September 2001


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Wild and Wonderful

I recently returned to Yellowstone to look for wolves and cross-country ski. I was reminded of running into a fellow Pitt alum at the K-Z ranch a couple of years ago. She returned to visit the owners and a ranger she met who lived down the road during her Pitt course work. We spent the day on horseback with her and the charming owner Elliot Segall. My family had no idea of the Pitt connection to the ranch when we decided to spend a few days hiking and riding in beautiful Wyoming. Elliot waxed eloquent about the Pitt program (“Up Close—From a Distance,” March 2001) and how it helped develop character. The ranch is a wonderful place to relax and learn. Elliot and his family are authentic ranchers, although I think he grew up in a major east coast city.

As a westerner who came to Pitt for an equally exotic experience in urban living, I can attest that some of the best education happens when you are placed in a new environment with wonderful people. I hope we can all have experiences like Pitt provides exploring wild places like Yellowstone and other wondrous cathedrals of learning.

Chuck Mitchell
Public and International Affairs ’77
Oregon City, Oregon


I read with great delight the story about the Pitt lacrosse team and its recent success (“Team Work,” March 2001). In the lacrosse fraternity, it’s always great to learn the program you left behind is thriving.

What I would like to add is the Lacrosse Club was already in existence back in 1986 when I was a freshman. I was a Division-I caliber player out of Long Island, New York, but chose to attend Pitt on a full scholarship to pursue a degree in sports medicine. Although the lacrosse team existed, it was held together by a thin string.

At the start of my sophomore year, myself and Orfeu Buxton, a native of Ohio, took over sole responsibility of the team (co-captains), and we were soon joined by Gary Neft, a local Pittsburgh businessman who acted as our coach. In the next three years, the Pitt lacrosse team, through determination, practice, and hard work, elevated its position in the league to one of the best, winning the division outright in 1990. In fact, that 1990 team also boasted a win over a Division III program. The team was also awarded outstanding recognition for a club sports organization from the University. If I recall, we did receive minor financial support from the University, but most of our funding came from dues and merchandise sales on campus.

Speaking on behalf of those who put extensive time in turning the program around in the late ’80s, it’s satisfying to know the team is still playing at the top of its game.

Michael A. Neuman
Arts and Sciences ’90
New York, New York

Giving Back

Since I’ve lived in California for the past 17 years and am a transplant from Pittsburgh, it is wonderfully refreshing to receive Pitt Magazine. Not only does it keep me connected to my hometown, but also to my alma mater, of which I am unduly proud.

This spirit of “connection” is also very apparent from the strong alumni support as outlined in the March 2001 Cornerstones section. I was especially touched in the “Thanks for the Chance” article by Mr. Levenson’s acknowledgement of the support from faculty at Pitt that afforded him a wonderful education in the Depression era. His gift back to the University that, as he says, “took a chance on me” reflects the commitment and loyalty of Pitt graduates to our wonderful institution of learning.

We are proud of our education, proud of our accomplishments, and proud of our University. As alumni, let’s continue to support the University of Pittsburgh in giving back whatever we can and continue the alliance to an institution that “took a chance on us.”

Michael Boytim
Nursing ’81
Los Angeles, California


The Miraculous Pitt Magazine, December 1989: Compliments of the season. I am Halilu Isah Ojochide, a lecturer in English at the Kaduna Polytechnic and I am glad of this opportunity to write to you. I refer to your magazine as miraculous considering the circumstances I got it. It was on the 13th of February, 2001, and I had closed from school with the intention to stroll leisurely from the main campus to Kaduna central market to make some purchases. Along the way I came across some scavengers rifling through their collections. For as little as 50 naira, the little boy was glad and, in fact, delighted to hand over the Pitt Magazine of December 1989 to me. He told me he had picked the magazine from some dustbin, which is not uncommon.

Now, having read through nearly three-quarters of the magazine, I hereby request a current issue. I could pay for it later if I get to know the cover price. Thanks and God bless you. Amen.

Halilu Isah Ojochide
Liberal Studies Department
Kaduna Polytechnic
Kaduna, Nigeria

Editor’s note: A copy is on its way with our compliments.

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