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Campus Radical Savio at 45: Message Has Mellowed

June 12, 1988|ANN CONNORS

--In the '60s, they lived life "as if we might not live to the ripe old age of 30." But at the ripe old age of 45, one-time political firebrand and rabble-rouser Mario Savio was alive and well and addressing his son's graduating class at the private Sidwell Friends School in Washington. "It was always right now in the '60s--Freedom Now, Peace Now," said the former student protest leader at UC Berkeley. "Did we not know that we could spoil the work by the way we dashed it off? . . . Even so . . . we did not leave all our eggs in one basket. We bore children." Eighteen-year-old Nadav Savio plans to attend Wesleyan University in Connecticut, not Berkeley. Of his father's era, Nadav told the Washington Post: "Some of what happened (in the 1960s) was excessive. There was random and rampant drug experimentation. . . . Some people went overboard in various ways, but there was a lot of good feeling among people and between people and that's something that should be resurrected." Savio, who dropped out of Berkeley, received his bachelor's degree in 1984 from San Francisco State, where he is a graduate student and part-time lecturer in physics.

--History didn't repeat itself, and this time a doctoral candidate whose dissertation was rejected in 1942 finally received his Ph.D. The dissertation by Frank Bourgin, 77, a retired civil servant living in Chevy Chase, Md., had been locked away for more than 40 years until Bourgin, after reading a book by historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr., realized his ideas were not so outlandish after all. Bourgin was a graduate student at the University of Chicago when he fell under the spell of the late Prof. Charles Merriam, the leading political scientist of the day and a member of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's "Brain Trust" circle of advisers. Under Merriam's guidance, Bourgin re-examined the history of government planning in the United States, arguing that the country's early leaders had intended to use the powers of the federal government to develop the fledgling nation's resources through public works and other projects, echoing Roosevelt's New Deal ideas. The paper was rejected as not yet "in satisfactory shape." Then last year, Bourgin read Schlesinger's "Cycles of American History," which made the same argument as in Bourgin's paper and inspired him to resubmit his work.

--Jane Pauley of the "Today" show received the second Radcliffe College Alumnae Assn. Medal at the organization's annual luncheon in Radcliffe Yard in Cambridge, Mass. Pauley, who is a graduate of Indiana University, was honored for her "outstanding contribution to the community of women."

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