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CHIPS Articles: Letter to the Editor — Remembering Admiral Grace Hopper

Letter to the Editor — Remembering Admiral Grace Hopper
By CHIPS Magazine - June 1, 2011
From: Ginny Mullen CDR USN (ret)
Subject: Great Find!

I had the most delightful find on my computer this morning when I stumbled on CHIPS. I am a retired Commander USN and my last job was as Deputy Director, Corporate Data Base, NMPC-165 (1989). I had the privledge of working in the Information Systems Directorate (OPNAV) as a LT with then Commander Grace Hopper. She was a continuous counselor to me throughout my career and I have many momentos of my early days serving with her.

One of my favorite memories was an afternoon when I met her pushing a cart through the basement halls in the Pentagon. They had given her a cart to haul all the printouts she constantly had from the computer time she had wrangled from the computer operators. When we went to her office there was an empty box on her desk with a hole cut in it. It looked like a play TV but there was a label on the top which said PERSONAL COMPUTING SYSTEM.

That afternoon she had a picture taped to the area where the screen would have been and it was a picture of the admiral who had just manuveured away money that was supposed to go to the computer commands. As we sat and talked that afternoon she told me that someday we would have the means of talking desk-to-desk, by computer. She lived to see that and her vision has been a wonderful "fire" in the imagination of many who made wonderful things happen in computers.

Thank you for letting me return to a place where I can continue a longtime admiration for Chips. I still have an autographed copy of your issue with THE Admiral's picture on the cover.

Will watch this Home page with great interest and found memories.

Ginny Mullen CDR USN (Ret)

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Diane,

Feel free to use my letter. I was given a very special gift in getting to know the Admiral and often provided transportation for her when I lived in Annandale Va and she was on Army/Navy Drive. She was indeed a wonderful, brillant example for me. I have a lot of things she gave me from her days as an Ensign including a wonderful Military women cut-out (paper doll) book. We had been talking one day about how I found my way into the Navy and I told her of having a godmother who had been a Radioman Wave during WWII and about the paper doll book I had been given. She laughed and the next time I saw her she produced her own Wave/Wac/Spar/Woman Marine book of paper dolls. She handed it to me and said please put this one with yours. It is on my book case now as I write this. I saw her when I was a CO in Jacksonville and the last time I saw her I went down to Indiana University where she was being [honored] for her birthday. I was the XO at the NROTC Unit at Purdue, in W. Lafayette, Ind. and she had her secretary call to get me down there. She was as super as always though they had just assigned her an aide. She laughed and said that she would have pushed to be an Admiral sooner if she had known how much fun having an aide was.

Good luck in your work.
Regards,
Ginny Mullen

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CHIPS is an official U.S. Navy website sponsored by the Department of the Navy (DON) Chief Information Officer, the Department of Defense Enterprise Software Initiative (ESI) and the DON's ESI Software Product Manager Team at Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific.

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