Last week I wrote about my experiences in Claremont, California at Drucker Day, on November 10th. However, I also had the pleasure of spending November 8th and 9th, and part of November 7th, on the campuses of The Claremont Colleges and The Claremont Graduate University. In between meetings with friends at the Drucker School and the Drucker Institute, I also managed to take advantage of a few on-campus activities.
After arriving in town mid-day Wednesday, I attended a fascinating talk by John Bachmann, senior partner (and retired managing partner) of Edward Jones, and chairman of the Board of Visitors of the Drucker School and trustee of Claremont Graduate University. He was interviewed by Rick Wartzman, the Executive Director of the Drucker Institute, on “How I Became a CEO.” Bachmann is also a Distinguished Visiting Assistant Professor at the Drucker School, and was a longtime friend and consulting partner of Peter Drucker. He is a perfect example of the many high-profile, highly accomplished leaders who were followers of Drucker.
A trait that Bachmann shares with Drucker, and so many of Drucker’s followers, is intense intellectual and cultural curiosity. This played out for Drucker in his interest in and collecting of Japanese art. During the Drucker Centennial in 2009, I attended the opening of an exhibit, “Zen! Japanese Paintings From the Sanso Collection,” of this collection on campus, at the Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery, at Scripps College. I returned there during this visit for another Japanese-themed exhibit, “Genji’s World in Japanese Woodblock Prints.” Maybe it was because it was late Friday, but I had the gallery all to myself.
I always enjoy going to the Honnold/Mudd library on campus, including the Honnold/Mudd Café. On Thursday I attended the library’s Claremont Discourse Lecture, “How American Bandstand Created the American Teenager,” by Scripps College professor Matt Delmont. It was based on his new book The Nicest Kids in Town: American Bandstand, Rock ‘n’ Roll, and Civil Rights in 1950s Philadelphia. As a pre-teen during that decade in Scranton, Pa., I religiously watched the show when it was a weekday, after-school offering. Matt’s lecture was highly interesting and intriguing, the same qualities I’m finding so far in the book. It provides new perspectives on Bandstand’s host, the late Dick Clark; and on rock music’s central role in the growing power of teenagers in the early baby-boom years. And gaining new perspectives is a perfect reason to spend a few days on a college campus.