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Shaky Welcome for Caltech President

October 08, 1987|MARY LOU LOPER | Times Staff Writer

Caltech Associates welcomed the university's new president Thomas E. Everhart and his wife, Doris, at a lovely dinner in the campus Athenaeum. (Members give $40,000.) But, they had to apologize; the chimney on the Everharts' campus home cracked in the earthquake last Thursday.

Aptly, Nobel Laureate Murray Gell-Mann chose to speak on "Simplicity and Complexity in the Description of Nature." Dinner arrangers at the last moment also produced Kerry Sieh, geology professor and San Andreas Fault expert. "We should congratulate our forefathers because we would see 10,000 people dead today had not they decided it was worth their while and money to fabricate buildings that are earthquake-resistant," he said.

Provost Barclay Kamb, attending with wife Linda, revealed he uses heavy rubber bands on kitchen cabinets, and had dashed to the Sierra Madre Fault near his home looking for a change in a slope he has observed for some years. James Boyd recalled the 1925 Santa Barbara earthquake and that his bed moved across the room as he slept through. Others in the audience were Sharon Black, Barbara Royce, Henry Hilton, Theodore Hurwitz, Lew and Barbara Allen (he directs the Jet Propulsion Laboratory), Peggy Phelps, Ann Paul, Robert Henigson (Associates president) and wife Phyllis, and Hunt Holladay, great-grandson of Henry Huntington.

GOOD NEWS: Ruth Shannon, chairman of the Whittier College Performing Arts Center-to-be, had happily announced pre-quake that ground breaking for the edifice, planned for the corner of Philadelphia Street and Painter Avenue, would be Oct. 22. Good news: It still will be. Explained Jerry Laiblin, interim vice president, development: "It's a celebration the college and the town have been looking forward to for four years. Our big concern is that the turnout will be more than we expected, but that kind of concern is a joyous concern. . . ." At Boys and Girls Club of Whittier, severe damage to two gym walls estimated at $150,000 has closed the club temporarily. With good cause, then, the club's auction and gala dinner Saturday at the Anaheim Marriott will proceed, says executive director Ron Ferrari. "One way or another, knowing our directors, we'll raise the money. We might have to trade dollars now, and somewhere down the road put them back into the operating budget. . . ." When the initial quake hit, John Roberts was heading to the Sheraton Grande with flower arrangements. The hotel hurriedly advised Five Acres benefit co-chairs Carolyn Adams and Susan Rhoades that downtown was not the place to be, and they set about to head off 530 guests. They'll reschedule Mr. Blackwell's fashions.

FIFTY, NIFTY: Carolyn Fox's chums, bearing gifts, gathered at Citrus on Melrose to wish her a happy 50th before husband Jim had a chance to host his own dinner for her at the California Club.

PATRONS: Appreciation, in special ways, is usually showered upon those who donate in advance to charitable causes. The committee staging the upcoming Pasadena Public Library Foundation gala, set for Oct. 16 at the library and chaired by Terry Stanfill, honored major donors at a dinner party at the home of William and Dina Oldknow (patrons donate $1,000); and Wednesday evening the Costume Council of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (Virginia Milner is patron chairman) sparkled black-tie at the dinner Nelly Llanos planned for patrons. With guests Count and Countess Frederic Chandon, patrons previewed the Hollywood and History of Costume Design in Film exhibition the council will open with another dazzler Dec. 16.

MAJOR MOVERS: Ruta Lee, chairman of Thalians, announces the ball Oct. 17 at the Century Plaza. . . . Center Theatre Group Volunteers honor new members at a traditional Japanese tea Wednesday at the home of Lois Howard. . . . Yvonne Fedderson and Sara O'Meara Sigholtz, co-founders of Childhelp U.S.A., were duo honorees Tuesday at Mary and Joseph League's Mardi Gras Bal Magnifique Royal Luncheon at the Beverly Hilton.

RHODES: That great cradle of learning, Oxford University, needs money. David Alexander, American secretary for Rhodes Scholarship Trust and Pomona College president, backed up by former Rhodes scholars like Frank Wells, hosted 105 at a Music Center luncheon to greet barrister Sir Patric Neill, university vice chancellor and warden of All Souls College. The visitor is scouting Americans for a worldwide campaign. The toasts were loyal and royal: "To the President . . . to Her Majesty, the Queen . . . to the university."

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