National Geographic : 1954 Jul
66 National Geographic Photographer Bates Littlehales For the Lady with the "Magic Touch": Honorary Life Membership in The Society In his letter of retirement Dr. Grosvenor wrote: "On October 23, 1900, Elsie Graham Bell consented to give her magic touch to The Society by marrying me." Secretary McKnew presents the certificate on behalf of the Trustees to Mrs. Grosvenor, author of "Safari Through Changing Africa," published in the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC, August, 1953. Rear Admiral Colbert (left) and President La Gorce join the applause. "Gilbert Grosvenor the Editor has given the shape and meaning to geography that have brought inestimable benefit and pleasure to count less millions throughout the world. In the span of the lifetime of one man, the National Geo graphic Society became universally known, ad mired, and respected. His lifework, that of creating a better understanding of how man lives and works in all the nations of the earth, has contributed more than we may realize to the peace which rises from that understanding. "Gilbert Grosvenor the Man is possessed of a rare combination of many talents and abilities. But, above all, Gilbert Grosvenor is a man of great kindness and consideration not only to all those associated with him but to all with whom he comes in contact. If he possessed no other attribute, he would be a notable man for this quality alone. "BE IT RESOLVED, That this Board expresses its admiration, gratitude, and, above all, its ap preciation to this illustrious man who, as the principal architect and master builder of the National Geographic Society and its Magazine, has been an inspiring example to us who have been privileged to serve with him. "THEREFORE, BY THIS RESOLUTION, we affirm our highest esteem, respect, and deep affection. We direct that this tribute be spread upon the permanent records of The Society which he did so much to bring to its present state of honor. To us, your fellow Trustees, it has been a high privilege and rich experience to have been asso ciated with you." Following the adoption of this resolution, which was signed personally by all members of the Board, the Trustees unanimously elected Dr. John Oliver La Gorce President of the National Geographic Society and Editor of its Magazine. In his response Dr. La Gorce said: "Dr. Grosvenor and Gentlemen of the Board of Trustees: "I am greatly honored by your expression of confidence and deeply thank you. "For nearly half a century it has been my good fortune and happy privilege to be closely associated with Dr. Grosvenor in the service of The Society, and I have profited immeasurably by the years of contact with a truly great, crea tive editor and the inspirational builder of our world-wide organization of today. "Gentlemen, with your continued help I shall do my best to carry forward the high standards of the educational and scientific work of the National Geographic Society and its Magazine." By nomination of Dr. La Gorce, Dr. Mel ville Bell Grosvenor was then unanimously elected Vice President of The Society and Associate Editor of The Magazine.