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Bad Food, a Good Friend, the Battle of Valley Forge.
FOOD CAN HARM, TOO
I was interested to read in Jon Caroulis' article "Food for Thought" [December 1996] on the research of self-proclaimed "nutritional anthropologist," Solomon Katz, that Dr. Katz feels, "We're right on the edge of a large scale leap forward to beginning to look at a whole set of behaviors that we've never looked at before, both as a social science, and as a wonderful humanistic behavior." Up until the word wonderful, I was sure he was going to continue with insight into the role that some of the 6,000 approved food additives play in causing Attention Deficit Disorder, learning deficiency, and aggravating asthma and Alzheimer's Disease.
As an anthropologist (one who studies mankind's development), and director of the W.M. Krogman Center for Research in Child Growth and Development, it might be more fruitful for Dr. Katz to focus on the way artificial color, flavors, and sweeteners may be causing increased dysfunctional behavior and pathology in industrialized anthropoids and their offspring. The benefits to Homo sapiens worldwide could be tremendous. Of course, Dr. Katz would have to change his title to "non-nutritional anthropologist."
A GOOD FRIEND WITH A BIG HEART
Thank you for the article detailing the excellent work that Michael Feinberg, C'91, is doing with children in the Houston schools ["Hello, Mr. KIPP," December 1996]. Not only is it good to see people my age making a difference in the world, but it was also wonderful to find out that one of my friends from Penn is succeeding in something that he loves to do.
"Feiney," as many knew him, was always a good friend with a big heart and a zest for life, and it makes me very happy to know that he did not change after graduation. His big heart and enthusiasm will serve him well in his chosen field.
Please do more articles like this about the younger alumni in the
Carla Mayo Meell
DEGREE OF CONFUSION
As I've read the Gazette over the years, I've had a recurring question: What the heck do those degree abbreviations stand for? In the December issue, I've come across, among others, Asc'94, FA'94 and GRP'74. Since this year is the 50th Anniversary of my graduation, I thought it was time to ask for a listing of these abbreviations.
EE'46, GEE'54, GrE'64
Good idea. Since returning here last summer, they've baffled me more than once, too. As a matter of fact, two designations you mention -- Asc and FA -- were wrong. They should have been ASC and C, respectively. For what those letters, and the other abbreviations we use, mean, please see page 50. -- Ed.
PENN REDEFINED ELITE TO INCLUDE 'CITY MASSES'
Allow me to share some thoughts about "The Road Not Taken" in the November 1996 Gazette. My father, Gerson Bergman, CE'15, was one of the "immigrant ambitious boys from the city masses" described in the article. He arrived in Philadelphia in 1906, ten years old, could not speak a word of English, and graduated from Penn just nine years later. As well as study, he had to work to help the family and pay his tuition, so he always appreciated the fact that the University was his path to the future. My brother Edward, W'34, his son Lawrence, W'74, WG'80, have continued the Penn tradition.
I was delighted to find that after decades of soul searching the University chose to remain in the city and not give in to some members of the alumni who wanted to move to a more rural location. I would hope that a certain amount of social consciousness as well as financial considerations entered into the decision.
In some convoluted way, Penn has changed the definition of elite to reflect the need for the aforementioned elite to meet the challenges and take a lead in solving the problems of older cities, as in the "Urban Agenda" part of the new Agenda for Excellence.
Like the University, I stayed in there. My family partook of the city environment with all its diversities, and in some small way contributed to the stability and advancement of its society.
WHEN WAS VALLEY FORGE PROPOSAL DEAD?
The article, "The Road Not Taken," on the proposal to relocate the College to Valley Forge proposal in the November issue bestirred my memories of things past. As I recall, in the Winter of 1939 the General Alumni Society arranged for undergraduate campus leaders to visit the proposed Wollman site. In fact, Mr. Wollman poured the punch that Saturday afternoon.
Ralph Morgan was president of the General Alumni Society and welcomed us individually. My classmates included James Sill Morgan, George B. McClelland, and one of Dr. Penniman's stepsons. At the time, we were under the impression that the Valley Forge proposal was a viable product. A fraternity brother of mine, M. Wistar Wood, was executive director of the General Alumni Society and probably supported the "pie-in-the-sky" idea. Those memories seem to contradict the findings of Richard A. Farnum Jr. that the Valley Forge project was dead and buried, as the University was in the midst of a campaign to raise $7 million to celebrate its bicentennial the following year.
It bothers me that sixty years later we are reading that the Valley Forge project had long since been dead. But was it?
C. ROBERT PAUL JR.
Little Neck, N.Y.
The author responds: I am grateful to Mr. Paul for his recollections on the Valley Forge Matter. His letter indicates that the leadership of the General Alumni Society was still very much interested in the relocation proposal in the winter of 1939. This, of course, is not inconsistent with what I said in the article. Indeed, I observed that even after the war and into the 1950s the Valley Forge idea remained attractive to some. It is nevertheless my judgment that, notwithstanding the interest of some alumni, the Penn administration did not seriously entertain the proposal after the 1930s. Whether this means, as Mr. Paul asserts, that it was "long since dead" is I suppose arguable.But that the General Alumni Society remained interested says nothing about how the idea was regarded by the administration. Its leaders may very well have regarded Valley Forge as both "pie in the sky" and "dead and buried."
FOUR GENERATIONS AND COUNTING
In reading the "Quaker Quiz" on Penn football in the November 1996 Pennsylvania Gazette, I came upon question three, dealing with the father-son captains of the Penn football team. George Thayer, Class of 1881, and George Thayer Jr., Class of 1929, happen to be my grandfather and uncle. This bit of trivia inspired me to write the next bit of Penn fact. Perhaps you would be interested to know that the captainship is four generations long?
My daughter, Emily Hansel, Penn Class of 1998, is co-captain of women's field hockey. Her mother (me), Elizabeth Long Hansel, Class of 1971, was co-captain of women's field hockey. My father, and Emily's grandfather, was Howard "Zip" Long, Class of 1926, captain of Penn baseball and recent Penn Hall of Famer. My grandfather, and Emily's great-grandfather, was George Thayer, Class of 1881, captain of Penn football.
George C. Thayer Jr., Class of 1929, is Emily's great-uncle. I also have a sister, Emily's aunt, Maude Long March, Class of 1964, who was both captain of women's field hockey and lacrosse for four years! Unfortunately, because women's athletics were not officially recognized until 1972, many records and statistics do not exist prior to 1972. But we did have teams, coaches and games, and even captains!
ELIZABETH LONG HANSEL
WOMEN ALLOWED (SORT OF)
In response to Lorraine Sheppard Lindhult's letter in the December 1996 issue of the Gazette, there are women who are currently members of the University of Pennsylvania Glee Club. The first female to become a full member of the Glee Club was Sharon Hudson back in 1992. Since then, there have been eight other women who have enjoyed membership in the group. I was a member of the Glee Club from 1994-1996, and became the first female to serve on the Glee Club's Board of Governors in 1995.The group still preserves the tradition of all-male choral singing, but women may participate as technical staff or musicians.
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