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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.

Smiles for video

What beautiful work the "Faces of UC" video is. Everyone in the video smiles wonderfully and so looks truly beautiful. Who wouldn't want to be on that campus! Congratulations. This is quite marvelous.

Judith Spraul-Schmidt
Assistant professor of history
Raymond Walters College

Cheers for diversity

Thank you for the excellent issue on UC's current state of diversity. It's very exciting to see the many positive developments since the '40s, when I was a student. At that time, for example, African-American students were expected to use the separate Quadres lounge. At least, this prompted an awareness of, and a lifelong interest in, encouraging diversity for this graduate of the virtually all-white (at the time) Western Hills High School.

Also, in the picture of the Western Hills cheerleaders, Jerome Lehrer, class of '43, is to the left of Saul Marmer, not the right. And as a fellow Western Hills '43 grad, I always like to hear news of "our" Don Poynter [Bus '49].

Jeanne Kallmeyer Snyder, A&S '48
Boulder, Colo.

Inspiring, compelling

Congratulations on an outstanding March magazine. The memoir of President Williams was compelling and inspiring, along with the related articles on burning questions and challenges of the president's office. I also appreciated the 30-year historical review of change as seen from my earlier years at UC in the late '40s. After I returned from military service in 1947, I was proud to be in the first classes held in the "new" McMicken Hall. Changes have emerged since then at a fantastic rate.  

George Dershimer, A&S '50

Congratulations on a truly beautiful issue. The hardships, travails and accomplishments of President Williams impart a human flavor to an otherwise distant, remote office. I am sure that everyone cried or was stunned as they imagined the deep shattering of those young lives. Thank you for an inspiring issue.

Charlene Hagen
Scarborough, Maine

Having read Dr. Williams' book and given it to everyone I know to read, I gobbled up the article about his memoir. I am so proud to have him as our president at UC. I hope to meet him one day!

Garnet Greenspan Silverblatt, A&S '47

I just read President Williams' story. What an incredibly moving, unbelievable article. Growing up in the 1950s and '60s in Louisiana, I strongly related to it as a white person who saw blacks ostracized. He must be an incredibly strong individual with great character. Thank you for sharing that.

Susan White, editor, SMU Magazine
Southern Methodist University

Enough diversity

I would like to "second" the letter written to you about your famous diversity issue. [The letter said the issue had "sounded an alarm regarding family values currently being promoted by the university in the name of diversity."] Many of us have had more than enough diversity.

Jim Mathers, Eng '76
Rochester, N.Y.

Debating Christian viewpoints

We wanted to say how much we appreciated the October article "Seeking Safe Spaces: Alumnus Assesses Campus Climate for Gay Students." As Christians, we are sick and tired of hearing people state that respect and love for homosexuals is contrary to the teachings of Christ. Just as slave-owners would cite archaic and culturally obsolete portions of the Bible to support their continued ownership of slaves, modern-day Pharisees and Sadducees resort to antiquated Mosaic statutes (which can be found in Leviticus near to those which state that one who curses one's parents should be put to death or prohibit the eating of pork and rabbit) to support their beliefs.

If someone doesn't like homosexuality, say so. But don't distort the teachings of Christ who, in fact, noted that there are "eunuchs (often interpreted as homosexuals) born that way from their mother's womb" (Matt. 19:12). He commanded that, as Christians and as sinners, ours is not to judge. Rather ours is to love the Lord with all of our hearts, minds and souls, and love our brothers and sisters -- homosexual or heterosexual -- as ourselves.

Thank you, UC, for celebrating all of God's unique and beautiful creations. Together, we can use our God-given talents to solve the real threats to family values.

Jim, medical residency '86, and Cindy Roberts
Proud parents of two UC students
Toledo, Ohio

photo of the married Bearcats

Bearcat bride ID'd

I was the girl in the photo of the married Bearcats, and I remember doing a few parades with Don Poynter [DAAP '78, another student who wore the mascot costume, but not to be confused with Dad, mentioned in a letter in the first column]. The costume was layered, heavy and so hot that we would stop in a store to take the head off and get hydrated.

During the football season, we were hidden in a big megaphone that they brought onto the field before the game, and we popped out of a door on the megaphone in the center of the field as the band played the fight song. Those are great memories of great school spirit.

Denise Sebastiano, Ed '77
Deer Park, Ohio

UC Women's Field Hockey

Field hockey names

Editor's note:  We received many contacts from readers identifying the women's field hockey players in the 1955 On Campus Yesterday photo in our March issue. On the right is Arline (Durbin) Adams, Ed '56, who Trish Turner Covode, Ed '65, Cincinnati, and Janet Wherry, MEd '65, Raleigh, N.C., both recognized as being their North College Hill High school physical education teacher. Nancy Chapman, Ed '56, who played on the team with her, recalled that Durbin's nickname was "Ace." Durbin finally called us herself and pointed out that she had received UC's Woman Athlete of the Year Award her senior year and played for one year with a Dayton team that was close to a professional level. Goalie Margaret Moseheart, Ed '56, MEd '61, stands partially hidden behind Julia Langsam, wife of UC president Walter Langsam, shown dropping the ball. The following letter identifies the player on the left:

The woman on the left is Beatrice "Beatty" Cadwallader Wharton, Ed '54. She now lives in Peachtree City, Ga., with me, her husband of 56 years.

Beatty was named UC's Woman Athlete of the Year in 1954. She retired in 1997 after a teaching career in Cincinnati and Miami, Fla., and in business as mana-ger of a temporary employment agency in Dayton, Ohio. We have four children and four grandchildren. Our oldest son, Charles Rayburn, is a graduate of the UC College of Law, '72.

Our two granddaughters are both accomplished field hockey players. The older, Amy, is a junior at Johns Hopkins University, where she was named most valuable player in 2009. The younger, Madeline, is a senior at Strathaven High in Swarthmore, Pa., where she received all SW Pennsylvania Conference honors. She will play field hockey this fall at MIT.

Charles "Buck" Wharton, A&S '53, MD '57
Peachtree City, Ga.

Captivating issues

I've put it off for far too long, but I'm now taking time to congratulate the staff on putting together an excellent publication. The content, images and themes of each issue are captivating. I especially enjoyed the March 2010 issue featuring transformation over time from many different aspects. I look forward to each issue. Keep up the good work. You make us proud.

Vashti Swan, MPA '87
Former DAAP coordinator of promotions and marketing

Misperceptions on 1970

I usually enjoy reading "UC Magazine," but was dismayed by the back cover of the March 2010 issue. "Attention Class of 1970" misleadingly suggests that the university closure in 1970 was due to Kent and Jackson State deaths. The News Record editorial of May 8, 1970, "Perversion of Purpose," does a much better job of background, saying:

"Essentially, students at UC were committed to peace; the more radicalized protestors, however, have been stimulated to such a degree that they have become susceptible to the influence of persons from outside who have come here to lead violent revolution.

"Until Wednesday, protests at UC were admirable and served an important purpose. Now, the sincerely peaceful students have been urged to damage the University."

This aligns with my recollection of why the university closed.

Gil Waechter, Bus '71, MBA '72
Troy, Mich.

Editor's reply:The original copy read, "UC campus closed weeks before graduation in 1970, following the deaths of student war protestors at Kent State and Jackson State. Though UC did hold a commencement that year, many seniors missed it, having already moved home."

We also received a phone call from Missy Lane who objected to our simplification of the "deaths of student war protestors." Two of the slain students were not protesting at all, she said; one was simply walking across campus, and one was watching. 

We did not intend to offer a full explanation of why campus closed in the two sentences accompanying the ad, but simply wanted to put the situation in a historical context that would resonate with people, so we could explain the Alumni Association event for alumni who graduated that year. We apologize to anyone who was offended.

View special documentary of 1970 unrest at UC.

Out-of-pace costs

My wife, Jeannette Greeb, graduated from UC in 1964 and '67 with bachelor's and master's degrees in microbiology. I graduated from the University of Denver in 1959 and 1960.

In 1964, tuition at UC, run by the city of Cincinnati, was about $200 per quarter or $600 per year, as best my wife can remember. The rate of tuition increase was low until 1980, less than 4 percent.

People tell me the "average" rate of inflation for the past 50 or so years has been about 4 percent. Had tuition kept pace with the Consumer Price Index, or rate of inflation, the 1980 tuition would have been $1,123, vs. the reported $1,005 in the March 2010 "UC Magazine." This was close, so it indicated that government support and costs attributed to student education were kept under control.

In the '50s, I was able to pay for tuition at a private school with a half-tuition scholarship and a part-time job at barely above the minimum wage. Today it would be impossible to attend UC or any other public college, much less a private college, without going deeply into debt.

I suggest this needs to be addressed, so that higher education becomes more affordable to the commoner. Otherwise we'll have an ever-enlarging gap between "haves" and "have nots."

Henry Greeb
Rockford, Mich.

Reply from Greg Hand, A&S '74, associate vice president of UC public relations: While it is logical to assume that "inflation" is a single thing, government accounting groups recognize several different types of inflation. The Consumer Price Index measures changing costs for things consumers buy (gasoline, food, clothing, rent, etc.). The Higher Education Price Index measures changing costs for things colleges and universities buy (books, computers, buildings, etc.). For the past 15 years, the HEPI has outpaced the CPI in all but one year -- often by a significant margin.

Technology, for example, has made higher education significantly more expensive than it was when chalk was a significant part of the HEPI. It is estimated that data networks and systems cost the equivalent of a new building every five years or so. The structure for faculty salaries has also changed significantly in recent decades, with industry competition driving up salaries in key fields.

Nevertheless, UC spends more than other institutions in two areas. Debt service for our award-winning, renovated campus has led to higher than normal facilities costs. The university also spends more on our faculty than the average institution, a sign that students here are more likely to be taught by a professor than by a graduate student or an adjunct instructor.

Finally, UC's status as a public university has been an evolving issue since UC joined the state system in 1977. At that time, state tax dollars provided approximately 40 percent of UC's income; today, less than 20 percent is state funding.

That state support is critical to holding down tuition was apparent over the past four years when UC did not increase tuition. We achieved that economy by a significant increase in state funding, as well as more than $40 million in budget cuts.

'UC Magazine' receives kudos

"UC Magazine" recently won two awards in the Bronze Quill competition of the International Association of Business Communicators -- An Award of Excellence for a year's worth of print magazines and an Award of Merit for the magazine's website.

For the print magazine, judges commented, "As good of a university magazine as I have seen -- better than most corporate publications. The publication elicits a strong emotional response. Great use of graphics, color, paper, page size and people photos. Human element is highly effective. Very enticing to the readers' eyes. Exceedingly strong work plan. Content excels in representing varying alumni positions and needs."


See a list of UC Magazine's awards

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.