We'd Like to Hear from You
Northwestern welcomes signed letters of 250 words or less from readers. We reserve the right to edit all letters. Please send correspondence to the
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Of Good Report
The choice of the Mark Seliger photo of Stephen Colbert for the cover was inspired [“The Real Colbert,” winter 2010]. Hard to believe what Colbert looks like when he takes off his “attitude” and un-arches that left eyebrow. Contrasted with the terrific photos from his Northwestern years inside, it made for a stupendous cover, especially as part of the fresh, simple, new magazine design. Congratulations.
Roy Harris (J68, GJ71)
Thank you for correcting my pronunciation of “The Cole-bear Repor’ ” in “The Real Colbert.” And thank you for an excellent repor’.
Department of Pathology, Feinberg School of Medicine
Your cover was the sexiest photo of Stephen Colbert ever! Congrats on a great issue! I really enjoyed reading it through from front to back.
Associate Director for Communications, Northwestern University Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute
Great article on Stephen Colbert. In the main picture of the article, which shows Colbert standing behind his desk, hands on his hips, there is something strange. Just above the desk on his right, there appear to be an index finger and thumb reaching out and maybe someone’s khaki-clad knee sticking up. Was someone behind the desk?
Jay Lanford (WCAS01)
Editor’s note: We haven’t a clue. Maybe it was one of Colbert’s co-producers. Or could it have been Glenn Beck stopping by for a chat?
A Perfect Match
I had tears streaming down my face when I read Aric L. Stock’s letter to Keith Alperin [“A Perfect Match,” winter 2010] in Northwestern magazine. Words fail me. ... What an amazing gift of life. May those of us who are on the registry keep our info current, and may those who are not yet on the registry, but qualify, join.
Susan Jackson Moore
Rarely have I been so moved as when I read “A Perfect Match.”
Steve Shaffer (GJ77)
I read the bone marrow donation article with much bittersweet emotion.
You see, I too was part of the 1996 bone marrow drive at Northwestern. In 2004 as a senior medical student at the University of Chicago, I received a similar phone call informing me that I was a perfect match for a candidate and asking if I would consider donating?
I didn’t think twice. Of course I would. I was indeed a perfect match, I found out, except in one critical area: I’m openly gay.
I knew this would disqualify me immediately, so I raised this question before the ethics committee at the University of Chicago Medical Center before filling out the questionnaire that asked if I were “a male who had sex with another male after January 1, 1973.” Based on their advice, I chose not to lie and answered every question honestly and openly.
I was removed from the bone marrow bank at once. I don’t know what ultimately happened to this woman who needed me, but the initial phone call I received was filled with such excitement and hope. I shudder to think that this person had no other potential donors.
To this day I strongly question whether I chose correctly. But in the end, it was not I who may have sealed this woman’s fate — it was the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and its antiquated, discriminatory policy of not accepting blood and bone marrow donations from gay men.
As both a doctor and — more important — a human being, I see the consequences of this discrimination on a regular basis. People are dying because of a policy that should no longer exist.
I am extraordinarily happy for the Stock and Alperin families; I did, however, think that everyone should be aware that dangerous, discriminatory policies still exist that prevent others from obtaining the same happy ending.
Brian Thomas Fletcher (WCAS96)
New York City
I was fascinated and deeply affected by Aric L. Stock’s article, “A Perfect Match.” I was affected because my wife, a daughter and I have had our bouts with cancer and also, on another level, because the article makes it likely that both Karen and Keith are Jews with ancestry traceable to Eastern or Central Europe. Geneticists can readily read markers of such ancestry in the DNA of such individuals. It is an ancestry shared by both my wife and me.
I hope this article motivates other Jews to become donors. I am already motivated and will do so myself.
Stephen J. Wersan (GMcC70)
I was Mary Strachan when I graduated from the School of Speech in 1961 and went to my first job as an English teacher on the Blackfeet Reservation in northwestern Montana. One of my students at Browning High School was Geri Show (who became Geri Show Fox), great-great-granddaughter of Two Bear Woman, who was mentioned in the story on page 12 [“Revisiting the North American Indian,” Collections, Campus Life, winter 2010].
As for me, now Mary Strachan Scriver, I have retired to write in Valier, Mont., where Ivan Doig (J61, GJ62) graduated from high school. (He’s been writing all this time, so I’m hustling to catch up.) Valier is at the edge of the Blackfeet Reservation.
This is a woven world we live in! Nice to touch the threads.
Mary “Prairie Mary” Strachan Scriver (C61)
In the “Student Unions” article in the winter 2010 issue [Campus Life, page 11], the sentence “While rare, there are a small number of Northwestern undergraduates who marry during college,” caught me up short.
Having served for many years as assistant and associate dean of the School of Continuing Studies, I advised numerous Northwestern undergraduates who were completing their degrees at night while juggling significant professional, personal and civic obligations. I can attest that marriages among undergraduates — as well as all manner of other major life experiences — are more common than your article suggests.
What I wish were more rare is the assumption that the experiences of the residential undergraduate population represent the totality of Northwestern undergraduate life.
Hilary Ward Schnadt (G80, 89)
I was interested in your article “Then: Homecoming 1938” [fall 2010]. I arrived as a freshman in the fall of 1936, received my bachelor’s degree in 1940 and went on to the Feinberg School of Medicine, so those days are familiar to me. My father, Guy Larimer (WCAS1901, FSM1905), was also a graduate of Northwestern and Feinberg.
If my recollection serves me, I would like to make a correction to a statement in that article, which reads: “Northwestern has never beaten a team ranked No. 1 in the AP poll, but the Wildcats have knocked off the second-ranked team twice since the rankings began in 1936.”
In fact, I watched Northwestern defeat Minnesota 6-0 under Coach “Pappy” Waldorf in the fall of 1936, the year that Minnesota was ranked No. 1 by the Associated Press and the first formal year of that ranking. Although the AP poll was just beginning and was more of an informal exercise before 1936, the University of Minnesota was consecutively ranked No. 1 in 1934, 1935 and 1936, and I believe that loss to the Wildcats was their only loss over that period. However, I will let the Gophers confirm their own record.
Craig W. Larimer (WCAS40, FSM43)
Editor’s note: Your memory serves you right.According to Doug Meffley (J04) in the Northwestern Athletic Communications office,“The source we used when we first inserted this into the media guide started in 1937. But from what I’ve been able to gather after receiving your letter, the first AP final poll ran in 1934 as a one-off thing, did not occur in 1935 and then returned on a week-to-week basis midway through 1936, in time for that Northwestern Homecoming win over Minnesota, when it appears we were No. 3 and they were indeed No. 1 (the game broke Minnesota’s 28-game winning streak according to their media guide). Thanks for bringing this to our attention! I’ll make sure that those 1936 rankings (we were No. 4 in the debut poll after beating Ohio State, then jumped to No. 1 after beating Minnesota) reflect that Northwestern was No. 1 for three weeks but then lost to Notre Dame to end the year and finished No. 7.”
I absolutely love Northwestern magazine! I loved it even before seeing the new format, which is, indeed, gorgeous.
But I also have some criticism. How does the photo featured on the opening spread represent “Now” if it was taken on Jan. 29 (of a previous year, I’m assuming)? Or is that a typo?
As a recent alumna I get a kick out of identifying specific places and groups I recognize from my years at Northwestern. Is the cheerful female student hauling laundry through the halls of Jones [Campus Life, winter 2011, page 7]? The location seems all too familiar to me from my freshman and sophomore years as a “Jonesian.”
Elizabeth Byorick Tippette (C07)
Editor’s note: The Now photos are taken a year ahead, so they’re in sync with the season of the issue date. As for the photo of the student with the laundry basket, we didn’t know the young woman’s identity when we went to press. But we just heard from her. Erin Fan (C10), left, was a freshman living in Jones Residential College when the photo was taken in May 2007. Today Fan lives in San Francicso and works at a public relations firm for the video game industry.