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Pitt Magazine
University of Pittsburgh
400 Craig Hall
Pittsburgh, PA

(412) 624-1021


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Storied Past

I write to commend you on the brilliant article by Jason Togyer in your March issue on Adolf Grünbaum [“Paving the Way”]. On a personal note, the day Jonas Salk announced his departure from Pitt, after launching the Salk vaccine, I called Charlie Peake, our Provost, to cry about the loss. His response was, “Today I hired a young man named Adolf Grünbaum, who will make you forget Jonas.” Over the intervening years, this answer grew ever more prophetic! Ed Litchfield did great things with Mellon money to elevate our medical school, but his encouraging of Adolf Grünbaum to come to Pittsburgh was the real beginning of our movement into the highest ranks of great universities. Thanks for the memories.

Bill Stark
Arts and Sciences '38
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Editor’s Note: “Paving the Way” received an Award of Commendation at the PRSA 2002 Bronze Anvil Awards ceremony, held in New York City this past June. The piece, written by associate editor Jason Togyer, was one of just two feature stories to receive an award in this national competition.

Church and Pitt

Editor’s Note: The following letter is a reaction to a Pitt Alumni Association advertisement that appeared in the June issue, which included the phrase “God preserve thee evermore” from the University’s Alma Mater.

I realize that reason has gone out of the window in these messed-up times, but as a Pitt graduate and as the founder of the Humanist Community Temple, a Western Heritage Institution, it does seem to me that the quality thing to do is to politely point out that for one very obvious reason, the advertisement for the Pitt Alumni Association on page 21 of your June issue is in poor taste. I mean I had generally thought it was correct to think of Pitt not as a rigidly parochial “tied house” (Voltaire’s phrase, I believe) but rather as a secular, liberal university at the cutting edge of human conceptual maturity. Now I am not so sure. In any event, please omit the theology from all such future ads. It’s bad enough to have “God Bless America!” banners

The March issue has well-written and interesting articles. I can’t remember when I enjoyed an issue as much as this one. Actually, I read it cover to cover.

Ruth Friedman Saul
Education ’40
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Real Trooper

Read with great interest your article “Band of Brothers” [March]. Jack Foley's experiences in WW II were very much like mine. I still have my paratrooper boots and wear them in parades, like Latrobe's 4th of July parade. I enlisted in March 1942. Following basic training, I board-ed a troop ship bound for North Africa. My two-and-a-half years in the European theater began in Oran, Algeria; and continued in Tuni-sia, Sicily, the rest of Italy, Southern France, and Mormolon-La-Grande (a small French Army Camp), then to Bastogne. Following Bastogne, I went south to the Colmar pocket (in France) and then to Elsmeere, England, with frozen feet. During my stint there, three-and-a-half months, I regained circulation in my feet and recovered from a hip wound. Then I returned to Munich, Germany, and went south on the Autoban to Berchtesgaden, where my duty was to round up shock troopers and other high-ranking officers. I'm pleased to know of Second Lieu-tenant Foley, a fellow trooper. At 82 years old, I still appreciate the accolades bestowed on troopers.

Jim Herrington
Arts and Sciences '50
Greensburg, Pennsylvania


Just a quick note about a misconcep-tion about dialects represented in Laurie Vergato's published letter on Pittsbur-ghese in the March issue. Pittsburghers are only “mispronouncing” words if you come from somewhere other than Pittsburgh. They are speaking a perfectly natural, rule-following system of lan-guage, like every human on the planet. Consider how you might feel if a British English speaker were to say that you, as an American, mispronounce “tomato,” and you get the idea.

Scott F. Kiesling
Assistant Professor, Department of Linguistics
University of Pittsburgh

Candid Camera

I enjoyed the great picture of Heinz Field on page 45 of the March magazine. It looks almost like Adelphia Coliseum here in Nashville, where the NFL Tennessee Titans play. I have not been back to Pittsburgh since moving to Nashville in December 1999. I would like to see more pictures of Pittsburgh published in Pitt Magazine, especially pictures of construction of the new basketball arena on campus.

James B. Brown
College of General Studies '91
Nashville, Tennessee

Page Turner

The March issue has well-written and interesting articles. I can't remember when I enjoyed an issue as much as this one. Actually, I read it cover to cover.

Ruth Friedman Saul
Education '40
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Secret of Success

My primary reason for writing is the most moving article by Ernie Davis Brown describing the Mancuso family [June issue, “Father Knows Best”]. The story would not have been news in the decades starting in 1940 and 1950; this is because so many of the children of first and second generation immigrants gained success and upward mobility through their education at Pitt. Many of my classmates have achieved much because of two factors. The first is having parents who wanted and insisted more for their children. Mr. Mancuso is an excellent example of one of these hard-working, loving and dedicated parents. I am certain that he, as did my father, worked extra hours and days to provide his children with the opportunity to obtain a college degree. The second factor is Pitt, a welcoming city (streetcar) university, where an education was available to the poor and middle-class in Pittsburgh. The article brought back pleasant memories of my classmates and their parents from my East End Pittsburgh neighborhood.

Robert H. Rowe
Business ’56
Amherst, New Hampshire

Subject: Pitt Magazine

Outstanding coverage—well written and excellent stories—I remember the Pitt News, a student newspaper, Myron Cope wrote an article on me in 1948, my freshman year at Pitt. I still have that photo of me. On March 3, the last game at the Pitt Field House, I participated—class of the ’50s. I was never much of a star, but I tried. I enjoyed that evening. I will try to make the first game at the new Petersen Events Center. What a beautiful place. Continued success and God bless your efforts.

JT Szalinski
Education ’52, ’61
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Write Stuff

I was pleased to see the writing program featured in the March edition, especially the piece [“One Night Stand”] on the “black sheep” reading series at Fuel and Fuddle that fellow grad student Kevin Clark (FAS ’99) and I co-founded. Fuel and Fuddle premiered in February 1998, after a similar program lost space at the Beehive Coffeehouse in Oakland, with readings by poet Ed Ochester, director of the writing program at Pitt, and Bill Moushey, award-winning Pittsburgh Post-Gazette investigative journalist. We carried over the “open mic” prelude from the Beehive series; focused on bringing Western Pennsylvania writers to read with MFA students; and even involved the audience in impromptu creative writing. (My favorite was a Halloween-themed “write a poem so bad it’s scary” prompt.) Fuel and Fuddle was, and still is, a vital piece of the vibrant Pittsburgh writing community.

Jennifer Rellis
Faculty of Arts and Sciences ’00
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Full Service

Kudos to Jonathan Potts on his exquisitely written, thoroughly researched, all-points-covered March issue article on Bill Lerach [“Lead Attorney”], and to your creative director for the stunning graphics and type design of the article.

Stanley Wynett
Business ’52
Flushing, New York

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