Matters of Conscience
Sterling M. McMurrin and L. Jackson Newell

Chapter 10.
Windows on the World

[p. 243] From 1954 into the 1960s you went to Aspen, Colorado, every summer to moderate executive seminars and lecture at the Aspen Institute for Humanistic Studies. How did you get involved in the Aspen Institute?

You know, I’m not absolutely sure. In early 1955 I was eating lunch at the Fort Douglas Club and got a call from Walter Paepcke, the man whose vision created and developed Aspen as a cultural center and also as a ski resort. He had a great interest in the arts, in architecture, and in great ideas. Paepcke was a remarkable person. A Chicagoan, he built the Container Corporation of America, served as a trustee of the University of Chicago, and then became the brains and money behind the Aspen Institute. On the phone that day, he described his plan for the executive seminars at Aspen. Each seminar lasted two weeks and they were the academic core of the Aspen experience. He asked if I would be willing to moderate a seminar that coming summer. I agreed. I took my family and we just kept on going, year after year. I went every summer for some years, but I haven’t been involved with the seminars since the sixties.

Did you know Paepcke before this time?

No, I had never met him. I suppose my friend Met [Meredith] Wilson was the connection, because Wilson was helping Paepcke develop his program in what was then a sleepy high mountain town whose mines had all closed down. Wilson had been on the faculty at the University of Chicago while Paepcke was a trustee. Met was a friend of Mortimer Adler at Chicago, and both of them became involved with Paepcke at Aspen. I’ve never asked Wilson whether or not this was how I got involved with Aspen, but I suspect that it was.

The Aspen Seminars have become known far and wide. They are now held at several other locations in this country and abroad. I participated in the Justice and Society Seminar at Aspen in 1994 and it is a high-powered operation. But, frankly, I was offended by the pandering to elites that goes on there. I formally proposed in writing that they hold at least one session [p. 244] of every seminar across Independence Pass in spartan Leadville, just for a dose of reality.1

How did they respond?

Politely in the extreme, but they obviously didn’t comprehend what I was saying.

In moderating the seminars and giving occasional lectures at Aspen, I came in contact with people of great talents, great ability. We’d meet—eighteen people around a hexagonal table in a building fashioned to fit the table. Participants would include people from government, the arts, labor, education, usually a foreign diplomat, and then the paying patrons, so to speak, executives who were usually very highly placed in business and industry.

I became friends with an amazing group of people. Three Supreme Court justices—William Brennan, Byron White, and Potter Stewart—were in seminars that I moderated. With Brennan and White, Natalie and I continued our friendships after Aspen. Several prominent labor leaders, including Walter Reuther, two or three ambassadors to the United States from other countries, and high-level people in the arts, people such as Norman Corwin, the famous playwright.

You and Natalie also became close friends of Walter and Mae Reuther, didn’t you?

With their children they came to visit us in Salt Lake. We had a great time—a luncheon with President Olpin and the regents of the university, a long meeting with David O. McKay, president of the Mormon church, and a private organ recital by Alexander Schreiner in the Tabernacle. One evening Walter gave us the details of his remarkable battle against organized crime in the unions and in some industries. Natalie and I were greatly saddened by the deaths in 1970 of the Reuthers in a plane crash. We had also been with him on several occasions in San Francisco and Washington.

In one seminar at Aspen we had nothing but the presidents or board chairs of several leading businesses, including two Standard Oil companies, two major U.S. banks, Kraft Cheese, Montgomery Ward, and Sears Roebuck. Meredith Wilson and I moderated that seminar together. Ted Hauser, the head of Sears Roebuck, was one of the most impressive people I ever met.

[p. 245] Another memorable Aspen experience was a seminar arranged by Robert F. Kennedy when he was Attorney General. He was concerned about the anti-American attitude of foreign students in American colleges and universities, and he wanted to get to the bottom of it. He organized a roundtable for three or four days at Aspen. Bobby Kennedy asked if I’d join him and four or five others for that session. Eric Sevareid and Thurgood Marshall were in the group. Half the table was occupied by us old folks, and the other half by the leaders of foreign student organizations in the United States. The ringleader was the head of the national association of Iranian students in America. He was, in my opinion, a son of a bitch.

What did you think of Bobby Kennedy? This was an imaginative and gutsy initiative on his part.

Well, there was no question about his ability and political talent, but I didn’t ever take to him very much, to be frank with you. I felt that he was quite arrogant and a little on the pushy side. Quite different from my feelings about President Kennedy. I’ve never met Ted Kennedy. I can’t overlook that Chappaquiddick business; but when I hear him on television and read his stuff, he impresses me more favorably than Bobby Kennedy did.

Of the three Kennedy brothers, I respected Bobby the most in the end. So your view interests me. Go on.

Well, a couple of trivial items might interest you. Everything at Aspen was informal, but I still had a feeling that Bobby Kennedy was a little too informal. He’d take off his sandals and sit through the sessions barefoot, and, frankly, I didn’t think that was appropriate for the Attorney General of the United States. He was also annoyed because I wouldn’t play touch football with his crowd—you know all the Kennedys seemed to be touch football freaks. Hell, I never played touch football in my life, and I wasn’t about to play with Bobby and his friends and make a fool of myself.

You turned him down? You missed a memorable opportunity!

You mean the touch football was a memorable opportunity? Not for me. But the conversations I had with him were very pleasant. Bobby’s assassination was a great tragedy in our history. He probably would have become president, and the entire history of that awful era might have been different.

Do you ever regret giving up Aspen?

Yes and no. It was a great experience, especially when our kids were young and we went there as a family. But it’s a lot of work and I had [p. 246] other things I preferred to do.

Would you believe that Mortimer Adler visited the Aspen Institute when I was there in 1994. He was in his nineties and still in the fray.

Remarkable. He’s brilliant, but I have never been an admirer of his philosophical position. He, Meredith Wilson, and I edited three volumes of readings for the institute.

You turned down the presidency of a proposed liberal arts college in Aspen; whose idea was that and what became of it?

It was Walter Paepcke’s idea, of course. Mrs. Paepcke, a remarkable woman, seemed relieved that the college never materialized, and I was apparently responsible for that. After I turned down Mr. Paepcke’s invitation to head a new college at Aspen, he asked if I would meet that evening in New York at the Sherry Netherlands Hotel with several people who were involved in planning the college. We had dinner and then a long discussion. It was a very impressive group of people. It included the president of New York University and the liberal arts deans from Yale and Princeton, Columbia, Oberlin College, and Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. Mr. Paepcke had involved all of them in the project, and they forged an understanding that these institutions would support the new Aspen College and guarantee the high quality of its liberal arts program. Among other things, they would release faculty to teach at Aspen for short periods of time and would recognize the credential of Aspen immediately when it began. The University of Chicago was involved, and arrangements were being made for interlibrary loans and other connections.

That’s an enviable foundation for a new college. I would jump at the chance to lead such an effort!

It was really quite remarkable. Princeton University had already approved this proposal, and so had one or two of the others. My main role—and I’ve never been too happy about this—was that, after the session in New York, the Ford Foundation Fund for Higher Education and Mr. Paepcke asked me to study the advisability of establishing this college at Aspen.

What were you supposed to ascertain?

I was asked to consult with highly placed educators who had some acquaintance with Aspen on whether it was a good idea to have a college in Aspen. I had sessions with the president of Goucher College, who had been brought into discussions on Aspen and with other personnel at Yale, Princeton, NYU, Columbia, and Oberlin. For the most part, they were negative on the matter. In the end I submitted a report that [p. 247] was essentially negative. Aspen had a resort character and was developing strongly along those lines, especially in the winter. It seemed to me that it was hardly the location for a college. In the summer Aspen was a cultural center with outstanding music, lectures, and impressive study seminars.

Aspen’s isolation is nothing compared with that of Deep Springs College, my alma mater and soon-to-be home again! And Aspen has continued to be quite a hub for leaders and intellectuals.

Yes, some of the summer things now extend through the winter—for instance, the executive seminars and scientific seminars. At any rate, my report was negative, which was quite a disappointment to Mr. Paepcke, but he took it well.

Was your report the death blow?

I’m afraid it was, Jack. The Ford people were apparently ready to put money into it and Paepcke was going to put his own money in it. He had already arranged for the purchase and rental of various buildings where students could be housed, and he had already acquired a magnificent old mansion to house the president. Natalie and I and the children had stayed there on more than one occasion when I was moderating seminars.

I wish Paepcke and the Ford Foundation had considered another plan for their college. I can see your point about mixing the ski resort culture with a serious new college, but I also wonder if they couldn’t have turned the academic year upside down and held classes spring, summer, and fall quarters with the winter off. You can see that I’m getting into Paepcke’s hopes for this college, Sterling!

Too bad you weren’t around then, Jack!

You spent five months during the winter of 1958-59 in Iran. Was that an outgrowth of your work at Aspen?

It may have been. I had had no previous connections with the U.S. government, but the Aspen Institute permits a few observers to sit in the background during their seminars. Occasionally there were people from the State Department. That must have been the connection, because the invitation came from the State Department.

The Department of State in those days attracted many idealistic people and was viewed as a major form of public service. A number of students who preceded me at Deep Springs College pursued careers in the State Department, but they seem quite disillusioned today. What was your view of it in the 1950s?

I think you’re quite right. When I was in Washington later, during [p. 248] the Kennedy administration, I associated with quite a few people from the State Department. Many of the people in the U.S. embassies and in other government positions were of a very high level of ability. Their commitment and idealistic temperament are very much as you’ve described it; but I hear many negative things at present. On the other hand, I knew George Schultz, President Ronald Reagan’s Secretary of State during the middle and late seventies, and I have had a most favorable impression of his talents and integrity. I worked with Schultz in connection with the Committee for Economic Development. But the Washington bureaucracy often has a deadening effect upon people, there’s no question about that.

What were your impressions of Iran when you were approached about the assignment there?

My very first impressions were those that anyone would have from general reading, but I got an insider’s perspective quite quickly. It’s a complicated story; but Courtney Brown, a marvelous friend who was vice-president of Columbia and dean of its Graduate School of Business, had asked me to come back to meet with the faculty of the School of Business for three days. I talked to them about what could be done in philosophy within the school. They were setting up an endowed chair for a professor of philosophy, and they wanted to discuss this whole matter with me. I met with the whole business faculty more than once, with many students, and I think with every member of the faculty individually. They were very enthusiastic about the idea.

Then the whole matter got personal…

Yes, Dean Brown asked me to take the professorship. Well, even though it was a great honor, I wasn’t enthusiastic about it. I didn’t want to live in New York and raise our children there, and I didn’t think that being a professor of philosophy in a school of business was quite what I wanted to do. It wasn’t to teach business ethics or anything like that. They wanted a regular program in philosophical studies. I tried to convince them to send their students one hundred yards away to the philosophy department, but I made no headway on that. They were going to have an endowed professorship in philosophy all their own.

How was this related to your Iranian experience?

When I refused the professorship, Courtney asked me to come just for a year. I didn’t have to teach—just come and design some courses. He thought I’d be converted if I did that. I told him I couldn’t do that. Well, then, would I come for half a year? No, I couldn’t do that either, because I was going to be in Iran at the very time he wanted me in New [p. 249] York. Well, that interested him a great deal.

How so?

He’d been given an Eisenhower Fellowship to travel around the world and report back to President Eisenhower his personal observations on the countries he visited. Iran was one of those countries. He later sent me a copy of his report to the president. He described Iran as the most corrupt nation of all the developing nations he’d visited. He tried to convince me that it was a big mistake to go to Iran, that I’d waste my time. So, aside from just general reading, that’s the first impression I had from someone who knew a few things firsthand. He said, “Don’t do it. Don’t do it. The country doesn’t have any future.” Well, in a pathetic and terrible way, he turned out to be right.

You ended up feeling the same way?

I ended up feeling that I shouldn’t have gone, but it was for more personal reasons. I left Natalie at home with our five little kids and went away for five months. I should have had my head examined, but Natalie wanted me to go and it seemed like the thing to do. All went well, however, both at home and in Iran.

Why did you go? Were you curious about the country?

Not irresistibly. I really went because I felt I should respond to the call of public service. I didn’t want to go—I mean, I had no desire to do that sort of thing, but, well, I felt it was the proper thing to do.

What exactly were you supposed to do?

That’s the strange thing. I really didn’t know what I was supposed to do until I got there. I was told that I was to be an adviser to the chancellor of the University of Tehran, to assist him on educational and administrative problems, especially in faculty-student relations. Well, following instructions, I checked in at the Iranian Desk of the Department of State in Washington and they sent me to two or three places for briefings, as they called them; but they didn’t tell me a damn thing. One of these guys said, “Well, it’s a nice time to be in Iran. The Shah will be coming back, and it’ll be the social season.”

You went early so you could learn something about the region by visiting Russia, Egypt, Israel, Turkey, and Lebanon on the way.

I did, and when I arrived in Tehran I lived in a small hotel right across from the gate to the U.S. embassy. It gave me a peculiar feeling years later to see the anti-American demonstrations on television there, night after night, during the hostage crisis. I took my breakfast and lunch in the embassy coffee shop, got my hair cut in the embassy, and picked [p. 250] up my mail there. I remember that when I’d get my Time magazine anything negative about Iran had been cut out with a pair of scissors.

Did you have a formal relationship with the embassy staff?

I was associated especially with the staff of the cultural attaché. They gave me an office, helped all they could, and assigned a delightful Iranian educator, Ali Kani, who had an American education and was a professor in the University of Tehran, to be my counterpart.

What did that mean?

He made my appointments, drove me around in his car, interpreted for me where needed, briefed me on Iranian affairs, and so forth. I became very attached to him. Now it turned out that communist ideology was spreading rapidly among the students. The Shah’s regime was trying to prevent a revolution from starting at the University of Tehran. There had been a great deal of trouble there. My job, I learned, was to do something about the communist unrest and head off any student revolts. I wasn’t what you’d call an expert in these matters, but I became expert very rapidly. I never stopped being amazed that the university could even survive with such alienation of students and faculty from one another. The Tudeh Party, the communist movement, was quite well organized and functional as an underground affair.

This was prior to the Vietnam and civil rights protests on U.S. campuses. What kinds of things did you do at the University of Tehran?

I met regularly with the deans and with the chancellor and with one or two student organizations—but more with the administration. The students were in a hell of a situation there. For them it was a police state. They saw the faculty as simply lining up with the Shah and against them. There was little respect for traditional religious leaders; they were under fire both from the Marxist students and their leaders, and from the westernizing government regime. Women students weren’t allowed to wear the chador on the campus—Shah’s orders.

I thought there was an inadequate effort being made to preserve Iranian traditions and arts. The Shah was pushing his westernization program far too hard and too fast. This was a source of some of his trouble with the conservatives, especially the religious leaders. For example, the finest restaurant in Tehran was in the new airport terminal, a handsome place on which they’d lavished a great deal of money so travelers coming through the airport would be impressed. But the travelers’ one chance of getting a taste of Persian culture and art was totally lost. The restaurant’s orchestra was a British group that played American and Western music; the floors were covered wall-to-wall with carpeting [p. 251] from Great Britain, and, except for some blue tile, there was nothing in the restaurant suggestive of Persia. You’d think they might have had a few Persian rugs around, wouldn’t you?

Did you agree with any of the Shah’s reform ideas?

Yes. He was serious about improving education, improving the economy, liberating women, distributing land to the peasants, and so forth. Bill Hatch, the agricultural attaché of the American embassy, was a prosperous farmer from, I believe, Idaho Falls. He went out with the Shah on his land-distribution trips. Many of the villages were owned by absentee landowners, and the villagers were almost like serfs. Bill described for me his experiences with the Shah. They’d have a big ceremony, take the land away from the wealthy landlords and give it to the serfs. Then, the next thing you’d know, it would be back in the hands of the landlords. I’m not quite sure how. The place was filled with corruption.

So what did you recommend to alter the situation where the students were concerned?

In a final report to the Shah and the university chancellor, I recommended some vigorous action to bring the students more thoroughly into the life of the university. I submitted a number of concrete proposals for action and policies to follow; and the people in our embassy seemed pleased with them. There was some follow-through after I left, but I’m afraid it didn’t last long. I’m of the opinion, of course, that if the Shah had done what I told him to do, he’d still be the Shah—if he hadn’t died.

But what about Courtney Brown’s observations? Did you end up agreeing with his warnings of futility?

Oh, yes. You couldn’t turn around without bumping into corruption. One morning an American associated with the Agriculture Ministry in Tehran came to my hotel virtually in tears. He and several colleagues had been working for months to build up a flock of healthy productive imported chickens that could be used as breeding stock to improve the nation’s poultry. Well, the Iranian government had complained to the American government that an Iranian should head the American-funded projects, so they put an Iranian at the head of this one. My American visitor had gone away for a trip; and when he got back, he discovered that the chickens were all gone. The boss had given some to friends for eating, sold the rest to butchers, and pocketed the money.

Totalitarian regimes are not only noted for their oppression of ordinary people but also for the depravity and high living of those in power. Does that square [p. 252] with your observations?

I visited the Shah’s palace, but I didn’t observe any high living first-hand. I will say that the Persians at the university and in other institutions with which I had some contact were very hospitable and would hold a banquet at the drop of a hat. The food was very good—all kinds of fruit, nuts, rice, and flat bread. But I wouldn’t exactly call it high living.

Palaces aren’t spartan accommodations, you know, unless the Shah’s was quite the exception! What was the experience of other Americans who were at the University of Tehran with you?

There were only two American students at the University of Tehran, both of them on fellowships from the Iranian government. One was from Minnesota. He didn’t understand the language and didn’t bother to go to any classes. He shouldn’t have been there. The other was from UCLA where he had learned Farsi and could speak it like a native. But he didn’t bother with classes either. He was one of the leaders in the communist Tudeh Party. The university expelled them both. The ambassador was very unhappy about it because it looked bad to have the only two Americans at the university thrown out. In my opinion, they deserved it. So he asked me if there was some way I could get them reinstated.

What did you do?

I had dinner a couple of times with the Minnesota fellow, and it turned out that he didn’t know what to do. He couldn’t speak the language, had no tutoring, no language instruction, no counseling. He just stayed in his room and studied. The UCLA fellow was a plain damn nuisance. I tried to calm him down a little bit, then I took the matter up with the chancellor. I got both students reinstated. They both knew it was due to my intervention and also knew that they had to be careful about what they did or did not do in the future. The cultural attaché with whom I was associated at the embassy, a delightful person and a good friend, Mr. Ackerman, was very pleased.

How did you feel about helping an irresponsible American citizen in Iran?

I had mixed feelings about it. During the student unrest, the administration would call out the military, and there was shooting. The last time the Shah had visited the campus to dedicate the law building, someone tried to kill him. He never went back. The old campus was a safer place to be. It had a high, solid wall around it; but it had been besieged by the army before I arrived. The new campus had this fancy wrought-iron fence you could poke a gun through. This fellow from UCLA owed me one, and I collected by having him arrange a meeting [p. 253] with two of the leaders of the communist student party—a very mean operation.

Where did you meet?

We met in the home of some American friends of mine, the Kirks, who left for the evening so no one would be there. It was understood that I wouldn’t take notes. The American interpreted for me, and the student leaders frankly told me their plans. They looked tough, and they talked tough. They had grievances and they were going to start a revolution. I asked the leader, “How do you go about starting a revolution?” He had a little trouble following the question, but finally said, “Do you mean who we’re going to kill first? …. I guess so,” I said, “if you start the revolution by killing someone.” He just pulled an envelope out of his pocket and read the names of six people. “These are the people we will kill first,” he said. These guys were tough and cold.

Was the Shah’s name on the list? Did you recognize others?

No. I didn’t recognize any of the names.

Were there many more Americans in Iran when you were there?

Not very many except those associated with the embassy or other U.S. government agencies. There was a large dam being built in the mountains about forty miles from Tehran by the American construction company of Idaho, Morrison-Knudson, so quite a few Americans were associated with it. And there was an agricultural team from Utah State University working with the country’s agricultural college. And a BYU group involved in educational reform. The agricultural college of the University of Tehran was located about twenty-five miles from Tehran in Karaj, and I was invited to discuss educational problems with the faculty. There were six or seven Logan families there, marvelous people and real experts in agriculture. All of the Utah natives in Tehran and Karaj, whether they were Mormon or not, used to get together for Sunday school!

How did the Iranians treat Americans in general at that time?

The dean of the agricultural college in Karaj invited me to address the faculty at a luncheon held in an attractive new faculty building. The USU people who were visiting faculty for two-year terms told me that, although they’d been there for five or six months, they’d never before been invited into this building.

Any ideas why?

I don’t have a clue. It was a very strange relationship. They were good, hardworking people, devoting themselves to improving the quality [p. 254] of that college and the Iranian agriculture all at American expense, of course, and were being snubbed in this strange way.

What other institutions did you see in Iran?

Well, there are several universities in Iran, and I was asked to lecture to the faculty at four of them. I went to the University of Tabriz, which is up near the Russian border, the University of Shiraz, which is in the south, and the University of Isfahan, even though the lecture at Isfahan was held off the campus. This experience might interest you. At Tabriz the audience was in place—a large number of faculty members—and the chancellor of the university was about to introduce me when somebody came from backstage and whispered something to him. He said, “We’ll have to go out for a moment or two.” It was the secret police. They wanted to question me.

Right on the spot?

Yes. It was a friendly session. They knew I’d been to Russia before I came to Iran, and they just wanted to check it out because Tabriz is so close to the border. I went to Tabriz, incidentally, on the train—absolutely the godawfullest train I was ever on, and I’ve been on some bad ones. I almost froze to death. Lord Almighty, I was cold. It was a slow train, started one morning, and got there the next morning. There were six people in a compartment, three seats facing three seats, and three levels of berths. They were permanently folded down, and you either took your own bedding or rented it on the train. The embassy furnished me some bedding in a knapsack well in advance of the departure time.

I survived that cold night and got to Tabriz. The American consul in Tabriz had me to lunch, and the governor of the state of Azerbaijan—there’s one in Iran as well as in Russia—held a dinner in my honor that night—a big affair. I was always a little embarrassed to be treated like visiting royalty. I stayed with a young man named Harnack, a grandson or great-grandson of the great historian Adolf Harnack. He was a Fulbright scholar at the university. We had met at the embassy in Tehran.

What about your visit to Shiraz? I recall you saying it was an adventure, too.

That’s in the south, about fifty miles from Persepolis, the great Persian capital destroyed by Alexander the Great. I wanted to see it, so the head of the English department took me there with several others in two cars. Just as we were leaving Shiraz on the unpaved road, it started to snow. I said, “This is going to get bad.” They said, “Oh, it never snows long here. This will melt in a few minutes.” When we reached [p. 255] Persepolis the snow was still coming down. I got the most amazing photographs of Persepolis in a snow storm. There was a little hotel there where we had lunch. I thought we should stay the night because of the storm, but my host insisted that it would melt off. Well, of course, it didn’t. When the snow got so deep it was obvious we couldn’t make it, we stopped at the next village, asked for the richest man, and he just turned his house over to us, treating us like royalty. He was in charge of a sugar beet processing factory there.

How was the night? Was it freezing cold?

I thought we’d all freeze to death. They had a big dinner for us, made up our beds on the floor, and brought in a little round kerosene heater, like a small barrel with a rim around it. We took off our shoes, put our feet on the rim, and actually got pretty warm. We sat up half the night while they quoted Persian poetry. They kind of sing it, you know. It was a memorable night. I wouldn’t have missed it. Our host had several wives, but only one was permitted to associate with us. She was a beautiful woman in western dress. The others just peeked through the door.

We finally made it back the next morning after the sun came out. The snow was fifteen or eighteen inches deep. They’d never seen anything like it. I had to take a bus back to Isfahan because there wasn’t any equipment for cleaning the snow off the airport runway. It was a fascinating trip past innumerable Persian ruins. At Isfahan, of course, there are great mosques with marvelous works of art. Both Isfahan and Shiraz are fascinating places. At Shiraz I was especially interested in the tombs of Persia’s greatest poets, Hafez and Sa’di.

I imagine you lectured in Tehran as well?

Oh, yes, mostly on education and American philosophy. But one interesting experience occurred when the dean of the theological school in Tehran asked me to address the faculty on the subject of Mormonism. I claim to be the only Mormon in good standing who has ever given a lecture on polygamy to a faculty of Muslim mullahs. They were especially delighted to hear that the Mormon polygamists had not been limited to three wives.

That was an eventful five months in your life. And then you returned to the United States?

In a rather indirect way. You see, I was halfway around the world; and the State Department, in arranging my ticket home, said, “If you want to keep going, you can go on just as easily as coming back,” so I went on—to Pakistan, India, Thailand, Hong Kong, and Japan.

[p. 256]Your Iranian venture, then, was really the centerpiece in a world tour that began in Europe and the Near East and ended in the various cultures of Asia. These experiences must have greatly enriched your scholarship and leadership thereafter. Your Ford Fellowship in New York and your experiences in Aspen and Iran opened the nation and the world to you.

I’m sure you are right, Jack. One of the most amusing experiences I had, however, was at an international conference in Oxfordshire, England, on problems common to the United States, Canada, and Great Britain. Now a Mrs. Burden, a comely woman, managed the great house at Ditchley Park where I stayed. She took a liking to me and put me in the Queen’s Room where Elizabeth II had lodged from time to time. The first night that I slept in the queen’s bedroom, Mrs. Burden came right in after I was in my pajamas, fluffed the pillows, pulled the curtains, and then actually tucked me in bed. Then she stepped back, surveyed the scene, and said, “There, all you need now is the Queen.” I was always rather fond of the queen, but I had never quite thought of her in that connection.


1. “From Aspen to Leadville: Can the Institute Surmount Independence Pass?” Unpublished essay by L. Jackson Newell, sent to Aspen Institute directors, August 30, 1994.