Bertram Borden (1869-1956)
Hall of Fame 2001
The first inductee to the Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School Hall of Fame did not attend our schools, nor is he being honored for his life achievements outside of the Rumson area. Although those achievements were multi-faceted and highly impressive, he is being honored for his philanthropy that has benefited the community of Rumson and for making Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School a reality.
Until the construction and dedication in 1936 of Rumson High School, a four-year high school diploma was a rarity for the young people of Rumson and Fair Haven. Oceanic High School, a highly overcrowded building which once stood on Lafayette Street, educated all children of Rumson from Kindergarten to tenth grade. A family with four children could easily find their boys and girls attending school in four different buildings as far apart as St. George’s By The River and Rumson Presbyterian Church. A diploma was awarded to all who completed tenth grade at Oceanic High School. For about half of the young people, education was finished at the age of 15. Any graduates who wanted to complete a four-year high school program were sent to Red Bank High School and given trolley fare for the commute. The trolley went along River Road to Monmouth Street; they walked the rest of the way to the building which is now Red Bank’s Middle School. Sometimes they bought ice cream or candy with their bus fare and had to walk home. In the post-Depression era, few people were convinced that the community should take on the huge expense of the construction of a high school building. Bertram Borden, President of the Board of Education, knew how critical the need was and campaigned to pass the referendum by walking from door to door and holding a rally at Victory Memorial Park. He had created and outfitted a school band; and, whenever a dissenting speaker would get started, he would signal the band leader to “strike up the band” to drown out the speech. Against all odds, the referendum passed, and the main building of our school was built to house grades 7-12. Fair Haven students attended the school from its beginning, but the name was not changed to Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School until 1956.
In 1920, Mr. Borden and his wife, Mary Owen Borden, donated Victory Memorial Park, complete with tennis courts and bath houses, to the community in memory of those lost in the fighting of World War I. Bertram Borden’s philanthropy continued throughout the years, and he donated such gifts as our clock tower and chimes and the Borden Stadium. He also funded a four-year college scholarship for a graduate of R-FH. In an age long before medical insurance, he created a fund to help those children in the community who needed medical and surgical help. Many older Rumson residents remember children who were sent for medical help to a New York hospital, where rooms were always kept available for Mr. Borden’s school children. He also arranged for a dentist to attend to children at school. In 1956, when Forrestdale School was being built, he donated the Kindergarten room, containing floor tiles chosen with special decorative patterns for the little children to enjoy. He passed away before Forrestdale was completed but not before he had once more given something special to the young people of our town.
It is hard to believe that all of this generosity toward our schools came from a man who never had children of his own. In 1941, at the dedication of the Borden Stadium, which was donated in memory of his late wife, Bertram Borden made the following remarks reflective of his 18 years as a member of the Board of Education, “I have been interested in the children of Rumson all of this time and will continue to think of them as my school family as long as I live.” Mayor James C. Auchincloss welcomed the opposing team from Metuchen and then told them, “There are two things which we can’t give you, Bert Borden and the game!” Brooks La Boyteaux, President of The Purple and Whites, precursor of our Bulldog Boosters, stated, “We picked you as a guiding star…” then offered his appreciation for all of the work which Mr. Borden had done for the community. Sixty years later, we add our own gratitude and name Bertram Borden as our first inductee to the Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School Hall of Fame.
Eric S. Edelman
Thirty years after his graduation from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School, Eric Edelman was sworn in at the State Department as the U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Finland. Amidst friends and family on July 20, 1998, Mr. Edelman said that he hoped his parents would finally be convinced he did the right thing by not going to law school. On August 27, 1998, he presented his credentials to President Martti Ahtisaari in Helsinki.
Mr. Edelman began his long, distinguished career as a Foreign Service Officer after graduating from Cornell University in 1972 with a B.A. in History and Government and after earning a Ph.D. in United States Diplomatic History at Yale University in 1981. While at Yale, he focused on U.S.-Soviet relations and Western Europe. “I have tried to think about the things that have tied the various aspects of my Foreign Service career together.” Mr. Edelman continued, “And I concluded that there were two related things – the power of ideas in foreign policy, and the role of the democratic revolution in world affairs.”
Mr. Edelman received an award for Distinguished Civilian Service by the Secretary of Defense in 1993 and the State Department’s Superior Honor Award (1989, 1990, and 1995). Previously, he served as Special Assistant to Secretary of State George P. Shultz (1982 – 1984). He also served as staff officer on the Secretariat Staff, as watch officer in the State Department’s Operations Center, and as a member of the U.S. Middle East Delegation to the West Bank/Gaza Autonomy Talks (1980 – 1981).
The grandchild of four Russian-born immigrants to the United States, it was with great pride and patriotism that Mr. Edelman served overseas at the U.S. Embassies in Moscow (1987 – 1989) and Prague, Czech Republic (1994 – 1996). He had responsibility for Soviet Policies in the Third World in the Office of Soviet Affairs at the Department of State from 1984 to 1986. He served also as Special Assistant (European Affairs) to Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Robert M. Kimmitt in 1989.
Most recently, he has served as Assistant Deputy under Secretary of Defense for Soviet and East European Affairs in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Mr. Edelman was appointed Executive Assistant to the Deputy Secretary of State and in 1993 as Deputy to Strobe Talbott, who was then Ambassador-at-Large and Special Advisor to the Secretary of State on the New Independent States. He was directly engaged in working on European security architecture, including the NATO-Russia Founding Act and the enlargement of NATO.
A proponent of the “theory of democratic peace,” Mr. Edelman explained, “Democracies are more likely to carry out their commitments, more supportive of free trade, more willing to respect the rule of law, more prepared to solve differences by compromise and less likely to resort to violence against one another.” He has found that the democratic revolution in world affairs that began in the early 1980′s has united people of differing political persuasions in a “common policy of encouragement and support.”
Chicago Tribune architecture critic Blair Kamin is a winner of journalism’s highest honor, the Pulitzer Prize, one of 20 professional awards he has received.
Born in Red Bank, New Jersey, Mr. Kamin graduated from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School in 1975, where he was co-valedictorian. He graduated from Amherst College in 1979 with a Bachelor of Arts and from the Yale University School of Architecture in 1984 with a Master of Environmental Design. In 1999, he was a Visiting Fellow at the Franke Institute for the Humanities at the University of Chicago.
After working as a reporter for the Des Moines Register from 1984 to 1987, Mr. Kamin joined the Tribune in 1987 and covered suburban and cultural news. Since becoming the Tribune’s architecture critic in 1992, he has written about the full range of the built environment, from skyscrapers and museums to parks and public housing.
A contributing editor of Architectural Record, Blair Kamin has served as a Pulitzer Prize juror and as a juror for the Federal Design Achievement Awards of the Presidential Design Awards. He has lectured widely and has appeared on numerous radio and television programs about architecture, from National Public Radio to ABC’s “Nightline.”
In 1999, Mr. Kamin was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for criticism for a body of work that included a series of articles about Chicago’s lakefront. In addition to the Pulitzer, he has received the George Polk Award for Criticism, the Institute Honor for Collaborative Achievement from the American Institute of Architects, and the Peter Lisagor Award for Exemplary Journalism, which he has won eight times.
Mr. Kamin wrote the commentaries for Tribune Tower: American Landmark, an architectural guidebook to the noted Chicago skyscraper that Tribune Company published in 2000. In the fall of 2001, the University of Chicago Press will publish a collection of his columns titled: “Why Architecture Matters: Lessons from Chicago.”
Nelson Riddle (1921-1985)
One of the most well-known musicians of his day, Nelson Riddle, a composer, arranger and conductor of the Big Band sound, grew up mostly in Northern New Jersey and summered in Rumson and Fair Haven. In order for him to have the opportunity to be in a school band, his family decided to move to Rumson so that Nelson could have his senior year at Rumson High School. He played trombone in the high school band and also played in various local bands. Classmates remember his last-minute addition as a member of a local dance band performing at the Fair Haven Fireman’s Fair. Since the bandstand had been built for one less musician, the platform had to be extended with a stack of cinder blocks. The stack shifted, and Nelson Riddle fell to the ground; but, true professional that he was, he didn’t miss a beat with his trombone.
His interest in arranging music began when he was introduced to Bill Finnegan, also a Rumson High graduate who later became Glenn Miller’s chief arranger. At that time Finnegan, who was just getting started on his career, taught Nelson Riddle how to arrange and gave him the dream of making music his full-time vocation. After Nelson’s high school graduation, Bill Finnegan recommended him to Charlie Spivak. It was the start of a very successful career. By 1944, he was traveling across America with The Tommy Dorsey Orchestra. After service in World War II, he joined Bob Crosby’s band in California. In 1950 he was working with NBC Radio and began to arrange music for Nat King Cole through Capital Records. Some of the great hits he arranged for Nat King Cole were “Mona Lisa” and “Too Young’. Other long-term Capital Records relationships were with Frank Sinatra (“I’ve Got You Under My Skin”), Peggy Lee, Margaret Whiting, Judy Garland, Dean Martin, Keely Smith and Ella Fitzgerald(Gershwin Songbook). While in Hollywood, he wrote and arranged music scores for many movies including: Oceans Eleven; Robin and The Seven Hoods; Harlow; and A Rage to Live. He also worked on television series such as: The Untouchables, Route 66, and Naked City. In 1956, he won a gold record for “Lisbon Antigua”. He was nominated for nine Grammy Awards and won a Grammy in 1958 for his composition of Cross Country Suite. He won another Grammy posthumously in 1986 for his arrangements and conducting of Big Band songs for Linda Ronstadt. In 1974 he won an Oscar for his score of the movie The Great Gatsby. He arranged and conducted the orchestras for the inaugural balls of John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan.
His love of the music industry and his specialty of arranging and conducting scores led him to write a textbook to help upcoming young arrangers. When asked why he wrote a book on his music rather than his life story, he answered:
Unlike many celebrities who think their life is so fascinating that they will write and sell a book about it, I didn’t do this at all. Having had the good fortune to work with so many famous people like Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Peggy Lee and Judy Garland, I wanted to describe such people so young readers would not think such a possibility too remote. It is within the range of possibility that they could also be blessed as I was. In my early years, I thought if I could play third trombone, that would be IT.
Nelson Riddle’s original manuscripts and his awards have been donated by his family to the University of Arizona. A book about his life and career which features 150 interviews with reminiscences of him has been edited by his six children, one of whom has carried on his band.
Class of 1977
Hall of Fame 2001
Cindy Zipf, who grew up in Rumson near the Sea Bright Bridge, has had a natural interest in the quality of shore life since her childhood when she spent much time in the beach environment. She earned a bachelor’s degree in marine policy from the University of Rhode Island and began her career working for the National Marine Fisheries Service. In 1982 while serving as an intern for the American Littoral Society’s dumping task force, she founded the non-profit environmental coalition, Clean Ocean Action, whose main goal is to reduce and eliminate ocean pollution in the severely contaminated coastal waters of New Jersey and New York. She worked from her small apartment in Sea Bright with a fierce determination and commitment to resist the tide of pollution that was encroaching upon our shores. In the 1980′s the offshore region of NJ/NY was know as the “ocean dumping capital of the world” with eight ocean dumpsites offshore. By 1996 Clean Ocean Action (COA) had used public advocacy, motivation of citizens, and the pressuring of elected officials to successfully close all the dumpsites. The expression “I can see my toes” was heard from Montauk, Long Island to Cape May, New Jersey.
Her responsibilities often take her to Washington D.C. where she has helped set national precedents, including the 1996 agreement with Vice-President Gore to halt dumping of contaminated harbor mud off the New Jersey coast. No other state has this agreement. In 1992 COA was predominantly instrumental in influencing lawmakers to institute a law requiring the EPA to research and collect data on underwater contamination nationwide. This law includes rivers, lakes, and oceans. In 1988 COA was instrumental in influencing lawmakers to institute a law called the “Ocean Dumping Ban Act”. This law ended ocean dumping of sewage sludge and industrial waste. COA is currently a major player in the NJ/NY Harbor Project to develop new technologies as an alternative to ocean dumping and to clean up underwater contamination. This is the only project of its kind on the ocean coasts.
Now headquartered in Sandy Hook, with a mid-coast office in Tuckerton and a southern office in Wildwood, Cindy Ziph has built COA into a coalition of 180 member organizations, which represent hundreds of businesses and thousands of citizens throughout New Jersey and New York.
She is particularly enthusiastic about educating children. She has involved many students in a variety of programs, aimed at educating students and others about issues concerning ocean dumping and non-point source pollution, the nation’s number one ocean pollution problem. These programs include Statewide Beach Sweeps (the largest grass roots environmental event in NJ), Storm Drain Stenciling, and Student Summits.
Cindy Ziph has received numerous state and national awards, including awards from the Kiwanis Club and Garden Clubs. The Tides Foundation, a California-based national philanthropic foundation, presented her with the “Steward of the Year” award in 1995.
She was highlighted as one of ten runners-up who were emphasized as part of an NBC special entitled “15 Most Inspiring Women in America in 1996″. There were three criteria by which they chose the women: women who inspire others, women who struggle against all odds, and women who break new ground. Two quotes from the section about Cindy Zipf are: “She tirelessly rallies people to clean beaches and restore water, writes thousands of appeals, and refuses to be ignored.” and “Cindy Zipf has motivated hundreds of thousands to make a difference.”