Ben Oostdam story # 267

In Memoriam: SAM SCRIPPS

1927 - 2007


Scripps lost a longtime, loyal, and generous friend when Sam Scripps
passed away on Friday, February 16th at his home in New York.
The son of Scripps benefactor Robert Paine Scripps and grandson of
Scripps founder E.W. Scripps, Sam had a lifelong involvement with
the institution named for his family.

Born at Rancho Miramar in 1927, Sam used to visit the Scripps campus
with his father and older brothers
and made many friends including Bob Fisher and Walter Munk.

In Bob's words,
"Sam was introduced to the Scripps way of life
by sea stories he heard in long evenings at El Sombrero,
an early 1950's La Jolla bistro.
He saw it first hand with stints as a volunteer watch-stander aboard
"Horizon" from Suva to Pago Pago on CAPRICORN Expedition in 1952-53
and on "Argo" in the southern Indian Ocean in 1962.

Sam recalled those adventurous interludes with joy and for the rest
of his life he could bring back those happy times.
"

Walter added this about Sam:
"At some past time the citizens
of Suva had laid a cable across Suva Bay to bring telephone service
to citizens on the opposite side of the bay.
Somehow the cable was lost and efforts to grapple for it were unsuccessful.
Many years later Sam's grandfather E.W.Scripps
sailed his yacht into Suva.
As was his custom, he threw a party for all his hosts,
and then pulled up anchor. . .
And there was the lost cable hoisted with the anchor.
The cable end was passed on to his hosts, and telephone service
was finally established.
When we pulled into Suva Harbor a half a century later and they learned
that Sam was aboard, he was greeted as a great hero,
and the rest of Horizon's crew benefited greatly."


Sam and his wife Luise went on to become noted patrons of
theater and dance, including the American Dance Festival,
the American Society for Eastern Arts,
and the Globe Theater Project in London.
He also helped several such prominent dancers and choreographers as
Julie Taymor and Paul Taylor get their start.
But Sam never forgot his ties to Scripps, and he came back
regularly to visit and to lend his support.
Sam gave more than $3.2 million to Scripps during his lifetime
for such projects as construction of the Birch Aquarium,
matching funds for an NMR Spectrometer, the Scripps Crossing,
and the Robert Paine Scripps Forum for Science, Society,
and the Environment.

BLO fecit 20070302 thanks Jill Hammons! - stories