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(Photo by Darren Trentacosta)

We'd like to hear from you

Northwestern welcomes letters from readers. We reserve the right to edit for space and style. Send letters to

1800 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60208
Fax: 847-491-3040

Let's Do Lunch
The power of good journalism was proven not only by the mere presence of "Northwestern 60208" [Spring 1999], in the magazine but also by the fact that it generated much buzz in Hollywood about the [student-generated soap opera University Place]. Within two to three days of the article's printing, I received calls from several executives and producers who were curious about the show and wanted to meet me and hear more. I ended up doing some personal interviews about a week later. I can't thank you enough.
Chad Hodge (S99)
Los Angeles

Myth Makers
Your article in the Times Past column, "Greek (and Non-Greek) Mythology" [Spring 1999], evoked a lot of pleasant memories. In the four years that I was at Northwestern (1938-42), never did inclement weather halt classes. Snow could be knee-deep; temperatures could be steadily plummeting; blizzards could be raging [with] icy, biting winds blowing off the lake, but classes continued without a break. As the article stated, Northwestern rarely closed for anything, certainly nothing as trivial as bad weather. Yes, the University almost never closes, but I can clearly recall a day when all classes were canceled, not by the administration but by student acclamation. One Saturday early in those four years, the Northwestern Wildcats defeated the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame in a fiercely fought football game. Notre Dame was a bitter, hated rival, and beating them was the greatest wish of every Northwestern student. This was not often accomplished, so this victory was very sweet. A win over Notre Dame made it a successful season regardless of how the team did with the other schools on the schedule. On the Monday following the game, the students declared a victory holiday and simply stayed away from all classes. The faculty bowed to their decision and entered into the spirit of the occasion. A daylong celebration followed. This included a long march around campus and around the neighborhood of Evanston. So, Northwestern does close sometimes, not often, but on rare occasions, like an unexpected football victory.
Dorothy Toman Stone (SESP42)
Kapolei, Hawaii

Please take a moment out of your busy schedule to inform [writer] AnnMarie Harris that our beloved Deering Library was alive and well long before the lakefill project, and then gently forgive her for her relatively unimportant misinformation!
C. David Wilson (McC47)
Madawaska, Maine

Editor's reply: University archivist Patrick Quinn is misquoted in the article as saying that many erroneously believe Deering Library, not the University Library, is sinking. Particularly because Patrick's office is in Deering, Associate Editor Robert Freed, who committed the faux pas, very much regrets the error.

While I enjoyed your piece on various campus myths (though you never did get into the legend of the Rock and what lay underneath it), it took me by surprise that you only refer to a graduate student living in [the Technological Institute] during the 1950s. I recall quite vividly the discovery of a sub-basement graduate resident during my tenure as an undergraduate. A friend of mine, Lisa Lednicer (J88), actually interviewed this student for the Daily Northwestern (the campus editor, Jonathan Eig [J88], became a bit concerned when she ran late returning from the assignment). I would greatly appreciate it if you did a little research to verify my recollections. As a somewhat impoverished [doctoral] candidate [at Rutgers University], the tale amuses me more today than it did then.
Lisa Kazmier (J88)
Martinsville, N.J.

Editor's reply: University archival associate Kevin Leonard confirms your suspicions. In 1985, the Daily Northwestern carried two articles concerning a student secretly residing under a stairwell in the Technological Institute's basement. Talk about desirable Evanston real estate!

Half Nelson
Upon reading [News on Campus], Spring 1999 issue, I was pretty disappointed by the disparity of complete coverage of the winter sports at Northwestern. Both men's and women's basketball received write-ups that detailed how each team's season ended as well as outstanding individual performances. However, the only details that were included in the piece on the wrestling team were the results of the Midlands Wrestling Championships, a tournament that happens very early in the season. What about the team's dual record? What about how the team did at the Big Ten tournament?
Jeffrey McCray (Mu96)
Wilmington, Del.

Editor's reply: The wrestling team finished seventh in the Big Ten tournament and 29th nationally.

Ups and Downs
I just read the most recent alumni magazine, and it is one of the best I have seen since I graduated in 1950! The format is different, and I like the changes. The articles are interesting too.
Edgar (Ted) Ilgenfritz (WCAS50)
Midland, Mich.

I just read my new Northwestern magazine. I find the layout to be cluttered and entirely too busy. I suggest that you publish more frequently rather than try to cram every bit of information into one issue. I will add to that my standing criticism that there is too little coverage of African American alums in the magazine. As a black and proud NU alum, reading NU publications always leaves me feeling as if I was never there. You are desperately in need of someone familiar with NU's black community and its accomplishments.
Michele Tuck-Ponder (J80)
Princeton, N.J.

Heavenly House
When I came to the page ["This Old House," News on Campus, Jan./Feb. 1999], with a picture of the John Evans Center, I was transported back to the days when it was the [religious center]. I was one of the "privileged few" from the Methodist Student Foundation who were allowed to use the mimeograph machine, so I was often in Gene Durham's office during the week doing whatever needed doing. On Sunday mornings, we had breakfast/Sunday School class with wonderful discussions about the meaning of life and afterward would socialize while doing the dishes. Yes, the John Evans Center and the crocuses hold special nostalgic memories for me. Thank you for the picture and the history.
Lila Fraizer (WCAS51)
Sacramento, Calif.

As a longtime resident of Los Angeles and a partner for an even longer period of time in a "black/white" marriage, I disagree with Leigh Buchanan Bienen's statement in "Courtroom Dramas," Spring 1999, that "if the [O.J.] Simpson case hadn't been black/white, it wouldn't have generated the same level of interest." That may possibly be true in Chicago with its continuing reputation as America's most segregated city, but in multiracial, multiethnic California, interest in the Simpson case was generated by the defendant's standing as an American folk hero, the viciousness of the crime and the cast of characters involved in the trial -- not by the race of the accused or that of the victims.
John H. Andrew (L61)
Gold River, Calif.