The 121st Founders’ Night festivities began, as it did the previous year, with the induction ceremony of nineteen new Gnomes in the Athenaeum library. The Board members participating in the induction and the new Gnomes joined other Gnomes and guests for a reception in the East Patio. Dinner began at 6:30 with the 70 persons in attendance enjoying their salads, their choice of chicken or a vegetarian plate, wine, and a beautifully plated dessert. The program began promptly beginning with the inspiring words of two of our new Gnomes, who described their Caltech experiences noting how they enriched and supported the Caltech community and the lives of their fellow students.
After being inspired by these students, the Gnomes and their guests were intrigued and impressed by the featured speaker, Dean Oliver, BS ’90. Dean discussed his work on basketball analytics, describing the details that go into analyzing the key elements leading to wins or losses, player evaluations, and how this could be used by coaches to shift offensive and defensive alignments to improve the chance of victory. Dean has performed these analytics for several NBA teams and was a statistical consultant for ESPN. He has authored several interesting and well-read books on analytics and assists those trying to apply these techniques in other areas.
After Dean’s presentation, the Club conducted its annual meeting, beginning with its well-known ritual. Members who had passed away in the previous twelve months were remembered, our stable financial state was reported, and new Board members and officers were elected. All Gnomes are encouraged to mark March 9, 2018, a Friday, on their calendars and plan now to join their friends at the 122nd Founders’ Night!