanese uprising against the Occupation.
Wilton S. Dillon 61GSAS