Letters to the Editor
The last two issues of "UC Magazine" were great and brought back lots of memories of the NCAA basketball championships of 1961 and "62 over Ohio State. When I saw the team pictures in the December 2010 issue, I laughed as I have both pictures framed together along with autographs from Oscar Robertson (even though he was not on those teams) and Tony Yates. It is great to see that UC will celebrate these championships over the next two years.
In the April 2011 issue, I saw that alumni are looking for videos of those championships. While I don't have videos of the games, I do have a unique video that was originally taken with an 8mm camera when the team came back to our fieldhouse after the championship. I have Paul Hogue carrying the trophy high above his head, then each player being recognized as they stood on a chair and were announced.
Obviously, there's no sound. (Remember, folks, it was 50 years ago). I took the videos as I did a lot of that for the SAE [Sigma Alpha Epsilon] fraternity at the time. I later put it on a DVD for our pledge class"s 50th reunion.
It was also great to see a letter from Hal McGlathery, Bus "62, from West Virginia. Interestingly, we went to grade school together before I moved to Cincinnati. Years later, I met Hal as we registered as freshmen in 1958, and he was a cheerleader during our championship seasons.
Hal is on the video, also, as well as coaches Ed Jucker [Ed '40] and Tay Baker [Ed '50, MEd '57]. I was also on that train ride to Evansville that Hal wrote about when we had a playoff with Bradley for the Missouri Valley Championship. I will never forget all of us loading into cars to go to Fountain Square to celebrate that first championship -- hanging off the Tyler Davidson Fountain and snake-dancing all through downtown Cincinnati.
Years later, we moved to Chicago, and I met a neighbor in 1971 who invited me and my wife, Sandy, to his house for dinner. As we walked in, he was playing a tape of the 1963 UC-Loyola of Chicago Championship game, which we lost in overtime. We would have been the first team to win three in a row.
He smiled and said he was on the Loyola team that beat us. It was not an enjoyable meal, but we became close friends with Tom Markey and his wife, Marge, who now live in Cincinnati.
I am going to send a copy of the video to "UC Magazine." I may hear from many alums, but hope Hal McGlathery reads this and wants a copy.
Mike Simpson, Bus. '63
Band set stage for '61 champs
I was in what was known as "the varsity band," the first full UC band to play at tournament games. The year before, UC had sent a 12-piece pick-up group to the national finals in San Francisco; however, in the '60-61 season, the band became official under the direction of Bob Hornyak.
Prior to the start of the UC-Ohio State final in 1961, Hornyak had us play "Across the Field," Ohio State"s fight song. We started it off at the regular, rousing tempo, and the Buckeye fans went wild. Then Hornyak slowed it down to a funeral dirge and set the stage for the game to come.
Larry Shuman, Eng '65
Cheer UC goals
We both agree how much we enjoy getting the magazine. Every article is so pertinent. The photos in the April issue are especially beautiful and could be postcards -- proceeds to the Alumni Association, perhaps.
We both appreciate and value the education we have from UC, and we continue classes through the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. But a good education from pre-K through college does not end with a degree.
Enhancing our own lives with critical-thinking skills, influencing our children"s values and enabling us to make contributions to society through work and volunteerism has immeasurable dollar value. We cheer the wonderful growth and goals of UC and other fine institutions of education and humanitarianism.
Renee, A&S '77, and James Durham, MS (Eng) '71
No space for sports clubs
In the picture of Sheakley Lawn in the April 2011 issue [at right], you refer to students playing Frisbee when in actuality they are playing a game called Ultimate. The fact that they are sharing the field with another sport (lacrosse), both of which require a full-sized field to play the game correctly, reminded me of the ongoing problem of field space at UC.
I played Ultimate at UC in the early 1990s, and we had no field on which we could plan a practice then. We had to play on poorly maintained fields off campus. Unfortunately, that is still the case.
Even after adding Sheakley Lawn and the "bubble" [for indoor varsity team practices, especially football and lacrosse], club sports still cannot reserve a field for a specific timeframe and must compromise with each other if teams show up at the same time. I understand that scholarship sports come first and that the university wants equal access to green space for all students, but I feel there could be something done about this situation.
Club sports like Ultimate, lacrosse and rugby would undoubtedly become better at UC if there was a place for them to reserve a field for a couple of hours (even if it's at 11 p.m.). Most universities I know, including Xavier, allow reserving fields for practices, and I am very curious as to why UC has held on to their policy of hindering the potential of club sports by not allowing them to reserve practice space on campus.
R. Keith Allen, Pharm '95
Editor's reply: Sheakley Lawn is a turf-covered field created specifically for anyone to use at anytime. As such, it cannot be reserved.
Campus creates pride
I read the "UC After Hours" magazine from cover to cover and enjoyed every page of it.
I began my college training when I won a scholarship from Roger Bacon High School in 1943. By the time my high school class graduated, I had almost completed the first year of my college coursework because of an accelerated program.
When I finished my first year as a chemical engineering freshman in 1944, World War II was in full progress, and like many Americans, I felt that being in college was not for me. I withdrew and joined the U.S. Navy. In 1946, I came back to the College of Engineering through the GI Bill, and because I had electronic training in the Navy, I changed my major to electrical engineering.
Last year, I toured the campus with my brother-in-law, who graduated from the College of Medicine, and I couldn't believe how much it had changed. If I had been dropped off anywhere on the campus, I doubt that I could have found my way to the old haunts of the 1940s. The campus is really different.
It's a place to be proud of, and I am proud to tell people I'm a grad of UC. Thank you for publishing the magazine.
Raymond Pohlman Jr., Eng '51
The magazine I received last week is magnificent. The concept, organization, text and super photography all blend to produce that magnificence. Inspiring! Well done!
My heartiest congratulations on the "After Hours" issue. It was a true work of publishing perfection. How things have changed since 1948!
Forrest "Frosty" Respess, CCM '48
Enjoyed this issue very much. It's worth keeping. Thanks.
parent of student Sean Goss
Congratulations to "UC Magazine" with its images of UC after hours. I shared it with a UC alumnus from 1946, and she was amazed and impressed at the changes.
Jean Kareth, Ed '58, MS (Ed) '64
The editions of "University of Cincinnati Magazine" are terrific. The magazine is beautiful and so interesting to read. Thanks for producing such a great product! It is very upscale.
Ann Moore, Nur '56 (Snugli inventor)
Thank you so much for the informative "University of Cincinnati Magazine." However, I would like to add my own perspective on the history depicted in the letter headlined "'70 Campus Closing."
On April 30, 1970, President Nixon appeared on television to say that he had invaded Cambodia to cut off supply routes to the North Vietnamese attacking South Vietnam. College students nationwide reacted with protest rallies. (Many students who were eligible for the draft protested loudest, believing the Cambodian incursion would extend the duration of the war.)
At UC, students marched down Clifton Avenue then dispersed. That week, however, the protesting escalated, and students occupied the UC Administration Building, abetted by cheering crowds outside.
After a day of being ignored by UC's president, some engineering students realized that the administration building was not vital to university operations. So they led 75 to 100 students from the administration building to the building housing the university financial offices and computers. An administrator tried to block the entrance, but the students rushed in. By the next day, the university announced it was closing temporarily, and the buildings were cleared.
Some students drove to Washington, D.C., for an anti-war rally near the White House. During our return trip, the media reported the deaths at Kent State. After that, Gov. Rhodes closed all state-owned universities, and UC also closed. Since most classes were never completed, most students received marks of "pass" for the quarter.
The protests were not popular with all students. Some protested the disruption to their education, and many continued to attend classes and to study without taking sides. Some of us even changed sides due to the recession. After protesting against the war in 1970, I served in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1971-73.
Tom Hower, Eng '71
San Gabriel, Calif.
We originally found the photo in files at UC's Archives and Rare Books Department. We knew nothing more than the college and year, but we believed our readers would fill in the missing data if asked. And you certainly did.
More than two dozen of you identified the beloved professor Phil Foster, wearing his signature bow tie. Some of you also furnished student IDs. Imagine our surprise when the female student in the picture, Suzi Lesh Gerstl, called us one day to share her story, too. Finally, the photographer contacted us.
Born in Elsmere, Ky., Phil Foster (1915-99) [left in photo] was a painter and art educator who often exhibited in group exhibitions both locally and internationally. He received his BFA from the Art Academy of Cincinnati in 1933 and an honorary doctorate in 1986. After his undergraduate study, Foster worked for Burton Rogers as a commercial artist in Product Presentations. He was an instructor at UC from 1947-86 in the College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning.
Below we share a letter from Gerstl, a note from the photographer and excerpts from other alumni letters. Thanks for taking our little request so seriously.
Students in photo identified
I was surprised to see a photograph of our painting class (c. 1963) in your April issue. In an instant, I was back 48 years ago sitting in the studio listening to the gravelly voice of professor Foster, smelling paint and linseed oil, and enjoying DAA's endless view of Burnet Woods. The unidentified are: professor Phil Foster, Bill Seiple, Stan Waechter and myself.
Those were golden years, our time of artistic endeavor. The campus was small, and everyone knew each other at least by sight. No computers, cell phones or even color TVs to distract us.
We studied in an ultramodern building at the edge of campus, complete with a gem of a library on the second floor. Students in DAA worked long hours, but it was a labor of love.
We had amazing students and professors: Mr. Quale, freehand drawing; Mr. Grooms and Mr. Foster, painting; Hope Warner, history of civilization; Dr. Issay Balinkin, physics; plus many others. All were authorities and inspiring.
Beautiful, calm and insightful Mary Light headed our department. She never missed a beat and led us girls in design technique.
There was little pressure. We put that on ourselves. Rather, we were encouraged to follow our creative spirit.
It wasn"t all work -- lots of parties, almost every weekend. At one luau, the guys brought in sand for the floor and fashioned palm trees. At another, we met in a former speakeasy. The exotic Beaux Arts Ball gave "arties" a chance to strut their stuff.
And who could forget the super elegant dinner thrown by Lambda Chi's? It was going great until a loud explosion emanated from the kitchen. Their ambitious baked Alaska had taken a turn for the worse and blew up all over everywhere. No problem. We scraped it up and enjoyed every morsel.
It was a wonderful run. I treasure the time spent at UC. Thank you for your beautiful magazine and bringing back memories.
Suzi Lesh Gerstl, DAAP '63
By now, I'm sure you've had a flurry of responses to the back-page photo. It's nice to see one of my many photographs from the '63 Cincinnatian. It felt like I lived on campus that year since I spent endless hours at the yearbook's Union office.
I'm still a Clifton resident, just a couple of miles away. It's hard to imagine that when we graduated, the campus had totaled 10,000 full-time day students. My, how the time flies!
Anita Stith Marks, DAAP '63
Designer/editor-in-chief/photographer, 1963 Cincinnatian
Excerpts from other letters about Phil Foster
I would stop in to see Phil Foster when I could get to town. In later years at DAAP, when students wore interesting clothes and had spiked, colored hair, he would look out the door at them and say, "Aren't they just beautiful?" He always loved students so much.
At the canvas, I think, is Roger Barron. I was in advertising and interior design, and Roger was in interior design, I believe.
Mary McMullen Schultz, DAAP '63
I graduated from the School of Architecture. The professor is our beloved Philip Foster. I had him for freehand drawing, as all of the architectural students did. I still get a Christmas card from his wife [Jane, DAAP & Ed '37] after all of these years.L.
Edward Kime, DAAP '60
Phil Foster was a wonderful artist and an excellent teacher. He always wore a bow tie that matched the color of his socks, even in the 1970s. He lost an eye in an accident and had a glass eye that he would pop out during class to wipe off with his handkerchief.
Phil Foster was my mentor, teacher and adviser. I always kept in touch with him, and in the early '80s, I visited him out at his studio in Miamitown, where his wife still lives.
He was such a good teacher, and he really pushed his students to be better. He always made you think and was a very tough critic.
In painting class, if your water was too dirty, he would flick his cigarette ashes in the bucket. That was his signal to get clean water. Believe it or not, in the 1970s, we could smoke in class.
I remember that when we were seniors, he told us that in 10 years only 10 percent of us would still be doing art. I wish I could tell him that I am one of those 10 percent, and I owe it to him.
Suzanne Rusconi Accetta, DAAP '75
Phil, I thought, was a great art teacher when I was a student and, later, a wonderful friend once I became an associate professor of architecture in DAAP. Phil had a great, dry sense of humor that was pronounced during faculty parties, especially between him and professor Robert Deshon [see next letter]. Their relationship has been the basis for great memories and storytelling.
Don Stevens, DAAP '60
That's Phil Foster, artist and raconteur, sharing his expertise with the youth of 1962. Their varied facial expressions and body postures were familiar to faculty. The photo is appropriate for the "after dark" issue of "UC Magazine" because Phil kept the light burning during his night classes.
He and my husband, architect Robert [A&S '34, DAAP '39], both had afternoon class until 4:30 or 5 p.m., then dinner in the faculty dining room and maybe a quick lie-down in the lounge before night class at 6:30 p.m. Fortunately, that schedule was not a permanent one.
The "UC Magazine" staff is doing an excellent job. It just seems to my 91-year-old eyes that the print gets smaller with each issue.
Miriam Deshon, A&S '41
Phil Foster used to sit and visit with students, as the picture shows. He was an exceptional teacher and had great rapport with his students.
Alice Springfield, DAAP & Ed '66
Fort Collins, Colo.
The stories we could tell you about Phil. We had a life class with him, and the famous life model was Florence. She would come out in draped fabric and pose.
Someone in class, who shall remain unnamed, put handprint paint splotches on the fabric with paint the same color as the fabric, so you couldn't see it. Florence got up from lying on the floor, and she had handprints on her butt and all over.
Judy Walters Powers, DAAP & Ed '57
Phil Foster, a painter and a great guy, always had time for students and their needs. I was an adjunct instructor in the mid '70s, and Phil was one of my favorite faculty.
The haircut, glasses and bowtie are unmistakable of Phil Foster, DAA's esteemed painting prof. His widow, Jane, cares for Phil's legacy of beautiful watercolors and arranges for exhibits.
Jane Naberhaus Gardner, DAAP & Ed '57
Phil Foster was an excellent teacher. He hosted his students at his home from time to time. I hope he is not forgotten.
Jack Iams, DAAP '56
I came here in '73, and Phil Foster became one of my mentors. He made a place for me in the university and was part of the group who created an art department at the college. I have gratitude for those who came before me.
Professor, DAAP School of Art
Phil and Jane Foster lived on the banks of the Miami River, and I used to go out there to fish. I rarely caught anything,
but it was a lovely spot. Thanks for the memories.
I don't know the name of the young woman, but I do remember her walking through the open end of the quadrangle on her way to and from DAA.
William White, Eng. '63
The cinder block classroom denotes the DAA part of the building that faces the driveway.
Assistant to the dean, DAAP
Old-time memory of Foster
Phil Foster must have been born a curmudgeon. He was a wizened Popeye of a man who was the greatest art teacher I will ever have. He's the only person I've known who could mix white, yellow and green pigment into a beautiful blue hue.
Most of the mythic stories about him are true. I witnessed this iconic example: Phil didn't teach you to draw; he taught you to see.
His technique involved capturing a still life with a single line that divided your canvas precisely in half. The drama of that first line could be something to behold, but its complexity often eluded even the best of us.
When an ashtray was not close at hand and a student's work somehow deserved it, Phil would put out his ever-present cigarette in a strategic location on your drawing. Funny thing was, it often made an interesting composition out of a mediocre exercise.
Jeff Seibert, DAAP '81
Editor's note: Several years ago, the above came into the online magazine as a Favorite Faculty submission. We thought it was worth running in this edition of the print magazine, even though it is dated.
Just an FYI: In the magazine photo showcasing CCM and UC Choir groups at Feast of Carols, all the young men wearing blue vests are not UC students. They are the St. Xavier High School Choir.
UC professor, radiology & otolaryngology,
head & neck surgery
20th anniversary stirs dusty memories
June 23 marked two decades since UC pancaked its tallest building with 520 pounds of dynamite. In about seven seconds, 27 stories were nothing but rubble. To celebrate the anniversary, "UC Magazine" posted a 1991 CCM-TV video online. Watch Sander Hall implode once again, read more stories or submit your own.
The 'sand' in Sander
I lived in Sander for my freshman year, 1975-76, then returned as an RA for 1977-78 and '78-79. We had a great group of folks, a crazy group, which was needed because those were crazy times.
One moment of many stands out. I was studying on a Sunday morning. The RA rooms were next to the trash chute, and my room on the sixth floor was right at the bend where the trash came down and changed course, or was slowed down, before making its way to the Dumpsters.
As I sat there that morning, I heard this odd "whooooshing" noise and then a huge SMACK as something hit the bend. I stepped out of the room, and there was this sandy, dusty stuff floating around in the air. The smoke detectors then went off, and we evacuated as per usual.
Upon investigating further, we figured out that the guys upstairs -- on the 19th or 20th floor -- had a beach party the night before, complete with sand-filled baby pools.
When they dumped the sand down the trash chute Sunday morning, it smacked the bend at my room and sent up a cloud of dust that got everybody up and out the door.
Sander Hall RAs
Steve Magas of Cincinnati sent in this classic image [above] of the Sander resident advisers in the late ’70s along with his best recollection of the people in the photo. Can readers fill in the missing name or miscellaneous graduation information?
Back row, from left: Warren Blank, MBA ’81, PhD (Bus) ’83; Greg Reinert; and Mike McGraw, Bus ’80.
Middle row: Steve Magas, Ed & A&S ’79; Tanya (?); Dennis Patton, Bus ’78, MBA ’79; Franscai LoDido Dietrich, A&S ’80; Liz Worman Gantzer, BSW ’79; Chuck Coletta, Eng ’83; Dwayne Cubbage, Bus ’80; Susan Wendling Pagrabs, ASC ’77, BSW ’79; Ron Margolis, A&S ’79.
Front row: Steve Daniel, RWC ’78; Claire Rozman, Nur ’82; Laurie Rebolet; Melinda Varga Schraider, Bus ’80; Kevin Fells; and Earlise Smith-Norris, CCM ’72, MS (Ed) ’74, MEd ’77. Front, on elbow: Steve Gravenkemper, A&S ’79.
I was also at the implosion. A neighbor of mine worked for the construction company involved and got me a "backstage" pass. I took my 8mm video camera and a large garbage bag because I figured there might be some dust. There had also been warnings that week that there might have been asbestos used in Sander. I watched it fall, and recorded it, from a fairly close perspective near the church.
It was like Derby Day with ladies dressed in fancy clothes and hats. When that thing came down, a huge cloud went up and moved directly toward us. It was pandemonium with everybody was racing around. I was very happy I'd brought a camera bag with me.
In a few minutes, I rewound the video to check it out and make sure I got it. Then I shot a few minutes of the aftermath. Except I forgot that I had rewound the film before starting to shoot new scenes, so I taped over the great footage of the building going down. Fortunately, my sis knew a fellow who collected news footage and had him put together a VHS tape of all the news stories back to back so I got to see it from every angle later.
Steve Magas, Ed & A&S '79
'Sander Box' nickname
Sander Hall, or "Sander Box" as I called it, presented a unique weight-loss opportunity for me as I took the stairs and lived on the 17th floor. The view was spectacular. My room, number 1760, faced downtown, and I enjoyed it.
I was a transfer student in 1975-76, and the floors were co-ed by suites (i.e., men and women lived on the same floor). The walls were quite soundproof; I don't remember being kept awake by Queen, Bowie, Pure Prairie League, the Allman Bros, Elvis Costello, Genesis or Springsteen.
It was interesting observing human behaviors during fire drills that sometimes happened late on weekend nights. Partying students had a difficult time negotiating the stairs to the ground.
I also remember students canvassed the endless traffic flow of students in and out of Sander Box to campaign for Jimmy Carter. I recall a Jimmy Carter peanut roach clip, an unusual souvenir of that era.
It was really a nice dorm, with convenient showers and ample space in all of the rooms.
Ruth Rossi, DAAP '78
'Death to Disco' party
I lived in Sander Hall 1976-80 as an RA on the 10th floor for three years. My floor always held the best keg parties with the biggest party utilizing the cafeteria connected to Sander.
In the mid-'70s, you were either a disco lover or a disco hater, so we held a "death to disco" party. There were lots of kegs -- so many that we shorted out half the campus. And there were lots of crushed disco records, which everyone put in a casket as they entered. Yes, a real casket purchased at Smilin' Sam's at the bottom of Vine Street.
Glad to see that disco really did die and that rock and roll is still alive and well.
Mike McGraw, Bus '80
A place for 'transparency'
I lived in Sander Hall from 1974-77, the last year as an RA on the 17th floor. It was a great place to live and meet friends.
I remember specifically when the Reds won back-to-back World Series how much we came together as a group to celebrate. I also remember when the movie "Roots" showed, and the TV room was packed.
One funny item I was told, as were many, was that when the building was constructed, the windows were installed the wrong way. As a result, it was hard seeing out at night but much could be seen from the outside in!
Julia Barlow Sherlock, A&S '80
Mount Pleasant, Mich.
Editor's reply: Many lengthy discussions about building issues occurred before demolition, but no one recalls windows ever being mentioned. It sounds like an urban legend, but a highly entertaining one, so we're not about to squelch it. (Visit www.magazine.uc.edu/extra to read other urban legends attached to UC.)
Maxing-out elevator occupancy
We were the first to live in Sander Hall in 1971. I was an engineering student, and Sander probably never had a chance from the start.
When we first moved in, we were told there had been no occupancy permit issued on the building, and through some horseplay, we found out that there was a waterline leak many floors above our 15th-floor suite. The wall dished in rather easily, and the drywall was wet. We also noted that the 26th floor -- the one with the great view -- had all of its furniture stolen within a few weeks of opening.
We did have a great view. Our suite looked out from the west (narrow) side of Sander Hall, and we could see most of
The real story I remember is that when we were returning from lunch one day, we got on the infamous elevators and had a full cab of about 15 people. But because the elevators were not always available, another group of people (jocks!) wanted to make sure they were on for this ascent, too. All told, another 13 got on (good luck).
I think the elevator was over capacity by about 10. We asked some not to get on because we knew we would be overloaded, but they didn't want to be separated, so they piled in. "Sardines" was an appropriate comparison.
Well, the elevator started up, and we could tell that this was not going to turn out well. The elevator got to what I would guess was the 12th floor, and it ground to a halt after much straining. We all were a little ticked, because we knew our extra friends were the cause.
Being the jocks that they were, they started feigning being frightened and started yelling that the elevator was stuck, in their best mocking tones. To top that off, some of them started jumping up and down and yelling that the elevator was going to fall. By this time, a few of the original squished passengers were truly scared, so we had to ask our buddies to stop messing around.
Things got quiet, and we actually started to hear the cables stretching, starting with a medium "ding" and then proceeding every few seconds down the scale. By that time, things were getting very quiet and very smelly. We waited for about 20 minutes and finally heard another elevator come up beside us.
In a few minutes a firefighter opened a side panel, stuck his head in and said, "Yep, this is the elevator." He closed the panel, and we didn't hear anything else from him.
We waited another 15 to 20 minutes, then we started moving up slowly -- we figured, by being cranked up manually. When we got to the 14th floor and the doors opened, the floor of the elevator was actually a half a floor below the building floor; the cables had stretched that much!
Most crawled out, and some waited for the elevator to be raised closer to the proper height. I'll always remember that as a day that a few Darwin Award winners could have taken another 20 non-participants with them.
Other than that, most of our life was pretty dull. We had the usual mutts in our suite, including one guy, who will not be named, who earned a 0.25 his first arrogant quarter (all F's and one D).
For those who need the "walked both ways uphill, in the snow" perspective, the sexes were separated, and we had to trudge down several floors to meet up with the opposite sex. Eventually the floors -- then the suites -- became co-ed, but we were the pioneers.
The following year, I moved off campus to Short Vine where I shared six rooms and two floors of a brownstone with five other people for a total of $16 a month per person. Take that, you whippersnappers!
Robert Mendlein, CAS '74, BS (CAS) '78
Editor's note: There was certainly an occupancy permit for the building. UC archivist Kevin Grace, MA (A&S) '77, says the rumor could have started if someone discovered some sort of leftover permit in the building issued during construction, prior to occupancy. In regard to the new furniture disappearing, Grace agrees, "What I know for sure is that some students helped themselves to moving the furniture from the common area to their own rooms, but that was soon straightened out."
Hard to get jocks out
I was an RA in Sander Hall during its first year. We had bomb scares and false fire alarms there almost every week -- sometimes several times a week. I remember how it got harder and harder to get the football players to evacuate the building.
Diggs Dalton, DAAP '75, MBA '81
Thousand people in 'jammies'
I was one of the first residents of Sander in 1971. As I recall, the Student Senate had argued before the "co-ed" dorm was built that it would not effectively be suitable for human habitation. Sander certainly proved that to be true.
How can I forget the almost nightly bomb scares that some fools called in to watch a thousand people in their jammies evacuate the building? After one cleared, my roommate, Randy Hoover [CAS '72], and I decided to run up the 20 flights of stairs to our suite. I thought I was certainly going to die.
And if anyone had a class on Monday afternoon, he had to leave an hour early because at least one of the three elevators was used for laundry and another was inevitably out of service. But the view to the south was spectacular!
I think UC missed a fundraising opportunity by not raffling chances to push the detonator for the demolition.
Michael Ruberton, A&S '73
St. Louis, Mo.
Editor's reply: We were unable to confirm the Student Senate argument, but UC archivist Kevin Grace suspects complaints did not come prior to the dorm opening. "It is unlikely something like this would have been said before construction," he says, "as the students weren't knowledgeable about Sander's architecture."
Black smoke poured out
I remember the day of the Sander Hall fire on the sixth floor -- December 1981 around lunchtime, I think. I was in my room on the ninth floor, and it was finals time. The fire alarm went off, and, as always, down the steps we went.
After getting to the lobby, my friends and I were about to go to SAGA for lunch (Soviet Attempt to Gag America). Just then some guy ran up the stairs and said, "Hey, guys, it's a real fire. A girl just got through throwing a chair out of the window!"
Everyone left the lobby where the cafeteria was and went outside to the front. Sure enough: There was a girl leaning outside her window with black smoke just pouring out over her head.
She was moving around, but leaning out of the window to the point that it looked dangerous. All we heard were fire engines and horns all over the place -- like all of the Cincinnati Fire Department was coming from every direction!
Then we all noticed two local TV news stations with helicopters flying around. This was big news; the tallest dorm in Ohio was on fire.
After some time, most of us left and went to the Calhoun cafeteria to eat lunch. Later that day, we were able to go back to our rooms. Until the day we all checked out, the sixth floor still smelled smoky.
I liked Sander Hall and have very good memories of it.
William Randolph Jr., A&S '88
Nightly fire alarms
Let's be real. Sander Hall was a disaster waiting to happen. I lived there one year, 1979-80. Guys used to take pride in punching large holes in the walls. I knew a guy who tried to shove a Coke machine down an elevator shaft.
The nightly fire alarms were a joke. They got to the point that it was a game to see if you could hide from the RA and not evacuate the building. I recall kids throwing M-80s down the trash chute, which sounded like a cannon. Many of the freshmen who lived there didn't make it back for year two, and all they wanted to do was party hard.
My most lasting memory of Sander Hall was watching the 11 o'clock Al Schottlekotte news on a 6-inch black and white TV the night of The Who concert stampede (and wondering why I wasn't there) and voting for the first time in the cafeteria lobby.
Sander Hall -- good riddance!
George Thomas, Bus '83
Saw it fall from a distance
Memories of my time at Sander were during my freshman and sophomore years, 1978-80. Exam weeks were most always haunted by the very early morning fire alarms. Being on the 11th floor, it took about 40 minutes to get out of the building and stand in the cold. Spring brought a welcomed view of the sundeck on the top of Daniels Hall next door.
On the morning of the implosion, I waited to watch the event on TV at the scheduled drop time but there was a delay, and I had to leave to open my pharmacy. I was heading to work eastbound on I-275 to Blue Ash. At the I-275/I-75 interchange you can look south and see the taller buildings at UC. To my surprise, I saw the dust plume like a mushroom cloud rising from the spot where Sander once stood.
Chris Bavaro, Pharm '85
The Fall of Sander Hall
Eyewitness account from UC videographer
By Jay Yocis, Univ '70, DAAP '91
It's been that long?
In 1991, I was -- and still am -- an employee at UC. At the time, I was doing some work for professor Ahmet Aktan of civil engineering.
While his main focus was bridges, he recognized the opportunity when Sander Hall was to come down. Civil engineering had no discipline for imploding buildings. It was an art, and Professor Aktan wanted to know more.
We met with the implosion team any number of times, discussing their history and methods. I videotaped many a conversation as well as the actual implosion.
On the day of the implosion, I placed a video camera on the roof of the ROTC rifle-range building (well within the safe-zone) and let the tape run continuously. Then former student Todd Munro, Bus '94, and I went to the roof of Zino's firehouse restaurant on Short Vine to shoot from another angle. It was a good vantage point from the east looking at Sander in the morning light.
Prevailing winds in Cincy come from the southwest, and we were due east. So we were prepared for the worst -- to cover up the video cameras. We also had dust masks and hooded sweatshirts to protect us.
In those days, we had no cell phones and could use no walkie-talkies for fear of signal interference. Consequently, we had to rely on the blowing of horns to signal the countdown. The horns were confusing, but the crowd's countdown was loud and clear. The booming of the sequenced charges. The sparkling falling glass. The billowing dust. Hordes of cheering onlookers. What's not to like about that?
The video was fine from both vantage points, and Aktan was pleased. His crew put seismic sensors around the perimeter to measure the shock wave, but there wasn't one due to the sequenced firing of charges.
I was told that once the cloud of dust headed south, directly toward the dignitaries stand, Mark Loizeaux (head of the implosion team) grabbed his mother and jumped into a police cruiser and locked the doors. It was the car belonging to police chief Ed Bridgeman [Ed '76, MA (A&S) '83], and he was locked out of his own cruiser.
The Thursday before the implosion, I had videotaped inside Sander, following and recording professor Aktan through the building. While walking around, I noticed there were many cables attached to help control the falling debris. There was also sawing going on at different locations.
Upon leaving the building, I thought how dumb it was to have gone in there. When I ran into brothers Mark and Doug Loizeaux at lunch, I asked at what point do they know that they have cut enough. They looked at each other and laughed. "When cutting down a tree, you know that when the saw blade begins to bind; you've cut enough."
-- Jay Yocis is a photographer/videographer for Governmental Relations and University Communications.