Celebrities visit Eastern Shore for a really dramatic...

September 14, 1997|By SYLVIA BADGER

Celebrities visit Eastern Shore for a really dramatic purpose

The charming president of Washington College, John S. Toll, and the school's first lady, Deborah, presided over a star-studded Fall Convocation at the school. The main attraction was actor Larry "J.R." Hagman, minus his cowboy hat and boots, but still showing some of his "Dallas" character's devilishness.

Hagman and his sister, Heller Halliday, were at the Chestertown school to present the first Mary Martin Drama Scholarship to student Mary Hoffman. The scholarship, honoring their talented mother, was established by Halliday's son, Matthew Weir, who graduated from Washington College in 1990.

Other guests of honor were Glenn T. Seaborg, a Nobel Prize-winning chemist, former chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission and one of the discovers of plutonium, and I. Michael Heyman, secretary of the Smithsonian Institution. Seaborg received an honorary doctor of science degree; Heyman received an honorary doctor of laws degree.

At the dinner held before the convocation, I sat at Hagman's table and learned that he and his wife, Maj, had spent the week with his nephew and his wife, Ann, at their 700-acre farm near Chestertown. Hagman needled Eastern Shore guests by saying that he'd tried Maryland crab cakes and didn't think they were anything special.

The remark had the effect he wanted and solicited protests from his table mates: Carolyn O'Keefe, whose husband, Kevin, is a college trustee as well as Baltimore's managing director of Shandwick USA; Joan Horsey, wife of a former mayor of Chestertown, Elmer Horsey; Doug Price, who was a guest of his brother, Jim Price, managing director emeritus of Alex. Brown & Sons (now BT Alex. Brown Inc.); Ann McLain, former first lady of Washington College; Alexander G. "Sandy" Jones, attorney and college trustee; and Joshua Rosenstein, a sophomore from Israel, who, along with two other students, received an award for high grades.

Others at the event were Cecily Lyle, owner of Conquest Beach in Kent County; Libby Cater, former first lady of the college; Frances Humphrey Howard, sister of the late Hubert Humphrey, U.S. senator and vice president; Ed and Cathy Athey (he's president of FAM&M Insurance and was the marshal of the academic processional at the convocation); and Maryland Comptroller Louis Goldstein, chairman of the school's Board of Visitors and Governors.

Gala orchestration

One of Baltimore's most attractive couples, Rand and Chip Mason (he's the CEO of Legg Mason), reigned over the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra's 15th anniversary gala. Because of Rand's Louisiana roots, she selected a Mardi Gras theme for this year's gala.

I love this event, because it's always such a mix of the business, political and social worlds in Maryland.

The evening at the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall began with a concert conducted by BSO music director David Zinman. The concert was followed by a cocktail party, which took place while the hall was being transformed into a dining area for 1,200 guests.

At the dinner, my husband, Bill, and I sat with Tine and Joe Blair (he's chairman of the board of Baltimore Life) and his predecessor, John Pearson, and his wife, Chris.

Others with whom I chatted were Maryland's racing czar, Joe DeFrancis; lobbyist Gary Alexander; Lynda O'Dea, Sports Entertainment; Jim Robinson, Morgan Creek Productions; Buddy and Ellen Zamoiski (he's chairman and CEO of the BSO); Faith and Frank Riggs, Riggs Counselman Michaels & Downes; Kathy and Roger Gray, of Gray, Kirk/VanSant; and Phyllis and Don Brotman. Phyllis Brotman's firm, Image Dynamics, recently merged with Gray, Kirk/VanSant.

Actor, director

Actor Charles "Roc" Dutton selected his hometown of Baltimore to premiere the new HBO film that he directed, "First Time Felon." It's based on a true story about a Chicago youth, Greg Yance, but Dutton noted that it could have been about him. (As a young man he was convicted of manslaughter and served time in the Maryland Penitentiary.)

The screening, a benefit for the Baltimore Urban League, was held at the Senator Theatre and attracted hundreds of Dutton's fans. A post-screening party was held at the Colonnade.

Tune in to the HBO showing tomorrow night, Sept. 18, Sept. 21 and Sept. 24. Check your television listings for times.

Fund-raiser at Morton's

Our last party took place at Morton's steakhouse at the Sheraton Inner Harbor. It was a gala fund-raiser to benefit the Chimes and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Hundreds of supporters joined Terry Perl of the Chimes and Josie Schaeffer of Cystic Fibrosis for a night highlighted by Morton's fine wines and a wonderful dinner buffet of steak, fish, lamb and an array of vegetable specialties.

Morton's opened its doors to the public weeks ago, and this was its first charitable event.

Pub Date: 9/14/97

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