RARELY DOES ONE charitable contribution so profoundly affect the future of an institution and the people and community it serves."
Those were a few of the words used to express the gratitude of Dr. Morton I. Rapoport, president and chief executive office of the University of Maryland Medical System, to the Martha Gudelsky family, which donated $5 million to build the new Homer Gudelsky clinical tower. Although this is the largest single gift ever given to the University of Maryland, it's not the first gift from the Gudelsky Foundation, which donated $1 million to construct the Anna Gudelsky Magnetic Resonance Imaging Center, which opened in 1986.
Homer Gudelsky was a prominent businessman and philanthropist from Montgomery County who was treated for several years at the university's Cancer Center before passing away in 1989. The loving care given to Gudelsky is what prompted the latest gift.
Rapoport and his wife, Rosalie, hosted a dinner last week for approximately 150 people to honor Mrs. Gudelsky and her children, Rita Regino, Medda and John Gudelsky, and Holly Stone. Among those guests were Mr. and Mrs. Roger Lipitz, he's chairman of the board of the University Medical System; Mr. and Mrs. Richard Hug, he chairs fund-raising for the school and hospital; Dr. and Mrs. Richard Richards, he's acting dean of the school of medicine; Rick and Dr. Rita Berndt, he's on the board of regents and she's an associate professor of neurology at the School of Medicine; Dr. and Mrs. Donald Langenberg, he's chancellor of the entire University of Maryland system; Mr. and Mrs. Frank Gunther, he's past chairman of the Medical System Board, and Mr. and Mrs. Ted Peck, he chairs the University Foundation's Board of Directors. And I could go on and on. But suffice it to say that it was a nice party for a wonderful family that has made a commitment to help others benefit from the family's successful real estate and investment business.
For 34 years, members of the Society of Senates Past have been getting together for dinner in Annapolis. I attended my first one last week at the Governor Calvert House, and it was delightful. Members, who must have served in the state Senate or are invited as honorary members, and their guests, spent the evening talking about the good times and sharing war stories.
Holding forth at different tables were former senators Homer White, Ed Turner, Frank Kelly, Jim Pine, Frank Shore, Harry McGuirk, Edward Northrop, Margaret Schweinhaut, Porter Hopkins and Jervey Finney.
State Comptroller Louis Goldstein did the emceeing and entertained one and all with little tidbits abut the nine elected (and one acting) governors with whom he'd served. Others enjoying the tasty morsels served up by Goldstein were Lt. Gov. Mickey Steinberg, former Gov. Harry Hughes, Senate president Mike Miller, Dale Anderson, Jimmy Pippin, Vic Crawford, Dale Hess, Orville Wright, Judge John Turnbull, Warren Mix, William Kennedy Boone, Judge Frank Cicone, former U.S. Sen. Dan Brewster and John Steffey.
Sitting with state senators Vernon Boozer and Nancy Murphy is like attending a comedy show. Murphy asked how I liked Boozer's reapportionment tie, decorated like a map. Also at the table was Judge John Corderman, whose ideas on sentencing of criminals is even more radical than mine. Of course, I might have the same feelings as hizzoner if someone sent me a package with a bomb in it. He still suffers from some deafness from the explosion of a package bomb and told me that at least a dozen investigators are still working on the case.
I left the party thinking that there's nothing like talking about old times when you want to have a good time.
The British frigate HMS Active steamed into Baltimore Harbor last week and Baltimoreans had a neat opportunity to visit this Type 21 frigate. At the helm, so to speak, was Captain Mike Johnson, who hosted a party on board last Thursday evening. Invited to partake of a little British hospitality were Mr. and Mrs. Greg Barnhill, he's president of Op Sail; Mr. and Mrs. Bruce Copeland, he's president of the Navy League; Major and Mrs. Regis Raffensburger, Baltimore Police Department; Col. Woodie Burritt, Baltimore Fire Department; Mr. and Mrs. Larry Stappler, president of Harbor Cruises; and Mr. and Mrs. John Tyler, he's superintendent of Fort McHenry.
One of the things being talked about is that the British do not understand our protocol. In the Royal Navy, when a ship arrives in town, the captain pays a visit to the mayor, captain of the port and the senior Coast Guard officer. In Baltimore, however, captains have rarely, if ever, been able to get in to see the mayor. But, of course, the British have always been sticklers on what is proper and what is not.
We are indeed lucky to have an organization like Op Sail, an organization that attracts "big spending" visitors to Baltimore. Whether they unload cargo or people, we need their business. And I'm told that a chasm is building between the city and Op Sail because the city has begun charging ships for use of services that were always free, such as cranes to remove gangways, etc. Sure hope the petty little things can be worked out and that the ships will continue to visit the Inner Harbor.