Needham Rotary Club

Tuesday  February 4, 2014

Location:  Needham Sheraton Hotel

The meeting was called to order by President, Glen Davis and he led us in the Pledge of Allegiance. Bob Cock led us in “America” and Darrell delivered the invocation.



Libby Pero from Capron Lighting, a soon to be new member; Charles Nolan from Olin College, our guest speaker..



Needham Little League has decided not to sell Pancake Breakfast tickets this year. Thus the questions were asked: should this be a spring or fall event this year? Who else can we get to sell tickets for us?

Our next meeting this coming Tuesday will be held at the new Needham Senior Center at 300 Hillside Ave., in Needham Heights: between the Heights train station and Ted Shaughnessy’s office.


Birthday wishes:  We celebrated Ken Davis’s big day. George led us a round of ‘Happy Birthday’.


Presidential Moment:  Past President Lois is on vacation, so current President Glen asked ‘What President spent 6 summers as a life guard, and reportedly saved 77 people?” Yes, Ronald Regan!


Happy Dollars:

George for Northeastern being in the Beanpot Final! Jim Brown for UMass then beating Northeastern; Greg Cronin for seeing the Rotary tile in the home of former Rotarian Dick Brownell; A number of Happy Dollars for Marty and his victorious Seattle Seahawks-they earned it!. Bill Paulson for signing a P&S on his home; Dan Tibma for a fabulous trip to the Dominican Republic, play 27 holes of gold every day; Darrell for the winter sunshine; Louise counting on Spring coming; a number of HTBH (Happy to be here).



Charles Nelson had the correct ticket (946) but drew the wrong card. Better luck next tinme. Remember, he won the last pot and gave his winnings back to Rotary!




Yesterday I was at the Villages' (an area north of Orlando  full of retirees) Publix (our large food chain in Florida) buying a large bag of Purina dog chow for my loyal pet, Owen, the Wonder Dog and was in the check-out line when a woman behind me asked if I had a dog. What did she think I had an elephant? So because I'm retired and have little to do, on impulse, I told her that no, I didn't have a dog, I was starting the Purina Diet again.


I added that I probably shouldn't,  because I ended up in the  hospital last time, but that I'd lost 50 pounds before I awakened in an intensive care ward with tubes coming out of most of my orifices and IVs in both arms. I told her that it was essentially a Perfect Diet and that the way that it works is, to load your pants pockets with Purina Nuggets and simply eat one or two every time you feel hungry. The food is nutritionally complete, (certified), so it works well and I was going to try it again. (I have to mention here that practically everyone in line was now enthralled with my story.)


Horrified, she asked if I ended up in intensive care because the dog food poisoned me. I told her no, I had stopped to pee on a fire hydrant and a car hit me. I thought the guy behind her was going to have a heart attack he was laughing so hard.


Publix won't let me shop there anymore.


Better watch what you ask retired people.    They have all the time in the World to think of crazy things to say. 


Guest Speaker:  

Charles Nolan, VP and Dean of Admission at Olin, and, employee number 5 at the college, came to give us an update on the progress the college is making. Charles Nolan has been Dean of Admissions at Bentley College, Washington Univ. in St. Louis, Babson and Olin, since 1999.

Olin was chartered in 1997 and hired it’s first employee Rick Miller (President) in 1999.The Olin Foundation had given 78 buildings to 58 colleges around the country, including 2 at Babson College. Finally they decided to establish their own college with the goal of ‘redefining engineering’. They wanted to develop leadership and communications in their students.

Some facts about their students: Average SATs 2250; 75% speak a second language; 33 pairs of siblings to date; from all 50 states and 13 countries; the state with the largest group of students, California;  94% graduate; 10% go directly to  grad school after graduating; 24%  earn a Masters degree; 60% go to work.

They start with 998 people who apply; 220 are given admission acceptance; 110 accept and 20 go on a waiting list; class size is 84, with 20 defer admittance.

In 2001 they invited 30 students to be their first class, at no charge, and they graduated in 2006. They spent a lot of time designing the curriculum. This was their first time being a college, thus it took an extra year.

Olin has been visited by representatives from 300 other colleges worldwide. All asking “What are they doing?”.

While as a club we have visited their campus several times, it truly is a different way to run a college, and it shows in their graduates and course offerings

Boy, I’d like to go back to school there! Check out the web site


Web site:


Future Meeting:  Tuesday, February 11, at Needham Council on Aging 300 Hillside Ave.