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Original Issue


A quarter of a century ago 25 seniors played their last college football games. In the years since, their careers have varied widely, but each has been stamped by quality as well as success. For their achievements since 1940 the 25 have been elected to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED'S annual Silver Anniversary All-America by these distinguished judges: Eugene Carson Blake, Stated-Clerk of the General Assembly, United Presbyterian Church of U.S.A.; Norton Clapp, President, Weyerhaeuser Co.; Clinton E. Frank, Chairman of the Executive Committee, Clinton E. Frank, Inc.; Floyd D. Hall, President, Eastern Air Lines; J. George Harrar, President, Rockefeller Foundation; Victor Holt Jr., President, Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.; U.S. Senators Edward M. Kennedy and Thomas H. Kuchel; Lewis A. Lapham, Chairman of the Executive Committee, Bankers Trust Co.; Thurgood Marshall, Solicitor General of the U.S.; Carl E. Reistle Jr., Chairman, Humble Oil & Refining Co.; and Charles A. Thomas, Chairman of the Finance' and Technical Committees, Monsanto Co. To each of a worthy group of winners go the symbolic silver goalposts.


The American people are good," wrote Philosopher George Santayana in his last book. "Their mentality is settled and pervasive; they are devoted and ingenious in improving the instruments and methods of material economy."

The old philosopher was pondering the future of the world at the end of World War II, and he was considering what contributions the different nations and systems of government might be expected to make to a world at peace. Precisely in the sphere of increased production, he continued, the American people could "act for the welfare of all mankind." The 25 men who have been chosen to receive Silver Anniversary All-America Awards of 1965 were not leading citizens at the time; in fact, in the fall of 1940, when the war had reached its first climax in the rout of France and the colossal German raids on London, these 25 were simply American college students playing their last games before they went to war themselves—10 into the Navy, five into the Army, four into the air forces and three into the Marines. Three were shot down, one of them twice; Tom Harmon of Michigan made his way out of the jungle of China in 32 days; Raymond Frick of Pennsylvania was imprisoned in Stalag Luft III for a year. Robert Ison of Georgia Tech was on a submarine that, trapped on the surface and unable to submerge, threaded its way through the Japanese navy from the south China coast to Australia.

After the war they distinguished themselves in various ways: making prefabricated kitchens or jet-propulsion engines, doing research on the localization of brain tumors with radioisotopes, selling advertising for the Yellow Pages of the telephone book, teaching in Harlem, coaching and preaching. Seven of them became executives in businesses, seven of them educators, five physicians and scientists, three industrialists, one a prominent Protestant theologian, one a famous Catholic priest and one a leading architect. Because of such contributions to the general good, the eminent judges whose names are listed on the preceding page voted for these 25 to receive the Silver Anniversary awards from among the candidates who were nominated by 65 different colleges.

If you played football 25 years ago the contemporary game commands your moderately respectful admiration. Platooning, for instance: you watch those lines of players streaming on and off the field and you think about the way these Saturday afternoons have been opened up to more and more participants. The thought may cross your mind: "I wonder which platoon I would have played on?" Football seems more tightly organized, more sophisticated, more formalized, more complex. "They throw more passes now in one quarter than we threw in the whole game," says David Rankin, who was an All-America end at Purdue in 1940. What seems constantly surprising, too, is how fast big men can run these days. So if you played football in 1940 you find yourself wondering if you would get creamed playing now. Or, like Raymond Frick, now a vice-president of American Brake Shoe Company, you find yourself thinking: "I'd like to play one game in college football today with the physical equipment I had 25 years ago."

But there are reservations. Colonel Louis De Goes, an end at Colorado School of Mines, thinks today's football is of much better quality but there seems to be something he calls automation that stifles initiative. Tom Harmon, twice a Michigan All-America, a back of awesome accomplishments who now is a gray-haired grandfather, says there has been a loss of imagination. "Coaches have concentrated so heavily on passing they have lost the greatest excitement—the long run," he says.

If you played football 25 years ago you probably watch as many games as you can find time to see. Alfred Barran, who worked his way through high school as well as college (his father died when he was 8), was a tackle at Denison. Now president of General Telephone of Indiana, he says, "I'm a great spectator." He goes to nearby games whenever he can—Notre Dame, Western Michigan, Indiana, anything. On his way home from his plush office in Fort Wayne, he stops to watch kids play sandlot football.

But some, like Dr. Howard Dunbar, are almost too busy to take in games. He was a guard on the undefeated 1939 team at Cornell and on the famous 1940 team that lost to Dartmouth in that historic contest first won by Cornell with three seconds to go and then given up to Dartmouth a week later when it was revealed that the referee, in the excitement, had given Cornell five downs. Now Dr. Dunbar is doing research in a delicate branch of brain surgery, treating disorders of motion with stereotaxic techniques. The problem is "to be able to record electroactivity and tell exactly where in the brain it is coming from," Dr. Dunbar says, "instead of having to go by negative information, which only tells me where I am not." When he has any free time he plays the violin, builds his own electronic equipment, plays bridge or develops his own photographs. Football is seen only occasionally, though Dr. Dunbar would want to play if he were in college now.

These people who were playing football 25 years ago can hardly be said to be living in the past. The 1940 football season opened on a grim day, September 28, when the big news at the moment was that Japan had joined the Axis with Germany and Italy. Attendant bad news was that after a daylight raid by 600 planes London was fighting its worst fires. Boston College was playing Tulane at New Orleans that day and winning 27-7. A Boston guard was George Kerr, now Monsignor Kerr, the archbishop's representative in Boston on the North Conway Foundation (a combined effort of all faiths to combat juvenile delinquency, dope and alcoholism). Colgate also beat Akron that opening day, and James Garvey, right tackle and the Colgate captain (now assistant principal of a Harlem junior high school), was starting his last football year before joining a tank battalion.

Stanford was playing its first game under new Coach Clark Shaughnessy. The 1939 team, winner of only one game, was considered the worst in Stanford history. "We learned what it takes to be labeled a failure," said John Warnecke, a humble tackle then, now the celebrated architect of the Kennedy Memorial, among other striking projects. The 1940 Stanford team revolutionized big-time football with the T formation. In the opening game with San Francisco State, Stanford Quarterback Frank Albert tentatively called one of Shaughnessy's plays on one side, then one on another, and they went for big chunks of yardage. "He walked back to the huddle," Warnecke remembered the other day, "and said, 'Holy God, this stuff really works!' " It did, and an undefeated and untied Stanford team went on to defeat Nebraska 21-13 in the Rose Bowl.

Those opening games were played a month and a week before President Roosevelt defeated Wendell Willkie by a vote of 27,243,466 to 22,304,755 to become the first President to serve three terms. In the light of such historical developments even memorable games were forgotten. UCLA lost for the first time in 14 starts to Southern Methodist in a night game before 70,000. That was the game in which Jackie Robinson, playing safety, gave UCLA its only score as the Bruins lost 9-6. He fielded a punt on the first bounce, streaked straight upfield for 15 yards, darted to his left to evade a cluster of tacklers, picked up blockers and raced unmolested 87 yards for a touchdown. Tom Harmon's exploits in Michigan's opening game with California at Berkeley were even more extraordinary. He ran back the opening kickoff for a touchdown and scored with an eight-yard rush and runs of 72 and 86 yards to give Michigan a 41-0 victory. This was the game in which a California fan made a leap to the field, eluded guards and police and tried to stop Harmon with a grab for his legs as he crossed the goal line.

Harmon, Robinson, Rankin and the other 1965 Silver Anniversary Award winners—and probably most of the students who played college football in 1940—are not only still interested in the game, but often zealots, missionaries or propagandists for it. Dr. Harold Sponberg, once a guard with Gustavus Adolphus, put the matter succinctly. He is the new president of fast-growing (7,500 students) Eastern Michigan University at Ypsilanti, which almost never won games before he arrived. In a speech urging a new, positive approach Dr. Sponberg concluded, "Let us have a team the band can be proud of!" It caught on, and now the battle cry "Win one for the band!" echoes often in Ypsilanti.

Dr. Robert Jamplis, once a quarterback at Chicago, stated the nature of the enthusiasm even more vividly. He is an eminent authority on cardiovascular surgery and the author of articles with such titles as Circumscribed Pulmonary Lesions and Gunshot Wound of the Heart. He is the driving force behind the fine Palo Alto Medical Clinic which, with its staff of 110 doctors, he envisions as another Mayo Clinic. But he is, above all, a football enthusiast and sees every Stanford game, having wangled a job as assistant to the team physician. "Some fellows go duck hunting," he says. "I go with the football team. People don't seem to put college football in perspective. When I go to a party I hear conversation about the team that makes the players like robots or old pros. They're just kids. Each game is not the end of the world."


Eight years ago Tom Adams was plucked from a group of promising young execs of the Campbell-Ewald Co. and made president. His job: to reorganize the management team of the ad company, infusing young blood and new ideas. Next year the job will be completed. "The past eight years have been a challenge," Adams says, "but less, I think, than the next eight." Will he succeed? Well, take the Buffalo game of 1940. It had been snowing for days and the end zone lines were hidden. Twice Adams scored for Wayne State, but the officials were not certain. Finally he went over with a vengeance, through the end zone and up to the wall of the grandstand. The touchdown was undisputed.


Things began solidly enough for Richard Balch. He went to Union College because his parents wanted it that way. They also wanted him to transfer to Harvard or Yale or Stanford after two years, but he liked the intimacy of Union, and that was it for doing what was expected of him. He quarterbacked an unbeaten team in his junior year and has spent the last 25 years leaving safe positions. Just last November he resigned as vice-chancellor of student affairs at the University of California's Irvine campus to join the Mental Research Institute of Palo Alto, Calif. specializing in family therapy. The reason, perfectly obvious to Balch: "It gives me the chance to work at the root of our society."


It was quite a moment when his Columbia teammates elected him captain, but it did not sit well with Hugh Remegius Kilroe Barber. "To be judged by your peers for this position," he said, "seems unfair, because this is an individual honor in a team sport." Barber has sought no individual honors since, but they have come by the hundred to this authority in ovarian cancer. In a workday that is often 18 hours long, he dedicates himself to doing something about the disease he feels has become a serious threat to future generations. What gives an earnestness to his cause is the belief that facilities for simple tests to enable early diagnosis could lessen the danger. "We have the means today," he says, "to eradicate invasive cancer of the cervix and uterus which, together, constitute 40,000 new cases a year."


He was an aggressive 220-pounder, lugging the scraps off the dinner table for his teammates, but that was fine with Al Barran, who had paid his own way since he was 8, when his father died. Barran has been doubly successful, first on the Coast, where he began selling space in the Yellow Pages with such energy that it took him just 12 years to become a telephone-company president. He was named "Mr. Private Enterprise" and was urged to run for governor of Washington (he said no). Now president of the General Telephone Co. of Indiana, he thinks back on the governor who might have been and says, "A tackle knows his limitations."


When Ray Charles hops on the 5:20 each night from Newark's Broad Street Station, his briefcase is bulging with data concerning the billion dollars' worth of securities he manages each year as the senior vice-president of Prudential Insurance's bond department. Such responsibility was not what he had in mind when he was playing tackle. "I was thinking in terms of a $10,000-a-year job, a nice family and some security. I wonder how I ever could have set my sights so low." Others do, too. In two years Charles missed just 20 minutes of football, all on a brutally hot day when the coach suddenly sent in a whole new team, shocking those who did not believe Knox had 11 more men. "The reserves promptly scored two touchdowns," Charles recalls ruefully.


Not all the lessons on a football field are active. There was that game back in 1938, for instance, when Tennessee upset Alabama and Ed Cifers' major contribution was to yell like mad from the bench. "I remembered that one," said Cifers, who has all kinds of memories of more active roles with Tennessee and the professional Washington Redskins, "because nobody thought we could do it." Now Cifers is president of the Charles H. Bacon Company, a firm that make ladies' seamless nylons. He prepped for the job by successfully running a construction company. Both are ruggedly competitive businesses, the kind of businesses for which football might prepare a man, thinks Cifers, who learned his toughness under General Bob Neyland.


The day was not long enough for Louis De Goes. Aside from learning how to be a geological engineer, he found a way to become his school's heavyweight boxing champion three times, win three basketball letters and play end on the undefeated, untied football team in 1939. He joined the Air Force after Pearl Harbor and made a career of it, eventually trudging around Arctic ice floes (a routine business, he says, although he is considered one of the world's authorities on ice islands). In two years Colonel De Goes will retire as a director in aerospace technology at Wright-Patterson AFB, but first he wants to sail the Pacific in a trimaran, then begin a new career, possibly in volcanology. "I have so much to do," he says. "I would like to live to be 200."


Howard Dunbar has the tall, athletic good looks of a well-adjusted company man who will barrage you with old fight songs at the sniff of a martini. Do not be misled. Dunbar was end on a Cornell team that went around beating the likes of Ohio State, but to him football was merely a game. "Oh, it didn't hurt me," he says, "but no one has ever hired me because of it. Medicine would be crazy if it did." Dr. Dunbar hired himself and has not been unemployed since, what with his absorbing duties as a brain surgeon and teacher. But he dislikes committees. "A surgeon gets used to responsibility," he says. "And gets annoyed with administrators whose main job seems to be avoiding it."


"It takes moxie to play football, and if you don't have moxie you're not going to make it in the business world," says Raymond A. Frick, Penn's 1940 captain. "Sounds like a bunch of clichés, I know, but there is a definite parallel between football and business. Both demand determination, spirit and sacrifice." Something of these same qualities brought Frick through the war years as a Liberator pilot in Europe, a year in a German prison camp and up through the ranks from foreman to the vice-presidency of the American Brake Shoe Company's Railroad Products Division.


When Dwight Gahm was playing center at Indiana the game was simpler than the one his son plays today. But then, as now, football required taking chances, and there is no record of Dwight Gahm backing down from a risky thing. In 1955, against sound advice, he bought a kitchen-cabinet company that was struggling to turn out 20,000 units a year. Immediately he instituted an incentive system, paying employees more for doing more. His company today turns out half a million cabinets a year in a plant that sprawls over 10 acres, and his efficient workers, he believes, are the highest paid in the woodcraft industry.


No doubt James Garvey could have cut quite a figure at one of the fashionable prep schools in the East, graduating as he did with straight A's from Colgate and playing two years of pro ball with the Providence Steamrollers. He had prep schools in mind but, in getting his graduate degree at Columbia, Substitute Teacher Garvey met P.S. 171 head on. "Our problems were the basic ones you find in the ghetto," he says, "low income, split homes, alcoholism." Garvey reacted to the challenge by electing to teach at an all-Negro girls' junior high school. He is an assistant principal now, and he would not change careers for anything.


Just two blocks away from the cluttered office of Norman Russell Gay is Notre Dame Stadium. While the campus goes joyfully insane on selected fall afternoons, he sits high in the stands, immune from undergraduate hysteria. Not that football does not have its place but, as dean of the engineering college, Gay is more interested in the practical application of slide rules than in national championships. It would surprise a lot of his pupils, however, to learn that he was a violently active guard and co-captain on one of the few winning teams Rochester ever had. "They would be surprised," he says, "to know we had football."


Mention old 98 at Michigan and everybody knows who you mean—Tommy Harmon, who carried that number across 33 enemy goal lines and right into football's Hall of Fame. Harmon could have picked his sport to win All-America honors (he was an all-state basketball player at Gary, a 9.8 sprinter, and the Yankees wanted to sign him as a pitcher), but football was his passion. Strangely, the one game Harmon cannot forget is a defeat—7-6. "It is still difficult to accept," he says, but so is half-good in a sports announcer. Harmon has some 10 million regular listeners, but he will not be satisfied until he has five minutes of the whole country's time each evening for a sports show that "is truly honest and well done."


The Ison Finance Company was a hand-me-down family business turning over half a million dollars in 1948, when Bob Ison got hold of it. Today it does $50 million worth of business, but do not look to Ison to tell you about that—or of the Silver Star he won in World War II as executive officer of the submarine U.S.S. Bergall. Bob Ison is equally reticent about his football-playing days, except, of course, about that one play against Kentucky when he took a hand-off after a fake. The fake worked so well that the opposing halfback ran beside Ison, yelling and pointing toward the other side of the field, all the way into the end zone.


Grade-school friends called him Doc because his glasses were always falling off his tiny nose. Although he has kept the nickname, there is nothing undignified about Dr. Robert W. Jamplis, chief of the department of thoracic surgery at the Palo Alto Medical Clinic. Jamplis interned in such places as Guam and Nagasaki, later gained more experience at the Mayo Clinic and left with a dream—to match Mayo's excellence. As quarterback at Chicago, Jamplis learned to admire excellence in the person of Michigan's Forest Evashevski, who "kept knocking me down. Every time he picked me up he would say, 'Be right back, son.' "


The logical thing would have been to tear down the crumbling church in Roxbury. The roof had holes in it, and the connecting convent for a dozen nuns had been condemned by the building department. Instead, Cardinal Cushing sent in Father George Valentine Kerr, an ex-newspaper boy from the neighborhood who had once had the gall to try out for the Boston College football squad weighing exactly 155 pounds. Four years and two bowl trips later, Coach Frank Leahy called Kerr "the greatest guard I have ever coached." In two months $300,000 was raised, and Msgr. Kerr was on his way to building a showpiece in the Boston archdiocese.


DeLaney Kiphuth was 10 when his father trundled him off to Amsterdam in 1928 for the Olympic Games. Conceivably, such special treatment for the son of Yale's brilliant swimming coach, Robert Kiphuth, could have cured his ardor for sports forever. It did not. When the time came for Kiphuth to do or die for God, Country and Yale, he showed up for football standing a regal 5 feet 6 and commenced knocking the poise out of men half a foot taller. Once Kiphuth found an opposing guard who was even smaller, and recalls, "The little fellow gave me a helluva thrashing." Kiphuth continues to plump for good contact as director of athletics at Yale, where he continues an excellent program of varsity athletics and an intramural one for all undergraduates that keeps growing.


Dr. J. Robert Nelson is not sorry he played football, although he regrets breaking an opponent's leg. "It teaches a boy discipline, roughness with restraint," he says, traits he has exhibited since he graduated a Phi Beta Kappa. In 1960 Nelson resigned as dean of Vanderbilt University Divinity School when a Negro student was expelled for his role in a Nashville sit-down protest against segregated lunch counters. Currently professor of systematic theology at Boston University, he believes that the "ministry isn't just reading the Bible, it's determining man's worth in society and the degrees of justice and human relationships."


It seems unlikely that anyone weighing 150 pounds would show up for football at Purdue in the first place, but unlikely things happen to Dave Rankin. He not only played; he became an All-America end. Then there was the College All-Star Game against the Chicago Bears. Rankin went into it as the Stars' captain and came out a seaman second class (the ceremony was performed at half time.) After flying 150 fighter missions in the Pacific as a marine, he returned to Purdue to coach freshman football—and ended up as track coach. "They told me I wouldn't make a lot of money," Rankin remembers, "but they also said I'd like the job. I did. Why, I've traveled all over the world with my track teams. Name me a football coach who's done that."


There should be something passive about a cup of coffee, but when Jack Roosevelt Robinson joined Chock Full O' Nuts, blenders and restaurateurs, lively things began to happen. They always do around Jackie Robinson, whether he was exciting people as he moved in under a punt at UCLA or edging off third base as the National League's Most Valuable Player. With the same aggressiveness that made him one of the finest athletes of his time, he waded into the battle for civil rights and now, as chairman of the board of the Freedom National Bank in Harlem, has helped raise its assets from $1.5 million to almost $9 million as he worked to get more Negroes to start their own businesses.


In the office of Arthur H. Schweitzer the carpets are deep and the desk is massive, as befits a vice-president of the largest supplier of jet-engine components in the country. As with most athletes, Schweitzer sees the whole bustling complex of Thompson Ramo Wooldridge in the grand American tradition—the team. It is a point of view that derives from earning three letters in football as a running back and three more in basketball as a guard at Case. "To compete," he says, "that's the important thing."


The critics of Harold Sponberg call his approach to education "anti-intellectual." Dr. Sponberg responds: he just hates half measures. He still wakes up nights thinking of the time he nailed a St. Mary's back on the man's own five-yard line but let him fall forward. A safety would have won the game. "You hear people talk about giving that little extra effort," he says. "Well, I've never forgotten the time I didn't." Dr. Sponberg came to Eastern Michigan U. as president last June to find that the football staff was not even allowed to use university stationery. It does now, as Dr. Sponberg pursues what he calls a "total program." "I never met a student who didn't want to be first," he says, "in football or a chemistry lab."


Reflecting on the ungentle ways of football, Bill Tatman said recently, "It taught me to hold my head up," which may seem odd coming from a man who spent a varsity career at center keeping his head down. Only once did he ever throw his backfield into confusion—when the seat of his pants was ripped out. On the next play Tatman got over the ball, fully exposing the situation to his startled signal-caller who, after thorough assessment, called time out for necessary repairs. Tatman went into the Army peeling spuds and came out four years later a captain. He repeated the process in civilian life, entering Illinois Bell Telephone Co. as a lineman and rising to his present post as assistant general manager for the entire Chicago area.


President Kennedy used to call John Warnecke "Rose Bowl," and with reason. Warnecke played in it. He played, in fact, as a 215-pound tackle on Stanford's worst team ever and on one of its best. Warnecke never lost sight of what it takes to become best. In 1962 J.F.K. asked Architect Warnecke to submit a plan to save Washington's handsome landmarks around Lafayette Square. A huge undertaking, it is being pursued today. Two days after President Kennedy's funeral it was Warnecke who was chosen by Mrs. Kennedy to design the permanent memorial that will be erected in Arlington. "You're going to rise or fall on this thing," a presidential aide told Warnecke. The plan he eventually submitted was accepted.


Just recently Dr. Earle Wilkins, who is a leading thoracic surgeon in the Boston area, was mulling over the intricacies of modern surgery, noting that a patient is in the hands of not just one man, but a whole team. "It is strictly cooperative these days," he said. "The surgeon has an assistant, an anesthetist, nurses, and the patient is in trouble if the whole team isn't pulling together." Wilkins learned about playing on a team as a single-wing quarterback—a position that left the touchdown-making to others and one in which his principal responsibilities were to clear the way for hotshot tailbacks. "But I learned the value of discipline," he says. "That's quite a lot, come to think of it."




In his last game for Michigan famed Tom Harmon ripped his way to three touchdowns.


Jackie Robinson, later to break baseball's color line, was a shifty halfback with UCLA.


Manufacturer W. Dwight Gahm chats with a well-paid employee.


Surgeon Robert W. Jamplis explains views outside center he boosts.


Monsignor Kerr roots at a Boston College home game.


Theologian J-Robert Nelson conducts a class at Boston U.


Coach David Rankin goes over track records at Purdue.


Architect John Carl Warnecke studies model for Kennedy Memorial.