June 2018

CCIS Newsletter
CCIS Celebrates 65 Years with Joan Lane, Our First President
An interview in her Atherton home
"Werner Warmbrunn was Stanford’s first Foreign Student Adviser in 1952. I knew him because I worked, for pay, in San Francisco for the World Affairs Council and then for the International Institute of Education. Wally Sterling was President then, and he appointed Werner. That was before I was married to Melvin Lane.

"I came down here to Stanford because Werner was here. Werner was outgoing but not the Welcome Everybody type. He often came to work in the morning before anyone was there and he would return to the office again at night when everyone was gone. He was quite shy, I think, but he was an inspiring force and leader. He was the brains of this whole thing, of CCIS. Werner outlined what he hoped foreign students (which is what we called them then) would get out of this, which was maybe helping them find a place to live since there was no campus housing at that time for anyone but undergraduates, and it grew from there.

"Werner was the one who saw that foreign students did not need the Lady Bountiful treatment that they were getting in most universities and colleges. They got invited for tea or maybe for Thanksgiving or a formal affair, and that was it. He gathered people from the community: Virginia Page and Pat Chadwick, whom I knew from playing tennis together near Berkeley, and a bunch of faculty wives. It was Pat Keyes, Sheila Spaeth, Mary Stegner (wife of Wallace Stegner), Ginny Page, Pat Chadwick, and me. Also, Ginny Spears and Lorraine Barry were part of the group pretty early on. It was unheard of then for women living around here, at least, to work; even those who had gone to college. Women didn’t usually go to work in my day unless the mother was a professional. So we had lots of volunteers with the time to give. Women’s lives now have changed enormously, and even though there may still be the interest and desire to volunteer, they don’t have the time. In those days, we had the time or made the time.

"The early group got along really well, and we were pretty funny. I was seven to ten years younger than the rest, so this was especially fun for me. We all had some international interests or background. We knew how lucky we were to be involved in this, and we all cared terribly about foreign students getting the experience of having somebody to help them and somebody to care about them. We were all so excited to be part of Stanford University. But, our focus was to help these new students, and we knew what we were doing was pretty original, and it was just fun! I loved it! The Marshall Plan was going on for a while, and we thought it was important to care about the students and their impressions of the United States, this community, and Stanford. I was new as a community volunteer, but I was thrilled to be involved with Stanford. The group was eventually involved with the International Center being donated to Stanford by the Bechtel family. I knew the Bechtel’s as a kid, but only well enough to say, Hello Mr. Bechtel, it’s nice to see you.

'I didn't go to Stanford. I went to Smith College in Massachusetts. I grew up in Berkeley and took the train across the country to college. I remember having an upper berth, and that was challenging in stockings and heels. Before that, I had never been east of Reno. All of my family went to Berkeley, and I didn’t want to go there. My husband went to Stanford, but that was in and out and very checkered during WWII.

'We would get started laughing, and we kept laughing. We knew we needed to keep files, so they were in shoe boxes under our beds at home. We were very very careful though, and we interviewed everyone personally. We didn’t want students to get into the hands of anyone who was obstructive or difficult. We knew that meeting the hosts and knowing who they were made it a better experience for the students too.

"Sheila Spaeth, whose husband was Dean of the Stanford Law School, had a great sense of humor and was the glue because she knew us, and she knew how things got done from the inside of the University. She brought us all together. It was a great plus for us, the non-Stanford ones, to get to know these wonderful people. We didn’t have the Bechtel International Center then. We met in Werner’s office over on the inner quad in Building 10. We didn’t have a place to meet. We met at that office, which was tiny, or in our homes.

"It was mostly graduate students alone then because the undergraduate scholarship programs had not started. It was Homestay and then Hospitality, and the beginnings of English in Action. Later on, Gwyn Dukes was the force in setting up programs for spouses. I love her SEF program and her. The original group of us mostly welcomed men, but then some women and spouses came too. Gwyn recognized the need to support spouses and make them feel a part of things.

"We didn’t recruit volunteers as you would now, in a more formal way. We talked to our friends and roped them in. Lorraine talked to her church friends and Werner connected with the Stanford Mother’s Club and the AAUW. We all shared our experiences and told people how much their kids would grow from the experience of meeting someone from another country. We did a lot of telephoning and kept volunteer records so that the next year we could get people to come back and help out again.

"One funny experience I still remember was one of us (I can't remember who) leaned over to a foreign student and patted his knee, and said, That is something I would pat your knee about! He was astonished and horrified! There were many learning moments, and they were wonderful. We learned from every experience. I wish someone would write them all down. The language was the hardest thing for the students. For some, the way of learning in the U.S. was a big jump for them, and they needed more support from us. There was no Skype and no free calling, so our volunteers were wonderful in supporting people who were so far away from home. Nevertheless, they were so excited to be here and at Stanford.

"My first foreign student was from Russia. His name was Dimitri. It was the first year we had Russian exchange students. The first Russians in the U.S. during the Cold War came here. Dimitri came by plane I met him at the airport. San Francisco Airport was small then and it had been a long trip for Dimitri from Moscow. The Homestay period was two weeks. Werner was worried about how a family would treat a Russian. We got the first one since Werner knew Mel and I so well and trusted us.

"My daughter was four years old at the time. Dimitri would go out in the garden with her, and he would laughingly say, We are out here learning English together. But, her kindergarten teacher, at my first parent-teacher meeting took it all very seriously and asked, in a very unfriendly way, Now, about that Russian living in your home…?

"Eventually, the FBI did come and visit with me because one winter Dimitri went skiing with a group. He was not supposed to leave a small geographic area. He broke his nose, and he came to hide out at our house so that the man who was supervising him would not know he had disobeyed orders. Dimitri only left when his broken nose was not so obvious. When the FBI man came, I was polite because I didn’t want to get in trouble. But, I was not particularly helpful either. Dimitri was a good guy and an excellent engineering student. That’s all that mattered to me.

"With WWII just over, and the Korean War starting and the Cold War, it was an ironic time to be welcoming students to the United States. People didn’t meet people from other countries. People didn’t travel. By the time CCIS began, in 1953, international pleasure travel was just starting. My family never traveled across the country. My first trip outside of the U.S. was in 1949 on a ship after my first year of college. People didn’t fly anywhere in 1949. People from other countries were called “foreigners,” but we didn’t sense any resistance in the community or on the campus – none at all when we started CCIS.

"When I was asked to be the first President of CCIS, I was too young to say, No thanks. They needed someone to do the job, and I had some leadership experiences at Smith College and had worked. The others had families, and I was newly married – just twenty-four years old. I heard recently that the CCIS Constitution and Bylaws we wrote then have barely been amended these 65 years…so you had better take another look at them! We never had the sense to realize all this had to be formal. We knew we needed to take minutes and keep records.

"The University didn’t object to us, and they didn’t necessarily back us. It’s different now and more complex. With just 8200 students and 350 faculty members in 1953, it was very different. We had all lived through WWII and sensed the importance of what we were doing. The United Nations was beginning to get going. I think that was an impetus for Homestay getting going.

"The campus is so big now and confusing, and the parking is impossible. Where there are only pedestrians now were places where we were driving our cars. Where the Stanford Bookstore is now is the street that went all the way to town. The buildings in front of the Bechtel Center were moved there to make space to build the Law School dorms. The Bechtel Center had overlooked the parking lot. Bechtel was a fraternity house that got into some sort of trouble, so they were eager to sell it, or asked to sell, it or forced to sell it. I can’t remember which one.

"Moving into the Bechtel Center was a big step for the Foreign Student Office, and for CCIS. Werner became the first Director of the Bechtel International Center. Having the Bechtel Center was mind-blowing! It expanded our opportunities. They were very careful about who got the jobs there. The CCIS Board was quite a big part of everything. We were very involved. There was never a question of our relationship to the University; we worked with the Bechtel staff as a close team.

"We became a larger group and, as people got interested, we got them involved. We started Hospitality so that volunteers were encouraged to have the students come back to visit after school started, and for more than just Thanksgiving. We tried to develop programs into year-long friendships. Most became lifelong friendships.

"We had fundraising events. An Evening in India at the Bowman Alumni House was one of the early events. We sold tickets to that. It began at 8 o’clock, as I remember. Lorraine Barry got her church friends to serve homemade baked goods, which helped. We didn’t serve alcohol; we didn’t dare try that! We planned very carefully to have a good program. We then put together an Art Tea. After these events were over, we would laugh together and say, Can you believe we just did that? These events were not just for CCIS members since we were trying to enlarge our scope and draw in new people. We needed to raise money because the group was not big enough to charge dues and make that work. As the group enlarged, in a sense, we were not fussy about who was on the Board, as long as they could get things done, and supported what was happening.

"I think even now that the qualities of CCIS volunteers are a quest for adventure, curiosity, and they feel privileged and fortunate to meet people from other countries. There was always a sense of community with the CCIS group, even for those members who didn’t see each other all that often. We all felt, and I hope you still feel, that CCIS enlarged our lives, for our children, and for us. There was a difference in the group from other groups in that we had a strong sense of responsibility. CCIS still attracts responsible people, and CCIS members still care about what happens to international students. Then, and now, it's about sharing the best of the people here, and the best of who we as a country."

Joan F. Lane is currently Assistant to the Stanford University Board of Trustees, Board of Trustees/University Governance Staff, Board of Trustees/University Governance and a Member of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Board of Trustees.

Pictured: Joan Lane and Donna Shoemaker
Photos by Carolyn Gannon
For more about the History of CCIS, visit our website at
2018-19 CCIS Executive Committee Announced
The 2018-2019 Executive Board was recently announced at the CCIS Annual Meeting. The new term begins July 1, 2018 and ends June 30, 2019.

Pictured L-R, Dave Gustavson-President, Annette Isaacson-Vice President, (Elisabeth Seaman-Annual Meeting Guest Speaker), Raj Khanna-Treasurer.
Not pictured, Karin Meiswinkel-Secretary.
Photo by Carolyn Gannon
Meet CCIS Volunteers
Add Joy to Your Week with English in Action
Carl Cheney is a Californian, originally from the San Diego area; Sherry Lund's home and education were in Colorado. They joined CCIS together two years ago in the English in Action program. Both Carl and Sherry came to CCIS with knowledge of and sensitivity to people of diverse styles and cultures; for example, both are experts in the use of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and have extensive cross-cultural communication experience.

Carl is a retired business communications consultant and corporate training and development executive. He holds a B.A. in History from Stanford and did graduate work in English Literature at the University of California, San Diego. He was an AFS exchange student in high school, studied in Italy for six months in college, and served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Sierra Leone. His business career included 22 years as an external consultant and fourteen years in high-tech training and organization development. Since 2003, he has served as a docent at Stanford’s Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve and recently led a hike for a group of sixteen CCIS volunteers.

As an EIA volunteer, Carl has had two partners. His first was a Japanese Criminal Court judge, here to study the American jury system. His current partner is a Japanese cardio-vascular surgeon, here to do medical research on Marfan syndrome. As an EIA coach, Carl enjoys learning about other cultures and helping EIA partners understand American culture. One of his most satisfying experiences was when his current partner asked for help with a PowerPoint for an upcoming presentation. Carl's partner told him, “You not only helped my talk go well, but your coaching changed the way I’ll do all my presentations.”

When Sherry first considered CCIS, she knew she didn't have any free time for EIA. Her undergrad and graduate degrees were in theatre and communication from the University of Colorado. She is a speaker and author and was one of the first people in Silicon Valley to do international team building with people who worked together but were located in different countries. Sherry is still working full time running her own global consulting business, Sherry L. Lund Associates, Inc. For some time her response to EIA continued to be, "The program sounds interesting, but I have no time because of my travel and my work schedule.” Adds Sherry, “At some point, I decided I needed more balance in my life and decided to make time for the program. Now EIA is such an enjoyable and enriching part of my week that I think I would cut other commitments first. The subjects we’ve discussed have been wide, varied, and endlessly interesting. It's a joy to have the opportunity to share and learn with these amazing scholars."

Sherry's first partner was an M.D., Ph.D. Japanese cardiovascular physician who lived here with his wife and two young sons. This year Sherry is partnering with a female postdoc labor economist scholar from China. Occasionally, meetings with both partners have taken place during small field trips to stores, local sites, or to Sherry and Carl’s home to share holiday traditions. Because Sherry's physician partner was also interested in sports, Sherry invited Carl to one meeting to talk about March Madness and common English sports metaphors. Sherry added, "Both matches have been wonderful. The program has been a richer experience than I could have imagined."

Both Carl and Sherry agree,“EIA volunteers have a unique opportunity to gain insights of other people, other professions, and other cultures through enjoyable personal conversation. We expected that EIA would be interesting, but it has far exceeded our expectations for how fascinating and broad the discussions can be.”
To learn more about the English in Action program, visit our website at
Join the Community Advisors Volunteers this Fall for the Most Fun of the Year!
By Karen McNay, Community Advisors Chair
The CCIS Community Advisors volunteers are gearing up for our orientation program in September. We anticipate another 600 international graduate students will arrive this fall and come through our volunteer orientation between September 6 and the 20 at the Bechtel International Center.

Community Advisors is a short-term CCIS program, so it’s ideal for those of you who cannot commit to other programs but still want to have fun and meet international students.

We give each student a red folder loaded with helpful Stanford and local information, answer questions, sign students up for the Hospitality program, schedule CCIS Loan Closet appointments, sell the tickets to four evening dinners at the Bechtel Center and two Bay Area bus trips. You will see almost all of the new students. They range from very savvy to very lost since some internationals have been in the U.S. for only hours. This is a time to welcome, meet other CCIS volunteers, have fun, and enjoy a fast-paced experience that can be different each minute.
The two Community Advisors shifts are Monday through Friday from 9am- 1pm and 1pm-5pm, plus the option to help serve at one of the buffet dinners or help at the International Welcome Reception. It's preferred, but not required, that CA volunteers serve at least two shifts during the two-week period.

To join Community Advisors, please call the
Program Chair, Karen McNay at (650) 279-7041, or visit our website at

Pictured L-R, Community Advisor Volunteers Carolyn Gannon, (International student holding a Red Folder), Kathi Rittenhouse, Carole Hessler.
Photo by Donna Shoemaker
Stanford research explores the complexities of global immigration, from past to present.

Saturday, June 16
Law School, GSB, and Medical School Commencement

Sunday, June 17
Stanford Commencement

Congratulations, Class of 2018!
This is the final issue of the CCIS Member Newsletter for our 2017-2018 year. Many thanks to those who have contributed to the first CCIS online newsletter. Thank you all for being part of this giving and caring organization.

Watch the mail for your CCIS Membership Renewal form.

On behalf of the CCIS Board of Directors and the
Stanford international students you support, Happy Summer!

Donna Shoemaker, Newsletter & Media Chair
Isabel Costa, Editor
The Community Committee for International Students at Stanford University is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. We are 100% donor supported.

This newsletter is available for viewing on our website at
Our mailing address is:
CCIS - Bechtel International Center
584 Capistrano Way
Stanford, CA 94305

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