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Evans unfinished work, a
wrong rhymed, more on architecture.
EVEN AFTER EVANS, DENTISTS
STILL MUST FIGHT FOR RESPECT
Hughes article on Dr. Thomas W. Evans, "Crowns
and Confidences," in the November/December 1999 issue of The
Pennsylvania Gazette was a treasure to behold, both stylistically
compliments to the author and to Hervé Blondon for the cover illustration
which captured both in design and tone "the darkest hours" of
Empress Eugénie as well as the knightly protective stance of Dr.
Evans. Who better to turn to in a time of peril than ones own dentist?
helter-skelter dispersion of Evans striking collection from its
sanctuary in the School of Dental Medicine was deplorable; a part of the
rich heritage of our school was gone.
is propitious that remnants of Evans treasures will be displayed
in the Schattner Center when it opens in 2001. It is a beginning in reclaiming
that which was lost. "By such means," Hughes correctly observed,
"we can identify the man."
Evans spoke of "gold, only gold," he was advocating its use
as the ultimate in dental restorative materials. In a double entendre,
gold also describes the man. His renown spread far beyond the continent
of Europe and extended to the East where he was recognized by Turkeys
Sultan Abdul Medjid, Russias Czar Alexander II and the Emperor of
struggled to gain respect and honor for his profession, as Hughes pointed
out. Each succeeding generation of dentists must renew the task, even
today. This became abundantly evident at the end of the article, in the
"small catch" that emerged when rights to a film on Evans were
being discussed with producersthat the Evans character "could
not be a dentist." Dr. Evans work remains unfinished.
H. Martin Deranian
readers wrote pointing out an "egregious" error (and, to be
fair to writer Phil Leggiere C79, one introduced during the editing
process) in our story "From Zip to
X," in the Nov/Dec 1999 issue. Only one did so in verse, howeverEd.
Most (But Not All) Things are Fine
With Penns Gazette of Nov/Dec 99!
Did Phil Leggiere lapse from due
Or was this just a heck of a computer spell-check
When, on page 43, line 5, we see
Elon Musk had his "sites," instead
"Squarely set" on amassing his millions?
And should we be aghast that this error got
The Gazettes fine editor, John
A STARTLING JUXTAPOSITION
issue featured the startling juxtaposition of stories on La Casa Latina
["Gazetteer"], the Association of Latino Alumni ["Calendar"]
and preparations for the 2000 Census under Gilbert Casellas, past president
of the Hispanic National Bar Association ["Alumni Profiles"].
I say startling because, in California, public discourse is so bigoted
that even a Nuremberg Nazi would blush; but befitting a dictatorship,
no one dares object to the racism.
Torres, chairman of the California Democratic Party, proclaimed that a
voter-approved initiative to enforce laws against illegal aliensnot
just any foreigners, now, but illegal alienswas "the last gasp
of white America in California," and then later exulted over how
he could make such a racist statement with total impunity. One can almost
hear Adolf Hitler hailing annexation as "the last gasp of non-Aryan
Sudetenland." Ricky Sierra of the Chicano National Guard vowed that
Mexicans are "taking back what is ours" and Augustin Cebada
of the Brown Berets de Aztlan exhorted his followers with "Raza
si, Migra no!" ("The Race yes, Border Patrol no!")
Well, exactly how much further is it from "The Race" to "The
Master Race?" Are not their brown berets and brown shirts the same
color as those of the storm troopers?
did I mention annexation? Already in progress. The Mexican Consul-General
in Los Angeles stated matter-of-factly that Mexico is reconquering California:
"We are practicing la Reconquista in California."
ominous words and images appear in a shocking documentary called "Immigration:
Threatening the Bonds of Our Union."
for the Association of Latino Alumni at Penn, they may well repudiate
the "One Continent, One Culture" vision of Aztlan enforced by
the Mexican nationalists in Californias public schools. But theyd
better not. The only species more endangered than the "white America"
threatened by Art Torres are Hispanic Americans loyal to the United States.
Michael J. Blair
Woodland Hills, Calif.
MONSTROSITIES, IN RED BRICK OR
After reading the letters in the
Nov/Dec issue about the architectural articles in the Sept/Oct
issue, I had to go back and reread them (having not yet discarded the
earlier volume). I was disappointed that neither Dr. Brownlee nor Dr.
Thomas commented on Hamilton Walk, the huge medical-school complex and
the biology buildings to the west. Of course, my days on campus were 50
years ago, when Woodland Avenue and Locust Street were still there, complete
with traffic and trolleys. As a botanist, studying, researching and TA-ing
in McFarland Hall, that was the campus area that I knew best.
then, and still, I found the red brick Victorian-era buildings unbearably
ugly, just as, later, in Washington, D.C., I found the Smithsonian Building
similarly ugly, with all the useless, nonfunctional towers, turrets, oddly
placed corridors, etc. I cannot understand the architects liking
for such monstrosities, whether in red brick or green serpentine.
H. David Hammond
A MAP OF CAMPUS CHANGES?
with great interest that I read the article "Treasures
& Travesties" in the Sept/Oct issue of the Gazette. I
had only little chance during the past decades to revisit the campus,
the last time 12 years ago. Unfortunately my age (77) will probably not
permit me to participate in my 50th Reunion next year and see the marvelous
changes on the campus that have taken place. Therefore, I would like to
make a suggestion which, I believe, will be welcomed by other Penn graduates
who cannot revisit the campus for some reason or other.
proposal is to publish in the Gazette a map showing the status
of the Penn campus after World War II and the same map with the present
status including buildings under construction or in the planning stage.
Dr. Klaus Kartzke
We didnt (and dont) have
space in the magazine to reproduce a detailed campus map. However, readers
with Internet access can view an interactive map, including links to images
and information on buildings new and old, by clicking on the "campus
maps" link on Penns home page (www.upenn.edu).Ed.
the many years Ive read the Gazette, I dont think Ive
ever come across anything quite as revelatory as Yochi Dreazens,
"The Man Behind Superblock"
["Notes From the Undergrad," Sept/Oct 1999]. To discover that
a dean of the School of Fine Arts was the person responsible for those
cold and ugly blocks of gray concrete that dominate the Penn landscape
is stunning. When I first arrived on campus in the fall of 1970, I couldnt
imagine how anyone could have wanted to build those towering slabs. After
spending a year on the 18th floor of High Rise East, I was even more bewildered.
Mr. Perkins is understandably defensive about
his role in this architectural fiasco. It is very convenient to explain
current disaffection with the buildings by the notion that "peoples
attitudes about architecture change every generation" and "the
only thing you can be sure of is that the next generation wont like
whatever it is that you did." In fact, peoples attitudes about
architecture dont change every generation (only architects
attitudes change). People have always wanted warm and inviting residences.
If you build graceful structures, in proportion to their surroundingsstructures
that relate to and enhance the campus life around themthe generations
that follow will like what you did.
GREAT TO SEE MISTAKES CORRECTED
thoroughly enjoyed your Sept/Oct articles on Penns campus redevelopment
initiative. Funnily enough, I co-wrote an article (including factual help
from both George Thomas and David Brownlee) back in 1990 highlighting
the short-sightedness of Penns Development Council for the special
edition of The Daily Pennsylvanian marking the 250th anniversary
of the University. The paper was released during Commencement, which we
hoped would raise awareness among alumni who were visiting the campus
("bland" Walnut Street, Superblock, lack of social campus infrastructure,
etc.). Great that someone was able to take on responsibility and help
correct such mistakes while expanding upon what is working!
RECENT INITIATIVES ARE ENCOURAGING
and planning can be said to be first about solving problems, but that
suggests there are right answers to be found, if only we look hard enough.
Good design starts with a search that is open-ended. Lou Kahn wrote that
"Form comes from wonder." Do we wonder enough?
Was it really necessary to make a university
so large that huge sections of a community were removed to make room for
buildings the institution itself could hardly afford? There are plenty
of good colleges and even universities that are smaller than Penn.
The University is said to have fled "the
urban squalor of Center City." If we see only the physical squalor
and dont wonder about its causes we will encourage more of the same
wherever we go. There is terrible irony in the articles in the Gazette
documenting the struggle for respect in poor neighborhoods, on the
one hand, and the utter lack of respect for neighbors in the University
planning process, on the other.
Have we learned anything? Perhaps human progress
comes only painfully, slowly, two steps forward and one step back. Recent
initiatives by the University to work with the surrounding community are
encouraging. They are also essential to making a great university, rather
than a collection of individuals thinking only of themselves.
Jeffrey T. Berg
TRUE SERVICE TO SOCIETY: GIVE
Franklin was right (as usual), and his wisdom is timeless:
I read with great interest and hope the research
article "Plants Taste for Heavy Metals is in the Genes"
1999]. The University is obviously on the cutting edge of significant
research, in a very important area, with quality scientists. Penn, however,
felt it necessary to apply for a joint patent with UC-San Diego in connection
with the research.
I also noted President Rodins column,
"Civic Engagement in Higher Education"
["From College Hall"], and her quote from Benjamin Franklin
that "the great aim and end of all learning is service to society."
Might I suggest that President Rodin and the
trustees of the University truly serve society and withdraw the patent
application or, when the patent is granted, allow everyone in the scientific
and commercial arenas access to this very important discovery, so that
they can all put their resources behind it to advance technology and benefit
society, rather than licensing the technology to a very limited number
who can advance it, just to increase the Universitys already significant
What a wonderful example that would set for
other universities and make everyone associated with Penn proud. Setting
that kind of example for Penns students is what education is all
about and is what I think Benjamin Franklin meant.
St. Louis, Mo.
BUREAUCRATIC SOLUTIONS FOR ALCOHOL
ABUSE WONT PREVENT INDIVIDUAL TRAGEDIES
death of Michael Tobin C94 was the tragedy of an individual. In
response, the Working Group on Alcohol Abuse has created a bureaucratic
solution that will not and cannot address the problem ["Gazetteer,"
Nov/Dec 1999, May/June
1999; "From College Hall," July/August
1999] Penns mission is to provide an academic education, and
not to "socialize" its student body through seminars and CD-ROMs.
If the WGAA and the University believe in enforcing responsibility, they
should begin with the individual.
You dont need to re-socialize the Penn
campus, press freshmen into seminars and manipulate the behavior of campus
eateries to prevent alcohol abuse. In fact, being able to bowl, see a
movie or have a hot dog at 2 a.m. is a ridiculous and shallow solution
to the death of a former student. I hope the administration will re-think
these issues, let the wisdom of their experience prevail and take a more
prudent course of action.
IS HAPPINESS NOTE-WORTHY?
for the great article, "Duly Noted," by Stephanie Williams ["Alumni
Voices," Sept/Oct 1999]. It struck a chord within me, for I too
have periodic cases of note-envy. Over the years, I have read that many
of my fellow Wharton classmates have gotten their MBA and are already
on to their third I-bank, whereas I chose to return to my rural home state
and work for entrepreneurial companies. Yet there is comfortand
also pridein remembering that what makes you happiest in life isnt
always going to be that Note-worthy for an alumni magazine. So it is with
a bit of smugness perhaps that I say, "Screw corporate culture. Im
a snowboarder in Vermont."
South Burlington, Vt.
LEFT OUT AFTER 50 YEARS
a member of the Class of 1949, College for Women, I gleefully made plans
to and did attend our Reunion last May. It was a time to enjoy such happy
memories and renew old and valued friendships.
However, to my great disappointment, the July/August
issue of The Pennsylvania Gazette featuring Alumni Weekend ignored
our Class. We, celebrating 50count em, 50years since
our graduation, were left out. How sad! This after raising $1,901,031
In spite of that, Hail to the Red and the Blue.
Marie Pollock Neuhauser
Cabin John, Md.
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