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UC Magazine

Letters to the Editor


Clap, clap, clap

Congratulations on the most recent issue of Horizons, which focuses on the University of Cincinnati as a "just community" [May 2000]. I was very pleased to see UC identify itself this way and read more articles in this issue more quickly than usual.

I recognized many of the names of those profiled in "90 Years of African American Heritage at UC" as friends of my parents, who are also UC graduates, and will share this article with the director of the Center for Black Culture and Research here at West Virginia University, where I am the director of women's studies.

In fact, I thought the issue was so excellent that I have ordered extra copies to give to our executive officer for social justice at West Virginia University. I also will share a copy with the editor of our university magazine and hope that he may want to use this as a model.

Thanks for providing such an important window into the history of UC.
Barb Howe, A&S '69, Ed '69
Director, Center for Women's Studies,
West Virginia University
Morgantown, W.V.

Congratulations on a great article on Women's Studies ["Women's Studies Satisfies Intellectual Hunger," May 2000]. The article was one of the best the magazine has ever done, in my view. (In fact, the whole issue was nicely put together.)

In the 1970s, of course, no one on the magazine staff would have any idea about doing a story on Women's Studies. We had to write our own stuff and submit it. So the magazine has grown, as well.
Dana Vannoy
First director of Women's Studies at UC
Williamsburg, Mich.

I just wanted to thank you for your very excellent article on Women's Studies, so well written and interesting. The article about the black alumni was awfully interesting, also.
Barbara Allen, A&S '50, MS (DAAP) '78
Co-president of Friends of Women's Studies
Via Internet

I've just read through the article on Women's Studies -- bravo! You've caught some really important things about our program. Thank you.
Lisa Hogeland
UC Associate Professor
English and Comparative Literature

We wish you well and must give you high praise for the materials that you have produced in the past. I thoroughly enjoy each and every issue. We read them from cover to cover. We are particularly fond of Debby Rieselman's articles.
Henry Federlin, Eng '49
Cherry Hill, N.J.

Legends live on


In the late 1930s, a scene from "Yes My Darling Daughter" feature, from left, Rosa Walker, Donald Spencer, Ernest Findlea, Louise Toliver, Letitia Thorpe White and Sam McTier.

I am sitting here with so many positive emotions after reading your story ["90 Years of African American Heritage at UC," May 2000]. It is truly a masterpiece. You really captured so much information in a very thought-provoking fashion. Thank you for presenting the Living Legends -- a story that has needed to be told for a long time!
Eric Abercrumbie, PhD (A&S) '87
UC director of Ethnic Programs and Services

"90 Years of African American Heritage at UC" [May 2000], about the travails of blacks at the University of Cincinnati and how they overcame, stirred up quite a bit of interest. Thinking you might be interested in putting some names with the group picture, I wrote former Quadres members. I am happy to report that I received an excellent response and have all the names.

"Yes My Darling Daughter"

Also from "Yes My Darling Daughter," from left, White, Carl Bush and Spencer.

For the 1947 picture [not printed online], which was my group, I have been able to add some additional information. Perhaps the names and the added information will make clear that perseverance has its rewards.
Ralph J. Bryson, Ed '47, MEd '50
Quadres president, 1947

Montgomery, Ala.

Congratulations on the outstanding May 2000 edition of "Horizons." As president of the student body from 1963-64, I had the opportunity of being involved as an undergraduate in a time of great turmoil on the issues of free speech, the Vietnam War and race relations.

As undergraduates, others and I successfully integrated for the first time both Metro (with Brig Owens, our outstanding All-American quarterback and future outstanding defensive back with the Redskins) and Sigma Sigma (with Tony Yates, our outstanding captain of the national champion Bearcats in '61 and '62). In addition, we conducted a forum and developed an ongoing group to discuss the status of race relations on our campus. One of the outgrowths of that was the integration for the first time of fraternity and sorority "rush."

At a time of great turmoil around the nation, particularly just to our south, these affirmative steps, while certainly not the answer to all of the racial problems confronting our campus, were steps that did begin the process of open discussion of racial issues as they related to the university and the undergraduate student body.

My only concern is the "Horizons" article that lists the University of Cincinnati's African American living legends. It is hard for me to imagine that this list does not include Oscar Robertson, Tony Yates, George Wilson or Brig Owens.

Again, you are to be commended for the edition and for a well-structured and highly readable magazine.
I. Lynn Mueller, BusAd '64, MBA '66
Albany, N.Y.

Editor's reply: The Living Legends honor was bestowed upon a group of alumni who were able to contribute to the campus symposium used to conclude the last century and welcome the new one. Rather than compiling a list that was all-inclusive, The African American Cultural and Research Center put together a group of people who represented all eight decades and who were able to attend the symposium (with the exception of the oldest male and female alumni). "There were a number of individuals who were asked, but could not make it," adds Eric Abercrumbie, PhD (A&S) '87, UC director of Ethnic Programs and Services. "Also, these individuals were not selected as the 'most outstanding' of their decade, but as outstanding representatives of their decade."

Thank you for your epic on African American life at the University of Cincinnati. We all shared in making a larger and larger participation in Cincinnati's major institution of higher learning.

From being excluded by the organizational charter of UC, we became a proportionate part of the student body, faculty, administration and research. Those 80 years were great, happy and meaningful times for those of us who lived them and which your history allowed us to relive.
Donald Spencer, A&S '36, Ed '37, MEd '40

Editor's reply: Although the 1858 wording in Charles McMicken's will has led people to believe that the university excluded blacks, the charter never did so, and the Board of Directors took the will to the U.S. Supreme Court to ensure that. McMicken's will bequeathed $1 million to the city of Cincinnati to found a university for "white boys and girls," yet the Supreme Court agreed with the board's interpretation that the will did not exclude people of color.

Even though the university opened its doors in 1870 with no exclusions, individual colleges did fail to admit blacks based upon an assumption that co-op employers would not hire them. Other colleges prohibited blacks before they joined the university. Prior to the 1950s, African Americans were pretty much restricted to two colleges, education and arts and sciences.

UC traces the first African American graduate of the entity known as the University of Cincinnati to Henry Malachi Griffin in 1886, and the first African American graduate of any program or college now connected to UC to William H. Parham of the Cincinnati Law School in 1874.

The Department of Archives and Rare Books is currently working on a Powerpoint presentation on the history of African Americans at UC.

I read the article on the African American legends ["90 Years of African American Heritage at UC," May 2000] and thought it was great. The article was particularly interesting to me because Georgia Beasley is a resident at the Marjorie P. Lee Center, one of the Episcopal retirement communities where I work. She was on channel 12 recently when the Cincinnati Symphony honored her. We plan to do a cover story on her for our magazine for the fall issue. Great lady!

Another thing that caught my eye was a picture of one of your African American Studies professors. I think his name was Chimsky. I had him when I went to UC for a course called the Black Child. I remember he told the class that white people who adopt black children are racist because they are trying to change black kids into white kids. I hope he is no longer on the faculty promoting this type of reverse racism to students. This is particularly a pertinent subject to my husband, Mike, in his job at the Department of Human Services. There is a whole controversy surrounding cross-racial adoption.
Tami Boehmer
Via Internet

Jucker scores again

Thanks for your extensive article about Ed Jucker and University of Cincinnati baseball over the years ["UC's Baseball Statesmen Return" and "Koufax Reunites With Coach Jucker," May 2000]. It was much fun reading the history.

Your file on Juck must not be complete since your article doesn't mention his playing time for the Cats back in the '30s. I've included a shot of the 1939 team of which Ed was captain, I believe.

Also, your mention of the team bus driver was very enlightening because it must be an inherited problem of our drivers. We had a real wild man known as Baldy Kyle drive our 1932 Ford B model bus, which he did with reckless abandon.

I hope some day you might do a piece on Scotty Kolp who was the legendary trainer of the athletics department, had been a professional boxer in the featherweight division and was loved by all the guys he helped condition.

PS: I can't quite understand the quote about "building a better baseball facility." Bench field looks like heaven compared to what we once had.
Milt Strasser, A&S '40
Troy, Ohio

What a pleasant surprise to receive the magazines with your sports article in it. I thoroughly enjoyed reliving the emotional weekend at the University of Cincinnati, and your article highlighted the main events. Spending two days with Sandy Koufax was an added thrill.
Ed Jucker, Ed '40
Okatie, S.C.

I think you did a great job in this last "Horizons" issue. Everyone I've spoken to commented how great it was, not only a great affair, but the write-up was fantastic. I just spoke with Ed Jucker just a couple minutes ago. He was overly pleased with it. You really did a great job. I'm proud of you, and thank you so much.
Ike Misali, BusAd '55, MBA '63
Former Bearcat baseball captain

Your article was very well written. It was a great weekend of festivities for Coach Ed Jucker. The athletic department and Ike Misali [former team captain] did an outstanding job planning and organizing the kickoff for the Ed Jucker Endowment fund.
Danny Gilbert, BusAd '58
Minford, Ohio

Ratings won't die

Though I did not see your article on university ratings, I read with great interest the letters ["Editorial Missed Mark"] written to you and published in your May 2000 issue.

Based on my experience at the College of Engineering Department of Chemical Engineering, I would have to rate the University of Cincinnati way down at the bottom of the list. There were three experiences that brought me to this conclusion.

In a junior-year course in electro chemistry, I got a conditional grade. I got some off-campus instruction, found the material quite easy and passed the conditional removal exam with a grade of 95 percent.

After graduating engineering day school, I took night school courses in liberal arts. There I found what really high-level instruction was. My night school teachers were excellent.

However, it was only after undertaking some teaching myself that I fully realized how poor the instruction in the College of Engineering had been.
Ted Isaacs, Eng '36, Eve '44

Mistakes still haunt

After all your apologies concerning errors in the last issue, I hate to bring the following to your attention, but William Shakespeare's name does, indeed, include an "e" at the end, despite your caption on page 33. (Unless, of course, the Globe Theatre to which you refer belonged to a different Shakespear.) Cheers.
Terrell Finney
Head, CCM Division of Opera, Musical Theater, Drama and Arts Administration

Editor's reply: Oh, "what's in a name?" -- as the Bard himself would say. Embarrassment, that's what!

It did win

I read with great interest the article "It's Not About Winning" [January 2000, in print only] about the athletes at the University of Cincinnati and their community involvement. It was great. I have been looking for articles like this and have even spoken to Bill Walker, the UC chief athletic trainer, to see what could be done to paint a much better image of UC's athletes in our city. I have always believed that they were good guys (at least most are) and we need to sing their praises more often.

I wish this article would run in the local papers, as well. Most Cincinnatians will not see this article and need to. These guys need some positive press as does the entire sports program. It is a terrific mission.

Thanks for all you do for UC and "Horizons."
Sharry (Patterson) Addison, Ed '61

Credit due more alumni

The "Blame UC" article in January 2000 was interesting for several reasons. We recognized several names and their contributions to our lives.

Our mom, Dorothy Miller Fuentes, A&S '26, Ed '27, kept the UC diaries and her notes about her experiences there. She went on to teach for 30 years in the Cincinnati Public Schools.

Our dad, Daniel Fuentes, Eng '26, came to the university from Chile, South America. He was drawn here particularly by the co-op program. Once a part of Champion Paper, he stayed there for 22 years.

In May 1941, he was part of a team that developed the paper milk carton. One of the challenges to overcome was how to sterilize it. Unlike glass, you cannot boil paper, so they simply boiled the wax that coated the inside of the carton.

On Feb. 8, 1942, Hamilton [Ohio] went on a two-hour time difference than Cincinnati. The purpose was to spread out peak times of using electricity, but it also forced a choice between family life and work schedules, so our dad left Champion and took a job with George Sperti, Eng '23 [mentioned in the "Horizons" article].

At that time, he worked on their burn ointment product. The ingredient that accelerated the healing of damaged tissue also caused yeast spore problems on the wooden mixing paddles. At our dad's suggestion, they switched from wood to metal paddles.

Also, during World War II, he sent an idea of using crystals to improve bomb sights to the Navy. He received a letter of thanks as it was put into practice. Both of our parents recognized UC for its contribution to their lives. In turn, they were instrumental in our choice to come to UC, too.
Carmela Fuentes Werner, A&S '63
Elena Fuentes Stothfang, Ed '68