By Joan Renaud
Griffin Foster, a 2003 Ramona High School graduate, regaled Rotarians with slides and tales of his esoteric explorations in the field of astrophysics at their luncheon meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 3.
Chuck LeMenager, chairman of the Rotary Scholarship Committee since 2003, introduced Griffin as one of the first recipients of Ramona Rotary’s annual scholarships since he started serving as committee chair.
Lemanager said he was so impressed by Griffin’s qualifications — not only academic achievements but community involvement as well — that he has followed Griffin through the young man’s years at University of California at Berkeley to his current doctoral studies in astrophysics at Oxford University in England. Griffin expects to receive his doctorate in October.
In his attempt to help members understand the immensity of the universe, Griffin used slides to show how our position in the Andromeda Galaxy (aka M31) compares to the billions of other galaxies.
He also showed pictures of the Earth’s largest radio telescopes in comparison with the telescope at the Palomar Observatory and the Hubbell telescope in space. Terms such as Pulsar, Neutron star, and Super Nova were used in describing events since the creation of our galaxy as a result of the Big Bang.
Griffin is one of the late Philip Foster’s three children whom Philip reared as a single father after his wife’s death in 1988. Philip Foster, a decorated Vietnam veteran, worked 34 years for the U.S. Postal Service, and was a familiar face in the Ramona Post Office. He died in 2010.
Griffin’s sister, Susan Mensior, accompanied him to the Rotary meeting. A 2000 graduate of Ramona High School, she is an early childhood intervention specialist in Temecula.
Lemanager plans to have other Rotary scholarship recipients report at future meetings on their scholastic pursuits and what they have been doing since graduating.
Ramona Rotary meets in Sizzler of Ramona, 344 Main St., from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Tuesdays. Lunch is from noon to 12:30 p.m. and the meeting is from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.
For more information, contact club President Thad Clendenen at 760-787-3206.