The Future, Ready or Not

Cover of the Spring 2022 issue of Virginia Magazine

I found the “UVA futurists” consulted about “forward thinking” in the Spring issue to be woefully nearsighted and uniformly Pollyannaish. Had they asked scholars working in, say, UVA’s Environmental Resilience Institute, the Coastal Research Center, or the A&S Department of Environmental Sciences, their queries would have garnered less rosy and more realistic scenarios of what awaits us down the road, say in 2030 or 2050. Ironically, I received my issue of the magazine on Earth Day, when wildfires, drought, melting glaciers and a European war filled the news.

Michael L. Bentley (Educ ’85)
Salem, Virginia


Taken by Storms

Your memorable storms article took me back to my first year in 1979. On October 11, Charlottesville received a surprise 4 inches of snow, making it the earliest snowfall on record for the state. Walking outside of Hancock and seeing trees still full of leaves and covered with snow left this Sunbelt kid thinking, “What have I gotten myself into?” Halloween was still weeks away! Trees and limbs fell all over Grounds under the weight of sap and snow, pulling down power lines, cutting off electricity for most buildings and forcing class cancellations, a rarity in those days. We spent the next few days ordering pitchers in front of the fireplace at Dürty Nelly’s.

Chris Killebrew (Col ’83, Darden ’90)
Atlanta, Georgia

 

Just to let you know that the Spring 2022 issue of the Virginia Magazine is the first one I have ever used as a bedtime story: My sons, ages 5 and 9, enjoyed the story of Mount Chipotle so much I had to read it to them two nights in a row. The questions were wonderful. My favorite: “If they’re real scientists, why are they dressing up as pretend scientists?” I think I was laughing too hard to answer.

Elizabeth (Ball) Haak (Grad ’05)
Brussels, Belgium


Speaking of Innovation, UVA Has Big Plans for Northern Virginia [UVA President’s Letter]

President James E. Ryan

A great article regarding the growing campuses and sites in Northern Virginia! I have strongly felt for years, due to the population density of NOVA, that UVA could bolster its reach in NOVA and other areas in the commonwealth. I’d love to see UVA Health expand in NOVA and across other areas of the state—much like the University of Michigan and University of North Carolina Health Systems have done across their respective states.

Brad Goldstein (Col ’01)
Tampa, Florida


Vox Alumni Special Report (Winter 2021)

I suppose it was inevitable that anti-geezer bias would infect the Alumni Association. Somehow it’s incongruous that Vox Alumni didn’t reach back further than 50 years to develop the nifty little graphs depicting the results of the alumni survey. Many of the honored traditions of the University predate 1970 by a fairly significant number of years, though there are relatively few survivors who attended during those barely postdiluvian days.

Peter B. LeQuire (Col ’65)
Maryville, Tennessee

 

My interest was piqued by Richard Gard’s measurement of alumni attitudes and thinking going back to the class of 1970. I am not certain that Mr. Gard is a scientist searching for truth as he does not go back to the Class of 1950. As he goes back in years, the responses become more conservative, which is likely antithetical to what a liberal university wants to hear.

The values I learned at the University seem to be totally verboten today. The Honor System is under attack and is likely to be denuded or canceled.

John Randolph Segar (Com ’56)
Midlothian, Virginia


The Newest ’Hoos [Fall 2021]

I particularly enjoyed the samples from the student essays in the Fall 2021 Virginia Magazine. I must note that all no doubt reflected a higher level of competence than my offering in support of my application in 1967, if I could remember what I wrote. Benjamin Kim’s essay, “Waking Up Local Schools,” spurred my memory of those trying days as a first yearman (I insist), dragging myself out of bed in Kent House, and slogging across Emmet Street in time to make my 8 a.m. Introduction to German class. There I tried to star as the best student in my professor’s class, whose name I cannot recall, Herr Schindler, maybe, who could never remember my name.

But I was exposed to something that is true: That is how the real world is. Your life, certainly your employer, is unlikely to wait until you decide you are ready to get out of bed.

Jack Owen (Col ’72)
Montgomery, Alabama


Our Apology

An advertisement in the spring issue of Virginia Magazine included a 1936 photo of students costumed as if they were Japanese. We should have caught it before press and deeply regret the offense it caused. Please accept our apologies and our recommitment to live up to our values of inclusion and fostering a sense of belonging for alumni from all cultures.


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The Virginia Magazine letters section is part of the UVA Alumni Association’s broader Vox Alumni initiative, aimed at gaining greater understanding of alumni views and sharing insights. For letters intended for publication, please limit your remarks to 200 words and include your name, school, class year, city and state. We may not be able to publish all submissions, and we edit for length, clarity, style and civility. We give preference to letters that address the content of the magazine. The views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Alumni Association.

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