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STUDENTS LEFT OUT
Twelve seniors were profiled [“Senior Standouts,” summer 2014] but not one School of Continuing Studies graduate — or if there was one, it remained discreetly unmentioned. And people wonder why SCS students feel marginalized at Northwestern?
Harry Baer IV ’14
A Medill “F” for your choosing to eliminate school designations from alumni identifications [“Classmates Decoded,” Alumni Life, page 52, summer 2014]. I would call it a failure to report significant relevant facts.
John Hoshko ’60
Ann Dalrymple Hoshko ’61
Please restore the undergraduate degree designations in the Class Notes and Deaths pages. Those designations are meaningful.
J. Laurent Scharff ’57
I was saddened to read of the decision to only print degrees of graduate degree holders in your magazine. Apparently you don’t appreciate the significance of undergraduate degrees to those of us alumni who could not continue into graduate school for whatever reason.
Because of the Vietnam War my education was interrupted for four years while I served in the U.S. Army, and by the time I was honorably discharged, I found it necessary to work full time and attend college at night. Night after night, year after year, I trekked across the Michigan Avenue bridge to attend classes on the Chicago campus, finally graduating with a bachelor of philosophy degree in English literature in 1980. As a first-generation American son of a Bohemian immigrant, and the only member of my family to graduate from college, I found the accomplishment to be of great significance.
My years at Northwestern — albeit at night school — instilled in me a measure of purple pride, resulting in decades of annual giving to the alumni fund, meager as my means often allowed.
I find it ironic that my degree would be considered insignificant in an issue of your magazine featuring myriad pleas for monetary support of the “We Will” Campaign. Your editorial decision will certainly weigh into any future considerations of my financial support of the University, including annual gifts and estate planning, which likely would be viewed as insignificant as well.
Phil Hermanek ’75 CERT, ’80
Heber City, Utah
Editor’s note: The change was made to simplify how alumni class years are displayed and to be consistent with how most universities and colleges show class designations.
Lies Demand Straight Talk
In “Where the Truth Lies” [Purple Prose, summer 2014] Stephen Hettleman almost made a valuable point.
Perhaps little Audrey has realized by now that when her daddy said, “I’m sorry, sweetheart, I was confused” in answer to her question, “Daddy, why did you lie?” he still wasn’t telling the truth. He wasn’t confused at all. She may have learned that there’s never an excuse for lying — not even confusion. And maybe she has discovered that an apology for lying becomes worthless if followed by another lie.
Happily, it’s not too late for her daddy to give her the straight answer.
Nancy Sprinkel ’69, ’74 MMus
Thanks very much for honoring the 30th anniversary of Niteskool’s founding [“After Hours Education,” Then, page 2, summer 2014]. The reminiscence inspired me to dig the tapes of the first five music videos from that time period (1984–87) out of storage and have them digitized so they can be posted online. Watching them again after all these years, I was amazed at how well they hold up! I think many alums would get a kick out of seeing them too.
Jon Shapiro ’87
A JURY OF PEERSI eagerly read the profile of Ruben Castillo, the chief judge of the Northern District of Illinois [“Holding Court,” spring 2014].
But one of the judge’s comments left me uneasy about his appointment as chief judge: “So, for example, if that [potential juror’s] zip code is from Englewood … you can’t just replace that [person] with someone from Wilmette.”
Judge Castillo’s offhand comment about Wilmetters suggests that he might benefit from learning some of the principles that sociology professor Raymond Mack taught in his course on race relations — that we all are prejudiced and prejudge people and situations based on our backgrounds and experiences, and we all stereotype people.
But Mack cautioned against acting on our prejudices by discriminating against all members of a group by assuming that the group’s stereotype defines its members.
It’s statistically correct that average Wilmetters are wealthy and highly educated, but does that mean they lack the empathy to be fit jurors? Hopefully not any more than Englewood residents lack the intellectual acumen to be effective jurors because only 21 percent of them (vs. 79 percent in Wilmette) hold college degrees.
I hope an esteemed federal judge would deliver the same degree of impartial judicial equanimity to all — jurors, defendants, complainants — who come before his bench, whether stereotypical Englewooders or Wilmetters.
Steven Cobb ’65, ’00 P