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Winter 2001
1st Among Firsts
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No detail was too small for her attention. Sue found out that my birthday coincided with the IAU meeting and she arranged for me to sit with her in the front row for a performance of the Preservation Hall Dixieland Jazz Band. It was such a special treat for me; somehow, she had learned that my father had in his youth created Dixieland jazz arrangements.

Sue also was not afraid to jump into the fray with large organizations, like the Association of American Universities (AAU) and the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges (NASULGC). She decided that the spouses of presidents of schools that are members of these organizations should also benefit intellectually and socially from their regular meetings. So, in typical Sue style — that is, juggernaut in pink-velvet gloves — she agitated to have these organizations engage spouses in substantive sessions and exchanges of experiences and views. She joined up with a half-dozen other spouses, among them Pat, who agreed with the idea, to create a corollary experience for spouses that persists to this day.

I recall that at one point, Sue felt that the meetings of these two groups had drifted into a kind of stodginess that was anathema to her nature. She presented me with a plan and a request that I help her. I consented -- one rarely did otherwise when Sue called. She decided that we needed to have a show to reveal the latent showmanship among university presidents at a NASULGC banquet. Leaving nothing to chance, Sue wrote the skit, wrote the parodies, selected the music and directed the several of us who had been "volunteered" to perform. Rehearsals were a lesson in how a determined director can get a dozen recalcitrant presidents into line — in this case, a chorus line — and in tune. We loved it. The audience loved it. And the "stodginess" disappeared.

I recall that at one point, Sue felt that the meetings of these two groups had drifted into a kind of stodginess that was anathema to her nature. She presented me with a plan and a request that I help her. I consented — one rarely did otherwise when Sue called. She decided that we needed to have a show to reveal the latent showmanship among university presidents at a NASULGC banquet. Leaving nothing to chance, Sue wrote the skit, wrote the parodies, selected the music and directed the several of us who had been "volunteered" to perform. Rehearsals were a lesson in how a determined director can get a dozen recalcitrant presidents into line — in this case, a chorus line — and in tune. We loved it. The audience loved it. And the "stodginess" disappeared.

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