Phi Beta Kappa Northern California Association, Inc.

February 2004 Newsletter

In this Issue...

President's letter - Mary Hanel

Upcoming Events - Mary Hanel

Asilomar - Jean James

Newsletter by Email - Gerry Richards

Comments by Gerry Richards

From The President

Dear Fellow Phi Betes:

I hope you had a pleasant holiday season and that your New Year is off to a promising start. The beginning of 2004 is an ideal time to give you a report on the work of your Board. Membership Chair Letitia Sanders and Treasurer Mary Turner Gilliland have been busy processing the hundreds of renewals that have come in response to the 2004 membership notice and envelope inserted in the November newsletter. Letitia is pleased to report that many of you are generously contributing to the Scholarship, Teaching Excellence or Endowment funds above the basic membership fee of $25. For those that haven't sent in their memberships for 2004 yet, please take time now to detach the membership renewal envelope from the November newsletter and send it in. It is very important to the Board that we receive as many memberships as possible before our mid-March meeting. This is when we determine how much money we can allot for scholarships and teaching excellence awards.

Muriel Bell has been busy mailing out scholarship applications to the eight colleges that participate in our scholarship program: Mills College, Santa Clara University, San Francisco State University, Stanford University, UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UC Santa Cruz and UC San Francisco. The nominations will be coming in about the time you receive this newsletter.

Leon Fisher received thirteen teaching excellence nominations this year. Many of them are exceptional. Leon is hoping that more contributions come earmarked for Teaching Excellence since his committee may ask for six awards this year rather than the usual three to five.

Jean James is busy preparing for the Asilomar Conference on President's Day weekend. We look forward to seeing about 100 of you there. John Churchill from the National Phi Beta Kappa Society will also honor us with his attendance. Beyond the call of duty, Jean also arranged for two of the upcoming activities that you will find listed in this newsletter.

Julia Antoniades will be contacting the Phi Beta Kappa Chapters in Northern California in early March to get the exact dates of the PBK initiation ceremonies so that PBK NCA can send a representative to each.

You are getting this newsletter thanks to the hard work of the editor, Gerry Richards. We also thank Ray Hendess for updating our web pages as soon as he gets the text of the latest newsletter.

Maria Norall has been taking extra copious notes at the Board meetings as we are discussing the implementation of recommendations made by our Audit Committee, which met last fall under the able leadership of Eno Schmidt.

Cindy Lerner has convened the Nominating Committee so that we will be sure to have a full slate of officers for election at our Annual Meeting in May. Jacqueline Dever Celenza is serving as the Board's representative on the Nominating Committee. Jacqueline will also be arranging for a couple of the activities for inclusion in the next (April) newsletter. Circle May 2nd on your calendar and consider attending the Annual Meeting and Awards Dinner. We will be able to hold the dinner at the UC Berkeley Faculty Club again this year thanks to Mel Shattuck's sponsorship. Those who attend for the first time often comment on the fine food, the good company and the inspiring speeches by our award winners.

Please join PBK NCA in 2004 by sending in the membership application envelope enclosed with your newsletter, or contact us by email. After participating in some of our activities and making the acquaintance of some of your fascinating fellow Phi Betes, I truly believe that you will be happy that you joined!



Upcoming Events

Person making a reservation MUST BE a Phi Beta Kappa Member, but need not be a member of the Northern California Association.

Thanks to all those who signed up for the programs listed in our November newsletter. The San Francisco Holiday Walk in December was both fun and informative. We got lucky in January-the sunniest day of the month was the day we were on the Stanford Campus to see both the inside and outside Auguste Rodin sculpture galleries. Email if you are interested in the March 6th Eugene O'Neill House tour and picnic (see the last newsletter). Jean James and I are serving as the "acting program committee" for this issue of the newsletter. Be sure to sort your coupons before sending them in so that Jean gets the ones for her events and I get the ones for the events I am hosting.

Here is a reminder about our enrollment, refund and cancellation policies. Most events can accommodate you and any friends or family you'd like to bring along. Occasionally an event will have a limited enrollment, in which case we can only accommodate one member and one guest per enrollment. As for refunds, if you call in advance they are usually available unless PBK NCA will lose scholarship money - that is unless we are financially committed to the organization at which the event will be held, based on your enrollment, and we cannot find someone to fill your space. No one who is a "no-show" will receive a refund and the PBK NCA Board is most grateful to those who prefer to donate the program fee to the scholarship program in lieu of a refund.

The descriptions of events follow. No confirmations or additional details will be sent; be sure to save your newsletter or reference to this web site.



Chimney Rock Wildflower Walk

(and, if we're lucky, elephant seal weaner viewing)

Put on your hiking boots and plan to join us for a naturalist-led wildflower walk at Chimney Rock near Pt. Reyes. In case you have never heard of it, Chimney Rock has one of the most spectacular displays of wildflowers in the Bay Area, with 237 recorded species. On the walk we should see mission bells, pussy ears, goldfields, three species of Indian paintbrush, and many, many more. On inaccessible beaches below, we may see elephant seal weaners, pups left alone when their mothers returned to the sea. Perhaps some harbor seals will be swimming in Drake's Bay, and there is always a chance of a northbound gray whale returning from the breeding grounds in Baja. Bring your binoculars (or share our leader's) to spy on birds like cormorants, surf scooters and brown pelicans. The three-mile walk will take approximately three hours, and has some not-strenuous up-hill parts. Bring a bag lunch to enjoy after our return to the picnic area at Drakes Beach. After lunch, you are on your own to explore Inverness, Pt. Reyes Station, the Bear Valley Visitor's Center, or whatever else strikes your fancy.

Our instructor will be the personable and knowledgeable Wendy Dreskin, a naturalist who teaches the popular Meandering in Marin class for adults at College of Marin, as well as conducts weekly nature education classes at various elementary schools around Marin County. She is the winner of the 2003 Terwilliger Environmental Award.

Date: Saturday, March 20. (We will cancel at 6:30 AM in the event of a hard rain, so be sure to include your email address and telephone number on the coupon. )

Time: 10:00 AM

Deadline: March 12 (Limit 22 participants)

Price: $20.00 per person (includes $4.00 Pt. Reyes shuttle bus fee)

Directions: From the Golden Gate Bridge heading north on 101, take the Sir Francis Drake exit and head west to Olema. Turn right on Rt. 1, then make an immediate left onto Bear Valley Rd. Continue past Park Headquarters (Don't turn in until after our walk!), and go left when you hit Sir Francis Drake again. Go through Inverness. At the "Y", where Sir Francis Drake meets Pierce Point Rd., stay on Sir Francis Drake, following signs to the Lighthouse and Drakes Beach. (We'll park at Drakes Beach and take the shuttle bus to Chimney Rock.) Dress in layers, as it can be cold and windy, or warm and sunny. Don't forget your binoculars (if you have them), and a sack lunch. (Allow at least an hour and a half for the trip from 101 to the Drakes Beach parking lot.)



Seymour Marine Discovery Center - (website)

The Seymour Marine Discovery Center is part of the Joseph M. Long Marine Laboratory, a research and education facility of UC Santa Cruz. The laboratory serves as a base for field research in Monterey Bay and the ocean beyond. The Seymour Center reflects the world of the scientist. Rather than the polished, nicely finished look of most museums and aquariums, the interior portrays the labs and seawater aquaria where scientists spend their days. The Seymour Center is organized around the process of how scientists do their work - looking, testing, puzzling and questioning. We arranged a private 45-minute docent-led tour for our group. This will include a tour of the outside grounds with background on the design of the landscaping. We will hear about projects at the adjacent Center for Ocean Health. When we reach the overlook above the dolphin and sea lion pools, we will learn about a current UCSC research project pertaining to these two marine animals. The tour will conclude with advice on highlights to look for when we return to tour the inside exhibits on our own.

Date: Saturday, April 3, 2004

Time: Gather at 11:15 AM, tour departs at 11:30 AM

Deadline: March 26, 2004 (Limited to 40 participants)

Cost: Adults: $12.50/person; Seniors (60+) or Youth (under 16): $10.00/person

Directions: Seymour Marine Discovery Center, 100 Shaffer Rd., Santa Cruz. From Santa Cruz, take Highway 1 (Mission Street), north. Turn left on Swift Street. Turn right on Delaware Avenue. Follow Delaware to the Long Marine Lab entrance at the end of the road (where Delaware intersects with Shaffer Road). From San Francisco Bay Area, take Highway 17 South from San Jose. Highway 17 ends at Highway 1, as you reach the coast. As you approach the coast and the city of Santa Cruz, take Highway 1 North toward Half Moon Bay. (Highway 1 becomes Mission Street). Continue north through town. Turn left on Swift Street. Turn right on Delaware Ave. Follow Delaware to the Long Marine Lab entrance at the end of the road.

[ Yahoo! Maps ]
Seymour Marine Discovery Center

 (Above the map is a link for driving directions)



Buck Institute for Age Research - (website)

What is the nature of aging? What factors trigger the chronic diseases associated with age? Join us on Thursday, April 8, in Novato to find out the answers to these and other questions. The nonprofit Buck Institute, named for Leonard and Beryl Buck, whose estate has funded its generous endowment, opened in 1999. The 488 acre site has 238 acres dedicated to permanent agricultural use, 70 acres deeded as public open space, and a campus designed by world-renowned architect I. M. Pei. During our hour and a half tour, we will explore the biological mysteries of aging, experience Pei's architecture, and discover what scientists are learning about Alzheimer's, stroke, and other age-related diseases. Plan to be in the lobby of the building at 9:45 for our tour, which begins at 10:00. Preceding our tour, Dr. Christopher Benz, the Director of the Cancer and Developmental Therapeutics Program, will join us; Dr. Birgit Shilling, staff scientist, plans to join us afterward.

Date: Thursday, April 8, 2004

Time: 9:45 AM

Deadline: Saturday, March 27 (limit 40 persons)

Price: $10 per person

Directions: From the Golden Gate Bridge, take 101 N. to Novato. Exit at Atherton/San Marin Drive, the last Novato exit, which is just north of the De Long exit. Make a left turn at the stoplight and go west over the freeway. Get into the right hand lane and turn right at the second stoplight onto Redwood Blvd. Follow Redwood Blvd approximately ½ mile to Buck Center Drive. Turn left at Buck Center Drive (8001 Redwood Blvd.) and drive up the hill (driveway) to the gate and give your name and the name of our group, using the intercom. At the top of the hill, turn left into the Visitor Parking Lot. Enter the main building closest to the parking lot, and the receptionist will direct you.

[ Yahoo! Maps ]
Map of San Marin Dr At Redwood Blvd for the Buck Center

 (Above the map is a link for driving directions)



PBK NCA Annual Meeting and Awards Dinner

Join the PBK NCA Board in the charming setting and collegial atmosphere of the UC Berkeley Faculty Club as we celebrate this year's accomplishments. Take this opportunity to meet our scholarship and teaching excellence award winners and be inspired by their dedication and achievements. Social hour begins at 4 p.m. and we scheduled dinner for about 5 p.m. Choose between salmon, roast prime rib of beef, or vegetarian. There will be a no-host bar during social hour. Dinner will include house wine, coffee or tea, salad and dessert in addition to your pre-selected entrée, which comes with rice or potatoes and seasonal vegetables.

Date: Sunday, May 2, 2004

Deadline: April 22, 2004

Time: 4 - 8 PM

Price: $50 (includes parking)

Directions: The Faculty Club is on the campus of UC Berkeley (University Avenue exit off I-80). We will mail registrants driving directions, parking instructions and a campus map pinpointing the exact location of the Faculty Club the last week in April.



San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles - (website)

PBK NCA Treasurer, Mary Turner Gilliland, is also President of the Board of Trustees of the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles. Mary has arranged a very special private tour for us. Our guide through the exhibits will be both a Phi Bete and the Executive Director of the Museum - Jane Przybysz. The featured exhibit when we visit will be "A Generation Apart: Mothers & Daughters & Art" which highlights the work of three mothers and their daughters. All six women are renowned textile artists. One mother and daughter pair is the Romanian tapestry artists, Lucia and Celina Grigore. Although both make large-scale, hand woven tapestries, the subjects they depict are vastly different. Another of the mother and daughter pairs is art quilters Shirley Tyler and Evelyn Wasson. Though both are deeply rooted in the traditions of American quilt design and construction, Shirley Tyler, the daughter, tends to sensibilities that are more contemporary through her use of scale, bold graphics and strong colors. Finally, the mother and daughter pair Rusty Cantor and Leslie Cantor Fallihee are fiber sculptors. The mother's work suggests the mystery of the cosmos and outer space while the daughter's work is much more minimalist and evocative of inner space. The museum and this exhibit in particular will expand your awareness of what textile art can be.

After our tour, don't miss the Museum's gift shop with its unique, handmade textiles and jewelry. Jane will also offer suggestions for lunch at some of San Jose's excellent downtown restaurants or direct you to other venues to explore while you are in San Jose.

Date: Saturday, May 15, 2004

Deadline: May 7, 2004 (limited to 25 people)

Time: 11:00 AM

Price: $12.50 per person

Directions: San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles, 110 Paseo de San Antonio, San Jose. From 280: Exit onto Guadalupe Pkwy-Hwy 87 North. Take the Santa Clara Street exit and turn right onto Santa Clara, and then turn right on 4th St. From 101 North, 680 South, or 880 North: Take 280 to Guadalupe Pkwy-Hwy 87 North. Take the Santa Clara Street exit and turn right onto Santa Clara, and then turn right on 4th Street. From 101 South: Take 280 to Guadalupe Pkwy-Hwy 87 North. Take the Santa Clara Street exit and turn right onto Santa Clara, and then turn right on 4th Street. Note: Paseo de San Antonio is a pedestrian walkway located between San Fernando and San Carlos. Parking: There are two parking facilities fairly close to the Museum that are free on Saturday -- the Parking Garage between 2nd and 3rd Streets (accessible from San Fernando or San Carlos Streets) and the Parking Lot on San Fernando Street between 2nd and 3rd Streets. Street parking also available.

[ Yahoo! Maps ]
Museum, 110 Paseo De San Antonio

 (Above the map is a link for driving directions)



Asilomar 2004

Administration building at Asilomar

About the Asilomar Conference Center

Asilomar was designed by Julia Morgan, who also designed Hearst Castle

Read more about Julia Morgan

Note that our Asilomar Conference now has a special URL

Forget the See's candy and the roses. It is not too late to join us for our Presidents' Day Weekend (which also includes Valentine's Day) at lovely Asilomar in Pacific Grove. We start our retreat on Friday, February 13, and end on Monday, February 16. If you've never heard of Asilomar, or have never been there before, Asilomar is a state conference center in Pacific Grove, a small enclave between Monterey and Carmel. This year's Presidents' Day weekend will be PBK NCA's eighteenth consecutive Asilomar experience. Our retreat / conference always begins with dinner Friday evening and ends with lunch on Monday. During the long weekend, we provide a mix of interesting, thought-provoking speakers and activities, as well as ample free time to enjoy the lovely seaside atmosphere. People who work sometimes come late and leave early. It is even possible to "skip" some programs, as no one takes attendance or gives exams, and, because some of you wanted to know: Dress is very casual.

The main goal of our conference is for us to enjoy ourselves in a beautiful setting, but our secondary goal is to raise money for scholarships. The $100 per person registration fee is used to cover conference costs (speakers' expenses, a.v. equipment rental, wine with Sunday dinner, postage, duplicating, office supplies, etc.). This past year's profits enabled us to fund almost three graduate scholarships.

How much does Asilomar cost? The fees this year are $322.77 per adult, double occupancy; single occupancy, $525.09; youth (ages 3-17), $188.28. The cost includes three nights' lodging, and all meals, beginning with dinner on Friday and ending with lunch on Monday. Asilomar handles all room reservations.

We have a strong program lined up for this year's conference. Those of you who attended Asilomar 2003 will remember Leonard Shlain, author of The Alphabet Versus the Goddess: The Conflict between Word and Image. This year he has agreed to return and talk about his new book: Sex, Time & Power: How Women's Sexuality Shaped Human Evolution. His wife, the Honorable Ina Gyemant, a juvenile-court judge in San Francisco, will speak to us on the topic "Kid's Turn: A Program for Children of Divorce." The Geigers, who attended last year, suggested having Bob Hornback speak to us about Luther Burbank, his history and contributions to plant breeding. Bob has agreed to come. In addition, Ranger Roxann will once again inform and entertain us with not one, but two programs (Ranger emergencies permitting). Due to a tip from the Fishers, I was able to arrange a performance by Kurt Gravenhorst, a scholar who does a one-man show on Eugene O'Neill. Futhermore, John Churchill, the Executive Secretary of the Phi Beta Kappa Society, was so impressed with our last year's conference that he wanted to return this year and bring his wife. (He even added that since it was Valentine's Day weekend, he would "gain points at home.") In addition to these stimulating programs, there is also free time in the schedule, so that those of you who want to shop, hike, visit the Monarch butterfly sanctuary or the Monterey Bay Aquarium will have the opportunity to do so. However, as those of you know who have attended Asilomar in the past, it really does not matter what the program is. The lovely setting and the extremely interesting attendees are what make our retreat truly special.

Don't procrastinate. Mark your calendars now and plan to join us at Asilomar for an unforgettable weekend. If you attended Asilomar in 2003 and enjoyed yourself, please let your fellow Phi Betes know and encourage them to join us in 2004. (Guests are also welcome.) Just fill out the coupon in the hardcopy of the newsletter and send me your registration fee before you put the newsletter aside and forget about it, or email me. I will then send you the Asilomar housing form, which you will fill out and return to Asilomar, which handles all room reservations. And maybe you just might want to bring the See's candy and roses along anyway.

, Asilomar Chair

Get a map, personalized directions and travel time
Additional directions To Asilomar from the California parks

[ Yahoo! Maps ]


*** We had a wonderful time in 2003. Read more about the event...

Newsletter Delivery By Email

For the past two years, we have tested the idea of delivering the newsletter by email. We had been sending an email copy and a snail mail (USPS mail) copy to the people on our list. Two problems developed during the test: first, several people changed email addresses and failed to notify us, and, second, we continued to send both an email and snail mail copy. Since members continue to request email copies, we need to get an accurate reading of just how many members would prefer email delivery so we can evaluate the cost effectiveness of modifying our membership database to stop the snail mail delivery. If there is sufficient interest, we will make the change in September and notify members involved in August.

If you would like to receive the Newsletter by email, please contact


Comments by the Newsletter Editor

When I accepted the chair of the Newsletter Committee in July 2001, I thought I knew what the job entailed. Gordon Repp, who did yeoman service in that position for the previous ten years, had given me a large, plastic file carrier full of files along with a stack of diskettes and assorted supplies. He also was free with his time both answering questions and offering suggestions. However, I soon discovered there is more to this job than mocking up a newsletter and getting it to the printers.

In the first place, I am the only member of the Newsletter Committee. Presently, it is a one-person job, and that is enough to get the job done. There are some additional duties, like preparing the programs for the annual meeting and ordering supplies from the printer. The major additional duty is serving on the Board of Directors. That turned out to be the most rewarding part of this job.

Your Association has outstanding, hardworking people serving on the Board making it an exemplary Board. The Board meetings are lively and stimulating. Participating in discussions with the Board Members and listening to their reports, helps me realize that my contribution to this organization, while necessary and useful, fails to match that of the other Board Members. It is humbling at the same time it is uplifting. I return from meetings determined to do more and do it better.

Every single Board Member performs a vital function for the Association. Without the dedication and work of individual Board Members and the committees that support them, we would be just another paper organization.

Our President does much more than preside over meetings. Each person holding that position during my tenure, has taken it upon herself to backup other Board Members who could not perform all the duties of her or his office.

The 3rd Vice President, Membership, has taken a very cumbersome set of data she inherited and organized it along very modern database lines. In the process, she can now provide data to help the Board make decisions on the cost effectiveness of various activities designed to attract new members. We now have a database that is current and organized to give the Board accurate membership information.

Along the same lines, our current Treasurer first took over the job partway through a fiscal year and had to put considerable time into getting the books in good order. Now, however, she has the financial data so well organized with the help of Quicken that she can produce a cost breakdown in any way the Board needs it to make decisions.

Our 2nd Vice President, Scholarships has a responsibility that is challenging and very rewarding. The challenge is keeping the universities we serve interested in urging their students to apply for our awards and in evaluating the applications, trying to choose the awardees from among many highly qualified applicants. The rewards include getting to know the brilliant and dedicated young scholars that win our scholarships.

The Teaching Excellence Committee, year after year, honors outstanding teachers at our annual meeting. However, this doesn't happen without the dedicated work of the committee members and its very able chair. Thanks to the good work of the committee, its workload is increasing. Ah, but, the more candidates nominated; the more successful the committee is in the end.

The work of the Chapter Liaison occurs behind the scenes. It requires contact with campus chapters to provide scholarship applications and arrange participation in chapter initiations. This big job affects both the Teaching Excellence and Scholarship Committees' work.

Another committee often overlooked, is the Nominating Committee discussed in the President's Letter. It has the difficult task of finding qualified members willing to serve on the Board.

The incredible job Jean James does with Asilomar awes me. That is our major fundraiser of the year and she works on it year around. Her energy and enthusiasm seems to infect others and she is able to stage interesting and topical programs at little or no cost to the Association. Of course, that is not all she does for us. This year when a vacancy occurred mid-year in the 1st Vice President, Programs position, Jean joined Mary Hanel in planning and arranging programs

This brings me to the purpose of this piece: your Association needs your help. We can always use a bigger pool of volunteers to serve on our Board and various committees. It is not only important and necessary work; it is also stimulating and enjoyable. We need some of the younger members of the Association filling committee roles to assure that PBK NCA will be ready and able to provide scholarships and teaching excellence awards for decades to come. Please, give some thought to serving and check the appropriate box on your dues envelope to show your interest.