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Telescope leads to lifelong friendship
I was delighted to read in the winter issue that our venerable Weaver Observatory telescope has been upgraded with the latest equipment so that it's now rated among the best refractory telescopes in Ohio.
The old gal and I had a personal relationship when I was janitor of the observatory in my senior year (1934-35). I also became personal friends with Hugh G. Harp, director of the observatory and assistant math professor, who also taught the astronomy course. I was entrusted with a key to the building but told to stay out of the observatory dome.
Sometimes when I did my work in the evening, Prof. Harp would be there to make observations. After sighting the telescope on what he wanted to observe, he would invite me to take a look while he explained what I was seeing. A small kindness, perhaps, but it seemed very exciting to me.
After serving in the Navy in World World II, I joined the Marietta College faculty. In the fall of 1948, as I recall, when I attended our opening faculty meeting, there was Hugh Harp. During our years at Marietta, we often invited him to our home where we enjoyed reminiscing about the Wittenberg years and our friendships with students and faculty.
Adrian Nader ’35
Alumna remembers observatory
On page 43 of the Winter edition of the Wittenberg Magazine was an interesting article about the Weaver Observatory. I’m sure Aunt Elizabeth and Uncle Elger Weaver would be pleased to know it is being used again for what it was intended when it was given to Wittenberg by them in 1931.
Their portraits hung in the entrance way for quite a while. It would be nice if they could be located and hung again for students who use the building to see the people who were so generous with money to be used to build the observatory and Weaver Chapel.
Katherine Zehring Evans ’46
Alumnus shares thoughts on three alumni
As an alumnus of the Class of '51, I had at least three reasons to enjoy the [last] issue.
My daughter-in law had e-mailed to tell us that her brother's wife was featured on the inside back page. Sure enough, there was Dr. Brooks Hedstrom. The topic seems so timely, and with her knowledge of history and the Muslim world, she should be a natural. Even in the early ’50s, Dr. Prince was a voice of the distant past. I have the image of him as a guy wearing a Lincoln-like black frock coat, but that is really all I remember. I guess I will need to read more to find out why he is remembered a century later.
My second thrill was to read about Henry Saeman. Henry was a fellow miler and two-miler on the track team. I was the slow guy; Henry always beat me. I think I thought more about partying than competing.…Henry never once talked about the pain he must have felt as a young man who lost so much in the Holocaust. I always admired him as a fellow runner and a friend. We still say hi at reunions.
The third was the induction of football player George Winkhouse to the Athletic Hall of Honor. I do not think we actually knew each other, but George was one of the guys a couple of years older than I who returned to college after serving in WWII. George and I are both from Springfield, and I think I remember him all the way back to six-man football played in the junior high schools, his football performance at Springfield High School and, of course, at Wittenberg.
On a sadder note, I read of the death of John Norris and his cartoon characters of the Wittenberg tiger. In l949 or 1950, we borrowed the idea of the tiger heads in the Beta (first-place) Homecoming display. Brother Tom Lindner and I were co-chairmen of our display. It showed a regular-sized sign used to advertise on highways with two tigers dressed as sign painters, up on scaffolding. They were painting over a picture of the previous year's Homecoming football loss with the caption: “We're Painting a Different Picture This Year.”
Without John and his cartoon heads and windshield wiper motors, which powered the arm actions, I do not know what we would have done.
Don Ward ’51
Magazine web site praised by alumna
I read about the new changes in the latest Wittenberg Magazine. I almost forgot to check out the Web page, but so glad I did. I love the new additions, and I love the photos and the albums. I hope people send in more pictures. I will come back often. Good work. Thanks.
Nancy Olsen King ’85
Choir receives rave reviews during tour
Editor's Note: The following was sent during the Wittenberg Choir's 2003 spring concert tour.
Fellow alumna Joanne Cicerello Kochuk ’76 and I thoroughly enjoyed and and were touched by the good works, good words and truly good music of the Wittenberg Choir last night at St. Philip Lutheran Church here in Raleigh! Please pass on our good wishes and deep appreciation to Dr. Busarow and the wonderful choir members.
I was fortunate to strike up a brief conversation with choir member and accompanist Brad Hall [’05] while the group was waiting to go on. I was truly pleased and impressed with Brad and his peers - and I am more proud each day to be a Wittenberg grad! We were both so pleased that our wonderful alma mater is still challenging and supporting young people to do their best in the areas that really matter. Here's to Wittenberg!
Melinda B. Sopher ’79
Lutheran heritage questioned
President Tipson's “Last Word” merely confirmed suspicions that Wittenberg has joined the crowd of once Christian universities becoming part of the crowd of secular ones with a chapel. He said nothing a good secular humanist, atheist or agnostic could not have said just as well or better. I feel very badly. We need another secular university like a hole in the head.
Wittenberg's plus was its commitment to Jesus and the Christian Church, and particularly the Lutheran denomination. I feel very much betrayed by such “all things to all people” drivel. A prof at seminary once said: “The man who will stand for nothing will fall for anything.” So much for a proud history that stretches back to 1845.
This is a far cry from the “Wittenberg” I knew as a student.
The Rev. Paul A. Schult ’58
Professor responds to letter
Editor's Note: The following is the response by Charles Chatfield, professor emeritus of history, to the letter written by Douglas R. Penny ’69 in the Winter 2003 issue.
It is a pleasure to be engaged over a piece like this, and I appreciate your writing with such candor.
Of course, you are correct in feeling that old patterns changed throughout the period under review, and that the period of change extended into the 1970s. Indeed old patterns persist today along with quite new ones; that is the nature of institutions and individuals, of history, I suspect.
With respect to the Lobach tragedy, I regret having written that the shot was “intended” for John's leg because, of course, that was only the police officer's claim, and it could not be proved even today. Your extended account of the affair is essentially correct, and I originally had included details along that line, only space limitations required drastic cutting.
In fact there is more to the story that would highlight the confusion of that night and tie it to mishandled and overweening security behavior earlier in the year. Hyperactive and violent security response to students was endemic in the country in those years, as you will recall.
However, the context for retelling the tragedy in my piece was the efforts of the college administration of the time to respond to student sensibilities, in this case over the issue of firearms in the hands of security personnel. On that score, there was indeed a shift from earlier arbitrary and ad hoc decision-making.
With regard to the security officer's responsibility, the administration necessarily and appropriately turned the issue over to civil authorities. It did not have the legal authority to judge the case. In fact, the university ultimately lost a civil suit on the case and paid a considerable sum as a consequence. My sense is, though I did not make the point in the article, that – far from covering up the tragedy – the university submitted itself to civil law, paid the consequence of a judgment against it, and revised its security force and policy, taking into consideration student, faculty, public and board opinion. And this in an era of turbulance and sometimes extremism.
You may still differ on this, of course, and we both agree as to the senselessness and tragedy of Lobach's death as well of the incompetence of both the security officer in question and unprofessional security attitudes at that time. I want to be clear that I accept and affirm your feelings even as I qualify my sense of the university's role following the shooting.
Again, thank you for writing. That is a strong statement of your own character.
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