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Letters to the Editor

University of Cincinnati magazine encourages readers to submit letters. Letters submitted online may be considered for publication here and in the print edition of the magazine.

International leader

The November magazine was highly welcomed. Please, accept my congratulations. I have especially enjoyed the outstanding photographs of the UC campus. The pictures and the articles make me proud that I had the privilege to spend the academic year 1965-66 at UC's German department to take a master's degree back to Germany.

During many and regular visits to Cincinnati since then, I've had the pleasure to watch how UC developed and found its nationally and internationally leading place in the academic world. Please maintain the standard of "UC Magazine." I am looking forward to future issues.

Dirk Schröder, MA (A&S) '66
Bremen, Germany

Campus 'monstrosities'

I had heard for sometime about all the renovation and construction at UC. So on a recent trip back to Cincinnati, I made time to visit the campus to see what all the buzz was about. What I saw shocked me. The new buildings, with all the curved walls of shiny metal, concrete and glass, are a bizarre series of neo-modern monstrosities, glaringly out of place next to so many historical brick buildings. These hideous and expensive additions to the campus lack symmetry, beauty and a pleasing architectural uniformity.

In striving toward expanding and updating facilities for future needs, we have gutted the past and destroyed the image of the university in the hearts and memories of many alumni. What type of "progress" is this?

Tourists may indeed come to walk about the university. They will gaze at the new architecture, but will they look in a spirit of admiration or horror?

Fr. Dennis Listermann-Vierling, A&S & Ed '78, MEd '81
Greensboro, N.C.

UC campus has become 'a city'

One of my pastimes in retirement is to computerize my old photographs and "reconstitute" them from badly faded Ektachrome slides. I have finally gotten around to the ones I snapped while at UC.

During my five years at the university, I was very appreciative of the way the campus was laid out, with some lovely green spaces and lots of places to sit under a tree and read a book. Being an engineering student, of course, I spent 75 percent of my time in the engineering quad, mostly at Swift Hall and the physics/math buildings. I did, however, do a lot of strolling around the entire campus, for exercise and to snap the occasional photo.

I must say, after looking at the photos of the campus today, it seems to me much has been lost. The myriad of new and spectacular buildings is probably viewed as exciting and vital -- and no doubt they are ... very 21st century and all that.

The campus has become a city, quite unrecognizable except for the engineering quadrangle. I was so glad to see that the co-op bench, plaza and sundial remain in place at the open end of the quad, even following the dramatic reconstruction efforts. I can't help but wonder how much of Burnet Woods is still left, since it looks as if University Avenue, when it was relocated and changed to Martin Luther King Drive, gobbled up a chunk of it.

I also wonder if this well-known slogan at the front of McMicken provokes the same sort of response among today's students as it did in my days.

Bill McDaniel, Eng '63

Editor's note: UC last took land from Burnet Woods in the 1950s when the new DAAP building was constructed. Prior to that, the park extended to the edge of Braunstein Hall. No land was lost when St. Clair Avenue was renamed Martin Luther King Drive in 1987.

Cheerleader IDs

The picture of the cheerleaders on page 32 of the November issue of "UC Magazine" originally appeared in the 1956 Cincinnatian, representing the 1955 fall football season. [Mistakenly identified as the '56 fall season in the magazine.] I'm enclosing their names.

Front row, from the left: Shirley Shepard, '57; Jean "Jeannie" Moesta, Ed '58; Marjorie "Midge" McNeil, Ed '56; and Janet Rodger Davis, Ed '56. Back row: Tom Farimer, Bus '58; Bill Klein, A&S '58; Bob Maltz, A&S '58, MD '62; and Dick Vogel, Bus '59.

The Bearcat is either Dick Weyer, A&S '59, or Alfred "Fritz" Behrens, Bus '57. Dick was the Bearcat in the '55 Cincinnatian, and Fritz in the '57. I don't remember which one was in this picture.

UC Cheerleaders

Dick Vogel and I were co-captains and were the first cheerleaders awarded letter sweaters. We tried to get the athletics director Charles "Chic" Mileham to give letter sweaters to all the cheerleaders, but he would only agree to give them to the captains. He also said that we couldn't belong to the C Club and that we could only get one letter no matter how many years one might be a captain. I don't know what the policy is now or when cheerleaders were allowed to be in the C Club.

During the football and basketball seasons, we rarely traveled with the teams, although I remember a great trip to Annapolis, Md., when we played Navy in football. The school also sent the cheerleaders for a weekend Bearcat basketball game at Madison Square Garden during my last year as a cheerleader. I had an important biochemistry exam on Monday morning and felt that I needed those three days to study, so I chose not to go.

After the cheerleaders came back, they told me what a great time I missed. They were taken to the 21 Club, a famous NYC restaurant owned by a UC alum [Jerry Berns, A&S '29], and they met Edie Gormé, who I think was a relative of one of the cheerleaders. I felt bad about missing out on all the fun, but after getting into medical school, I knew that I made the right decision.

My memories of being a cheerleader are very positive. We were a close-knit group who got along well, even though two or three would graduate and be replaced by new ones every year.

Unfortunately, our paths never cross anymore except for Jeannie Moesta, who I occasionally see at a UC basketball game or some other event.

I've always felt that a student can get a great education and still enjoy the other opportunities a university has to offer if they know how to use their time properly and keep their priorities in proper perspective. The University of Cincinnati gave me that opportunity, and I'll always be a Bearcat cheerleader.

Bob Maltz, A&S '58, MD '62

Editor's note: Tabatha Fagan, UC's head cheerleading coach, says that in her 22 years experience with the program, cheerleaders have always been able to join C-Club and have gotten a letter jacket after cheering for one year. She is not sure when the change took place. IDs for the 1955 photo were also supplied by the next two alumni. The names will not be repeated, but their comments follow:

Based on the crowd, the picture of the 1955 cheerleaders was taken at the Xavier game. How about those skirts? And it looks like they "saved" on the Bearcat costume! I remember all the last names, but not the first names; memories get hazy after 52 years. I enjoyed this issue more than any previous one.

Ed Koenig, Eng '56

I have just received the November issue of "UC Magazine" with its splendid architectural spread. ... Cheerleader Janet Rodger and I were in the class of 1952 at Walnut Hills High School, and Bob Maltz was a year or two behind us. Bill Klein and I were in Beta Theta Pi fraternity.

Robert L. Felix, A&S '56, JD '59
USC School of Law professor
Columbia, S.C.

Alum recalls UC McDonald's fame

I love reading your magazine and seeing what the University of Cincinnati has been adding to the campus since my graduation in 2001. I remember joking with people that UC truly stood for "under construction," and it seems like the campus has grown exponentially every year.

Nevertheless, it seems that something has been lost in the last 10 years. I know; it's shocking that with all of the new buildings and programs, the university might be missing something. And I am not talking about "B-Lot" parking. This deletion is much more panic inducing than simply finding a place to park near Lawrence Hall (R.I.P.).

Students can no longer quickly grab a McDonald's burger and fries on the way from McMicken Hall to Zimmer Auditorium. I saw the picture in your November issue and was saddened that there would be no more "Freshman 15," despite the fact that it was more like an additional 30 pounds from living off of Big Macs and Coke.

McDonald's is GONE! This matter is also of utmost importance because that location was the first McDonald's on a college campus -- a fact easily determined by any reader who spent as much time in those lines as I did.

I am sure that many readers learned the trick to get the freshest meals there. You simply changed something. My favorite tactic was the "no-onions" maneuver.

This required waiting, but I didn't mind being late to class. Zimmer Auditorium is a big place, and I was convinced that my prof couldn't tell when I came in anyway.

It was while I was performing the no-onions exercise that I decided to read a plaque on the wall and was surprised to learn that the UC McDonald's was the first ever on a college campus. I read it on a plaque, so it has to be true.

So it is with poor cholesterol and a love of salty fries that I raise my glass -- well, it is more like a waxy-cardboard cup -- to McDonald's. You have shown me that "super-sized" does not merely refer to the size of campus.

And to the current students of UC, use that salad bar in Siddall Hall well, because when I was in school, I had to walk uphill both ways in the snow, and the only fast-food restaurant on campus was afraid to put the nutritional information on the side of its packets.

Bloated and sincerely,
Chuck Hamilton, A&S '00, Ed '01
Erlanger, Ky.

Editor's note: It's embarrassing to realize we overlooked such vital information. To make it worse, in the fall of '06, Jennifer Lerner, att. '78, wrote asking if McDonald's was once the largest in the world. She wanted us to validate her wisdom for family members who didn't believe her. Sadly, we didn't believe her, either, because we couldn't verify it.

But Hamilton's letter was so emphatic that we reopened the search and determined both alumni were right. The TUC McDonald's was the first collegiate one and the largest at one time.

UC Archives and Rare Books staff located data in old UC Board of Trustees minutes, as well as old issues of the News Record. According to that research, McDonald's opened on Oct. 2, 1973, in Tangeman University Center's Columbia Room, featuring its regular hamburger menu, plus a new breakfast menu.

Nearly 60 people, mostly students, were initially hired, and the hair code became quite controversial. Men's hair could not cover the top of the ears or touch the shirt collar, and sideburns could not extend below the ear lobes. In less than two weeks, the News Record had pointed out that hair length was not a "criteria for judging competency," adding that even UC President Warren Bennis, HonDoc '07, had hair that was too long for him to be hired.

The standard did not seem to affect business. "The noon crowds speak for themselves," pointed out student John Frederika in a later issue of the newspaper.

As for another piece of McDonald's trivia, a local McDonald's owner, Lou Groen, developed the company's first fish sandwich in 1962 because his business, in a largely Roman Catholic neighborhood, fell dramatically during Lent.

Comparing '51, '07 football

This was the year our Bearcats, 9-3, could have/should have erased our 1951 record of 10 wins and 1 loss. The '51 team still holds the UC record of the most penalties, 964 yards -- a dubious distinction. Coach Sid Gillman's strong advice was "when in doubt . HIT!" And we did.

Ralph Staub [Ed '52], who went on to be a college/pro coach, and I (a trust officer) co-captained an extraordinary team of achievers. The NFL in the 1950s, however, did not pay much, so we all simply went to work upon graduation.

Some of my teammates were Frank Middendorf [Ed '52], No. 3 at UPS today, who played in National All-Star games, as did Bob Stratton [Ed '55], now a corporate exec. Others were Bill Shalosky [Ed '53], college coach; Jack Tracy [A&S '53], attorney/judge; Lee Haslinger [Ed '59], principal; Bill McDonald [Ed '52, MEd '59], college coach/National champs; Don Grammer [Ed '53], college/pro coach; Gene Rossi [Ed '57], principal; Paul Yelton [A&S '54, JD '56], attorney; Dick Jarvis [A&S '52, MD '58], physician; Glenn Sample [Ed '53], college coach; Andy Matto [Bus '54], California Realtor; Dick Kane [Ed '52], principal; Dick Goist [A&S '55], dentist; Norb Shibinski [Ed '54, MEd '62], teacher/coach; and Dom Del Bene [A&S '54], dentist. The year 1951 was a "different time," but the game of football was the same. You have to be tough to play -- and a bit goofy.

Congratulations to our 2007 Bearcats. Hopefully, they will match our 10 wins with a victory in a Bowl game and next year top the 1951 team. (Except for the penalties!)

Nick Shundich, A&S '57, Ed '57, MEd '58

Editor's note: The University of Cincinnati football team turned in its first 10-win season in 56 years with a convincing 31-21 win over Southern Mississippi at the PapaJohns.com Bowl in Birmingham, giving the Bearcats a 10-3 finish for the season.

Designers overlooked

My wife, Sally [Ed '62] and I really enjoyed the last issue of "UC Magazine," especially the articles and pictures featuring Robert Flischel. However, we were disappointed not to find any mention of the Madison Design Group in Covington, Ky. This small graphic design firm did the layout and design for Bob's featured book on UC, as well as his earlier book "Cincinnati Illuminated," a photographic journal showing off the Queen City.

After working for prominent graphic design firms for several years in Cincinnati, Julie Allen Courtney, and Jackie Meyer Roberto, both DAAP '90, founded Madison Design Group in 1997. The firm has been extremely successful, employing a half dozen people, some who have been UC graphic design graduates, as well. Madison Design's largest and steadiest customer is the Procter & Gamble Co. Maybe you can feature this highly successful design firm and its employees in a future issue.

Dave Allen, Bus '63
Brentwood, Tenn.

Campus in the '20s

I appreciated the picture of campus in the 1920s [at right, sent in by Phyllis Shofner Howell, November '07]. My father, Oscar Schwartz of Parkway Construction Co., was the builder of the powerhouse in the picture. He always said his child would go to UC, and she did.

Helene Schwartz Cohen, Ed '44

Remember when?

I loved the photographs comparing then and now. Those were the days, my friends. Do you remember? Progress is great, but let's not forget yesterday!

Barb Wedinger, Ed '63

News Record vote

I agree with John VanDeren Jr. [who wrote a letter in the November issue]; it looks like Al Batik on the left of the 1949 News Record photo, although I wouldn't swear to it. I thought I knew all the chemistry majors of that time, but I don't remember John.

Erica Houser Stux-Shore, A&S '49, MS (A&S) '50
Chatsworth, Calif.

Time to go green

I was disturbed to see "University of Cincinnati Magazine" printed on glossy, clearly virgin paper, instead of recycled-content paper. I prefer to support "green" organizations and would feel much better about making a donation as an alumnus if I knew all aspects of UC were doing their best to be "green." I reviewed UC's Sustainability Report Card online and see UC is doing "OK," but not the best it could be doing. I hope you can do all in your power to make "UC Magazine" a "green" magazine.

Sally Small, DAAP '83
Salt Lake City

Editor's note: We are looking into cost-effective ways to print the magazine on recycled paper. You might also want to see the short story on page 21 about other "green" avenues UC is investigating.

Coach Jucker

With love and joy, I read the letter concerning Edwin Jucker ['61 and '62 national championship basketball coach, baseball coach before that] in your July issue. Edwin played an enormous role in my life and that of my father.

When Edwin was a young child, his parents lived in the same house as my dad, uncle and grandparents in Norwood, Ohio. My dad, Louis Hofmann, was eight years older than Edwin and felt it was his responsibility to teach him how to play basketball, so he hung a peach basket on a garage post in the backyard. Thus the early lessons began. I imagine many baseballs were thrown, as well. Financial issues forced the Juckers to move when Edwin was a young man, but the friendship remained strong between the two families, and Edwin never forgot my father and the role he played in his life. Throughout his high school, college and early teaching years, Edwin and his family often visited.

Once he started coaching at UC, he would give Dad tickets to Bearcat ballgames several times during a season. When my dad died in 1964, Edwin served as a pallbearer at his funeral. Mother continued to hear from the Juckers until her death in 2004.

Edwin never forgot his past and the people who influenced his life. Characteristics of love and loyalty made him the wonderful family man and great coach he was.

As an aside, the UC College of Education must have had the "right" influence on my life as I celebrated 40 years in the classroom in December. Although I did not receive my diploma until the spring of 1968, I completed the requirements for my teacher's license on Friday, Dec. 1, 1967, and began my teaching career at Hughes High School the following Monday. I have been teaching in the same rural community since 1969.

Linda Hofmann Chambers, Ed '68
Nashville, Tenn.

Mapplethorpe memories

Manners suggest to me to not write this letter, but I cannot let the title of your article about Bob Flischel's book go without a comment ["Waiting for One Perfect Moment: Photographer Bob Flischel Commits Three Years to Getting It Right"].

When I saw the article, I could only think about my proudest moment living in Cincinnati during what I felt was one of the city's lowest moments and too indicative of the heart of Cincinnati -- the Robert Mapplethorpe photographic exhibition, "The Perfect Moment,"and Cincinnati's prosecution of the Contemporary Art Center's curator, Dennis Barrie.

My wife and I were among the volunteers who helped the museum during that exhibit. We lived for 25 years in Cincinnati, and volunteering for the Mapplethorpe exhibit was one of the few times when we felt we were among people who were sensible. Most of the time, we felt we were swimming against a tide. One of my other volunteering joys while there was at a little-known gem, the Mitchell Observatory [officially named the Cincinnati Observatory and owned by UC, a photo of which appeared in the last magazine]. For several years, I eagerly anticipated my Thursday evenings at such a historic and awesome site.

Leo Horishny, RWC '79
Sun Valley, Nev.

Innocence Project

The Clarence Elkins' conviction [a wrongly convicted man freed through the help of UC law students] bothered me so much that I went online to find out what happened, and I came across your story. If I were not in poor circumstances, I would provide monetary support for the Innocence Project. If I ever hit a lottery, that project is at the top of my list.

I wish to thank UC students for having "open eyes" and "open hearts" to the people who suffer such wrongful things at the hands of the very system that's supposed to protect us. I would like to say that there are people out there who care and do what they can when they can. Not everyone turns a blind eye to injustice.

To Clarence Elkins' family, I'd like to say love and faith in each other will get you through when nothing else will.

Sandy Hoover
New York

Favorite professor

Shortly before I graduated from Cincinnati's Withrow High School in 1928 and before I knew what I was going to do next, my mathematics teacher, Helen Swineford, suggested I talk with Dr. Herman Schneider at UC. The very idea of an undecided high school student getting advice from the president of a university seemed to me ludicrous. Nevertheless, a few days later, she made an appointment for me to see Dr. Schneider.

The time arrived, and I shivered in my boots as I approached his office. He greeted me warmly and acted as if he had nothing else to do but talk to young people who could not make up their minds. From him, I learned why he was willing to share a busy day with me. He told me that during his tenure as dean of engineering some of the best math students had received their training under Miss Swineford and that he had a very high regard for her and her products. I can't remember much of our conversation, but it led to my decision to enter UC. The rest is history.

Now, more than three quarters of a century later, I have no connections with the Cincinnati area except your magazine and many warm memories. Thank you.

P.S. I wonder how many of Miss Swineford's students are still among the living.

H.W. Abplanalp, A&S '33
La Jolla, Calif.

Editor's note: Alumni are still submitting stories about their favorite professors, following a solicitation we made last year.

Dick Stohr

More dream jobs

I think I have a dream job. For the past 10 years I have been "That Yo-Yo Guy."

I graduated from Western Hills High School and studied architecture at UC. I had 10 years as a naval flight officer flying in P-3 and S-3 aircraft and in the USS Ticonderoga antisubmarine aircraft carrier, then 16 years in the Navy Reserve, plus duties in the Pentagon. After I retired as a captain, I became a Department of Defense contractor with positions of increasing responsibility to include corporate officer and president of a small company.

In '97, I quit my day job because I was told that if I practiced a lot I could make a living playing with my yo-yos and other people's kids. This is for sure a dream job.

I do an all-day teaching program -- Yo-Yo Fun and Science of Spin -- at elementary schools in the mid-Atlantic states. I also go to libraries, camps, festivals, fairs, parties, Cub Scouts, trade shows and other fun events all year 'round.

I have been written about in the Washington Post and filmed for a TV news program. I have been elected to the board of directors for the American Yo-Yo Association continuously since 1998 and have judged yo-yo and spin-top contests nationally and internationally. As my wife says, I "just enjoy acting like a big kid."

View video of Stohr's yo-yo skills

Dick "That Yo-Yo Guy" Stohr, DAAP '65
Springfield, Va.

I have a movie credit on screen as a tech advisor in "My Little Pony, The Movie," circa 1990. I also have a speaking role in Universal's "Rollercoaster," starring Richard Widmark, Helen Hunt and Henry Fonda, circa 1976, as Virg, an FBI agent on the Tower.

Unfortunately, all of my mementoes of those things were swept into the Gulf of Mexico by Hurricane Katrina during our brief attempt at living in Ocean Springs, Miss. We moved there in June, and two months and six days later, our house was gone.

We're back in Michigan now. Living near large areas of warm water is a very dumb idea.

Bob Kelley, DAAP '58
Grand Haven, Mich.

It has been great going through the contents of "UC Magazine." I would be happy to report my professional inventions (achievements) of a global relevance, one from 1983 when I was a director and vice president of the German Gerling Konzern, and the second one in 1997 as chairman and CEO of a unique educational company based in India, operating in Germany and, now in 2008, starting in Switzerland.

Kumad "Kim" Singsh, MBA '72

Editor's note: Read about other alumni dream jobs and UC's "famous alumni," too.

Letters to the Editor policy
Letters to the editor must relate to the university, be signed and include addresses, colleges and years of graduation, when applicable. The editor reserves the right to edit letters for length, clarity or factual accuracy and to reject letters of unsuitable content. Letters may not criticize other letter writers. Opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the views of the University of Cincinnati.