Milne Alumni October Newsletter
October 15, 2012

by Judy Koblintz Madnick, '61

Dear Milne Alumni and Supporters,

In this issue:

* 2012 Milne Alumni Reunion
* Status of Yearbook and Newspaper Digital Reformatting Project
* Digitization of Milne 200 Murals Funded by Milne Class of 1961
* Milne Commons Dedication Audio
* Hall of Fame: Robert V. Meghreblian, Class of 1940
* Sad News

(Please note that links included in Milne Alumni Newsletters may at some point become obsolete.)


We haven't forgotten about the 2012 Milne Alumni Reunion summary! But we want it to be great, so please stay tuned...


I am pleased to report that in just a few weeks we have raised over $2,000 toward digitizing all available Crimson & White and Bricks & Ivy editions. For further information regarding this important project, see Thanks for your support of this initiative, which will be funded solely by your tax-deductible contributions. I will soon post a list of donors within their respective categories.


The Milne School Class of 1961 has donated monies left over from its 50th reunion to fund the following project: University Photographer Mark Schmidt took high-resolution digital photographs of each of the Milne 200 [former Milne library] murals and each section of the Milne frieze. The images were mounted in the LUNA online access tool and are available at the following web address: Each image identification contains the phrase: "Imaging funded by the Milne Class of 1961." Photos in the LUNA database can be captured and enlarged, something that is very valuable to faculty and also to future restorers of the murals or friezes, and you can search by "Milne 200 murals" or "Milne 200 friezes." When you click on the image, you will see an enlarged image, as well as the descriptive data about the photo on the left side of the screen.

Geoff Williams, UAlbany Archivist, stated that "...The University really needs this kind of detailed documentation of art on campus, both for public relations and also for documentation of what exists so it can be recreated. It would also be a good thing to have very good documentation, in color, of the murals as restored, considering that Milne students paid for the murals in the first place and then as alums funded the restoration of the murals."


You may not be aware that in September 1984, the Milne Commons, located in Education Building Room 335, was dedicated. My father made a cassette tape of (most of) the event, and UAlbany Mark Wolfe, Curator of Digital Collections, M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections & Archives, recently volunteered to convert this tape into an audio file. Prior to the dedication, I was asked by Dr. Fossieck to speak, and among the other participants who shared memories were were Bishop David Ball (invocation), Dan Ganeles, and Dr. Irving Richter. Unfortunately, the tape is not complete, but I think you will enjoy hearing voices from the past. The audio is available at -- the same page as the Milne 200 murals. When you reach that page, scroll down to and click on the megaphone and then click on the "right arrow" (carat pointer).


Preston L. Robinson, Class of 1940, and Gail Robinson Keller (daughter) have nominated Robert V. Meghreblian, Class of 1940, to the Milne School Alumni Hall of Fame. Thank you to Gail for providing the following:

It is with pleasure that we name Robert V. Meghreblian, Milne Class of 1940, as our newest Hall of Fame member. Bob is a pioneer in the development of nuclear reactors, but first a little history:

At a recent Milne Class of 1940 Alumni Reunion, Bob said he was born in Cairo, Egypt, in 1922 and immigrated to the USA in 1923. His family did not speak English. He recalled his beginning education in Albany schools. He remembered his mother "pushing" him into a kindergarten classroom. Reflecting, he said he's amazed at the ability of a young child's mind to learn multiple languages, academic skills, and content and to be able to assimilate into new cultures and society. (Bob now speaks four languages.) Bob also remarked about the talent of teachers along the way who helped him learn. Bob entered Milne in 7th grade. He stated that much of the Milne academics were harder than the education he received at RPI. He remarked that the staff at Milne was open-minded and young enough to be innovative, and many truly helped students develop skills of inquiry rather than rote memory. He loved the sciences, math, and arts. In particular, two Milne teachers were pivotal in setting him on his future path.

A Milne art teacher, Grace Martin, pulled Bob aside after a few weeks of classes. He thought he might be in trouble for "doodling" during class time. Rather, the teacher told him his innate skill surpassed what she could teach him in First Year Art, so she suggested he could learn to paint with oils during regular class time if he'd like. With basic guidance and support from his teacher, and classmates who okayed his individual instruction, he became a "decent" (his word) painter. While it did not become his vocation, it did become his avocation. Artistic thinking helped him in his career. This is his 90th year and he still paints and is a recognized advocate of art in the Santa Barbara, California, area.

Another Milne teacher, in the areas of mechanical drawing/shop (obsolete terms today?) encouraged Bob with his abilities to perceive dimensions, his vision to create structures, his aptitude for machinery, and his preoccupation with aviation. (Aviation was still a relatively new field in the 1930s, and it was a significant part of military engagements.) This seems so basic now, but this teacher helped him design a plane out of balsa wood that would operate with propulsion from a propeller. His project was unique enough that the instructor got him permission to demonstrate it inside the Milne auditorium at a talent show...unheard of! The plane flew well. The applause rose. His interest in aviation soared.

Bob graduated from RPI (Gotshall-Powell full scholarship) with a BS in engineering. He then earned an MS (Guggenheim fellow) from California Institute of Technology and his PhD (Guggenheim fellow), which was magna cum laude CIT, 1953. He has patents, publications, and accolades for decades of contributions to teams working on the sciences of aviation, nuclear propulsion, and rocketry. You know when someone kiddingly says, "Yeah, he's a real rocket scientist"? Well...Robert V. Meghreblian, physicist, is!

Some accomplishments are:

* Lecturer (1952-55) - Oak Ridge National Laboratory
* Associate Project Manager (1955-58) chief sect. Physics Jet Propulsion Lab, CIT
* Manager (1958-60) Space Sciences Division CIT
* Deputy Assistant Lab Director (1960-68) CIT
* Associate Professor of Applied Mechanics (1960-61)
* Vice President Research and Engineering (1971-79) Cabot Corporation, Boston
* President (1979-85) Distrigas Corporation
* General Manager ((1985-86) Cabot Crystals-Business Unit
* Director of Corporation Planning and Development (1986-87) Cabot Crystal
* Author: Reactor Analysis (1960) and many published articles, some regarding NASA

Community, government, and artistic accolades:

* US Navy (1941-46) Lt. (j.g.) PTO, ATO.
* Fellow: American Nuclear Society
* Montecito Association (1992- 1998) member, board, Honorary Director (2007-current)
* Montecito, CA Planning Common Counsel (2003-06)
* Montecito Citizen of the Year (2002)
* Art Foundation, City of Santa Barbara, many years as VP, President(2009-10)
* Santa Barbara Club (many years, President 2009-10)
* Tennis Club, Santa Barbara (many years)
* Sigma XI (Scientific Research Society)

Bob's active life includes a family as well as social and civic duties. His hobbies include painting. His education as an engineer and artist also come in handy with his HO model train layout that he's constructed over the past 40 years. Bob is also an avid tennis player and plays several rounds of tennis each week. Bob is nationally ranked 59th in the 80-84 age group. Bob celebrated his 90th birthday in September. (He jokes that he's not ranked in the 85-89 and older age group yet; he suspects there aren't enough participants to hold a tournament.)

Lastly, at the Milne Class of 1940 reunion this past June, those around the table said Bob was the brightest student in their class. They spoke highly of his contributions during the Milne years and his subsequent contributions to society. AND they said personality, compassion, and friendship were his best qualities. We heard him speak kindly and well, appreciative of the longevity of friendships, a quality education and a successful life that were availed to him - a boy who started as an immigrant to America and who entered school speaking no English.

All Hall of Fame members are listed here.


Please note that I rely upon the Albany Times Union and input from other alumni for this information, so if you become aware of someone who has passed away, please let me know. If a name is underlined, it represents a link to the obituary. Many obituaries are available free for a limited time only.

Paul Rissberger, '56, passed away on Thursday, July 28, 2011. He was the brother of Joyce Rissberger Kelly, who was in the Milne Class of '61 but moved on to Shaker High School when it opened.

Helene C. Witt, mother of Arno Witt, '56, and mother-in-law of Moira Hickey Witt, '57, passed away on Friday, August 24, 2012, at the age of 101.

Dr. Stewart Kaskel, father of Rick Kaskel, '72, and Ira Kaskel, '74, passed away on Friday, September 21, 2012.

Selleck Eugene "Gene" Mintline, '41, passed away on Friday, September 28, 2012.

Elmer W. Kilcauley passed away on Monday, October 8, 2012. His obituary indicates that he attended The Milne School, but I don't have his name on any of my lists. Perhaps he attended but didn't graduate from Milne. If anyone has any further information about Elmer, please let me know.

Thanks to all of you for your interest in Milne Alumni activities.

Judy (Koblintz) Madnick, '61

For contact information, see the Milne Alumni homepage:

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