Scope and Contents
Side A: Remarkable life's journey: Tabriz to Providence. "Armenian Horatio Alger."
Influences of grandmother and teachers. No master plan for life. Education is
helicopter from burning village. Friend became famous thief. Classmates from College
Armenien, Beirut. Set of accidents. Thought would teach high school. Offer from
Brazil. Armenian, French, Arabic, English, and other languages. Opposed to studying in
England. Friends in California. Applied to Stanford and Berkeley. Did miserably on
S.A.T.: day of earthquake. Admitted both schools. Chose Stanford because accepted
there first. Tuition $750. Completed B.A. two years (Class of 1958). Stayed with
Armenian family in San Francisco. Exposure to American culture through movies and
music. Lived Stanford "Village," then Stern Hall. Apartment in Menlo Park. Lived with
Ethiopian, one of few Blacks in student body. Ford Foundation grant for two years'
study in Europe and Asia. Selection of dissertation topic: history of Afghanistan. 700
pages, considered a classic, finished Ph.D. in 1964. Taught at San Francisco State,
beginning 1959, then 1962 to 1968. Instructor's salary $5,600, twice that offered by
Stanford. Loved to teach. Won Danforth prize for distinguished teaching, one of 10
prizes in nation. Recruited by University of Texas. Doubled salary and only sabbatical
of career. Full professor at 36. Stanford was small, intimate, a community. Close to
numerous professors. Degrees in humanities and history. Adviser was Wayne Vucinich.
Met wives through International Center. President Wallace Sterling. Played soccer.
Worked several part-time jobs. Everthing I am owe to Stanford. Social life and dating.
President of International Club. Invited join eating club. No unpleasant experiences.
Travels in California. Wife, Clare Russell, Class of 1959. Engaged days before her
graduation. Married 1960. Visits to Iran. Father and sister. Tolerance toward
Armenians. Helped Iranian students at Penn during hostage crisis. Am American: not
schizoid about citizenship. Unlike Harvard, Stanford does not cultivate alumni. Only
recognition was Centennial speech. No connections for New York Public Library.
Side B: Stanford graduates succeed on own. Three sons. Considered for presidency of
Stanford, but declined. Commitment to Brown. Fundamental changes made by faculty, not
president. Leadership styles. Would choose Stanford again. Am East Coast person.
Stanford's greatness due to Sterling and Terman. Excellence in teaching and research.
Recent controversies over federal grants and Western Civilization. Unity of knowledge.
Penn a great unversity but left provostship angrily. Lifetime dream be chancellor of
Berkeley. Agreement with Penn trustees. Presidents come and go. Assets of Brown. Not
having fun: job for missionaries. Tougher than New York Public Library.