Messenger - Vol. 3, No. 2, Page 8
Winter 1994
Tales told out of school

     Arthur W. Warner, a scientist and engineer retired from AT&T Bell
Laboratories, graduated from the University of Delaware in 1940. A member
of the Alumni Wall of Fame, he has received 16 patents and has contributed
to over 50 publications. Warner's work on high-precision quartz crystal
resonators has received several awards. He lives in Whippany, N.J.

     The University of Delaware in the '30s, during the Great Depression,
was close to being the ideal University, with academic freedom to study and
learn without the pressure of entrance exams or the need for high grades.
     Any high school graduate could enter, but about half would leave
during the freshman year. The classes were small, 2 to 30. A department
head was often the teacher and was readily available for help. This was a
good time to be in college because there weren't any jobs, anyway, and the
cost was low, lower than living elsewhere. In my junior year, my room was
$1.50 a week, and my meals were a $1 a day (or some work). A car could even
be had for $10; it didn't have to have insurance; and a license was $3.
     My degree is a bachelor of arts. By avoiding engineering, I had time
for English, philosophy, psychology, history and German. I believe that the
general academic program is as important as career preparation, not to
mention the social life of campus living: dances, music, teas, walks along
White Clay Creek and football games at Fraser Field.
     I was introduced to the possibilities of independent research at the
University of Delaware. The University gave me a small private lab in the
new chemistry building, Brown Laboratory, and I had use of any apparatus
belonging to the physics department. Using a small plate camera, a
planometer and a small allowance for materials, I proceeded to measure the
size of some heavy molecules and write a thesis, all without credit, just
for the pleasure of doing it. I was also a student assistant in the physics
department, as well as the only physics major.
     Another example of the ideal University atmosphere at Delaware was
that the second in command in the physics department, Mr. Wilson, was
studying for his Ph.D. at the University of Pennsylvania in atomic and
nuclear physics. In the '30s, this was the leading edge, and he taught us
(our class of two persons) whatever he learned. Grades were assigned before
classes started, and we met at the Deer Park, sitting around a table.
     All this led to a fellowship at the University of Maryland with more
fundamental research and a career at Bell Telephone Laboratories, where the
learning never stops. I will always be grateful for the start I got at
Delaware in a career that has been a real joy.