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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.

Donation well spent

Just received my December 2010 magazine. I absolutely love it. I usually read each issue cover to cover, but not immediately on the day I receive it. This time, however, I found the new format mesmerizing from the minute I picked it up. I couldn’t put it down until I read almost every article.

The feel, look and content give an excellent impression of UC. I increased my annual donation to the College of Nursing this year to support one of their scholarship funds. After seeing this issue and what is going on at UC, I know my contribution will be well spent.

I liked that the articles were written in a way that people could appreciate, and I especially enjoyed the ones related to medical issues and health care (including the potato-chip article). I plan to pass on my copy of the magazine to one of our program coordinators at my institution, Munroe Regional Medical Center in Ocala, Fla.

Janice Fitzgerald Ulmer, MSN ’81
Stroke program coordinatorMunroe Regional Medical Center
Summerfield, Fla.

Basketball tales worth telling

With reference to your article on the 1961 and ’62 golden age of basketball, I had an experience worth telling.

While attending a University of Wisconsin basketball game against Ohio State in Madison a few years ago, I was seated beside three obvious Ohio State guys with a few pre-game beers in their bellies. To be sociable, I commented that Ohio State had several highly talented freshmen. One guy replied, “Yeah, but you should have seen our team when we were in school with Jerry Lucas and John Havlicek.”

I looked him in the eye and said, “But wasn’t that the time when the University of Cincinnati beat you twice in a row for the NCAA championship?” His face dropped a foot, and he said, “How did you know that?”

Darrel Cornelius, MS (Eng) ’61, MBA ’69
Madison, Wisc.

I really enjoyed the article in “UC Magazine” about the 50th reunion of the 1961 and ’62 basketball teams. These happened in my first two years at UC.

In those days, all a student had to do to attend the game was show your student ID, and you were admitted. The games were played in the Armory Fieldhouse, and since I was staying in the French Hall dorm, it was a quick walk to the games.

When I was a sophomore, my room was across the hall and down a door or so from where Paul Hogue [Ed ’62] and Tom Thacker [Ed ’63] roomed. They had special beds; a 6-foot, 9-inch guy wouldn’t have fit into the normal dorm bunk beds.

Great memories from those years. Your article captured the great teamwork of those years. Very good players, but no superstars.

Jim Luginbuhl, Eng ’65, MS (Eng) ’69
Amelia, Ohio

Championship video wanted

I enjoyed your well-written story on the Bearcats of a half-century ago. I was 12 when they beat Ohio State the first time, and that remains the favorite game in my life as a fan in any sport.

In 1989, the night before the Final Four in Kansas City’s Kemper Arena, the NCAA threw a party in the old Municipal Auditorium for all former champion teams. Across the way, I saw a big man in a three-piece suit just looking around. I made my way over and said, “Excuse me, Mr. Hogue?”

Paul Hogue [Ed ’62] and I talked about the game, which had been played in that arena and which I remembered in almost as great detail as he did. It was a thrill for me, and he seemed to enjoy the chat. I was saddened to read of his death [Aug ’09].

When I was in college, I worked summers at the Latonia Racetrack, now called Turfway. Bob Wiesenhahn [Ed ’61] sold betting tickets. A regular customer used to walk by and say, “There’s Wiesey; he beat the Bucks!”

Assistant coach Tay Baker [Ed ’50, MEd ’57] would never remember me, but I covered a 1967 basketball road trip for the News Record when I was a freshman at UC. Egged on by some players after practice in Tulsa, I got into a free-throw shooting contest with the coach, who was still a better pure shooter than his players.

Tay made 13 in a row. I then made eight in a row, but the players were laughing so hard that I was laughing, too, and missed the ninth one. Fun.

Does a video copy exist of that 1961 game? If so, I’d pay good money for it.

Michael Kelly, A&S ’70
Columnist, Omaha World-Herald

I read with great interest and renewed memories of those great championships in a great article written by John Bach. I was a cheerleader my junior and senior years of the 1960-61 and 1961-62 seasons.

While I was in graduate school at Indiana U during the 1962-63 season, I traveled to UC for the NCAA Basketball Championship series and joined several Sig Eps to drive to Kentucky for the championship game against Loyola of Chicago. We had a long sad ride back to Bloomington, Ind., after our overtime loss.

I must admit that some of my greatest joys were following UC basketball, and being on the floor for the NCAA games. I grew up in South Charleston, W. Va., with Jerry West in my high school conference, then watched an amazing Big O [Oscar Robertson, Bus ’60] for my first two years at Cincinnati.

How many arguments do you suppose I was involved in regarding West vs. Robertson when I went home for holidays? (Of course, I always felt I won with the Big O.) I remember a chartered train ride with 1,000+ UC students to Evansville, Ind., for a playoff game with Bradley for the Conference championship, which we won.

I had tried several years ago to track down video highlights or the entire televised productions of our two winning championship games. I went through our athletics department and television networks, “Googled” several possible sources and ran into dead ends at each turn.

I know these games were played prior to video production technology, but I have to believe there exists some historical footage of those two games against Ohio State captured on the television technology of the ’60s. Who better than your staff to locate such reproductions?

I believe many UC grads would pay dearly to have such memories come to life. Good luck.

Hal McGlathery, Bus ’62
Spokane, Wash.

Editor’s reply to both letters: The only way to get video from those games is a custom order directly through the NCAA website, which is quite pricey ($150 per game). It appears that the 1962 championship game is unavailable, but you can obtain the 1961 championship game, as well as regional and Final Four games from both seasons.

Basketball in the ’40s

I really enjoyed the basketball story as I saw all three games in Louisville. I played on the frosh team in the fall of ’47 in the gym at the end of the football field [Schmidlapp Gymnasium].

What a change. I was 17, and the varsity were mostly GIs from WWII and much older. We received nothing for playing against the varsity every day — not even a meal.

For away games, we had to find a ride with someone with a car as none of us had one. Coach [John “Socko”] Wiethe had no assistant or frosh coach.

The highlight for me was playing the prelim game at Music Hall before the Kentucky Wildcats with their great team and Adolph Rupp. We got to sit up close.

Congratulations to that great team in the early ’60s.

Doug Sellers, Bus ’51
Sun City Center, Fla.

Hard choices

I just got back from vacation yesterday, and when I opened my mail, I could not put down the magazine. Wow! Usually, I comb through magazines to see which article I want to read first. Well, you made it extremely hard to choose which one to read first. They were all first-rate interesting articles about interesting alumni. In fact, I’m angry that I had to put it down to hit the sack. You did an outstanding job on that issue. All of your magazine issues are good, but this one was fabulous, award-winning, stupendous. (I’ve run out of words.)

Gina Ruffin-Moore

It is not often that I take the time to comment on a document like “UC Magazine,” but I must tell you that I believe your magazine is extremely well done. The magazine is a real credit to you, your staff and the university in terms of its editorial content and photography. I trust that all alumni enjoy getting each edition as much as I do. Congrats on a job very well done.

Harold “Chip” Elliott, Bus ’68
Powell, Ohio

’70 campus closing

It is amazing to hear the perspective of each individual who lives through an event that dramatically impacts the future. My perspective of the events unfolding after Kent State is a little different than those who have voiced opinions previously.

The evening following the Kent State shootings, many students, perhaps as many as a thousand, filled McMillan Avenue in protest. The Cincinnati police cordoned off the street in front of the crowd. The police moved barricades each time the students approached until at last the crowd dispersed.

The following day there was another confrontation with police in the park [Burnet Woods] across from the DAA building. The police department had set up a command post in the park. Again, the police defused the protest of the crowd by moving their command post. That afternoon many students staged a sit-in inside the administration building. Their demand was to shut down the school out of respect for the students killed at Kent State. The sit-in lasted a few days.

All sides seemed intransigent until a number of students took over the computer center of the school. It was at that point, one in which the school had to decide to evict the students forcibly or bend to their demands, that the wise leadership of the university decided to close the school.

[Watch video of UC's 1970 closing.]

Robert Garfield, Bus ’71
Oakton, Va.

Rankings overlook UC

It’s great following the growth of the University of Cincinnati. After I graduated, I moved to the West Coast for a postdoctoral position at “the other UC” (University of California). Over the next decade, I visited many U.S. universities for both research collaboration with faculty and to attend science conferences. I was surprised that the University of Cincinnati was better equipped in chemistry and chemical engineering than many large universities, including the California schools.

Over the years, I’ve stopped to visit the university every few years. I’m impressed with the new campus. What’s puzzling is why U.S. News still ranks many other grad schools far above the University of Cincinnati. Maybe these “national college rankings” are actually being written by the staffs of the Los Angeles Times, San Diego Tribune or the San Jose Mercury.

Tom Novinson, PhD (A&S) ’69

Thoughts on terrorism

The December 2010 article “How do we combat modern terrorism?” makes an excellent point about fighting ideas with ideas and extremism with opportunity.

And yet this article misses an important point about terrorism in the U.S. The article talks exclusively about Islamic extremists, yet the photos relate to the Oklahoma City bombing — the work of antigovernment extremist terrorists, not Islamic terrorists.

It might be worthwhile to review the Intelligence Report from the Southern Poverty Law Center for reports on terrorist activities of various domestic groups. Terrorist behavior — by individuals or by radicalized groups — in the United States is not limited to the Islamic extremists. Yet for some reason, angry white men who make bombs and plot bombings, discuss fomenting revolution and kill police officers are not labeled terrorists in the press.

Paul Wermer, PhD (A&S) ’81
San Francisco

Flowcharts effective

After being involved with the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) regarding new curricula and standards for public schools, I noted in your article [“How Much Have Classrooms Changed?” December 2010] that Pamela Baker (Center for Enhancement of Teaching and Learning — CETL) first questions the ability to (objectively?) measure critical thinking and writing skills, then expects faculty to articulate learning outcomes that they can (subjectively?) measure. ODE completed new curricula by June 2010, and new standards for measuring the results will be in place for the 2014 school year.

I have successfully tutored critical thinking via flowcharting to many elementary through high school students, using a tool accessible to almost all students — a blank Excel sheet including text box creation and arrow connectors: First, write the desired objective in a text box and accumulate in separate text boxes the available resources and anticipated problems in achieving that objective. Then progressively rearrange, edit and connect the boxes until they make sense to the constructor(s) and evaluator/user.

Collaborative efforts are great, as in real life. Sometimes this can result in revising the initial objective in order to create a better one, or pointing out unresolved problems and weak points for later resolution.

In three decades of flowchart use, I have never found a student — or adult — who couldn’t understand a logically constructed flowchart. Flowcharts are also effective in deriving, understanding and articulating the evolution of ideas, such as in science, history, psychology, government or education systems.

A necessity of a complete college education is the ability to integrate information encompassing many fields. I was highly impressed when Dr. Carlo Montemagno, engineering dean, resolved to do so (e.g., engineering vis-à-vis business and medicine). Flowcharting could help articulate his program or CETL.

Carl Schmidt, MS (Eng) ’59

Funny story from survey

The story about the world ending in 2012 was one that came up before — in 1991, I believe. My son heard it on the radio and was upset that he wouldn’t grow up to see his children. I ran him out of the house and told him to go and play. He ended up downstairs at a neighbor’s apartment with both of them scared that it was really going to happen.

He is 31 now with four children. I told him when he was 12 that the world comes to an end when a person dies, and that’s the end of your world.

When he heard about this 2012 news, he said to me, “Mama, the world is suppose to come to an end in 2012.” I looked at him and said, “Are we going through this again?” He smiled and walked out of the room.

Editor’s comment: This was posted by a woman anonymously participating in our readership survey. Although we usually reject anonymous letters, this wasn’t really a letter to begin with, and it was too good to pass up.

Herget instrumental

I recently read with interest the article about Paul Herget [A&S ’31, MA (A&S) ’33, PhD (A&S) ’35, HonDoc ’78] and his various activities at UC. I graduated in 1959 with a bachelor of science in electrical engineering, and fortunately I had direct contact with Dr. Herget in the operation of the IBM 650. It was my good fortune to be the first EE undergraduate to use this computer while working on my thesis.

Since he was interested in space-capsule trajectories in his consulting activities, he found my thesis title “Missile Trajectory Determination Using Polynomial Approximations” of interest. I had experience with the 650 while co-oping at Bendix Missile Division. My thesis adviser was Carl Evert in the EE staff, and between the two men, they were instrumental in making my experience at UC extremely rewarding. Thanks for remembering such a significant contribution to the university.

Clarence Witsken, Eng. ’59
Granger, Ind., and Bonita Springs, Fla.

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 or insult the character of anyone else. Opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the views of the University of Cincinnati.