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(Photo by Eugene Zakusilo)








(Photo by Andrew Campbell)


For Appearance's Sake
The pictures of students at Willard Hall [in "Date Jerks and Pizza Runs," News on Campus, fall 1999] in the 1950s brought back many fond memories! What was wrong with men and women living in separate quarters? And what was there to do after curfew time? We all had a great time and managed to get our dates home in time. As I look around at contemporary college students, it makes me think that those handsome young ladies exuded charm and style along with their eagerness to learn. How pleasant it was to work tables at the ZTA house and have the house mother make sure that all the boys waiting tables were properly instructed and dressed appropriately! Old-fashioned perhaps, but we might well need some of that consideration for the civilizing aspects of life on today's university campuses.
Donald E. Smith (M55)
Madison, Wis.

Writing It Right
Thank you for sending me a copy of Northwestern. I found the issue and "The Writing Life" [fall 1999] most enjoyable. I would like to make one correction, however. To date, I have sold 270 million books. That's million with an m, not billion with a b. I look forward to achieving the figure you printed, but in the meantime ...
Sidney Sheldon (WCAS38)
Los Angeles

Elizabeth Bennett did a fine job, but she -- and the editors -- missed [an important writer]. Margaret (Richards) Friskey (WCAS22) was a lifelong Evanston resident until 1993 [and the granddaughter of Richard Haney, one of Northwestern's founders]. From the late 1930s through the early 1990s, Peg Friskey enriched the world of children's literature with dozens of books, published primarily by the old Children's Press in Chicago. Ask any children's librarian in the English-speaking world about her, and you'll likely hear that she defined the literature for almost half a century.
Ken Layne
Los Altos, Calif.

Editor's reply: Thanks for bringing Ms. Friskey's writing to our attention. "The Writing Life" focused only on authors of adult fiction and poetry.

Digging Anthropology
As a 1951 PhD in anthropology, I was glad to see that the department is doing well ["They Dig This Guy," News on Campus, fall 1999]. My own specializations were cultural and psychological anthropology and African American studies. I note in your piece on Patrick Quinn and the Northwestern archives ["Keeper of the Past," fall 1999] that "the papers of Melville Herskovits ... are among those heavily used."Professor Herskovits was my adviser.
Erika (Eichhorn) Bourguignon (G51)
Columbus, Ohio

Sacred Sarett
A half-century ago, Lew Sarett taught a blasé-sounding course called Forms of Public Address, which quickly became an enduring favorite. Professor Sarett was the epitome of excellence, making every class an Oscar winner. For that, everyone had to be on time and was expected to focus on his every word. No distractions allowed! One particular day remains indelibly in my mind. The professor strode down the aisle toward the podium of the Annie May Swift auditorium. He was attired in his dark Sunday-go-to-meeting suit, rather than his usual salt-and-pepper tweed. He carried what looked like the Bible pressed to his bosom. The audience hushed. There was a beatific expression on his face. As his eyes looked upward, he talked in melodic intonations about the Golden Rule: doing unto others, telling the truth and emphasizing the values so missing today. The words flowed from his heart. He was delivering the best-ever sermon. As it ended, he returned the Good Book to his heart, bowed his head and journeyed out the door. In unison, the elated class stood up and clapped until the jubilant professor returned to acknowledge the applause. The commotion brought a wide-eyed dean James McBurney back from wherever he was to witness the aftermath of that memorable performance.
Mickey McArthur (S49)
Sonoita, Ariz.

Information, Please
A question: Can alums make use of Northwestern library resources via Internet connections?
Frank Sellers (J64, GJ65)
Falls Church, Va.

Editor's reply: All alumni have access to the library catalog and many databases through the Internet (nucat.library.northwestern.edu). However, not all of the library's online resources are available to alumni or other users outside the “northwestern.edu” domain.

Act Naturally
In Judy Moore's "Garden Walk" [fall 1999], I was disappointed to find that Northwestern, being the avant-garde university it is, does not seem to be moving toward any sizable naturalizing, which is the mode of the millennium. The one hopeful photo was on page 47.
Sally Hausken (SESP56)
Detroit Lakes, Minn.

Editor's reply: As evidence of Northwestern's commitment to naturalizing wherever possible, Ann Ziegelmaier, Northwestern's landscape architect, points to the native beach/ dune plant community east of the sports and aquatics center, which was in the photo on page 47; the 1.2 acres of dry mesic prairie plants lining the lagoon; and the use of native trees that are characteristic of the original oak grove upland dry mesic-type forest in the remaining wooded areas.

Sad but Proud
As a professional school alum, I was glad to see that we are now included in the mailing [Mailbox, fall 1999]. I am sad to hear, though, that my school is closing. I have always felt the Northwestern University Dental School was one of the best, and I am proud to be part of the Northwestern tradition.
Philip M. Stoll (D79)
Chesapeake, Va.

Get Focused
I am pleased to see a well-written alumni magazine finally worthy of a school of Northwestern's prominence. I do, however, agree in part with the letter in the fall 1999 issue [from Michele Tuck-Ponder (J80)] that described the layout as cluttered and too busy. I like much of the layout, but the "front of the book" is something of a hodgepodge, with too many items, too many photos and writing that is sometimes too cute for its own good. I think you would be better off to cut back here and make room for more features or essays or just longer news accounts.
Jerry Ackerman (J61, GJ64)
Gloucester, Mass.

On Your Toes
I think Northwestern's Dance Marathon ["Gotta Dance!" fall 1999] is a wonderful philanthropic event, and I am impressed with the dollar amounts raised for charities. The article states, however, that the "... Dance Marathon remains the nation's largest student-run philanthropy ... raising almost $4 million for 21 different charities." I believe Penn State's Dance Marathon is the largest student-run philanthropy in the nation, having raised more than $13 million for the Four Diamonds Fund since 1977. With 634 participants dancing for 48 hours, the Dance Marathon raised more than $2.5 million this past year alone. The Four Diamonds Fund, created in 1972 by Charles and Irma Millard in memory of their son Christopher, provides financial assistance and emotional support for families with children in Children's Hospital at the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center in Hershey, Pa. I participated in the 48-hour marathon in 1989 as a Penn State undergraduate, so I really enjoyed reading the article by AnnMarie Harris and wish the Northwestern University student body continued success with Dance Marathon.
Michael Xenakis (KGSM98)
San Francisco

True Spirituality
I've always been grateful for the experience of singing in the Alice Millar Chapel Choir, but never more so than today, when I read of the death of former chaplain James Edward Avery [in News on Campus, fall 1999]. Millar Chapel was my haven at Northwestern, in no small part due to Jim's commitment to making Millar a place where everyone could come together in a spirit of fellowship to share profound words and wonderful music. By redefining my image of a religious leader, Jim helped me come to my own personal terms with spirituality in all its various forms. All of us who had the privilege of knowing and working with Jim are surely better people as a result.
Kathi Vieser (S86)
Baldwin, N.Y.

Few things have ever made me prouder to be a Northwestern alum than learning [in "Marketing McGenius," Alumni News, fall 1999] that Herb Peterson (WCAS41), the inventor of the Egg McMuffin, was also a graduate.
Dan Pink (WCAS86)
Washington, D.C.

Fancy That
Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that my picture would appear in the Northwestern University alumni magazine. But there it was on page 45 [of the spring 1999 issue] captioned, "A Young Man's Fancy." I don't recall the name of the young lady, but the picture was taken by Ronald R. La Count (WCAS55). The individuals who are responsible for producing this publication are to be commended. It is outstanding (even when my picture is not in it)!
Donald B. Williams (S55)
Silver Spring, Md.