Already the growing program was again in need of more ample office space. Mr. Galatti mentioned this to the Board and pointed out that the ground floor of the adjoining 305 E. 43rd Street, the building owned by Mr. William Keys, was available to rent. A glance at the student numbers for the year 1962-63 would serve to illustrate the continuing growth of program and consequently a staff adequate to serve these young people and their sponsoring committees and hosts.
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Indicative of the development of local initiative and regional organizations in the U.S. were two matters which Mr. Galatti brought to the attention of the Board early in 1963.
First, Mr. and Mrs. William Brown of Kansas City, where one of the most effective and most sophisticated AFS volunteer organizations existed and to this day still exists, had presented a proposal for a special nationwide fund-raising project to be called "AFS Bells for Peace". This undertaking involved the manufacture in Hong Kong of a unique car decoration to be sold for the benefit of AFS in conjunction with a nationwide telecast to be coordinated with local efforts throughout the country. Mr. & Mrs. Brown estimated that the minimum cost of financing this project would be $100,000, a substantial part to be raised in or by Kansas City. Once can only admire the ingenuity, enthusiasm, and optimism of the authors and proponents of this plan.
Unfortunately after lengthy consideration, the Board concluded that it would be unwise to commit the Corporation to a project requiring a commitment of such magnitude. It was felt, however, that there would be no objection to authorizing the sale of this decoration in the local Kansas City area.
The second situation concerned a problem which had arisen in Rochester, New York, where the AFS program had been carried on since 1951 in conjunction with the Association of Teenage Diplomats (ATAD), a local Rochester organization whose primary function had been the sponsorship of AFS students. The problems, as identified by the AFS administration in New York headquarters, arose from the dual administration (AFS local and ATAD) and a lack of communication with AFS in regard to student-family adjustment problems. Mr. Galatti, seeing a recent deterioration in this situation and a further breakdown in communication, had not authorized Rochester's participation in the 1963-1964 program.
At the request of the Chairman of ATAD, a meeting was held in New York on 15 February, 1963, at which time AFS was requested to make some compromise in its position so that the ATAD program could continue. A compromise was proposed which would give AFS further control over the situation and still keep ATAD as a going organization. It was hoped that this compromise would provide an effective working arrangement and obviate the necessity of severing relationships between the two organizations. (Unfortunately, such was not the case, and after continuing difficulties the operation was finally removed from the ATAD aegis in 1969).
At this time, efforts were being made to consolidate and to expand the AFS programs in the Middle East. To this end, Mr. Robert H. Thayer had made a trip to Afghanistan, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Cyprus, Israel, Lebanon, Iran, and Pakistan. Mr. Thayer was accompanied by Mr. Stephen Galatti, Jr.
Generally speaking, there were three major problems to cope with in these countries: 1) the loss of a year for boys who must start earning a living at an early age; 2) the difficulty of readjustment of students after a year in the United States; and 3) The desire of students, once exposed to Western Culture to emigrate to the United States. Such problems, though quite real, did not prove to be insurmountable when weighed against the overall benefits to be derived from the AFS Program.
While efforts were continuing to expand the program in the Middle East the Far Eastern Sector also came in for its share of attention. Mr. Galatti and Miss Sachiye Mizuki traveled to Manila in January, 1963, to attend the AFS South Asian Conference. Representatives also came from Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaya, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. Following the Conference, Mr. Galatti and Miss Mizuki went on to Djakarta because of the doubtful continuance of government approval of the AFS Program in Indonesia. (Subsequently government approval was withdrawn and for several years AFS was not operating a program in Indonesia.)
An Important Change
On May 21, 1963, at the Annual Meeting of Founding Members of American Field Service, Inc., an action of great importance to the future of the AFSIS program was taken. This action as described in the Notice of the Meeting concerned the membership of the Board of Directors: -
AMENDMENT OF BY-LAWS
1. Since its formation as a New York membership corporation in 1946, the By-Laws of American Field Service, Inc., have provided that all directors must be founding members of the AFS. Basically, this means that only ambulance drivers in World War I and World War II are eligible to be directors.
During the period since 1946, the principal work of the AFS, namely the international scholarship program, has grown tremendously. From a modest beginning in 1947 of bringing 52 students to the United States from 11 countries, the program has expanded to the point that by the 1962-63 school year the AFS has awarded more than 21,500 scholarships to American and foreign teenage students. Thus the AFS has become a national, and in many respects an international organization and the Board of Directors believes that the time has come to broaden the qualifications of directors, to permit non-AFS members to be directors. The By-Laws will continue to provide that the founding members shall elect all directors.
Thus, it is proposed to amend the By-Laws to provide that the Board of Directors may determine that a certain number of directors, not to exceed one-third of the total number of directors, need not be founding members of the AFS. This will enable the AFS to call upon a broader group of outstanding people who have shown an interest in the AFS program to serve as directors.
It is therefore proposed that Paragraphs 1 and 2 of Article V of the By-Laws entitled "Directors" be amended to read as follows:
1. Qualifications. Directors shall be elected from among the founding members, other members and individuals interested in the objectives of the Corporation.
2. Number and Term. The number of directors shall not be less than twelve nor more than forty-eight, as shall be fixed from time to time the number of such directors who shall be founding members. In the absence of action thereon, the total number of directors shall be twenty-four, of whom twenty-one shall be founding members. The directors shall be divided into three classes, and each class shall hold office for a period of three years. Only one such class of directors shall be elected at each Annual Meeting. Each director shall continue to hold office and to discharge his duties until his successor is elected and shall have qualified.
If this amendment of the By-Laws is approved by the founding members at this meeting, [It was so approved] the Board of Directors will be requested at its regular meeting in June to fill the three new vacancies this will create. The three new directors who would not be AFS founding members would be selected for one-, two-, and three-year terms, respectively, and as their terms expire, their successors would be elected in the usual way by the founding members.
Also on 21 May, Dr. Parson's resignation as Chairman of the Board of Directors was submitted. Dr. Parsons had been a member of the Board since 1955 and its Chairman for seven years. The resolution adopted by the Board reflects the accomplishments of the organization during his tenure as Chairman.
It is with profound regret that we accent the resignation of Dr. William Barclay, Parsons, Jr., as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the American Field Service.
During the seven years of his Chairmanship two especially important accomplishments were achieved --- erection of the headquarters building in New York and the great improvement in the financial structure of the Corporation. Not only was the financing of the new building completed during his tenure, but the capital reserve fund was increased six-fold.
However, the significance of his many contributions to the American Field Service is perhaps best demonstrated in the fact that during his Chairmanship the number of students increased from 1,349 to 3,637 a year.
His tact, devotion, and understanding of people, coupled with his insight of what was important to the goals of the American Field Service made him an inspiring leader.
Under the changed criteria for membership on the Board of Directors, the first members elected were Mr. Robert H. Thayer and Mr. W. Palmer Dixon. Mr. Edward A. Weeks, Jr. was chosen to succeed Dr. Parsons as Chairman.
The Penalties of Growth
Problems of administration and finances were beginning to assume troublesome proportions. For several months a management consultant firm had been engaged in a study of the operations at AFS headquarters in New York. The study had been concerned thus far chiefly with basic office procedures and had not addressed more important and far-reaching matters of coordination of various elements of what had become a complex organization. In the opinion of the Director General, results of the study did not warrant a continuance of the contract.
AFS was now dealing with 64 countries in only 29 of which were there offices. Since offices abroad were required for selection of candidates in countries from which 50 or more candidates were selected and since country-wide organizations were needed for the proper operation of the Americans Abroad program, it was felt that 33 additional offices abroad should be opened within the next three years. At the same time it was felt that a goal of 5,000 students was a realistic and desirable one. (Present numbers for the 1963-1964 programs were: Winter Program 2,825 and Americans Abroad 1,082 for a total of 3,907.)
To meet these goals it was obvious that substantial sums of money over and above present levels would be required:
On a yearly basis additional needed income would be $200,000, to meet the projected program totals of the 1965-1966 programs, $500,000 for annual expansion to 5,000 students, and $175,000 to expand offices abroad. Capital funds required would be $320,000 to expand New York headquarters to provide office space for increased staff to handle the increased program and $500,000 to establish a financial assistance program for Americans Abroad students on an expanded basis. All in all there existed a need for a capital fund of between $15,000,000 and $18,000,000.
The auditors statement as of 31 August, 1963 had shown an excess of expenditures over income of $294,471. The statement of forecasted income and budgeted expense for the year ending 31 August, 1964, brought additional bad news--a probable operating deficit of $316,300. Obviously some important actions were required. At a special meeting of the Board on 4 February, 1964, it was decided to embark on a capital fund drive, and within a month a contract was signed with William A. McClennan to conduct such a campaign.
Plans for the 50th Anniversary Convention were being developed now under the direction of Miss Alice Gerlach. The Board of Directors was increased to 27 to accommodate six non-founding members.
The final proposal for the objectives of the capital development program was:
||Reserve Fund to underwrite increased numbers of Winter Program Students from countries which presently have no, or too few, students enrolled in the AFS. This fund will provide for an increase of about 2,200 additional students between 1965 and 1975.|| |
||Building Fund for the purchase and renovation of adequate space in the building next to the Headquarters Building.|| |
||Fund for Personnel Expense, including salary increases to enable the AFS to retain able employees longer and to permit staff travel for purposes of establishing better communications and supervision. This Fund will cover the years 1965-1975.|| |
||Fund for the expansion of Foreign Offices and the cost of administration for the period of 1965-1975. This Fund will permit the establishment of 33 additional offices.|| |
||Program Fund for the years 1965-1975 to provide for the bus trips and other special program features.|| |
||Miscellaneous Expenses|| |
On 26 May, 1964, Mr. Galatti delivered an Annual Report that was not only his usual somewhat laconic review of the past year, recognizing problems as well as accomplishments, but seemed also to strike a note of pride in the record of the past 15 years and to sound a call for even greater developments in the next 15 years:
Annual Report of the Director General
Sometimes I feel that in this rather complex operation we are apt to forget the aim of our program and so it is good when we are reviewing the past year to see whether or not we have done what we should to fulfill our objective, which is to build every year an increasing number of people who will do their best to bring about international understanding as a force towards peace.
I do, therefore, take pleasure in reporting that the year 1963-64 has been a successful one. The number of students was increased by 10% on the Winter Program and a like percentage seems assured for the Americans Abroad School Program.
Our number one objective, of course, is whether or not we have handled these students properly so that their loyalty to the AFS and its ideal is assured for the future.
In spite of the increased number, the ratio of home moves has remained on the same percentage level as in the past. This year it is 14.4%. This is one yardstick to measure the value of our placement and selection processes.
The other yardstick is the number of problems dealt with which did not require a change. These were times when we or our Chapters were able to advise and solve satisfactorily. These numbered about 800 in all, so that whether by moves or by counseling we will send back all our students with a satisfactory experience.
This occupies most of our effort. But selection, then placement, then ferreting out problems and curing them is the first step in securing loyalty to the AFS.
I am glad, therefore, to report that this has been successful. I doubt if we will find any neglected cases at the end of the year.
So we have laid again the groundwork towards the future loyalty of the 1963-64 students.
During the year we have had plenty of evidence that in so administering this program we gain the results we strive for.
I took an extended trip to Italy, Sachiye and I took an extended trip through Uruguay and Argentina, and George Edgell took one through Germany.
The contacts which these trips bring are those of the small cities and regions, and permit a very close observation of the thinking of school principals and local officials, and so you can observe the effect of the program throughout a country. You also get a clear picture of the impact of the program.
When you find anywhere from 100 to 250 or more people attending a reception or dinner, you cannot help feeling that AFS is on the way to really accomplishing its mission.
Also, we found universally that the educational people are more and more responsive and willing to help. George Edgell met with a dozen principals in Frankfurt. Their spokesman told George he had been very hesitant about the AA school program at first but that now he was strongly in favor of it after having had our Americans and recognizing their ability to learn a language and their excellent performance in the class room. Again we see the result of our selection process here.
It is not only our own observation that makes us confident that the loyalty of our students is permanent and that their effective organizations are bringing results, but from ambassadors and embassy people we are assured that the AFS is the best of all such programs because of this loyalty. I got this everywhere in Italy, and our ambassadors in Uruguay and Argentina were emphatic on thus point.
I am sure you will be interested in three new projects undertaken this year.
The Department of State asked us to administer a new Laotian project, which would bring students for 2 years at school and then maybe send them on to college. The situation in Laos being unusual this seemed to us to be of service even if it differed from our usual program. Five students came and we put them under the direction of Jackie Cannon so that we could have a clear picture of its problems. It has worked out perfectly and the five are to stay here for a second year. Ten more will come this fall. We have worked closely with the State Department on this and they seem eminently satisfied.
The second project was the decision to place a student with a Negro family in Kansas City where the school was 90% non-white. A fine family and a fine Italian boy made this a complete success and this year we are placing 3 students under the same conditions and one student with a Mexican-born family in El Paso.
The third project--not really different--but important for the future was Mr. Robert Thayer's very successful trip to the Arab countries. It resulted in pilot groups coming from Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Cyprus, Jordan, and a renewal of the program in U. A..R. and Syria. These students were well selected and have worked out, and the groundwork is now secure for a relationship in the future with these countries. I also feel that the important representation from India and Thailand this year--in spite of the costs--has been a tremendous step forward, for both these countries are important and we will now have a strong Returnee group. They are already taking AA students and this should be a great field in the future.
We had, however, our setbacks. The Indonesian program has still not been determined for the future. It is open but there is no action yet. The Pakistan problem may be resolved for next year. We have a certain assurance but no action yet. Cambodia will certainly not come in this next year. These set-backs are not dissatisfaction with the AFS--they are political or national problems.
The AA program still has its difficulties of supply and demand. We have spent endless time in letters and talks explaining the problems involved to the field. I do believe this has paid off and that there is a much clearer understanding attitude, but there is undoubtedly still the competitive feeling of Chapters who are near each other, and the unwillingness to recognize that students who are locally successful may not be so competitively with others.
To offset this is the great strength of the AA Returnee who because of a successful experience is not only loyal to the AFS but extraordinarily so. We are getting real quality abroad and I am sure it would be a catastrophe to lower our standards.
In the long run it is these AA students who will support the program in the U.S. I think we have ample evidence of the value the universities place in our selection and experience to recognize that this is an elite group. One college sends to our returnees a request for them to apply. Another gives a scholarship for AFS students.
Quality has its repercussions abroad, more so than here for the American is much more on his own. He or she can perform a tremendous service to this country--beyond the family life--for judgment of our youth is very critical.
We are, however, examining regional selection instead of national selection and this, if we find it workable, may help in satisfying disappointed communities.
To me, however, the Board's decision to raise substantial funds was the highlight of the year.
We have never in the past, especially during the last two years, been able to operate as we have wished. We have a great problem m communication with this far-flung program in the U.S. and abroad, the travel money would help so much in solving Chapter relations and m keeping closer touch abroad. Incentive for the Staff to remain--freedom in dealing in right numbers in countries where we should--but you all know this now.
And now a word about the 50th Anniversary Convention which has been shaped up by Miss Alice Gerlach and Miss JoAnn Kleinman so that I feel it will be very successful. Dean Rusk will speak at the opening banquet on August 2nd, Carl Rowan will speak at the opening meeting on August 3rd, and we expect Sargent Shriver to speak at the final meeting on August 6th. The panels and discussions groups have all been assigned. It looks like there will be 5,000 in attendance, including 1,500 from overseas.
This report is rather meant to assure you that you have the right to ask anyone for funds.
We are the best program of its kind. We have built up over 15 years a volunteer backing that is almost unbelievable. 2,500 Chapters of hard-working loyal volunteers surely represent 50,000 workers at least. Volunteer workers in 60 countries again attest to the belief in this program. The loyalty of our foreign returnees is evidence enough. We have had unusually intelligent people on the staff and as representatives in the field.
This we have built in 15 years, surely a record you can face anyone with, and with its potential for the future as AFS graduates 4,000 students yearly and almost 4,000 new families yearly.
The contacts of all these people is immeasurable, but surely important.
At the meeting of the Board of Directors on the same day, Miss Alice Gerlach presented her program for the Convention of August 2-6, in detail.
On the 15th of July, 1964, a Special Meeting of the Board of Directors was convened. Stephen Galatti had died in his sleep on Monday, July 13. Mr. Edward Masback was appointed Acting Director General. A Selection Committee was authorized to find a successor to Mr. Galatti.
An era had ended.
Stephen Galatti, Director General of the American Field Service for 29 years, died peacefully in his sleep on July 13, 1964. He was 75 years old.
Mr. Galatti was born in Monmouth Beach, New Jersey, in 1888. He attended St. Mark's School in Southboro, Massachusetts, and graduated from Harvard in 1910. He joined Ralli Bros., East India Merchants in 1911 and worked in India and London until he resigned in 1914 to join a volunteer ambulance service in France which became the American Field Service. When the United States entered the war, the American Field Service was taken into the U.S. Army Medical Corps, where Mr. Galatti held the rank of Major.
After the war Mr. Galatti joined John Munroe & Co., bankers, and later worked for the stockbrokers firm of Jackson & Curtis. He became Director General of the AFS in 1935 and reactivated it when World War II began. At the end of the war, Mr. Galatti and the directors of AFS decided that the ideals of the American Field Service might best be served by a program which would bring European teenage students to the United States for a year of study. The first group of students came to the United States in 1947.
Under Mr. Galatti's direction, the American Field Service scholarship program expanded to its present size. Over 30,000 students and ambulance drivers have been members of the American Field Service during its 50-year history, and many more have participated in other ways.
During his lifetime, Stephen Galatti received the Croix de Guerre and the post of Chevalier in the Legion of Honor, Commander in the Order of the British Empire, the Medal of Freedom, the position of Officer in the Ordre van Orange-Nassau and Verdienstkreuz, erster Klasse, Bundesrepublik Deutschland, an honorary M.A. from Yale, an honorary LL.D. from the University of Buffalo, and an honorary LL.D. from Harvard (awarded on June 11, 1964).
Such is a simple account of the life of a most complex man. Whatever those who knew Stephen Galatti thought of him, all agree on one thing: the complexity of his personality and character. Penurious and generous, tough and intuitive, snobbish yet unaware of the race or color of those he knew and liked, cruel and tender, demanding, commanding, untidy and unorganized, but with an amazing grasp of details and a tenacious memory--no administrative organizer, but a man who got things done--all of these traits and others too are mentioned by those who knew him.
Going back to his St. Mark's School days, Robert Thayer remembers Galatti as a "good, strong, stocky fellow--a great football player, a quarterback on winning teams". When he went on to Harvard, he used to come back almost every weekend.
While he was in School, he had become great friends with my mother and father [Headmaster William Thayer]. Eventually Steve was asked to come back to St. Mark's as a teacher and football coach.
Bob Thayer attributes Galatti's all-absorbing interest in young people to his days at St. Mark's.
"Stephen had followed his older brother John to St. Mark's, and also like John and his father before him, Steve had gone to India to seek his fortune. The war came, however, and he had gone to France with the Ambulance Service.
"As a foreigner in the United States (His father was Greek and his mother was, I think, Russian.) He was tremendously impressed and very much moved by the way the American boys at St. Mark's School had taken him in. He had suddenly found his place in the world, and this acceptance made him feel the importance of young people being without prejudice, and getting to understand the point of view of somebody with an entirely different cultural background."
Paris in 1917 gives us another view of Galatti. Here is John Fisher's affectionate description of Galatti as he appeared in those days:
"When you walked into 21 rue Raynouard in the Spring of 1917, you saw incessant movement: baggage, supplies, and troops of green, young recruits in an endless procession all over the place; the office harried with overwork paid little attention to you. If you got one of them into a corner and told him what you wanted, he passed the buck wearily to someone else. Finally, if you persisted in your quest, someone steered you to a door marked 'Mr. Galatti'. You went in--he always managed to find time to see everyone--and noticed first the most disorderly desk in the world. It had everything on it: letters, papers, books, scratch pads, pencils, cigarettes, more letters, more and more papers, more and more letters. You could barely look over the top of it and see Galatti sitting on the other side. You stated your case and he listened to you. Very likely while you were talking he answered the phone and made illegible notes about unrelated subjects. But that didn't matter; he heard you, understood you. Sometimes he told you that you couldn't have what you wanted. That was final: he felt it couldn't be done: you sensed that he didn't say it just to get rid of you and save himself trouble. Sometimes, if he thought you were talking nonsense, he didn't answer at all, but just listened and listened, 'till by and by you got tired and went away. He never called you a damned fool. He never called anyone a damned fool. Men were going through rue Raynouard at the rate of fifty a week and every one of them had his own little grievances. But Galatti always kept his temper. It wastes time to lose one's temper, and he couldn't spare the time.
"But generally, when you had rambled through your plea, he said something brief and decisive: 'The best train is 8 a.m., Gare de L'Ouest.' Or, 'Try 26 Avenue des Ternes.' or 'Your cousin is in section eight. He'll be down on permission in a day or two.' Or just, 'I'll see about it.' And he always did see about it. At first you couldn't believe he would possibly find time to do anything if he did remember, but he fooled you. No matter how preposterous your request, if he said it would be alright, it was alright; a day or two later he found your missing trunk, or found a place for you in the section you had set your heart on.
"Everybody was working harder that spring than ever before, but Galatti did as much as any four of the rest of us. And such days he put in! Selecting the right men to fill vacancies, sending off reassuring telegrams to parents anxious about their offspring, locating missing livrets, ordering brass donor plates and seeing to it they got on the right ambulances, organizing new sections; and if, as often happened, a wire from Bordeaux arrived at 5 p.m. announcing that fifty men would be arriving unexpectedly at 7:30 p.m., he would just hustle a little harder than usual and have enough cars at the station to carry them and their baggage, and supper and beds would be waiting for them. And if a convoy were leaving next morning at six, he would be on hand to see them off. That was the life he led from the Spring, 1916, to late in the Fall of 1917."
It is true of course that the circumstances about which these words were written were a wartime situation. One finds, however, many of the same words and descriptions of Steve Galatti at work in AFS--the disorderly desk, the capacity to do several things at once, the decisiveness, the finality of his judgments, the prodigious memory for details. Only two differences might be noted: he did in later years lose his temper, and he did call you a damned fool.
In 1935 Galatti became Director General of the Field Service, and reactivated it when World War II began. This is what Bill Hooton, one of his staff during this period, has to say:
"In a war he functioned beautifully because he had very good people running the headquarters in Cairo or Naples, Calcutta, Bombay, wherever they were; and what he did was really to keep track of everything, and keep the money flowing. He would sit there with his little pads and pencils to keep track of everything, but he was always thinking--he was the thinker and was not going to keep track of all this. He was remarkable in the student program too, because he did know every person in it. He couldn't tell you whether they were in this school or that school, but he was absolutely great if a problem developed with a student. His instinctive kindness and intuitive sweetness knew how to handle the situation. He would solve the problem just like that. That was his great, great talent.
"I know that with Dot, when she first had students that wouldn't work out in these private homes and they had to be moved or something and he wanted to know every one of those things, and he did know every one. And he made the ultimate decision about every one.
"On the other hand, there was not to be a letter written, anything, that did not go across his desk. And he would read them, and throw them back. He'd say, 'No, you can't say that, Dot, you can't say that. Why have you bungled?' He would do this all the time.
"When he first came into the picture, all during the war, he was a broker at Paine Webber, and didn't get to our office until after the market closed. So he came at three in the afternoon and stayed until seven or eight or nine or ten, during the war, whatever was necessary. Then when we started the Field Service Scholarship program, he still came at three and would stay until seven or seven-thirty, and that's when I first started my late hours in office. I started coming in about ten or ten-thirty in the morning, because I would stay and work with him from the time he got in till the time he left. I'd walk up with him--I lived on 72nd--so we'd walk home together, or his brother's car would come. Steve didn't have any money until after his mother died--he really had no money, and spent all his time at the Field Service. He did nothing else but raise money. That was his other gift: he was an incredible fund-raiser. He was penning letters to people by the hundreds, and writing personal letters trying to raise money. He was a great believer in the personal letter. That's how he raised so much for the Field Service and for the scholarship program.
"He was so firmly committed to what he was doing that he didn't hesitate to put the finger on anybody, to use friendships, and not only for their money, but for their time, their efforts--like getting Bobby Thayer. When Bobby Thayer first came into this picture, he was down in Washington: Ambassador, Minister to Romania, right after the war. And Steve just kept adding and adding, and adding, giving him more and more to do, until Bobby just decided he'd better resign from the State Department and come work for the Field Service. And that's in fact what he did. Steve had that ability to get unbelievable work, effort, energy out of everybody, whether the staff, Board, friends, committees. I mean dreaming up this whole thing of how families and committees would raise the money to match the money that we would get from someplace else--this incredibly complicated fund-raising business that goes on all the time now as part of the program is absolutely brilliant. So when I say he wasn't worrying about the details, he did worry about the details, because to dream that up you had to be able to conceive of it in detail and to see that it would mesh into one program that would work. So he really was a remarkable man."
There seems to be no question that Steve Galatti made all the decisions and that he wanted to know about everything that was going on.
It is interesting that everyone who was associated with him and the scholarship program agrees that people did what Steve wanted them to do. This is true of volunteers, of staff, of Trustee Members and directors, and of donors. Once you had shown an interest in AFS, you were hooked for life, or at least for as long as you performed to Steve's satisfaction. When toughness was needed, he was tough; when a more subtle approach was called for he could be diplomatic, too. He was himself so committed to the program that he never hesitated to ask of others the same sacrifices of time or money that he himself was prepared to make.
Ward Chamberlin, who knew Steve from 1942 until Steve's death, and who has himself served AFS in many important ways, tells how Steve operated:
"His whole theory was that you brought people in and you'd see whether they were any good. But he'd never select. If at a cocktail party somebody said they'd like to work for the AFS, they'd come in the next day and he'd say, 'All right, sit over there and do something.' But the problem was he couldn't fire anybody. He was kind of like F.D.R.--he was great at getting people to work but he couldn't fire anybody. He had to get somebody else to do that. What he did was he'd just ignore them when they turned out to be no good. I remember in about 1959 I had a call from a volunteer, and I didn't know her. She said, 'I understand you have some role in the AFS. I just want to tell you I'm in an awful situation. Steve Galatti is just ignoring me. I've been working here for five years now, and all of a sudden he's just ignoring me. He doesn't call me on the phone, he doesn't ask me to do things, and he's calling this other person.' It was one of those situations where she had either done something wrong and he'd decided to get rid of her, or, as happens in voluntary organizations, some people are good at some things and not others, and you need some other kind of person. But Steve was terrible about that--he would never tell them. He'd just ignore them. Turn his back on them. And if confronted with it, he'd say, 'Oh yes, you're the most wonderful person,' and he'd just lie through his teeth.
"These people had developed a fanatical devotion to him, so when he turned his back on them, it was the shock of their life. I was devoted to him more and more as I went along, but if you tried to figure out why you wouldn't really understand it. And of course administratively the thing was pretty chaotic. That didn't make too much difference when you were dealing with 150 or 200 kids, but when it got larger than that...
"Steve had a great eye for the main chance. That is, when he saw where the real opportunity was he went straight at it, and nothing could deter him. Other people see where the great opportunities in life lie, but they get deflected to the side. He saw where the real opportunity lay in this program, in a practical way. Everything was devoted to a cause, and of course his cause happened to be a very good one."
Two people who worked intimately and long with Galatti were Mary Annery and Dot Field. Mary tells about getting the job of controller with AFS:
"I saw Mr. Galatti and I had the job within three minutes. There were no questions asked as to my qualifications; he felt that Ed Diggins [partner in Arthur Andersen Co.] had recommended me highly and that was it. The only problem was salary, and he sort of balked when I told him what I wanted. Then, he said, 'There should be no problem; I'll just make a few telephone calls to our Board of Directors. Call me at home at eight tonight.'
"I called that night. There was only one ring and he was on the line. 'You start tomorrow,' he said."
Dot Field has a similar recollection of her interview with Galatti on December 5, 1941.
"The minute I went in that little office I knew what I was up against. When I sat down in that chair and saw this man, I knew that he was hard-boiled as eggs. He looked very impersonal, not giving an inch, just sitting there.
"I said that I wanted to volunteer.
"'What can you do?'
"'I'll do anything you'll let me do. I can type a little. I have a great deal of strength and energy, and want to help.'
"'When can you come?'
"'I can come next Monday.'
"So I came and I never left; I just worked day and night, holidays, Sundays, all the time..
When Dot Field retired, she had been on the AFS staff longer, on an uninterrupted basis, than anyone else before or since, and knew Mr. Galatti well. When I asked her about his death, she said:
"I wasn't surprised at all. He had achieved what he wanted, and he had just received an honorary degree from Harvard. He saw the end then, and he was getting tired. I would see him walk down the street, down 43rd Street, slowly, not fast as he used to. And I'd see him tired in his office; he would fall asleep in his chair sometimes. We realized that he was aging. It was sad, but it was time he went. He had the lion by the tail. He could no longer run the show single-handed. Things needed more than he could give at that time."
By way of a vignette of Stephen Galatti, perhaps the note Bob Applewhite wrote me would serve admirably. Bob also knew 'the Boss" over a number of years.
6 June 1978
Last evening I was thinking about the chore of trying to capture Steve Galatti on paper. I was trying to think of 'things' about Galatti to which those who knew him during the scholarship years could relate and I came up with the following list (which I pass on for what it's worth):
- The crumpled seersucker suits in summer.
- The endless Pall Mall smoking
- Always a definite response/opinion; never wishy-washy.
- Never really cared about the past (except as part of a tradition); only concerned about the present and how the present applied to the future.
- Hated ethnic groups as such and ethnics per se, unless they were involved in AFS, in which case he didn't think about the matter
- Almost indecipherable hand-writing, which got worse and worse.
- Wrote brilliant, short (always) letters; simple language, to the point; always answered the questions that had to be answered without beating around the bush. If a simple 'Yes' or 'No' would suffice, he would use it. I can recall only one two-page letter, but there may have been others.
- Loyal to any Driver or Student.
- Sensitive to anyone who 'used' AFS, but would get out of them what he could and then completely disregard them.
- Slovenly but at the same time urbane.
- Respected very few people; would listen only to Ward, Ed, Sachiye and sometimes Edgell. Ward was the only person who could say 'Steve, you can't do that' and get away with it.
- Tenacious. But then those who opposed him either shut up or went away. Enos resigned as Chairman of the Board when Galatti insisted on going out on a limb to get the new building. (Enos later had the grace to come back and admit the action was necessary.)
- Demanded and frequently commanded respect.
- Very few people could say 'No' to him when he turned on the charm in a personal confrontation.
- Could easily make you feel like a million or a peanut, and frequently did.
- Could not cope with modern techniques and innovations. Never dictated a letter in his life.
- Mimeograph and Addressograph machines were about as far as he would go. (Carbon sets would have killed him.)
- Had magnificent timing and intuition.
- Had tremendous rapport with all students and most volunteers--at least at first.
- Only outside interests were detective stories and baseball. When the Yankees were in a slump he said they could get out of it if all fans would send in $1. So they could buy Willie Mays. An eager participant in the annual office World Series pools.
- A great public speaker in that he always captured his audience, never bored them. Never used notes or references. Was frequently inconsistent about facts. George Rock once said 'The truth is simply not in that man.'
- Never tried to impress anyone and was impressed by no one.
- In interviewing someone for a job, he could tell almost instantly if they were 'right,' and then it was 'Can you start on Monday.'
- Had confidence in himself and what he was doing.
- Never used four-letter words. His only expletives were 'Ouch' and 'Golly.'
- Loved to kick a ball around the office. Played tennis until the last several years.
- Met every student on arrival (as he had done with the drivers during WWII).
- Hated the idea of the new building being called 'Galatti House.' He sulked when Barclay got the resolution passed over his objection.
- Had no close friends, but zillions of acquaintances. Zillions.
- Women apparently found him quite attractive/appealing.
- Had a fabulous memory, almost total recall. The only time I know of it's failing was when he forgot my last name-as he had been calling me 'Apple' for 20 years.
- Thrived on the enthusiasm of youth, which, face it, in his situation was a sop to his ego.
- Never 'thanked' anyone for any thing, but somehow he let you know if he was pleased or even satisfied. This might happen months or weeks afterwards, e.g. 'Apple was right about getting companies and foundations to sponsor individual students.'
- Curiously, didn't really have a sense of humor. Never heard him enjoy a laugh.
- Brought the best out of people, e.g. Edgell. Always had Piggy Bank on his desk and asked all visitors for their pennies.
- Frequently worked seven days a week until 'all hours,' would reluctantly go to an occasional old guard dinner party, but everything else involved AFS.
The above observations are basically personal ones; however, a number of them could be familiar to anyone who worked with him or knew him at all.
One might have expected that the sudden death of a leader as dominant as Galatti would have caused some hitch or slowing down in the operation of the complex organization that AFS had become. The shock of his death was of course felt throughout the AFS world, and sorrow for the passing of a man who had done so much for so many. To students, returnees, families, and volunteer workers throughout the world, Steve Galatti was AFS personified, and he more than any other one person was known personally by those involved both in the Field Service and in the scholarship program.
The response to the crisis occasioned by Mr. Galatti's death, however, clearly showed the great strength of the organization that had been built up over the years. Those Founding Members and Directors who had been the strength and continuity of AFS during the first years of the program were men of experience in the operation of organizations at policy-making and administrative levels. They had been intimately involved in the building of AFS; they knew its strengths and its weaknesses.
Mr. Galatti had not identified and developed his own successor. No one immediately came to mind as the next Director General, probably because Mr. Galatti, to the end, had been involved in most of the details of the operation; though he was no longer able to handle every minor (or even major) matter himself and was by the very size and complexity of the program compelled to delegate, he still was not one to yield control or to encourage the growth and development of a subordinate to a position of challenge to his own power.
Within the upper levels of the administrative staff, however, there was of course exceptional ability and experience. George Edgell, Sachiye Mizuki, Alice Gerlach, Robert Applewhite, Vernice Greisen, Mary Annery, and the others were an extraordinarily able and experienced group, who in effect had been responsible for the many phases of day-to-day and month-to-month administration that kept the organization functioning with a high degree of effectiveness. They too were widely known throughout the AFS world by reason of their contacts with volunteers and participants and their communications to the "field."
There was, however, no one among this group both willing and able to assume the leadership. Consequently, the Board turned to one of its own members to lead the organization during this period.
Mr. Masback had been deeply and increasingly involved in program matters. As a Founding Member, as a Director, as Treasurer, as a member of the Executive Committee and many other standing and ad hoc committees, Mr. Masback was thoroughly familiar with corporate matters and with the needs and requirements of the program as well. Though not widely known to the volunteer constituency of AFS, he was known and respected by the Board and the administrative staff at AFS headquarters. Everyone was confident that Mr. Masback could be counted on to do a highly effective job at this critical period in AFS history.
Two matters of paramount importance were pending: The 50th Anniversary Convention and the Major Capital Fund Drive. Plans and program for the Convention were complete and Miss Gerlach was very much on top of that operation. The Convention took place as scheduled and was a great success; about 5000 AFS enthusiasts attended the five-day meeting, almost 1500 of these from outside the United States. It was an occasion for the renewal of old ties and for a rekindling of enthusiasm and support for the AFS, a time of new commitment to its aims and ideals.
The question of whether to proceed with the Capital Fund Drive according to plan was a perplexing one. The goal had been set for $11,000,000, no small commitment for an organization whose fund raising, aside from the annual chapter contributions for the WP students, had been well under one tenth of that sum.
At a meeting of the Board of Directors in September, 1964, the question was discussed at some length. The $11,000,000 goal was predicated upon enlargement and expansion of the Winter Program to 5000 students by 1976 and at the same time an increase of the proportion of students from the less developed countries, where expenses were greatest and income least. Postponement of major fundraising would necessitate a cutback in these plans. Other considerations for proceeding with the fund drive included the psychological and emotional benefits of a memorial to Mr. Galatti, the fact that Area Representatives were already organized to begin their campaign on November 1, the objectives were clear to all AFS, a contract had been signed with Mr. McLinnan to conduct the drive, and the year 1964 had been a good year for business and prospects of sizeable gifts before the end of the tax year were good.
On the other hand, many constituents and supporters might hesitate to contribute until the new Director General was appointed, and in that case the first of November seemed a little early to begin, since some constituents and major prospects would need some time to be "educated" to the virtues as well as the needs of AFS.
The lengthy discussion ended with the passage of this resolution.
1) that the Board of Directors herewith reaffirms the desirability and necessity of a major fund raising drive but that in view of the death of Stephen Galatti the previously scheduled November 1st opening of the campaign should be deferred until such time as a permanent director general is appointed and has had time to review the program and overall objectives.
2) that the Administration and Staff of the New York office be authorized to continue planning for a 1965-66 Winter Program of 3,000 students within the control of a balanced budget for that year, and,
3) that a low level appeal for funds identified as a memorial for Stephen Galatti be carried out before January 1, 1965, for the purpose of creating the essential minimal reserve for continued sound financial operation.
On the 30th of September the committee appointed to find a successor to Mr. Galatti made its report to the Board. It had prevailed upon another staunch and active supporter of AFS to assume the leadership, Arthur Howe, Jr. Mr. Howe, had, however, other commitments which would prevent his taking office until the first of the year. He requested that announcement of his appointment be postponed until 19 October to allow Yale University to find his successor as Dean of Admissions. The title of Director General, it was decided, would be retired and Mr. Howe would be known as the President of the AFS. A press conference was held on 19 October at the Harvard Club, where the announcement of the appointment was made.
"I was on the selection committee, I recall now, and we started systematically collecting names, and I sent in quite a number of nominees myself. I had an awareness they were all looking at me time and again, and we didn't go very far before they had asked me. About the first of September or third of September I was sailing, say, the fifth I think they knew it. And so I had one day, as I recall, before sailing to make up my mind, and talk to Whitney Griswold at Yale, who expected me to be back and to sort out my affairs in England where I had agreed to give a seminar in the Delegacy of Education as it was then called at Oxford. It didn't have proper academic standing to be a department. And I agreed then, very quickly, to cut my affairs short in Oxford and be back the first of January. I said, I had to go through with some commitments here, I had a commitment there I'd made to do certain things, but I would try to modify it, which I did and--in any case, it was very quickly settled with some telephone calls across the Atlantic I would take over the job the first of January. "(10)
Education had been a major influence in Arthur Howe's environment. He was born on July 19, 1921, in Watertown, Conn., and attended public school in that city while his father was serving as President of Hampton Institute in Virginia, a training school for Negro teachers founded by Arthur's maternal grandfather, General Samuel Chapman Armstrong.
Mr. Howe graduated from Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, Conn., and spent a year as an English Speaking Union exchange student at England's Rugby School in 1938. The latter experience would have a profound influence on Mr. Howe's life and would strongly affect his attitudes and understanding of AFS participants later.
"It was a year that enormously impressed me," said he, "and it shaped a lot of values. I had one of the great years of my life in terms of a kind of personal fulfillment, breadth of experience, and active involvement in a lot of things. It's what led to my going back and serving with the British during the war."
As always, however, the experience was not only one of receiving but also of giving. At the end of the school year, Rugby's headmaster said in his report: "I only hope he has taken from Rugby half as much as he has contributed... He has inspired and delighted all his many friends."
As a sophomore at Yale University in 1942, Arthur volunteered as an ambulance driver, and so began his association with AFS.
Attached to the British Eighth Army, he was assigned first to the African campaign and then to the Italian. He served from Alamein to the Sangro. In one year he rose to the rank of Major in command of the 567th American Field Service Ambulance Company.
Included among his citations is the Order of the British Empire, awarded to him by King George VI. In part the citation reads: "Major Howe, by his untiring efforts and organizing ability, has been largely responsible for the outstanding contribution his Company has made to the success of the Medical Services; his personal service has been of unusual distinction."
Illness forced Major Howe's retirement in 1944 and his return to the United States. There, however, he continued to work for AFS in raising funds, publicity work and recruiting. In 1949 Mr. Howe was elected a Director of AFS and in 1952 was named a Vice President.
Mr. Howe graduated from Yale in 1947, taught Latin and mathematics at Hotchkiss School, and returned to England for a year of study at Lincoln College, Oxford. In 1951, he was appointed Assistant Dean of the Freshman Year at Yale; he became Director of Admissions in 1953, and three years later was named as Dean of Admissions and Student Appointments.
At Yale Mr. Howe was responsible not only for selecting freshmen each year, but also for granting financial aid, for vocational counseling, and for educational research. Among other innovations, he originated Yale's Summer School, a program for educationally deprived high school students of superior intelligence.
Among the educational boards Mr. Howe served on are included the Trustees of Hampton Institute, the Pomfret School, and the College Entrance Examination Board, and the Directors of the Foote School and of the Rockywold-Deephaven Camps.
On October 28 Mr. Masback submitted his resignation as Acting Director General but continued in his capacity as treasurer and as a Director. Mr. Masback had fully lived up to the trust and confidence placed in him in July, and the Board recognized his critically important contribution by passing unanimously the following resolution:
RESOLVED, the Executive Committee on behalf of the Board of Directors of American Field Service express to Edwin Masback its deep appreciation and great admiration for his leadership as Acting Director General of AFS during the period from Stephen Galatti's death on July 13, 1964 to the present, and that the Committee is reluctant, indeed, but finds no alternative in view of Mr. Masback's expressed wishes to accept with deep regret his resignation as Acting Director General, effective November 1, 1964; and further RESOLVED, that Mr. Masback's resignation as Acting Director General effective November 1, 1964, be, and hereby is, accepted.
Mr. George Edgell, who had been acting as Mr. Masback's deputy Director General and had been a mainstay of AFS for many years, was appointed as Acting Director General. No formal announcement of Mr. Edgell's appointment was made except to the headquarters staff and Mr. Edgell quietly assumed a responsibility which had in fact been largely his for several months. In support of Mr. Edgell the Executive Committee decided to meet on a weekly basis until further notice.
Mr. Stephen Galatti, Jr. resigned from the staff in October, but was elected to serve on the Board of Directors at the semi-annual meeting of the Board in November.
Part III: Mr. Howe's Presidency
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