Then Again

What a thrill to see the picture of Scott Stadium in 1964 (“Then and Now: An Illustrated Journey Through Time,” Spring 2010). After the Corps of Cadets and the West Point band exited the field prior to the game, U.Va.’s football team proceeded to dismantle the then-powerful cadets.

I recall the score was about 35-14. I’m in the picture, somewhere in the crowd on the east side—a 19-year-old second-year—surely in my blue blazer, khakis and orange-and-blue striped tie. Thanks for a fond memory.
Carl Markowitz (Com ’67)
Virginia Beach, Va.

The article “Then and Now” shows a photograph of Scott Stadium in 1964. If I’m not mistaken the game depicted is

U.Va. versus Army—a great victory for the Hoos.
Frederic H. “Ric” Graham (Col ’65)
Fernandina Beach, Fla.

I greatly enjoyed the article “Then and Now” and the accompanying Web video. Juxtaposing historic photographs with modern counterparts teaches us so much about where we’ve come from. Some might find it interesting to know that the oldest photos are thanks to Rufus W. Holsinger, a photographer who operated in Charlottesville from around 1890 until 1925. More of his work can be seen in Holsinger’s Charlottesville: Selected Photographs from the Collection of Rufus W. Holsinger, edited by F.T. Heblich and Cecile Clover Waters and published in the 1970s. Unfortunately, the book is currently out of print, but the U.Va. library has made its collection of Holsinger’s photographs available digitally at www2.lib.virginia.edu/small/collections/holsinger.
Matthew J. Barrett (Med ’05)
Brooklyn, N.Y.

As I happened upon the “Then and Now” image of the Anatomical Theatre, I stopped wondering who was right in the debate about the restoration of Pavilion X and was just thankful that, unlike Jefferson’s Anatomical Theatre, at least Pavilion X was still around to argue about.

“Razed [to provide a better view] of Alderman Library.” I always found the view looking out from Alderman to be better than the building itself. Be that as it may, I am surprised that a Jefferson-designed building could be so easily destroyed. Where were the preservationists in 1939? By the way, I believe that Pavilion X and the Anatomical Theatre are linked in more profound ways than your Spring 2010 issue (or this letter).

When America’s first professor of medicine, Dr. Robley Dunglison, came to the University, he took up residence in Pavilion X. He reportedly complained to Jefferson that the front room of his residence was not a suitable space for dissecting cadavers. This appears to have been at least part of the reason that Jefferson designed the new theater.
Joseph C. Brandt (Grad ’89)
Great Falls, Va.

When I was 7 years old, I lived in downtown Charlottesville and I rode the trolley to U.Va. to take violin lessons. I walked across the Grounds to Peabody Hall where Dr. Wilkerson taught private lessons. After my lesson, I boarded the trolley where it turned around in front of the Rotunda. I rode back downtown to the circle in front of the C&O railroad station. This memory is still as clear as when I was a little girl.

As a 7-year-old, I had my mind made up that I would someday become a nurse and would graduate from U.Va. Nursing School. When at play, I wore my aunt’s nursing cap and pretended to be a real nurse. My dream came true when I graduated from the U.Va. School of Nursing in 1946.
Virginia Amiss (Nurs ’46)
Charlottesville, Va.

I enjoyed “Then and Now” so much. Thanks for the memories. Also, my Uncle Bay (Bayard S. Maupin) was the conductor for many years of the trolley that ran to Fry Springs.
Gail Maupin-Jones
Virginia Beach, Va.

Innovating Research

The article “Reinventing Life” highlighted the VGEM team’s efforts to bring the cutting edge field of synthetic biology to undergraduates at the University. This program would not be possible without the generous support of Linwood A. “Chip” Lacy Jr. (Engr ’67, GSBA ’69) and the Experiential Learning Program he helps fund at the Engineering School. As well, both the College and the School of Medicine have been instrumental in making this unique research program a success. To me, this type of support epitomizes the University’s forward-thinking approach to educating the next generation of researchers.
Dan Tarjan (Col ’10)
Charlottesville, Va.

Academics Again

This is in response to James T. Currie’s letter, “Academics First” (Spring 2010). The firing of Al Groh had nothing to do with the University making athletics a priority over academics. Groh was hired to continue the football program that George Welsh had established, and during the years that Groh coached the football team, what he accomplished did not even come close to what Welsh had accomplished.

Our ranking as one of the best and most academically challenging universities in the country does not scare away some of the more academically gifted and athletically talented high school players, and the proof of this can be seen when you look at what the men’s soccer team, the baseball team and the men’s lacrosse team have accomplished in the last five years. The reason why the University is not attracting more academically gifted and athletically talented high school football players is because of our losing record under Groh.
Omar R. Acio (Educ ’86, ’91)
Centreville, Va.

Seems to me the decline was pretty much timed to one event: the elimination of the U.Va. Pep Band. Time to bring it back and return football to its winning ways.
Robert Harris (Com ’79)
New York, N.Y.

I want to strongly endorse the letter to the editor from James Currie in the spring edition of your magazine. I have been a proud alumnus of U.Va. since 1951, not because of any athletic event or team, but because of the academic and honorable reputation of the University. In my humble opinion, we should duplicate the Ivy League schools—de-emphasize athletics and place our emphasis on the character and academic excellence of the University. I suspect there are a large number of alumni who will agree with me.
John C. Barton (Col ’51)
Memphis, Tenn.

Breaking Away

I very much appreciated the story on the Alternative Spring Break program (“Working Vacation”) in the Spring 2010 issue. Having served as both a volunteer and a leader for the program back when it was relatively small, I think it is wonderful to see that it has grown into such a large and far-reaching program. However, I do have one issue with the article: It implies that the program at U.Va. began in 2003. ASB actually existed as a Madison House program from the early 1990s through the 2000-01 school year. In 2001, Madison House made a difficult decision to discontinue the program, leading ASB to break off as a separate organization. Having been a program director during that final year ASB was part of Madison House, I am very happy to see that the program has flourished. It really shows the commitment of the student leaders involved with ASB and the truly special experience that these trips can be for the volunteers.
Matt Day (Arch ’02)
Durham, N.C.

Film Regrets

I was dismayed when I opened my copy of Virginia Magazine and found a short article celebrating the appearance of John Waters at the Virginia Film Festival (“Filthy Fun,” Spring 2010).

It is to my shame and regret that I admit to attending a late night showing of his Pink Flamingos in Wilson Hall in the spring of 1975. I remain haunted to this day not by the “fun” of attending the film, but by the fact that it was my first experience with true pornography.

The invitation by the U.Va. arts community to host Mr. Waters is a profound commentary on our social order today. Surely a host could have been found to help celebrate light, goodness and truth in the arts, rather than one who will lead minds and hearts into the descent into the shadows of the soul.
Dr. Kent R. Donovan (Col ’76, Med ’81)
Plymouth, Mich.

An Itch to Stitch

The wonderful article and slide show (“Stitch in Time,” Spring 2010) have inspired me to start sewing again. I would love to see this beautiful collection and take a class at U.Va. This was very interesting and well put together. Thank you.
Anna Rugo
Charlottesville, Va.

Pavilion Views

It’s hard to believe that the original Pavilion X “attic” (the truer name for the “parapet”) was as unarticulated as the one shown in the photograph (“Everything That’s Old is New Again,” Spring 2010). Compare the highly-articulated cornice just below. One reason the attic looks so huge (apart from the fact that it is huge) is because its mass is so unbroken.

The main problem with restoring the columns and trim to a sandstone color isn’t that the new color is unattractive (it’s actually rather pleasing); it is that every building built after the Lawn took its inspiration from the whitewashed columns of the late 19th century—giving us the brick-and-white Grounds we are familiar with. Unless the University architect is willing to “sandstone-ize” all the white trim everywhere on the Grounds, Pavilion X (and any Lawn buildings likewise restored) will look, inevitably, just plain weird.
Bill Hubbard (Arch ’70)
Boston, Mass.

Dudley Tribute

Once again, I would like to express a viewpoint, this time in tribute to Bill Dudley.

I met Bill Dudley in the fall of 2008. The occasion: I wanted to invite Bill and his wife, Libba, to our Toastmaster Christmas dinner that year. I didn’t know anyone who could introduce me, so I simply picked up the phone and called him. When I explained the purpose and intent, his answer was, “How do I find your home?”

The evening was a huge success and I followed up with frequent contacts and the establishment of a strong and solid friendship.

Once he showed me the bust that was a replica of the one that is in the Football Hall of Fame. It had been presented to him in 1966 and over time was reduced to a state of acute aging. Although I had never worked with this material, I told him that I would repair it. I was able to do so even though I had to improvise quite a bit. When I saw the rebuilt bust again at the funeral home service, I realized that I had added a small footnote to this drama and to Bill’s memory.

A boy came out of the coalfields of Bluefield and went on to emerge as a giant among ordinary men. A fitting tribute would be to rename the stadium at the University of Virginia in his honor.
William Henderson (Com ’56)
Lynchburg, Va.

Rare Species

I was interested in reading Catherine Moore’s article (“The Song Collector,” Spring 2010) on Paul Clayton Worthington (as he was then known). He was a noteworthy figure in my undergraduate days at the University for being an intellectual—a rare species in those days. He was not a party animal, a fraternity member, an athlete or a student politician. He was the acknowledged leader of an unofficial group (usually numbering four members) who had a particular interest in Shelley’s “The Necessity of Atheism,” perhaps for its provocative title.

They planned their meetings in the McGregor Room of Alderman Library to coincide with home football games in Scott Stadium. Worthington and his friends were radicals but not hostile or flamboyant. One of them, I remember, was a mild-mannered short-haired ex-Marine who wore a few vestiges of his old uniform and did excellent work in the classroom. It is not remarkable that Paul formed a great bond with professor Arthur Kyle Davis Jr. I would like to see an essay on Davis, a true Virginia gentleman, in a future issue of the magazine.
Gary Dunbar (Col. ’52, Faculty, 1957-67)
Cooperstown, N.Y.

Mardi Gras Queen

I read with pleasure your article about Katherine Saer Duncan’s reign as Queen of Mardi Gras (“Queen for a Day,” March 2010 e-newsletter). It is perhaps worth noting that the University has not only been graced by Ms. Duncan, but also by at least two other queens of Mardi Gras, Deborah Ashbrooke Tullis (Col ’89) and Katherine “Kate” Elise Ballard (Col ’90), who reigned consecutively. Tullis’ court included her fellow Virginia classmates Helen Ballard LeBourgeois (Col ’89), Kate’s sister; Katherine Bell Finney (Col ’89); and Elise Charbonnet Keegan (Col ’89, Law ’92). Katherine Ballard’s court included J. Storey Charbonnet (Com ’89). Katherine Duncan struck me as an intelligent and vivacious young woman, a worthy successor to the equally sharp and effervescent Tullis and Ballard.
Kate Keith (Col ’89)
Philadelphia, Pa.