University of Rochester


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The 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;

Saluting Midshipmen . . .

Your profile of Ensign [Anne Marie] Regan ’03 [“Squared Away,” Fall 2003] was very well done. I recommended it to my 14-year-old daughter, who actually set down a J. R. R. Tolkien book to read it.

Naval ROTC friendships are strong. Our class of 1977—16 Navy and one Marine—is at work on a reunion, thanks to the efforts of one of our career officers.

We are including all who shared our college experience, not just those who graduated and received commissions, and call our directory “Freshman (NROTC) Class of 1973.”

We’ll send you a picture.

Mark Sturnick ’77
Hollandale, Wisconsin

Thank you for your profile of the Naval ROTC unit at the University. Rochester has a proud history and part of that history is entwined with the men and women who choose to use the great education that Rochester provides in service to our great country. I am very proud to be both a graduate of the University and a commissioned officer serving aboard one of the 12 greatest warships in the world, the aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy.

Victor Davis Hanson, a columnist with National Review Online, perhaps describes an aircraft carrier best when he stated in his December 13, 2002, column that “Our aircraft carriers are this nation’s phalanxes, at once frightening weapons and symbols of American Freedom. . . . [I]n the far less comfortable but much more real world of the Kennedy, blacks, Hispanics, Asians, and whites are indistinguishable in the manner in which they eat, sleep, and work, united as they are as Americans in a common cause, not separated by race, class, and tribe. African-American officers supervise whites, and vice versa. . . . Women fly planes that men service or the other way around or both. And recently graduated Naval Academy ensigns learn from tough men with tattoos and calluses who inhabit primordial places of fire and oil in the ship’s bowels or who work on the flight deck where a momentary lapse in concentration can get one disemboweled or vaporized in seconds. Our universities might do better to mothball Ethnic Studies and send the entire freshman class to the Kennedy for a semester.”

The University’s staff, students, and alumni can rest assured that through the efforts of the NROTC unit, Rochester graduates are making an immeasurable contribution to the freedom we all enjoy.

David Kemp ’91
Lt. Commander, U.S. Navy
USS John F. Kennedy
Naval Station Mayport, Florida

I was interested to read your article “Squared Away” and wanted to share my own personal link to the University’s NROTC program.

My father, Hanford Cohen, was a sonar operator in the Navy during WWII. After the war, he was asked to go to Rochester to teach in the newly formed NROTC program.

He greatly enjoyed his years at Rochester, and I grew up hearing stories of his time there. He had installed all the telephones and their wiring in the NROTC building and he remembers that before he left in 1949, he had to crawl through the building to document the wiring schematic, as it only existed in his head. He also had fond memories of the Rochester winters.

I chose Rochester, in part, because of my father’s stories of the place. He enjoyed returning to the campus when I was an undergraduate to see the many ways in which it remained the same and the many ways in which it had changed.

Lisa Janice Cohen ’84
Newton, Massachusetts
. . . Remembering Marines

I read the most recent issue of Rochester Review first with surprise and pleasure and then with a bit of incredulity.

The pleasure was over the report that the NROTC unit is now apparently an accepted part of the University—a big, big change from the early ’60s.

Then, I noticed the report that Guy Wyser-Pratte ’62 “was the only Marine-option cadet . . . in the early 1960s.” There are no and never were any “Marine-option cadets.” Members of the NROTC, Navy or Marine-option, are midshipmen. Your statement about “the only Marine” is only correct if the “early 1960s” ended in August 1962.

The Class of 1966, which arrived on campus in September 1962, graduated four Marines from the NROTC program. In addition to me, Bob Rivers, Andy Vaart, and Tom King were commissioned in June 1966. The Class of 1965, which came on campus in 1961, graduated at least two Marines out of the NROTC program, if my memory is correct.

You may hear from Bob and Andy in this regard, but Tom King was killed at Con Thien, Vietnam, in July 1967. I know exactly because I was on the radio talking to him trying to bring my battery’s fires to protect his unit and him at the time he was killed.

You might also have mentioned that Major Vic Ohanesian was the Marine option instructor in those days. You won’t hear from him either as Lt. Col. Ohanesian was also killed in Vietnam after his tour at the University.

The Wyser-Prattes, Kings, and Ohanesians of the University served their country well. It is a shame that the organ of their alma mater cannot even get the terminology straight nor the story complete.

Richard Hulslander ’66
Captain, U.S. Marine Corps (inactive)
Ransom Canyon, Texas
‘Midshipmen’ Mix-Up

As I picked up my mail, I glanced at the fall edition of Rochester Review and an oxymoron leaped off the cover: “NROTC Cadet.”


Turning inside I found an article about Midshipman Anne Marie Regan ’03, the battalion commander of the NROTC unit during the 2002–03 school year.

The term “cadet” was used no fewer than 39 more times, including quotes attributed to (now) Ensign Regan.

Will journalists ever learn that the Navy is not the Army? That sailors are not soldiers and midshipmen will never be cadets?

I suspect that Rochester Review would not call a “professor” a “dean” just because the word is shorter. Also, it would have been nice to learn the title of Captain Gavin Lowder, who is quoted, but not identified as the commanding officer of the NROTC unit and professor of naval science.

Finally, technology must have really caught on at the NROTC unit, allowing responsibilities to enlarge greatly. Unlike my dinosaur days there in the ’50s, the battalion commander must now know the “whereabouts (of all other NROTC students) at all times.” GPS transponder on every student?

Oh no, now I get it. Ms. Regan had to know the whereabouts of all NROTC cadets at all times. Clever joke!

Robert Mumford Jr. ’57
Captain, U.S. Navy (retired)
Darnestown, Maryland

We have heard from several readers who chastised us for using the word “cadet” to describe members of the Rochester NROTC unit. As we have been repeating in our editorial drills during the past few months, midshipman is the proper term for students training to be officers in the Navy and in the Marine Corps, and cadet should be used to describe future officers in the Army and the Air Force. Our apologies—Editor.

Artistic Irony?

I was amused to read the story “Domestic Artistry” in the Fall 2003 issue.

I have taught drawing and painting since 1975, and my colleagues and I fervently believe in the visual language and its various expressions in drawing media and paints. The article, however, describes a modern irony—that college and university experiences in art are now largely verbal, not visual. The work shown in the article is mildly “interesting” in a visual sense but is only fully comprehended when accompanied by lots of words. Visually, the work devolves into well-crafted doodles.

When I was a student at the University, we did draw and paint—from a live nude model, no less. But I also remember that when I returned from an excursion to a summer art school at Tanglewood, having made a bunch of figure and landscape paintings, I was told by a Rochester instructor that I was stuck in the 19th century and I would fail any course I took if I persisted.

Needless to say, I spent my senior year acing other courses and working in my studio to get into the grad school of my choice (Boston University).

Here’s another irony: The “avant-garde,” as so exemplified by my alma mater, has turned into the “derriere garde.” The new radicals are those who teach students to draw and paint the figure, and learn art history—“contemporary art history” (a contradiction in terms)—as well as the conventional variety.

Mark Gottsegen ’71
Climax, North Carolina

The writer is an associate professor in the department of art at the University of North Carolina–Greensboro—Editor.

Less ‘Moore’

When I see a picture of college dropout, liberal stooge Michael Moore featured in the fall issue of Review (“They Came, They Spoke, They Impressed”), when a picture of Elie Wiesel could have been chosen instead, I feel like vomiting. And the fact that he attracted a crowd of listeners confirmed my belief that today’s college students are brainless sheep.

Jim Magill ’46 (MA)
Lyons, New York
Power of Snylyk

Regarding “Snylyk—A Remembrance” (Letters to the Editor, Spring–Summer 2003), I had the pleasure and privilege of playing on the varsity soccer team during the 1952 and 1953 seasons with Zenon Snylyk ’55. Letter writer Erwin Cherovsky’s remembrance of Zenon was wonderful.

While Erwin stated that “Zenon had no size or strength,” I vividly recall an occasion in which he proved otherwise. In one of our games, Zenon kicked a waist-high, line-drive shot on goal from 30 yards out that sizzled past the keeper for a goal. Truly, a mark of great kicking strength.

True to Zenon’s modest character, when complimented on his shot, he replied, “If I was only a ‘leetle’ bit bigger, I could have ‘reely keeked’ the ball hard.”

Don Schaet ’56
Marietta, Georgia
Photo Opportunities

Here are a few photos of the Prince Street Campus in the 1920s. My mother, Barbara Haslip Robinson, graduated in 1926 and these are a few of the many snapshots she had of her college days.

Please pass them along as you see fit.

Mary Miller
Penn Valley, California

The collection of 17 snapshots showing life on Prince Street—many depicting the fun of Campus Day events—have been forwarded to the Department of Rare Books, Special Collections and Preservation at Rush Rhees Library—Editor.

Pulling for Crew Alumni

We would like to introduce ourselves as the Friends of UR Crew. At the request of former head coach Bill McLean, we assembled a group of alumni that bridge the 22-year history of the University’s crew team. From the program’s humble beginnings in wooden shells beneath Fauver Stadium to the team’s newest Vespoli Millenium housed in the revamped Genesee Waterway Center, the program has certainly come a long way.

Far more important than these physical changes, however, are the success stories of the rowers along the way and the traditions that remain. In order to maintain this sense of tradition and push the team to compete at a higher level, we have developed a vibrant alumni organization that both supports the rowers at races and helps provide for the team’s future.

To maintain contact with you, our crucial supporters, we need to update our existing databases with your most current information. We have contacted many of you, but would like to hear from many more. In addition to providing your own information, please help pass this same message along to fellow crew alums and friends. Please encourage them to update their contact information by sending an e-mail bearing the same information to urcrewalums@

You can also visit our Web site at We encourage you to visit the site to learn more about our team and new coach Will Greene ’88.

In addition, please view our current support efforts, pictures from the Stonehurst ’03 Regatta, and the exciting reception, which included a silent auction.

Devlin Morrison ’97
Lynn, Massachusetts

The letter also was signed by Gary Stockman ’83, Eric Widra ’86, Yvonne Chao ’90, Matt Asaro ’90, Ed Fox ’91, Jon Eng ’99, Andre ter Weele ’99, and Justin Rydstrom ’00 as members of the group Friends of UR Crew—Editor

Clarification: ‘Bear’ Facts

A story in the Fall 2003 issue on the donation of a 1905 Steiff teddy bear to the Department of Rare Books, Special Collections and Preservation (“‘Bear’ Comes Home”) should have noted that the original owner of the bear, Marion Henckell Levering ’19, was the mother of Kate Levering MacMullin ’47. While the bear now resides on the River Campus, he was a resident of the Prince Street Campus when Levering and MacMullin, each in turn, brought him to college.