If there is a distinctive pattern to the lives of the Silver Anniversary All-Americas, the pattern is one of vital activity both as undergraduates and 25 years later. Besides winning their letters in football, 80% took part in other college sports, 72% found time for nonathletic campus activities (student government, debating, journalism, honor societies), and 80% worked at remunerative part-time jobs to meet board bills or fasten on spending money.
Today virtually all of them find a way to keep physically active, from games to gardening. Golf is the No. 1 game with 60% of them; a quarter of them still work out at the strenuous game of handball; fishing, swimming, tennis and bowling, in that order, are some of their other favorites.
They tended to marry late—half of them took professional or other postgraduate courses—and their median age at marriage was 25. They are the fathers of 36 sons, 37 daughters. Most of those who play golf have golfing wives; ditto with the tennis players, swimmers and bowlers. One or two fishermen, devotees of the classic sport of silence, even take their wives along.
They appear to be in good trim. Their average playing weight as seniors was 182 pounds, their average weight today 194. Though nearly all were married and the fathers of children by World War II, a dozen of them went into military service—not including West Point's Ken Fields and Annapolis' Bill Kane, who were in service already.
December 23, 1957
Linemen vs. backs? Fourteen of this year's Silver All-Americas were linemen, 11 were backs—just about right, with the backfield's usual mild advantage.
WILLIAM J. GILBANE
Construction company executive, Providence
AS fullback and captain of Brown's strong team (7 won, 1 lost), Bill Gilbane was a campus hero; as a Depression graduate he was glad enough to get a job pouring cement. As the U.S. got on its feet, construction spurted and so did Bill Gilbane and the family Gilbane Building Co. "In my business I have to meet hundreds of people and meet them confidently," he says. "I think I got some of this from football." The other week he traveled 4,000 miles overseeing some $85 million worth of company construction business and soliciting more—but managed to get home by Saturday to referee a neighborhood football game ("My kid's team won 50-34"). Gilbane finds time to lead the United Fund Drive in Providence, take an active part in sessions of the National Conference of Christians and Jews, serve as a trustee of the Brown University Fund, raise six children.
THOMAS H. COULTER
Chief executive, Chicago Association of Commerce
Until his senior year, strapping Tom Coulter had never played college football—track was his sport. He set a new record for the 400-meter hurdles at the Penn Relays, represented his native Canada in the 1932 Olympics. Then Carnegie Tech put him in a football suit, and Coulter became an offensive star in the Tech backfield. After commencement, versatile Coulter headed for the University of Chicago and graduate business studies, earned his way by playing hockey (along with his famous brother Tex) for the Chicago Black Hawks. An enthusiastic adopted Chicagoan, Coulter now serves as executive officer of the Chicago Association of Commerce, largest chamber of commerce in the U.S. Last week, 25 years after football days, he was coordinating the work of 40 committees, laying plans for "seaport Chicago" with the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway.
University of Chicago
Attorney and corporations director, Chicago
Keith Parsons made Phi Beta Kappa at the University of Chicago, but no teacher taught him more than Amos Alonzo Stagg, who was ending 41 years of coaching at Chicago. "Before one of our last big games, Stagg didn't talk football at all. He told us, 'Now you boys are in fine shape, and you have a long life ahead of you. Set your goals and be steadfast to them.' " Keith Parsons' goals were the law, a family and community service. Today, a partner in the firm of Milliken, Vollers & Parsons, a director of corporations and father of three children, Parsons has served as a World War II ordnance officer, community chest chairman, board of education member, church deacon. Though he deplored the decision to drop intercollegiate football at the University of Chicago, he loyally raises funds for his old school, is a past president of the alumni association.
University of Colorado
Investment banking, St. Louis
When George Newton was 3 years old his father died; at 4 he was burned so seriously on the back and legs that he barely lived, was bedfast for two years, was told he'd never walk again. George and his mother had other ideas: she taught him to walk again, to ice skate, to play basketball, finally to ski. At the University of Colorado, George Newton, onetime "hopeless" child cripple, won three letters in basketball, three in football, was twice named All-Conference halfback, made Phi Beta Kappa. After Harvard Law School and service with the Air Force in World War II (major) he is now a partner in the investment firm of G. H. Walker & Co. (whose founder donated the Walker Cup), vice chairman of the St. Louis Chamber of Commerce, past governor of the St. Louis Community Chest, vestryman of his church, father of a son playing prep school football.
Vice-president and general counsel, Lehigh Valley RR
In the 67-year annals of Cornell football, Bart Viviano stands out as an authentic star. He was All-East fullback in 1931 and 1932, was widely named for the All-Americas in his last year when he captained the Cornell team. Law was his aim and law his business—after graduation from the Cornell Law School in 1936—until World War II. Bart Viviano went on active duty nine months before Pearl Harbor, spent five years as an ordnance officer (major) before he got back to law again. As vice-president and general counsel of the Lehigh Valley Railroad, Cornell's fullback of 25 years ago now carries the ball for his railroad on such things as Interstate Commerce Commission rates and regulations, negligence suits, tax litigations. One matter of honest pride: he weighs today just what he weighed as a fullback (195 pounds). One reason: golf.
JOHN M. GABRIEL
Civil engineer and company president, Paramus, N.J.
When John Mack Gabriel got out of Drexel with his civil engineering degree he found it a tough time for young engineers. So he taught school in his home town of Garfield, N.J. and, just to keep thoroughly occupied, ran for local office. For six years he was simultaneously schoolteacher and mayor of Garfield. Then the war came along, and John Gabriel put in five years in the Army, including service in the Philippines and Japan, was discharged a major. Schoolteaching and politics are for others now; Civil Engineer Gabriel is deep in the construction business with sidelines in real estate and insurance, president of three companies bearing his name. "I might not play college football again," says Gabriel, whose playing weight of 165 pounds would make him on the light side nowadays. "But I wouldn't trade the experience. Football taught me to work under pressure."
ALBERT SYDNEY WILLIAMS
Manager, Coca-Cola Export Corp., London
Albert Syd Williams, bearer of a fine old Confederate name, owes his college education to football. Orphaned in childhood, he won an athletic scholarship to Georgia Tech, and honors multiplied: class officer for four years, membership in local and national honoraries, co-captain of the football team. His career job began when he signed on as a trainee with the export division of the Coca-Cola Co., with whom he has had increasingly responsible assignments: in Canada, Belgium, Scandinavia, the Caribbean and, since 1954, Great Britain, where he is manager of the Coca-Cola Export Corp.'s regional operations. He follows cricket and Rugby now, but in accents still honestly Georgian gives credit to two football lessons that work in business too: "Have confidence in yourself" and "The least important word in the English language is 'I.' "
CARL H. HAGEMAN JR.
Vice-president, Union Carbide and Carbon, New York
An Academic scholarship took Carl Hageman from Lorain, Ohio to Harvard. He was good enough to graduate cum laude and be a marshal of his class; also good enough to play varsity end for three years on teams that included All-America Ben Ticknor (1930) and All-America Barry Wood (1931). In his senior year Carl Hageman was Harvard's captain. On graduation he went to work as a production foreman for Union Carbide and Carbon, has been with them ever since. Today he is vice-president for industrial relations, responsible for business agreements with 28 national and international unions, deeply involved in the personnel policies of a company with many defense contracts. Says Hageman: "The increasing importance of science in our educational system is obvious, but I'd hate to see athletics curtailed on that account."
HARRY L. HANSEN
Professor, Harvard Business School
Harry Hansen learned competition as captain and guard at Haverford, then switched to Harvard to teach it. It took him 15 years, a fairly short time as such things go, to rise from research assistant to full professor at the Harvard Business School. Since 1950, Hansen has been in charge of the market development and sales policy courses in the school's Advanced Management Training Program, for the past two summers has headed task forces offering U.S.-style courses in administration to business and government leaders in the Philippines, Formosa and Japan. Hansen's basic method: assigning his students to eight-man teams and putting the teams to work on hypothetical marketing projects on a competitive basis. "The thing we hope to get across is that the individual can get the most for himself by getting the most for the team."
University of Illinois
GILBERT I. BERRY
General manager of WIBC, Indianapolis
When Gil Berry's high school football coach took him to meet Bob Zuppke, the coach of the Illini cut the buildup short with a terse homily on performance that Gil Berry never forgot: "Wait until he gains his first yard for Illinois." Captain Berry earned more than his share of yards for Illinois in 1932 alone, including an 87-yard runback of a kickoff against Wisconsin, a 75-yard touchdown run against Chicago, a 56-yard runback of a punt against Ohio State, made himself an All-America in many a book. Berry's career has led him in and out of pro football (Chicago Cardinals), into the newspaper advertising business, finally into radio-TV. His fulltime responsibility now is station WIBC, Indianapolis, of which he is vice-president and general manager. To new salesmen Berry uses Zuppke's line: "Wait until you gain that first yard."
University of Michigan
IVAN B. WILLIAMSON
Athletic director, University of Wisconsin
Ivy Williamson was captain and right end of one of the finest teams in Michigan history—unbeaten champions of the Big Ten and national champions in the verdict of the press. Except for three years in the Navy in World War II, Williamson, who graduated magna cum laude, has devoted himself to college athletics ever since. After seven years as head coach at Wisconsin, where his teams won 41 games, lost 19 for one of the best records in the Big Ten, he has given up the headlines of the coach's job for the quieter, more responsible one of athletic director at the University of Wisconsin, has switched from cigarets to a meerschaum pipe. His concern now is the entire athletic program at Wisconsin, and as a practical realist Ivy knows how this must be paid for: last week he was busy building a 10,000-seat addition to Wisconsin's football stadium.
U.S. Military Academy
GENERAL KENNETH E. FIELDS
General manager, U.S. Atomic Energy Commission
The two top honor men at West Point are the all-round cadet known as First Captain and the scholarly cadet graduating No. 1 in his class. Douglas MacArthur combined the two honors in 1903. Cadet Ken Fields combined them in 1933, in addition was a triple-threat halfback. After West Point he was assigned to advanced studies in science and engineering at Harvard and MIT. Ken Fields' education was paid for by the U.S. taxpayer, and the taxpayer is now getting his money back. In 1951, instead of taking a top job in U.S. industry, Brigadier General Fields accepted the unsung, underpaid but fearfully responsible job of general manager of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission. As administrative executive of the nation's atomic efforts in national defense, he could say little for publication last week. "I am a Washington Senator fan," he said.
U.S. Naval Academy
CAPTAIN WILLIAM R. KANE
World War II flyer, late commander U.S.S. Saipan
The Navy Cross, the Distinguished Flying Cross, and a gold star in lieu of a second DFC lay 11 years ahead for Bill Kane on the graduation day he tossed his white-covered cap in the air at Annapolis. Kane won the traditional emblem of the all-round Navy athlete, the Thompson Trophy sword, for his enterprise in football, baseball, wrestling and track. When war came, he proved himself one of the Navy's heroes in the Pacific air, led the famed Grim Reaper squadron from the decks of the carrier Enterprise. Death came too soon, in the crash of his jet plane last February. His Silver All-America trophy will be accepted by his son, Bill Kane Jr., aged 21, an electronics student at the University of North Carolina. Toward the end of the war Bill Kane expressed himself about athletics: he recommended competitive sport for every boy, from grade school on.
RICHARD J. FENCL
Auto rental company president, Chicago
Baseball was Dick Fencl's sport as a teen-ager, and he first made the headlines when he stowed away on the train carrying the Chicago Cubs to California for spring tune-ups (his mother had him hauled off at Joliet). That ended Fencl's baseball career, but he took up football with a vengeance. Knute Rockne turned him down (at 150 pounds he was too light) so he set sights on football at Northwestern. He made the varsity by his sophomore year, got a chance to make a bone-jarring tackle against Notre Dame immediately in front of the Notre Dame bench. "Rockne came over, put his hand on my shoulder and said, 'Dick, I guess you were not too light, after all.' " Today, at 215 pounds, Dick Fencl is president of Greyhound Rent-A-Car, Inc., a $30 million subsidiary of Greyhound Corp. Rightly, he feels that the Chicago Cubs are not what they were when they had Hack Wilson.
H. HOWARD COLEHOWER
Textiles manufacturer, Philadelphia
Penn had a fine year in 1932 and Tackle Howard Colehower drew All-America mentions. Then came graduation from Penn's Wharton School and a job at 20 bucks a week in a printing equipment company. Colehower applied himself to business with the same energy he had applied to tackle. Last week he was directing the affairs of four textile companies of which he is president, serving as director of two or three more, and not ignoring his duties as vice-president of the printing equipment company with which he started at $20 a week. "My belief is that a well-rounded man is worth a great deal more to this country than one who over-specializes," he says. He faithfully attends most Penn games, although this year he also saw some at Hanover, N.H. Colehower's only possible frustration: his eldest son played center for Dartmouth instead of Penn.
DR. FREDERIC T. BILLINGS
Specialist in internal medicine, Nashville
Princeton was on the upgrade in the season of 1932, in its first year under Coach Fritz Crisler, and at guard the Tigers had a fellow who made a name for himself even as an undergraduate: Frederic Tremaine (Josh) Billings Jr., chairman of the Undergraduate Council, varsity wrestler, football captain, biology major, Phi Beta Kappa, Rhodes Scholar. Josh Billings continued his pre-medical studies at Oxford, returned to the U.S. to take his medical degree at Johns Hopkins (where he did side-by-side medical research with another football player, Barry Wood) before setting up his own practice in Nashville. There, after a World War II interlude of medical service in the Pacific, he has established himself as one of the finest doctors in his state: specialist in internal medicine, professor on the medical faculties of Vanderbilt University and Meharry Medical College.
JOHN W. OEHLER
Vice-president, barge line company, Joliet, Ill.
It was an athletic scholarship that took rugged John Oehler to Purdue. "If it weren't for football I'd be digging coal today," says Oehler, who was born in a southern Illinois mining town, youngest of nine children. By his senior year he was captain and center of Purdue's unbeaten football team and his grades were good enough to win him an academic scholarship. The game "taught you to take the bumps, and there were plenty of bumps in those days," he says. "It taught you that there were people in the world as good or better than you." Oehler played pro football for four years before turning sales engineer with emphasis on machinery and ships. Today he is vice-president of Mechling Barge Lines in Joliet, Ill. and a pioneer in the establishment of through-barge service between the Midwest and Florida. Hauled on Oehler's barges: coal that other fellows dig.
Saint Louis University
Personnel officer, Monsanto Chemical Co., St. Louis
Bob McCoole weighed only 145 pounds when he talked the football coach at Saint Louis University into giving him an athletic scholarship. Persuasive McCoole proved a sturdy left halfback for the Billikens, excelled at tumbling the big men even though he never beefed his college weight above 165 pounds. Law was his occupation until tuberculosis flattened him at 30; McCoole licked TB in less than two years, took a job with Monsanto Chemical with the notion that industry might be more relaxing than the law. Today, healthier and wiser, he is one of the busiest men Monsanto has: director of technical recruiting (i.e., unending search for young scientists and engineers) with a scouting system that reaches into 130 colleges. It doesn't hurt an applicant to be a football player. Says McCoole: "No better way to learn this wonderful thing called sportsmanship."
Metering devices manufacturer, Los Angeles
There were 19 high school football captains trying out for the Southern California squad when Ray Sparling reported—and Sparling was primarily a track man. Sparling made the team, played first-string end for three years. The famous Trojans of his senior year were unbeaten and untied, whipped Pitt 35-0 in the Rose Bowl. Looking back, Sparling says, "It gives a certain amount of self-confidence for life to hold your own in competition like that." He is president of Sparling Meter, a family business which Ray has expanded for the production of metering devices for industry and irrigation projects; he directs the activities of 10 offices in the U.S. and Canada, and of a British subsidiary. Trim and fit from golf, handball and sailing, Sparling has recently allowed himself an indulgence: a nonsmoker for 30 years, then a pipe smoker, he has switched to cigarets.
JAMES W. ASTON
President, Republic National Bank, Dallas
Jimmie Aston has been making a habit of success ever since undergraduate days at Texas A&M, where he was fullback and captain of the football team, cadet colonel of the corps at a school that prides itself on being the West Point of Texas. A cum laude civil engineer, Aston became an apprentice in city government, within six years of graduation was city manager of booming Dallas. In 1941 he quit to direct organizational planning for the Army Air Forces, wound up chief of staff of the globe-girdling Air Transport Command with the rank of colonel and the DSM. What next? Aston turned to banking, was named president, early this year, of the Republic National Bank of Dallas, largest in the Southwest. This month Jimmie Aston drove toward his latest goal: boosting the capital structure of Republic National from $89 million to $102 million.
ROBERT EMSLIE MURRAY
Superintendent of schools, Schenectady, N.Y.
Thanks to the Depression, Bob Murray took a high school teaching job instead of following his pre-med course at Union College with three or four years of medical school and internship. His home town of Schenectady, N.Y. has reason for satisfaction: Murray has made education his career, and now, as superintendent of Schenectady schools, directs one of the most highly rated systems in the state. Handsome Bob Murray earned eight varsity letters in college, three in football, three in basketball, two in lacrosse, was president of his senior class, graduated with honors. His enthusiasm for football includes this proviso: "Those who have the ability to compete and still do well in their studies benefit greatly." With academically exacting Union in mind he adds: "If a college places education first, you won't find athletes who aren't capable of doing both."
University of Utah
Diamond drills manufacturer, Salt Lake City
In the extracurricular life of the University of Utah Frank Christensen concentrated on football. This was in keeping with his notion: "If you want to do something particularly well, give it everything you've got; leave everything else alone." Single-minded Frank Christensen captained his team two years in a row, made United Press All-America fullback, is still referred to in Utah as the university's "player of the century." After a swing at pro football with the Detroit Lions, he and fellow Lion George Christensen (formerly University of Oregon, no kin) started a business of their own with Frank as president: manufacture of diamond-drill cutting tools. Concentrating as he once did on football, Christensen directs the most active company of its kind in the world, with branches in four states and affiliated companies in Canada, France, West Germany and Japan.
TOM P. HENDERSON JR.
Insurance executive, Nashville
Versatility and variety were characteristics of Tom Henderson at Vanderbilt. He won nine varsity letters in football, baseball and basketball and—a matter of pride to this day—was voted Bachelor of Ugliness, highest mark of regard within the power of Vanderbilt men to confer. Versatile still, Henderson is Southwest territorial manager for the National Life and Accident Insurance Company, a job which involves direction of 24 district offices in Texas and calls for heavy travel. A dedicated handball player (he and his Nashville doubles partner, the local manager for Metropolitan Life, are city champions), Henderson travels with handball clothes stowed in his luggage. A 70s golfer and onetime city champion, he also fishes, swims, plays badminton and squash, on Saturday mornings coaches 15 or 16 youngsters, depending on the season, in football, basketball and baseball.
Head football coach, Syracuse University
Floyd Schwartzwalder learned his football playing center, a commonly unsung position, in the University of West Virginia line. As a football coach since then (his won-and-lost record: 67-33), Schwartzwalder has taught the lineman's virtue of being a "hard-nosed" team player. Coach Schwartzwalder has taken only one recess from football since college days; that was in World War II, when he signed up with the Army paratroopers, jumped into Normandy at the head of his company on D-day, ignored a flak wound in the arm, reached his objective. Later he fought in the Battle of the Bulge, parachuted across the Rhine, received the Silver Star from the hand of General Matt Ridgway; also the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, a unit citation and four battle stars. Says Old Lineman Schwartzwalder: "I was just one of the boys, and lucky that nothing big hit me."
JOHN S. WILBUR
Metals manufacturer, Cleveland
Football captain and Skull & Bones, John Wilbur headed for industry after graduation, got his first job, like Harvard Captain Carl Hageman (see page 81), with a division of Union Carbide, eventually transferred to the Cleveland Cliffs Iron Co. where, after wartime service with the 42nd Division Artillery (Bronze Star), he became vice-president in charge of sales. Nowadays his job involves not only sales but long-range estimates of sales on which production decisions, including the opening of new ore reserves, must be made. Civic-minded, he is a trustee of the Cleveland Museum of Art and of the Cleveland Clinic. His hobby: raising hundreds of seedling evergreens on his 15-acre farm. He is also Cleveland representative on Yale's Alumni Board; if ex-Captain Wilbur runs across a first-class Ohio football seedling, he feels entitled to recommend New Haven.