Caltech Celebrates Two Staffers for Their 50 Years of Service

Bob Logan (BS '68) and Pat Anderson honored at May 31 event

At its 63rd annual Staff Service & Impact Awards ceremony on May 31, Caltech highlighted two individuals for their more than 50 years of service to the Institute: Bob Logan (BS '68) and Pat Anderson. 

Pat Anderson, who moved to Southern California from her native Mississippi as a teenager and studied at both Pasadena City College and Citrus College, was hired as a receptionist for the Arthur Amos Noyes Laboratory of Chemical Physics shortly before it was dedicated in 1968. She held the position of "floater" for the Division of  Chemistry and Chemical Engineering for several years before settling into her present position as an administrative assistant.

photo of Pat Anderson"When I first started, I assisted all of the professors who did not have administrative assistants assigned to them. Each professor was performing different research, so it was quitea learning experience. Everyone used different terminology and acronyms in their research so you had to figure out what it all meant—but eventually you became familiar with the scientific language. We were expected to do everything. I was given a drawing board, Rapidograph pens, vellum paper, electric eraser, templates, rulers, dry transfers—all the drafting tools to do chemical drawings for proposals, class handouts, correspondence and manuscripts. Deadlines were a constant in those days—nothing has really changed in that regard, only better equipment. The manuscripts were submitted (with original drawings), and the actual drawings were published. A professor would sketch something out, and then I would draw it. He would look it over and make the necessary changes. All drawings were done on vellum so they could be copied and cut into the manuscripts, proposals, and class handouts. This was only a small part of what we did. I think back, and I say to myself, 'How did I do that?'" 

 

Bob Logan (BS '68) entered Caltech as a freshman in 1964 and began working on campus at the Booth Computing Center after graduating. Since then, he has remained part of the campus computing group—which has had a number of different names—and is currently a senior director in Information Management Systems and Services. 

photo of Bob Logan"I started at Caltech working at the Booth Computing Center, where I had spent many hours as an undergrad waiting for output from Caltech's IBM 7094 computer. Since then, there has been a complete revolution in computing. A fitness band has more computing power now than all the systems in the Booth machine room in 1968. But the speed of change was even faster then, before Moore's Law took over. We could get a $500,000 or $1 million machine, and there would be something significantly faster a year later. When I started out, we had a typical university computing center where people came in and ran punch cards for data analysis. Eventually, I designed and supervised the installation of the first real campus fiber optic network, which we ran down in the steam tunnels in 1993. Along the way, my work helped support a lot of important research. In the '70s, for example, I ran the data collection system for the "Lunatic Asylum," which analyzed moon rocks, so computing stayed interesting, and I always found something fun to do."

 

#SoCaltech is an occasional series celebrating the diverse individuals who give Caltech its spirit of excellence, ambition, and ingenuity. Know someone we should profile? Send nominations to magazine@caltech.edu.