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:
1800 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60208-1800
Magazine’s New Look
As a Northwestern grad and as a writer — of three books and hundreds of ads — I indulge my ego to believe that I know a good publication when I see one. And I just have.
The new Northwestern magazine is top drawer, first class and absolutely superior, both graphically and editorially. Congratulations. Now, what are you going to do for an encore?
Alan R. Tripp (EB37)
Bryn Mawr, Pa.
I’m writing to let you know how much I appreciate the new Northwestern magazine. It is quite attractive in design, format and content. I especially like the old photos and I encourage you to include more in the future.
You are onto something. Keep up the good work.
Alvin J. Schexnider (G71, 73)
What a pleasant surprise to receive your new Northwestern magazine. Great content, photos and class notes.
R. William Henkel (G72)
Wilton Manors, Fla.
Congratulations on the new look for the magazine — it’s very smart. Still, I wonder why you are hanging on to what I regard as a very old-fashioned approach to headlines: the extensive use of capital letters to start almost every word. To me it looks very 19th or early 20th century.
To see a modern lowercase style in action, check out the Toronto-based newsmagazine daily Globe and Mail or the French weekly Le Point, just for two examples.
Isn’t it time to break free from the “your obedient servant” style?
Loren Chudy (J67)
Covers are important, and the one on your recent edition was impressive. As I sometimes tell my fellow writers: “Good show.” The contents weren’t bad, either. I become more and more convinced, when my various university magazines arrive, that the work colleges are doing will have more effect on our nation’s future than anything else. The work being done on energy, technology, world and human relations and other concerns is astounding.
Wilbur “Webb” T. Scrivnor (GBSM56)
Grand Haven, Mich.
Please commend yourself and your entire staff for all their efforts on a spectacular redesign. An incredible amount of information was packed into this issue, and the layout and photos invited readers of all ages. Standout stories included the “Rock Repository” article, and my 6-year-old son loved the “Comic Marvel” [Collections, Campus Life] piece. As a former writer for Northwestern by Night, the University College publication, I had the opportunity to interview such distinguished Northwestern journalism professors as George Harmon and Phillip O’Connor. After reading the fall 2010 issue of Northwestern magazine, it makes me proud to have contributed to the continuing legacy of gifted journalists who are dedicated to producing fantastic publications addressing the past and current faces and facets of Northwestern University.
Over the summer I was diagnosed with a bad heart valve and at age 45 underwent open-heart surgery. One of my spiritual goals following recovery was to live according to the mantra “Build up, don’t tear down.”
Please continue to “build up” your staff and this fine publication.
Sean Derning (SCS93)
Steamboat Springs, Colo.
I enjoyed the redesign of the alumni magazine. It’s a refreshing and elegant new look for a magazine steeped in tradition.
Paul Takahashi (J10, GJ10)
I liked the photos in the new magazine but not the size or the font used in the articles. The former size suits me better. I graduated in 1952, and perhaps that’s why I liked the bigger-sized print.
I read every magazine from cover to cover and greatly enjoy seeing it in my mailbox! I pass it on to a friend who then passes it on to another friend who went to Northwestern many years ago.
I am very proud that I went to Northwestern and would like to easily read the next issue.
Mary J. Rowland (WCAS52)
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Congratulations to all — and I know that encompasses many people — on the Northwestern magazine makeover. The debut issue reflects thought, creativity and knowledge of the readers’ interests. The design, organization and content create a publication for all involved with Northwestern to be proud of. The selection of photography and quality of printing also reflect the high standards of the publication.
Please, though, “Passings” is a euphemism that our dear, departed colleagues don’t deserve. They are not a bowl of mashed potatoes. Just as I’d like to think our fellow alums lived honest, true lives, the end of their days is “death.”
Deborah L. McBride (C73)
Purple Rage Over Alum’s Letter
I have just finished perusing the new issue. I like the new format and applaud the beautiful photos.
My otherwise positive impression was soured by the letter from Ray Trapp (KSM64) [“The White House Goes Purple,” Mailbox, fall 2010] bashing the article in a previous issue about Northwestern alumni in the current White House [“The White House Goes Purple,” summer 2010].
I am embarrassed by his inflammatory assertions: “most dangerous president ever ... who brought teams of communists and leftist radicals to the White House,” “Socialist ideologue” who is “destroying our country.”
As a former Northwestern debater, I was trained to use evidence to prove claims. Mr. Trapp uses none. He ignores the accomplishments of this administration to help right an economy brought down by the deregulatory policies of the former administration.
I expect those educated at Northwestern, regardless of their politics, to think critically and have a more nuanced perspective than was demonstrated by this letter. Mr. Trapp demeans himself and his Northwestern education.
Sally Thurnau Egler (C59, GC65)
Congratulations on the redesign.
As usual, I turned to Mailbox first, though it almost spoiled the rest of the issue. The Ray Trapp letter was a shock and a disappointment, not worthy of the magazine or indeed of the University. It is a snarky, mean, sarcastic rant that reminded me of McCarthy-era malarkey.
I’d be the last to deny anyone their point of view, but Northwestern magazine is absolutely the wrong venue for such expressions of hate.
Dorothy Sattes Ridings (J61)
I am disappointed that you published the silly comments of Mr. Trapp from Dallas. They are not worthy of your fine magazine. Moreover, you did not publish any mail with an opposing viewpoint.
Let me cure that omission. Unlike his predecessor, President Obama (H06) did not start any ruinous wars or sign off on any budget-busting, unpaid-for, needless tax cuts and gutting of regulations that did nothing to stimulate the economy, which actually shrank and tanked on Bush’s watch. The president has had a relatively short period of time in office to try to clean up his predecessor’s messes and at the same time advance the ball in the face of abusive filibustering by the opposition. While his performance has been uneven, he can rightly claim as major accomplishments the stimulus package, the consumer financial protection agency, and reform of health care, credit cards, student loans and the financial system.
My answer to Mr. Trapp’s question about how’s that “hope and change” working for you is “OK,” though it would be much better if people, especially of his ilk, had not rejected any notion of civil discourse. That is what is “ruining” this country.
Philip DeMaertelaere (WCAS90)
There was no need to publish such a vituperative and fear-mongering letter in an alumni magazine in which you seem to go to great lengths to highlight the best of University life and accomplishments.
Shame on your letter writer and even more shame on you for printing his totally unsupported rant. We all know where such allegations about President Obama are coming from, but no publication that aspires to equality and academic rigor should perpetuate this misinformation. I’m purple with rage.
Diane Reitemeier Maddex (WCAS65)
Bethany Beach, Del.
May I suggest that a set of standards for commentary be adopted relative to publishing letters in the attractively reformatted Northwestern magazine? The sarcastic, bombastic letter from Ray Trapp in the fall 2010 issue was what one would expect to read in a right-wing blog, not a serious publication from one of America’s finest educational institutions.
Apparently, Mr. Trapp does not approve of the president or his policies. I do not approve of Mr. Trapp’s attaching labels (“communists and leftists radical”) to the outstanding young men and women from Northwestern who are working in the White House. Nothing in your article suggests that they fit the labels Mr. Trapp attached to them. I suppose there is a place for Mr. Trapp’s rants, but it is not in our magazine.
John “Jay” W. Boyd (WCAS73)
Sherman Wu Obituary
I am a founding member of the Psi Upsilon chapter at Northwestern. I am somewhat familiar with Sherman Wu’s pledging and subsequent depledging [Passings, Alumni Life, fall 2010].
He was not depledged because he was Asian. It was for other reasons. We were not anti-Asian. One of our other founding members was Chinese.
I am surprised that you would perpetuate this untruth so many years later.
James F. Ramsey (EB51)
Oh, Northwestern, how incredibly lame to illustrate all Births and Adoptions with one blue-eyed, Caucasian baby [Alumni Life, fall 2010]. Surely our alumni community is more diverse than that?
Sarah Wadelton (C92)
Latham House Revisited
I read with interest the comments in Mailbox about Latham House [Mailbox, “Confusion over Latham House,” fall 2010]. I lived there from 1952 to 1956. I agree with one writer that the Burger King is not on the same site as Latham House, at least not all of it.
I brought my wife there in 2008. It was the first time I had been back to the campus in more than 50 years. It took me a while to get oriented. I took a picture of my wife in front of the burger place, but as I looked at it, something seemed to be wrong. Then I noticed a little empty spot to the west of Burger King, and it dawned on me that the empty space had been 710 Clark St. The burger place might have taken up some of the space where Latham had been, but not all of it.
Granville Cooley (J56)
Now: Deering Library Reading Room
I was intrigued by the inside cover photograph of the Deering Library Reading Room in the fall 2010 issue.
I see that the University finally installed modern ceiling lights to augment those awful, 1930s imitation Gothic chandeliers, perhaps to give some decent lighting at the tables. However, it appears that they still have not replaced the uncomfortable wood-backed chairs.
Of the nine visible students in the photograph, seven are using laptop computers and none are reading books. There are still a few bookshelves in the room, and they are still filled with books. However, in light of the apparent paucity of use of books by the students, perhaps the photo should have included a group being led on a tour of this historic anachronism.
Richard Stavins (J65, L68)
Thank you for the fall issue! When I opened the magazine I was immediately transported back to my 1954–1958 commuting days by the beautiful photo of the Deering Reading Room. That photo brought back so many memories. What a beautiful learning spot it is, too!
I’m going to laminate that photo spread. I’ve showed it to my friends out here in California — what a neat ad for Northwestern.
Ruth Krapf Giese (SESP58)
Temple City, Calif.