It was late in the Summer of 1963, at Freshman orientation for the Class of ’67, that I first met Joe and Jean and The Guitar. HMC was still in its infancy and they were its parents — and ours in many ways.
We all had many better-known options for our undergrad educations, and a lot of us were quietly, secretly worried as to whether we had really made the right choice. The campus center and science building were incomplete, there were no Life Science courses, and every visible structure was covered in weird warts.
Then this quietly smiling, silver-haired guy –who just happened to have helped design one of the (then) world’s largest “atom-smashers” (the quarter-GeV synchrocylclotron)– picked up his guitar and dazzled us with the ever-so-clever tongue-twisting “Bluebeard,” and smoothly segued into “It Ain’t the Money” (…that makes the nucleus go round) and we all knew we’d picked the right place.
We all know Joe and Jean had a hand, a big part, in crafting HMS’s original Mission Statement and creating it complex logo, both stressing the need for bridging The Two Cultures in society, uniting the Sciences and Humanities in its alumni, of making the people of this planet responsible to the Earth and the universe. But for me, the most significant symbol of that ideal union was the one couple that lived with us on campus at the corner of Mills and Twelfth Street.
We’ll miss you mightily, Joe — all six thousand of your adopted children.