Lois Wolfrum was a long-time employee of Aramco, the Arabian American Oil Company. Beginning in 1956, Wolfrum worked in Aramco's Government Relations department based in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. In 1960, she moved to the company's New York City office and then found employment with an international investment firm based in New York. Wolfrum later returned to Saudi Arabia with Aramco, and by 1970, she found her niche developing educational programs for Saudi Arabian and American employees - a project she continued long after she left Aramco. After returning to the U.S., Wolfrum split her time between Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and Spokane, Washington. She passionately pursued the education of Americans on Saudi culture, in the hope that education and understanding could ease the increasingly tense relations between the U.S. and the Middle East. After several research trips to Saudi Arabia, Wolfrum produced a slide/sound and video presentation entitled "An Introduction to Saudi Arabia," which has been used by Aramco, schools, libraries and other corporations. (Source: "Lois M. Wolfrum - Spokane, Washington," Aramco ExPats http://www.aramcoexpats.com)
Rev. Eugene L. Watrin, SJ (1920-2004) was a senior Jesuit priest stationed in Nepal. Born in Dayton, Ohio, Watrin was an honor student and a celebrated athlete. He attended Xavier University, and entered the Jesuit novitiate at Milford, Ohio, in 1939. After receiving his MA in 1947, Watrin was assigned to a three-year teaching job in northern India, where he was ordained a priest in 1952. In 1955, he was one of a select group of Jesuit missionaries invited by the King and Queen of Nepal to open and run schools in the "mountain kingdom." He began his lifelong career in Nepal as a teacher at St. Xavier's School in Kathmandu, and later became principal. Some of his first students would later become diplomats, award-winning authors, and Nepal's Chief of Army. In 1988, he founded St. Xavier's College, and spearheaded fund-raising efforts to build two state-of-the-art classroom buildings. His efforts in the region also turned the Godavari Alumni Association (alumni of St. Xavier's) into a powerful force for social change, helped thousands of Nepali villagers have access to decent medical care, and founded the Nepali chapter of Habitat for Humanity. A close friend of the late Queen Aishwarya and King Birenda of Nepal, he was selected by Nepal's Prime Minister to recieve the 2001 annual Social Service Award. He also served on the advisory boards of numerous charitable organizations, as well as Nepal's Fulbright Committee. Fr. Watrin was almost legendary among locals as the "bicycle Priest," who, until he was 82, traveled almost exclusively by bicycle. In early 2003, Watrin was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and underwent extensive chemotherapy in the U.S., but returned to Nepal in November 2003. Fr. Watrin died on February 29, 2004 in Kathmandu. (Source: "Immediate Release from the Chicago Province of Jesuits, 3/1/2004" Box 2, Folder 41, The Lois Wolfrum Papers) Penny Williams Yacoub was a Canadian freelance artist and illustrator. Williams began her artistic career at the Ontario College of Art studying graphics. During the summer, however, Williams would perform in the Stratford Shakespeare Theatre Festival in Stratford, Ontario. After graduation, she continued to work full-time in the theatre, winning a Tyrone Guthrie award to study theatre in London with the Old Vic Theatre Company. After two years, Williams moved to Beirut, Lebanon to pursue work in Islamic art. Tracing her interest in the Middle East to contact she had with Lebanese and Syrian families in Toronto, Canada, Williams' work is particularly concerned with Arab jewelry and more traditional aspects of Islamic culture (like the khanjar, the traditional dagger of Oman). Williams also made her living illustrating readers for teaching English to Palestinian children. Lois Wolfrum and Penny Williams became friends in Saudi Arabia in 1971, while Williams was on assignment for Aramco World Magazine's special issue entitled "The Arab Woman - An Untypical View." Williams continued to illustrate articles for Aramco World, and produced an entire calendar for them in 1973. Her largest works are her book "Paper Dolls of the Middle East" and the storybook "Amina and Mohommed's Special Visitor" (later adapted to a play for elementary schools). In the 1990s, Williams married and returned to the U.S. (Source: Joan Sherwood, "Penny Williams: Art is her Life," undated, Box 2 Folder 89, the Lois Wolfrum Papers; and "Graphic Portrait of Qatar by Penny," July 1975, the Gulf Mirror, Box 2, Folder 77, the Lois Wolfrum Papers).