Sunday, December 27, 2015

Al "Big Tuna" Snider '72 dies at 65

If you were at Brown anytime between 1969 and 1975, or were part of the Brown Debating Union ever, you might well have known Al Snider ’72 from West Covina, CA, better known as The Big Tuna. It is with the deepest sadness that I report the recent death of my sometime debate partner, longtime fraternity brother, and all-time friend at the tender age of 65, at his home in Burlington, VT. Here’s a link to the NY Times obit (not a hoax - someone obtained the paper NY Times and found it there, too): 

The  Tuna’s exploits at Brown were the stuff of legend. He was a master bridge and hearts player, made the Providence Police Dept.’s “Top 10 Parking Violators” list (he had just shy of 400 open tickets at the time), and got married in Manning Chapel on Good Friday to his first wife, whose parents disowned her when she ran off to be with Al. Rev. Dick Danenfelser presided, and both Louis and Dominick of the Louis Restaurant attended in full stained-apron attire. More interesting parts of his story will cost you one (or more) drinks.

Al was also a national top-10-ranked debater, and had his greatest successes there partnered with (the late) Bruce Owens ’72, aka “Hotep X.” With me, he helped hire Dr. Barbara Tannenbaum as our debate coach when the Theater, Speech, and Performing Arts Dept. did not yet exist – without Barbara today, of course, Brown would not be Brown.  

When we graduated, I suspected Tuna would die in a drug deal gone south – or some equally ridiculous manner – before he turned 30. But through the influence of Bob Huber, debate coach at the Univ. of Kansas, Al got a Ph.D., and created a world-renowned program at the Univ. of Vermont. This was the crazier because Al hated snow more than I do, which is a lot of winter-hate.

The Tuna’s greatest legacy is his living proof that we truly can be whoever and whatever we want, and we get the life we choose. Our fate is not anyone else’s fault. (I hate to think what his could have been if it were up to some others …) 

If you doubt this about yourself and find life in general a doubtful struggle, please let me know and I will convince you of your great hope, possibilities, and self-worth as The Tuna would have. 

- Bill McNeely'72

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Brown Club OC/OC Ivy Plus Holiday Mixer at the Aqua Lounge, Newport Beach

Brown Club of Orange County/OC Ivy Plus

Holiday Mixer



The Island Hotel
690 Newport Center Drive,
Newport Beach, CA 92660

Wednesday, December 16th

5:00 PM

Join your fellow Brown alumni, family & friends for an after work holiday drink. Aqua Lounge offers entertainment, imaginative handcrafted cocktails and a delicious menu of gourmet shareable bites.  Happy Hour prices 5 – 7PM @ 50%. 

No host bar. Complimentary valet.

RSVP to Scott Westerfield at or at (949) 636-1975.

Friday, November 13, 2015

BCOC Attracts Record Turnout for Imagine America… Without LA

Dr. Lucile Jones ’76 – the “Earthquake Lady”  as she is affectionately known to millions of Southern California residents – spoke to a BCOC crowd of 100 people on Veteran’s Day evening at the beautiful University Hills Community Center in Irvine.

Lucy presented a detailed description of the geophysics of earthquakes as well as a down-to-earth examination of how Southern California residents will have to cope with the post-quake realities of broken water and sewer systems, non-functioning electrical grids, impassable roads and unsafe housing and workplaces.

Doctor Jones stressed that the ultimate outcome of such a natural disaster could be relatively rapid recovery or a prolonged catastrophe – depending on the collective and individual choices we make to protect ourselves, our homes and our society.

For more information about what you can do, please visit the links below. 

Video of Lucy Jones presentation Click here to view video

Many thanks to our friends at UCI, Sage Hill School, Chapman University, CS Fullerton, Yale Club of OC and the American Red Cross for supporting BCOC's most successful event ever!
Rachel Dunham, Physics teacher at Sage Hill School introducing Lucy
Lucy explaining the many geophysical, infrastructural, social and political variables that went into building the ShakeOut Scenario.
Bill Blanning of the Orange County American Red Cross talking about the disaster recovery and preparedness services of the ARC.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Lucy Jones keynotes American Red Cross Disaster Preparedness Academy

The Earthquake Lady - Lucy Jones - in the news this week as keynote speaker for the American Red Cross Disaster Preparedness Academy at the Anaheim Convention Center.

Come meet Dr. Lucy Jone '76 in person as Brown Club Orange County hears what to expect from the next major seismic event in Southern California and what you should do to protect your family.

Seating is limited and pre-registration is strongly recommended.

For details and tickets, click HERE or call 949-636-1975

Location: University Hills Community Center, 1083 California Ave., Irvine 92617 


  • General Adult $15
  • Brown Club Orange County Members $10
  • Students $2
  • Door: $20 (seating not guaranteed)

Thursday, October 22, 2015

JPL says Big One is Coming Within 3 Years. Hear What Lucy Thinks!

Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015:  "JPL experts announced Los Angeles has a 99.9% chance of experiencing a 5.0 magnitude quake in the next two and a half years, but say it very well could be stronger" according to CBS News.

Lucy Jones begs to disagree! 

Hear in person what Lucy has to say and decide for yourself.
For information and tickets Click Here

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Are You Ready for the Big One?

Imagine America…
without Los Angeles.
Are you ready?

Find out from “The Earthquake Lady” herself the effects of a major earthquake in Southern California.
Learn how you can prepare.

Roger Williams 2015 Awardee for Outstanding Service

If you live in Southern California or you saw the May/June 2015 issue of Brown Alumni Magazine , you already know who Lucy Jones is.

Lucy Jones (AB in Chinese Language, Brown ’76, PhD in Geophysics, MIT ’81) has been a seismologist with the USGS for the last 32 years. Her recent honors include:
·         Named as Seismic Risk Advisor to LA Mayor Eric Garcetti - 2014
·         Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal Winner - October 8, 2015
·         Roger Williams Outstanding Service Award – the highest award given annually to any Brown alumnae/-i  - October 17, 2015

As reported in the LA Daily News, “Dr. Jones’ current research centers...on the ways Californians might fare in the aftermath. And her prognosis is grim: After the imminent Big One, urban society is at risk.”

Join BCOC for an intimate discussion with Lucy Jones!

Date:  Wednesday, November 11, 2015 (Veteran’s Day)
Time:   6:30 pm reception, 7:00 pm presentation, 8 – 8:30 pm Q&A
Location: University Hills Community Center, 1083 California Ave, Irvine

Seating is limited. Parking is free. Light refreshments will be provided.

Pre-register for guaranteed, discounted admission.

Become a member of the Brown Club of Orange County for discounted admission to this and all BCOC events. Membership is free to Classes 2011-2015 and 1957 and earlier.

Space available admission at the door is $20.

For more information, call Scott at 949-636-1975 or email

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Imagine America Without LA!

Brown Club Orange County is proud to host Southern California’s “Earthquake Lady” – Lucy Jones ’76 – in a provocative discussion – Imagine America Without LA !

Dr. Jones was featured on the cover of the May/June edition of Brown Alumni Monthly - entitled “The Earthquake Lady” – which detailed her research on the likely after effects of a 7.8 seismic event along the Southern California portion of the San Andreas fault.

This research, published in 2008 and dubbed “The ShakeOut Scenario,” led to worldwide recognition and to her appointment by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti as the earthquake czar of LA. Lucy has been tasked with nothing less than preparing Los Angeles to withstand the next “Big One.”

You won’t want to miss this informative, compelling discussion with Q&A which will dispel myths and answer your questions about how to prepare for,  and cope with,  the inevitable, next major seismic event in our community.

·                 Date: Wednesday, November 11, 2015 (Veteran’s Day)
·                 Time: 6:30 reception, 7:00 Presentation, 8:00-8:30 Q&A and socializing.
·                 Location:  University Hills Community Center, 1083 California Ave, Irvine, CA 92617
·               This is a ticketed, limited capacity event, and pre-registration is required. For tickets click: HERE  
·                 Attention: Unregistered Young Alumni (Class of ’11 and later) You may register for free for club membership and receive an $8 discount on admission! Club Membership Registration
·                 Light refreshments will be provided
·                 Parking is free
·                 For more information call Scott or email

·                 (University Hills Community Center)

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Sabrina Stillwell Earns Brown Student-Athlete of the Week Honors

Sabrina Stillwell, Volleyball, Freshman, Laguna Beach, Calif.
Freshman Sabrina Stillwell recorded 5.00 kills per set on .403 hitting last weekend and landed 32 kills – the second most in a single match in school history – vs. Columbia as Brown beat Cornell (3-0) and Columbia (3-2). Against the Lions, Stillwell finished just two kills shy of the program record for kills in a match and became just the fourth Bear to record 30 or more kills in a match, fueling the Bears – who trailed 2-0 in sets – to the comeback win. She hit .466 in the match and posted seven or more kills in each of three sets. For the week, she tallied 40 kills with nine errors on 77 attempts.
( from posted 10/5/15)

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

US News/OC Ivy Plus Best Colleges Mixer October 14 at the Bluewater Grill in Tustin

Brown Club Orange County&OC Ivy Plus Present:

 US News & World Report
Wednesday, October 14, 2015

District at Tustin
2409 Park Avenue
Tustin, CA 92782
Please join your fellow alumni along with alumni from the Top 25 National Universities from US News & World Report?s National University Rankings to celebrate the 2016 rankings.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Gorab Named Men’s Soccer Candidate for Senior CLASS Award

Orange County's Own Jack Gorab Named Men's Soccer Candidate for CLASS 2015

Jack is a graduate of Corona Del Mar HS where he played before matriculating to Brown.

Link to complete article:

Monday, August 24, 2015

Much Ado About Nothing...Under the Stars!

Brown Club OC enjoyed a lecture by UCI dramaturge Julia Lupton followed by the UCI Shakespeare Festival presentation of Much Ado About Nothing , set in post WWII Europe, at the beautiful New Swan Theater (under the stars) Sunday 8/23.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

BCOC hosts A Conversation with Dean Mary Grace Almandrez

Brown Club Orange County Hosted Associate Dean Mary Grace Almandrez Friday night, June 26th, on the occasion of the historic SCOTUS decision legalizing gay marriage nationwide. The event took place in the library of the Sage Hill School in Newport, and Dean Almandrez with Diversity & Multicultural Program colleagues Myra Liwanag and Valerie Cordeiro brought along an exhibition of LGBTQ archival materials from Brown. Great timing!!!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Coming up Friday, June 26 at 6:30 p.m. Don't Forget to Register for tickets!

"THE NEXT 250 YEARS AT BROWN: Cultivating a Culture of Social Justice and Inclusion."

Brown University's 250th anniversary provides an opportunity to reflect on the challenges and successes related to diversity and equity on campus.

Come enjoy snacks and  conversation about how Brown is working to strengthen a culture of social justice and inclusion. 

We'll look at student activism and social-justice work at Brown both in the past and on today's campus.

We're also proud to present, as part of this event a special exhibition from the University LGBTQ Center of documents, photos, and other memorabilia showcasing the history of LGBTQ presence and activism at Brown.

Mary Grace Almandrez will be joined by two Brown staff members, Myra Liwanag ’91, Director, Regional & Multicultural Programs and Valerie Cordeiro, Multicultural Program Associate who will bring greetings from campus!

Location: Argyros Family Lecture Hall at Sage Hill School,
20402 Newport Coast Drive, Newport Coast 92657
Date: Friday, June 26
Time: 6:30 to 8:30 pm
·         Dues paying members, Young Alumni, Students & Emeritus– FREE
·         General Admission - $5

For information and tickets: click here

Sunday, May 31, 2015

The Next 250 Years at Brown: Cultivating Social Justice and Inclusion

SAVE THE DATE: Friday, June 26, 6:30 to 8:30 pm
Mary Grace Almandrez, Director of the Brown Center for Students of Color and Assistant Dean of the College:
The Next 250 Years at Brown: Cultivating a Culture of Social Justice and Inclusion."

Brown University's 250th anniversary provides an opportunity to reflect on the challenges and successes related to diversity and equity on campus.

This special conversation will focus on ways the University is working to strengthen social justice and inclusion. We'll look at student activism and social-justice work at Brown in the past and on today's campus.

Location: Sage Hill School, Newport Coast
Date: Friday, June 26
Time: 6:30 to 8:30 pm
·         Dues paying club members, Young Alumni, Students & Emeritus Members – FREE
·         General Admission - $5

For tickets and information, Click Here

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Cruising to Catalina with Bill McNeely '72 & BCOC

Ever wanted to explore ”26 Miles Across the Sea”?

Join Bill McNeely ‘72 and Brown Club Orange County at the beautiful Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club in Newport Beach for a fun and informative evening learning how to sail to Catalina and what to do when you get there!

Just 26 miles from L.A.’s bustle is a relaxed island in the Pacific with over a dozen good coves and harbors. It has a mix of development, pristine preserves, and odd places that are a little of both. Most visitors only see a tiny part, and that’s a shame!

Santa Catalina Island offers boating, snorkeling, diving, hiking, zip lines, golf carts, back-country jeep tours, restaurants, and concerts. Wouldn’t you like to find out what you’re missing?

BCOC’s own Bill McNeely  is the acknowledged expert on boating at Catalina Island and began teaching his Catalina cruising seminar over 15 years ago. Bill is the author of Cruising Catalina Island, now in its 2nd edition,  the authoritative boater’s guide to Catalina’s coves and harbors. He is also the “star” of the best-selling video boating guides Cast Off for Catalina and Cast Off for Mexico.

Join us for Bill’s up-to-date, 40-min. talk, with over 80 photos, charts  and slides to give you a good idea of what’s new at Catalina, how to get there, and where to go when you arrive. We’ll visit the big city at Avalon, some of the busier mooring coves, and some great, undiscovered anchorage spots.

Learn how to have your best trips to Catalina ever, and have a great time doing it.
Full Disclosure: at the end of this talk, you will want to head right out for the island! 

Location: Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club, 1601 Bayside Drive, Corona Del Mar 92625
Date: Wednesday, June 3
Time: 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Tickets: Dues paying Brown Club OC members: $10. General Admission: $13
Light appetizers served plus wait-staffed No-Host bar
For Tickets and More Information, click below: