Letters to the Editor

Seattle University Magazine welcomes letters to the editor on subjects raised within the pages of the magazine.

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The View from Here Looks Good

Thank you very much for the review you did on View from the Tent [Bookmarks, Winter 2010]. It came as a great surprise as I concluded that [there] might not be any interest on your/SU Magazine's part. I love that it's in a love edition!

M. Barrett Miller, '68
Seattle


'Making Her story' Revisited FROM THE EDITOR

Earlier in the fall, I was visited by Mike Brown, who had uncovered a letter to the editor written by his mother, Mary Miniter, but never sent. Going through his mother's belongings following her death last year, Brown came across the letter tucked inside the Fall 2004 issue of Seattle University Magazine. The cover story, "Making Her story"—which focused on the maverick women who shaped Seattle University— was of particular interest to Mary, who was among the first women to attend SU when it began to admit women in the early 1930s. Below is that letter.

—Tina Potterf

It is great fun to read the Seattle University Magazine and follow the changes that have occurred since I first came to the old Seattle College in 1933. I read with great interest [the article on] Jane Prouty in the Fall 2004 issue about women, "Making Her story," at Seattle U. Jane and I went through Holy Names together. We were friends and I was happy to see her name. I thought I would fill in some of the missing pieces.

Seattle College had always been a men's college. The only women were the off-campus nursing students at Providence Hospital and they were mostly nuns. The college decided to admit women as regular students for the fall quarter of 1933. Five women were admitted. They included me (Mary Brandmeir), Betty McConnell and Mary McMullen.

I don't know which of us registered first, but there were five of us that first quarter. The second quarter there were eight. And by the third quarter, there were 25 women.

There was some controversy about admitting women. At first the 96 men at Seattle College were not pleased that we had invaded their territory, but that soon changed. By spring quarter, we were all getting along fine.

I had planned to attend the University of Washington, but Father John Prange met with my mother and explained how that might not be the place for a young graduate of Holy Names Academy. So my plans were changed. As a result, I helped make history at Seattle University.

Being in the first group of women at Seattle College was quite an experience. Truth be known, the ratio of men to women was very much in our favor and we had a pretty good time that year.

Mary B. Miniter


Cupid Strikes Again

Our winter cover story on love found at Seattle University had special meaning for a number of readers, who shared their own stories online. Here are some of those comments:

Jeremy Corwin, '93, and Laurie (Roshak) Corwin, '93, met their freshman year on the first day in Winnie Guy's calculus class and married six days after graduation. Nine children later, Laurie says Jeremy "is still my best friend. It was the best thing that ever happened to me at SU!"

Butch, '69, and Marilyn Hrnicek, '68, met at a sock-hop in the gymnasium in November 1965, and married June 1968.

WINTER 2010 Connecting Seattle University Alumni and Friends

Michael Lowenstein, '64, and Lonnie Veeder, '65, married May 15, 1965. The couple met in the Chieftain in 1961 and, according to Lonnie, was inseparable thereafter. Mike worked as an underwriter in insurance for 10 years, went back to SU to get a degree in psychology and then became a social worker/supervisor for DSHS. Lonnie became a teacher for the Northshore School District. The couple raised two daughters. Unfortunately, Mike, died in 1997, while waiting for a lung transplant. Lonnie's marital advice: "Cherish the moments and fill the moments with love. Time passes quickly and your life as a couple will end before you are ready." Lonnie would love to hear from anyone who knew her and Mike during their days at SU.

Andrea Albenesius, '92, and Rookie Gleich, '93, met at SU while playing basketball for the Chieftains. Says Andrea, "We became best friends after graduation, and that friendship blossomed into true love so we decided to become teammates for life." They married at the Chapel of St. Ignatius in August 2001, with many of their SU friends and teammates cheering them on. "God has blessed us with two beautiful boys, Treyson and Ryan. And, if they are fortunate to get their mom's basketball talent, they may one day play for the Redhawks," Andrea says.

Juliana, '00, and Brian Stachurski, '00, were married at the Chapel of St. Ignatius June 17, 2000, by Father Stephen Sundborg and with Juliana's parents and grandparents [Jeannie and Dayton Balinbin, '78, and George and Rita Krsak, '47] in attendance to receive a special blessing honoring the three generations of SU marriages.

Derek Dunn, '67, and Kathie Fennell Dunn (attended through 1965) met and married while at Seattle University and have been married 45 years. The couple, now retired, lives in Portland, Ore.

Daniel Bootz, '03, and Jeanne Ryan, '03, '06 MIT, met during orientation and dated all four years of college. They were married in the Chapel of St. Ignatius the weekend after graduation, on June 21, 2003, and now live in Madison, Wis., with their daughter, Esme. Another baby is due in July. "I am so grateful that SU brought my husband and me together," says Jeanne.

Elizabeth (Cox), '98, and Daniel Murray, '98, met at SU in 1994, and married in 1998. They have two children, Ryan and Julia, and live in the Washington, D.C., metro area.


We received quite a few comments online about our Fall 2010 cover story on the new Lemieux Library and McGoldrick Learning Commons. Here's a sampling:

Library a Shrine, Not a Warehouse

Yes, a 1966 library would justify a serious upgrade to support contemporary learning methods and tools; yet referring to the original library as a mere "warehouse for books" I find ingratiating of its stature. The original library, as ancestor to the new one, played no less of a role in defining the quality educational experience that SU stands for. It set the stage and precedent for the new library's architectural design and redefined function. It was a place where students, faculty and others could gather and not just study, but also be surrounded by the magic and glory of learning and knowledge of all the bound volumes contained and protected within it. The old library does not deserve to be dismissed as a "warehouse for books," connoted with a lifeless, chunky shell with no potential for spiritual and social edification. It has every right to be revered as a shrine to the power and mystery of learning and thought that all libraries, no matter how humble, rural, disheveled or foreign, deserve our respect and deference.

Lonner F. Holden
(father of a current SU sophomore)


Historical Fact Check

I don't remember the "bucket brigade" move to the new library back in 1966. What I do remember clearly is that myself and one other student were hired at $1.45 per hour to move all of the books from the old library to the new A.A. Lemieux Library following summer quarter in August 1966. The move took us six weeks working full-time and was tough manual labor involving loading the boxed books about four or five boxes high onto hand trucks and then down three flights of stairs and up to the new library. Some of the books were down an additional stairway to a basement storage in a building between the libraries. We had no assistance moving the boxes, although several people were involved in packing and unpacking the boxes. The gorgeous new modern library was not quite complete by the time we finished in September.

Jim Klinefelter, '68


Girl Power

I was very excited to read your article on the Rat City Roller Girls ["Cruisin' for a Bruisin,'" summer 2010]. This group has come so far in Seattle and stands for so many great things, including empowering women. While I did not know Anna Stevens, aka "Ima Handful" of the Sockit Wenches, I do know some girls I met at the School of Law who are certainly worth mentioning. Jessica Creager, '09, aka "Pris Toff," is also an alumna of the Rat City Roller Girls, playing for the Throttle Rockets throughout her time at Seattle University. Also, Raven Healing, who graduated from the law school in 2009, was, and likely still is, a mascot for Rat City Roller Girls team Grave Danger. I just wanted to highlight these other awesome women.

Monica Hartsock, '09
Huntington Beach, Calif.


A Writer's Life

Thank you for the glowing review of Marlene's Piano ["Bookmarks," summer 2010]. It meant a lot to me to have my novel reviewed in the alumni magazine, which will help me present the book at Elliott Bay Book Co. and other Seattle locations, as I have in Chicago and Spokane. When I graduated from Seattle University in 1999, I was one of the first English/creative writing majors. My seminars with Dr. [Sharon] Cumberland, Father [Emmett] Carroll and Father [David] Leigh, and my work in the Writing Center with Larry Nichols, made me a better writer of poetry and fiction and a better student of life. I realized that I wrote not only to express myself but also to give readers insight into their own lives and hopes, much like Marlene playing music for Depression audiences. I'm very glad that you enjoyed my book and appreciate the support from Seattle University Magazine and the university.

Jill Charles, '99
Chicago


Honoring Our Veterans

Since the Civil War the United States has had more than 40 million veterans. The most highly decorated living veteran, according to some historians, is a graduate of Seattle University's ROTC program, Maj. Gen. Pat Brady, class of 1959. Maj. Gen. Brady served our country for 34 years and is the 12th most decorated veteran of all time according to one list, and fifth according to another. In addition to the Congressional Medal of Honor he has earned more than 70 awards, including the Distinguished Service Cross, our nation's second-highest award, two Distinguished Service Medals, six Distinguished Flying Crosses, two Bronze Stars, 53 Air Medals and the Purple Heart. Gen. Brady was a Dust Off (Helicopter Ambulance) Pilot for two years in the Vietnam War. He flew more than 2,500 combat missions and evacuated more than 5,000 friendly as well as enemy wounded. He has written his first book, Dead Men Flying (with Megan Brady Smith), which documents the great humanitarian effort in Vietnam spearheaded by the Army Aeromedical evacuation that rescued many souls. Seattle University and its alumni should take great pride in its ROTC program and its graduates.

Mike Flannigan, '58
Lakewood, Wash.


Online Chatter

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
Seattle
 



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 of day."

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
Seattle



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 and terrorists.

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)
Cleburne, Texas



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.

What Seattle University did do was allow a number of very distinguished officers to receive military training while at the same time providing them with the benefits of a Jesuit education. Soldiers of all ranks are in the military to serve their country. They don't choose where they serve or where or when they have to fight. But for more than 200 years they have done their duty with honor and distinction. In doing so, our military has set an example for people of all countries as to how a military, especially one as powerful as ours, should relate to the people and government they serve. I appreciate the article that caused Mr. Williams such anguish and trust you will continue to recognize not only the contributions that ROTC graduates from Seattle University have made to our country but also, and maybe more importantly, the contribution the university has made to the officers.

Bob Thompson, '70
Kirkland, Wash.


 


ROTC Is Good for SU and Our Country

I can't help but respond to the letter by Dennis Williams in the winter issue.

I, too, had eight years of Jesuit education and had the benefit and pleasure of completing the ROTC program, graduating in 1957. I was an officer in the Army for two years between Korea and Vietnam.

Our country needs a strong military and the contribution made by Seattle University to producing officers since the late 1940s has been outstanding. Whether or not you agree with which war or conflict our elected leader enters is beside the point.

So I say hats off to the editor for featuring the ROTC article and congratulations to Seattle University for continuing to support our military and contributing to its quality of Army officers.

Hal Cline, '57
Fox Island, Wash.


 


Division I a Game Changer

In regard to Dr. Joseph Gallucci's letter to the editor in the Fall 2009 issue about his feelings that Seattle University should not return to NCAA Division I, I would agree that we do not want the kind of issues that developed during the time he was referring to. It was Division I basketball, John and Ed O'Brien and Coach Al Brightman who put SU on the map. It continued in the late 1950s with Elgin Baylor and into the 1960s. Johnny O'Brien was the first major college basketball player to score 1,000 points in a season, and during his and Ed's days at SU they beat the Globetrotters in a serious game. And in 1958, SU played Kentucky for the NCAA Championship. Does Joe recall from his days as a student that the number one fan was none other than the university president, Father Albert Lemieux? Enrollment at Gonzaga is up, which Gonzaga attributes in part to its very successful basketball program. I graduated from Seattle University and continued my education at Marquette where Division I basketball has been very successful for almost 50 years with NCAA and NIT championships. They sell 10,000 tickets to each home game in Milwaukee. They keep the program clean. Seattle University is ready for Division I. It is up to the faculty and athletic department to keep it clean.

Tony Zimmerman, DDS, '60
Kirkland, Wash.


 


Coach Dollar Has What It takes to Win

I enjoyed reading your Fall 2009 edition covering some of the remarkable activities of our alumni and faculty.

The article profiling men's basketball head coach Cameron Dollar particularly impressed me. He seems to be a young man of character, integrity and charm. Coach Dollar appears to be an excellent teacher and mentor for student- athletes and someone who will emphasize teamwork, effort and sacrifice on their part rather than just winning ball games and becoming professional athletes. This is the main purpose of any college athletic program. His selection of his father as assistant coach will bring the university an experienced coaching veteran of 46 years.

The revival of the basketball program in Division I brings back the memories of the Elgin Baylor period when Seattle University was considered the basketball power on the West Coast. I can understand some of the faculty objections to the expansion of the athletic program and the pressure to give passing grades to athletes regardless of their classroom work, but I think Coach Dollar will not let this abuse happen.

I was also pleased to read the article on lawyer Scott Leist, '99 JD. It made me proud to know that there are such dedicated professionals entering the legal profession.The fall issue helped cheer me up after reading the negative doom and gloom articles in our local newspapers.

Patrick R. Maloney, '51
San Jose, Calif.


 


Glorification of ROTC Program Wrong

Sorry, I think that devoting six pages and six photos to the ROTC program ["Training Mission"] in the summer issue of the magazine is completely out of proportion to its place in Seattle University's mission and goals. Graduates of my generation remember the complicity of Seattle University in the Vietnam War because it allowed and supported the ROTC program on campus. How many of our graduate/officers between 1962 and 1974 died in that debacle? The current American involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan has stunning parallels to the terrible national blunder of Vietnam. Will the SU graduates of this decade be asking the same questions that we do: What were they thinking? How could they possibly justify squandering our country's lives, wealth and moral leadership on an unwinnable war? And why was my Catholic-Jesuit university assisting in this travesty? Forty years later and our nation is mired in the same delusional hubris.

If I learned only one thing from eight years of Jesuit education, it is not to go along to get along. Injustices cannot be ignored because they don't personally affect you. The Seattle University Magazine editor may not be able to change SU policy, but this story, glorifying the ROTC program, should never have seen the light of day.

Dennis Williams, '69
Seattle


 


Design Aesthetic or Eyesore?

I have been meaning to write this for a long time. Why is it that half of the Seattle University Magazine is graphically good and half is graphically bad? Over the past several years the design and photography have been respectable, but only for approximately half of the magazine. In the summer 2009 issue, pages 14 through 30 are bad. The layout and headline typography are bad, with the introduction of circles and bleeding bars and, in the "Mission" section, drop shadows and reverse type. Pages 1 through 14 are good. I would like to know why the middle pages of every issue have this boring, different look, especially page 16 and the complete "Training Mission" section. It appears that two different designers or editors are directing the production. Please adopt the design format as shown on the first 13 pages displaying good design and typography.

John Vlahovich, '59
Tacoma


 


Diplomacy Doesn't Erase War Realities

I appreciate the article on Lt. Col. Royer ["Tour of Duty," Summer 2009] in my alumni magazine. But no amount of emphasis on one-to-one diplomacy in Iraq and Afghanistan can change the fact that more than 5,000 American men and women have lost their lives. I treat survivors of traumatic brain injury and PTSD every day. Thousands of civilians have been killed in both countries because of a mission based on the big lie about weapons of mass destruction. The suicide rate for returning soldiers is the highest in American history. I urge Lt. Royer not to return to this deeply immoral conflict.

Wayne Johnson, '66
Brooklyn, NY


 


No special treatment for Division I athletes

Bravo to Brian Templeton, '66, for his letter to the editor expressing disappointment at SU's return to NCAA Division I sports ["Return to Division I not a good play," Letters, Spring 2009]. As a student and later faculty member who was on campus during the previous period of Division I membership, I could not agree with him more. A local auto dealer provided the "super-athletes" with cars and all of their expenses were paid. Some faculty members thought it was politically expedient to give passing grades to these athletes, regardless of their work in the classroom. My dear friend and mentor, the late Professor Walter Aklin of the music department, had athletes in his History of Opera course each quarter. One of these students would come into his class and promptly fall asleep. One day, when that same student strolled into class 10 minutes late, Walter stopped him mid-sentence, smiled wryly and said, "You shouldn't be late. You know you need your sleep!"

Dr. Joseph J. Gallucci, '57
University Place, Wash.


 


SU education and values enrich life

The more time that passes since I was a student at Seattle University, the more I am proud to be a member of the SU community. My father was the first dean of what was the School of Economics and Finance at Seattle University, and all seven of my brothers and sisters graduated from SU. The Jesuit values of peace and justice are instilled in my soul. Now as I enter a new phase in my career, I'm more adamant about living from a place of contribution and making a difference from a social justice point of view. These strong values of social justice and living congruent with these values are embedded in my life forever. I thank my family, my education at Seattle University and the courageous, compassionate thread of Jesus that was embedded in my heart.

Marian Volpe, '78, '00, '02
Bellingham, Wash.


 


Daily discernment feeds more than the soul

I am writing to say how much I appreciated Father Pat O'Leary's article for The Good Word column in the Spring 2008 Seattle University Magazine ("Society of Jesus Elects New Superior General.")

When he wrote of the process of choosing the new Superior General for the Jesuits, Father O'Leary invited us into the process of discernment used by the Jesuits. It is similar to the process we are summoned to in our daily activities that call for discerning the Spirit's call.

Discerning God's call, the Jesuits who gathered for this election process were, as Father Pat writes, "well informed … to achieve an openness and freedom so as to respond to the Spirit's lead as it emerged in discerning conversations." This openness and freedom leads to "the grace of letting go of his own prejudgments in order to really listen and be open to what God wanted. …"

This is helpful for me in discerning God's movement in my life:

Be well informed.
Desire openness and freedom to respond to God's lead.
Listen to conversations around us.
Spend time in quiet, silent prayer.
Let go of our prejudgments.
Hear God calling.

Thank you, Father Pat, and Seattle University Magazine.

Nancy J. Mariano, '00
Bellevue, Wash.


 


Return to Division I not a good play

I am disappointed to see that Seattle University has caved in to pressure and decided to return to the dismal swamp of NCAA Division I sports ("A Message from the President: Raising Athletics to Match Academic Excellence"; "Ready to Play: Nearly 30 Years After Leaving Division I, SU Returns," Summer 2008). SU likes to remember that Elgin Baylor led it to the NCAA finals, but conveniently forgets that the program was racked with problems and scandal; NCAA penalties prevented the school from being in the tournament the following year.

Now President Stephen Sundborg rejoices that big-time sports—with its inevitable sleazy dishonesty—will return. He neglects to mention that this will require the usual double standard where athletes will get tuition, room, board, books and laundry services that other students have to pay for, directly or indirectly.

How very sad that President Sundborg didn't choose the more difficult path and higher road of pledging to return SU to what college athletics originally were and should have always remained: an extracurricular activity for students who are treated exactly like every other. What's wrong with equality?

Institutions of integrity do not have double standards.

Brian Templeton, '66
Des Moines, Wash.

 

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Welcome, Alumni Relations AVP

Susan Woerdehoff has been named the new Assistant Vice President of Alumni Relations. Woerdehoff, a double alum of Seattle University, comes to SU following a long career with Microsoft. She starts May 25. Read more about her in SU Voice.

 

 

 

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