James McCurdy ’79 – December 2012 Luncheon

Peter Phillips '76 giving his "little brother" a blockbuster introduction.
Peter Phillips ’76 giving his “little brother” a blockbuster introduction.

As the President of the Downtown Seattle Rotary (commonly known as #4), James McCurdy ’79 was invited on a US Navy overnight on the aircraft carrier John Stennis.

Before James shared his insider experience with our our luncheon crowd, he was introduced by his “big brother” Peter Philipps ’76. Peter gave a glowing review of James and his status as a fourth generation Washingtonian. Peter began with James’ great grandfather becoming the janitor of the Port Townsend bank at age 14, and then took us through the impressive McCurdy family’s business history

James McCurdy '79
James McCurdy ’79

Wearing his USS John C. Stennis cap, McCurdy shared the experience of boarding the aircraft carrier stationed a 100 miles off-shore.  The arrival on the deck was via the transit plane landing on the deck and being snagged by the hook.  Of course the presentation ended with James’ accounting of the explosive take off from the carrier deck as they returned the visitors to the base at San Diego.

December luncheon crowd with McCurdy at podium
December luncheon crowd with McCurdy at podium

The first day was spent deck level and above, and the second day the visitors toured the below decks quarters. The visit included dining on the carrier and sleeping in quarters directly under the flight deck.

McCurdy’s commentary on the structure, the layout, the crew culture, and the intricacies of 10,000 person community afloat was quite interesting. His excellently descriptive reporting generated a number of questions from the audience.

Fijis mentioned in the December issue of the UW Columns

Stan Pocock '46
Stan Pocock ’46

A lifetime devoted to the sport of rowing has earned Stan Pocock ’46 the 2012 U.S. Rowing Medal of Honor, the highest honor awarded by the U.S. Rowing organization.

Stan was awarded his medal at the Golden Oars Awards Dinner at the New York Athletic Club in November.

After rowing for the UW and graduating with a degree in engineering, Stan coached at UW from 1947-1955.  He then became the first coach of the Lake Washington Rowing Club and coached several crews that participated in the Olympics — one of which won the gold medal for the men’s four at the Rome Olympics in 1960.  The Pocock Rowing center is part of Stan’s heritage.

Congratulations to Stan Pocock for an award well-deserved.



Columns cover

Others mentioned in the Columns included John Buller ’69.  John is the former executive director of the UW Alumni Association.  This year he is honored to serve as the 2013 Chair of Seafair.

On page 29 our own Cliff Otis ’73 received a favorable mention for the special client of his Matthews Estate winery.

Since 2009, the winery has reserved some of its finest grapes for a special client:  the UW President’s Residence.

When Mark Emmert was UW president, Cliff and his wife, Diane, proposed these wines which are served only in the president’s residence on special occasions (and the wine is not available for sale).  A portion of the proceeds of Matthews Estate’s Blackboard red goes to the Ackerley Foundation, which supports the UW College of Education’s training of K-12 teachers.