As executive director of the Cambodian Cooperation Committee, Carol Strickler’s world is a far cry from her days as a schoolgirl in Norwich (VT).
At work in Phnom Penh, she sees poverty and devastation unheard of in America. For many years she has helped refugees who’ve fled torture and persecution, who have lost their limbs, their families and their countries.
Carol's father, Dr. James Strickler, is the former dean of the Dartmouth Medical School. He is also the executive committee chairman of the International Rescue Committee (IRC), an organization founded in 1933 by Albert Einstein to aid and eventually resettle refugees. Through his work with the IRC, James Strickler has experienced violence in the world’s hot spots first hand. He once dodged shells in Sarajevo while on an IRC mission.
Indeed, had it not been for James Strickler’s decision in 1982 to join the IRC, providing medical care to refugees in Thailand, it’s a good bet Carol Strickler (born 1959) would not be where she is now. James Strickler had just stepped down as dean of Dartmouth Medical School and was looking for a way to give his successor space and himself inspiration. So when the opportunity came to work as a hands-on doctor at a Khao-I-Dang refugee camp for the IRC, he and his wife, Pegge, took it. „I worked in pediatrics where there was a 16 percent mortality rate," James Strickler says. „But I got more out of it than I gave. These people were fleeing Pol Pot, and every one of them had a story. It threw my wife and me into a whole different world". After they returned later that year, James Strickler continued to remain active in the IRC and encouraged his daughter, a recent graduate of the University of Vermont, to visit Thailand. She ended up taking a volunteer job with the IRC that her mother had held while there. She did that for a year, and then worked for CARE in Cambodia. Later Carol graduated from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government with a master’s degree in public administration, after which she returned to Cambodia. In 1996, she became director of the Cambodia Cooperation Committee.
Interesting but dangerous job.
„Knowing the history of Cambodia, it is very easy for the political climate to turn one day to the next" says Carol. „And that’s difficult". While much money and interest has been focused on Cambodia’s elections, elections in developing countries can spark uprisings. „Violence is often a part of them. Concern for my safety is a little bit in the back of my mind. To not be concerned would be foolish. But I’m more concerned with the possibility of violence against Cambodians trying to vote than with the possibility of being targeted myself."
Carol’s father, one of the few IRC members to have real experience helping refugees, continues to travel allover the world. He has been to Rwanda and Somalia, Asia and Pakistan. Often the first priority is to set up proper food, water and sanitary facilities. At times, those are seemingly impossible tasks. He recalls the difficulty of trying to set up sanitary facilities for 45,000 nomads, many of whom were starving and diseased from drought, in the Sudan.
Both he and his daughter have managed to reconcile the horrors they’ve seen abroad with the insulated safety of Norwich, although Carol wasn’t always able to do this. For five years after first working in Cambodia, she found it difficult to return home, where people seemed overly perturbed by relatively petty problems. „It was a culture shock for me" she means. „Compared to losing legs, getting upset over a traffic ticket didn’t make much sense". But she has learned to „compartmentalize" those worlds. Besides, Bangkok, which she often visits, is a very cosmopolitan city and she and her family are immersed not only in Cambodian, but also in an international, culture. „I love Asian culture and the work that I do", says Carol. „I feel I’m doing something worthwile and useful toward improving lives".
In the Zurich central library is a slender little book bearing the title "The Life and Works of the Schoolmaster Jacob Strickler in Felmis on Richterswiler Mountain 1688-1763, as written by Walter Hoen-Ochsner. In the preface of this small book Walter Hoen explains what led to it.
Until two decades or so ago, an age old multiple family dwelling stood in the midst of the apple orchard at Neuhaus at Samstagern. According to his notes, it was there that the schoolmaster Jacob Strickler held his classes for forty-four years in a one room school.
In early 1896 Kasper Rusterholz (a descendant of a female offspring of schoolmaster Strickler) passed away. When his daughter cleaned out her father's house, she found a handwritten note in a decaying, dust-covered trunk, which was in the loft. It seemed to her that this worthless paper, partially covered with dust, could serve no better purpose than to provide a bit of warmth in the old tiled oven. Just as she was at the point of throwing the last written piece in the oven door, Arnold Schaerer, the then current teacher from Samstagern, stepped in the kitchen, and he saved the remainder of the documents. There were two record, books, which Jakob Strickler had scrupulously maintained and in which the principal headings covered the years 1753, 1757 and 1758
These documents are particularly interesting, because in between the entries the schoolmaster often provided a thorough account of the important events of the day.
But because he no longer was in the best of health and because his power of sight had diminished, in September of 1808 his youngest son Jakob Strickler was sent to attend a four week education course. So it was in the fall of that year that Jakob initiated a new teaching method in accordance with the principles detailed in Heinrich Pestalozzis' "Neue Pädagogik", an event recorded by Pastor Schweitzer in the register of parish archives, (Hirzel IV A 1). "Public awareness of the change was admittedly low, since there were but fourteen school children affected by the new teaching method.", reported Pastor Schweizer.
Where the author of the well known Heidi books learned her ABC's.
Well known throughout the world and translated into countless languages, "Heidi",
was written by, Johanna Spyri-Heusser (1827-1901), who grew up in the Hirzl
region of Switzerland. It was there that Hanneli Heusser* attended the village
school whose headmaster was Jakob Strickler.
*Note: Hanneli is the Swiss-German diminutive form of Johanna.
The schoolhouse, built in 1660, was used until 1933 both for religious training and for instruction in various crafts. In 1981 the Johanna-Spyri Museum was established in this beautifully renovated building, which visitors from all over the world come to witness. There, the museum visitor can easily imagine the environment in which she was raised. Jürg Winkler (Dorfstr. 34, CH-8816 Hirzel), a long time resident of Hirzl, writes about the conditions of school life and of Johanna's teacher, Jakob Strickler.
|1827||Birth of Johanna Louise Heusser in Hirzel on June 12, the fourth of six children from the union of Johann Jakob Heusser, physician, surgeon and care provider for the mentally ill, and Meta Schweitzer (1797-1876; daughter of Pastor Diethelm Schweitzer; composer of religious songs and author of a household chronicle) provider of residential medical care in small private hospital in the physician's clinic over the church building, today the "Meta-Heusser Home".|
|1833-1841||Johanna's attendance at the Hirzel public school with supplemental private instruction provided in the parsonage by Pastor Salomon Tobler.|
|1841-1843||Additional educational development in Zurich, including contemporary foreign languages and piano studies. Friendship with Anna Fries, Betsy and Conrad Ferdinand Meyer.|
|1844-1845||Period of residence in Yverdon in the French speaking part of the country.|
|1845-1852||Governess of her two younger sisters in Hirzel. Considerable reading, especially of Droste-Huelshoff and Goethe. Efforts to distance herself from her mother's overly pious perspective of life. Acquired a knowledge of the younger, somewhat revolutionary minded writer, Heinrich Luchthold. Summer respites in the area surrounding the Chur region (Jenins-Maienfeld), later to become the setting for "Heidi".|
|1852||Married to a Zurich jurist, Johann Bernhard Spyri (1821-1844), lawyer and editor of the "Confederated Newspaper". Residence located next to the barnyard, departure in 1855 to Hirschengraben Street in Zurich. Active social life until participation began in 1856 in an artistic and literary group, the Monday Fellowship with Mrs. E. Meyer-Ulrich (mother of Betsy and C.F. Meyer). Contact with Richard Wagner (in Zurich 1849-1858) and Gottfried Keller; continued friendships with all of the Meyer children. Despite all appearances of good fortune Johanna Spyri felt isolated in the city and succumbed to severe and deep depression from which she found her way out only with the greatest of difficulty. The sole means of healing: a return to her trusted faith.|
|1855||Birth of her son, Bernhard Diethelm.|
|1868||Her husband becomes the Recorder for the city of Zurich. Residence taken up in the former city hall until 1886.|
|1871||Johanna Spyri's very first narrative writing appears somewhat anonymously as "A Leaf On Vrony's Grave", by J.S.|
|1872-1873||Additional writings for adults. Common theme: a reconciliation of childhood remembrances with the process of inner transformation.|
|1878||In the volume, "Outcast", the first two "Stories For Children and For Those Whom They Love" appeared.|
|1879-1884||Her most productive writing period with 20 pieces completed altogether, some for children and some for young women or adults.|
|1880||Heidi's Lehr und Wanderjahre (Heidi's Formative Years) appears and becomes an immediate success, and as with others of the author's previous works, with the anonymous inscription, "From the writer of A Leaf On Vrony's Grave".|
|1880-1891||Active correspondence with Conrad Ferdinand Meyer, the authors, both so different, yet respectively critiquing each other's new writings. C.F. Meyer's enchantment with "Heidi".|
|1881||Continuation of the Heidi stories with "Heidi kann brauchen, was es gelernt hat" (Heidi Might Need What She Has Learned), now under the author's name.|
|1884||Deaths of her son, following his long term illness, and of her husband.|
|1886||Johanna Spyri takes up her final domicile in the "Escherhauesern", 9 Zeltweg in Zurich.|
|1886-1901||Additional publications for a total collection of 48 tales. Extended vacation and health sanitarium visits in the Swiss Alps, in Northern Italy and in the environs of Lake Geneva.|
|1901||Passed away on July 7, interment in the family plot in the Sihlfeld A Cemetery in Zurich.|
Strickler was one of the country’s first boy scouts joining the Columbia troup in 1910, within a year after the international scouting movement was first founded. Daniel B. Strickler became an eagle scout. During high school he was a scout master. Later, as an adult, he was President of his local scouting organization and was a regional executive committee member.
Upon graduating from Columbia High School, where he was class President and highest honor student, he enlisted in the National Guard when it was called to active duty on the Mexican border. In the campaign of 1916, he soldiered with the 28th Division in southern Texas near El Paso searching for Pancho Villa and rose to the rank of sergeant.
After World War I he attended Cornell University. Upon graduation from Cornell Law School in 1922, Strickler returned to Lancaster to practice law. He became active in local politics. In the early 1930’s he was a representative in the Pennsylvania legislature. In 1932, during prohibition, he was named Lancaster’s Commissioner of Police and was responsible for getting rid of the bootlegging that had infiltrated the community. During this period he was also active in the military reserves rising to the rank of full colonel.
After the Pearl Harbor attack, he returned to active duty, taking a reduction in rank to lieutenant colonel so he could have a combat command. During World War II, first as a battalion commander and later as a regimental commander, he fought with the 28th trough France and Belgium, during the storming of the Siegfried Line, the battle of Hurtgen Forest, battle of the Bulge and in the Vosges Mountains. In the Bulge conflict he received a battlefield promotion from lieutenant colonel to full colonel.
After World War II, Strickler again returned to the practice of law in Lancaster. In 1946 he was a leading contender to be the Republican candidate for Governor of Pennsylvania but ended up on the ticket as Lt. Governor, behind Governor James Duff, in an election that was a Republican sweep. - When the Korean War started in 1950, Strickler resigned his office as Lt. Governor to take over as commanding general of the 28th Division. Strickler remained in active military service,with the rank of major general, through most of the 1950’s.
Strickler received many military decorations for his World War II service, including the Bronze Star, the Silver Star with Oak Leaf Cluster and the Legion of Merit. The one that meant the most to him was the Combat Infantry Badge. He was also decorated by France, Belgium and Luxembourg.
After retiring from the military in 1957, as a lt. general, Strickler once again took up his law practice in Lancaster. Even at the age of ninety, he could occasionally be seen at the local court house filing a brief or probating a will. Wartime comrades from around the country, including several whose lives he saved in combat, continued to visit him and reminisce about their war experiences.
A grass roots campaign to be the Republican candidate for governor failed. He was active in local civic causes ranging from President of the Chamber of Commerce, the YMCA and the Lancaster Bar Association to serving as an elder of his local Presbyterian Church. He headed several local charities and was active in many other community groups. Strickler was a strong public speaker and was often called on to speak at commemorative occasions. He had simple patriotic feelings and believed in serving his country and community, a message that may have seemed somewhat out of date to modern ears.
General Strickler was married in 1924 to his college sweetheart Caroline Bolton from Oil City, Pennsylvania. She died in 1986. He is survived by a daughter Nancy C. Strickler, who resides in London, and a son Daniel B. Strickler Junior living in New York City, and by three grandchildren and four great grandchildren.
Primary business career with Morgan Stanley & Co. Incorporated, from 1962 through 1987. Became a Partner in 1969 and then Managing Director when the firm was subsequently incorporated. Founded the Firm’s Merger and Acquisition Department and was the first Partner spending full time in this field. In the mid-1970s, he was one of several Managing Directors starting the firm’s Business Development Department to develop its domestic investment banking franchise. He subsequently co-headed this group. In the early 1980s, he headed the firm’s industrial coverage group following the merger of the Firm’s Business Development and Corporate Finance Departments. He has had heavy involvement in the mainstream of the firm’s client relationships including capital raising, securities transactions, mergers and acquisitions, take-overs, defensive assignments, restructurings and general financial advice.
Following retirement from Morgan Stanley, in 1990 he founded Beechtree Capital Partners, Inc. Beechtree is a small private firm that has invested in middle market companies. At the present time, its primary investment is an equity interest in New Star International Holdings, a manufacturer in the commercial food equipment industry, headquartered in St. Louis, with sales of about $70 million.
Recreational interests, all actively pursued, include bird shooting, bicycling, hiking, skiing and traveling.
Born and raised in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Graduated from Yale University in 1954 with a B.A. degree. Served as a lieutenant on active duty in the U.S. Army from 1954-56. Graduated from the Harvard Business School in 1958 with an M.B.A. degree. Born December 20, 1932.
Resides in New York City at 133 East 80th Street.
Married in 1958 to the former Ellen Braestrup. The Stricklers have two children, Elizabeth B. Strickler Gallogly, born 1960 and Thomas S. Strickler, born 1962.
Ellen Strickler has operated a financial planning practice for individuals. After raising a family, she returned to school and obtained a graduate business degree. She then worked for a number of years as a retail commercial banker for Citicorp and for Chase Manhattan Bank. Ellen has been a trustee of Emma Willard School and was Chairman of its Investment and Finance Committee. She has a B.A. degree from Smith College and an M.B.A. from Columbia Business School.
Lise Strickler lives in New York. Her principal focus is raising three young daughters – Katharine, Grace and Nell. She is a Trustee of Middlesex School and the Chair of its Trustees and Governance Committee. She is also a Board member of both Environmental Advocacy of New York and the Adirondack Mountain Reserve. She is on the Advisory Board of St. Simon Stock School and the Adirondack Trail Improvement Society. Formerly, she was the investment relations representative for Tri-Star Pictures and for Columbia Pictures. She is married to Mark Gallogly, a private equity investor. Lise attended The Spence School and is a graduate of Middlesex School. She has a B.A. degree from Yale and an M.B.A. from Columbia Business School.
Tom Strickler lives in Los Angeles. He is a partner of the Endeavor Group,
a Hollywood talent agency which he and several colleagues founded in 1995. The
firm has prospered and, with over 200 employees, is now one of the leading agencies.
His previous career was in the Hollywood talent agency field working for Creative
Artists, Intertalent and ICM. He attended St. Bernards School and graduated
from Middlesex School where he was Head of The School in his senior year. He
has a B.A. degree from Harvard. While at Harvard, he was the co-producer of
the Hasty Pudding theatrical show.