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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.

Flag-rush days

I've enclosed a postcard photo of the freshman vs. sophomore rush of the flag. Richard Goettle Jr., I believe, was the small one at the top protecting the flag. He graduated from the engineering school in approximately 1912.

Bette Goettle
Dataw Island, S.C.

Editor's note: The photo is probably from 1909, says UC archivist Kevin Grace, MA (A&S) '77. Between the 1890s and the 1920s, the two classes had an annual contest in which each side hoisted a flag, then tried to capture and burn the other side's. Flag rushes became a national collegiate craze, but faded during World War I.

Words of thanks

I actually read every word of the last magazine. This was the best thing to come out of UC since my diploma!

J.C. Evans, Bus '54
Mason, Ohio

I am writing about your fantastic magazine. I receive several magazines from other institutions, but "UC Magazine" is unique because of the quality of the writing, attractive layout and the diversity of issues reported (not all athletics, not all one college and not all one decade). I was thinking about sending my last copy to my undergraduate institution, which always sends letters asking for contributions, showing them what a quality publication can be, keeping the alumni informed but also proud of recent accomplishments and students.

Leonard Lind,
UC professor of clinical anesthesia and director, Post-Anesthesia Care Unit, Same Day Surgery


I want to thank you for the informative "UC Magazine." The citizens of Cincinnati are fortunate to have a university that offers such a wide variety of programs both in academics and athletics. As a member of Cincinnati City Council and the recipient of a master's degree from UC, I wish you the very best in your future endeavors.

Chris Monzel, MS (Eng) '94

False fossil

I always enjoy "UC Magazine." In the recent issue, an instructor is holding what is called "a shark fossil." It is unlikely that the articulated shark jaws are a fossil. The jaws are probably from an extant shark. The jaws and teeth are very white in color and the jaws are articulated. I have seen similar jaws from extant sharks in laboratories at the Smithsonian.

John Pojeta Jr., MS (A&S) '61; PhD (A&S) '63 Paleontologist
Rockville, Md.

Sports favorites

I just finished reading the article about George Wilson [Ed '64]. In the early '70s, George held a yearly golf/fishing outing at Carolina Trace Golf Course, where I worked through high school. I always looked forward to it as he was always laughing, kidding and joking around. I still have the trophy (biggest fish) from 1975!

Roger Ruff
(UC employee since 1979)
Senior instrumentation specialist, biological sciences

Congratulations on another wonderful issue of "UC Magazine." I love the lists of alumni who have excelled in various walks of life. The diversity of age, race and talents is a powerful statement of the students whom UC attracts and helps form. Perhaps my favorite alum mentioned is our friend, Jack Twyman [Ed '55]. Jack and Carole [DAAP '55] are two terrific people -- so successful, so humble and delightful to know.

Patti Normile, Ed '61 Terrace Park, Ohio

Fans disappoint

I love UC and have supported many of its activities over the years, including the Orange Bowl. The outcome was disappointing, but we still have a good team. My only problem is with our fans. They booed loudly for Virginia Tech and even booed their cheerleaders. Virginia Tech never booed once that I heard. It was obvious that we have not yet reached their level of sportsmanship.

Jerry Porter, Ed '66, MEd '72 Cincinnati

Another sacred space

"Sacred Spaces" was a most interesting article in the most recent issue. As one who spent 1947-52 roaming the "spaces" of the Engineering Quadrangle, I was most disappointed that the Quad was not noted as a most sacred space. It was for me and many of my classmates for a number of years. Looking forward to some sort of apology for omitting us engineers.

Edwin Rahn Jr., Eng '52
Milford, Ohio

Editor's reply: A story about beloved campus locations would be an interesting one for the future, but the article "Preserving Sacred Spaces" highlighted the university's steps to conserve five historic campus buildings, most of which had no affiliation with a particular college. The word "sacred" in the headline reflected the historic significance of the architecture.

Rankings wrong

There is a major mistake in the article on school rankings. Contrary to what is stated in the article, U.S. News and World Report does rank undergraduate programs. The rankings are called "college" rankings. Please get the facts straight, especially when you're trying to promote UC as a top university.

Tina Hunter, MS (Eng) '89, PhD (A&S) '08

Editor's reply: U.S. News does not rank individual undergraduate programs, but does rank undergraduate programs collectively, which serves as a basis for ranking an entire college or university. It also ranks two exclusive undergraduate programs (business and engineering) based solely on a peer assessment survey.

Architects overlooked

A number of your credits for the signature buildings on UC's campus fail to mention the "architects of record" who worked with the "signatures" to create these magnificent buildings and spaces at UC: KZF Design, Engineering Research Center; Lorenz & Williams, Aronoff Center; BHDP, Vontz Center; and NBBJ-Roth, College-Conservatory of Music.

William Wilson III, DAAP '76 AIA, president/CEO, KZF Design

Editor's reply: Architects of record are only listed on the website, and we did indeed omit a few, which we quickly remedied.

Benny Kraut recalled

I got my new "UC Magazine" and was surprised not to see an obituary for Dr. Benny Kraut, former professor and chair of Judaic Studies, who died tragically in September 2008. Benny was at UC for nearly 20 years. He left in the late '90s to go to Queens College. He was instrumental in the founding and expansion of Judaic Studies from just a program to a department in the College of Arts and Sciences, and he helped the students create the Cincinnati Judaica Review, of which I was editor from '92-94.

Rebecca Egolf, A&S '95
Bala Cynwyd, Pa.

Sperti still special

I just read your piece about George Sperti. I wanted to just let you know that I am the happy owner of half a tube of Sperti Ointment that I used today on a small burn with the usual success. This ointment must have been fabricated around 1953. (My parents bought it, and I inherited it.) It's still perfect and worked like a charm after all those years. It really is miraculous if you spread it quickly, and only a thin coat is necessary.

Eric Forat São
Paulo, Brazil

All-male cheerleaders

In the magazine, I noted a picture of the cheerleading squad that looks like the mid to late '50s. In your archives, might you have a picture from the early '40s, like 1942 in particular? I was a cheerleader on that squad -- when cheerleading squads were all male!

Saul Marmer, Bus '48

Editor's reply: An all-male squad was news to us, even to the UC archivist. Unfortunately, the yearbooks of that era did not feature photos of cheerleading squads as they did in later years. To make matters worse, we could locate no related photos in the university archives. You guys were certainly overlooked, but we'd love to publish a photo if any reader has one.

Degrees awarded at UC

A group of us at Raymond Walters College were paging through the latest issue of "UC Magazine" -- great edition, as usual. The information on the "Degrees Awarded" chart could have been even more impressive if it included the UC degrees from RWC (the same is probably true for Clermont College). I thought you would like to know that UC is doing even better than the chart conveys.

Don O'Meara, A&S '67, MA (A&S) '70, interim dean, Raymond Walters College

... Regional campus numbers are not used in reports for the Voluntary System of Accountability, and that is probably the reason they were excluded from the data given to you. Excluding the regional campus degrees does not accurately reflect the success of the entire student body.

Susan Riley, director, institutional research and project management, Clermont College

Editor's reply: It turns out that UC's Office of Institutional Research supplied us with Uptown Campus numbers only. The number that reflects graduates from all UC colleges should have been 7,250.

Not-quite-famous alumni

I thoroughly enjoyed reading the January magazine; however, the thought often occurs to me that while many outstanding persons are recognized in various publications, the vast majority of our graduates have become successful in their work and communities without fireworks.

Dear friends of ours, Robert [MD '49] and Frank LaCamera [A&S '48, MD '53], come to mind. Both are graduates from our College of Medicine, had successful careers in the field and have been pillars of their communities. They have gone about their work in an unassuming manner but always have time to contribute to their local communities in many ways.

I think it would be nice if someday the many thousands of dedicated individuals who do not necessarily receive headlines in the local papers would be recognized for their day-to-day living.

John Kurtz, JD '50
Warren, Ohio

Famous alumni update

I'm sure it was hard to choose the people mentioned, but I found it amazing that Peter Woo [A&S '70, HonDoc '94] was not included as a business leader. Were we only choosing American business leaders?

Saralou Durham, Ed '68

Editor's reply: We did not intentionally select only U.S. leaders but ended up doing so because the gross earnings of publicly traded companies is easily accessible in a list that enabled us to choose those with the highest earnings. We have written about Peter Woo in the past, and that article is available online.

I would hope that in your quest for 100+ famous alumni you might find a UC physician or two who would make the ranks. They might have made a greater contribution than some of the others listed. I'm sure the med school could help identify a few. Dr. David Stern might be a good place to start.

Russ Kridel, MD '74
Houston, Texas

Your -- "our" -- January "UC Magazine" is an award-winner, a great "annual report" to remind all UC alumni of their school. Congrats to the staff.

My own 1950s group is not too shabby: Tony Trabert [A&S '52, HonDoc '07], Doug Cramer [A&S '53], James Kautz [A&S '53, HonDoc '95], Sandy Koufax [att '55], Jack Twyman [Ed '55] and Otto Budig [Bus '56]. And I'd like to add one more -- as I am sure other alumni are doing; you simply can't cover all of them.

Barry Bishop, A&S '54, climbed Mount Everest (and lost all his toes in doing so). He was chairman of exploration at National Geographic for years and died in an auto accident (of all things) a few years ago. His daughter, Tara, is married to Greg Mortenson, author of the New York Times bestseller "Three Cups of Tea" and the man who has built 53 schools for girls in remote areas of Pakistan.

Chances are we have done articles on Barry in the past -- maybe a reminder to alumni of another UC superman.

Nick Shundich, A&S '52, Ed '57, MEd '58

Great magazine, and it gets better each time. I liked your 100 famous alumni list, but how about Al Hirt, CCM '41, [HonDoc '69] and Urban Meyer, A&S '86 (our Gator coach in Florida)?

Of course, my cousin, Johnny Reger attended CCM in the late 1930s before he went into World War II. He directed the Army band at Casablanca, had his own band, did TV appearances and was first trombone in the Dayton Philharmonic for more than 30 years. Just kidding, though, about him being on the list.

We're looking forward to our 50th graduation anniversary in May. Our son is a UC grad, and his daughter, Caitlin Reger, graduates this year -- neat.

Kathryn "Babe" Reger, Ed '59
Jim Reger, Eng '59
Lakewood Ranch, Fla.

I read with interest your recent presentation of the "100 alumni who made their mark." You invited readers to offer names of those who might have been overlooked, so here goes: First, I was shocked to see Urban Meyer, A&S '86, missing from the list. Coach Meyer led the University of Florida football team to the national championship in two of the past three years.

Others worthy of your consideration:

Jerry Greiner, MA (A&S) '73, PhD (A&S) '74 -- president of Arcadia College in Pennsylvania since 2004, former provost of Hamline University in Minnesota, a practicing clinical psychologist

Beverly Malone, Nur '70, PhD (A&S) '82 -- CEO of the National League for Nursing, previously general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing in England for six years [Read more in the Proudly Cincinnati section.]

Diane Halpern, MA (A&S) '77, PhD (A&S) '79 -- chair and professor of psychology at Claremont McKenna College; director of the Berger Institute for Work, Family and Children; past president of the American Psychological Association; and author of more than 350 articles and 10 books

Thomas Roth, MA (A&S) '69, PhD (A&S) '71 -- director of research and director of the Sleep Disorders and Research Center, Henry Ford Health System, Detroit; internationally honored author of more than 275 articles and 109 chapters; author or editor of 12 volumes; former president of the U.S. Sleep Research Society, the American Sleep Disorders Association and the National Sleep Foundation I am proud to say that all of these distinguished people studied in the A&S psychology department.

Donald Schumsky, UC professor emeritus of psychology Cincinnati

I just visited the "UC Magazine" Web site for the first time. Curiosity led me to the Hollywood actors list. Just wanted to be certain that Earl Hamner was included. Indeed, he is well noted, as are so many other deserving alumni.

However, I see that the name of George Duning [CCM '33] is missing. When I was president of the CCM Alumni Association in the '80s, I had the honor of presenting Mr. Duning with our Distinguished Alumnus Award in recognition of his remarkable career as composer and arranger for films.

In his acceptance remarks he spoke glowingly of his CCM education, particularly about his having learned counterpoint while there. It was this skill that brought him special accolades when he accomplished what no one else in Hollywood had been able to do, despite their many attempts.

He combined two melodies, "Moon-glow" and the "Love Theme," in the film "Picnic." Beautiful to hear and done so smoothly that it can be quite easy to overlook the challenge that he faced.

The magazine appears to be in excellent hands. Continued success.

Bill Myers, CCM '54

I was shocked by the omission of Michael Bierut [DAAP '80], one of our era's most influential graphic designers, from your "100 Alumni Make Their Mark" article.

Since his graduation from UC's College of DAAP, Bierut has gone on to be named a vice president of design at Vignelli Associates, a partner at Pentagram and a member of the Art Directors Club Hall of Fame. He also has participated in the feature film "Helvetica," earned the American Institute of Graphic Arts Medal (the profession's highest honor), regularly contributed to the Public Radio International program "Studio 360" and had his works included in the permanent collections of a number of museums, including the Museum of Modern Art and the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum.

Derek Oyen, DAAP '94
Chesterland, Ohio

Submissions also recognized the following people:

  • Henry Winkler, A&S ’38, MA (A&S) ’40, HonDoc ’87, is the only alumnus to serve as a UC president, during which time he guided UC through the transition to a state institution. This year, UC named the Center for the History of the Health Professions in his honor. He is also a UC professor of history emeritus, a Taft Medal winner and an Award of Excellence winner. He retired from Rutgers, where a building was named in his honor.
  • Matt Risch, CCM ’04, performed in the title role of  “Pal Joey” on Broadway, appearing with Stockard Channing, during the winter. In November, Playbill wrote about Risch’s quick rise to stardom: He had been understudying the Tony-winning actor who had the lead in Pal Joey when the other fellow injured his foot during previews, and Risch nabbed the role permanently. He also appeared in  “Legally Blonde” and  “Chicago,” working everyday since he got off the bus in Manhattan, says dad Bob Risch.
  • Randall Whitescarver, CCM ’83 (aka C. Randall White), production stage manager for Broadway openings of “Ragtime,” “The Pirate Queen,” “Starlight Express” and “Sweet Charity”; world tours with Michael Crawford and Sarah Brightman; openings for Bette Midler and Barbara Streisand; most recently, “Dream Girls” in Korea — submitted by dad W.A. Whitescarver, MS (Eng) ’53, Montgomery, Ohio
  • Erik Sueberkrop, DAAP ’72, chairman and founding principal of the architectural firm Studios Architecture, San Francisco; design principal for UC’s new CARE/Crawley Building — submitted by Brad Dunn, DAAP ’82, Cincinnati
  • Courtney Baber, att. A&S ’90, Miss Ohio USA 1992 — submitted by Shelley Baber Jones, A&S ’87, JD ’90, Fullerton, Calif.
  • Laura Hedges, att. UC, back up dancer for the Pussycat Dolls — submitted by Frederick Hunter, RWC student
  • Nance Massarella, A&S ’73, San Francisco, archivist/transcriber on Mark Kitchell’s film  “Berkeley in the Sixties,” nominated for 1991 Academy Award for Best Documentary — submitted by Massarella
  • Donald Lawrence, CCM ’81, American gospel music artist and songwriter for groups such as the Clark Sisters and his own Donald Lawrence Presents the Tri-City Singers; record producer for a host of artists, including Kirk Franklin; vocal coach to the R&B group En Vogue
  • Tyrone Yates, A&S ’78, attorney, fourth-term Ohio state representative and former assistant Ohio attorney general, Cincinnati vice mayor and city councilman
  • Rodney Reynolds, att. DAAP ’80, president of RJR Communications, founder and publisher of American Legacy Magazine
  • Shawn Topps, DAAP ’83, a member of 100 Black Men of South Florida, which mentors African-American youth
  • Joffrey Caldwell, DAAP ’85, associate publisher of Sophisticated Groom magazine
  • Marjorie Moseley, A&S ’82, community activist, member of Cincinnati's Black United Front, which brought charges of racial profiling and brutality against the city police
    • last six submitted by Moseley, Lakewood Ranch, Fla.

Editor’s reply: As the magazine article pointed out,  “We looked at accomplishments that general readers would most recognize.” That left us choosing intriguing people over those with more significant contributions. With 236,500 UC alumni, we never expected a list of 100 to be exhaustive, which is why we asked readers to submit their own names. We thank you for doing so. Some of these suggestions we’ve written about before; some we simply overlooked. Some, like George Duning, were buried in the list, but readers missed them.

Favorite faculty

For a long time I've been meaning to submit memories of Austin Wright, who died in 2003.

Dr. Austin Wright (I could never comfortably call him Austin, though he encouraged me to once I was no longer his student) gave me nothing less than a way to look at life, not only literature. His method encouraged inquisitiveness and critical thinking. He showed us, rather than told us, how to enter a narrative from any number of points to determine what exactly was the point. In a way, he spoiled me, ruined forever my ability to look non-analytically at a short story, a novel, a movie or a play.
He also encouraged me to pursue my personal interests. When I wanted to write my dissertation on the female characters in Saul Bellow’s novels – before the days of Women’s Studies or Judaic Studies – he enabled me to do it and stuck with me although I was living in Kansas. He stayed in touch and responded helpfully and immediately, long before e-mail.
At the time I was an undergraduate, the English department had money from the Ford Foundation for a three-year master’s program. Students began taking accelerated courses in their junior year, wrote a senior thesis and studied on the MA level for one year. During that year, participants also were assigned to a professor/mentor, observing his or her classes, grading papers and occasionally teaching the professor’s classes.
In other words, rather than just throwing us into a classroom as teaching assistants, we had the opportunity to learn how to teach from the true masters. I was thrilled when Austin Wright told me that he had asked for me to be his assistant,  “if that’s all right with you.” I could not have imagined a greater honor.
I carry these memories with me as a blessing. Dr. Wright blessed us all. He was a great teacher and a gentle, caring human being.

Sherry Levy-Reiner, A&S ’68, MA (A&S) ’69, PhD (A&S) ’80
Washington, D.C.

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.

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