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At the Top of Their Game

I appreciate the attention to sports journalism in the cover story "At the Top of Their Game" [spring 2008] but would like the record corrected regarding an assertion in the sidebar "Inside Sports: The Untold Stories."

Our program about Pat Tillman on ESPN's Outside the Lines was not instrumental in getting Congress to hold hearings, but a DVD of the program was requested by the congressional committee investigating Tillman's death and its aftermath.

One other note about ESPN's coverage of the topic — my ESPN-TV colleagues' and my work built on the reporting of's Mike Fish, whose online series about the friendly fire tragedy was edited and supervised by Northwestern alumnus Michael Knisley (WCAS73), senior deputy editor of

William Weinbaum (J82, GJ83)
New York City

Rick Telander's (WCAS71) name was conspicuously absent from "At the Top of Their Game."

Any particular reason?

Mike Maley (McC90)
Burr Ridge, Ill.

Why the omission of Mike Adamle (C71) in your article? I am not sure any in the article exceed his professional accomplishments in the media and loyalty to Northwestern.

Does he still have unpaid parking tickets?

Bob Layfield (WCAS72)
Cedar Falls, Iowa

Editor's note: We didn't have enough space to include all of Northwestern's talented sports journalists.

International Ambassadors

As one of seven alumni working at Rotary International, just down the street from the Evanston campus, I have to say how much we enjoyed reading "The Internationals" in your spring 2008 issue.

On average, one international student annually studies at Northwestern on a Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholarship. These 60 Rotary "ambassadors of goodwill" over the past six decades have helped build Northwestern's international student community described so well in the article.

Harvey Newcomb III (WCAS90)
The Rotary Foundation

Howes Chapel Memories

Thank you for including the gorgeous photograph of the Frank W. Howes (misspelled "Howe" in the caption) Memorial Chapel on the inside front cover [spring 2008]. It's where my father, Franklin C. Beavers (D44), and mother were married Aug. 18, 1945. It was wonderful to see an actual photo of the chapel because until then I had only seen sketches from a brochure my late mother had kept. My father was pleased to see the photo also. I hope that one day I'll be able to visit the Evanston campus and see the chapel itself.

Linda L. Beavers
Yadkinville, N.C.

The inside cover of the Howes Chapel at Garrett brought a thrill to my heart. The photograph conveys beauty, inspiration and the reminder that we do not walk alone.

During both my undergraduate and graduate years, Howes was a haven for me. Thank you for displaying this special place.

Lucille G. Ford (WCAS44, KSM45)
Ashland, Ohio

Editor's note: The Frank W. Howes Memorial Chapel is part of the campus of the Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary.

Kudos on Qatar Campus

I found the news about Northwestern's new campus in Qatar [News on Campus, spring 2007] very interesting because I worked with Professor Mohammad Fathy Saoud (now president of Qatar Foundation) in establishing the Texas A&M University at Qatar engineering programs. Further, I was on an evaluation team to assess whether the College of Engineering at Qatar University and its programs were ready for review and accreditation.

I am proud of Northwestern for joining Qatar's educational efforts.

Paul Y. Thompson (GMcC62)
Franklin, N.C.

Nix the Naysayers

In a letter to the editor [Mailbox, spring 2008] criticizing the winter 2007 cover story "Purple Goes Green," Mollie Manrose VanderLaan (WCAS01) questions the role of human activity in producing global warming. In support of this opinion, she states that John Christy, "one of Gore's fellow recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize this year," has recently disputed the thesis of man-made global warming.

Her letter creates the impression that Christy was standing on the dais with Gore in Oslo, Norway, as the Peace Prize was awarded, that Christy was a named recipient of the prize along with Gore and that his dissent represents ongoing scientific controversy regarding this issue.

Not so. The actual co-recipient of the Peace Prize with Gore was the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a scientific body established by the United Nations Environment Programme and the World Meteorological Organization. Christy was merely one of some 2,000 scientists who served on the panel, and only in a very technical sense is he a "fellow recipient" with Gore. Christy was not in attendance at the Nobel ceremony.

Christy is a well-known global warming debunker who has been linked to ExxonMobil's multimillion-dollar campaign against climate change research. A "balanced look at this topic," as VanderLaan calls for, would reveal that mainstream science fully accepts that human activities have contributed to global warming. Indeed, the Nobel Prize citation to the IPCC reads, in pertinent part, that its research had "created an ever-broader informed consensus about the connection between human activities and global warming."

John M. Feagan (WCAS69)
Sarasota, Fla.

I'm disappointed that three of the five letters you published were skeptical about the source of climate change. Even President Bush and his administration, long deniers that climate change even exists, have finally gone on record acknowledging it.

It's true that we may not be able to pinpoint exactly how much climate change results from natural shifts in climate patterns versus accelerated change caused by humans dumping carbon into the atmosphere.

The facts are that humans have contributed to climate change, and our dependence upon a carbon-based economy is at the heart of the problem. Scientists confronting climate change now realize that it's not just a matter of conserving on an individual level. It's a matter of inventing new clean technologies, making the technologies we have much more efficient and embracing a paradigm shift in our understanding of consumption and waste.

If actions we take now can have a mitigating effect on that outcome, then it is our moral imperative to bring those changes about and not sit around splitting hairs about the causes of "so-called global warming."

It's a shame that my alumni magazine is contributing to the time-wasting debate continued stubbornly by climate-change doubters. I'd like to think my fellow alumni are more intelligent, realistic and invested in the welfare of our planet than what is suggested by the authors of those letters.

Please don't be bullied into giving publicity to a position now in the scientific minority by readers who question your journalistic integrity. I'm not interested in that kind of fairness.

Angela Jordan (WCAS92)
Mobile, Ala.

Critical reader response to "Purple Goes Green," voicing skepticism that human activity contributes to climate change, comes as no surprise.

At the heart of the debate is a question regarding future costs. Those who attribute climate change to human activity believe the cost of reducing current levels of greenhouse gas emissions will be less than the cost of failing to do so — as measured by inundation from rising sea levels, persistent crop failures, etc. Skeptics believe expenditures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are a misallocation of scarce resources that are better spent on other societal goods such as health care and education.

This is a debate worth having only if the cost of renewable energy exceeds the cost of fossil fuels. Soon this will no longer be the case. One barrel of oil (more than $122 in early May) contains 1,700 kWh of energy. At $.05/kWh, the equivalent amount of wind-produced energy would cost $85.

Recent developments in photovoltaic technology will soon make solar energy comparable in cost to coal-generated electricity.

The trend is clear: Technological improvements have placed the cost per unit of renewable energy on a downward sloping curve; increasing global demand for fossil fuel resources have placed the price of those commodities on an upward sloping curve. The two curves are intersecting.

Individuals may disagree whether expanded investment in renewable energy resources and conservation is desirable, but markets will make such investment inevitable.

Joseph LaRusso (G81, L89)
Roslindale, Mass.

Leopold's Legacy

All the letters [Mailbox, spring 2008] about Richard Leopold ["Sundays with Dick," winter 2007] seem to come from former male PhD candidates from the '60s and '70s.

As a female undergraduate I was privileged to take American history with Professor Leopold in the early '50s. I entered Northwestern from a small town in Indiana where my high school principal taught the history class so poorly that I was completely turned off by the subject.

At Northwestern, however, I was introduced not only to the brilliant and exciting lectures of Leopold but also to the whimsical, colorful words of former history professor Ray Billington. I have never forgotten these two professors, whose influence remains with me today.

Barbara Churchill (C53)

Remembering Alfred Parcell

As I was flipping through the spring 2008 issue, I saw the obituary for Alfred Parcell (GD39) [Deaths, Alumni News]. I remember my friends and I from Goodrich House would often be undecided between going to eat at Sargent (which was always loud and crowded, but closer) or Elder. More often than not we would trek up to Elder just to see Al. His smile always brightened our day.

The other two gentlemen in featured obituaries near Al's were known more for their financial contributions. It's nice to see a "regular guy" recognized, one whom students actually knew and talked with.

Danielle Hoover (McC00)
South Euclid, Ohio

Northwestern in the Movies

Over the past few years it seems as if Northwestern has appeared often on characters' T-shirts on TV shows and as the locale for movies. I love it every time I see Northwestern mentioned!

I just went with my three teenagers to see College Road Trip and, to my surprise, Northwestern was the main focus in the first part of the movie. I was smiling from ear to ear and wearing my purple pride knowing that I was the only person sitting in that theater who had graduated from such a great institution!

Go U Northwestern!

Renee Pearl-Sigler (C85)
Côte Saint-Luc, Quebec


Due to an error in the alumni database, we mistakenly reported that Harvey E. Wahls (McC54, GMcC55, 61) of Raleigh, N.C., passed away last year [Deaths, Alumni News, spring 2008]. It was his wife, Margaret W. Wahls, who died in April 2007. We deeply regret this error.

In the obituary for Ann Hedges Cummings (C55) of Brattleboro, Vt. [Deaths, Alumni News, spring 2008], we mistakenly reported that she was survived by her brother, Robert N. Hedges (FSM48). Mr. Hedges passed away June 1, 1993.

In a class note for Steve Silverman (GJ84) of Grayslake, Ill. [Alumni News, spring 2008], we erroneously reported that he co-wrote his first book. He is the sole author of The Good, The Bad and the Ugly: Heart-Pounding, Jaw-Dropping and Gut-Wrenching Moments from Minnesota Vikings History (Triumph Books, 2007).

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