February 13, 2001
Inn at Penn
Remarks (Leonard A. Shapiro)
& Introductions (John Prendergast)
New Franklin Field, October 17, 1903 (Samuel Hughes)
This Paper Becomes The Pennsylvania Gazette, February 1,
1918 (Susan Frith Lonkevich)
of S.A.T.C. and Naval Training Unit November 11, 1918 (Sam)
Excavators Uncover Temple in Ur (Fred Hiebert)
Roman Holiday, May 15, 1930 (Susan)
Days Adrift, by Morton Deitz W42, November 1943 (Sam)
March 1947 (John)
by Gilbert Sandler C49, November 1948 (Sam)
Saarinen Told the Press Conference, February 1961 (George
Thomas and David Brownlee)
to the Editor, 1967 and 1969 (Susan)
Dirty Drug, May 1971 (Phyllis Kaniss)
Prices Championship Season, April 1979 (Marshall Ledger)
Polar Bare Club II, February 1993 (Dilys Winegrad)
the Alumni Notes, April 1998 (Caren Lissner)
Home, May 2001 (Beth Kephart)
in Full, May/June 2000 (Sam/Bruce Montgomery)
Survivor, November/December 2001 (Lolita Jackson)
Our Readers, October 3, 1908 (John)
And thank you all very much for coming to help celebrate the Gazettes
100th year of publication.
I feel very lucky to be the editor at this time in the magazines
history. Now is a great time for Penn, with lots of exciting things
for us to write about and share with alumni. And the occasion of
the Gazettes Centennial has given us the opportunity to take a
look back over some critical decades in Penns history, the time
during which it really became the University we know today. In the
six Centennial issues well be publishing in 2002, well be telling
that story from several different perspectives.
Our ambitions for the readings weve put together tonight are more
limited. Theyre all shortI promiseand they are far from comprehensive.
But we hope that they will give some flavor of the magazine over
the past centuryand then some of them are just plain strange, and
we put them in for that reason.
We have about a dozen readers in all, including Gazette staffwho
will be doing most of the early onesas well as various friends
of the magazine. Ill be introducing the readers as we go along,
but now I just want to thank them all for participating. I hope
that they have fun, and that you all do, too.
about sports and campus construction have always been a mainstay
of the Gazette and its predecessor, Old Penn.
Our first excerptwhich will be read by SAM HUGHES, a staff member
of the Gazette for 10 years now and currently our senior editorcombines
both. Its from the October 17, 1903 issue of Old Penn and
is headlined, The New Franklin Field:
press, with united voice, proclaims it the most beautiful and
complete athletic field in America
The rutty, uneven quagmire
of 1902 has been replaced by a thick mat of green sod
Field will give to the country, through its athletes, the generals
in the army of the future, in war, commerce and letters, and the
progenitors of a race of men who, uniting brain and brawn, shall
save the republic from threatened degeneracy.
to readings program
February 1, 1918, a new name appeared on the cover of the magazine.
The lead article, read by Gazette associate editor SUSAN FRITH LONKEVICH,
last weeks issue, Old Penn ceased to be the name of this publication.
We appear this week as THE PENNSYLVANIA GAZETTE, reviving the
weekly newspaper which, under the guidance of Benjamin Franklin,
founder of the University of Pennsylvania, illumined the field
of colonial journalism and laid the foundation for much that is
best in the modern newspaper and magazine.
While we realize that we are extremely fortunate in having made
to order such a splendid name as THE PENNSYLVANIA GAZETTE, with
the halo which surrounds it, we are confident that Franklin himself
would have wished to see the paper perpetuated as the organ of
the University which he founded. We are sensible, too, of the
obligation which rests upon us in trying to follow in the footsteps
of so illustrious an editor.
to readings program
the United States entered World War I in April 1917, many Penn students
left to join the armed forces, and the campus itself was more or
less taken over by the militarys Students Army Training Corps,
or SATC. On November 11, 1918, the Great War ended in Europe, and
a month later, the Gazette ran an article titled Passing of S.A.T.C.
and Naval Unit.
Spirit of the Dawn of November 11th, to the accompaniment of sirens
and bells and steam whistles, whisked away all that tense emotion
of potential heroism. She took away the soldier and left the boy
Yet it is remarkable to note how well discipline has been maintained
now that they are only going through the motions. The guard still
walks in solemn warning from the Memorial Tower to Hamilton Walk.
Another still marches from the Big Quad into the Triangle. A third
still crosses the Big Quad diagonally, guarding the dormitories
against marauders, protecting the frog-pond, presenting bayonets
to the breasts of presumptuous deans and professors who would
profane the precincts sacred to Major Griffith. On the side streets,
where there are no cars, peaceful residents are still occasionally
startled by piercing shouts, Hun, hoo, hee, huh, Haarch. Who
shall transliterate these explosive orders?
not much more than boy scouts, says the student on the platform
of the trolley car. The tall professor, evidently from the biological
school, jeers pleasantly at the insignia on the boys collar.
S.A.T.C.Safe At The College, and the conductor shouts his approval
of the joke, if not of the sentiment. The car creeps down Woodland
Avenue behind a bobbing, moving mass of khaki, a little faint
in the dusk. The boys are marching four abreast to mess, whistling,
Thats the only j-j-j-job that I adore.
When you come marching
Into the mess-hall,
Ill be mopping up the k-k-k-kitchen floor.
Only the Freshmen may bewail the fact that the protecting arm
of the S.A.T.C. is being withdrawn. Military authority has sternly
frowned on distinctions ancient as the sun. But the eyes of the
Sophs are gleaming under the service hats. Pennsylvania will soon
again be a College world, a world no longer Safe for Freshmen.
to readings program
the 1920s Penn archaeologist C. Leonard Woolley wrote a series of
articles for the Gazette about the Museums excavations at Ur, the
capital of the ancient Mesopotamian civilization. In this excerptread
by Penn archaeologist FREDRIK HIEBERT, whose work has been featured
several times in the Gazette, most recently in the cover story for
the November/December 2001 issueWoolley describes a temple belonging
to Nin-Gal, wife of the Moon god of Ur:
is always rather disappointing to look down into a hole and be
told that what you see at the bottom was once a palace or a temple,
but today at Ur one can wander from room to room between walls
eight feet high and come out into the wide spaces of the court
whose trim pavement of kiln-baked bricks was laid down more than
3000 years ago and above one the fluted walls of the Hall of Justice,
which, though shorn of most of their heights, still dominate the
buildings around. On the foot of the pedestal on which it is raised
are the remains of the brick platform where the priest stood and
poured his libations when the great gates of the temple were flung
open in the morning. Today the Arab workmen in their long robes
going up the steps that lead to the temple doors might belong
to any age. And it is easy to forget that so many centuries have
passed leaving only the ruins and to imagine for the moment that
all is as it was, that the bare walls are clothed again with plates
of silver and brass and that in his inner shrine the Moon God
is still enthroned.
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In the early part of
the last century, Penn students had a more dramatic way to register
their displeasure with the faculty than writing nasty comments on
course evaluations: They would burn unpopular professors in effigy.
A 1930 Gazette article details a violent clash that erupted between
students and police following one of these events, after students
returning from the cremation ceremony began pulling trolley poles
on Woodland Ave. near 37th St. The Universitys provost at the time,
Josiah Penniman, described the chaos that followed:
Locust Street, bottles and eggs were thrown out of the windows
at the police, motorcycle police rode into the crowds on the sidewalks
at great speed. Locks on several fraternity houses were shot through
by the police. At the Delta Upsilon fraternity, the police climbed
in through the second-story windows, a shot being fired by a policeman
through one of the windows and curtains on the second story. The
bullet lodged in a bookcase across the room. Wanton destruction
was done by the police in several fraternities by the breaking
of pictures, upsetting of furniture, chopping down interior doors
with axes. Students were beaten by policemen while being taken
out by other policemen. One student in a fraternity house went
to his room, put out the light, locked the door, and sat there.
Police shot into the lock twice and being unable to break it,
they broke the glass panel. The student was then struck through
the door so hard that he was thrown over a chair into a lamp.
Some students were dragged in their pajamas, barefooted, to the
I have known and observed the police force of the City of Philadelphia
for many years. I know the vast majority of them to be brave and
considerate. Why some ran amuck on April 30th, I do not know.
But there is another side to this. If there had been no trolley
pulling, there would have been no excuse for police action. We
all love the University. We both should think only of her good
name. The way I see it is to settle down and for us all to walk
in a circumspect and orderly manner.
to readings program
During World War II,
the Gazette published a number of articles and letters recounting
the experiences of alumni in combatnone more harrowing than Thirty-One
Days Adrift, an account by Cadet Midshipman Morton Deitz W42,
whose ship was torpedoed by a German submarine off the coast of
sixth day, a British plane circled us and we again signaled: water-water-water
ñ help-help-help. The pilot dropped us his emergency provisions
and several flares and told us that he had just signaled by radio
for a destroyer to pick us up. That night there was little sleep
aboard our boat as the 24 occupants tossed nervously, awaiting
the arrival of the destroyerwhich never came.
Since we had anticipated rescue, we had not gone sparingly on
our rations, and they were very rapidly diminishing. That day
a storm came up and we caught rain water in a raincoat, which
we all drank with gusto. Soon the storm became so violent that
our little boat capsized and we were all thrown into the water,
losing most of our provisions and equipment. For six hours we
hung onto the sides of the boat for dear life and then when the
storm passed over we again took to the boat, but only after we
had baled ocean water for several hours. Our water baling equipment
consisted of a cigar box and a bucket.
On the eighteenth day, the bosn, who had been acting peculiarly,
died, and we buried him at sea. All during this time we prayed
constantly, each man in his own way and in any prayers that he
After the bosns death many of our shipmates followed him. Of
the 24 men who started out in our lifeboat, only eight finally
managed to reach safety. The last three days before our rescue,
one mullet a day leaped over the side of the boat. These we cut
and ate raw.
Finally one evening I thought that I heard a plane. I quickly
brought out our surviving flare, but I could not light it. The
automatic lighter on the flare was fouled. There was one match
left aboard our boat and between the match and the automatic lighting
element, I finally succeeded in lighting it. It was a British
plane. He circled us and kept hovering over us until a Greek freighter
which he had radioed arrived; we were then 35 miles off the coast
of Dunbar, South Africathe port from which we had started 31
to readings program
Over the years, readers
have written many complaining letters to the Gazettebut this one,
from 1947, is unique:
The hairy legs of the basketball players shown on the cover of
the February issue of The Pennsylvania Gazette were a bit nauseating,
and I should like you to remove my name from the list of paid-up
members.Phil Farcel W41
to readings program
Under various names,
through much of its history the Gazette has included a regular student
column. In November 1948, the Gazette published the following observation
by a College senior named Gilbert Sandler about the start of a new
It is the
time of the football rally and the sweatered co-ed, the clean
new text and the freshly mimeographed assignment sheet and Chapter
1 for Monday. It is the time when you come into your room and
find your roommate standing up on a chair hanging pennants and
pin-ups on the wall. It is the time of the perpetual bull-session
and the clashing opinion, of the football games in the Big Quad.
A man may be few or many years removed from his undergraduate
days, but autumn for him every year is the time, along with the
flaming maple and the restless stirrings of the raw, fall winds,
the season when he finds himself thinking of a time when the world
was young, and life was a series of argyle socks and football
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Eero Saarinen designed the building now known as Hill College House.
When it opened in 1961 as a womens dormitory, Saarinen gave a press
conference that was printed in the Gazette. This exchange from the
press conference will be read by faculty members GEORGE THOMAS and
DAVID BROWNLEE, coauthors of Building Americas First University,
a fascinating architectural history of Penn, published by the University
of Pennsylvania Press.
Moskowitz, Business Week:
The whole building seems to me unfeminine, the interior, the stairways,
the exposed metal work under the roof. Is this a new idea of a
woman, or do I have the wrong feeling?
Saarinen: The easiest way for me to answer would be to
say that you have the wrong feeling. But no, the concrete in the
stairways would have been much nicer if we had had the money for
The court is very nice, although it isnt feminine
in the lacy kind of way.
Moskowitz: That is what I mean. There isnt anything pink
and puffy about this whole building. Did you mean this to be a
statement about college women?
Saarinen: I think the pinkness that women tend to associate
with themselves is not necessarily the definitive statement of
what they mean
I think the woman of these years would not necessarily
welcome pink as the image, as they say, of herself.
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Later in the 1960s,
the war in Vietnam brought unrest to Penns campus, and the Gazettes
coverage of the turmoil generated many letters. Here is a sampling:
the Editor: I would certainly appreciate having my name removed
from all mailing lists
Im still not over the pains in my stomach
from the picture of the president of the University and the unwashed
creeps that the faculty and staff apparently find necessary to
hold a dialogue with despite the obvious fact that they are
neither dry or clean behind the ears yet, and from what I have
been able to determine have contributed absolutely nothing to
society from whom they want everything.
As far as Im concerned a creep is a creep regardless of the accident
of enrollment in a great University.John
G. Kiefer W47
the 50 members of the faculty at the University carry out their
announced intention of wearing gas masks at the Commencement exercises
in protest against War Department supported research projects,
there is one thing for which the rest of us can be thankfulwe
wont have to look at their faces.Robert
H. Ivy D02
reactions of indignant alumni, seeking easy solutions to very
difficult problems are as predictable as were those of Pavlovs
I dont profess to understand todays college generation either,
but at least the actions they take are for causes which are important
to themnot the mindless vandalism of the Rowbottoms of my undergraduate
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The University and its
surrounding neighborhood have undergone dramatic physical changes
over the past 100 yearsand alumni have been lamenting lost landmarks
for just as long. This student column from 1971, written and now
read by PHYLLIS KANISS CW72, who is a project director with the
Annenberg Public Policy Center, describes the demolition of the
campus hangout known as The Dirty Drug:
any other neighborhood, the Drug would be one of those sad old
penny-candy stores that only has customers at three-thirty in
the afternoon when the nearby elementary school lets out. Its
painted aquamarine, and mud-brown, with yellow and turquoise corrugated
crepe paper strung erratically about. Plastic flowers are pinned
up next to the most incongruous of travel posters, obtained no
doubt in the early 1950s. Other relics of a time gone by lie on
the counters, never bought, but never taken away: the plastic
sunglasses, the picture postcards of Philadelphia, the straw pipes,
and gaudy key rings.
But the daily Drug frequenters overlook all these curiosities
on their way to the Tastykakes, the cigarettes, and the yogurt
cartons. What they remember of the Drug is the constant motion,
the vibrating soul music, the bells ringing from the pinball machines,
and, of course, the sound of the cash register.
Ordering food at the counter is an exercise in survival of the
fittest, since being polite with the noon-day crowd means youll
get waited on at about four. But if you can never be sure of quick
service, you can count on the never-wavering grumpiness of the
girls behind the counter, who will either bark at you to speak
up, or yell back that they heard you the first time, for Chrissake,
when you repeat the request.
It remains the only place that could get away with serving awful
food at outrageously high prices in the grimiest of atmospheres
and still win the affection of every student who drops in.
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In 1979, the Penn mens
basketball team advanced to the Final Four in the NCAA tournament,
and March madness swept the campus. One of the standouts on this
championship squad was Tony Price W79, who was profiled in the
Gazette by MARSHALL LEDGER, a Gazette staffer for 10 years
in the 70s and 80s and interim editor in 1996 and now publications
manager for the Pew Charitable Trust:
ball strikes the back of the rim. It bounces upward. The rebound
is soft, and the ball seems to hang like a full moon over the
net. But the rebound is not soft enough. Anyone in the Palestra
can see that the shot by Penns James Booney Salters will drop
in front of the rim.
Already, Walter Montford, Temples center, has left his crouch
and is leaping, reaching for the ball. He stands at 66 and
weighs 225 pounds. No one is likely to shoulder him out of the
way. He can expect to get the rebound and start an offensive play
to tie the score, at this early stage of the game, at 4-4.
All eyes follow the ball. No one is paying any attention to Tony
Price of Penn, who has been on the periphery of the action, slowing
down to allow for a pass from Salters. Now Price dashes for the
basket. He leaps, challenging Montford for the ball.
The moon reaches its apex, Prices right hand comes down on itas
gently, at first, as if he were caressing an injured birdand
thrusts the ball vehemently through the net. The ball bounces
high off the floor. Montford is back on the floor, empty-handed.
Prices teammates mob him, slapping his hands: Give me some
of that power, that magic.
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This student column
by College senior Mathew Selman, appeared in the February 1993 issue
under the headline, Penns Polar Bare Club II It will be read
by DILYS WINEGRAD Gr70, the curator of the Arthur Ross Gallery:
to several participants, the notion of a womens streak originated
in the minds of members of FLASH (Facilitating Learning About
Sexual Health) who had been sitting around chatting about the
annual run, in which female participation had been limited to
a lone, courageous woman in the spring of 1992.
One racy Racer, a Wharton senior, says she ran just for kicks,
a sentiment echoed by other runners: There was no deep oneupmanship.
It had nothing to do with gender issues. It was more like Wow,
I could run naked in the Quad. Thatd be a kick, why not? The
guys do it every year; theres gotta be something to it
can do stupid things, so can we. Another streaker, a College
senior, agrees that the streak was not a militant feminist movement
was extremely social and friendly
It was not sexual or promiscuousit
One streaker describes the unexpected ideological forces she felt
coursing through her veins as soon as the run was complete: It
felt great to be able to take off my clothes and do anything I
want. Society has such restrictions about women baring their bodies,
and we should be proud of every single bulge. I was saying, I
love my body, and I will bare it to the world.
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Alumni Notes has always
been one of the most popular sections of the magazine, a place where
graduates turn to find out news about their friends andlets be
honestto compare their own success to that of their classmates.
Tired of the typical gloating she found in these pages, in a 1998
Gazette piece CAREN LISSNER C93a freelance writer for the Gazette
and other publications and the editor of the Hudson Reporter newspaper
groupconceived of a different set of alumni notes:
Ashbach, C93, reports that ever since his landlord finally agreed
to exterminate his tiny fourth-floor walkup in Manhattans Much-Much-Lower
East Side, the roaches have all but disappeared. Ashbach writes,
Raid roach motels are better than Boric acid because you wont
have to worry that your drunken roommate will come home and think
theyre powdered sugar, lick them off the floor and keel over,
as happened to mine (Grant Russo, W93) last year.
Rita Ramirez, Nu93 reports that she and boyfriend Dave Broderick
W92, have broken up for good this time, and that she cant
believe she wasted practically all of her adult life tearing her
hair out over that jerk and missed so many other opportunities.
Evan Simpson, W92, writes that he has been living at home ever
since dropping out of law school because of the workload, but
now his mother Sally Seaford Simpson, CW63, is driving him crazy
with her rules and she ought to realize hes an adult and cant
be bossed around like some five-year-old.
Sally Seaford Simpson, CW63, writes that if Evan Simpson, W92,
wants to live in her house, he should abide by her rules.
Janet Hixon, C83, writes that Maureen Williker, C83, and Paul
Bencham, SW83, still havent sent her a thank you card for the
expensive wedding present she got for them last year, which is
especially rude considering the bundle she had to spend on the
dress and matching shoes and flying to Austin for the ceremony,
and its not like shes rich and her grandmother paid her entire
college tuition like some peoples grandmother (Phyllis Williker,
Dexter Peterson, C71, still wishes hed gotten into Princeton.
Peter Peterson, W50, has a redundant name.
William Carlos Williams, M06, Hon52, is still dead.
to readings program
In her 2000 essay Coming
Home, memoirist BETH KEPHART C82, who has contributed a number
of articles and book reviews to the Gazette, describes how she found
an academic anchorand much morestudying the history and sociology
the spring of 1982 it was time for me to find a piece of history
for myself, a topic for my senior thesis. Here again my memory
fails me as I try to recall how I hunted down my research purpose.
For what I remember best is the smell of the stacks up in Van
Pelt, the way the sun squeezed through the miserly windows, how
otherworldly the music was that crept in from the street. I remember
how the shelf of books felt against my back as I leaned into it,
how I filled so many spiral-bound notebooks with my notes, then
tore them free. How I got up early and stayed up late, and thought
myself magnificently engaged in a project that had merit.
Cooperative Engineering Education: A Study in Institutional Change
was the title I finally settled on for my senior paper, proof
that I had, at long last, learned to set my purple prose aside.
What is the point of a university education? What remains of the
experience after weve let go of the data points, the hard-won
facts, the strands of disparate particulars from which we wove
our fragile fabrics? What does it mean, after all the neatly recopied
notes are gone, and after we, shaking the dust off of our thesis
just now, cannot be persuaded by our own ancient self-importance?
Why did I work so hard, over the course of those 80 pages, to
win over a reader of one, a fleet-footed, not-to-be-easily-persuaded
Dr. Kohler, who thought best while stroking his wispy beard and
refused to patronize? I did it, and on this matter my mind is
very clear, because I was given a chance to belong. Because even
now, as I read Dr. Kohlers critique of my senior thesis, I feel
the warm, wet rush of appreciation. I feel taken care of, listened
to, on equal footing in a small community of people I respected.
This is a very fine piece of work, Dr. Kohlers typewritten
response begins. It is well thought-out, well organized, and
gracefully written. [But] the most important words come later
[M]ost tellingly of all, most life changing, most catapulting:
You tend to stop with description and could have let yourself
go a bit more with interpretation. Dont be shy about shaping
Dont be shy about shaping the past. Dont be shy
written to the student with the poems beneath her bed, to the
almost-graduate who still didnt know what she would make of the
life that stretched before her.
What does one do with a history and sociology of science degree?
What does one get from all the semesters spent sitting around
a battered conference table? One gets ones footing, as I understand
it now. One begins to take some faith in ones self. One learns
to settle in with the books she lovesthe biographies of scientists,
the histories of machines, the marvelous stuff that keeps getting
written about dirt, about wind, about ocean swells and snails.
One looks about and dares to shape what she can see. One retrieves
the poetry from beneath her bed.
to readings program
The next piece will
be read by Sam Hughes
One of the great pleasures of being a writer at the Gazette is the
chance to interview some of the remarkable people who are connected
with the University. This is from a Q & A with former Glee Club
director Bruce Montgomery, better known as Monty. Here he recounts
part of a tour the Glee Club did in Europe and the former Soviet
Union in 1971:
soon as we arrived in Leningrad, now St. Petersburg, we were introduced
to Zoya, the gal who was going to be with us every waking moment
of our lives there. We got along beautifully, but she was very
unmoving about one subject. I told her how everywherein Ecuador,
in Peru, in Londonif wed see a crowd, wed stop and sing on
a street corner, in a schoolyard for kids, workers in a park,
whatever. [He assumes a Russian accent] Not in Soviet Union.
She was very adamant about that. We sing exactly where we are
told to sing, and no other places.
On about our third or fourth day in Leningrad, we had a free morning,
and we went out to the Piskariovskoye Cemetery. Its a war cemetery;
it has mounds that stretch almost as far as the eye can see, and
they claim that under every mound are 40,000 bodies. These are
people who did not survive, civilians and military. And just as
you enter this cemetery, theres a plaza with a sunken pit, and
in it is the eternal flame, and she said, When we come here,
we observe a minute of silence at the eternal flame before going
down the steps to the cemetery proper. Would you care to join
We did. Incidentally, Zoya had lost her entire family during World
War II. She survived by eating sawdust and rats, but the rest
of her family was wiped out completely. So she was very anxious
that we see this cemetery; it meant a great deal to her. So we
ringed the eternal flame, and I was standing next to Zoya, and
after a minute or so, I said to her very quietly, In 1963, NBC
hired me to make a [choral] setting of Lincolns Gettysburg Address,
to be filmed on the battlefield at Gettysburg, which is, of course,
a war battlefield also. May we show our respects by going to those
steps that lead down into the cemetery, and sing that? And she
thought for a minute, and she said, I think that would be appropriate.
So we went to the steps, and within a few measures, there were
some people stopping to listen. And in a few more measures there
were 100 people. And then there were 500 people. And then there
were 1,000 peopleprobably not one of whom understood what we
were singing, but they sure knew the intent. And our guys would
have tears in their eyesIm getting misty just thinking about
it, Im sorryour guys would have tears streaming down our cheeks.
There were a couple of guys who sat down on the stepsthey couldnt
even sing anymore, they were so moved by the emotion of this moment.
And after we finished that, we got back on the bus. Zoya had been
with this robust, rowdy bunch of guys for three days, and it was
a trip back to Leningrad in utter silence. She was very much moved
by this, and when we got off the bus at our hotel, I was the last
person to get off, and she waited until the last student went
by and said: From now on, you sing wherever you wish.
to readings program
In the November/December
2001 issue of the magazine, the Gazette published a special section
on September 11th. Part of it was an Alumni Voices essay by LOLITA
JACKSON EAS89, a vice president with Morgan Stanley Dean Witter
& Co., who is a survivor of both the September 11 and the 1993
attacks on the World Trade Center:
arrived at work at 8:20 on September 11 in order to attend
an 8:30 staff
meeting on the 70th floor of the South Tower. During the meeting,
each person was stating what they were currently working on, and
I was waiting for my turn and absentmindedly staring out of the
window when I heard the first crash and saw papers, debris, and
flames shooting out of the other building. I and the people who
were also in the meetingmany of whom were also veterans of the
1993 bombingimmediately got up, grabbed our purses and other
belongings, and made our way to the middle of the floor. People
were not panicking because most of us felt that a plane hit the
first tower by accident.
As we were going down the stairs we were told to take the elevators
from 59 to 44. The 44th floor is a skylobby, and there were several
hundred people there when we arrived. I was on that floor when
the second plane hit my building. The building swayed about two
feet, then righted itself.
Once everyone stopped screaming and had picked up their shoesmany
people were knocked out of them by the impactwe calmly began
descending the stairs. Yes, people were crying, but my group was
apparently in no imminent danger, so we just moved down as quickly
as possible. I told the group to begin counting down floors as
though it were New Years Evewhich we actually did.
I was able to catch one of the last subways before they shut down
the system, so I was at home by 10:45. It was when I +was on the
crosstown bus after exiting the subway that I heard that the towers
had fallen. That is when it hit me: everyone who was helping us
to get out was dead. In my firm, out of 3,500 employees only 10
didnt make it out. Unfortunately, I knew two of them. One refused
to leave when we were told to evacuate, stating that the Trade
Center complex was composed of the strongest buildings in the
world. The other was one of my closest colleagues at work. We
were both on 59 together when he decided to find an empty office
to call his wife. I kept going and went down the elevator. He
got in an elevator about five minutes later, at exactly the time
of the second planes impact. It is believed that the elevator
I cannot believe I have escaped this horror twice without a scratch.
I am forever changed.
to readings program
knows where they were on September 11. I was in my office, looking
at an old Gazette, from sometime in the 1920s, I think. Reading
through a century of the magazine, as we have over the last several
months, is to be reminded again and again that the University is
both a world unto itself and also intimately bound up with the wider
events of the time. The first and second world wars, the Great Depression,
protests over Vietnam, civil rights, the womens movement, right
up to September 11 and the present. That interplay between campus
concernsthe College World that writer about the passing of the
SATC talked about in 1918and the larger society is a constant theme
in the magazine.
On a much less weighty plane, another constant is the twin goal
of keeping readers happyand paying the bills. We came across this
message to readers from a 1908 editorial, and it seemed an appropriate
way to close:
idea of sparing expense has at no time controlled our project.
Our sole and constant aim has been to prepare a bright, newsy
sheet containing reliable information upon all the activities
here at home. The gracious words received from many alumni and
others indicate that the effort has not been in vain
The expense for printing, illustration and proper advertisement
has been a constantly increasing item, so that we are obliged
to help ourselves to a slight degree, while at the same time adding
to your pleasure, by changing our subscription price from $1 to
$2 per annum. This slight increase we are confident will be gladly
accepted by every loyal alumnus, realizing as he does that thereby
he adds his mite to the general advancement of the interests of
May all good things come to the readers of Old Penn [and the
Pennsylvania Gazette]! That is our wish and our message.