Larry Curfman (BS ’60) arrived at Caltech by train from his native Wichita, Kansas, at only 16 years old. As an undergraduate, he studied chemistry (although his housemates at Ricketts remembered him for his jazzy piano stylings). His next stop after graduation was Harvard Law School—a surprising choice for a chemistry alum until you consider Curfman’s reputation as a student who excelled in his humanities electives at Caltech.
After settling in the San Francisco Bay Area, Curfman built up a successful three-decade career in trial and arbitration law, as well as a loving 29-year m arriage with the former Betty Hunt, a Stanford-trained school counselor. Larry is remembered by friends as evincing some telltale characteristics of a Techer: He was logical, methodical, capable of absorbing intense quantities of information, and eager to investigate, drilling down to the core of a given problem.
The Curfmans manifested their passion for higher education and their loyalty to their alma maters by planning gifts to Stanford and Caltech. Larry passed away in 2002, and Betty in 2015. Their memory endures on campus thanks in part to a gift from the Lawrence E., III and Elizabeth H. Curfman Trust to fund research and education at Caltech.