A comment submitted to Seattle University Magazine online from College of Nursing alumna Jessica Goglin, '72:
Alumni greetings! I was a classmate of Gen. Peter Chiarelli, Class of 1972. Congratulations to him for his Alumni of the Year Award ["Alumnus of the Year," spring 2010]. Our country is so fortunate to have such a stellar general serving all of us. Recently, I listened to Pete's conversation on National Public Radio (NPR) about the overall mental and physical health of today's U.S. soldier. A very interesting conversation. I am a graduate of the College of Nursing and served my country as a U.S. Navy nurse during the Vietnam War.
Division I a Win-Win for SU
Dr. Joseph Gallucci's letter [Letters, Fall 2009] does not
reflect my experience at Seattle University from 1951 until my
graduation in 1955. I earned seven varsity letters in basketball
and baseball on nationally ranked teams, graduated with
honors in business administration, as a distinguished military
cadet was offered a regular Army commission via ROTC and
am an alumnus of the Harvard Business School. Listed below
is a sampling of some of my friends and teammates who were
also student athletes:
Ron Bissett, '56, basketball (business, CPA)
Emmett Casey, basketball, attended SU in the '50s and '60s
(psychology and philosophy)
Bob Clark, baseball, attended SU '51–'56 (ROTC, military pilot)
Bill Collier, '55, baseball (ROTC, CPA, CFO)
Tommy Cox, '56, basketball (ROTC, business, CPA, MBA)
Al Giles, '56, basketball (master's degree in psychology)
Charles Guinasso, '55, baseball (ROTC, lawyer, judge)
Jack Johansen, '55 and '88, basketball (ROTC, business)
Frank McBarron, '55, basketball, baseball and soccer
(ROTC, science degree, MD)
Ed and John O'Brien, '53, basketball and baseball (business)
Joe Pehanick, '57, basketball (business, former SU regent)
Larry Sanford, '57, basketball (master's degree in sociology)
Wayne Sanford, '55, basketball (business)
The example in Dr. Gallucci's letter opines the predication
of an entire group. Thus, he predicates a particular to draw
a universal conclusion. This is a fallacy in logic as most of
us learned from Father John Harrington's logic classes. The
most ill-advised decision made at SU in the past 29 years
was to abandon Division I athletics. High-level scholastic
achievement is not incompatible with high-level athletic
success. Having served 16 years on the Gonzaga University
Board of Regents before retiring as Regent Emeritus in 2002,
I continue to observe this ongoing relationship between
academic performance and athletic achievement.
John F. Kelly, '55
ROTC Important to Many Alumni
I am writing in response to the letter that the ROTC
program was unworthy of the coverage given to it.
I think that it was, and further, I believe the ROTC
program has been an excellent complement to the SU
mission to educate and develop the character of students.
The writer seems to espouse the view that the university
should not facilitate or support ROTC (i.e. no student
should have the opportunity to participate in the ROTC
program). He clearly has a personal bias against the
program and uses the phrase "complicity of Seattle
University in the Vietnam War" to imply that the
university is itself responsible for actions of the U.S.
government. I think this is way off base in this regard,
and also in the letter's closing, that "this story, glorifying
the ROTC program, should never have seen the light
I disagree, and would like to compliment the magazine
editor for publishing an excellent article on a program
that was an important part of the education of many of
us who graduated in the 1950s and '60s. I believe that an
important role of a university is to provide its students
the opportunity to grow and expand their horizons. For
years, the Seattle University ROTC program has been
a major factor in fulfilling that role and, hopefully, will
continue to do so.
Dave Sigmon, '60
ROTC Part of the Fabric of the University
I share with my fellow ROTC former cadets some sense
of amazement and discouragement with the sentiment
of Mr. Dennis Williams, '69, as voiced in his letter to
the editor in the Winter 2009–10 issue. The fullness of
four decades of worldly experience since our SU days
seems not to have taught that the terrible reality of war is
certainly a separate matter from the rightful presentation
of ROTC students and an article depicting activities and
pictures of these students.
Under our country's military traditions, forces are
deployed by elected representatives of the people. Mr.
Williams has a right to disagree with any choices our
nation's leaders may make in using our military, but to
suggest that ROTC military training is "out of proportion
to its place in Seattle University's mission and goals" is
itself wrong. Seattle University has long supported broad
public service choice, professional career choice and
diversity of opinion.
Our world, as imperfect as it is, contains threats now as it
has for hundreds of years. I feel that my Catholic, Jesuit
university has an obligation to continue to offer ROTC
for those willing to protect our way of life from tyrants
Though I was lucky to take only superficial wound
fighting in Vietnam, several of my classmates suffered
the greatest personal loss. To exclude publishing ROTC
training activities is faulty on many levels and such
exclusion would be the true travesty.
Bill Pfeiffer, '68 PhD
Colonel, U.S. Army (Retired)
ROTC Should Be a Point of Pride for SU
I am writing in response to the letter from Dennis Williams protesting the article on the ROTC program at Seattle University ["Glorification of ROTC Program Wrong," Letters, Winter 2009–10]. So you know my bias, I am a product of the Seattle University ROTC program and a retired Army officer. I disagree completely with everything Dennis Williams said. Disagreement about war is as old as our country. Perhaps the only war during which there wasn't a lot of dissent was World War II. Dissent is nothing new and Mr. Williams has every right to express it.
I only had four years of Jesuit education but I regard them as one of the high points of my life. Those years taught me how to think, study, question and keep an open mind about the events of the time. Jesuits have even been described in military terms because of their dedication and intellectual honesty. That ethic is communicated to their students and it is a disservice to the university to suggest they were somehow responsible for or promoted the Vietnam War. Of course, the history of ROTC at SU goes back decades and will, I hope, continue as long as our country needs officers.
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