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David Nelson

UCSD Benefactors Honored at Gala

June 30, 1988|DAVID NELSON | Society

LA JOLLA — One of the pleasant things about UC San Diego is that the university devotes itself to ensuring that those of us who are round pegs need not fear being squashed into square holes.

Assorted pillars of the community--round, square, Corinthian, Doric and so forth--gathered Saturday on the UCSD campus to be recognized for their efforts on behalf of the university. The 300 guests, a majority of the support group called the Chancellor's Associates, turned out in black tie for the annual dinner-dance to thank those who provide UCSD Chancellor Richard Atkinson with a source of unrestricted funds for special and unusual projects.

The dues of $1,500 supplies the chancellor with about $500,000 annually to support endeavors that fall outside the school budget. Besides providing funds, Atkinson said, the group "offers an interchange with the community and acts as the university's key spokesmen in our community."

Greeting Arrivals

As always, Atkinson and his wife, Rita, were the first arrivals on the shady terrace that abuts the Revelle College Dining Commons, the school cafeteria that food-service management recently, and rather engagingly, renamed Anchor View in honor of a nearby sculpture that generations of students have found a handy canvas for spray-painted expressions of collegiate wit.

The Atkinsons, along with outgoing Chancellor's Associates chairman Dean Dunphy and his wife, Marie, took turns greeting a roster of arrivals that ranged from 20-year Associates members Mary and Dallas Clark to such new recruits as Anne and Sam Armstrong and Lee Bartell.

The group wasted little time finding the tables that served up fresh blinis with golden caviar and deep-fried prawns coated with coconut, this last possibly the hottest item in this year's cocktail hour larder. These toothsome noshes served as the opening shots for a dinner of duck salad, roast veal and berry shortcake designed by chairman Dixie Unruh and co-chair Audrey Geisel.

Unruh reprised a role she has played twice before, and said, in effect, that practice makes perfect, the little glitches of years past having been neatly circumvented. "This is the easiest party imaginable because you don't have to sell tables," said Unruh, who has chaired a number of major fund-raisers. "You only have to worry about giving your guests a good time."

Speeches and Dancing

A good time in this case meant keeping speeches to a reasonable minimum and allowing the Bill Green Orchestra plenty of opportunities for jazzy self-expression. Because speeches are an important part of this celebration's program, pauses were provided during the dinner for Dunphy and Atkinson to formally welcome the group and honor specific members.

Among those singled out for recognition were Maxine White and Jerome Katzin, both of whom were presented distinguished service medals. White, a longtime organizer of UCSD volunteer activities, also oversaw the production of "University in Motion," a history of the school, and was honored especially for her founding of the Oceanids support group. Katzin was one of the leaders of the university's 25th anniversary capital campaign and was given special credit for his support of the Judaic Studies Program endowment, which recently enabled UCSD to hire David Noel Freedman, reportedly the leading Biblical scholar in the United States.

Other special presentations were made to Mary Berglund, retiring after two years as chairman of the university's Board of Overseers, and to Dunphy for his service as Chancellor's Associates chair. Dunphy's successor, banker Murray Galinson, was unable to attend.

The guest list included UCSD Foundation president Dick Levi and his wife, Harriet, and Foundation vice president Barry McComic and his wife, Judy. Others were Maggie and Tony Anewalt, Alison and George Gildred, Gloria and Lynn Robinson, Carol and Ned Baumer, Barbara and Armon Kamesar, Jackie and George Leisz, UCSD founder Roger Revelle and wife Ellen, Anne and Bill Otterson, Darlene and Don Shiley, Jeanne Brace with son-in-law Michael Hentigen, Minerva and Herb Kunzel and Lee and Larry Cox.

SAN DIEGO--One cannot suggest that the San Diego Symphony is ever slow to share cheerful news.

The announcement tea given Friday at Symphony Hall, which kicked off the gala that will mark the opening of the Symphony Towers complex, seemed at least slightly premature, because the event in question will be held 15 months hence, Sept. 23, 1989. But like the last really whopping Symphony blowout--the 1985 "party of the century" that sensationally opened the refurbished Fox Theatre as the new Symphony Hall--this one is planned on such a grand scale that the advance notice seems none too extravagant.

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