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The Dish

A Legacy Fulfilled

Being Christa McAuliffe's back-up on the ill-fated Challenger mission might have turned someone off space travel for good. Not Barbara Radding Morgan. After McAuliffe—the highly touted first teacher in space—and the rest of the space shuttle crew perished 73 seconds into flight in 1986, Morgan, '73, shouldered the mantle of the teacher in space. She worked with educational organizations on NASA's behalf while continuing to teach elementary school in McCall, Idaho.

In 1998, Morgan was named to the astronaut corps as a mission specialist. Anticipating her first spaceflight, she said at the time, “I feel that Christa and the other members of the 1986 crew will be with me.” Last August, more than 20 years after the Challenger tragedy, Morgan had lift-off: a 12-day mission aboard Endeavour. Her primary duties were in robotics—the mission's purpose was to add parts to the International Space Station—but she also conducted a 20-minute lesson from space. “Congratulations, welcome home,” Mission Control said as Endeavour touched down. “You've given a new meaning to 'higher' education.”

Six Degrees of Stanford

Aptos, Calif., residents Rich, '75, and Carolyn Georgi Williams, '77, thought it was going to be daunting to assist their son, Kevin, from across the country after he tore a knee ligament on a Colgate University ski-club outing last year. Then Rich logged onto the Hamilton (N.Y.) Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine website . . . and saw one of his frosh hallmates from Madera: Michael Zahn, '75, MD '80. Having Zahn perform Kevin's surgery “was a no-brainer,” says Rich, a radiologist in Santa Cruz, Calif. “Nothing like knowing your classmates are there to help your family 2,500 miles from home!”

A New Head for Time Warner

Jeffrey L. Bewkes, MBA '77, takes the helm as president and CEO of Time Warner on January 1. A former head of the company's Home Box Office division, Bewkes is credited with helping morph HBO from a premium movie channel to a buzz-worthy TV studio, boasting shows such as Sex and the City and The Sopranos. He takes the Time Warner reins amid speculation that he will spin off one or more of the company's divisions, which include Warner Bros., Time Inc., Time Warner Cable, AOL, New Line Cinema and Turner Broadcasting.

Together Through Adversity

Born with cystic fibrosis, Isabel Stenzel Byrnes and Anabel Stenzel, both '94, credit their twinness with helping them survive into their mid-30s. They've written The Power of Two: A Twin Triumph over Cystic Fibrosis (U. of Missouri Press, 2007), a candid memoir of how life-threatening illness affected their family, their time at Stanford, their career and family choices, and their own relationship. The book culminates with each receiving a double-lung transplant and a chance at a more active—though still medically challenging—life. Anabel Stenzel recently required a second transplant.

Read a January 2011 update on this story.

Giving 'Em the D.C. Axe

Courtesy Matt Cordova

In a harbinger of good things to come on the football field, Stanford alumni defeated Cal's 14-11 last summer in the softball teams' first-ever face-off in the Capital Alumni Network league. It was a “cordial but competitive battle,” says Matt Cordova, '94 (front row, third from left). The D.C. alumni finished the season with a 10-8 record. Could that be a harbinger too?

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