Let me begin by telling you that it has been a privilege to be entrusted with the affairs of the Society for these 12 months, so much so that I leave it with regret. It was my feeling at the time of Harry Hoogstraal's death, before he could serve as your president, that Franz von Lichtenberg should serve for 2 years and thereby begin a new policy of 2-year terms. The Council rejected this option and I am honored by their having selected me. Even as the only nonelected president in the Society's history—that is, as the Gerald Ford of this Society—I cannot overlook the great honor it is to be numbered among the eminent former presidents.
Despite what you might think, a pleasant perquisite of the job has been the stimulus to review some of our history. Most of you who have listened to these perorations in the past know that reading past presidents' speeches is considered mandatory.