The Essence of Northwestern

While I understand why Northwestern University might develop a "brand essence" statement ["A Sharper Image for Northwestern," News on Campus, spring 2002], I would prefer not to know about it. Instead, I would rather continue to live under the quaint illusion that I attended a first-rate university always striving to improve the quality of its scholarship, teaching and everything else that makes for a respected place of learning. The alternative, of course, is to imagine the Northwestern "brand" affixed to a box of cereal, a bar of soap or a bottle of beer. What does Northwestern want to be — a great university or just another university with a great marketing strategy?

Bernard Gilman (WCAS66)
Ashland, Mass.

Brain News You Can Use

I enjoyed "Picking Our Brains" [News on Campus, spring 2002]. I’m a psychiatry specialist with a pharmaceutical company and spend my days talking with psychiatrists about schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and Alzheimer’s disease. Would it be possible for alumni to plug into your new initiative and learn from it, too?

Perhaps our son, a first-year student next fall, will choose to minor in this new program! It’ll be yet another option.

Pamela Bridwell Cain (WCAS73)
Walnut Creek, Calif.

Editor’s note: Log on to for the latest news on the cognitive neuroscience initiative.

Hitting Bedrock

Your spring 2002 issue hit the spot — not just bragging about alumni but delivering some good, useful information. It was enjoyable reading.

Thank you for providing something that is more than a checkup of who in my husband’s class died or gave lots of money. I like items like the story by Christine Yee (McC01) about the Rock poster she created ["Rock of Ages," News on Campus] and not just stories about big and famous people.

Elizabeth Von Dem Hagen, wife of Ralph Von Dem Hagen (KSM68)
Berwyn, Pa.

Oyez! Oyez! Oy Vey!

I would like to point out that "Batter Up, Your Honor" [News on Campus, spring 2002] failed to mention that my collaborator, Paul Manna (WCAS92), is a Northwestern alumnus. Paul was my student in constitutional law. It was in this class that he demonstrated his talent for the "big leagues." It took a few years to work out the kinks, but once they were resolved, Paul has batted extra-base hits consistently for Oyez Baseball ever since.

Jerry Goldman
Professor of political science
Northwestern University

Dental School Alumnus Feels Lost

I am a graduate from the now-defunct Dental School. After reading the latest issue, the only evidence I found of any Dental School alumni were a few listings in the deaths section. You should write an article us, "the lost tribe of Northwestern University." We truly have ceased to exist.

Richard Levy (D83)
Fayetteville, N.Y.

As You Like It

Thank you so much for the piece about the Shakespeare Garden ["A Rose by Any Other Name," News on Campus, spring 2002] and the photo of the Frank W. Howes Memorial Chapel. They brought back many memories.

Lila Fraizer (WCAS51)
Sacramento, Calif.

I enjoyed the issue so much that I gave a copy to my friends who introduced me to Charlie Moskos many years ago ["All That He Can Be"]. It certainly was a pleasure to read again about this marvelous person.

Inge Neumann (G49)

My wife and I receive alumni publications from three different universities. Your spring issue was the best I’ve seen. I was especially inspired by the students who went overseas with undergraduate research grants and by the writing of the student reporters.

Jennifer Su’s close-up of Harvey Grossman (L73) ["In All Fairness," Alumni News] went to a grandson who is about to enter law school. "Fly Girl" went to a friend who is a professional woman pilot, who I’m sure will be inspired by it. "Between the Lines" was sent to a dear friend who has written for a local Catholic college and Dominican newspapers for years. I know he’ll like it.

Personally I was excited to read about Charlie Moskos in "All That He Can Be." How fortunate his students are!

Wendell Nickell (G48, FSM51)
Salina, Kan.

Your spring edition was very good. I read it from front to back and especially enjoyed the student articles.

Frances Grabau (S49)
Mountain View, Calif.

Reading between the Lines

A short time ago I contacted the alumni relations department with an interesting fact. I am celebrating my 15th year as a Catholic priest, and no less than three of my Northwestern friends from my undergraduate days are also serving in the priesthood.

I don’t recall any of us discussing the priesthood back then, and the situation struck me as unusual enough to ask if Northwestern might consider writing about it. Other than as a class note, however, my anniversary didn’t make it into the magazine as a story.

But as I see "Between the Lines" in the spring 2002 issue celebrating a man who abandoned his vows as a priest and now belongs to a very controversial dissident group, I can’t help but wonder about the University’s values.

I have no personal complaint against Medill associate professor Robert McClory (GJ71), about whom I know little. But the article did a disservice to faithful Catholics by whitewashing the description of Call to Action, a group far from the Catholic mainstream that is known for putting left-wing politics ahead of piety or charity.

I realize that this letter springs from two unconnected events, but the questions raised are important enough, at least to me. As my chosen state in life precludes me from being a noteworthy alumnus in any financial sense, I won’t be holding my breath waiting for a reply. But all the same, I am proud of my three fellows, who have chosen this path so unexpected. And I have plenty of fond memories of my time at an institution where "Quaecumque sunt vera" ("Whatsoever things are true," Philippians 4:8) is the motto.

Rev. Matthew Kowalski (McC81)
Marvin, S.D.

Those Fabulous Fly Girls

It was great to read about Dorothy Dougherty Strother (SCS49) and the Women’s Airforce Service Pilots in Negar Tekeei’s piece ["Fly Girl," spring 2002].

Those who enjoyed the article might be interested in Sally Van Wagenen Keil’s account of the WASPs, Those Wonderful Women in Their Flying Machines (Four Directions Press, 1994).

Although Tekeei mentions Lt. Col. Paul Tibbets and his successful mission to convince male pilots of the B-29’s reliability by having Strother and her fellow WASP Dorothea Johnson Moorman fly it, there is more to the story, according to Keil.

After two days, Tibbets was ordered to stop the demonstrations because the two women were, in the words of his superior officer, "putting the big football players to shame."

Carolyn Jones Bohannan (WCAS69)
Carefree, Ariz.

Looking Beyond

Since earning my law degree, I have received your magazine, which is very well done. It honors the success of living alumni but inevitably ends with the class obituaries, which signals the failure of all of us to live forever.

Wouldn’t it be helpful to adopt a "slogan" from John 3:16 ("For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.") to overcome this failure?

If nothing else, it would make good copy.

R.J.Owen (EB48, L51)
Hiram, Ga.

I’m from the class of 1949, so the first section of the magazine I turn to is the deaths. It would be good if you would give the maiden names of the women so we would know which of them have passed on. Most of the women in my class graduated before they married, so I don’t know their married names.

Bill Kroeschell (McC49)
Naples, Fla.

In the spring 2002 issue:

The feature story on Charles Moskos, "All That He Can Be," incorrectly stated that New York Times correspondent R.W. Apple Jr. had retired. Last February Apple was named associate editor at the Times.

Virginia Smith Brooks (WCAS37) of Honolulu was incorrectly listed as deceased. It was her husband, Gerard W. Brooks (S38), who died in January 1997.

In class notes, the name of the company of which Terry M. Buckman (WCAS85) is president was incorrect. He is president of Buckman Iron & Metal in Catasauqua, Pa.

And on the letters page in the winter 2001 issue, the following line was omitted from a letter written by Charlotte Adelman (WCAS59): "When did Northwestern abandon its quota on Jews?"

Northwestern regrets the errors.