University of Pittsburgh




What a joy to read Ervin Dyer’s eloquent and moving tribute, “August Wilson’s Class Act,” in the spring 2009 issue of Pitt Magazine.  I feel a strong connection to that article, a personal and visceral one. For 21 years, I have had the good fortune to review theater, the last dozen years for The Middletown Press, not too far from the area of New Haven, Conn., where I was born. I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to attend Yale Repertory Theatre and experience the profoundly emotional sagas of Hill life, brought to the stage by the caring direction of Lloyd Richards. The theater world lost a giant with the passing of August Wilson, but his voice will continue to ring out every time a cast performs Fences or The Piano Lesson or any of his other gifts to the stage. Thank you, Ervin Dyer, for your wonderful tribute to this humble man of eloquent letters.

Bonnie Kleper Goldberg

Education ’64

North Haven, Conn.

Got Hope?

Thank you for including the “Hope Dreams” story about John Sikora (Spring 2009 issue). Mr. Sikora was an assistant basketball coach at my high school. When flipping through the latest issue of Pitt Magazine, I was surprised to see an article about him. Your story accurately portrays Mr. Sikora as an incredible optimist whose love for life is genuine and contagious. Throughout the 10 years I have known him, he has been an inspiration to me and to many others around our community. He is a fantastic person who always puts others’ needs before his own.

Jeremiah Huth

Business Administration ’06

Freeport, Pa.

A Home Run

I enjoyed the article by Cara Hayden called “Game 7, Again” about the Mazeroski home run (Spring 2009 issue). Forbes Field, though, was not a stadium—it was a good old ballpark in the mold of Wrigley Field and Fenway Park.

C. Ralph Verno

Arts and Sciences ’52

West Chester, Pa.

And Another!

The story about the seventh game of the 1960 World Series brought back memories of sitting in my German class with the windows open to the cheers of the crowd, while a Fräulein instructor taught us some important verbiage to use when entering a German motor coach! All other classes were cancelled, but our instructor made it very clear that we were to attend her class. I missed the middle innings of the game but saw the important final inning at Frankie Gustine’s bar. Since then, when traveling in Germany and Austria, I usually start a conversation in German and quickly revert to English upon hearing the magic words: “Perhaps we can continue this in English.” But … I can tell you everything that happened in the seventh game of the 1960 World Series.

Larry Klink

Arts and Sciences ’63

Auburn, Calif.


Thank you for the Alumni Hall story on Dennis Ranalli. Dr. Ranalli was one of my instructors in Pitt’s School of Dental Medicine. I remember him inspiring us to be our best. It was great to learn more about his history and about what inspired him.

Jennifer G. Robb

Dental Medicine ’92

Lorain, Ohio

Living Legacy

It was nice to read the article about Dennis Ranalli and how my father, Hollis Zwicker, influenced him. I worked in my father’s Millvale office for several summers during my late teens and into my early 20s. Dennis Ranalli worked for my father at that time. I was pleased to learn that Dennis is now senior associate dean in the School of Dental Medicine and that, yes, the legacy lives on. Thank you very much!

Sally Yarzebinski

Allison Park, Pa.

Faculty Feat

Thanks for your latest issue, and congrats on a job well done. We notice that you often highlight the life and work of notable Pitt faculty. Hugo G. Nutini, Distinguished University Professor of Anthropology, has been at Pitt for more than four decades and has just marked his first 80 years of age by completing his 16th book! As former graduate students of his, we often joke with him that those of us younger than he cannot read as fast as he can write. He continues to pour out superlative ethnographies, primarily of Mesoamerica. He joined Pitt’s faculty in 1963 with a doctorate from UCLA. A world-renowned ethnographer, Professor Nutini is now completing two volumes on Protestantism in Mesoamerica. Not only is he one of the greatest anthropologists ever at Pitt, but also nationwide, if not worldwide.

Roland Armando Alum

Arts and Sciences ’76G

North Bergen, N.J.


Doren Slade

Arts and Sciences ’73G

New York, N.Y.