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In his commencement address, President Obama criticized the use of IPODs, IPADs, XBOXes, Playstations, etc. He then confessed that he "doesn't know know to work these things". I find these comments bizarre and rather unpresidential. We live in an information age and it's encumbent on all of us to use information and technology wisely. What if someone uses a Kindle or an IPAD to download their favorite books? Would President Obama argue that this has been counterproductive? We don't need our president to worry about our access to technology and information. He has bigger fish to fry. In his spare time, our president might try figuring out how to work one of these things to understand how they improve peoples lives.

  • Christopher Saleski
  • BSME, MBA
  • 1990
  • Engineering, Business
  • Portland

I am delighted to receive this information online. Mothers/sons: when I finally graduated in 1993, my son graduated with his MBA from UM. We had a fine time attending each other's ceremonies and then taking to the buses to the stadium to hear now Secr. of State Hilary Clinton address the throng.

  • Annegret F. Pollard
  • Ph.D., History
  • 19
  • LSA/Rackham
  • E. Hardwick

From The great pipe organ (May 2010): "It was enough. The crates arrived from Chicago. For five months, workmen reassembled the pieces in the auditorium of University Hall, then the central building of the campus, fronting State Street just east of where Angell Hall stands now."

The above quote piqued my curiosity. Kindly tell us what became of University Hall.

  • Stan Tamulevich
  • 1963

I am a part of the Youth Surge Campus Project with Repower America, happening now at the University of Michigan. Our goal is to promote legislation and investment in clean energy technologies, to help fix our grid system and slow down the current and future impacts of climate change. We've known for a long time that our climate is changing because of pollution from dirty, outdated energy sources. A changing climate is a threat to our future—and importantly, it's a threat to our health.

It's time to make a transition to cleaner sources of energy like wind turbines and solar panels, and it's time to invest in buildings and appliances that use energy more efficiently. With clean energy, we can reduce harmful emissions that threaten our health. Investing in new industries can create up to 1.9 million new jobs nationwide, and we all know that our economy, and planet, would greatly benefit from that. For the sake of our future, let's protect our environment, our health and our way of life.

  • Inga Yuditsky
  • M.Eng. Energy Systems
  • 2011
  • University of Michigan
  • Bloomfield Hills

1969: Extensive oil spill from blow-out of off-shore drilling rig in Santa Barbra harbor provides impetus for Earth Day 1970 and subsequent ban on off-shore oil drilling. 1970: National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) 1970: Nixon creates U.S. Environmental Protection Agency by Executive Order to implement NEPA and other environmental statutes 1970: Federal Clean Air Act Amendments 1970: Michigan DNR confirms high levels of mercury pollution of Lake St. Clair and Detroit River fish and birds caused by Michigan and Ontario chlor-alkali manufacturing plants 1970: Effects of 2,4,5-T on Man and the Environment. Hearings before the Subcommittee on Energy, Natural Resources, and the Environment, Senate Commerce Committee, April 7, 15, 1970. 1970-71: In response to mercury surprise, Michigan passes ground-breaking Truth in Pollution law requiring reporting of discharge of Critical Materials to the state’s waters. New Jersey’s later version, which borrows extensively from Michigan’s, becomes basis for Federal toxic substances release inventory (TRI). 1971: U.S. Supreme Court refuses to hear case of Ohio v. Wyandotte Chemical Co. over Lake Erie mercury pollution from chlor-alkali manufacture in Michigan. 1972: DDT is first polychlorinated pesticide to be banned by U.S. EPA. 1972: Congress passes Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amendments over Nixon’s veto with goal of zero discharge of toxic substances by July 1983. 1973: Federal Endangered Species Act 1973: Judge Miles Lord of Federal District Court of the District of Minnesota bans Reserve Mining Company discharge of asbestos-contaminated taconite mine tailings into Lake Superior (“The court cannot honor profit over human life.”) 1973: Mix-up of Michigan Chemical Company’s Nutrimaster feed additive with Firemaster fire retardant at feed formulation station contaminates Michigan’s agricultural then human food supplies with polybrominated biphenyls (PBBs). This event becomes impetus for passage of Federal Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) of 1976. 1974: Federal Safe Drinking Water Act 1976: Congress passes Resource Conservation and Recovery Act to regulate the storage and disposal of hazardous waste and clean-up of active waste disposal sites. 1976: 2,4,5-trichlorophenol manufacturing process upset at ICMESA plant in Seveso, Italy, results in widespread downwind environmental contamination and human exposure to 2,3,7,8-TCDD. 1977: Federal Clean Water Act Amendments incorporate list of toxic substances identified in NRDC v. (USEPA Administrator Russell) Train for priority regulation but moves date to achieve zero discharge to July 1984. 1978: Dow Chemical Company informs MDNR that 2,3,7,8-TCDD is bioaccumulating more in Tittabawassee River fish downstream than upstream of its headquarters facility in Midland, MI, in technical compliance with the Section 8(e) self-reporting requirement of TSCA. 1980: Federal Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) taxes chemical companies for a Superfund to accelerate clean-up of orphan hazardous waste disposal sites. 1982: Michigan’s Water Resources Commission adopts revised Rule 323.1057 establishing a procedure for translating the narrative Water Quality Standard for no toxic substances in toxic amounts into an equivalent numerical Water Quality Criterion. The revised rule included a precedent-setting government-authorized trade-off between private profit and public health in the form of an acceptable increased cancer risk of one-in-one hundred-thousand for exposure to each carcinogen over a 70-year lifetime. 1983: Reagan-era, acting EPA Administrator John Hernandez, who replaced Ann Gorsuch Burford after her resignation for refusing to testify before Congress for alleged administrative indiscretions, himself is forced to resign for allowing Dow Chemical Company the opportunity to make changes to a 1981 EPA report prepared by Region 5 in Chicago on dioxin contamination in Midland, MI. 1984: Catastrophic release of a cloud of methyl isocyanate from Union Carbide plant in Bhopal, India, eventually results in on the order of 15,000 deaths of the more than 500,000 exposed and becomEs impetus for community right-to-know and TRI. 1984: Upon reversal by the Federal 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, District Court for Northern Illinois rules in favor of (Illinois Attorney General) Scott v. City of Hammond et al. to require Clean Water Act Total Maximum Daily Loads for Lake Michigan, leading to uniform Water Quality Standards for Lake Michigan, Lakewide Management Plans, and a mass balance approach to Great Lakes restoration. 1986: Catastrophic flood flushes PBBs and DDT produced by Michigan Chemical Company contaminating Pine River sediments, 2,3,7,8-TCDD from Dow Chemical chlorophenol production and waste incineration contaminating Tittabawassee River sediments, and PCBs from GM’s Bay City Casting Plant contaminating Saginaw River sediments onto downstream flood plains and into Saginaw Bay. 1986: Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act creates Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) 1989: CAA Amendments require mercury emissions regulation 1996: Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments trade off testing and regulation of endocrine disrupters with repeal of 1958 Delaney Clause amendment to Food, Drug, and Cosmetics Quality Act of 1938 by Food Quality Protection Act of 1996.

  • Larry E. Fink
  • B.S. Chem; M.S.
  • 1973
  • LSA; Rackham
  • Hollywood

Maybe there is nothing we can do about the imbalance between men and women's household activities. In watching an eagle webcam a while back, I discovered that the eagle wife likes to spend time rearranging the twigs in the nest while her husband stands around on the tree limb outside the nest, observing forest activity.

  • Terry Carnes
  • BGS
  • 1983
  • LSA
  • Seattle

Looking back to 1969 (Earth Day Eve), I think a course of general environmental regulations and one in specific Michigan environmental regulations would be very desirable as I had to go to several kinds of environmental hearings. I even was called upon to give evidence.

Also a course in Environmental Ethics would be very useful. Graduates in any field of study must realize that "they are a spokesmen/women for their field of study" and will be tested as whether you will stand behind your work. I know I was several times, and once was threatened with firing if I did not change my environmental recommendation so the engineering project could go ahead. I did not change it and was not fired because I do good work and stand behind it.

  • Rob Evans
  • B.Sc.
  • 1969
  • SNR
  • Toronto

Contrary to the premise of the article, Synonyms, by Richard W. Bailey, published in Michigan Today on March 10, 2010 many words mean ~exactly~ the same thing, in certain contexts. For example, someone might use the word "thing" to refer to anything, and have in mind ~exactly~ the same thing as when using a more specific word.

What is more interesting is ~why~ there may be differences between synonyms. Sometimes two different words come into a language from two different sources, and mean the same thing, initially. But over time, each may be used slightly differently, depending on the context. Still though, they often mean the same thing in other contexts.

  • Robert Eidschun
  • PhD
  • Univ. of Mich., Univ. of Rochester (NY)

Re: Paul is Dead (said Fred): I've held on to my copy of Fred's article from all those years ago. I was (and remain) a serious Beatles fan and the release of Abbey Road, accompanied by Fred's clever article was a great moment in my first semester at U of M (along with the 24-12 upset of Ohio State). Thanks for running this piece. Those Were the Days, My Friend.

  • eric schenk
  • B.A.
  • 1973
  • LSA
  • Mill Valley

My family had a copy of the Family of Man coffee table book - I can remember staring with awe at the drum major picture (Ode to Joy, January 2010) when I was very young. I later went to Michigan and was privileged to march in the Michigan Marching Band from 1968-71, during Revelli's last years. His reputation being what it was, I was terrified when I first auditioned as a freshman and played poorly. He must have recognized something because he allowed me to join the band. But the following week, he called up my high school band director (a Michigan grad who had played for Revelli) and chewed him out for sending me to Michigan so unprepared.

  • Bruce Flynn
  • 1972

Is there a petition started yet to stop Obama from giving the commencement speech this year? I'd like to sign it. The speaker should be someone who motivates the graduates as contributing members of this country, and not one whom will most assuredly spew of his erroneous greatness.

  • Chris P
  • BA
  • 1993
  • LSA

I am excited at the prospect that a sitting President will speak at the University Commencement ceremony. I am also appalled at the level of hate and hyperbole that I read in some of the other letters posted here.

The man has only been in office for 13 months but you would think that he has marshaled in the end-times! Certainly a nation that survived Jimmy Carter and George W Bush can survive Barack Obama. I agree with his notion that surely you can disagree with his policies without impugning his character. I believe I even learned that in school.

  • Maureen DeLong Beamer
  • BA, Economics
  • 1969
  • LSA
  • Atlanta

Re: Low carbohydrate meals after exercise may benefit diabetics: I don't know whether you have any inkling of how much damage has been done to people who have followed the ridiculous low carb and high protein diets proposed by people like the fortunately now late Dr. Atkins, but it would be an enormous disservice to everybody who is trying to manage the virtually uncontrollable flow of destructively wrong-headed information to have even a miniscule part in promoting low carb diets, whether your goal is sensationalism or simply stirring up the mix. Your headline was misleading and unfortunate. Consuming 200 g of carbs after exercise, 800 calories, is hardly low carbohydrate consumption - people eat a total of 2000 calories +/- 800 every day so this 800 calories represents a significant fraction of total daily calories, hardly low carb, right?. Perhaps instead of trying to mimic the NY Post or the Enquirer you might strive for higher minimal standards and actually report accurately. Boring? People with type 2 diabetes have it, for the most part, because they are obese. They got that way because they ate more than they burned off, plain and simple. And in all too many instances the same people have heart disease and kidney problems, already. Why drive them to the dark side where they will only exacerbate both the heart and kidney problems by cutting back on carbs and consuming the meats and dairy products that are killing them in the first place. I mean, really, you could be a bit more careful, couldn't you?

If you want a great story, how about the time that Bill Clinton turned his back on the overall health and well being of the American public for entirely selfish reasons. When he was told that he needed bypass surgery, all he needed to do was contact Dean Ornish, somebody he had already invited to the White House and somebody who must have already told him the stories about bypass issues, a man entirely capable of overseeing his full recovery without surgery or drugs. So there's Bill with the chance to show the American public that the 10's of billions of dollars wasted on bypass surgeries every year really are wasted as in unnecessary by becoming the poster boy for diets like Ornish's and Esselstyn's, diets that have been shown to REVERSE heart disease without surgery or drugs. But no, Bill had to take what everybody considers the conservative treatment option, which is to say he was put on a pump that throws clots and leads to irreversible brain damage in something like 40% of the people put on it (so they're called pump heads in the industry - how's that for the formerly brilliant Bill Clinton?) and then started the countdown in the need for another procedure, usually within 7-10 years (right on schedule, way to go Bill!). What's the radical treatment? An entirely plant based diet, nothing with a mother, nothing with a face, nothing that can or ever could move on its own, vegetables, fruits, whole grains, a virtual cornucopia of wonderful foods, varieties of flavors, textures, colors and all full of essential nutrients, antioxidents, vitamins, minerals, and nothing bad for your heart, liver, kidneys or any other part of your body...oh, and it reduces the likelihood of getting colon cancer along the way. Radical, right? Now that's a story worth telling. And if you heard it here first, shame on you for not already knowing.

Hail to the victors...let's make a difference, together.

  • Raymond Rapaport

In re: Ode to Joy: That kid so conscientiously and exuberantly following behind the drum major, my classmate Dick Smith, in that iconic photo is the son of Jim and Jean Robertson, former residents of 911 Olivia, my boyhood home. Dean Robertson is something of an iconic figure himself: he founded the Residential College and, in my day, as a dean of LSA was the student's best friend.

  • Alfred Colnnable
  • B.A.
  • 1953
  • LSA
  • Floral :Park

Tobin's accounting [of JFK's visit in 1960] is a little off especially at the beginning he missed the College Humor and Joy of it.

One of my best friends and I went on down to the Union on at least 3 occasions and repeatedly there were indications of delay.

We finally went down quite late and climbed up over the wall and got rather close up to the steps on the lawn on the right side of the entrance, maybe 20' or so away.

Across the street was a huge banner by the Young Republicans saying "You can't lick our Dick!" so it was a challenging atmosphere.

The crowd began to build and ultimately there was a huge crowd out on to, and crossing State Street and on down to South U.

The busses could finally be seen coming up State street and it was so crowded that they began moving very slowly. People had to be pushed away from the front. It was packed. Finally when the bus carrying Jack pulled up across from the steps Some big guys, maybe Pierre Salinger, pushed out and formed a wedge and pushed through the crowd on up the steps. It was an impressive show of force.

When Jack got to where he would turn around and speak he acknowledged the crowd and said how pleased he was to visit the Great University and then quipped, "You know, I went to a famous School too... Back home we call it the Michigan of the East!" The crowd erupted in screams and laughter and cheers and we were his.

(It should be remembered that there used to be a sign on westbound I94 west of the airport that proclaimed Michigan.. the Harvard of the West so Jack must have seen it on the ride into Ann Arbor. He was prepared.)

During the body of the speech when Jack announced the idea of the Peace Corps he lookd at me because I was tall and then scrawny little guy in front of me jumped up and waved his fist negatively and Jack quickly looked away.

I could have throttled the little twerp.

There was absolutely no question about that being a momentous and electric event and as we walked to our apartments we had a sense of History and Destiny.

  • Lewis M. Dickens
  • BArch
  • 1964
  • Architecture and Design
  • Detroit

I guess Aldous Huxley in "BRAVE NEW WORLD" had it all figured out. Were these mice Alpha-plus or Epsilon-minus creatures?

  • John Scott
  • BSE (EE and Mathematics)
  • 1963
  • Engineering
  • Cornelius

Remembering William Revelli:

It was orientation week 1948 and time to run the audition gauntlet for the Marching Band. Coming from a very small prep school, I lacked the skill to survive the first cut. Before getting thanks but no thanks, Revelli took me aside to judge for himself if I could make the grade.

Thus began a glorious experience enrolled in Revelli's college within a college. James Tobin's tribute is sure to awaken wonderful memories of that little man whose laser eyes and indomitable spirit who inspired us to work together to achieve world class excellence.

  • Hampton W. Irwin MD
  • B.S, MD
  • 52
  • LSA, MED
  • Spokane

Until yesterday, I was proud to say I graduated from the University of Michigan. From this day forward, however, I would be too mortified to let that fact be known.

I suspect that you will hear from a great number of us who question your choice of speakers. I find it especially in poor taste, as your only function is to educate. Are you aware of his intention for your industry? Do you not read what he has in store for the education of the youth of this nation? If not, I suggest that someone with intelligence at your facility does an in-depth investigation of what is happening in the real world! It is a sad day when an exemplary institution such as yours (not mine any more) stoops to this level.

Your donations are going to dry up considerably. Those that donate the “big bucks” are the ones that Obama is going after. Don’t you realize that one of his primary goals is the REDISTRIBUTION OF WEALTH? He intends to take it away from your donors, the RICH and give it to the POOR. The “poor” not only includes our poorer citizens, but also all the illegal immigrants who come over our borders. He is trying to legalize and cover them in his HEALTHCARE PLAN, commonly known as OBAMACARE. He is attempting to win them over because he needs to have their vote in the next election, otherwise he is, as they say, a “dead duck.” That is the only way he will be elected for a second term. A great number of the citizens of the United States of America are finally seeing through his façade, and recognize how his socialist agenda will affect their lives. Have your “investigator” check into why his devoted Democrats are jumping ship. They are being voted out in the November election and are obviously are not willing to “walk the plank.”

One of Obama’s plans is to cut 500 Billion dollars from Medicare, and severely limit medical care to the very young and the old. If you are under 20 or over 50, your medical needs will not be sufficiently met. The amount of money that would be spent for their care under our current plan will be severely cut in order to fund the care of all the illegal immigrants. Those who have been paying into Social Security all their lives are going to get, pardon my French, screwed. Those illegal immigrants will also be recipients of our social security.

  • Cynthia Nicholas
  • BA
  • 1956
  • LSA
  • Houston

If Gerald Ford could give a commencement speech at the U of M, I'd say Barack Obama would not be out of place there. Ford was famous for his unique pronunciation of various words, but he could still give an acceptable speech.

  • Bill Mosby
  • BSAE, MSME
  • 1971
  • Engineering
  • Salt Lake City

Frank Beaver critiqued the movie "Messenger" (Grimness and hope)and referred to the two Marines in the movie. The Marines were in Army uniforms. Good movie, though.

  • Wiilliam Stansell MD

I was the photographer for Wm D. Revelli from 1960 to 1972 when he retired. I am still doing this and have been in the press box its entire existence from 1957 to 2009. Fantastic experience especially since I never played or marched in the Band. I have only missed one game since 1960. I have 87,000 negatives, over a million prints, over 16,000 digital files plus some recordings. I have gone to the Rose Bowl 14 times and many many other memories. I also have a copy of that Drum Major photo (Dick Smith) and I have talked to Dick many times at Homecomings. I got him to sign my copy of that shot which makes it extremely valuable.

  • DICK GASKILL
  • ECONOMICS,NAVY
  • 1957
  • BA 1957 JUNE
  • LIvonia, Michigan 48154

My wife (LSA '70) and I were visiting U of I, Chicago with our niece today. Students came and went, most with back packs. I could not remember carrying a back pack while at the University; my room mates and I had 'Michigan book bags,' or so I remember (or rather don't remember.) Can someone recall exactly what we did carry our books in?

  • James Wright
  • B.A., MA
  • 1969
  • LSA, Rackham
  • Oak Park

Re: Ode to Joy (Feb 2010): I was a member of the Michigan Marching Band, 52, 53. Yes that was Dick Smith, and yes, that was the south end of Yost Field House. The grounds were known as Ferry Field, and were the practice field for the MMB. Playing under Revelli was a privilege, recognized more in retrospect.

  • Thomas F. Higby
  • M.D.
  • 1958
  • LSA, Med
  • Fowlerville

Re: Ode to Joy (February 2010): At the time of this Life Magazine issue, I was a sophomore at Milford High School. This Life cover photo, along with experiences at UM Band Days, meeting and working with Dr. Revelli and UM trumpet Prof. Clifford Lillya at Interlochen, and the amazing reputation of the UM Bands helped lead many of the best high school musicians across the country to the UM.

As we studied and performed on campus, in stadiums and on tours, we were infused with the sound, precision, musicianship and enthusiasm which led many to sterling careers in music education, professional performance, composition and arranging, and other areas of music.

The Band's great reputation, in the fall of 1960, led to the US State Department's selection of the UM Symphony Band for a monumental pair of 1961 Cultural Exchange Tours - the first of eventually several higher education groups to be chosen.

Starting in February, 1961, Dr. Revelli and Assistant Conductor George Cavender lead performances for eight weeks in 10 cities of the USSR, followed by seven weeks in 16 cities from Cairo to Poland. The UM student members of that group proudly represented the University, state and nation for every appearance, and met all the State Department's expectations with highest acclaim, ending tour experiences with a concert and recording session in Carnegie Hall. "The Victors," UM's fight song, received enthusiastic cheers, being performed as one of many encores on most tour concerts.

Next year the University will host a special event commemorating the 50th year anniversary for surviving band members, and I will look forward - with honor - to participate as a fellow member of that special organization. More information on that UM Band and tour is available from several sources on campus. Go Blue!

  • Richard Longfield
  • B.M., M.M.
  • 1957
  • Music
  • Prescott

As a lifelong Independent, I am disappointed that my alma mater has made such an-ill-advised - and quite possibly politically motivated - gesture as presenting President Obama as this year's commencement speaker. Moreover, a school whose hallmark is excellence appears to be endorsing a leader who is both underqualified for the position and doing a poor job of it.

  • Barbara Zuck
  • Ph.D.
  • 1978
  • School of Music, Rackham Scholar
  • Bloomingburg

Re: How to date women, 1943 (Feb 2008): I have often wondered how the courting of a young lady was conducted at Michigan. It is to bad that an up-dated version of this isn't given to entering Freshman in this day and time. I would like to see the youth of today have a connection to the past!

  • Josephine Cook-Bell
  • B.A.
  • 1981
  • LSA
  • Benbrook

UM sends the wrong message by giving President Barack Obama the opportunity to deliver the spring 2010 commencement address at the University of Michigan. This man cannot pronounce corpsman, and he is the Commander-in-Chief. As a former member of the US Marine Corps, I find this a sad day for my alma mater.

  • Harvey Whitney Jr MS 1961
  • MS
  • 1961
  • Cincinnati

Congratulations on picking Pres. Obama. He is honest and trying to help the 40% of US citizens with no health care (lowest in Western World). He is not a war monger like Bush and Bush.The FBI knew of the 9/11 attack before it happened so maybe the terrorism is internal not external. Johnston was a bad pick as he lead the Viet Nam war that was not even approved by Congress. They were "advisors". Wish we could have Pres.Obama in Canada. He is also chasing bankers who stole public money.

  • Rob Evans
  • B.Sc.
  • 1069
  • E.S.&A.
  • Toronto

To all the letter writers who are complaining about Obama speaking at commencement: I expect better of Michigan graduates; you guys need to realize that it's an honor and exceptionally big deal that a sitting president would give the address at graduation regardless of your political beliefs.

  • Erich Theiss
  • LSA
  • Oak Park

I find that I must join the chorus of dissent to what appears to be a "politically correct" invitation to the President to deliver the spring 2010 Commencement Address. The timing couldn't be more ill advised. Our nation has yet to yield any positive fruit from the President's agenda, and yet the leadership of our University appears quick to jump on the bandwagon of his "Change". Why are we endorsing the product before the test results are in?

  • Raymond J. Branch
  • B.A.
  • 1976
  • New Smyrna Beach

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