#13 Chicago, Illinois April 16 - April 20,1997
Wednesday, April 16: The International Hotel on Chicago's Michigan Avenue is where the class gathered for its 13th mini. Host Charlie Brumback's committee included Henry Betts, Jim Billington, Frank Hartley and Dick Mentzinger. Charlie and his wife Mary held sway in the Hospitality Suite in the South Tower. Among other items, our custom-designed black tote bag contained a capillary-action pen designed for the astronauts. Also we received a copy of Chicago Days: 150 Defining Moments in the Life of a Great City. The welcoming reception was in the King Arthur Room with dinner on one's own.
Thursday, April 17: After a continental breakfast in the hotel's Forum Terrace, most of the attendees boarded buses for the one-hour trip to Wheaton where we visited Cantigny, the former estate of Robert Rutherford McCormick. Walking past displays of Patton tanks we entered the First Division Museum for Day 1: Woodrow Wilson and the New World Order. A special exhibit, "Saddles and Spurs: Cavalry in the U.S. Army," was on display around the conference room where panelists and attendees discussed how Wilson influenced the transition of the U.S. from a hemispheric power to a world power. Box lunches were enjoyed in the conference room then Bill Wolcott, assistant curator of programs, led a tour of the museum which chronicles the Big Red One's history from the Revolutionary War through the Gulf War. The afternoon session covered American idealism and European realism with Wilson's international perspective. We joined non-conference Princetonians at the McCormick Mansion for a guided tour then to the Visitors Center which featured a scale model of the 500-acre estate beneath glass flooring. We bused to nearby Cantigny Golf Course (site for the golf and tennis buffs) for a reception and dinner in the Fareway's Dining Room. The after-dinner speaker was Dr. Henry S. Bienen, president of Northwestern University.
Friday, April 18: To Cantigny for Day 2 of the conference. The morning session addressed Wilson's presidential leadership; the afternoon, his legacy: Isolationism vs. Internationalism. Questions asked by the classmates were insightful and realistic. The evening rendezvous was aboard the yacht Odyssey II for a dinner cruise on Lake Michigan. The city lights were truly beautiful. Some opted to walk the several blocks back to the hotel.
Saturday, April 19: Buses took us to the Art Institute of Chicago where a continental breakfast was served in the historic Stock Exchange trading room. Built on La Salle Street in the 1890s, it was later disassembled and reassembled inside the museum. Henry Betts spoke of his accomplishments since establishing the world-renowned rehab center in Chicago. Our guide presented an overview of the institute's collections, focusing on Michelangelo and pre-1900 French Impressionists. Many other exhibits included the Thorne Miniature Rooms. Many classmates enjoyed the Hospitality Room before walking to the University of Chicago Business School for a reception, dinner and dancing on the 6th floor.
Sunday, April 20: A lovely brunch buffet, served in the beautiful Renaissance Room, concluded this most informative conclave in Chicago.
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