1 October, 2009
Lester Institute Alumni
CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL MY
COLLEAGUES ON THIS AUSPICIOUS OCCATION OF THE 60TH ANNIVERSARY OF
THE FOUNDING OF THE ‘NEW’ CHINA. MARY AND I ARE VERY PROUD OF OUR
‘CHINESE BORN’ ORIGINS.
Regards to all
Alex Samson Ph. D. (Class of 1945)
5565 Terra Granada
Walnut Creek, CA 94595
September 20, 2009
I have been fortunately receiving your alumni newsletters (the latest in July 2009) addressed to me without a house number. Our post office lately announced that letters without a full address from now on will not be delivered. So please be sure to correct your record to ensure that I will not miss future correspondences from you.
I am a graduate of Henry Lester Institute’s 1942 Civil Engineering class, and I can recall some of my classmates names: 尤祥祯、应仁荣、周礼庠、汪敏勇、许德光, and 杨鸣九(Mech. Eng). I have considered writing this letter in Chinese, but I already had difficulty in reading many of the Chinese articles in the newsletters, and seeing how 祥祯兄 has been translating many of the articles, I’m requesting that he’ll grant me the kindness to translate this letter.
I left Shanghai in 1947 on a Chinese government scholarship to study City Planning in U.S. graduate schools for 2 years. I went to Cornell University and enrolled in the Archtectural Dept for a major in City Planning and also for a minor in Structureal Engineering in the Civil Eng. Dept. My C.E. professor, Dr. Winter, liked me so much and succeeded in switching my major and minor. It ended in my getting a Master in C. E. degree in 1949.
Before I got my M.C.E. degree I came to New York City in the winter of 1948 and obtained part-time engineering work and starting classes at Columbia University. As a part-time-work-study graduate student I stayed in the International House on Riverside Drive, near the Riverside Church and Julliard School of Music. At Julliard I met Helen and we were married in Sept. 1950 in the chaple（石注：可能是chapel） of Riverside Church I was 30 yrs old, 59 years ago. Also in 1950 Congress passed a special Displaced Person Act so we could all apply and obtained U.S. citizenship.
I switched between jobs and eventually settled down with TAMS Engineers with a main office in NYC and branches all over the world. I worked first on bridge projects and later mostly on highway and airport designs. I helped develop computer models, won an airport simulation award, and was named one of the Men of the year by the Engineering News Record magazine in 1971. I traveled for the company to lecture and illustrate the computer models that the company eventually convinced me that a PhD degree was not essential for my performance with the company, so I never went back to finish my doctoral dissertation at Columbia U. I worked as a liaison engineer with the Computer Dept till 1975, when I became the Director of the Computer Center at TAMS, extending computer work to include project management and tracking company finances, I developed networking and workstations so people can share work from different locations. Two years before my full retirement I worked part-time at home, and using a PC computer at home I can monitor my department perconnels’ work on their computers in the office.
In 1987 I fully retired and after traveling and visiting several friends already retired, we decided to move in 1989 to our present address in the Rossmoor retirement community where over 8000 people with average age close to 80 lived over 3000 acres of land. We have 2 golf courses, 8 tennis courts, 4 swimming pools and a fitness exercise center. We have 5 clubhouses and over 200 organizations in recreation, hobbies, social activities like dancing, singing and games. The weather here is nice all year round so most of us can spend mornings golfing, tennising, swimming and afternoons indoors gaming, hobbying, etc. We even find time to do volunteer work to help others. I myself spend a few hours each week at the Rossmoor computer center.
We have a son and a daughter, both in the academic field,, and 4 grandchidren at college age. They all move to California from the East Coast since we moved here. Our son Andrew at UC Davis north of us and our daughter Barbara at Stanford U. south of us is each about an hour’s drive time from us. They trans port us to visit eavh other, as we no longer drive on the highway, especially at night.
Since I left China in 1947 we never had a chance to come back until 1973. We came not only to Beijing and Shanghai, but also some inland cities where I gave lectures on computer usage. In Shanghai we visited 杨鸣九 and probably met many Lester schoolmates. I can‘t recall exactly how many times I met with Lester schoolmates in our other return trips, but it seemed like more than once.
In conclusion let me again thank you for the wonderful newletters and also, especially the booklet “Bequest and Memory” edited by Ms.房芸芳. It really brings back precious memories. I’m also enclosing a check of US $40 to help pay the postage you spent sending these wonderful documents to me.
Yours very gratefully,
We thank you very much for your sending us a check of 40 US dollars and we are very glad to read your letter introducing your outstanding learning and work experiences and also your happy life after retirement in the States, We will publish your letter in our next newsletter and we firmly believe that not only your classmates but also the whole alumni will be much interested to read it after a long separation of more than 60 years.
We posted a copy of your letter to Mr. 尤祥祯. We think he will give you a reply directly.
Mr.尤祥祯does not use computers, but he lives with his daughter, so you may use his daughter’s e-mail address, that is:
As for your mail address, we will add your house number to it to guarrantee that from now on our newsletters will reach you in time.
Lester Institute Alumni Association
我转换了若干工作，终于在TAMS工程公司站稳了脚。该公司总部在纽约，分公司遍布全球。我最初搞桥梁工程，以后大部分是公路和机场设计。我协助开发计算机模型，获得一项机场模拟奖，并在1971年《工程报导》杂志上被命名为“年度名人（Men of the year）”。我为公司到处作讲演，展示计算机模型，因此公司终于承认我在公司的表现，一个博士学位就并不重要了，所以我就不再回哥伦比亚大学去完成博士论文了。1975年前我作为计算机部门的联络工程师，随即被任为TAMS计算机中心主管，扩大计算机工作，包括项目管理和掌握公司财务。我开发网络和网站，使人们从不同地点分享工作。在我完全退休二年前，我在家进行部分工作，在家就利用个人计算机监控在办公室里本部门人员的计算机工作。
我们有一子一女，都从事科技工作，有4个孙辈，都上了大学。从我们搬到这里后，他们都从东岸搬到加利福尼亚。儿子安得鲁在UC Davis, 在我们北面，女儿巴巴拉在斯坦福大学生，在我们南面，驾车一小时都能到达。他们开车接我们相聚，因为我们已不在公路上驾驶了，尤其在夜间。