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Proving Our Mettle

We've enjoyed hearing from alumni during the past year about how much they like the new Northwestern. Now we're proud to announce that Northwestern magazine won three awards last April from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, an international association of education advancement officers including alumni administrators, fund raisers, public relations managers and publications editors.

Summer 2000

Fall 1999

Northwestern won a bronze medal in the category of periodical publishing improvement. The fall 1999 issue, which featured a cover story on alumni fiction writers, won a bronze medal for visual design in print. And one of our regular freelance photographers, Andrew Campbell, who hails from Dublin, won a bronze medal for his photography of Dance Marathon, campus dining spots and catalysis researchers.

We're delighted to receive this recognition of excellence from CASE. And we promise to keep producing an outstanding magazine for Northwestern University alumni.

The editors















Out of the Loop
Have we become dinosaurs, to be passed over? I refer to the splendid magazine sent to us about the Broadway alumni from the school ["Taking Center Stage," summer 2000]. We earlier alumni are not dead and buried! Each publication from Northwestern seems to have forgotten us. Wouldn't an article on some of us be appropriate?

Through the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Theatre Arts, we Mitchell alumni produced world classics on 42nd Street with master directors and actors from around the world. At the invitation of Princess Grace of Monaco in August 1973, our IASTA produced for her international summer festival the musical Your Own Thing.

My wife, Miriam Pitcairn Mitchell (S50), and I cherish our memories of the school, and our wonderful and inspiring teachers. Because of the years of our Northwestern degrees, I ask again, are we dinosaurs?

John D. Mitchell (S39, GS41)
Key West, Fla.

Editor's reply: "Taking Center Stage" focused on the nine-year-old Music Theatre Program in the School of Speech and on Speech graduates who are currently performing in musicals on Broadway.

Questionable Scoop
I was disturbed by the inaccurate facts in the "Scoopsville USA" sidebar to Terry Stephan's "City Beat" [summer 2000]. The paragraphs on Fran Spielman's scoop about the linking of DNA evidence to an inmate at Cook County Jail were arranged in a way to suggest that after her scoop was published, the two young boys charged with the murder of Ryan Harris were released.

That is not true. The two boys were exonerated in early September 1998 by laboratory tests. The linkage to the man ultimately indicted in the girl's murder came much later.

Until the very day that the charges were dropped against the two boys, there had been no hint of any physical evidence linked to anyone, let alone an inmate in the County Jail. I am intimately familiar with this case, having covered it extensively for the Chicago Tribune.

Maurice Possley

Another Perspective on 'Jordanian Journal'
I was deeply disturbed by the letter from Louise Cainkar (G81, 88) [Mailbox, "On the Peace Corps," summer 2000] in which she took issue with the article "Jordanian Journal" [spring 2000]. She stated that "readers are left to interpret a 'deep-seated hostility toward Jews' in the way they understand best, that is, in the Western context of racism and anti-Semitism."

Noting the author's affiliation with a Zionist organization, Cainkar suggests the author lacked objectivity. To run such a letter and imply that hostility toward another ethnic group is ever excusable belies the mission of a liberal arts institution that should, in the words of Matthew Arnold, serve to bring "sweetness and light" to our society. How ironic that in the same magazine you would highlight the extraordinary Eva Jefferson Paterson ["Leading the Charge for Change"], who has fought all her life against exactly that kind of thinking.

Mara H. Fein (WCAS74)
Los Angeles

Hooray for RAs
Thank you for the article ["Lean on Me"] in the summer 2000 issue about resident assistants. In the 1986–87 academic year I was an RA at 600 Lincoln St. The experience was truly the most rewarding of my undergraduate career at Northwestern. My brood of 45 freshman men and women were some of the finest students I had come to know, and assisting them in their transition to college was a personally gratifying experience. The experience of being an RA prompted me to obtain a master's degree in higher education and student affairs at Indiana University. Until recently I had been working for the Department of Residential Programs and Services at IU for the past 10 years. I ran an undergraduate residence hall with 1,300 students and trained and supervised 26 RAs for most of those 10 years.

On a college campus there is no harder-working group of students than the resident assistants. Most manage 30 to 40 hours a week of rounds, duty, meetings, programs and impromptu counseling sessions while at the same time keeping up their grades, looking for jobs and trying to be "regular" college students.

Amy Cornell (SESP87)
Bloomington, Ind.

Different Frequency
I remember reading in Northwestern's inaugural issue, when the change from Northwestern Perspective to Northwestern took place, that you were planning to publish six times a year. What happened to this plan? Because other peer schools publish at least that many times a year, and Princeton publishes 17 times a year, I would think Northwestern can certainly shoot for this goal. A bimonthly magazine would fit the needs of this reader much better.

Hyung J. Park (WCAS94)
Northbrook, Ill.

Editor's reply: We were indeed planning to publish Northwestern six times a year, but because of budget and staff limitations, the magazine remains a quarterly. We did, however, extend the circulation to include all alumni, about 159,000 readers, and increased the number of pages in each issue.

Blowin' in the Wind
I am surprised by the letter from Loren Chudy (J67) [Mailbox, "On the Waterfront," summer 2000]. I was at the blustery event, and what I recall Ambassador Adlai Stevenson saying, when the wind took his speech away, was, "There's a break for you."

Whether those were his exact words or not, it was definitely a wisecrack — the crowd laughed. I took some pictures of the event, but I don't think I can find one of the flying papers.

Martin Tangora (G58, 66)

As a four-year resident of Chapin Hall (1982 to 1986), I read "Chapin Hall Reunion" [summer 2000] with interest. At some point since the 1960s, residents of Chapin began calling themselves "Chapinos" rather than "Chapinites."

I wonder what the preferred term is today?

Rev. Thomas C. Willadsen (WCAS86)
Oshkosh, Wis.

Green Power
I have long advocated the use of recycled paper for alumni publications [Mailbox, "Love Those Trees," spring 2000].

Environmental responsibility is one of the most important issues in our society and an issue that provokes severe cases of ostrich-itis. People, companies and organizations deliberately stick their heads in the sand. But soon the sand, and the rest of our planet, will be completely destroyed; we will have committed human species suicide.

The most profound and effective way to teach people is by example. If Northwestern really wants to be the dynamic and leading educational institution it professes itself to be, I suggest it reexamine its priorities and put the greater good above trying to compete with the Harvards and Yales. I challenge Northwestern to outshine its peers and rivals, at least in its publications, by taking a stand for our home, the Earth, and daring to act responsibly by using recycled paper for its publications.

Karen "Kele" Baker (S83)
Millbrook, N.Y.