Fall Program 2007

Tuesday, August 28
University Series
George Thiruvathukal
Tower Club

Tuesday, September 11
University Series
Charles Middleton
Tower Club

Tuesday, September 25
Lyric Opera Overview
Jesse Gram
Tower Club

(Smoking to Follow)

Thursday, October 11
Cigar Society Fall Dinner
Stephen Presser
Tower Club

Tuesday, October 23
Informal Smoker
Tower Club Bar

November 1 and 2
Fight Nights
Cathedral Hall

Tuesday, November 13
University Series
Allen Frantzen
Tower Club

Tuesday, November 27
Informal Smoker
Tower Club Bar

Tuesday, December 11
Cigar Society Winter Dinner
University Club

About the Cigar Society

ONE OF THE OLDEST AND greatest traditions of the University Club is the discussion of intellectual, social, legal, artistic, historical, scientific, musical, theatrical, and philosophical issues in the company of educated, bright, and appropriately provocative individuals, all under the beneficent influence of substantial amounts of tobacco and spirits. 

The University Club Cigar Society embraces this tradition and extends it with its fortnightly Informal Smokers, monthly University Series lectures, and quarterly Cigar Society Dinners, in which cigars, and from time to time pipes and cigarettes, appear as an important component of our version of the classical symposium.

The Informal Smokers meet at the round table in the Tower Club bar.  There are no reservations or cover charges, and each member signs his own chit for drinks a lá carte.  Sometimes a theme is published in advance, but the table talk always strays. 

The format of the Cigar Society University Series includes cocktails at 5:15pm, a lecture or reading starting at 5:30 sharp for about thirty minutes, and discussion and more cocktails to follow.  Premium open bar and light snacks are included in University Series events; members sign a chit for $30 and guests may pay $40 (inclusive) in cash.

All University Club and Tower Club members and their guests are invited to all Cigar Society events.

To be included in the Cigar Society's mailing list, write to the Secretary, Curtis Tuckey, at tuckey@post.com.

Recent Speakers

Theodore N. Foss, Director of the Center for East Asian Studies, University of Chicago, on "Jesuits in China," June 4, 2007

Charles Wheelan, Harris School of Public Policy, University of Chicago, on "What is Public Policy?"  May 8, 2007.

Jack Zimmerman, author of Gods of the Andes, read from his book on April 3, 2007.

Robert Wallace, Classics Department, Northwestern University, on "A Whirlwind Tour through Greek and Roman Coins," March 6, 2007.

Rick Kogan and Charles Osgood, Chicago journalists, talked about their book, "Chicago Sidewalks," February 22, 2007.

Mark Warden, past president of Daley College, on "Leo Strauss and Neoconservatism," January 23, 2007.

Cigar News Archive

Cigar Society University Series

THE CIGAR SOCIETY CONTINUES ITS  University Series of lectures and discussions this fall with an entertaining and provocative set of topics.  We will begin in late August by investigating connections between weaving cloth and tabulating the census, and between the creation of the Oxford English Dictionary in the mid-nineteenth century and the Wikipedia in the early 21st.  On September 11th we will look at historical patterns in the rise and decline of great powers and ponder the possibility that history is repeating itself.  In October, at our Fall Cigar Dinner, we will hear speculation on whether Ann Coulter got it right and reflect on the rule of law in the light of recent supreme court decisions.  And near Armistice Day this November we will be treated to a slide show of World War I memorials and contemplate whether war makes more men than it kills.

Events in the University Series include cocktails at 5:15pm, a lecture or reading starting at 5:30 sharp for about thirty minutes, with discussion and more cocktails to follow.  Smoking is permitted and encouraged at all times, and the topic of conversation tends to wander throughout the evening.  All members of the University Club and Tower Club are invited, and guests interested in a smoke and a drink in good company are always welcome.  Premium open bar and light snacks are included; members sign a chit for $30 and others pay a prix fixe $40 in cash. 

The University Series augments our fortnightly Informal Smokers in the bar and our quarterly Cigar Dinners.  Cigar Dinners are scheduled for October and December.  Also note that the club's Fight Nights are being held on November 1 and 2 this year.  Numerous Informal Smokers, where we meet to discuss events of the day in an informal setting, occur on Tuesday nights at the round table in the Tower Club bar.  The Tower Club maintains a humidor behind the bar (cigars are $5 each) and has a running drink special on Tuesdays (tumblers of premium scotch whisky are $5).

University Series — Tuesday, August 28, Tower Club
George K. Thiruvathukal will speak to the Cigar Society on Episodes in the History of Information Technology.  Computing and communications collectively define the present era, but the ideas at their foundations are not unique to the 20th and 21st centuries.  Our speaker will talk about how computing and communications were advanced through the ages by an odd collection of artists, scientists, mathematicians, engineers, and great dabblers, including one noteworthy cigar smoking lady.

Topics in this thirty-minute slide show may include communication networks (flag networks of the Aztecs, homing pigeons, ancient optical telegraphs, the postal service, the Bell System, the internet), networked collaborative effort (census taking, the Oxford English Dictionary, Wikipedia), parallels of communication and computing (the Bell System's central office switches, IBM's mainframes), encoding (for data transmission and security) and code breaking (the Colossus of Bletchley Park), calculation and data storage (Chinese abacuses, Incan khipus, the punched-card programmable Jacquard loom of 1801, Herman Hollerith's census machine, IBM's mainframe computers), as well as contributions from pure mathematics (positional notation, Leibniz's binary arithmetic, Boole's algebra, Turing's universal machine).  Cocktails at 5:15, lecture at 5:30 for about thirty minutes, to be followed by discussion.  $30 includes premium open bar and hors d'oeuvres.  RSVP to Linda Salecker.

Professor Thiruvathukal teaches computer science at Loyola University and is director of Loyola's Emerging Technologies Laboratory.  He has a Ph.D. in computer science from the Illinois Institute of Technology, where he studied large-scale distributed computing systems, programming languages, and software design.  He has written two books on advanced programming in Java and Python. His course on the history of computing is the first core history course offered in a non-humanities department at Loyola.

University Series — Tuesday, September 11, Tower Club
In our University Series lecture for September, Charles Middleton, club member, historian, and President of Roosevelt University, will pose the question, History Repeats Itself—Or Does It?  Some Observations on the Rise and Fall of Great Powers.   Cocktails at 5:15, lecture at 5:30 for about thirty minutes, to be followed by discussion.  $30 includes premium open bar and hors d'oeuvres.  RSVP to Linda Salecker.

Chuck Middleton has served as president of Roosevelt University since July 2002.  Prior to joining Roosevelt, he was Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Colorado, Boulder, Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs at Bowling Green State University, and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at the University System of Maryland.   He earned an A.B. degree with honors in history from Florida State University and both an M.A. and Ph.D. in history from Duke University.  Professor Middleton's academic expertise is in modern British history from the late 18th Century to the early 19th Century.  He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

Lyric Opera Overview — Tuesday, September 25, Tower Club
Jesse Gram will provide an overview of the coming opera season.  Reception at 5:30 in the Ambassador Room, lecture at 6:15.  The reception and lecture are nonsmoking events.  However, smoking will follow Mr. Gram's talk, in the bar.

Mary Holloway writes: "Jesse Gram, Lyric’s audience education manager, will discuss the Lyric’s 2007-08 season, which begins with …coughing—at the Tower Club on Tuesday, September 25, at 5:30 p.m.  Both of the blockbuster tragedies, La Bohème, by Puccini and Verdi’s La Traviata, have the heroine expiring from tuberculosis in the last scene. For balance, the season also includes the two greatest comic operas in the repertoire: Falstaff, which Verdi wrote for fun in his retirement after making a fortune on nothing but tragedies; and The Barber of Seville by Rossini, who also wrote mostly tragedies but whose handful of comedies are what still supports his publisher in style. There are two historical operas, one old and one new: the baroque Julius Caesar by Handel is the story of Caesar and Cleopatra, BC’s last great power couple; and the contemporary Doctor Atomic by John Adams chronicles the hours preceding the event that changed life on earth forever: the successful test of the world’s first atomic bomb.  The season is rounded out by a fantasy and a classic: Die Frau ohne Schatten (The Woman without a Shadow) by Richard Strauss, which is accurately billed as “a fairytale for grownups,” and Tchaikovsky’s drippingly romantic Eugene Onegin, based on the beloved verse novel by the Shakespeare of Russia, Aleksandr Pushkin.  It’s another rich and varied season at Lyric. Come learn more. Wine and light hors d’oeuvre reception at 5:30 p.m., remarks at 6:15 p.m.  RSVP to Mary Holloway.  Price: $18 by Sept. 24, $20 after."

Cigar Society Fall Dinner — Thursday, October 11, Tower Club

Guest speaker at our Fall Dinner will be club member Stephen Presser, Raoul Berger Professor of the History of Law at Northwestern University.  His topic, which promises to be provocative and informative, is: Do we still have the rule of law in America? Reflections on the United States Supreme Court.  Cocktails at 5:30, dinner at 6:30, with the presentation to follow.

Professor Presser (Harvard AB '68, JD '71) teaches at Northwestern University in the Law School, the School of Management, and the Department of History.  He is an expert in legal history and constitutional law and is the author of a dozen books and over 75 articles.  He is editor of the preeminent legal history casebook, author of the treatise Recapturing the Constitution: Race, Religion, and Abortion Reconsidered, and is a regular expert witness to the U.S. Congress on constitutional law issues.  He is a leading scholar in the field of corporations, particularly on the issue of shareholder liability for corporate debts, and has written a leading casebook in the field, An Introduction to the Law of Business Organizations


Fight Nights — Thursday & Friday, November 1 & 2

The University Club's Fight Nights are the premiere boxing and cigar events of the City.  Cocktails at 6:00pm in College Hall, dinner at 7:00, and Golden Gloves boxing in Cathedral Hall at 8:30.  Cigar smoking throughout the evening.  Black tie.    To sit with the Cigar Society on Friday night, write to Curtis Tuckey


University Series — Tuesday, November 13, Tower Club

Near Armistice Day this November, Allen Frantzen will address the Cigar Society on Men, Masculinity, and Remembering the Great War.  His presentation will include a slide show of his pictures of World War I memorials in England, France, and Germany, and a few in Chicago.  Cocktails at 5:15, lecture at 5:30 for about thirty minutes, to be followed by discussion.  $30 includes premium open bar and hors d'oeuvres.  RSVP to Linda Salecker.

Professor Frantzen writes, "Owen Wister, author of The Virginian, the world's most famous western, was a keen observer of masculine codes of conduct on the frontier. He also studied men and their ways during the Great War (1914-1919) and, in a book about the war, asserted that "War makes more men than it kills." Some men, we might say, are made for war, and others are made by it. Whether they were sufficiently masculine before the war or became manly only because they fought, soldiers from all sides were made by war in quite a different sense once the Armistice was signed in 1918 and the process of remembering began. War memorials were built in huge numbers—28,000 in England, 36,000 in France—and remain today to express in fixed and permanent form a range of ideas, emotions, and events associated with the war that historians, politicians, and other observers have sought to unravel and rewrite. Memorials to World War I reveal how governments, church and civic groups, families, and private individuals, wanted to preserve their views of the conflict. This talk will focus on the clashing testimony of memorials from France, Germany, England, and Chicago, and will use them to illustrate paradigms of heroic masculinity associated with the war that reshaped Europe."

Allen Frantzen is the author of Bloody Good: Chivalry, Sacrifice, and the Great War, published by the University of Chicago Press in 2004. This book examines martyrdom and heroic masculinity in manuals of chivalry and explores the incorporation of chivalric images and icons into posters, postcards, and memorials from the Great War.  Creative projects related to his work on the war include lyrics for a song cycle called Circles of Grief, with music by the French composer Pierre Thilloy, which was performed in France on Veterans Day in 2005, and a play called A Son at the Front, based on a novel by Edith Wharton, that has been given staged readings in Chicago and Los Angeles.  Professor Frantzen teaches English at Loyola University Chicago and is founding director of the Loyola Community Literacy Center. He received his PhD from the University of Virginia and taught at Oberlin College before coming to Loyola University in 1978.  He has held fellowships from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the Rockefeller Foundation.

Cigar Society Winter Dinner — Tuesday, December 11, University Club

This will be our last Cigar Society meeting of the year, and for this one we shall return to the University Club Board Room for a very civilized repast.  Cocktails and cigars in Room C, followed by a multi-course dinner in Room D.  A premium open bar and a selection of fine cigars will be included.  Business formal.  Mark your calendars. 

Respectfully submitted by   
Curtis Tuckey, Secretary

University Club Cigar Society Officers for 2007.
David O'Connor, Chair.  Gerald I. Bauman, Treasurer.  Curtis Tuckey, Secretary.  J. Douglas Johnson, Liaison to Chicago Croquet Club (Honorary). Jeffrey Dean, Chair of the Subcommittee concerning Pipe Smoking. Alexander Sherman, Metropolitan Philosopher.
Thomas S. O'Brien, Stentorian. John H. Nelson, Herald.