This Week's Speaker
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Bulletin Editor
Rich Orr

There was an air of levity in President Bruce Bean’s last official meeting.  He noted (among other things) that this was ‘Take a Hike with a Geek’ week.  From the back of the room, a feminine voice chimed, “What are you doing later this afternoon?"  Anne LeClair is in Austin, so the query cannot be attributed to her… however, she must have been there in spirit!

The goals of Bruce’s Rotary year have been met and exceeded, and under his low-key leadership, the club has risen steadily to ever greater achievements.  We all know that San Mateo Rotary’s success is a group effort, but the responsibility and time commitments fall disproportionally on its president.  Congratulations, Bruce, on a stellar year….you exemplified Rotary’s motto, “Service above Self!”

With the thought of the day, Bob Binn ruminated on the blessings and the curses of technology in our lives.  Quoting Steven Spielberg, Bob noted that while technology has expanded our horizons exponentially, it has also suppressed our abilities to daydream, to imagine, and to converse articulately.

In recapping John Kelly’s Celebration of Life, Pam Frisella expressed her appreciation to the club for its support of John, both during his tenure in leading Samaritan House, and particularly during his final years in decline.  According to those in attendance for the memorial service at Serra High School, it was both extraordinary and uplifting to realize the vast number of lives John was pivotal in improving.

Noting that the memorial benches funded by Rotarian donors honoring  Aron Hoffman have now been installed in Central Park, Shiela Canzian  announced that a formal dedication will be arranged when Aron’s family is available.  A plaque on one of the benches reads “….Committed philanthropist, Rotarian, and public servant, dedicated husband, father, and friend." (Well-chosen words!)

Rosemary Azem, Rod Linhares, and Bob Mendoza tag-teamed to announce a new partnership through the RI Foundation with the Rotary Club of Corozal, Belize.  The program will fund secondary school scholarships for students whose education would otherwise terminate in the 8th grade.  Notable was that with a show of hands, 10 Rotarians pledged the remaining $2,000 to complete a $10,000 commitment.








Denise Pope, Phd - Stanford School of Education, CoFounder of Challenge Success, a research and advocacy group 

Any educator and many parents will confide that something has gone horribly wrong in the college admission quest.  Students have become strivers to the point of exhaustion, unhealthy anxiety, and burnout.  Furthermore, many have done so at the urging of parents who perceive acceptance to an elite college as the crown jewel of their child’s education.

What has been sacrificed in this scramble to the top is the love of learning, relationship-building, ethics, and resilience….all of which are critical adult life skills.  Top colleges, including Stanford have come to realize that many of their undergraduates are afflicted.  That realization led to Stanford’s asking Denise Pope, a then Phd candidate, to consider an intervention strategy….ergo, her cofounding Challenge Success.  (

Her program is dual-pronged.  On the one hand, it is data-driven to analyze outcomes for undergraduate students from all college and university educations vs. those from elite schools.  Additionally, the program seeks to educate high school students and parents (along with institutions of higher learning) with their findings.  As one might imagine, successful college achievement is predicated on student engagement, rather than on GPA.  Thus a great undergraduate education is possible anywhere a student is willing and able to immerse him(or her)self in the opportunities presented.

The problem, according Dr. Pope, is that while elite schools have begun to reconsider their admission markers, students and parents have yet to believe this shift.

In response to a question referencing the Supreme Court being heavily weighted toward Harvard and Yale, Dr. Pope acknowledged that graduate education within an elite institution presents a distinct advantage by virtue of association, recognition, and opportunity.

Great program!…..thanks to Walt McCullough for yet another thought-provoking speaker!


Photos courtesy of Peter Webb MD

Let's all give a big hand of applause to Rich Orr, this week's Spinnings editor, for a job well done!

— DS

President Bruce
'Blue Check' Bean
Upcoming Speakers
Jun 27, 2019
Also Known As The Bean Roast
Jul 04, 2019
Celebrate the National Holiday Your Own Way
Jul 11, 2019 12:00 PM
Noon at Rotary Grove in San Mateo's Central Park (Remember $20 CASH)
Jul 18, 2019
ALOHA THURSDAY! and The History of Rotary Haciendas
Jul 25, 2019
The Transcontinental Railroad
Aug 08, 2019
Criminal Justice
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