The Rochester Review, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York, USA
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Letters To The Editor

The Review welcomes letters from readers and will print as many of them as space permits. Letters may be edited for brevity and clarity. Unsigned letters cannot be used, but names of the writers may be withheld on request.

Really the 150th?

I just happened to pick up the Spring-Summer issue of Rochester Review, which had been languishing on my desk. Upon opening to the index on page 1, I was confronted with what I considered an apparent impossibility--namely the claim that an institution which was founded in 1850 had now admitted its 150th freshman class. If I assume that the first class to graduate was admitted in 1850 and departed degree in hand in 1854, then the Class of 2000 would be the 147th graduating class. Or am I missing something here?

Carl R. Hagen
Pittsford, New York

Confusing indeed. What we actually said was that this year's entering freshmen will become the 150th class to graduate from the University--not meaning to imply that it would be the 150th freshman class to do so. Before the first entering freshmen graduated in 1854, three other classes had already graduated: transfer students who entered as sophomores, juniors, and seniors and graduated as the Classes of 1851, '52, and '53--Editor.

Who's Minding the Kids?

We found it ironic that in the Spring-Summer 1997 issue, 65.1 percent of the Class of 2000 reportedly listed "to raise a family" as one of their top-five life goals, yet zero percent listed "full-time homemaking" as a future career.

Who do they expect will raise their children?

Chris '83 and Rochelle Ryan
(parents of four)
Endwell, New York

The Eyes Have It

The article on page 9 about Dr. del Cerro's research [on ameliorating the blindness of retinitis pigmentosa, Spring­Summer 1997] was too short and too lacking in detail to be of any value.

In the description of the technique, you state that three holes are made in the cornea. Certainly this is incorrect. These holes must be made over the pars plana in the sclera, since working through the cornea the lens of the eye would certainly be damaged.

I cannot believe that this procedure is of any benefit. Even if these fetal retinal cells grow when placed beneath the retina, how do they ever grow down the optic nerve and make any synaptic connections, eventually connecting with the visual centers in the occipital cortex?

On page 21 you show a picture of Alan Katz who talks about riding his mountain bike at 30 mph. Certainly if Mr. Katz has the intelligence to attend the University of Rochester, he wears a helmet when riding his bicycle, and he should be thus pictured, providing a proper example to all readers.

A. Lawrence Rose '59M (MD)
Harrisonburg, Virginia

It would indeed have been wiser to show our undergraduate cyclist prudently helmeted. As for the rest, below is del Cerro's reply--Editor.

"Errare humanum est." To err is human, the Latin proverb asserts, and Dr. Rose has proven it right--twice. Somebody along the editorial chain transformed the sclera into the cornea. Dr. Rose detected this error and kindly pointed it out to us. He is absolutely right, for human transplantation incisions have to be made through the sclera (not the cornea!).

Then Dr. Rose proves the truth of the Latin proverb once more with his statement that "even if these fetal retinal cells grow when placed beneath the retina, how do they grow down the optic nerve and make any synaptic connections, eventually connecting with the visual centers in the occipital cortex?"

The whole point is that these cells do not have to "grow down the optic nerve"! When fetal photoreceptor precursors are grafted in the subretinal space the only connection they have to make is with the adjacent surviving cells in the host retina. This is a distance of a few micrometers rather than the centimeters-long pathway from the eye to the brain's occipital cortex. In a human scale this is the difference between asking someone to walk from the Medical Center to the River Campus, versus walking from downtown Rochester to New York's Central Park. One is an easily achieved proposition, the other quite heroic. The initial success of human retinal transplantation may reflect this difference.

Manuel del Cerro, M.D.

More on Bassoon-Playing Physics Majors
and Other River Campus Musicians

Re: H. E. Crissey's letter. Several people were omitted who were not music majors but who were also among those who made terrific music on the River Campus and so deserve mention. As I recall, Carl Ellenberger '61 was a member of the Rochester Baroque Ensemble, organized by Stephen Moshman '65. There was also a marvelous pianist named George Schlein '64, who was a member of the same ensemble. Now that I have hit the half-century mark (and my wife has packed away my Interpres yearbooks), these are the only people I can remember. Steve has long since gone on to become an M.D. I saw George about 10 years ago; he had obtained a performance degree after leaving the University and was free-lancing in New York in association with Juilliard.

How come I remember all this in my Age of Decrepitude? Because I, too, was one such--I was concertmaster of the ensemble, and had the opportunity to work with both Steve and George.

After my graduation in 1962, Steve, George, and I collaborated on performances of the Bach A minor violin concerto and the Double Concerto for Violin and Oboe, but to save my soul I cannot recall the oboist's name! Can someone help?

I write to remind others that there are those of us "who also served"--indeed, those of us who have continued on our musical journeys long after graduation. In fact, next fall I will be giving a benefit recital for a small private school attended by my 7 year old, which I had planned to do this spring, but could not because my 29 year old graduates from medical school and there just isn't enough steam in this old body!

Steve, George, et al.--any supporting comments? Where are you guys?

Karl S. Roth, M.D. '62
Richmond, Virginia

And Yet More From Crissey

Here are more names of distinguished River Campus musicians, omitted from the last issue because of space:

John Braund '53, tenor, was a soloist in several River Campus concerts and a longtime administrator at both the River Campus and the Eastman School. Paul Frommer '65 is a professional pianist in Los Angeles. James Dee '66, like George Schlein '64 and Frommer, soloed in a Mozart piano concerto under Stephen Moshman '65 and the Baroque Ensemble.

Ted Parker '64, trumpet, became a professional, as did John Clark '66, now considered to be one of the best jazz hornists in the world. Leslie Dunner '78, '82E (DMA), clarinet and conducting, is associate conductor of the Detroit Symphony. Neil Halin '82, saxophone, now a doctor, played with Rayburn Wright's jazz band at Eastman. Susan Plummer '91, '91E, is in her first season as principal horn of the Delaware Symphony. René Mogensen '93, saxophone, already has a couple of recordings to his credit.

Then there's Donna Magendanz '58, cello, with a degree in nursing and an artist's diploma; Cynthia Berberian-Hale '59, piano, who is now a physician; and Robert Horick '61, bassoon, a Texan who graduated with a double major in math (River Campus) and music (Eastman). He later performed professionally with the Cedar Rapids Symphony and is now back in Texas as a computer network supervisor at Southwestern University.

There are doubtless other distinguished River Campus music-makers worthy of mention. If you know of any, please write to me (7439 Elizabeth Rd., Elkins Park, PA 19027) so we can update this historical account.

Harrington E. Crissey, Jr. '66
Elkins Park, Pennsylvania

Gown to Spare, Anyone?

I am an alum, teaching at Kean College in New Jersey. I just returned from our commencement ceremonies and feel it's time to show off the Rochester Yellow. However, upon informal investigation it appears the cost may be prohibitive. It has occurred to me that many alums might well have a cap and gown in their possession with no longer any particular need for them. If so, I'd appreciate hearing from you--Department of History, Kean College of New Jersey, Union, NJ 07083;

Dennis Klein '78 (PhD)
Teaneck, New Jersey

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