Keeping alumni and friends connected to U-M

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Re: Veterans Radio (November 2009): Nice to see that Michigan is now tolerant of military folks. In my time they weren't so friendly. Despite that, I'm still a "Go Blue" fan—unless they're playing Navy.

  • George P Beamer
  • MBA
  • 1975
  • Ross
  • Fernandina Beach

It's November. It says so on the Michigan Today. But I knew it wasn't "40 years ago this month" that the "Paul is Dead" rumor arose, because I knew that event occurred BEFORE I came back to Michigan from the East Coast my Freshman year in college. The visit was for Homecoming and occurred the weekend of October 25. I can remember more about those months than I can about the last 25 years. And the internet confirmed: the article appeared on October 14. I think that's 40 years ago LAST month...

  • Rod Fonda
  • J.D.
  • 1975
  • Law
  • Seattle

Re: Built to last (October 2009): Michigan has had some great coaches. Rich Rodriguez will obviously not be one of them. Get rid of him before he does any more damage to the great name of Michigan. We need another BO.

  • Eleanor Leary
  • B.S.
  • 1960
  • LSA
  • Springfield

I feel the great University of Michigan is losing it's predominance as one the the world's leading Universities. I believe this is largely due to the ineffectiveness of the current president who lacks the strength and decisiveness needed.

  • Susan Campbell
  • BA
  • 1954
  • LSA
  • Midland

About Jane Doyle....The lead-in graf said she received the Congressional Medal of Honor. The story was accurate; the lead-in was not. She -- and the other dedicated, courageous WASPs -- were awarded a civilian honor, The Congressional Gold Medal. The CMH is reserved for a level of valor above and beyond the call of duty in combat (or words to that effect). I offer this in the spirit of editorial accuracy, imprinted on my soul by the superb faculty at the U-M Journalism Department (now no longer in existence). Ms. Doyle is among the thousands of Americans who served selflessly in noncombat roles during WW2.

Meanwhile, Go, Blue!

  • Wally (Wallace) Eberhard, Ph.D.
  • AB, Journalism
  • 1955
  • LSA
  • Athens

Re: Built to last (October 2009): It would be far more interesting to read about the percentage of student-athletes who have graduated under each of these coaches. It would also help to explain why The University of Michigan saw the need to spend $7M for a football coach who lacked the ethics to honor his contract with West Virginia.

  • Gene Thompson
  • 1965

I was delighted to read Frank Beaver's essay on the year 1909 in films (100 years ago, October 2009). I had a couple of classes with Frank back in the mid-1970s. He was engaging and eager to share with us his ideas and views. I can remember his lecture on "The Real vs. The Epic" in films, ie., "The Bicycle Thief" vs. "The Godfather." He was insightful and enthusiastic. Thank you, Frank!

  • steve suskin
  • LSA
  • 1973
  • MA 1973
  • cincinnati

In the video A different Diag? (October 2009), James Tobin ascribes original ownership of the 40-acre plot that became the U-M campus to Elisha Rumsey, the co-founder of Ann Arbor. But Elisha died in 1827. Actually, the owner was Elisha's brother, Hon. Henry Rumsey, who sold the plot to the Ann Arbor Land Company ten years after Elisha's death. The brothers now lie side-by-side in Ann Arbor's Forest Hill Cemetery, and occupy far smaller plots.

  • Wystan Stevens
  • B. A.
  • 1970
  • Ann Arbor

In Shakespeare's words (October 2009), Richard Bailey writes, "Shakespeare was not in the business of enriching the English language; he was in the business of selling tickets."

I doubt that Wm. Shaksper could invent any words. Edw. deVere, 17th Earl of Oxford, (Wm. Shakespeare) was employed by Elizabeth I to write and make the English language such that it would succeed French, the then predominant scholarly language. I encourage scholars to Google deVere to see the overwhelming evidence of deVere's erudition and authorship.

  • Albert V. Witham
  • B.A., LLD
  • 1948, 1951
  • LSA, Law
  • Littleton

I am so sorry to see that Fritz is leaving the U-M Cardiovascular Center this year. I had several occasions to speak on the phone long distance with him a few years ago when I made a donation to the new Cardiovascular Center in memory of my dear departed Uncle who was a physician. I thought this would be a fitting tribute to donate to this center in his name, as both he and his wife had heart conditions that required medical interventions and surgery, and that my donation would help others facing similar situations.

Fritz was an outstanding, kind, helpful and informative person to me during those calls,and with his letters to me, and I thought very highly of him, though I never met him in person. I wish him the best in his future endeavors.

  • Frances Walts
  • B.S.in NURSING
  • 1963
  • NURSING
  • BALDWINSVILLE

Dear Editor:

I cannot imagine anyone who can compare to the loyalty, dedication and personal fund-raising success at the University of Michigan than Fritz Seyferth.

A standout running back at Michigan (1969-71) as an undergraduate, Fritz later spent 21 years employed with the U-M athletic department.

During his final seven years he was the executive associate athletic director and was responsible for the department’s $47 million budget, strategic planning and operation.

He carries himself with dignity and poise and I admire his ability to politely disagree—helped by his disarming smile—with campus administrators, coaches and student-athletes.

Fritz has announced he is leaving his position in the UMHS Cardiovascular Center (CVC) development office, December 1, 2009.

Through the years, he has applied his U-M education of degrees in Industrial/Operations Engineering and an MBA in the private sector setting in place the foundation of five departments and three companies.

Fritz’s least publicized legacy is in fundraising and development at Michigan, where he designed a new annual giving program and raised gifts and pledges by $45 million in eight years, as well as modestly raising $27.8 million in facility improvements in five separate campaigns.

And Fritz Seyferth has been an active member of the Ann Arbor community, serving on the board of directors for the Ann Arbor Commerce Bank as well as a board member of the Ann Arbor Convention & Visitors Bureau and Ann Arbor Rotary Club.

Best of luck, #32 to you and Lynn. From this fellow alumnus, "You are the man!"

  • Dale R. Leslie

In reading your article on the student view of living together as a way of preventing divorce later (Living Together: The best way to divorce-proof marriage? (Sept. 2009), I wonder if cohabitation is a way of not making a long term commitment to the other party in the cohabitation. A commitment is required if you expect to have a long term marriage with its "For better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and health..." covenant agreement. The fallout of a divorce is children who, having suffered through the process of divorce with their parents, do not want to be hurt again as their parents hurt them.

  • Kenneth Poling
  • BBA
  • 1968
  • School of Management Dearborn
  • Crystal Lake

I loved your slide show of The Cube (September 2009) on the UM home page, but I fear you left out the, ahem, best one of my then five-year-old daughter Erin Lichtenstein (LSA 2008) taken in 1992 by a Michiganensian photographer and published that same year. I believe that at the time, she loved showing everyone how strong she was by pushing this large metal cube with her head. She later graduated from U-M and now attends grad school at Stanford.

photo of 5 year old girl at the Cube at University of Michigan

  • Gail Ryan

Re: The Big House after hours (Sept. 2009): I am curious why you did not mention that the "300 people" who converge on the stadium after the football games are Father Gabriel Richard High School students, parents and families? They (we) do this after every home game. It is a pretty remarkable feat, given that the parents have to get these high schoolers up and out of bed on a Sunday morning to go clean up other people's trash...not a simple feat. I was just wondering if there was a reason why they were not given credit for this in your article? Also, just to help them, you might have suggested people pick up after themselves! :)

  • Mary Grambeau Gass

Re: New aesthetic form in "Public Enemies" (Sept. 2009): Prof. Beaver has made a terrible boo-boo, in chemical terms. Film is no longer made of celluloid, which is cellulose nitrate and has been a serious danger to projectionists and moviegoers. It is extremely flammable and subject to decay. Many years ago movie film was switched to cellulose acetate, a pretty stable material that is safe to use.

Frank Beaver replies:

Mr. Radin is correct, to a point: Celluloid, the name given to cellulose-nitrate, was eventually replaced by cellulose-acetate. Film buffs are well aware of this fact. Yet over the course of motion picture history, "celluloid" has been used by writers and critics as a generic term for the emulsion-derived medium of film. Vito Russo's book about gays in film, "The Celluloid Closet," and Jacquelyn Kilpatrick's study of the portrayal of Native Americans on the screen, "Celluloid Indians," are examples.

  • Norm Radin
  • Professor Emeritus
  • Neurochemistry

I am writing in response to the article Living together: The best way to divorce-proof a marriage? by Diane Swanbrow, dated September 1, 2009.

I don't believe that Ms. Swanbrow's story is correctly titled, and I am somewhat puzzled as to why U of M researchers are spending money on this topic. Researchers at the University of Denver have already done a study, published in the July Journal of Family Psychology, which shows that couples who live together before marriage actually have a higher rate of divorce. Furthermore, this study showed that these couples also report lower marriage satisfaction than their non-cohabitating peers.

In light of these facts, it seems that the U of M researchers have only demonstrated that young people don't have their facts straight and are making poor decisions about their choices to cohabitate.

Maybe a better title would have been "U of M Researchers Confirm Widespread Ignorance and Poor Decisions Among Young Couples."

I suppose I am getting old, but I am pretty sure I could have told you that without a study. I know my mom could have twenty years ago....

  • James Izen
  • B.A.
  • 1989
  • LSA
  • Atlanta

Re: Living together: The best way to divorce-proof a marriage? (Sept. 2009): The real test, in my opinion, would be to interview couples that have been married for, let's say, 25+ years to see if they lived together before marriage. Otherwise, it would just be wishful thinking of those who have yet to pass the test of time.

  • Mr. Jaime Isaza
  • B.S., M.P.H.
  • 1978, 1982
  • SNRE, SPH
  • Eugene

Your article Professor White's trees (April 2008) incorrectly stated he came from Western NY. In fact he grew up in Central NY just south of Syracuse, where he returned to in 1863. He did attend Geneva College which is near Rochester, but that is on the edge of western NY.

  • FRANCES WALTS
  • BS IN NURSING
  • 1963
  • BSN 1963
  • BALDWINSVILLE

Re: Living together: The best way to divorce-proof a marriage? (Sept. 2009): Interesting study on why people co-habitate; the reason for which is no surprise. I wonder if a more academic study would analyze the long-term results of their efforts. It's my understanding that extant statistics (sorry I don't have sources readily available) demonstrate co-habitation before marriage ironically seems to increase the odds of divorce for the couple. I find it curious that the article/survey fails to even mention the success rate of the couples' attempts to avoid actual divorce situations.

  • Joe Cox
  • LSA
  • 1996
  • BGS

Re: Marginal words (Sept. 2009): My Kindle lets me make marginal notes.

  • Lin Hanson
  • BA, JD
  • 1959, 1961
  • LSA, LAW
  • Green Oaks

Re: Exactly how much housework does a husband create? (April 2008): I find it rather arbitrary to for the writer to exclude from "core" housework hours, tasks like gardening, home repairs, or washing the car. These are all part of maintaining a home and their exclusion only serves to invalidate the contribution.

  • Mark Jewett
  • Engineering
  • 1979
  • BSEE
  • Plymouth

Re: The Big House after hours (September 2009): I have a question: can you tell me why our Michigan Stadium is referred to as The Big House? I can understand the size reference but beyond that? The phrase refers to a prison. Will new dictionaries now add Michigan Stadium as a 2nd meaning for the phrase, Big House? The phrase bothers me a great deal. I attended many games in Michigan Stadium and have fond memories of doing so. When we went to a game, we always went to the stadium and not to the big house. It just sounds very odd. Whoever thought of this and why do university publications continue to use this designation? In planning to attend another game, I expect to be in Michigan Stadium…

  • Karen Warren
  • B.S.N.
  • 1958
  • Nursing
  • Zionsville

As a marginaliast, I loved your delightful essay Marginal words (Sept. 2009). Marginal notes help me find a specific thought or phrase when rereading or searching. And I love seeing how others reacted to a concept when they have left their marks.

When you refer to whimsical birds, I wonder if you are thinking of the Book of Kells and other such manuscripts. If so, do you know that those cute birds and animals often serve a purpose? Often, one of those tails, or a long nose or arm, points to a place in the text where an error was made, and the letters in the margins are the correction or addition for the error or omission. An editing solution with a sense of humor.

  • Elaine Pliskow Adler
  • B.S., M.S.
  • 1960, 1963
  • LSA, ED, Rackham
  • Lexington

Thank you for your excellent article involving cohabitation & divorce (Living together: The best way to divorce-proof a marriage?, Sept. 2009). I hope your future research will focus on the outcome as opposed to the opinions of those engaged in cohabitation.

The ultimate results are mixed among my siblings who cohabitated and those who did not.

I hope to marry soon and prefer not to cohabitate.

Best wishes

  • MC WILLIAMSON
  • BBA
  • 1984
  • ROSS SCHOOL OF BUSINESS
  • VANCOUVER

The research mentioned in Diane Swanbrow's article Living together: The best way to divorce-proof a marriage? (September 2009) merely mentions the reasons why young adults cohabit. In my opinion, a more intriguing research would be to determine what effect - positive or negative - that cohabitation has on the divorce rate for couples who ultimately do choose to marry or, for that matter, how many cohabitating couples fail to enter into the institution of marriage altogether. As a trained pre-marriage mentor, I am always more concerned with the documented negative effect cohabitation has on marriage's chance of success rather than the reasons why couples choose to cohabit rather than marry.

  • Michael H. "Reggie" VanderVeen, DDS 1976
  • DDS
  • 1976
  • DDS 1976
  • Grand Rapids

The research news article Living together: The best way to divorce-proof a marriage? from September 1, 2009 contains a possible error and a certain gross omission. I couldn't track down the full article by Smock and Manning, but Swanbrow says "According to Smock and Manning, cohabitation serves to weed out marriages least likely to succeed," but elsewhere, it appears more likely that Smock and Manning instead indicate that cohabiting couples _believe_ that cohabitation will weed out marriages unlikely to succeed.

This brings up the omission, which is that strong and consistently reported evidence (for example, Cohan, C., & Kleinbaum, S. (2002). Toward a greater understanding of the cohabitation effect: Premarital cohabitation and marital communication. Journal of Marriage and Family, 64, 180–192.) shows that cohabitation actually substantially increases the chances of divorce. The article does finish by saying that it's the young adults who believe that "living together is the best way to keep divorce at bay," but completely neglects the fact that the best available evidence points in exactly the opposite direction.

  • Sean T.
  • M. S.
  • 2009
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Ann Arbor

What young people think as stated (Living together: The best way to divorce-proof a marriage? (September 2009): "young adults .... many of whom are convinced that living together is the best way to keep divorce at bay" and what the research shows, turn out to be very difference things. www.citizenlink.org

  • Dale Rosema
  • MSME
  • 1988
  • College of Engineering
  • Holland

I went to Detroit in the fall of 1969 and wound up spending two years in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam Era. I think I should have gone to Baghdad. Would there have been any difference?

  • R Gregory Stutz
  • J.D.
  • 1972
  • Law
  • Denver

Finally got around to reading the articles in the July MT. I'm a bit (just a little bit) disappointed in Jim Tobin's article A question of culture (July 2009), as he does not touch on the serious disruptions related to minority affairs that repeated in the 1990s. To me, the article implies all was settled by creation of the residence hall lounges.

In the early 1990s, we basically had BAM II, and I believe it was called that. Events included students disrupting and nearly shutting down a Regents' meeting (it was moved to a conference room in Fleming) and staging a long sit-in at the Fleming Building with a lengthy list of demands. The result was the establishment of the Office of Minority Affairs and the appointment of a minority affairs vice provost, Charles Moody. John Matlock (now an associate vice provost and cited at the end of the article re the study) was the first head of OMA (now the Office of Academic Multicultural Activities, I believe).

I was part of an all-night work session at the Record the day things finally settled and negotiations ended, and came up with the title to what the next day was unveiled as "The Four-Point Plan." A quickly organized, overflow-crowd meeting was held that day at Hill Auditorium to unveil the plan. The Record went into twice-a-week publication for a month to explain in-place programs and outline those to be put into place. I had just hired a new editor at the Record and she got thrown into an evening telephone interview (after a very short time in her new job) with Dr. Moody. It was quite a whirlwind time. And, as I continue to think back, I do believe John (Matlock) once told me he was one of the 1970s activists! Life does sometimes take strange turns.

I guess I'm being picky. But I simply feel that Jim's article implies all was well once the issues of the '70s were resolved. I know Jim and he always has been an excellent writer, with careful attention to his research. I don't mean to indicate that he did not research carefully. But, by focusing solely on the '70s, the article implied to me all the issues were resolved forever. Not so!

  • Jane R. Elgass
  • former executive editor
  • University Record

Fall 1965...find your ideal date...twenty questions on a campus-wide computer mixer...(I was his ideal date, he wasn't mine)...we've been married 40 years :)

  • Christel Fox
  • B.S.Chem
  • 1968
  • LSA
  • Ann Arbor

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