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Guide to the Oral History Interviews with Stanford People
SC0527  
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Collection Contents

 

Interviews

Interviews

Box 1, Folder 1

Gregorian, Vartan 1993 Jan 23

Gregorian, Vartan, 1993 Jan 23
Gregorian, Vartan, 1993 Jan 23

Scope and Content Note

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.
Box 1, Folder 2

Hanna, John Paul 1993 Oct 9

Hanna, John Paul, 1993 Oct 9
Hanna, John Paul, 1993 Oct 9

Physical Description: 1 audiocassette(s)

Scope and Content Note

Parents, Paul and Jean Hanna, built home on Stanford University campus, 1936-37. Parents' bond with Frank Lloyd Wright. Midwesterners and children of Methodist ministers. John knew grandmothers. Parents' families lived near Fairmont, Minnesota. Paul born Sioux City, Iowa. Uncle Russell Hanna still lives Minnesota. Parents not religious. Maternal grandmother lived Palo Alto. Parents conservatives regarding smoking, drinking, dress. Typical faculty family. Suspicious of FOR. Not Midwestern but international perspective. Graduate study and teaching at Columbia University. World travel. Dad accused of being liberal because of authorship of textbooks. Supported UN. Economic conservative. Professor of education but not "schoolman." Broad outlook. Led by example. High expectations. Jean died at 84; Paul (born 1902), died 85. Neither interested avant-garde. Interest music traditional. Jean played organ and piano. Not much interest visual arts because lack place to display paintings. House was piece sculpture. Mementos of travels. Attraction to Wright philosophical. Rented house on Waverly Street, Palo Alto. Not aware parents' wider knowledge of Wright. Suggest speak to sister, 18 months older, who lives Marin County. John born 1932. Earliest recollection house: cow pastures with castle on hill. Vague memories of construction. Visitors showed interest. Professors complained to President Wilbur. Father's financial risk and burden. Cost rose from $15k to $40k. 99-year lease of land. Income from book sales. Not Usonian house but gentleman's. Comparable house today cost $3 million. House could not have been bequeathed to family but parents could have sold rather than give to Stanford. Didn't believe inherited wealth. Gifts to alma mater, Hamline University, and Stanford's Hoover Institution. Parents full partners in marriage, though Paul boss. Paul dreamer and optimist. Book on house was joint effort. Parents serious not frivolous. Not emotional or outward display of anger or joy. Reserved and controlled. House profoundly shaped family life. Appreciation for quality of environment. House was central focus: an anchor. Binds children even now. Felt special. Used fireplace as symbol of home. Comfort. Parents never regretted house. Met Wright half-dozen times: charismatic and eccentric. Never talked to him.
Box 1, Folder 3

Johnson, Emily Hanna 1993 Nov 28

Johnson, Emily Hanna, 1993 Nov 28

Physical Description: 1 audiocassette(s)

Scope and Content Note

Side A: Parents Paul and Jean Hanna, built home on Stanford University campus, 1936-37. Midwestern attitude: naive, trustting, open, generous. Mother maintained family ties. Never possibility of parents' return to Midwest. Grandfather Milton Shuman died 1925. Grandfather George Hanna died 1935. Grandmother Lulu Shuman lived in Palo Alto (died 1947). Dontt. know her thoughts of Hanna house. Grandmother Regula Hanna (died 1974) very different. Never comfortable in house. Both grandfathers Methodist ministers: Hanna circuit preacher; Shuman previously engineer, very sophisticated. Parsons· wives: country and city. Mother wanted be religious. Father rejected utterly. Mother's family warm and loving. Father, unlike mother believed anything possible through education. He never discussed ideas with children. Extremely busy man. Reserved his opinions for intellectually advanced. Coincidence that F.L. Wright was child of minister. Other commonalities: British ancestry and utopian dreamers. Both parents drawn to Mr. and Mrs. W through philosophy. Mrs. W represented artistic expression: his alter ego. What a team were Wts, as were parents. Mother linguist, musician, and actress. Gave up career for marriage. More extraverted, but father also had surprising sense humor. Father trained with John Dewey (1859-1952) at Columbia University. Interest in internationalism derived from disillusionment with capitalism. Believed world law. Shifted from Roosevelt to Nixon supporter. Never discussed politics. Against student protest. Supported firing of Prof. Bruce Franklin at Stanford. Believed law and order. Dogmatic. Knowledge and intelligence made for difficult adversary. Parents lived in awe W. W could turn on charm. W recognized parents' intellect and open-mindedness. Also determination. Always believed W would take commission. Followed progressive architects, such as Mies. Parents wanted get away from box. Not interested in Neutra. W selected while parents still living in New York. Visits by foreign architects (not named). Children not participate in dinner parties. 1948, Emily left for college: Stanford then Scripps. Degree from Stanford. Married immediately after college. Parents saw much W's work. Close friends other owners, including Japanese clients. Visited granddaughter, Anne Baxter. Knew California owners. Welcomed prospective clients. Almost always gracious. Very close friendship with W's until Mrs. W's death. Visited, called, wrote. Close to Wes Peters and Bruce Pfeiffer. Always "Mr. W." First name with Mrs. W. W intellectual mentor to father. Parents idolized W. W changed furniture, which mother changed again. W probably never spoke at Stanforq. Parents gave slide lecture about house. Hosted Taliesin visitors in guest house. Don't know if parents asked to provide funds for Taliesin. Father methodical about saving documentation. Knew he had built great house. Gave papers to Stanford University and Hoover Institution at Stanford.
Box 1, Folder 4

Jones, Euine Fay, 1921-2004. 1993 Oct 17

Jones, Euine Fay, 1921-2004., 1993 Oct 17
Jones, Euine Fay, 1921-2004., 1993 Oct 17

Physical Description: 1 audiocassette(s)