Send submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org
Alumni share thoughts on ’60s
We really enjoyed reading Charles Chatfield’s article in the Wittenberg Magazine. I thought it was quite accurate and captured the temper of the times. During the turbulent years of the acid rock era, I always believed the Witt faculty was in tune with the students, including the Greeks (especially when Kent State erupted).
The article provided a great behind-the-scenes look at what was happening on the prof’s side, the establishment side! I still remember American History class and Dr. Chatfield’s effective teaching style. Great job on the article! I think it was the best article I’ve ever read in the Wittenberg Magazine since becoming an alumnus 30 years ago.
John L. Abbott ’72
Thank you for the wonderful article “Breaking Out: The Sixties Reshape Wittenberg” (Fall 2002). So much has happened in the nearly 40 years since I arrived in September 1963, it seemed like it might all be in my imagination until Professor Chatfield brought it back in remarkable detail. To borrow a phrase from the era, “What a trip!”
Ted C. Randall ’67
Quite an article by Charles Chatfield in the Fall 2002 issue of Wittenberg Magazine! (I read it twice!) I found the remarks on the student dress code and on “beanies” to be particularly interesting.
If I’m not mistaken, my class of 1969 was the last to wear beanies — during
fall semester 1965. (How well I remember MaryLu Harrel, class of 1968,
stopping me next to Myers Hall and telling me to get my beanie out of my
back pocket, put it on my head, and sing the Wittenberg fight song!)
Thanks again to Charles for such a comprehensive writeup!
It is a good thing Professor Chatfield’s story about Wittenberg in the ’60s ran into 1974 because my distinct recollection is that Wittenberg was locked in the ’50s until well into the fourth quarter of the 20th century. The campus was largely apathetic to civil rights, the war in Vietnam, or any other hot button issue associated with the ’60s. The Greeks were flourishing, and the administration was hiding behind its in loco parentis obligations. Individual thought, individual rights, and individual obligations were a long way off.
John Lobach was on the second floor ledge of North Hall that night talking to a girl “after hours.” John was taken off the ledge by campus security and placed in their car. John did not run away until long after campus police had determined he was a student. They also knew no felony had been committed. They drove away, attempted to call their supervisor and then returned to the “scene of the crime” with John in tow. It was only then that John made the fatal mistake of bolting from the car. What student would expect a campus cop to shoot him? Where is the justification for the use of deadly force?
Professor Chatfield claims the shot was intended for John's legs. What is the relevance of this observation? The fact that it blew a hole in his chest over a foot in diameter, and he was dead before he hit the pavement is a lot more important. John was shot by an incompetent employee armed with a deadly weapon — the same cop who chased us the night we stole the road paver in front of Myers Hall and could have shot us all.
The subsequent “investigation” could have been used as a template for Watergate and the whitewash painted stripes on the football field long after we lost our first game of the decade. Rather than search for the truth, Wittenberg stayed in its cocoon. While the war raged in Vietnam, students were beaten in Chicago, and blacks marched on Washington, the most important thing on our campus was image — and the beloved W-day.
From reading Professor Chatfield’s article, I learned W-day has been eliminated. I also learned the search for the truth about John Lobach has probably died with it.
Douglas R. Penny ’69
Alumna favors alcohol policy
It was encouraging to read that Wittenberg is attempting to curb the alcohol
use on campus. CAAP should be applauded for recommending tightened sanctions
to the campus alcohol policy (Wittenberg Magazine, Summer 2002).
In addition, parents should be notified after the FIRST alcohol offense on campus, not after the third. Parents are the ones sending their sons and daughers to Wittenberg. Ultimately, they are the most concerned about their physical and mental well-being.
Bobbi Guild ’76
Wittenberg Magazine P.O. Box 720 Springfield, Ohio 45501-0720
Phone: (937) 327-6141 Fax: (937) 327-6112