University of Rochester


Review welcomes letters from readers and will print 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. Send letters to Rochester Review, 147 Wallis Hall, P.O. Box 270033, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY 14627-0033; rochrev

“I was intrigued to read a firsthand account that gave further perspective on the events of those days.” —Alan Klibanoff ’71
‘With the President’

Regarding the article “With the President: A Reporter’s Story of 9/11,” by Bloomberg News White House correspondent Richard Keil ’83 [Fall 2003], my impression upon reading it was quite favorable. This was a compelling story about a very emotional time, and presented in a nonpolitical fashion.

As a Rochester history major, I was intrigued to read a firsthand account that gave further perspective on the events of those days.

I was impelled to write, however, in response to the scathing criticism Review received in the Letters to the Editor in the Winter 2004–05 issue. I was particularly appalled by the comparison made by one letter writer of the article to a “human interest story” about Saddam and Hitler.

Since there were no letters published commending the article, I felt that another, less hysterical view, might be of interest.

Alan Klibanoff ’71
Pearl Harbor, Florida

I was quite taken by the fact that you were nice enough to use three letters from the Class of 1960 after they blasted you for a very fair, and proper, article by Richard Keil ’83. It really amazes me how people who graduated so many years ago can still hang on to the “woe is me” attitude with respect to the actions of the president of our wonderful country. I would hope that if their political choice were president, he would have handled himself as well.

After rereading Keil’s article, it’s obvious that it’s unbiased. It’s wonderful, after attending many Meliora Weekend reunions, to recognize that you can publish fair and unbiased information when it has been so obvious that the general campus has a very strong political leaning.

Don Brady ’55
Greensboro, North Carolina

After reading the letters in the winter issue, I felt compelled to send a note. I thoroughly enjoyed Richard Keil’s article. When I saw the topic, my “political antenna” did go up, but once I read the article I felt it was entirely appropriate.

It was a story about Keil and a little bit about one of the most important days of the new millennium. I enjoyed learning about the inner workings of the Secret Service and the presidency in general.

I always like reading about Rochester alumni who have done interesting things. I especially liked the fact that Keil was able to use his Rochester experience in cross-country running to advantage in his chosen career.

And, hey, nothing wrong with articles about ’83 graduates!

Bill Barnard ’83
Maple Valley, Washington
Bravo, Fennell

My years at Eastman (1945–1949) were years spent thoroughly aware of the greatness of Fred Fennell ’37E, ’39E, ’88 (HNR), and that was from the vantage point of a mere string student.

As Fred’s reputation as an innovator and master technician in the creation of the Eastman Wind Ensemble evolved, he never lost his sense of humor, his devotion to the school, and his passion for his “baby.”

My husband and I had the pleasure of sharing breakfast at a quaint restaurant in Siesta Village, Florida, with Fred during the past few years. He regaled us with tales of visits and conducting experiences in Japan and elsewhere. It was hard for us to believe that this small-statured man could continue to produce such large-scaled thoughts and deeds.

Bravo to Fred Fennell and a life well-lived. May he continue to inspire others.

Beatrice Caro Roxin ’49E
Rochester, New York

Editor’s note: Fennell, the founder of the Eastman Wind Ensemble, died December 7. For more about his life, see page 38.

Generation of an Idea

Regarding “‘Cogeneration’ to Serve River Campus, Medical Center,” [In Review, Winter 2004–05]:

The Lansing, Michigan, Board of Water and Light began cogeneration service in 1919 at the Moore’s Park Plant. A similar cogeneration plant at Michigan State University in East Lansing was in operation at least from 1990.

While a student at Rochester from 1962 until 1966, I frequently looked for electrical generators at the steam plant. I find it amusing that University administrators have taken 42 years to get my idea.

Michael Barris ’66
Fredonia, New York
Because It’s Where?

I’ve always enjoyed reading Review, but I feel compelled to point out a correction in the article “Because They’re There” [Winter 2004–05]. Scott Hauser incorrectly places the summit of Mt. Everest at 29,028 feet above sea level. Until May 5, 1999, that measurement was considered accurate. However, on that date, a team using global positioning system (GPS) equipment found the summit to be 29,035 feet above sea level, seven feet higher than previously thought.

That may seem to be a minor correction, but I thought the summit’s elevation would be accurately stated in an article about the history of mountaineering in the Himalaya.

John Graceffo ’91
Columbus, Ohio

I wish to point out a mistake in the feature article “Because They’re There.” British climber George Mallory read history at Cambridge University, of course, not Oxford as is erroneously stated. You did get Magdalene College right, though. The Bloomsbury group, which is mentioned in the same sentence, began as a gathering of Cambridge graduates.

Charlotte Ryan, Associate Professor
Department of Pathology and Lab Medicine
School of Medicine and Dentistry

Scott Hauser replies: I stand corrected on both counts. Bradford Washburn, the founding director of Boston’s Museum of Science, which, along with the National Geographic Society, sponsored the 1999 expedition to measure the height of Everest, confirms that the team’s GPS-based measurements put the summit at 29,035 feet above sea level. Although the 29,028-foot figure, which was calculated by the Survey of India in 1954, is still widely cited, the official height of Everest is now pegged at 29,035 feet.

Graduate Gratitude

I was pleased to read that the College is offering full scholarships to International Baccalaureate (IB) graduates of the Rochester City School District who meet the requirements of the University, and that this is an “example of the University’s commitment to the success of the city school system” [“College Offers Full Scholarships to IB Graduates,” In Review, Winter 2003–04].

At my graduation from West High School (now the Wilson Magnet High School) in June 1935, I was awarded a Rochester Prize Scholarship, which provided me full tuition for the four years I was enrolled in the mechanical engineering program. Tuition at the time was, I recall, $300 per year.

I believe that the quality of the instruction at West High then, and at other Rochester schools for those preparing for college, was equivalent to most IB courses now.

My Rochester education was first-rate, and the experience was very fulfilling. I trust that those IB graduates who elect to enroll at the University will have equally rewarding experiences.

E. B. Watson ’39
Ocala, Florida
Plutzik Memories Sought

To assist in making a video about the life and career of Hyam Plutzik, who taught literature and creative writing at Rochester from 1947 to 1962, we would be interested in hearing from anyone with reminiscences about him. Contact Frank Shuffelton, Chair, Department of English, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY 14627, or e-mail frank.

Frank Shuffelton, Chair
Department of English
College of Correction

To the best of my knowledge and verified by the Gettysburg College Web site, Gettysburg faculty member Jocelyn Swigger ’02E (DMA) and the college both reside in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, not Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, as reported on page 38 of the winter issue [“A Seriously ‘Big Question,’” Alumni Gazette].

My overall compliments on the magazine; keep up the good work.

Walter Nelson ’87S (MBA)
Erin, New York