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You are here: Davis of Iowa > Jim Davis's Biography > Part VI                    Click HERE to go to Part VII

Part VI
My HBS Years

Back to school, to earn a Harvard MBA-

We began the process of locating a rental in the Boston area.  The HBS provided information on rental properties popular with its students.   We made some inquiries and settled on an apartment complex located in Watertown, MA, a 20 minute commute to the HBS campus.  The apartment address was 74 Duff St.  We made arrangements to rent a two bedroom two story apartment,  with an unfinished basement which was one-half of a duplex – all without seeing the apartment.  I advised Purex that I would be resigning the middle of August to relocate to Boston to attend HBS.  Purex staffing at that time was sufficiently strong so I was not leaving Purex with a really difficult staffing issue.  The final days at Purex and in our wonderfully close New Jersey neighborhood, were a blur.  We left with considerable good wishes and many teary good byes particularly from our very good friends of three years, the McKenzies.   A few years later, Russ was promoted to the position of manager of the Omaha Purex plant.  In the interim  he received his private pilot’s license and  purchased a used single engine plane.  We decided to trade-in our Pontiac sedan and to purchase a more economical VW Bug for the next two years. 
We arrived in Watertown near the end of August, set up the apartment for our two year stay.  Our bedroom was decent size, so I purchased a conventional interior house door along with two two-drawer filing cabinets as supporting ends for the door which became my desk for studying the next two years.  The girls settled neatly into their room and enjoyed new bunk beds.  The apartment proved to be a wonderful choice as we had many neighbors who were first and second year HBS students and many others that were students in various Harvard Colleges, e.g., the School of Education and the School of Law, as well as other local universities.  The girls had a walk to their school of about six blocks and there was a large parking lot and children’s play area within the complex of apartments which surrounded that play area.   There were a fair number of children in the complex providing Cindie and Kim with a number of contemporary playmates. The large relatively unbusy parking lot was a great place to ride bicycles so we purchased bicycles for Cindie and Kim, complete with training wheels.   However, they both had the training wheels off shortly and thoroughly enjoyed riding their bikes and even sharing them with their friends.
The girls enjoyed their new Watertown, neighborhood playmates.  Karen initially walked them to school several times to insure that they knew the way and would carefully observe the traffic.  Fortunately, there were a number of other children from our apartment complex, who attended this primary school.  Cindie was in first grade and Kim was in kindergarten but other slightly older students from our apartment complex attended the school and provided some needed guidance to Cindie and Kim in walking to school.   We thought that both girls had settled into school nicely however, early in the school year Karen received a call from Cindie’s teacher reporting that Cindie was not in class.  Karen panicked and  walked to school to find Cindie.  When approaching the school, Karen spotted Cindie sitting on a swing set in the school playground.  Cindie’s response to “why are you not in class” was that she did not  like school.  However, the next day and for the rest of her school years, Cindie faithfully, without protest attended school and excelled with her school work.  Kim did well in kindergarten and first grade in the Watertown Public School.  Kim picked up a strong Boston/New England twang to her speech.   It took her years for that “twang” to disappear  or at least moderate.
Registration and orientation at HBS for our class was conducted in one day, which also included a welcoming address by our Dean, George P. Baker.  There were about 650 members in our class. We were preassigned to seven different sections, of about 95 students each.  We students were preassigned to our sections as the staff attempted to provide as much balanced representation as possible.  That differences among us were primarily our work experience at the time of admission and our undergraduate major.   We had possibly one-third of the class who were admitted directly from undergraduate school, with the balance having at least military experience and/or a few years of work experience post their undergraduate degree.  A few of us had more work and/or military experience, e.g., five to fifteen years of experience.   We had students with nearly every undergraduate major field possible.   The largest single group were the engineers; the rest of the class included  many  other majors, e.g., business, particularly accounting and finance majors, liberal arts, science, physiatry and even the much maligned “music major from Princeton”.  There were eight women on our class which was the first HBS class to directly  admit women.  Previously, women who were enrolled in Harvard’s Radcliffe College graduate program were permitted to take classes at the HBS, however they were not awarded MBAs from HBS.  The eight women in our class were placed in three of the sections, three each in two sections and two in a third section.  None were in Section C which was the section to which I was assigned. We had a senior U.S. Navy officer and a senior U.S. Air Force officer in our section and we had five international students.   In our section, were 92 white males and one black man.  Each student in every section had  alphabetically assigned seating, with name placards which we placed in the desk holder in front of us.  We did not change those seats during the year.  As I write this – 2023 - the HBS classes are approximately one-half women, many more men and women of color and many more international students.
Each section was assigned a home room which was an approximate 100 seat amphitheater  designed classroom with continuous tables in front of each row of seats.  All of these rooms were in the lower level of Aldrich Hall.  All first year students had the same classes/courses for the entire year, which were Marketing, Finance, Managerial Economics, Reporting and Control (MERC), Planning and the Business Environment (PBE), Human Relations, Production and Written Analysis of Cases  (WAC) all of which was taught in the section’s home room.  Each of these courses were two term courses, except for human relations which was a three term course.  (Each year was divided into three terms; each term was approximately ten weeks long.)
At orientation we received  our class schedule for the first of three terms in the first year and our book requirements.  We learned  who our professor was for the course at the first class.  The classes were each 50 minutes long.  The classes of each course were taught using a “case” as the basis of the educational learning assignment, hence the designation of the “case method” of teaching business management.  Most of these cases were actual business situations written by HBS personnel, frequently doctoral candidates or research assistants under the tutelage of a professor of the particular department for which the case was to be used.  These cases were used worldwide in business schools to teach business methods and principles.  The sale of such cases served as a source of revenue for HBS.  Occasionally, the cases were written by HBS students as a special project assignment
Section C, HBS Class of 1965 has always prided itself as being the premiere section of our class based on the number of us whose careers were possibly among the very best of any HBS class.  In part, we believe that this was due to the outstanding professors from whom we had the privilege of learning.   Our marketing course was taught by Ted Levitt, who was  recognized as the pre-eminent marketing professor in the country.  Our Planning and the Business Environment was taught by Professor Lawrence Fouraker, who later became Dean of HBS succeeding Dean Baker and serving for ten years.  Our finance course was taught by Professor John McArthur who succeeded Dean Fouraker as Dean of HBS and served fifteen years with distinction.  Our other professors were outstanding as well.  No other section in our class enjoyed the caliber of professors as our section.  And I dare say no succeeding class section enjoyed this caliber of professors.  Each professor was part expert in his field, part debate moderator and part showman.  Ted Levit who was awarded the rank of “Lecturer” and not  “Professor” at HBS, despite his marketing expertise and national  recognition as the country’s leading marketing professor, had the habit of throwing chalk at the students, particularly if he did not like the student’s  answer or  argument.  Levit was outstanding at drawing two students into opposite positions and fostering the debate between the two - or  more - students.   No other professor came close to replicating Lecturer Levitt’s classroom ability, although each professor had a very effective way of managing the class and the discussion of the cases.
Our first marketing class started off with Lecturer Levit walking into the classroom from a door at the front of the room, placing his papers on the lectern, turning to the class and saying “Mr. Roberts will you begin, please?”  Not an introduction, not a hello, not a “by your leave”, just “…. will you begin, please?”  Everyone in the class was extremely glad that they were not Mr. Roberts at that  moment.  ‘Intimidation par excellence’!   At the end of the class, Lecturer Levit introduced himself, welcomed us to Marketing 101 and told us what he expected of us.   It was an intimidating introduction to HBS. 
The other classes started similarly, although typically the professors introduced themselves, greeted we students and introduced the class with a brief description of the material and what the professor expected.  The first week of classes was very challenging for me as it was a totally different environment..   We students were advised day one to organize ourselves into study groups with other first year students and to prepare for the following day’s classes by discussing the assigned cases with our study group members.  We learned which of our section-mates lived near us and quickly formed our study groups.  Most of our class-mates were single and opted to live in the campus residence halls, so finding several class-/section-mates to form a study group was fairly easy for them.   We married students were scattered and it was a challenge for some of them to form a study group.   Again, I was lucky as  we had numerous first year HBS students in our apartment complex.  Our study group consisted of John Hobbs, Bill Gould, Herb Gould, Dave Sutton and me.  We lived within 100 yards of each other.  Since none of the others in our study group had children, we typically met at one of their apartments.  We had a very effective study group.   Each of us had worked in business between our undergraduate studies and HBS, which contributed to our experience base.  John Hobbs was particularly talented and was one of a few first year students who were selected as Baker Scholars – a recognition for only the very best first year students.  We also organized a car pool, as parking at HBS was not plentiful and most of we students had only one car, so our spouses typically had the car every day of the week except the day in which we drove for the car pool.  In as much as all of we first year students had the identical class schedule, carpooling was quite convenient and economical.
While I was getting organized, introduced and oriented to my studies, Karen managed the household, applied for substitute teaching positions at the local public schools as well as spreading the word that she was available to do typing for those students who needed this help.  Regardless, these work opportunities were limited, as there was a plethora of young undergraduate spouses in the area all looking for substitute or part-time work to support a spouse or family, while the other spouse was attending school.  Karen was able to secure a bit of work, however, we mainly supported ourselves on loans from HBS to cover our living expenses as well as HBS tuition.  
One of the most demanding first year courses was Written Analysis of Cases (WAC), which required we students to analyze the assigned case and to write a concise paper in response to the questions raised by the case or as directed by the class professor.   The paper had to be no longer than the specified length  of so many words and had to be submitted no later than 5 pm on the particular Saturday for which it was assigned.  The papers were submitted via an opening in a window into the Library basement and at 5 pm, the opening was closed.  If our WAC reports were not submitted on time, we received a zero for that assignment.  It was  always interesting to see the mad dash to the submittal window at 4:50 pm on the days the WAC reports were due.
On Tuesday, November 22, the day President John F. Kennedy was killed, we learned of his death from our car radio sitting beside the Baker Library on the HBS campus.   Karen and the girls met me at school after my classes for the day.  We were going to visit downtown Boston and let the girls meet Santa Claus.  Just as I got into our car the announcement was made that our President had been shot and killed.   This was a devastating blow to the nation, as President Kennedy enjoyed very high popularity, particularly in his home state of Massachusetts.  His death took the joy out of our pre-Christmas visit to downtown Boston however we did not want to disappoint Cindie and Kim who were too young to understand the assassination.
Our family celebrated Thanksgiving that year by ourselves in our Watertown apartment.  It was a quiet celebration, as all of the Boston area and indeed most of the country was in shock and anger over the assassination of President Kennedy.  There was continual TV coverage of his assassination and the hunt for his killer.  Vice-President Lyndon Johnson was sworn in on Air Force I immediately upon the death of President Kennedy.  President Johnson accomplished a considerable amount in the less than two years of his administration.  Most significantly, he spearheaded the effort to pass The Great Society legislation. President Johnson won re-election in 1966 by a landslide against Senator Barry Goldwater.
Our HBS first of three terms of the first year was completed with exams between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Only two of our classes were concluded in this term and four were continued into the subsequent terms of the first year.   I received a “P” in Human Behavior and a “P+” in Managerial Economics, Reporting and Control.  HBS graded in five categories:  “D” Distinction, “HP” High Pass, “P” Pass, “LP” Low Pass and “U” Unsatisfactory, with the possible addition of a “+” or “-“ to each.  I was quite disappointed in my P+ in MERC as I thought that I knew the material quite well, however, the professor advised me that I had not written a good final exam.   Our grades were a combination of the professor’s evaluation of our classroom participation and our written final exams.  Occasionally, there was a third component, e.g.,  a written report or project.
As year-end holidays approached, we were considering two options as to where we spend the Christmas holidays, we could drive to Iowa, some 1300 miles or to spend it with our friends, the Bohne’s, our New Jersey neighbors, who had recently moved to their family’s Bennington, Vermont homestead where among other things they grew apples for commercial sale.  Their new home was only about 100 miles away.  We decided to accept their offer to spend the Christmas holidays with them.  It was a very nice Christmas and New Year; however, it was not an Iowa Davis family Christmas.
In February, I received a note at HBS from Winston Cundiff, an executive of Kaiser Aluminum and Chemical Corporation  (KACC) who was attending his second Advanced Management Program session at HBS, saying that I was referred to him by one of his professors as a possible 1964 summer intern.   Kaiser Aluminum wanted to hire a few HBS MBAs and he invited me to have dinner with him.  I accepted as I had not decided what or where I might work during the summer break.  We had committed to rent the apartment from August 1963 through June 1965, so we were committed to paying the rent whether we stayed in Boston for the summer or not.  He and I had a very enjoyable meeting at an upscale restaurant, where I learned  about KACC.  He not only described KACC, he discussed management possibilities at KACC and why KACC wanted to upgrade their technical and managerial talent.  I was interested in what opportunities there might be at KACC.  Winston offered me a summer internship in Oakland, CA working for him. He had responsibility for all of the manufacturing of aluminum ingot at KACC.  From the mining and refining of the bauxite ore into aluminum oxide (alumina) the raw material for manufacturing aluminum metal through the reduction of the alumina, primarily utilizing electrolytic cells which removed the oxygen from the alumina molecule.   The remaining aluminum then deposited on cathodes in the electrolytic cell as sheets of aluminum.  The sheets are melted into aluminum metal ingots which were sold into a myriad of manufacturing operations. 
Karen and I discussed this opportunity and decided that she would reach out to her parents to see if they wanted to host her, Cindie and Kim for the summer.  I could “batch” it in Oakland.  Our living expenses would not be much more than staying in Boston.   Karen would get a chance to spend some quality time with her parents.  Cindie and Kim would get a chance to spend a great amount of time with their grandparents and their cousins, Toyel and Lynn.  I could go to Brea for a couple of weekends during the summer.   Karen’s parents “jumped at the opportunity” and really wanted us to spend the summer in CA.  That sealed the deal.  I accepted KACC’s summer internship offer. The balance of our first year at HBS proceeded quickly.  We lived a quiet, somewhat austere life.  Karen found only a modest amount of work.  The girls did very well in school.  We did little socializing and we ate boring and relatively inexpensive meals.   The girls particularly did not like drinking powdered milk, but they did and we managed to live frugally.
I received grades in March, at the end of the second-term, for three two term courses: MERC  in which I received a P+, Marketing in which I earned a P+ and PBE in which I received my lowest HBS grade, a P-.  I received a HP- for the one term course of Human Behavior.  Two other courses were the first of a two term course.  I was again disappointed in my grades, but I had no real scale to understand just where I stood among my classmates.  The third term of the first year proceed quickly.  Karen, Cindie and Kim were looking forward to spending the summer in California and to getting reconnected with grandparents Swanson, and brother Ed’s family.   In addition, we would see my parents, most of my siblings and their children on the drive to and from California.   It was an exciting time.   We had decided that we would drive long days, to maximize the time in Iowa and in California.  We outfitted our VW bug with a plywood base on the back seat to enable the girls to sleep as much as they would.  We had a luggage rack mounted to the top of the car, to add to the bug’s otherwise limited luggage space.  Classes were over near the end of May, as were Cindie and Kim’s school.  We left for Iowa and California promptly.
Prior to leaving for the summer, I received my final grades for my first year.   I was delighted to receive a HP for the two term Production, class and a HP+ for the one term MERC class.  I received a P+ for the two term marketing class and a P+ for the one term Human Relations class.  My WAC grade for the two term class was a P.   I was more pleased with these grades as I believed that they put me in the top 50% of the class – however that was merely a guess.  I don’t remember ever comparing my grades in aggregate or even in a single class with any of my class-/section-mates or even my study group.  One final school assignment that we had, was to provide the school with at least a preliminary indication as  what we would be studying in our second year.  I wanted to take courses which lead to as broad of a range of management disciplines as possible, so I indicated  an interest for sales, marketing, organizational behavior and finance courses.   I committed to a finance, marketing, operations and organizational behavior class for the first term of my second year.  We had only one required course in the second year, which was Business Policy.
Our summer travels and My Work at Kaiser Aluminum –
Our one drive to Iowa was uneventful and our two day visit in Iowa was pleasant but very busy trying to see as much of my family as we could.  We drove to California in three days.   Again, the trip was uneventful until about an hour from Karen’s folks in Brea on the third day, when we lost a bearing in the engine of the VW bug.   In retrospect we had the car too heavily loaded and were driving it near the Interstate speed limits.  Probably more stress than the engine was designed to handle.  We called Karen’s folks and asked them to come and pick us up.  We also called a  VW dealership nearby Brea for a tow truck.  The tow truck and Karen’s folks arrived about the same time.  After transferring our belongings to Karen’s folks car, we proceed to their home and our car proceeded to the repair shop. 
I spent a couple of days in Brea with the family and then flew to Oakland.   I had previously contacted the Acacia Fraternity chapter at the University of California in Berkley, California and arranged to rent a room in the chapter house for the summer.  The chapter house was about 5 miles from the KACC office in Oakland however, there was reasonably good bus service between the two locations, which I planned to use.  I moved into the Acacia chapter house on the weekend and checked the bus schedules to see determine what schedule I should follow.   We renters of rooms in the chapter house had use of the kitchen, so I purchased some cereal, milk and other breakfast items and would eat breakfast in the house.  I would find inexpensive dining venues in the area for dinner.   
On Monday morning I reported in to KACC.  Winston welcomed me, introduced me to his immediate staff, accompanied me to the personnel department to be processed into the payroll and then took me to lunch.   He described the general nature of what I would be doing for him in the succeeding months, including a fairly extensive aluminum reduction plant visit a couple of weeks hence at KACC’s Spokane, WA facility.  Kaiser Aluminum Corporation had several summer interns, mainly all technically trained and based in their plants scattered around the country.  Only one other HBS MBA summer intern worked in the Oakland office.  That was Bill Bone who worked on a real estate project in which KACC was investing.   The project was located in Orange County, CA – just north of Camp Pendleton.  Bill had previous real estate experience and planned to return to that field upon competition of his HBS MBA.  I learned that week from Karen that our VW bug needed a new engine, at a cost of $500!  UHG!
My initial assignment was the corporate wide construction of a KACC material flow chart – from bauxite mining to sales of semi-fabricated aluminum products, i.e., aluminum sheet, tubes, plate and ingot - which are huge blocks of aluminum, sometimes alloyed with other metal ingredients, weighing several tons which are sold for use in various aluminum manufacturing/fabricating plants.  This project gave me a wonderful understanding of KACC’s aluminum operations.  It also introduced me to a number of the KAC production management personnel.  Before the project was finished, I spent a week in KAC’s Spokane plant, learning about the reduction – electrolytic cell – production of aluminum metal.  Several other KACC technical summer interns also participated in the week’s aluminum manufacturing orientation. The U.S. aluminum metal industry was concentrated in the Pacific Northwest as the reduction of alumina to aluminum consumes tremendous amounts of electrical power and is a major cost of aluminum. 
The Pacific Northwest had a surplus of low cost hydro-generated electric power.  The power companies entered into long term contracts with the aluminum production companies to base load their power plants as the aluminum reduction plants operated 365 days a year, except for occasional minor maintenance shutdowns.  (A couple of decades later, during an economic slowdown and/or tight energy supply times, when the price of aluminum was depressed, several of these Pacific Northwest aluminum reduction plants shuttered their operations and sold their firmly priced electrical power back to the power companies, thereby improving the company’s financial performance and testifying to the importance of electrical power costs in manufacturing aluminum.  This also demonstrates the importance of aluminum recycling to the aluminum industry, as the cost of recycling aluminum is minimal compared to manufacturing virgin metal from bauxite.)  The end of the week culminated with a wonderful KACC Spokane Plant management group hosting several of we summer interns to a Friday afternoon tour of  Lake Coeur d'Alene located in Idaho, about 35 miles east of Spokane.   This wonderful setting in the northern Idaho panhandle rivals Lake Tahoe, in California and Nevada for beauty, scenery and very clear and cold water.  It is a must on everyone’s U.S. places to visit.  We toured the lake with a long boat ride, the town and then joined a “party boat” for a cruise and dinner.  It was a wonderful conclusion to a great week.
I returned to Berkley and reported to work at KACC.   I had developed a ritual commute to work from the UC Acacia chapter house.  It was about a 40 minute bus ride with many stops.   I decided to start walking part of the way and catching the buss in route.  Soon I was walking the entire distance about five miles in about 90 minutes.  I wore out the leather on two pair of shoes, but it was great exercise.
The following weekend, Karen’s parents did a California driving trip to Berkley.   They had the camper on dad’s truck which accommodated the five of them just fine.  We met up on Friday evening at a nearby campsite.   On Saturday morning we drove directly to Lake Tahoe.  Karen had visited Lake Tahoe with her parents in 1952 when they met her brother before he shipped out to Korea. It was the first time I had visited this beautiful location and of course the first time that Cindie and Kim seen it.  Two spectacular venues  Lakes Tahoe and Coeur d’Alene in two weeks!  We drove around the entire lake, found a campsite, had a cookout Saturday evening and reflected on the beauty of the surroundings and of family.  Sunday included more local tours a cookout lunch and a drive back to the Berkley area, where they dropped me off at the Acacia chapter house and departed the metropolitan area to find a campsite for the evening.  Karen and the girls had a wonderful summer with Karen’s folks and with Ed’s family.  The four girls were almost like two sets of twins.   They were constantly on the go to the ocean, to Knott’s Berry Farm, to Disney Land and to many other tourist highlights.  Karen’s parents were wonderful and they really appreciated having Karen, Cindie and Kim as visitors, as did Cindie and Kim’s cousins, Toyel and Lynn.


L to R:  Lynn, Kim, Toyel and Cindie

My work at KACC was challenging, informative and rewarding.  My social life was limited, as there were only a few of the UC Acacia members occupying the house during the summer and I did not join them for much of their social activities.  I had a few dinners with various KACC employees, but nothing very regular.  I spent the weekends, walking the UC campus and visiting the buildings that were open to traffic.  I took the train (Bay Area Rapid Transit – BART) to San Francisco and toured the city, particularly the water front. The summer went quickly and soon it was time to head east.   Karen and her parent’s drove our car and dad’s pickup to Berkley where I joined them on a drive to revisit Lake Tahoe.  We spent a night there and then  Karen, Cindie, Kim and I headed east.  Karen’s folks returned to Brea and prepared for another year of teaching.  The first over-night stop was Salt Lake City, where Cindie, Kim and I saw the Great Salt Lake for the first time.  Karen had visited it in 1955.  We made good time driving  however, we were more careful to not tax the VW bug as much as we did on the trip west.  The trip to Iowa was uneventful.  We took three days despite having the back seat platform which enabled the girls to sleep as much as they wanted to.   However, by now both of them were into reading and when not watching the scenery, they had their noses in a book.  We spent a couple of days in Iowa at my parent’s farm before completing our trip to Watertown.  We arrived  back in Watertown in time to get settled in and to get the girls and me ready for school.  Our apartment was awaiting us just as we had left it some three months previously.  The girls attended the same school as the prior year and had several class-mate friends with whom they were glad reunite.  Karen again made the rounds looking for substitute teaching and miscellaneous report/manuscript typing needs. 
Completing my MBA studies-
Nearly all of our HBS MBA section-mates returned for their second year.   Our orientation was briefer for our second year as we only needed to get our class schedules, the classrooms assignments and books.  The only class we attended as a section was Business Policy.  The other classes were in rooms appropriately sized for the number of students in that class.  Bob Austin was our Business Policy Professor.  Our study group was no longer functioning as, except for Business Policy, few us had the same classes.   However, John Hobbs and I did a joint research project in the second term. The first term of the second year proceeded quickly, with the added responsibility of beginning the very important job of searching out an employer beginning mid-1965.  There was an extremely active recruiting program which kicked off at the beginning of the first term.  Recruiters from numerous companies descended onto campus.   Their visits were advertised on the jobs bulletin boards with sign-up sheets on which to register if one was interested in interviewing with that company.  I followed with interest the chemical and petroleum companies who were sending recruiters and signed up for a number of interviews.  Recruiters continued with their campus visits well into the second term. In the first term I had Financial Management, Operations Analysis, Defense Marketing and Project Management and Interpersonal Behavior, in addition to Business Policy.   I excelled in Operations Analysis receiving a “D-“, did well in Business Policy and Financial Management, receiving “HP-“ for both and received a “P+” in both Interpersonal Behavior and Defense Marketing.
As the holidays approached, we discussed various options for observing the Christmas Holidays.   Despite the cost of driving to Iowa, we decided to do that.  The girls were very good travelers, even in the backseat of a VW bug.  We continued the practice of covering the back seat with plywood to provide sufficient space for the girls to sleep while we were driving.   With them sleeping reasonably well, Karen and I drove from Boston to Marshalltown, without stopping overnight.   We drove the Interstate nearly the entire way.  The trip to Iowa was uneventful, as the weather cooperated with us.  However, the weather on the return trip was not good as we approached Cleveland and then Buffalo, NY.   With a heavy blizzard and considerable wind, we decided to stop for the night in Buffalo..  By late the next morning the storm had passed, the roads were cleared and we resumed our trek to Boston.  Christmas in Iowa was its usual Iowa Davis Family Christmas.   All of us who did not live locally, piled into the folks home for food, family and fun.  We did  the usual Hartland Christmas program, but we no longer had our  big Davis Family Christmas with Dad’s parents, as his dad had died and grandmother Mary lived in a small house which  would only accommodate a few visitors at a time.   We made and ate a lot of homemade ice cream and loads of mom’s goodies which she had spent days preparing and storing until we arrived.
Kaiser Aluminum and Chemical Corporation reached out to me early in the second term, through Winston Cundiff, the executive with whom I worked the prior summer.  They offered me a job in their  very large Baton Rouge, LA alumina plant as an executive assistant to the plant manager.  They offered me a plant visit, which I didn’t accept as I was not interested in locating in Baton Rouge and nor in plant work.  I was unenthusiastic about employment with KACC as I was not that interested in the aluminum industry and certainly not their geographic employment locations.  I interviewed and received offers from a number of chemical and petroleum companies, including Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), which while primarily in agricultural products, had a fairly large chemical operation based mainly on ag products, e.g., soybean, linseed and safflower oils.   Their offices were in Minneapolis.  Bob Austin was on their board of directors.   I discussed the company with him.  The ADM recruiter, Gene Krause, was a polished, professional Human Resources executive, to whom I closely related.  ADM offered me employment as an executive assistant to ADM Chemicals Manufacturing Manager, Curt Burkholder, located in downtown Minneapolis, MN. The salary offers from the various companies were similar; all in the $10,000 annually range which is what ADM Chemicals offered me to start.  The benefit packages were also quite similar, with full family health benefits, retirement benefits and a vacation package that was comparable to other companies, i.e., two weeks of vacation after two years, three after ten years and four after twenty years.  Karen and I took advantage of an offer  to travel to Minneapolis and to meet Curt and his wife, as well as to meet other executives of ADM Chemicals with whom I would be working.   It was a good trip.  After the interviews and the trip, we were confident the employment opportunity with ADM Chemicals was worth accepting. We thought that Minneapolis would be a nice place to live and to raise our two precious daughters. We accepted the job with a July 1, 1965 starting date.  Karen and I were planning to do a two week visit to Europe prior to beginning my employment.  ADM Chemicals was fine with the proposed starting date. 
(We had borrowed about $5000 from HBS to cover the costs of tuition and our living expenses.  The HBS tuition was $1750/year and as I write this - 2023 – HBS tuition is $73,440/year an almost 7 per cent compound annual increase in the past 56 years, which is a great example of how college costs have inflated over the past decades at a rate higher than the national inflation rate.  Looking at this another way, I was earning about $7000 a year when I left Purex for HBS.  I lost that salary for nearly two years except for the modest amount I earned during the summer between the HBS school years possibly a total salary loss of $10,000.  My salary at ADM was $10,000 a year, a $3000 annual increase.  However, my salary increases as I was promoted the following ten years were much more than what I might have received without the HBS MBA.  Today, graduate engineers start at about $70,000 a year, consequently should that engineer enter HBS, she/he would forfeit some $130,000 or so of income (allowing for a summer internship) and borrow some $200,000 to cover tuition and living expenses for possibly a $50,000 higher salary with the HBS MBA.  The financial hole that today’s HBS MBA holder has to climb out of  is very much more challenging than what I and my contemporaries faced.  One other big difference between then and now, is the amount of scholarships available to students of need than were available years ago.)
Grades for the second term of our second year were recorded in March.  I received a “D-“ for an Organizational Behavior Research Report, which John Hobbs and I co-studied and co-authored (later our report was the basis for a series of HBS cases on the company which we had studied and reported on).  I also received a “HP+” in Advanced Production Problems, and “HP-“ in Business Policy and Management of Financial Institutions II.  My fifth course was a two term course,  with the grade at the end of the second term.  I was pleased with these grades and was ready for my last term of my HBS MBA studies.
Of all of my HBS section-mates, John Hobbs was my closest, beginning as a neighbor, then study group member and a partner on a research project in Organizational Behavior.   We continued to keep in touch and our paths crossed many times after  we left HBS.  John elected to pursue a DBA and completed the course work for it but never did a dissertation to complete his DBA.  He instead joined the investment management industry and excelled at whatever he undertook.  He was an outstanding investment manager, formed his own company, built it into a powerhouse financial management company focusing on fixed income investing and sold it to Prudential Insurance.  He was exceptionally generous with his acquired wealth by donating to Harvard University and a number of less well known non-profits.
One of the very nice touches of the HBS faculty was the recognition of wives of those of us earning our MBAs by holding a luncheon for those wives and awarding them a PHT (Putting Hubby Through)  certificate from the HBS.  We kept that framed certificate displayed next to my MBA diploma in our home office.  I never displayed my MBA diploma in my employment office.  I never referred to my HBS MBA at work unless asked about it or I needed to reference it for some justified reason.  The PHT certificate was doubly significant as Karen gave our daughters a PMT (Putting Mommy Through) certificate when she received her MS in Textiles and Clothing from OSU some four years later. 
Along with our final course work, Karen and I made plans for our transition to Minneapolis that  summer and for our two week trip to Europe for which we would leave immediately upon the conclusion of classes.  Again, we asked Karen’s folks if they would like to have two of their granddaughters with them for two weeks in June.   They enthusiastically accepted the care of Cindie and Kim.  As we considered how to get Cindie and Kim to Brea, CA, we learned that one of our class-mates and his wife, Bob and Carol Peters were flying to San Francisco for their new job  by way of Los Angeles.  This delightful couple agreed to accompany Cindie and Kim from Boston to Los Angeles and to deliver them to Karen’s parents.   Kim and Cindie were almost seven and eight years old at that time.  These arrangements worked out wonderfully.  Karen and I packed up our belongings and ADM Chemicals shipped them to Minneapolis and  stored them  until July 1st.  Karen and I  packed our bags for our trip to the UK, France, Belgium. Holland and Germany.  With information provided to us by ADM about residential locations in the Minneapolis, area, we again rented an apartment sight unseen in Saint Louis Park, a suburb of Minneapolis beginning July 1, 1965.  The address was 4003 Meadowbrook Ln., St. Louis Park, MN.
We skipped the Harvard University Commencement activities, as did many of our HBS class-mates.  My diploma and commencement book were mailed to me at my parent’s home in Iowa.  (It was only after I returned to the states from our trip, that I learned when talking to my good friend John Hobbs, that I had graduated “With Distinction” – in the top 10% of our class;  – he had graduated with “High Distinction”- in the top 5% of our class!  I guess my grades were better than I thought.   I was obviously pleased.)
Karen, pretty much planned our trip to Europe as it was her reward for putting up with me pursuing my MBA.  Neither of us had been to Europe previously.  We were looking forward to doing our first international trip.  We borrowed and additional $2500 from our trusty bank in Marshalltown, the same one we borrowed from to get married and to start our life together in the USMC.  Karen wanted to focus this  trip on the UK and western Europe.  We also wanted to visit Bert and Jan Fellows – Jan was Karen’s first cousin and Bert was my Acacia pledge father.  The two of them married when Bert graduated from ISC and were working in Europe.
We flew  to Glasgow, Scotland and rented a car.  After practicing a bit driving “on the wrong side of the road”, we toured the Glasgow area, drove to Loch Lomond as Loch Ness was four hours away and we did not want to waste an entire day travelling there.  We spent two days in Glasgow, the largest city in Scotland, which is considered the “cultural capital” of Scotland.  We then drove to Edinburgh enjoying the Scotland countryside, the flocks of sheep and the seemingly leisurely pace of Scotland living.  The distance to Edinburgh was fifty miles.   We checked into our hotel and turned in our rental car. In  Edinburgh we could access  most of the sights we wanted to see by walking or by public transportation.  The following day the main destination was the  Edinburgh Castle,  which was within walking distance from our hotel through popular shopping areas of central Edinburgh.  We were fortunate, the weather was wonderful and the crowds not too large.  The Edinburgh Castle is an impressive construction accomplishment which was initiated in 1103 AD. It is located on the highest point in Edinburgh and has very steep elevations on three sides of the castle.  The only easy access to the castle is up a gentle slope from the main part of Old Edinburgh.  It was an ideal location for the castle from the standpoint of defending it from attacks and it played a key role in the wars between the Scots and the English over the centuries.  We were too early for the annual Tattoo, which  is a three day festival featuring various military band’s presentations.  The visitors viewing stands were in the process of being erected but that is all we saw of the Tattoo, which is named for an evening drum or bugle signal recalling the soldiers to their quarters for the night.  We thoroughly enjoyed our two days in Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland.
We took the train to London, about a five hour ride to cover the just over 300 miles.  We spent two days in London.  Our hotel was in the middle of the major London tourist venues.  We did the usual tourist walking tours, along the Thames to see the Tower (and some of the Queen’s Jewels) and the Tower Bridge, Buckingham Palace, Big Ben and Parliament, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Trafalgar Square and Piccadilly Circus and Karen had to visit Harrods to do a little shopping.   So far, we hadn’t been impressed with the Scottish or English cuisine, but we hadn’t lost  weight either.  We particularly enjoyed our visits to Buckingham Palace and to St Paul’s Cathedral.  It was very interesting to read about some of the titans of English history who are interned in St Paul’s.  The Tower Bridge and more specifically The Tower with its display of the Queen’s jewels, was also a real treat.  Big Ben and the House of Parliament, were viewed from the outside only.  Karen was impressed with all of the offerings at Harrods. 
As we finished our tours of various London venues, our thoughts turned to Paris, our next stop.  We took the  night boat-train.   The train ride from London to the port city was about three hours.  At the port city, the train’s passengers disembarked the rail cars and boarded the ferry. After that the rail cars were loaded on to the ferry.  The  five hour sailing from the England port to the French port was not that great, as it was cold and dark.  Fortunately, the water was relatively smooth.  Karen and I sat in the bar, which was open to the outside and not at all comfortable.  It was a long ride with nothing to see.
Geoffroy De Vitry, a HBS section-mate who I sat next to the entire first year, was the son of the chairman of Pechiney, lived in Paris. Pechiney, which was headquartered in Paris, was the second largest aluminum metal producer in the world, I believe.  ALCOA was the largest.   When Geoffroy learned that Karen and I were traveling to Europe and planning to spend a bit of time in Paris, he insisted in personally guiding  us while we were in Paris.   He asked us to call him as soon as we arrived in Paris,  saying he would pick us up at the train station and take us to our hotel.  He had two full days planned for us including a lunch with his mother and family in their penthouse apartment.  Geoffroy, gave us a driving tour of Paris that afternoon and the next day he took us for a drive in the country and a long one-half day at the Louvre Museum.  The Louvre  is the largest art museum in the world and home to the Mona Lisa.  The visit to the Cathedral of Notre Dame was awe inspiring.   Geoffroy was an excellent guide for Paris and the surrounding countryside.   Lunch with his mother, Geoffroy’s sisters and a couple of cousins was served by a small wait staff that would rival any White House dinner.    We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to Paris.  
We next travelled  by train to Cologne, Germany, where we were met by Bert and Jan.  We overnighted with them and the following day we repacked our bags for a one day trip down the Rhine to Heidelberg, Germany.  Bert had a friend drive his car to Heidelberg so that it would be there when we arrived.  The river cruise was delightful, exceptionally scenic and a it was wonderful to catch up with Bert and Jan whom we had not seen in nine years.  We overnighted in Heidelberg and then did a leisurely drive back to Cologne enjoying the countryside and the delightful villages along the way.
From Cologne, we traveled by train to Brussels, and spent a day touring that beautiful city with all its history.  It is also near many hard fought WWII battles. From Brussels, we trained to Amsterdam for two days of visiting Amsterdam’s sites. The most interesting of which was the house where Anne Frank and her parents, all of Jewish descent, hid from the Nazis for over two years.  She recorded her experience in a diary which was published by her father after the war.  They successfully eluded the Nazis for over two years, but were discovered in 1944 and deported to concentration camps.  Anne and her mother died in the camp, probably of Typhus (some 17,000 died of Typhus).   Her father was separated from them upon reaching the concentration camp and placed in a work camp.  He returned to Amsterdam after the war looking for his family, and learned of Anne’s diary which had been kept by a family friend.  Anne’s diary was exceptionally well written by a 13 year old girl and first published in 1947.   It was used as the basis for several plays and films featuring coverage of the German soldiers atrocities.  The visit to the  house with its memorabilia was very moving.  In addition, we toured the Van Gogh Museum, with works by Rembrandt and Van Gogh which was a must see.  We  thoroughly enjoyed touring Amsterdam in the canal boats.
From Amsterdam we returned to Boston.  We reclaimed  our car and the belongings that  we had not shipped to Minneapolis, from a neighbor who had cared for them while we were traveling.  We stayed over-night in Boston and left for Minneapolis early the next morning.  We drove the almost 1500 miles in two days arriving on Tuesday, June  29th.

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