Review, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York, USA
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.
Why We Fought
I read with interest the comments by Professor Westbrook in the Rochester Review, Spring-Summer 1999 issue.
While I agree completely with his statement that "World War II wasn't about the Constitution," he failed to set forth clearly what it was about. It really wasn't as complicated as he tried to make it.
The war was fought to stop the Germans and the Japanese from conquering the United States and its allies. There is no question that the troops and those at home understood that.
This objective could not have been achieved without the leadership of men like MacArthur and Patton. Their "outsized egos" were a major factor in their success.
War is hell, and mistakes were made.
We should be forever grateful that we had the leaders and troops capable of winning it.
L. G. Caryl '39
Credit Where Due
We really appreciated Tom Rickey's wonderful article "The Last Great Eye in the Sky" describing our SIRTF--Space Infrared Telescope Facility--experiments.
The three of us are involved in two of the three SIRTF experiments, which wouldn't be possible without a great deal of state-of-the-art technical support. The Infrared Array Camera--IRAC--is being built by Goddard Space Flight Center, and the Infrared Spectrometer--IRS--is being built by Ball Aerospace.
However, as the article rightly emphasizes, at the heart of the instruments are the detector arrays. Raytheon IR Center of Excellence developed two different types of detector arrays for IRAC. The indium antinomide arrays (illustrated in the article by an image supplied by Raytheon), in particular, are now several orders of magnitude more sensitive than they were when we began in the 1980s. Boeing developed the doped silicon arrays being used in IRS.
We look forward to showcasing the SIRTF astronomical results in Rochester Review in 2002.
Judith L. Pipher
William J. Forrest
Dan M. Watson
Department of Physics and Astronomy
Peace Comes First
In your Spring-Summer 1999 issue, page 7, you wrote 23 lines about the appointment of Professor Robert Holmes to the newly established Rajiv Gandhi Chair in Peace and Disarmament at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, India. . . . 23 lines (barely).
Considering the reality of the world we live in, don't you think this deserves a bit more room? There is war everywhere in our world, even in our homes. It should be our number one goal to end it all.
How can you place no emphasis on one of the most significant pieces of information in your Review? The announcement of Holmes's new position deserved the front page.
Debra Arena '96
Syosset, New York
Public Policy Analysis Program
I am truly disturbed by the administration's decision to eliminate the University's Public Policy Analysis Program. PPAP is a nationally recognized graduate program among federal, state, and local governments, along with various political think tanks and public policy consulting firms.
PPAP graduates have far exceeded the anticipated success from a program so small, but one with a rich history of pride and tradition. Recognition has come from a variety of sources, including the recent U.S. News & World Report rankings which rated Rochester's PPAP as the 14th best program of its kind.
The University of Rochester has brought upon itself a tarnished image, and will continue to do so as long as decisions to eliminate successful programs continue.
Isaac D. Castillo '98 (MS)
In a letter to students and alumni of the program, Thomas LeBlanc, dean of the College faculty, announced that the Public Policy Analysis program had been separated from the Department of Political Science and that admission to the program had been suspended while the possibility of finding it a new home within another department was being explored. (See In Review, Program in Public Policy Analysis is Suspended)--Editor.
Peaceful Demonstration Applauded
I applaud the actions of the students who peacefully took part in the four-hour sit-in demonstration last February. For an institution that is nationally ranked among the top 30 colleges and universities in America, the University of Rochester still has a long way to go in addressing the issues and concerns of minorities.
On entering the University as a freshman, I looked forward to the academic challenges as well as the opportunity to open my mind and to welcome meeting people from all different racial, ethnic, and social backgrounds. However, my illusions of the latter fell short after just the first month. As an Asian-American, I was taken aback at the low degree of tolerance that I felt at various levels at the University.
Nevertheless, I am aware that racial tension has and will always exist at any place, regardless of whether it occurs in an academic setting or otherwise.
I hope for the sake of the Rochester student body and, in particular, the undergraduates, that the students' peaceful actions at the sit-in will encourage administrators to make greater proactive efforts in addressing cultural and diversity issues at the University of Rochester.
Class of '96
Name withheld on request
We, too, appreciate the seriousness with which the students have made known their concerns about living in an increasingly diverse academic community. The University administration is treating these concerns with equal seriousness, and as previously announced, has put on record mutually agreed-upon aims--among them recruitment of minority students and faculty, along with enhancement of academic and cultural life for minorities--that are being vigorously pursued. For remarks from President Jackson about the globalization of academic life, President's Page--Editor.
I enjoyed the article in the Spring- Summer Rochester Review on Raffaella Borasi and her revolutionary opinions about revitalizing math education.
It reminded me of an important lesson I learned from a psychology statistics course at the University in 1939 or 1940. There were three such courses offered: one each in statistics as related to economics, math, and psychology. I took the last one.
At final exam time, the students in the other two classes spent all their preparation time memorizing formulae. But our professor told us he wanted us to know how to use the concepts he had been teaching. The formulae, he said, we could always find in a book. So we prepared for the ideas to be discussed and actually enjoyed the exam, to which we were allowed to bring our books. The students in the other courses were jealous of our good luck in having had such a sensible professor.
I have never forgotten this. I have enjoyed the regular use of mathematics on the job and have often used that professor's statistical concepts in the field of social work and recreational supervision.
Verna C. Volz '40
Your Alumni Gazette item in the Spring- Summer 1999 issue on the impressive achievements of Richard Davis '66 includes his having been honored by the Bridge, Inc., a mental health housing and rehabilitation agency, as the first recipient of its Curtis Berger Award. "The award," says the article, "named after the agency's longtime board member and Columbia University law professor, was created to honor people who exemplify both personal character and commitment to public service."
It should be noted that Curtis Berger, who died during the summer of 1998, a former president of the Association of American Law Schools, was himself a graduate of the University of Rochester, Class of 1948.
Leonard P. Strickman '63
The writer is dean of the Robert A. Leflar Law Center at the University of Arkansas--Editor.
Yet Another Alumni Relation
I have been proud and pleased to have Bob Place '54 as a relative, but, having received my M.A. in history in 1941, I cannot help being disappointed that your article "The Place Place" (Alumni Relations, Spring-Summer '99) left me out.
When I was preparing to graduate from the Monroe High School, my dad, Lester O. Wilder '11, told me I could go to college anywhere I wanted, except the University of Rochester. At that time, in addition to his responsibilities as assistant dean and director of admissions, he was a member of the English Department regularly teaching one section of the required freshman course and a course on the Victorian poets. He became dean of the College for Men sometime during World War II, and retired in 1954.
My B.A. is, therefore, from Union College, 1940. After receiving it, I returned to Rochester to live with my parents and attend graduate school. For my thesis, "The Political Convictions of Samuel Johnson," I used the Adam Collection, which was at that time on loan to the Rare Books room in Rush Rhees Library. I was greatly helped by Bob Metzdorf '33, rare book librarian, and John Russell, recently appointed University librarian following the death of Don Gilchrist.
I am impressed still with how exciting the faculty made my work. Willson Coates guided my reading, and I particularly remember Hugh McKenzie's course in the Renaissance and Reformation (his wife had been my third-grade teacher) and Dick Greene's seminar in 18th-century English lit (which, by the way, he taught in the library of the Psi U fraternity house; see a reference to a similar setting on page 6 of the same issue of the magazine).
David T. Wilder '41 (MA)
Medford, New Jersey
We're always happy to hear of more Rochester connections to add to our "Alumni Relations" lore. We appreciate the addition--and the reminiscences--Editor.
Thanks for Emotional Support
The Winter 1998-99 issue of Rochester Review arrived at an opportune time because it contained on pages 44 and 45 an article about Wendy Schlessel Harpham ['80M (MD)] and her books on cancer survival.
My wife, Ruth, had just had surgery for cancer and was emotionally sustained by the words of Dr. Harpham. Ruth reviewed the books for a meeting of the Wellness Community (cancer survivors) of East Tennessee and later wrote a synopsis for the monthly newsletter of the "survivors."
The books are now part of the emotional support of many members of this group.
Wallace Davis, Jr. '47 (PhD)
Oak Ridge, Tennessee
On Detasseling Corn
"Scott Hauser, the new associate editor of Rochester Review, says he worked his way through the University of Iowa newspapering, doing construction work, and 'de-tassling corn'"--Rochester Review, Spring-Summer 1999.
Surely you were joking, Mr. Hauser.
I spent eight years in grad school at the Iowa State College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts (since renamed Iowa State University) and knew some students who detasseled corn--see Webster's New World Dictionary, 1986.
John E. Cranch '43
Oops. Maybe we'd better switch to Webster's as our dictionary of choice for agricultural matters.
In case you were wondering, Hauser explains that it's the detasseler's job to remove the tassels from female corn in order to control pollination in the production of hybrid varieties. He says any self-respecting Iowan is familiar with the concept--if not the spelling--of corn detasseling--Editor.
Thrill and Terror at the Commons
Your article "The Working Classes" brought back fond memories of my days in the work/study program. Like Molly Holmes in your article, I, too, was a student manager at the Wilson Commons.
The job not only provided the spending money for a well-rounded undergraduate experience, but also gave me my first taste of the thrill and terror of being the person in charge.
But perhaps most rewarding was the opportunity to work in a facility that was so central to University of Rochester culture, an architectural gem that for myself and many others is the defining structure of the River Campus.
My favorite (printable) memory: Late one night after the doors were locked and the lights extinguished, hearing my friend Bill Grazier give an impromptu trumpet performance from the top floor walkway into the darkness. A sweet sound, indeed.
Bob Wheeler '88
Ft. Wayne, Indiana
| UR Home | Review Contents | Mail |
Maintained by University Public Relations