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William McGovern, ca. 1925










Almost Heaven
I receive Northwestern with great joy. ... I listen to good old John Denver's "Take Me Home, Country Roads" while reading the magazine. But I want the country road to take me back to Evanston, to Northwestern.

Ugur Tandogan (GMcC85)
Istanbul, Turkey

Decoding the Code
Frequently, when referring to individuals who attended Northwestern, you will place a school code and then the last two digits of a year following the name. For instance, in ["We Knew Him When...," winter 1999], your picture and note on Todd Martin had (WCAS92) after his name.

I used to think this was the date of graduation, but as I recall, Todd turned pro before graduation. Similar dates are probably used with other individuals, so my question is whether the year you use is the year they started Northwestern, the year they graduated, the year the person should have graduated or some other year that is picked at the discretion of the editor.

I feel that all readers would like a clarification of this matter.

David C. Martens (WCAS59)
Clearwater, Fla.

Editor's reply:
For a student who attended Northwestern but did not complete a degree, we indicate the year the student would have graduated. According to the bylaws of the Northwestern Alumni Association, anyone who has been in a degree-granting program in any of the schools or colleges of Northwestern University and completes at least one year is considered an alumnus/a.

Swimming Upstream
Nicole Sutcliffe's interesting article on the original Patten Gym and its successors ["Body Buildings," News on Campus, winter 1999] included a paragraph on the evolution of the football facility but failed to mention that the structure built in 1926 was named Dyche Stadium and is now called Ryan Field.

One aside on how the second Patten Gym was considered antiquated by the late 1970s: After a winless Big Ten season, Jack Bolger, the men's swimming coach at the time, said in a WNUR-FM interview, "You can't attract quality athletes to a garbage pit, and we have a garbage pit for a swimming pool." It's a sound bite I'll never forget!

William (Willie) Weinbaum (J82,GJ83)
(Former WNUR sports director)
Stamford, Conn.

Praise for Everyone
The feature ["Preserving a Painful Past," winter 1999] reminds us of the immensity of the crime committed against the Jews during World War II. Most people alive today were born after the war and depend on the written word and visual aids for information on the Holocaust. It is important that the information be accurate.

Robert Freed mentions the rescue efforts of non-Jews such as the courageous Germans in the White Rose; the Protestants of the French village of Chambon-sur-Lignon, who harbored 5,000 refugees; and Raoul Wallenberg, the Swedish diplomat in Budapest.

For some reason, the writer fails to mention Zegota, an organization sponsored by the Polish government-in-exile that was devoted to rescuing Jews in German-occupied Poland. Concealing Jews was punishable in Poland by death for all the persons living in the house in which those Jews were discovered.

Eugene L. Slotkowski
Assistant professor emeritus of pediatrics
Medical School Chicago

One piece that stood out in the last issue for me was Robert Freed's story on Holocaust Museum director Sara J. Bloomfield. He wrote it with such care and passion, and he rekindled an interest for me to visit the museum whenever I get to the nation's capital. I had not read or seen much on the museum since the publicity on its opening.

Matt Baron (J90)
Oak Park, Ill.

Tibet or Not Tibet
Without in any way wishing to detract from the daring of professor William McGovern's exploits ["Keeper of the Past," fall 1999], I would suggest that it was well known before his entry into Tibet in the 1920s that many Westerners had already been there.

If any claim to have been the first was made by McGovern, I believe it is as incredible as the comparison in the story of McGovern journeying to Tibet with Columbus' voyage to the Americas.

F.E. Younghusband (1863�) led an expedition of 1,200 soldiers — British as well as Indian — supported by 10,000 porters, to Lhasa, capital of Tibet, in 1903㪜. The resulting Anglo-Tibetan Convention was repu-diated by the British government following protests from Russia, Germany, the United States, France and Italy. The fact that Westerners had been in Tibet in large numbers, albeit briefly, was thus known to all knowledgeable in diplomacy.

While this expedition may have been a diplomatic embarrassment for the British, it had a significant religious effect through its spiritual influence on Younghusband. He became increasingly engrossed in mysticism and religion and founded the World Congress of Faiths in 1936.

In 1913, British Col. Frederick M. Bailey, an explorer and later a Central Asian special agent, traveled secretly to Tibet with fellow explorer and agent Henry T. Morshead, and showed that the main river of Tibet, the Tsangpo, and the Brahmaputra were the same.

Also in 1913, John Noel reached within 40 miles of Everest. The Everest Committee, with Younghusband as its first president, oversaw six expeditions to scale the mountain, all from the Tibetan side, between 1921 and 1938. These included George Leigh Mallory's and Andrew Irvine's famous and perhaps successful attempt of 1924.

Thus, by the early 1920s, the fact that Westerners had already been to Tibet was well established and their travels there had produced significant results in the fields of diplomacy, religion, cartography, natural history and mountaineering.

C. Gordon Dilworth (G63)
Pitlochry, Scotland

Reading the [fall 1999] issue of your magazine, I find references to Bill McGovern, who spun tales for us of Richard Halliburton, a daring, globetrotting writer and lecturer, and of his experiences in Japan.

No mention was made of professor Earl Dean Howard, with whom I had an introductory sociology course. Not only was he stimulating in his accounts of Sidney Hillman and the labor movement, but he was kind enough to permit me to make a direct purchase of a suit on his account with Hart, Shaffner & Marx, for which he was then a vice president. And then there was English professor Edward (Ted) Hungerford, with whom I continued to correspond following his service in World War II.

All these years later, I recall and thank them for their inspiration and good will.

Ralph H. Bower (SESP38)
Goshen, Ind.

Love Those Trees
Why not try to make your publication more environmentally friendly — recycled paper and soy-based inks?

Cindy Ofer (WCAS77)
New York

Editor's reply:
Northwestern's printing processes prevent the use of soy ink, but our ink does contain some natural oils, mainly linseed. The budget constrains us from using recycled paper, but the entire issue will be re-examined in the future. Meanwhile, readers are encouraged to do their part by throwing Northwestern into the recycling bin — after a careful read, of course.