Keeping the Faith

I was very glad to read that religion has a comfortable and accepting atmosphere at Northwestern ["Keeping the Faith," summer 2002]. I entered Northwestern as an agnostic transfer student to the School of Communication in 1947 but graduated ready to earn a master’s degree in Christian education from Union Theological Seminary in New York City. The transformation of my beliefs came about both through the intellectual stimulation of courses at Northwestern and the fellowship of the Westminster Foundation, housed then at the John Evans Center. Those years set me on a lifetime of spiritual exploration and growth that is as enriching today as those long-ago days on campus.

Marjorie Marlowe Glassco (C49)
Fredericksburg, Va.

Thanks so much for a most interesting and well-written summer issue with several articles of special interest to me as a pastor. As I reflect on my years at Northwestern during the Vietnam War era of 1969 to 1972, I realize that my own spiritual quest became much more significant to me than the classes I took or the friends I made. The development of my Christian faith gave me the moorings I needed to navigate the cultural upheaval and political currents swirling around me. This quest sent me in search of the pacifist Christian community base I found at Reba Place Fellowship in South Evanston and eventually to a vocation in the ministry. I am glad that students are finding good support for their spiritual life at Northwestern these days, and I was uplifted to read their testimonies.

Rev. Sally Schreiner (WCAS73)
Living Water Community Church

As an Orthodox Jew whose religious growth flourished on campus, I found this issue of the alumni magazine frustrating. The article on religious students included profiles of representatives of each faith. Three of the four started with the premise of the primacy of their religion in their lives. But not the Jewish student. Couldn’t the magazine find a single observant Jewish student who didn’t insist on "challeng[ing] the shortcomings" of her religion?

I find it hard to believe that there are no Jews on Northwestern’s two campuses who could similarly express unequivocal commitment to the Torah.

Ronald D. Coleman (L88)
New York City

I was pleasantly surprised to read the reference to D. Lynn Johnson, a professor in the McCormick school and an adviser to Mormon students. He was adviser to the Deseret Club in the early 1970s while I was at Northwestern. He is still actively involved with the Latter-Day Saints Student Association. My two sons, now undergraduates on campus, have both benefited from his spiritual direction.

Although small in number, the Mormon students at Northwestern have continued as an active group throughout the past three-plus decades in part because of the efforts of Johnson and others who have selflessly given of their time.

Dale Walther (WCAS72)
Anchorage, Alaska

Jennifer Su’s sidebar ["Sowing the Seeds of Christianity"] reminded me of my early months at Northwestern. When I came to campus in 1951, I was greeted by InterVarsity students who made me feel at home right off the bat. They helped me so much in my walk with Christ during all these years.

I shall never forget the great times of fellowship in InterVarsity and the students and faculty who guided me along the way.

Ed Ronne Sr. (C53)
Elmhurst, Ill.

Love with a Tech Weenie

I really enjoyed the "Love with a Tech Weenie" [Purple Prose, summer 2002] essay by Judy Belk (C75) because my husband, Steve Tarzynski (WCAS73), and I had a parallel experience. He was a premed biology major, and I was majoring in history in the same years (early 1970s). Steve joined me in a survey course on African history, my specialty. So imagine my chagrin when he got an A and I received a B! I went on to earn a doctorate in African history, while he became a pediatrician. His research in African history was put to use when we resided in Mozambique for two years in the 1980s.

Kathleen Sheldon (WCAS74)
Santa Monica, Calif.

Belk defines "tech weenie" as an "affectionate nickname given to engineering students," but it has been my experience that this term is not used by engineering students but rather by people with different academic backgrounds to describe someone they don’t understand.

Thomas M. Tirpa (GMcC01)
Glenview, Ill.

Editor’s note: The term "tech weenie" was coined in 1909 shortly after the School of Engineering moved into Swift Hall, a building constructed with funds donated by meatpacker Gustavus F. Swift.

Leon Forrest’s Legacy

Thank you for "Preserving the Forrest Legacy" [Alumni News, winter 2001]. Professor Leon Forrest was a dynamic and thoughtful man who made each student feel "talented" and "special," as Charles Whitaker (J80, GJ81) noted.

Professor Forrest didn’t just teach us how to write, he guided us through the thought process of writing, and it’s his soft and energetic voice that still emboldens this writer when self-doubt occurs.

Thank you, Professor Forrest, for encouraging, leading and mentoring us to be better than we thought we could be.

Rest in peace.

Robin T. Davis (WCAS83)

Swimming Back into Focus

As the comic lead of the 1950 Dolphin Show,"Look Out Below," I enjoyed "Stepping up to the Plate," summer 2002, about the Dolphin Show’s latest production. I’ll admit I haven’t heard anything about the show for more than 50 years, but I was amazed to learn that it reached dry land during the last half century.

I was one of the cast members who could scarcely swim, so Cahn Auditorium would have suited me more than the Patten Gym pool.

Don Kington (Mu51)
San Francisco

Editor’s note: The Dolphin Show bobbed to the surface in 1940 to raise funds to send a men’s swimming group called the Dolphin Club to competitions in Florida. Eventually the show drifted away from its aquatic roots, with most of the skits performed around the pool, not in it. The Dolphin Show became permanently dry-docked at Cahn in 1970.

Engineers Can Write, Too

I really enjoy reading profiles and first-person essays written by and about current students such as Elizabeth Prevost ["Helping Lost Boys Find Their Way," Student Life, summer 2002], Michael DePilla’s funny account of his thinning hair ["Mirror, Mirror on the Wall," Student Life, summer 2002] and Geeta Kharkar’s first-person story about producing this year’s Dolphin Show.

Yet almost always these accounts are written by Medill students. I realize that journalism students are the ones who like to write and that engineering students may not have the best writing skills. But McCormick students do a lot of really neat stuff on campus.

We McCormick alumni would like to spread the word about how great the current engineering curriculum is. And who knows? Maybe a couple of WCAS or Medill alumni will read the magazine and encourage their high school senior bound for engineering college to apply to Northwestern.

Alina Laurie (McC01)
Grand Rapids

Editor’s note: We admit that Medill students write an abundance of profiles and essays for Northwestern magazine. However, we would be thrilled to have students from McCormick and all other schools submit first-person essays. So, current students, please contact the editor if you’re interested in writing for the magazine.

Hope for the Balding

I read Michael DePilla’s lament about his hair with amusement and empathy.

Male-pattern baldness is treatable, even in a very young man. Also, to set the record straight, the baldness gene can be inherited from the mother’s or the father’s side.

William V.R. Shellow (FSM63)
Professor of dermatology
University of California, Los Angeles

Those Tricky Class Codes

As I was perusing the summer issue, I noticed that alumni are identified by letters and numbers in parentheses that do not appear to match degrees earned. For example: WCAS69 or EB48. What do these symbols represent? Just curious.

Monica Tofil Fleisch (G67)
Des Moines

Editor’s note: WCAS indicates an undergraduate degree from the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences or Liberal Arts, and EB means Evanston Business, used to denote an undergraduate business degree that is no longer offered. The numbers indicate the year the student graduated.

For a complete list of all the degree designations, look for "Classmates Decoded" in Alumni News in every issue.

Boom Chicago Rocks

Special congratulations on "Dutch Treat" [summer 2002] about Amsterdam-based improvisation troupe Boom Chicago.

A playwright and producer myself, I know how difficult it is to get works performed. I was amazed at how resourceful these super-talented Northwestern alumni have been in meeting the challenge of getting their unique comedy established in a foreign country.

Sarah Blacher Cohen (G69)
Professor of English
SUNY at Albany
Albany, N.Y.

What’s in a Name?

I am in awe of a family wealthy enough and generous enough to have given the Medical School the gifts given by the Feinberg family. I must point out that the use of FSM to identify Northwestern University Medical School graduates before the class of 2002 is inaccurate, pandering and generally distasteful to those of us graduating in earlier years.

My friend Paul O’Brien is listed in the obituaries as FSM. Paul most emphatically did not graduate from The Feinberg School of Medicine in 1954 any more than I did in 1957.

Give the Feinberg Foundation full credit for the current medical school students and all those who follow. As for me, and, I suspect, many others, the simple designation M followed by our class year will be sufficient.

J. Byron Gathright Jr. (FSM57)
New Orleans

I think it’s great that Northwestern received $103 million from the Feinberg family, and I have no problem putting their name on the Medical School.

But I consider previous graduates, like myself, as grads of Northwestern University Medical School, NUMS, not Feinberg School of Medicine.

Did they consider calling it Northwestern/Feinberg School of Medicine? I hate to see Northwestern left out of the name. Let’s not rewrite too much history!

David S. Moore (FSM63)
Olney, Texas

Editor’s note: The class code FSM was chosen to be consistent with the designation for other named schools, such as the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences (WCAS).


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