September 13, 2000
pro: Lawyer focuses on foreign affairs, Latin America
call him the Ivy League Crooner
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Lawyer focuses on foreign affairs, Latin America
73, William D. Rogers '48 is trying to scale back his activities
as senior partner for Washington law firm Arnold & Porter, but
not to work on his golf game. Instead, the former State department
official is hoping to spend more time in his role as vice chair
of Kissinger Associates, an international affairs firm, and on his
efforts to raise awareness about the possibility of bioterrorism
in the U.S.
with government affairs began during the 1950s, when, as an associate
at Arnold & Porter, the recently minted Yale Law grad helped
to defend several government officials forced to take loyalty tests
under pressure from Senator Joseph McCarthy. In 1961, Rogers was
recruited by the Kennedy administration to become the first special
counsel of the Alliance for Progress, which was designed to provide
stepped-up development assistance to Latin American countries. After
negotiating dozens of individual aid agreements, Rogers was promoted
in 1963 to the top job at the Alliance, but he left two years later
because he was uncomfortable with the U.S.'s armed intervention
in the Dominican Republic and because he felt President Johnson
was shortchanging the Alliance in order to fund the Vietnam War.
Rogers returned to the
federal government in 1974 as an assistant secretary of state under
Henry Kissinger. He again focused on Latin America, working with
then-deputy undersecretary Lawrence Eagleburger to try to normalize
relations with Cuba. Meeting with Cuban diplomats in airport coffee
shops and New York hotel rooms, they forged a way to lift the U.S.
embargo against Cuba and to restore full diplomatic relations. "It
was an offer we didn't think they could refuse," says Rogers,
but the Cuban government never replied, and a short time later it
sent troops into Angola, eradicating any lingering American interest
Rogers also worked on
drafts of the treaty to turn the Panama Canal over to Panama, rewriting
the language until the treaty was passed - by a single vote.
As a member of the National
Bipartisan Commission on Latin America during the 1980s, Rogers
worked to end the civil wars in Nicaragua and El Salvador. The group's
recommendations eventually led to negotiations that ended both wars.
Rogers today is deeply
concerned about the degree to which he says America's foreign policy
has been compromised by a combination of congressional intrusions,
special interest groups, and a lack of bipartisanship. He wishes
that the president and the leaders of Congress could agree on a
strategy that would become the core of a new bipartisan foreign
policy, but he isn't overly optimistic. "It would be nice if
this happened," he says, "but I don't expect it to happen
By Marvin Zim '57
Marvin Zim is a freelance
writer in Washington, D.C.
call him the Ivy League Crooner
is safe to say that Robert G. Cushnie '76 is the only Princeton-educated
engineer to make his living as a musical impersonator in Las Vegas.
For a decade after graduating,
Cushnie moonlighted as a pop and R&B singer while pursuing an
engineering career for Fortune 500 companies. In 1987, Cushnie -
stage name Cushney Roberts - moved to Las Vegas and took to the
Four years ago, he found
his calling - impersonating the lead singer of the Four Tops, the
legendary Motown vocal group. Since then, Cushnie and his bandmates
have performed two sets a night, six days a week - first at casinos
in Las Vegas, and then, this year, at Berlin's biggest hotel. His
Berlin show -called
"Stars in Concert" - features a German Billy Joel impersonator,
a Cher from England, and an American Diana Ross, among others.
entertainers are revered much more than they are in their native
country," Cushnie says by telephone from Germany. "If
you've gotten exposure, you're like a god over here."
The typical impersonator
show is an hour and a half, with Cushnie's act getting about 15
minutes. Everyone in the band sings the words - no lip-synching
allowed - and they play the appropriate instruments. "If you're
impersonating Prince or Michael Jackson, people know it's not the
real person," he says. "When you're doing Elvis, there's
always a fine thread of parody there, since he got to be such a
caricature of himself. We're one of the few acts that is just bare-bones
singing, dancing, and some extremely nice tuxedos."
To be on the safe side,
Cushnie, who grew up in East Orange, New Jersey, has earned a real-estate
license; he is also thinking about applying to law school after
he returns to Las Vegas. Despite such moves, he says he has no plans
to abandon performing anytime soon. "Nice work if you can get
it," he says, quoting the old pop standard.
By Louis Jacobson '92
Louis Jacobson is a frequent
contributor to paw.
relief from the sizzling summer temperatures she encountered while
working as a freelance graphic designer in Italy, Isabella Califano
'95 decided to take a week's worth of surfing lessons. She fell
in love with the sport, but resented that she had to wear ill-fitting
wetsuits in men's sizes because most of the women's clothes - tailored
to young girls and teens - didn't fit.
Chickabiddy, the Rhode Island-based clothing company Califano began
two years ago, even though her best effort with a needle and thread,
she admits, is sewing on a button. But she discovered a computer
program that helped her sketch out the patterns, hired professionals
to make samples, and with a partner poured $80,000 into the effort.
They toured factories
to learn how clothes were made and e-mailed alumni on the Princeton
career-networking listserve for advice on how to write a business
plan and secure capital. Using that advice Califano crafted a business
plan that secured loans totaling $250,000 from the Small Business
Administration and a Rhode Island bank.
After finally launching
the company in January, Califano picked up her first batch of orders,
which came to $50,000.
"We wanted to make
clothes for women who do the sport," says Califano, who was
an art history major at Princeton and sang in a female a cappella
group. She says the inspiration for the "For women, by women"
athletic line came from the exhilaration and camaraderie in her
novice boat on the freshman women's crew team, which won the 1991
The Chickabiddy collection
includes wide-leg nylon surfboard pants, shorts, and second-skin
Lycra rashguards, which surfers wear under a wetsuit or alone to
help prevent skin rashes from the friction of a waxy surfboard.
By Theola S. Labbé
Theola S. Labbé
is a reporter for the Albany Times-Union.