The National Academy of Engineering (NAE) was founded in 1964 as a spinoff from the National Academy of Sciences (NAS). There had been quite a bit of concern within the engineering community that the NAS, founded by President Lincoln during the Civil War, did not adequately represent engineering on the Washington scene. So a small group of engineers within the NAS got together and recommended that a corresponding academy of engineering be formed. The NAS did not want the engineers approaching Congress for a new charter because the old one was very favorable and no one wanted to see it reopened for revision. So the engineers said, "Okay, as long as we can select our own members and can participate in the management of the National Research Council [the "business end" of the NAS, responsible for carrying out governmental studies], that will be fine."
But it wasn't fine. The third president of the NAE, Clarence Linder, and Philip Handler, president of the NAS, didn't speak. They were absolutely at loggerheads. Linder felt that the engineers weren't getting the time of day, and Handler got sick and tired of being hassled by the engineers. So the engineers came to the conclusion that they had to separate from the scientists, lock, stock, and barrel. It was onto this scene that I came as fourth president of the academy in May 1973.
The morning before the formal annual meeting convened I met with the academy's council. It was agreed that the membership should be asked at the annual meeting to abrogate the agreement with the NAS and go off on their own. Up to this point, I knew little about the rift between the two groups. I had been a member since 1967, and I had met with Clarence Linder a couple of times before becoming president  to try to find out what he thought the academy's function and goals were. But all I got out of him was a diatribe against Phil Handler.
At the annual meeting, the membership balked at the split. It was finally agreed that no vote would be taken until the new president had had a chance to review the situation. I hadn't been there very long when I started receiving a large number of letters. Out of maybe a hundred, only five or six were for secession. The common feeling seemed to be that there was great strength in the alliance between the scientific community and the engineering community. Furthermore, the two form a continuum-from pure science (the theory of relativity, for example) all the way through the application of science and "engineering science" to commercial development and production. To split the two ends of the continuum would be artificial and do a great disservice to the country. The Congress wouldn't always know on a given issue which academy to turn to. On top of which, our academy didn't have more than $50,000 in the bank, whereas the NAS had an endowment of $50 million!
During the summer I composed a two-page letter to Phil Handler in which I not only said that I didn't think we ought to split but also gave a formula for working more closely together. I pulled the old bureaucratic trick that I had learned at NASA and the Air Force of going in to see him with a draft letter and asking, "How would you like to receive this letter?"
He read it and said, "But it's too late."
I said, "Phil, if you believe it's the right thing to do and I believe
it's the right thing to do, then it's not too late."
"Well, send me the letter." After he had received it, he invited me to come to the summer meeting of the council of the NAS and explain myself. Some members of the science academy were as negative toward the engineers as some of the engineers were toward them. Nevertheless, I told them that I thought it was a mistake to split. Furthermore, I said that the NAS, being the senior organization, had the final responsibility on all matters of policy dealing with the federal government. Reaffirming that we engineers still wanted a say in the National Research Council, I suggested that from thenceforth the council have seven members from the NAS, four members from the NAE, and two members from the Institute of Medicine. That way, if there was a real rift, the scientists would always have a majority and  could swing any vote their way. I further suggested that Phil Handler be chairman of the council, that I be vice chairman, and that all government studies, including those already under way in the NAE, be transferred to the National Research Council.
The scientists voted to back my proposals. Now all I had to do was get my fellow engineers to agree! Some weren't all that enthusiastic, but the majority went along with me. And Phil Handler and I came to enjoy being with each other and working together. I found him a brilliant, versatile man.
At the fall 1973 council meeting of the National Academy of Engineering, one of our members, W. Kenneth Davis from Bechtel, said, "From where I sit, I think this country is facing a difficult energy situation." In 1970, for the first time, the United States had imported more oil than it had exported. Oil imports were growing rapidly every year. I responded to Davis's concern by saying that the NAE ought to investigate. I invited him to chair a committee, and he agreed. By sheer coincidence, the committee met for the first time in October 1973, one week after the Arab oil embargo had begun. Cars were standing in long lines for partial fill-ups. Suddenly energy was the hot topic. Our committee's report, published in the spring of the following year, got a lot of publicity. We had a press conference and testified before Congress.
When Congress started looking at what we ought to do about the energy situation, they began talking about putting together an agency like NASA. Much to my surprise, I was invited to the Executive Office to discuss personnel for such an undertaking. After meeting with several supernumeraries, I was introduced to Frank Zarb, associate director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). He told me I was on the shortlist to be the administrator of a new energy agency. "Frank," I said, "you've got to be kidding." The legislation for the proposed new agency hadn't been passed yet, and I doubted that it would be. But I said I would be happy to discuss it with the President, if and when it became a reality.
In the summer of 1974, President Nixon resigned and was replaced by Gerald Ford. The enabling legislation for the Energy  Research and Development Agency (ERDA) was passed in early fall, and I got a call from Frank Zarb. He said they were going to take the entire Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) and move it in under the umbrella of the new agency. Then he told me the President was sending my name up to the Hill as his nominee for first administrator of ERDA. I reminded him that I had said I would consider the appointment after a talk with the President. The next morning I went in to see President Ford. When I entered the Oval Office, the President stood up from his desk, came over, shook hands, and offered me a cup of coffee. The whole atmosphere of the Ford White House was much more open and relaxed than that under Nixon.
I told President Ford that I had five concerns I wanted addressed before I accepted his nomination. Most importantly, I asked that I be given the opportunity to recommend the seven other presidential appointees who would be working with me. I also wanted to be sure that he would not insist on a particular appointee if I disapproved of the person. We shook hands on this and the other matters of concern to me, and in the following days I was appointed by the President. A month later I was confirmed by the Senate.
Even before I was confirmed I was deluged with phone calls and letters from people who wanted jobs, who had programs to sell, or who wanted interviews for the media. Inside the government there were also many demands. The energy budget had to be presented to Congress in two months; the seven presidential appointees had to be selected; and, most important, arrangements had to be made for placing existing agencies under the ERDA umbrella.
Dixie Lee Ray chaired the AEC, and she pressed hard for transfer of the AEC immediately. Several of the commissioners had already left, so it was next to impossible for her to make policy decisions. In addition, she said the uncertainties associated with the transfer were causing severe morale problems. Dixie was a colorful character. Unmarried, she lived in a trailer with her two dogs, who inhabited her office during working hours. The smaller dog enjoyed jumping into a visitor's lap, and the larger one would sniff from behind when least expected.
Guy Stever, a friend and former associate at MIT, was director of the National Science Foundation (NSF) and President Ford's science advisor. While I was awaiting confirmation, he offered me an office where I could  have all the required secretarial amenities. However, the Executive Office felt it would be presumptive to move into a government office until confirmed by the Senate. So I was left stranded and shorthanded in my NAE office. Unfortunately, security in the National Academy of Sciences and particularly around my office was porous. It would have been easy for the curious to enter my office or even my files. So I kept all sensitive information in my briefcase, and I kept my briefcase with me.
At this critical juncture Hugh Loweth-deputy associate director for science, energy, and space in the OMB-came to my rescue. He assigned Ray Walters,1 an energetic, talented young bureaucrat to work with me full-time. Together, we located an office building that could be renovated and occupied within six weeks. Admittedly on December 29, the day I was sworn in, there was still an uninstalled toilet parked in my office and awaiting a plumber. My office looked out on the railroad tracks in southeast Washington, and every time a train went by, conversation would stop and pictures on the wall would have to be realigned.
Meanwhile, the selection of key individuals was the most time-consuming and critical of the early problems I faced. The seven presidential appointments included my deputy and heads of the six branches of ERDA prescribed by Congress: Alternate Fuels, including solar and fusion; Nuclear, including uranium enrichment; Fossil Fuels; National Security, including nuclear weapons; Environment; and Conservation. Key staff functions also requiring careful screening were the general counsel, public affairs, congressional affairs, international affairs, administration, comptroller, operations manager for fifty field installations, and the secretary of the general advisory committee. For some of these positions, the White House gave me lists of thirty to forty names, many of which were unsuitable.
I was, of course, desperate for a deputy who could help share my responsibilities. Previous government experience, capability, and availability were key ingredients for the job. I was fortunate to locate Robert Fri, who had been deputy to William D. Ruckelshaus in the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and was currently an executive in the management consulting firm of McKinsey and Company. He was  nominated by the President before year's end and was working full-time by late January.
There were excellent people already working in the Atomic Energy Commission and in the transferred sections of the Department of the Interior, EPA, and the National Science Foundation. These groups provided a resource from which many jobs were filled. Ultimately our key people came from these and other government agencies, along with five from industry.
I remember clearly recruiting Phillip White on the day before Christmas. In Beverly Farms for a few days, I ran up a significant phone bill. Phil was vice president for research at Standard Oil of Indiana. He was on a White House list and had the right professional credentials. After making suitable reference checks, I was able to reach Phil to discuss his appointment as assistant administrator for Fossil Fuels. He ultimately accepted and provided ERDA with valuable industrial experience. I finished phoning on December 24, just in time to complete my Christmas shopping.
The following May, Dan announced one morning, "I'm not going back to St. Albans next year. If I spend another year at St. Albans, we're going to hate each other for the rest of our lives." I was never certain why. We told him we wished he had mentioned this a bit earlier, but we did look at other schools. We finally all agreed and sent Dan to the Putney School in Vermont. It was a great success. I think that's where Dan "found himself.." He hiked for hours in the surrounding woods and learned how to use tools and to take dents out of cars (a useful skill for a teenage driver), as well as all the usual high school subjects. He also grew to be six feet, four inches. By his senior year, he was attracted by the idea of taking time off before college, but we encouraged him to continue his schooling without interruption, at least until he had a year or two of college under his belt. He chose the University of California at Santa Cruz, which is known for its strong emphasis on undergraduate education and its beautiful setting. Dan traveled to California alone, camped out on the campus, and got himself accepted for that fall.
Santa Cruz also had a good music department. All during his adolescence, Dan had been almost obsessed with music. At our Washington house on Idaho avenue, a great group of friends that Dan  had organized used to come over and play rock and roll together in our basement. I had a pair of Air Force mechanic's earmuffs I could wear in my study when they were practicing.
After college, Dan continued living on the west coast and became a professional musician, playing the double bass. He eventually moved to Oakland, sharing various houses with fellow musicians. They would advertise for a female housemate, "to avoid the locker-room ambiance that can easily prevail in an all-male household." A young lady from Rochester, Minnesota, named Linda Hill answered one of the ads. After an interview, she was accepted, but before she moved in she was offered less expensive accommodations elsewhere. Over a period of a year or so, Linda and Dan saw more and more of each other, and on October 30, 1988, my seventieth birthday, they were married. After several years in California, Dan and Linda gravitated eastward to Manhattan, to Brooklyn, and finally to Vermont. Now the parents of two children, they have since returned to California.
ERDA provided many unique experiences, of which I'll briefly mention four: inspecting the nuclear navy with Admiral Hyman Rickover; an unexpected disembarkation from Viva at night for a White House meeting the following morning; inspecting nuclear facilities in the Soviet Union with my counterpart, Commissioner Petrosyant; and visiting briefly with the Shah of Iran.
On paper, Hyman Rickover, the "father of America's nuclear navy," reported to the secretary of the Navy and the administrator of the Energy Research and Development Agency. He was a dour, wiry individual who spoke his mind forcefully. When ERDA was formed, he had been on active duty for fifty-six years. He retired seven years later, in 1981. He prided himself on his spartan lifestyle, and Congress loved him. I went with him to most of the installations over which he had jurisdiction.
Most memorable was a twenty-hour period spent with the admiral aboard the attack submarine Cravallus. We met at the General Dynamics plant in Groton, Connecticut. We first entered the building where General Dynamics was designing a Trident submarine. The design teams were located in a wooden mockup of the vessel. Every  new element or redesign was translated into a wooden part, in order to check compatibility and access. Rickover told me that his man at General Dynamics and the plant manager each had to provide him with weekly reports. If there was nothing significant they could say so, but if this happened several weeks in a row, he would know they were lying and would immediately inspect. Of course, he would also zoom in on any differences between the government and industry reports.
We left the dock about midnight and headed for deep water beyond the continental shelf. Rickover was not present for breakfast in the small officers' wardroom. He was conducting his daily hour of calisthenics. Once he finished exercising, he took me on a detailed tour ending in an aft cabin where warrant officers control the reactor, propulsion, and ship's electrical power. The skipper was ordered by Rickover to proceed at flank speed. Suddenly, Rickover gave the command for full reverse. The vessel shivered and shook and became hard to handle at near-zero speed. Finally the skipper blinked and said, "Ahead quarter-speed." The Admiral said, "I didn't give that order. Change the watch for a repeat."
Later I was on the conning tower as we entered Long Island Sound at high speed. It was late afternoon in February, and I was thoroughly enjoying the ride. I was reflecting on Rickover's tremendous success developing the nuclear navy, but wondering whether he had to be such a martinet. He had his own explanation: "Somebody has to be the bastard."
The enriching of uranium oxide is essential for the fueling of nuclear naval vessels and commercial reactors. Uranium oxide when mined contains 0.7 percent of the isotope U-235. Enrichment involves raising the U-235 content to three or four percent. U.S. uranium processing was conducted in three large plants: Oak Ridge, Tennessee; Portsmouth, Ohio; and Paducah, Kentucky. All three plants used gaseous-diffusion technology. Since World War II centrifuge technology requiring considerably less power had been developed and refined. Commercial ventures using this technology were under active consideration by the Ford administration. I was enthusiastic about the technology itself but not about its commercial application. I felt  that it would be too difficult to maintain adequate safeguards while preventing nonproliferation within a private venture.
Knowing that this matter was to be discussed at Cabinet level, I called the White House to see if such a meeting was going to be held over Memorial Day weekend. We had planned to sail Viva from Chesapeake Bay to Manchester, Massachusetts, over the holiday. Once I received a negative response from the White House, we headed for Galesville, Maryland, where Viva was berthed. We were well up the bay by 11 p.m., when we spotted a vessel rapidly closing on us from astern: Coast Guard looking for Dr. Seamans! They put me in touch with Bob Fri, who said I was expected at the White House at 9 a.m. for a meeting with the President. A car would be available at 4 a.m. at the dock in Chesapeake City, which would take me to a local airport for a flight to Washington. A thick fog had descended by the time I reached the airport, and the place was deserted.
The driver was willing to drive all the way, but the time was short. We traveled at high speed down the eastern shore, over the Bay Bridge, and into Washington, arriving at the White House with minutes to spare. As President Ford came into the Cabinet Room, he shook hands all around, commenting when he looked at me that perhaps he had diverted me from sailing. President Ford decided to turn over the enrichment of uranium oxide to the private sector, a decision that I had to defend and that Congress ultimately rejected.
Energy comes in many forms and is used in many ways, so it is not surprising that the United States has many foreign energy associations. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), headquartered in Vienna, was an arm of the United Nations that sought to minimize the proliferation of fissionable material. Another organization, the International Energy Agency (IEA), sought, by pooling the technology and resources of its member nations (oil consumers), to lessen the power of OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries) to control the price and volume of exported oil.
There were agreements bilateral and multilateral. One of these, which ERDA inherited, was the U.S.-U.S.S.R. Commission on the  Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy. Commissar Petrosyant and I were the cochairmen. During ERDA's first year the Soviets came here; during the second we traveled to the Soviet Union. The host country took care of all expenses. Prior to a trip, negotiations were extensive. The Soviets wanted to visit a number of classified laboratories and spend a weekend at Las Vegas. These requests were turned down. I got sick of their Las Vegas needling, but felt that was better than a congressional hearing on excess entertainment expenditures.
The following year our trip included Moscow, Shevchenko, and Yerevan at the foot of Mt. Ararat in Armenia. We went there to visit and discuss earthquake safeguards for two nuclear power plants. There was also a research center with a small nuclear reactor. Yerevan happened to be Petrosyant's home and the seat of the Armenian church. The Christofolis, the head of the Armenian church, was, according to Petrosyant, "a truly religious person." Our joint commission paid him a visit, which required two sets of translators since the Christofolis spoke only Armenian. The American and Soviet delegations both took the pledge that we were working together for the good of mankind.
During our business meetings in Yerevan, Gene had an even greater ecclesiastical experience. She was taken by the wife of the chief Soviet scientist for a day in the country. They had a driver and an interpreter and were accompanied by Petrosyant's daughter, who had been instructed to "look after" Gene. The Russian women suggested going to a fifteenth-century church, Gene being a "Christian person." So off they drove, up into the foothills and along dusty roads.
They finally came to a place with numerous streamers blowing in the wind, placed there by thankful believers. In front of them, they saw the church, which was mostly carved out of the hillside. They went into the vaulted cave. In the dim light the benches were lined up facing a very simple altar, where a bent, dusty priest was sweeping. It seemed appropriate to Gene to say a prayer, so she knelt down for a few moments and then approached the holy man. He had produced a few postcards and seemed very pleased to sell them.
As they entered the courtyard there was an excited crowd surrounding a splendid ram. The animal was decked with ribbons, and its horns were brightly painted. The ram was to be sacrificed by a grateful family who had recently been blessed with a son. The interpreter  suggested staying for the ceremony "because Mrs. Seamans is a Christian person." The hostess did not agree and hurried the party back to the car.
All the way home, Gene was questioned. "How many churches are there in Washington?" "What animals do they sacrifice?" "What job do you have in the party?" "How many people live in your house?" "How many bathrooms do you have?" "Why do you change presidents?" And many more. Everyone in the car was eager for this chance to learn about us and our country. At the end of the day, Gene loaned the interpreter a copy of a National Geographic magazine that had an article on the U.S.S.R. She also gave him a small package of peanuts saved from an airplane. Next day he said, "My wife and I stayed up all night reading your magazine and eating the delicious nuts, one by one." He had never seen a foreign publication or tasted a peanut. The
Another interesting trip was to Iran, where I met with the Shah. He wanted nuclear power plants for his country and especially a uranium reprocessing plant. Our government, very concerned about the proliferation of nuclear weapons, didn't want him reprocessing uranium for weapons use. I was asked by President Ford to meet with him about this matter. Dick Helms, former head of the Central Intelligence Agency, was our ambassador to Iran at the time, and he was most troubled about the proposed meeting. He thought I was going to cause an international incident by trying to tell the Shah what he could or couldn't do.
The game plan was to try to get the Shah to take off his Iranian hat and don a regional hat and, specifically, to have him agree to have Iranian reprocessing done under the auspices of the International Atomic Energy Agency. With Dick Helms I finally met the Shah and gave him a letter signed signed by President Ford. He read the letter and said, "But of course this is what I want to do! Why would I want to have nuclear weapons? We're just a little country here. We're not going to fight the Soviet Union!"
On the way back to our embassy following the meeting, Dick said, "Well, at least he didn't throw you out of the office."
The Shah continued to press for nuclear reprocessing plants, of course.
On my last full day at the Energy Research and Development Agency, after two years of service and on the day before Carter's inauguration, I went down into the garage in the basement of our building and found four unusual cars. The only one I recognized, because I had driven it before, was a Chrysler with a turbojet engine. There were a couple of electric cars and a hydrogen-powered vehicle, as well.
I asked the attendant what the cars were doing there. "They're going to be driven in tomorrow's inaugural parade."
"Who's going to drive them?"
"The regular chauffeurs, I suppose."
"Well," I said, "I think I'll drive one of them."
To get into the parade was a complicated matter. There were three big rallying points-the marchers in one area, the horse-drawn vehicles in a second, and the floats in the third. Gene (who drove with me) and I were looked on as drivers of a float, so we went out in a very clear, cold dawn to the old naval station at Anacostia, where the float participants in the parade were mustered. There we spotted a number of celebrities, including Colonel Sanders (the Kentucky Fried Chicken man) wrapped in many blankets by his solicitous entourage and Kenny Stabler (the Oakland Raiders' quarterback who had just won the Super Bowl with his passing). We were bused from Anacostia to a cross-street near the Capitol, where our ERDA cars were waiting for us. The atmosphere was very festive. We were surrounded by the teams for different floats, including some gymnasts who grew tired of waiting and went through their whole routine right there on the street, probably to keep warm and nimble. When the parade finally got rolling, I drove the lead ERDA car, the turbocharged Chrysler, a powerful machine that made me feel as though I were taxiing out in an F-111. The pace of the parade was very slow, as it took President and Mrs. Carter a long time to walk down Pennsylvania Avenue, but finally we began moving into position. Some dogs were brought out to sniff under our vehicles for explosives. Then we were under way, heading down the avenue, our jet-age car directly behind a horse-drawn vehicle from the 1890s.
As we passed the reviewing stands, Gene would lean out one  window and I would lean out the other, both waving. At the end of the route we passed the presidential reviewing stand on Lafayette Square in front of the White House. Gene leaned across me, and both of us waved to President Carter and Vice President Mondale. Three blocks further on, we arrived at our route's end. We stepped out of the car, handed the keys to an attendant, and thereby ended my career at ERDA. I was a private citizen again and for good.
As soon as Jimmy Carter became President, his "energy czar," Jim Schlesinger, retained me as a consultant. I was allowed to remain in my office, which I occupied for about three months, working on a number of issues with my successor, Bob Fri.
During this period I got a call from Jerry Wiesner [former science advisor to President Kennedy], who had become president of MIT. He said, "Alfred Keil is going to be stepping down as dean of the engineering school. We have to go through various formalities here and I'm not offering you the job, but is this the kind of thing that might interest you?"
I said, "I doubt it, Jerry. I'm sure it involves a lot of administrative work, and that's the last thing I want to be involved in for a while. I've had it."
"Well, come on up and talk about it anyway." So I traveled to Cambridge and talked with Jerry and the provost, Walter Rosenblith. I also talked with Al Keil and realized my fears were well founded. Being dean meant looking at a thousand nitty-gritty details-not what I wanted at the time. When I made it clear to Jerry, Walter, and Howard Johnson (now MIT chairman) that I wouldn't accept the post of dean, I was offered instead an institute chair, one that is not tied down to any single department. There are eleven such chairs at MIT, but the Luce chair is unique. Its full name is the Henry Luce Chair for the Environment and Public Policy. Nobody had held it for a year or so. The idea had appeal, but was I really an environmentalist? I had had to wrestle, particularly at ERDA, with a lot of environmental issues, but in the eyes of the environmental movement I certainly would not have been considered a key player. Nevertheless, after consulting with Gene, who was as ready as I was to leave Washington, I finally accepted.
 We sold our house in Washington, though it took some time. Again it was wrenching to leave this pleasant home on a dead-end street in Cleveland Park. We had a dinner-dance-cum-going-away party at the Chevy Chase Club with about 150 friends, including associates from NASA, the Defense Department, and the National Academy of Engineering. Then we left town, making a good clean break. I still see people today, however, who ask, "Do you and Gene still have your house in Washington?"
We were delighted to settle back in Cambridge. I started digging into what I might accomplish with my faculty appointment at the institute. Carroll Wilson asked me to join forces in a course on national and world energy issues. Carroll had been the first general manager of the Atomic Energy Commission. I also got involved with his World Coal Study (WOCOL), a big project on world coal supplies and usage.
I had also agreed to help Jerry Wiesner and Howard Johnson find a dean for the engineering school. Howard called me early in 1978 and invited me over to the Tavern Club for lunch. We chatted about this and that. "Well, now that you've got Washington well behind you," he said, "how do you feel about administrative work? Do you miss some of the things you were doing?" I had been feeling that I might be ready to get into the nitty-gritty again, and I told him so.
About three days later I got a call from him, asking me to come over to his office to chat with Jerry Wiesner and himself. I suspected that they wanted to ask me again to be dean of the engineering school, our efforts to find someone having so far failed. There were eight departments and four laboratories affiliated with the engineering school, making twelve heads reporting to the dean. These twelve were all more or less of the same vintage. To pick any one of them to be boss of the others would have been difficult. To bring somebody in from the outside also would have been tough, since Jerry was going to be stepping down within two years, and it would have been hard for an outside person not to know to whom he or she would be reporting in the near term.
The long and short of it was that I agreed, but in my formal letter of acceptance I asked for the option of stepping out at the end of two years. When Paul Gray succeeded Jerry after two years, I told Paul I would stay on for another year. It was a wonderful opportunity for me  to get to know MIT better after being away from it, except for a brief stint in 1968, for more than two decades. There were still people who knew my name when I passed them in the corridor, but there had been tremendous changes in my absence.
One of the responsibilities of a dean is to bring faculty appointments to the academic council, a body unique to MIT. It includes the president and the deans, the provost, and a couple of associate provosts. It meets every Wednesday for the morning and through lunch, grappling with all the major issues facing the institute. A lot of its time is spent on faculty appointments-the straightforward way to change the face of MIT. Before going to the academic council, an appointment had to be cleared first by the individual's department, then by the school. The engineering-school council is made up of twelve department and laboratory heads and is chaired by the dean.
One of the cases I was involved with was particularly interesting, a case involving tenure for a woman in ocean engineering named Judith T. Kildow. Ocean engineering was once known as naval architecture, but was expanded to include platforms at sea, some coastline problems, and other newer matters. Judy had been working in the policy area, not in engineering per se. Hers was thought to be a marginal case when it came before the engineering council. It was finally supported there, though most of us thought it would not pass the academic council.
One strike against Judy was that she had changed jobs quite a few times. I looked into this and realized that she had done so in order to follow her husband, whenever he had relocated. A second strike was what seemed to be gaps in her employment record, times unaccounted for. When I checked I found that the gaps coincided with the births of her children. I came to believe that Judy deserved tenure and should not be disqualified because of family matters. Getting her tenure approved by the academic council was one of the really satisfying things that happened to me while I was dean of the engineering school. Judy is still teaching ocean engineering there and doing a great job.
Being dean of the engineering school brought my whole career into focus. I realized that my expertise was not in any technical area-the design of aircraft control systems, for example-but rather in managing technological organizations. Such management poses special problems of its own: for an inventor trying to bring new ideas to market; for a  small company that needs large financing; for research laboratories that are not closely integrated with product divisions; for government trying to acquire high-tech systems within cost estimates; and so on. In the final analysis, an innovation can bear fruit only when the application is technically and financially feasible.
I couldn't see any place at MIT where these matters were being studied, except in the Sloan School where the discussion had little engineering or technical content. So I started working with Bill Pound, the Sloan School dean, to inaugurate a one-year master's program in the management of technology. As I got into it, I found that in almost every department in the engineering school, there was at least one person dealing with entrepreneurial or policy-type issues, Judy Kildow being one of them. The question was, could we get them all interested and participating in this new program? We finally pulled it together, and in my last year as dean, the first fifteen people came to MIT to take the program.
In the fall of 1992 I was sitting in my office when a student named Amanda Chou came in. She said she was interested in writing her master's thesis on the possibility of commercializing space activity. Specifically, she was considering the development and production of rockets by commercial entities and the selling of these rockets in a competitive market. I asked her what program she was in.
"The management of technology," she answered.
"How's the program going? How many are in it this year?"
"There are about fifty-five or sixty people taking it each year now," she answered. It was gratifying for me to find that the program was still alive and prospering.
I stayed on the MIT faculty as Henry Luce professor for another year after resigning as dean. I had never taken a sabbatical in my on-again, off-again MIT career, so I took one during the second half of that year, 1984. I used the sabbatical to begin the process of examining, filing, and in some cases dispersing the material and intellectual property I had accumulated over the years.
Jack Kerrebrock, head of the "aero and astro" department, said to me, "I don't like the idea of your leaving the institute entirely, Bob. You ought to have an office here, at least." He told me about the possibility of my being made a "senior lecturer," a position reserved for a  small number of professors emeriti. I had been talking with my brother Peter (who was thinking of retiring from his law firm, Peabody Arnold) about taking an office together. Just about that time, he and his partners decided to move from their offices at 1 Beacon Street to new offices at Rowes Wharf, so Peter decided he would stay with the firm until mandatory retirement. I therefore decided to keep my office at MIT and soon accepted an appointment as senior lecturer. I retired from this position in June 1996.
One area in which I did substantive work in this capacity was to help organize Technology Day, the institute's version of homecoming. Technology Day is held during the week after graduation and is attended by large numbers of alumni. It includes the usual alumni functions-outings to the Boston Pops, dinners, dances, and so on. But unlike homecoming at other schools, Technology Day has a different, specific agenda each year.
I first got into it in 1989, when Paul Gray asked me if I would head up the Technology Day effort on the twentieth anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. I recognized the large role MIT had played in the Apollo effort, and I thought it would be valuable to collect memorabilia and organize lectures examining this role. I thought we ought to invite as the keynote speaker an astronaut who had a degree from MIT, as more astronauts have been graduates of MIT than of any other institution except the U.S. Naval Academy. We finally chose Captain Frederick Hauck, commander of the first space shuttle flight after the Challenger disaster. The program started with an abridged NASA documentary on the lunar landing. Then, following Captain Hauck, faculty from several departments discussed the relevance of their research to space exploration and manned spaceflight. The program was a sellout.
In my first year back at MIT (1977-78), Jerry Wiesner called me to say that Governor Michael Dukakis had started a commission to see if the state of Massachusetts couldn't be more supportive of new commercial enterprises. Jerry said he had been on it, but that he was now too busy at MIT. Was I willing to take his place? When I looked into it, I found it  fascinating because it concerned my area of expertise-the commercialization and management of technology. Just about the time I said I would do it, Dukakis had the commission converted into the Massachusetts Technology Development Corporation (MTDC). It was authorized to provide venture capital in the form of loans or equity to companies in the state of Massachusetts. One requirement was that the start-up be unable to get funds any other way. Another was that it be located in a disadvantaged area where the new outfit would create employment opportunities.
I became a member of the MTDC board, and when Edward King replaced Dukakis, I was asked to stay on. I remained there until well after
Dukakis's comeback in 1982. Two professional analysts selected about one in fifty applications for the attention of the board. Several of us would then go and meet with the individuals involved to see what they were doing. Once we had agreed to put some funds into a start-up, the company almost invariably got additional funding from other sources. We had a revolving fund of about three million federal dollars, which we could use to make loans or equity investments. If the investment worked out and we made a profit, the proceeds went back into the revolving fund, as did any interest on the loans.
While I was there, we helped on the order of thirty-five companies get started. If I'm not mistaken, thirty of them are still going. Some of them, like Interleaf, a software company, havedone extremely well. The MTDC is still in business and doing an effective job.
More recently, I've been on the advisory committee of a private venture capital operation, Morgan Holland. My two brothers and I made a modest investment in one of their funds. It had some similarity in my mind to the MTDC. I found that the entrepreneur with the hot idea had great difficulty staying with it once the company got to a certain level of activity. There was almost always a traumatic period of transition when an outside manager had to be brought in to run the show and when the biggest question was what to do with the original entrepreneur.
My brother Peter was the lawyer in three classic cases involving Henry Kloss, the brilliant inventor behind KLH, Advent, and Kloss Video. In all three cases, Peter found, Henry was able to bring products along and sell them-up to the limit of about $10 million in annual sales. Beyond that, he could not do it all himself; yet he would refuse to step back and let somebody else take over some of his responsibilities.
Another commercial involvement was with a Bosson family business interest, the Boston and Lockport Block Company, originally suppliers of pulleys or "blocks" for America's sail-powered merchant fleet. It was first located in East Boston, by virtue of the fact that Gordon McKay, famous designer of clipper ships, had his vessels built there. It merged with the Lockport Block Company and eventually designed blocks for other uses, including freighters and drilling rigs.
The company had its ups and downs. As a result of a near-bankruptcy and my Grandfather Bosson's presidency of the County Savings Bank, my mother's family ended with approximately a third interest in the company. Uncle Campbell Bosson took over management of the family interest when Grandpa died. In time, my brother Peter took over from him, and my brother Donny became president and general manager.
The company had not done a very good job of reinvesting its profits in new machinery and technology, and Peter and Donny together tried to revitalize the company-against the wishes of the other two families who had significant interests. In time, my brothers managed to wrest control of the company from these families by buying out their shares. My brothers were fortunate to have Frank Browning, a very astute person, as an outside director. Frank pointed out that the company had a large amount of cash sitting on the sidelines and suggested that the company put it to work. Perhaps the natural solution would have been to buy a cable or rope company to complement the block operations, but Frank Browning steered the effort in an entirely different direction.
He found that Sam Batchelder, our neighbor and my sailing partner, might want to divest ownership of Johnny Appleseed's, the clothing retailer, while retaining the management. This proved to be the case, and Peter and Donny bought the company at a most opportune time. The block business became nearly moribund with the advent of the container ship, but Peter and Donny managed to sell the block business to a Chicago firm before the bottom fell out. This gave them additional funds to invest in Appleseed's.
Sam Batchelder stayed on as president at Appleseed's, a role in which he exercised his real expertise, buying. He had a tremendous  flair for knowing what people wanted. Jim Shaughnessy, an excellent financial officer who had worked with Donny at Boston and Lockport, moved into the Appleseed's operation and did a fine job reconfiguring the financial end of the business. Frank Browning died, and his son, Frank Jr., successfully replaced him. The company flourished under its new ownership and management. It had entered early into the mail-order business and did extremely well there. It also successfully expanded the number of stores and outlets.
There came a time when a decision had to be made. Other upscale retailers like the Talbots were aggressively expanding and reinvesting large sums in their operations. It became clear to us that to stay in the ballgame, we would have to make another round of major investments. We were all getting older-Peter, Donny, Frank Jr., and I-and didn't feel up to the task of raising the necessary capital and pushing the operation to a higher level. We decided the company could be much better served by new ownership, and we let it be known in the business community that this was our intention. We received inquiries but felt the company was worth much more than we were being offered.
One wonderful day my brother was in his office when he got a call from a New York business broker who had been working with him on the sale. "I've got someone from Switzerland in my office here in New York who wants to come up and chat with you this week about the possibility of buying Appleseed's."
"I'm so busy," Peter said. "I don't think that would be possible."
"I think it would be worth your while," the broker said.
The man visited Peter the next day, and they spent a couple of hours together. The man then asked to see the company, with the proviso that he speak with Peter again when he was through with his visit. While the man was off seeing the company, Peter did some back-of-the-envelope calculations and decided that a high but fair price for the company would be about twice what he had been offered previously. When the man from Switzerland returned, he came up with the same number! Within a couple of months, we had an offer in writing with one condition attached. The deal was dependent on growth continuing at the same pace for another quarter. We watched the numbers (very closely!) for the next three months, and fortunately they lived up to all expectations. The Swiss company bought us out.
 In retrospect, we got out of the mail-order business at the peak of that market. With our successful exit from the block business just before that collapsed, we seem to have been one step ahead of the sheriff all the way along.
In 1968, just after leaving NASA, I joined the board of a corporation for the first time, when I became a director of Aerospace Corporation. A Los Angeles outfit, Aerospace came into being as a spinoff of Ramo-Woolridge, itself a predecessor of TRW, Inc. Ivan Getting, formerly of MIT and Raytheon, was its president, and the board was a remarkable collection of people, including Dr. James H. ("Jimmy") Doolittle, Dr. Charles C. Lauritsen, and Frederick R. Kappel, the chairman of AT&T. I left the Aerospace board as soon as I joined the Air Force, then returned in 1977 upon leaving government service. In 1981, I became chairman, retiring three years later.
Other boards I've sat on include Pneumo Company, which made pneumatic actuators used in aircraft; the Lord Company in Erie, Pennsylvania, which makes shock mounts; and Air Products Corporation, which sells liquid oxygen, liquid hydrogen (fuel for the Saturn rocket and the space shuttle), and other specialty liquids and gases derived from air. Keith Glennan, also on the Air Products board, got me involved while I was at the National Academy of Engineering. While at the Energy Research and Development Agency, I was not allowed outside interests, so I left Air Products, only to return as soon as I had left ERDA. Air Products came from a single family, the Pooles of Allentown, Pennsylvania. It was a very well-run scientific-based organization, a perfect example of how to keep growing rapidly without going heavily into debt. They reinvested a large percentage of profits in research and development (R&D) in an intelligent fashion that resulted in new and improved products.
A much larger, better-known example of this phenomenon is Eli Lilly and Company, a family-run business that, through R&D, became one of the  world's largest pharmaceutical firms. Yet by 1975 Lilly, a multibillion-dollar company, had no outside directors. Company lawyers finally told Eli Lilly, the old gentleman himself, that he had to have outside directors. Why? He knew how to run the company! The lawyers reminded him that his was a public company, and that in order to be responsible to all shareholders, the board needed outside representation.
Lilly finally agreed on the condition that the outsider be William McChesney Martin, just-retired chairman of the Federal Reserve Board. A brilliant man (and superior tennis player), Martin had been head of the New York Stock Exchange at age thirty-two. But Bill Martin said he couldn't go along with being the only outside director. Lilly had to have at least one more, so the company picked as its second outside director Albert L. Williams, the chief operating officer of IBM. When George Bush temporarily left the government during the Carter administration, he became the third.
When Bill Martin reached seventy, mandatory retirement age, a replacement had to be found. Bill, who had known me through the National Geographic Society, suggested me. Richard Wood, Lilly's chief executive officer, gave me a call, saying he'd like to chat with me in Washington. When we met, I said, "I don't know anything about pharmaceuticals. What can I do to help you?"
He said that he felt my government experience and my expertise in managing technical endeavors would be of benefit to the company. Eli Lilly proved to be a great firm to work for. It was definitely an ingrown company, but it had wonderful teamwork. Things went along swimmingly until the early 1980s, when the company brought out a new product called Oraflex, an anti-arthritic drug. It was a nonsteroid that seemed to have remarkable characteristics. People who hadn't played golf for years were taking it and suddenly shooting in the 90s! Oraflex was the first drug Lilly had marketed directly to the public rather than through doctors. The company expected that it would be one of its biggest moneymakers ever. A big one to Lilly was a product that grossed over $100 million a year. Oraflex looked as though it might do two to three times that if properly marketed. The company hired a Madison Avenue agency and placed ads in print and on television.
The drug had been brought to market in Great Britain about a year before getting Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval in this  country. Within a month of the FDA's approval, a Scottish doctor wrote a letter claiming that patients for whom he had prescribed Oraflex had died with kidney problems. The British agency that regulated pharmaceuticals immediately took Oraflex off the market. It soon was taken off the market in this country as well, but not before enough people had used the drug to trigger more than $100 million in lawsuits. It was a bad situation, the kind of thing that turns up on 60 Minutes, with a woman in Scotland crying at her mother's gravesite. A grand jury was ordered to investigate.
Lilly's Washington law firm suggested that the company empower its outside directors to investigate what had happened and to fire any member of the corporation deemed responsible for improprieties. By then there were six outside directors, and I was made chairman. We got Cyrus Vance as our legal counsel and hired outside medical experts as well. A junior assistant to Vance interviewed people in this country and in England to find out what really had happened. The company had known from tests that there was a lesser problem with the drug. Between 5 and 10 percent of all users became very sensitive to the Sun and experienced a violent rash. The label had printed warnings to this effect. But the alleged renal complications took the company completely by surprise.
We found that all of the Scottish patients who had allegedly suffered from taking Oraflex had been taking a number of other drugs in addition, so that it could not be proved that Oraflex had been the agent of death. Still, there was some question as to whether Lilly's director of research in England had been forthcoming about his findings prior to FDA approval, even though this was not a legal requirement. The result of our deliberations was a report delivered by me (with Cy Vance at my side) to the full board in Indianapolis. When we had finished, Dick Woods said, "That's the last time Lilly will market a drug publicly. We'll never do it again." The director of research in England was fired. Fortunately for the company, the grand jury investigation was called off-in large part because the company was able to show that it had conducted an in-house investigation in good faith. The lawsuits were settled one by one.
Combustion Engineering was a company I learned something about while at the Energy Research and Development Agency, because at the time it was one of four companies in the nuclear business-General Electric, Westinghouse, and Babcock & Wilcox being the other three. Arthur Santry, who grew up sailing in Marblehead, practiced law with his father in Boston for a number of years until his uncle, the chief executive officer of Combustion Engineering, asked him to join the company as in-house counsel. Eventually, the directors felt it was time for the uncle to retire, and they recommended that Arthur replace him. The uncle was reluctant to leave, but ultimately his nephew was asked to assume the mantle.
Arthur got in touch with me just after I had left ERDA and asked if I would both go on the board and serve as a consultant. This would make me an in-house director. At the same time I was asked to go on the board of General Electric. I clearly couldn't do both because of the competition between the companies in the nuclear area. GE couldn't believe it when I turned them down in favor of Arthur's company. I also had to quit the Air Products board when I joined Combustion because Air Products had acquired a design and construction company in Philadelphia that serviced nuclear plants.
At Combustion I felt I had a responsibility to do something other than go to board meetings. I started looking into the company's research and development effort and was disappointed to find that it was rather minimal-other than in the nuclear area, where there was competence and an interesting research effort. Combustion spent less than 1 percent of sales on R&D. Charlie Leaper, with a doctorate from MIT, emerged as the most respected technical leader at Combustion and was made vice president for engineering. Charlie coordinated the company's R&D effort and was given a small budget to enhance research in the various divisions. A board committee, which I chaired, met with Charlie and the divisions on a rotating basis to review research results.
Arthur did a remarkably good job with the company. It grew while he was CEO, especially after he got the company into the oil and gas services business in time to catch the oil boom of the late 1970s. There  came a time, however, when the board started getting restive about Arthur's successor. Arthur was getting on in years, and though he did have an excellent chief operating officer, James Calvert, a retired admiral who had skippered the first nuclear submarine under the arctic ice pack, the board didn't consider him CEO timber because he lacked financial experience. Arthur finally got serious about finding an outsider and picked the number-three person at AT&T, Charles Hugel. We thought we were lucky to get him.
Charlie Hugel was an entrepreneur with a strong strategic sense. He recognized the limitations of Combustion's nuclear, oil, and gas businesses and bought Taylor Instruments and several other smaller businesses in order to generate a new base of operations. However, I saw my efforts to consolidate the company's research effort go up in smoke when Charlie Leaper was terminated. Without warning, Hugel also fired a number of key people on Arthur's staff, including the very capable Jim Calvert. Then Hugel was asked to become chairman of RJR Nabisco at the time that company's financial shenanigans were coming to a head. This limited the time he had available for Combustion Engineering.
Combustion Engineering's profits became losses. When Asea Brown Boverei (ABB), a Swiss-Swedish company, appeared over the horizon with a buyout offer, the directors listened carefully. In a matter of two months we sold out to them-a good move, to my mind. Charlie Hugel became vice chairman of t he ABB board, but didn't stay there long. All in all, though, it was a sad ending for Combustion Engineering. In defense of Charlie Hugel, the business was rapidly changing, becoming more global and competitive. Strong medicine was needed.
While I was dean of the engineering school at MIT, Bill Pounds called me one day. I figured he wanted to talk about the management-of-technology program we were collaborating on or about something else at MIT. Instead, he began talking about the Putnam Funds, of which he was a director and the chairman of the nominating committee. He said his committee hoped that I would be willing to go on the board.
"I really don't know anything about the investment business  except through my own personal participation in it," I said. "The subtleties of it are entirely foreign to me."
He suggested that I chat with George Putnam. George pointed out, when we met, that technology was having such an impact on the development of new companies that it was very helpful to have someone like me on the board. Vannevar Bush, former dean of the engineering school at MIT, had filled this role for Putnam. During World War II, Bush, as head of the Office of Scientific Research and Development, had reported directly to President Roosevelt on all science and engineering for the war effort from his office at the Carnegie Institution of Washington. After the war he wrote a book, Science, the Endless Frontier, that generated a tremendous amount of favorable publicity and led to the establishment of the National Science Foundation. In the world of technology, he was top of the line. George wanted me to replace him.
"That," I told George, "is like saying you've had Ted Williams on your team and you're going to replace him with the Red Sox batboy!" But I appreciated the compliment and did agree to serve with Putnam. It was a great education. I joined just when mutual funds were starting to grow. When I arrived Putnam had fewer than ten funds with $5 billion in assets. When I left it had seventy funds with $45 billion in assets.
The board had about a dozen trustees who met once a month on Thursdays at two o'clock. The meetings ran through dinner, then resumed the following morning, running through lunch. One of the full board's many responsibilities was voting dividends for each of the funds. Between board meetings there were committee meetings. One committee was responsible for negotiating annual management fee with Marsh McClennan, which marketed the Putnam Funds and managed its operations. There was also a legal committee and a proxy committee, which I chaired. It was our job to determine a rationale for voting the proxies received each year by the Putnam Funds as shareholders in many thousands of companies. All in all, there was a tremendous amount of detailed work involved in all this. I complained periodically that there had to be a more efficient way to operate the board. Finally, I was made chairman of a small governance committee. I found that very interesting, and our committee came in with a series of recommendations to make the board more efficient. In this way, I felt I left my small mark on Putnam.
 As chairman of the proxy committee, I also became involved in a number of interesting situations. In the 1985-87 timeframe, when leveraged buyouts were happening almost daily, shareholders were being asked to vote for or against them. Often a fund manager with a large stake in a company would favor the takeover on the grounds that current company management was not doing a good job. Of course, the fund manager liked to see the stock price shoot up, as a result of a takeover. Standing back a bit, one could say that in many cases a buyout was not good for a company-that many were being effected simply to break up companies, sell off their assets, and fire a lot of employees. In the long run, the value of a takeover target might actually decline, and this would ultimately be reflected in the stock price.
Bearing all this in mind, were we going to support the management of Gillette, one of the biggest companies in Boston? A group of financiers in the Henry Kravis [a corporate takeover specialist] mold began negotiating to take over the company. I felt that if they succeeded, Boston wasn't going to end up with anything more than a couple of old buildings with broken windows. The Putnam fund manager with the largest stake in Gillette was all for the takeover. As chairman of the proxy committee, I went against him (after consulting with George Putnam), and we decided to vote against the takeover. The final shareholder vote was extremely close, so that the voting of our large block of shares in support of management had an important bearing on the outcome. Soon afterwards, Gillette came out with the Sensor razor, and the company's growth accelerated.
During the last twenty-five years, especially since my return to MIT, I have had an inside view of a number of nonprofit organizations by serving as a director. My first major experience with a nonprofit was with the National Geographic Society in Washington. Founded in 1888 by Gardiner H. Hubbard, Alexander Graham Bell's father-in-law, the National Geographic had been passed on in the Grosvenor family, descendants of Bell's daughter. At the time I became associated with it, the flagship magazine was being edited by Gil Grosvenor, Bell's great-grandson. His father, Mel Grosvenor, a wonderfully gregarious,  enthusiastic person, was chairman emeritus, and was still pulling down a salary. Mel Payne, who had been brought in by the Grosvenors, was chairman. The society had grown to the point where it could no longer be looked on merely as a family preserve, so a committee on governance was formed to analyze the succession question. The committee included Conrad Wirth, former director of the Park Service; former chairman of the Federal Reserve Board William McChesney Martin; Jim Webb; and a couple of others, including myself.
We determined that management of the society needed to be broadened out beyond the Grosvenor family. Not only did this make common sense, but also the Geographic was getting involved in areas other than its publications. It was producing television programs, organizing tours, distributing National Geographic merchandise, and so on. We recommended that instead of Mel Payne, an outsider (perhaps a sitting board member) be made chairman. We further felt that Gil Grosvenor, if promoted to president, ought not to continue as editor of the magazine. Finally, concluding that Mel Grosvenor's salary might appear unseemly, we recommended that it be phased out over a three-year period.
The board meeting at which our recommendations were discussed was one of the most dramatic I've ever attended. Conrad Wirth, chairman of the committee, wasn't there that day, so there was no single spokesman to explain the committee's decisions. We probably hadn't done enough to prepare everybody for our recommendations. Suddenly we were the devils. Mel Payne said he would never again put together a management committee, claiming that we were trying to sabotage the Geographic-taking a great institution and throwing it to the winds.
In the end, we won and we lost. Mel Grosvenor agreed to retire, and Gil agreed to take over the presidency without the editorship. Mel Payne, however, remained as chairman. Ultimately, Gil became chairman and president. He reviewed the society's strengths and weaknesses, while taking action to strengthen the society and to select goals appropriate to the twenty-first century.
One of the perquisites offered by the National Geographic has been the chance to participate in trips to remote places, staged by the research committee. The National Geographic Society gives grants to worthy projects around the world, and every three or four years members of the research committee visit some of these work sites. Gene and  I have seen the dawn at Machu Picchu, the historic sights of mainland China, the ruins of Jordan and Persepolis, a Bedouin camp in Israel, the mosques of Iran, the island of Santorini, the wildflowers of Crete, the skeletons of Herculaneum, the kangaroos of Australia, the glaciers of New Zealand, the strange birds and marine life of the Great Barrier Reef, and many other remarkable sights. Sometimes with us on these trips was Lady Bird Johnson, with her security entourage. We have felt really fortunate to be a part of this lively, knowledgeable group.
In addition to the National Geographic, I have been involved with the National Cathedral in Washington (chapter member), the Carnegie Institution of Washington (trustee and vice chairman), the Boston Museum of Science (trustee), the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (trustee), the New England Medical Center (board of governors), and the Trustees of Reservations (standing committee). I have thoroughly enjoyed my association with each, particularly knowing the participants and especially the movers and shakers. All of these organizations have had management challenges, and all have held major fund drives.
Finally, let me mention the Sea Education Association (SEA), which has classrooms and laboratories aboard two 130-foot schooners. Jimmy Madden got me involved soon after I returned from Washington in 1978. I was asked to serve first as a trustee and then as chairman (1989-1993). SEA was originally run out of a church basement in Woods Hole. In time, it acquired a ten-acre campus and built some houses around a small centralbuilding-enough to accommodate fifty students at a time living about eight to a house. I thought we needed a proper teaching facility ashore so I went to Tom Watson of IBM, a great friend of Jimmy Madden, and asked if he would be interested in supporting our effort to establish a marine center in Jimmy's memory. He sent me one of the nicest letters I've ever received, offering a substantial matching grant to get our fund-raising effort moving. He spoke at the dedication of the center in June 1993.
Gene and I have been married over fifty years, and our family now numbers twenty-four, ages one to seventy-seven (myself). Our children and grandchildren are scattered, but we all enjoy each other's company  as often as possible. Traveling from Berkeley, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Cambridge, and Beverly Farms, most of us still meet annually for spring skiing at Vail. Everyone is welcome for Christmas and summer pleasures at Sea Meadow, where Gene and I live year-round. Fortunately, the house holds us all. Our offspring's combined energies, desires, and special interests make these visits memorable. I don't know what we'll do when great-grandchildren enter the picture!
Since 1960 I have never completely lost contact with NASA, the great adventure of my professional life. While I was at the Air Force, I served on the President's Space Council, chaired by Vice President Spiro Agnew and charged with determining what NASA ought to do as a follow-up to the Apollo program. As administrator of ERDA, I was closely involved with NASA through ERDA's research work. I tried very hard to get NASA involved in energy issues. My next involvement with NASA came after the Challenger accident, when I chaired the effort to set up a NASA Alumni League.
More recently I was chairman of a special White House Committee on the Space Station. I also served on a space station committee chaired by MIT president Dr. Charles ("Chuck") Vest. Serving with me on the latter was Dr. Edward B. Fort, chancellor of North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University in Greensboro. He and I were chatting one day, when he asked, "Did you really know any of the astronauts?"
"Yeah," I said, "I knew quite a few of them."
"Did you ever meet Wernher von Braun?"
"Oh, sure, I knew Wernher."
He asked me for supper that evening to inquire further into my days at NASA. By the time supper was over, I had recounted several of the stories in this book. Afterwards he said, "That was worth the whole trip to Washington. Have you ever thought of writing a book?"
"I've given it a little thought," I said.
1 Prior to Ray Walters, I was provided with an individual who told me I should "wire" the agency by placing moles in each center of activity. He lasted two days.