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Members of Lafayette’s 1962 College Bowl championship team will compete with the current mock trial team 7 p.m. tomorrow (April 2) in the Wilson Room of Pfenning Alumni Center.

A panel discussion on “Journey to Success” will follow. The free event is open to the campus community.

The mock trial team came away with a trophy March 21-23 at the American Mock Trial Association’s Silver Flight national tournament in Minneapolis, Minn. Trophies were awarded to the top 15 in the 52-team field. (See related story.)

Comprised of Robert E. Jones ’63, Barry Wellman ’63, Steven Friedman ’64, and Robin Wolfe ’64, Lafayette’s 1962 champions brought home $9,000 in scholarships after five undefeated appearances on the General Electric College Bowl.

“A crowd of students sparked by eleven members of the college band greeted the young men and their coach, Prof. William W. Watt, on their triumphant return to the campus,” reported the November 1962 issue of The Lafayette Alumnus. “And they were entertained, interviewed and honored all over the area as the eighth team to retire undefeated in the five-year history of the TV game.”

Lafayette bested teams representing the University of Cincinnati, University of Rochester, Hope College, American University, and University of California at Berkeley.

“Our participation in the College Bowl was a very big deal in 1962 — certainly the biggest deal on campus that year,” recalls Jones. who keeps a phonograph record with the audio recording of one of Lafayette’s wins. “We used to get fan letters from girls, alumni — all sorts of people. When we finally won for the fifth time, which was the limit, we were greeted with a huge parade welcoming us back to campus. We were carried on people’s shoulders, the marching played — the whole business. We also were invited to speak at several alumni functions.”

Jones has fond memories of Watt, an English professor and authority on Victorian literature. “He was a great lecturer,” he notes. “He had a very gruff, witty, and entertaining manner. His course on Shakespeare was something that many people tried to take.”

The entire experience was extremely exciting, says Jones. The TV network provided the team with accommodations at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City. “We got tickets to Broadway shows like A Man for All Seasons and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. I saw the closing performance of My Fair Lady.”

The competition was held at a New York theater just off Broadway, with the teams sitting at either end of the stage. Memorable moments included a blowout victory in which the team scored about 20 times as many points as its opponent and a comeback win against the University of California at Berkeley.

A history graduate, Jones is professor of history at University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He is author of The Emancipation of the Russian Nobility and Provincial Development in Russia: Catherine II and Jakob Sievers as well as 16 scholarly articles on Russian history. He is a frequent participant in national and international conferences and has received several grants, including the Fulbright-Hays and six grants from IREX, all for research in the USSR and Russia. He earned a Ph.D. from Cornell in 1968.

Also a history graduate, Wellman is professor of sociology at University of Toronto (see related story). He directs the NetLab, teaches, and does research at the Center for Urban and Community Studies, the Knowledge Media Design Institute, and the Bell University Laboratories’ Collaborative Environment Lab. He also is a cross-appointed member of the faculty of Information Studies. He is a recent Fellow of IBM’s Institute of Knowledge Management and is involved in related organizations. He is author of more than 200 articles and editor of three books (see related story). He earned masters and Ph.D. degrees in sociology from Harvard University in 1965 and 1969, respectively.

A biology graduate, Friedman is medical director of Wellpoint Life and Health. He was in private practice for plastic surgery in Medford, Mass., from 1975-1995. He earned his MD from Albert Einstein College of Medicine in 1968. His daughter, Merritt, graduated from Lafayette in 1993.

The team’s third history graduate, Wolfe is a partner in the New York law firm of Kantor, Davidoff, Wolfe, Mandelker & Kass, P.C. He specializes in a wide range of corporate and commercial litigation in all New York State courts and in federal courts, as well as arbitration proceedings and several criminal proceedings. Heavy experience has included all phases of litigation, including drafting of pleadings, motions, research and drafting of all memoranda and briefs, conduct and defense of depositions, drafting of interrogatories, and other discovery devices. He received his law degree from Columbia University in 1969.

Categorized in: Alumni Profiles