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2 Honorees Who 'Touch Tomorrow'

May 11, 1986|MARY LOU LOPER | Times Staff Writer

The scientist discovers and extends the horizons of the universe; the industrialist sails with the tide of technology and integrates discovery with society. Or so it seemed the other night when the California Museum Foundation joined with the California Museum of Science and Industry to salute Gerry Neugebauer as California Scientist of the Year and Donald E. Guinn as California Industrialist of the Year. Neugebauer received praise and $5,000; Guinn received praise.

Said Morgan H. Harris Jr., foundation president, at the opening, "We are delighted you have come here tonight to touch tomorrow with us." It set the tone to laud Neugebauer, whose telescopes and detectors have been carried on board Mariner and Pioneer spacecraft, and, who, as a founder of modern infrared astronomy, has discovered the "Becklin Neugebauer Object," a star forming in Orion, and who, as principal U.S. scientist for the International Infrared Astronomical Satellite, has led the discovery of more than 250,000 infrared sources, including six new comets. He is a Caltech Howard Hughes professor and director of Palomar Observatory.

Guinn, chairman of Pacific Telesis Group (the holding company for Pacific Telephone and Telegraph Company), was praised as an engineer who "invented the computer system that integrates all of a phone customer's records," and a man who "has made fiber optics the hallmark of the Pacific Telesis Group." Fiber optics is the technology that enables a half-inch cable to transmit 400,000 calls simultaneously. And as Guinn reminds, telesis is the Greek word meaning planned progress.

The black-tie night brought out Gov. George Deukmejian and his wife, Gloria. They sat with N. Matthew and Susan Grossman. He is president of the museum. Olga Erteszek, named co-industrialist last year with her husband, Jan (absent due to illness), made the traditional opening remarks as immediate past recipient. J. Howard Edgerton, chairman emeritus of the foundation, was lauded as "the soul of the private sector." Museum executive director Don M. Muchmore was praised for "his creative intellect . . . he has done more than anyone else to keep us on the cutting edge of tomorrow."

As for tomorrow, Muchmore noted the board already is responsible for raising $17 million in the current capital campaign of $50 million for the museum, second only to the Smithsonian in floor space. But, if fund-raising is work, Harris denied it: "I enjoy coming to this museum from my corporate office (Korn/Ferry International); it's like a visit to Camelot."

Admiring the economic halls at "Camelot" during the evening were Lee Harris, Rudy Munzer, Frani and Dan Ridder, Catherine and Dick Krell, John Westwater, Spike Booth, Peter and Gretchen Haight (he's vice chairman of the foundation), Linda Hartwick, Betty and John Harrison (he's involved with the new exhibit E. F. Hutton is financing; by sitting on a shaking table a child will be able to experience the sensation of an earthquake), the James Kenneys, Betty and Michael Bagdasarian, Herb and Helen Kawahara, Dorothy and John Abram, Peter and Robin Barker, Frank and Betsy Ulf and Shirley Chilton.

There was a big bouquet of spring flowers for Mrs. Karl von Platen at the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens luncheon and garden party--an entire full-bloom new informal Shakespearean garden. Ruth von Platen funded the garden. Attending with her husband, she was the honoree, along with members of the Society of Fellows, on the loggia of the Virginia Steele Scott Gallery for American Art. The birds, winging through the eaves during the ceremony, chirped throughout the comments of director Robert Middlekauff and Myron Kimnach, curator of the gardens.

The occasion was also the chance to see the current show (curated by Susan Walther) of some of the Eucalyptus School Pasadena painters who specialized in Arroyo and San Gabriel Mountains settings and bridges. Too, it brought out the prettiest of spring frocks. One of the prettiest was worn by Marion Jorgensen, chairman of the Huntington Overseers; it was knee-length. Also decked out for summer were Patsy Austin, Peggy Galbraith, Madge Burford, Joan Caillouette (who had a lot to do with the planning of the curried chicken salad and papaya, the brie and crackers and the strawberries and lemon bars in wicker baskets).

More than 300 basked in sunshine, read the Shakespearean quotes about flowers--"And there is pansies, that's for thoughts" (Hamlet)--among them Dr. Millard McLain, Katherine and Tom Pike, Fran Larkin, Robert R. Wark, Veva and Kingston McKee, Clerimond and Tom McDaniel Jr., John and Pam King, Stuart and Carita Kadison, the Richard N. Mackays, Harry Montgomery, Joyce and Dr. John Penido, Tina Rodi, Frances Clayton, Norman

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