I particularly enjoyed the most recent issue of the magazine on a couple of fronts. The picture of the unreconstructed McCormick Road dormitory room was something I can now wave in front of my children to let them know that everything I’ve always told them about the room was absolutely true.
It was also a treat to see the photo of the paved-over McIntire Amphitheatre, where the Glee Club had to turn an English glee from a setting for a quartet into a seven-man exercise. This was caused by all four of us first tenors having to sing falsetto because there was not a counter-tenor (nor a castrato) to be found anywhere. A great memory but my throat still strains at the thought of it.
The other Amphitheatre story is one where I had been buried in the stacks of Alderman Library for far too long of a day, reading about some obscure action in the First World War involving some Scottish units. As I left the building, I could hear the faint skirling of a set of bagpipes in the distance. I thought, surely, I had gone around the bend at last. The sound persisted and I followed it and finally came upon a solitary piper pacing up and down the stage of the Amphitheatre, paying no attention to anyone else. I cannot describe how immensely relieved I was at this sight.
Please keep up the good work.
William R. Piper (Col ’77)
St. Louis, Missouri
Other than the article about the president’s plan, the articles [in the Fall issue] are fluff. What is with eight full-color pages about the Dell, as pretty as it is? A nice short piece would be nice but eight pages? What sort of research is going on? Where are articles from professors on current politics? What is happening in the medical school, the law school, the business school? The School of Architecture? Something from a significant graduate? On anything scholarly? Maybe I am biased but I also receive similar magazines from Tufts, Bowdoin, Chicago, Harvard Business School and MIT. I actually learn something from them. UVA is a good university, almost as good as Vanderbilt and Duke, but you would never know that from reading Virginia.
Richard Carle (Col ’67, Grad ’68)
The extraordinary cover of the Fall 2019 issue caught my eye. The story of the Dell, with the work of photographer Robert Llewellyn, and “Making Old Dorms New Again” kept my attention. I read every word, having recently been on a business trip where I flew in and out of Dulles with a couple of days free and Highway 29 drawing me down to stay at Boar’s Head Inn, visit my old Dabney House corner room with a view of The Castle, find my garage apartment on Oak in Farmington, trace my 1964 first-year trek to Brooks Hall for an 8 a.m. geology class, wander the Lawn and magnificent Rotunda, stop and talk to students—greatly amusing myself (and, it seems, them). Also, I am from Fairhope, Alabama, as was Professor Paul Gaston, featured in In Memoriam. He was my history professor, and I still have my copy of The New South Creed. I credit my parents, Mr. Jefferson and the University for the greatest education one could wish for.
Ken Niemeyer (Col ’69)
Flora Follows Function
As a lifelong gardener, I so enjoyed the article “Flora Follows Function” regarding the history and restoration of the Dell. It is on my bucket list to visit this beautiful space at UVA, particularly the old Lambeth garden. What a laudable effort.
Dorothy E. Smith (Educ ’61)
As we consider the beauty and function of the Dell and how it has been transformed in recent years, let’s acknowledge the contributions of nature. The plants and animals who live in and among all that contributes to the integrity of the Dell’s watery habitats are marvels from whom we learn and emulate. As we design and implement, let’s remind ourselves of the power and ethic of working with nature, the guiding focus of former UVA architecture dean William McDonough and others, as we try to address the challenges of our communities, of our life-sustaining and precious natural world.
Peter K. McLean (Col ’78)
Making Old Dorms New Again
I graduated in 1971 from the School of Nursing, and my dad was a graduate of the Medical School in the class of 1957. We lived at Copeley Hill, where University Hall is now and will be torn down. Let me give a history lesson on Copeley Hill: There were numerous rows of houses (Army housing during WWII). We lived there from 1951 to 1957, and it was the perfect location for our father to walk to classes and for our mother to work at the Law School for Mr. [A.J. Gustin] Priest. It is important to understand that one “home” was connected to the next, and if the walls could talk—what a memory!
Rosalie Emerick “Posie” Lewis (Nurs ’71)
Your article in the Fall issue brought back pangs of nostalgia in this old Wahoo. I was a counselor in the “new dorms” on McCormick Road when they were first opened. As I felt that the tradition of coats and ties was going to fade away with too few upperclassmen to set an example, I made an appointment to see University President Colgate Darden to urge him to dilute the housing arrangements to ensure that there was a significant number of second- and third-years in all dorm rooms.
In 1956, I returned to the University to attend Law School and was a resident adviser in one of the McCormick Road dorms. My predictions to Mr. Darden were already coming to fruition because few of the dorm residents were properly attired when leaving for class.
Malcolm Underwood (Col ’51, Law ’59)
Stuarts Draft, Virginia
Thank you for the article about the black nurses. I read it with great interest, because, as a student at the University in the early 1960s, I worked nights on and off during 1962 and 1963 at the University hospital as an orderly, and I no doubt worked with many of the individuals mentioned in your article. Although time has dimmed my memory of the names of most of the individuals, I have many fond and vivid memories of the pulse of the hospital during the overnight hours and the dedication of black and white employees with whom I worked. I worked primarily on the orthopedic ward on the fifth floor and in the emergency room.
I never did receive my degree from Virginia (or anywhere else). My academic career at UVA in the College of Arts & Sciences was less than stellar. With a little push from the University, I left school in 1963 and went into the U.S. Army, serving a tour of duty in Vietnam in 1964 and ’65. I have great regrets that I did not graduate from the University or return later in an effort to finish, but I have always considered myself a Wahoo and a member of the class of 1964. However, I did receive my degree vicariously when my son Adam graduated from the UVA Engineering School in 2003.
Robert A. “Bob” Hess (Col ’64)
First-Gens First [Spring 2019]
Thank you for your article on first-generation students at UVA. I was a first-generation student and shared many of the same experiences and feelings that the subjects in the article discussed. However, I never knew that it was a shared experience until I read your article. Not only was I a first-generation college student, I was also from a new immigrant family. Thus there were financial issues and also cultural issues shaping and limiting my University experience. Other than attending classes, I spent most of my time away from Grounds, either working part-time or due to family obligations. I felt alienated from my fellow classmates, and often lacked the confidence to pursue social and academic extracurriculars. I only wish there had been a group I could have reached out to back then for support. I am so happy to see that this demographic and its unique experiences have now been identified among the University community and resources put in place to help better their time at UVA.
Deepa Daryanani (Col ’94)
Class of the Classroom [Winter 2018]
I am writing to acknowledge an act of kindness on the part of my association dean, Professor Marcus B. Mallett of the Department of Philosophy. I was a major in Romance Languages at the University, with a special interest in Spanish literature. Because I was considering graduate work in the field, I knew that it behooved me to study in Spain. Unsure of how to find a program, I sought the aid of Dean Mallett. He went above and beyond his area of expertise to investigate programs. His recommendation was the Institute of European Studies—now the Institute for the International Education of Students. I took his advice and applied, and I received a scholarship. The program included a holiday trip to Barcelona, southern France, and Italy, and a Holy Week trip to southern Spain, as well as residence with a Spanish family and classes at the University of Madrid. After graduation, I studied at Johns Hopkins University and received my doctorate in 1974. I have been teaching since then, and currently I am in my 20th year at Vanderbilt University, where I have been extremely happy. As my 50th reunion approaches, I think fondly of Dean Mallett. I thanked him, but it seems fitting to give him credit again for investing his valuable time and effort to help a student and for giving me life-changing counsel. I will always be grateful to him.
Edward Friedman (Col ’70)
The Board of Visitors recently renamed the Barringer Wing in the Medical Center West Complex as the Dr. Francis Collins Wing. Dr. Collins is worthy, but why is this replacement called for? Dr. Barringer was head of medical instruction from 1889 to 1907. As chairman of the faculty he led the rebuilding of the Lawn after the Rotunda fire and reorganization of the University’s governance; but his proudest achievement was founding the University Hospital, which opened at his insistence as a public health facility serving all races in the Charlottesville community. Recent attempts to disparage Dr. Barringer as a “Professor of Eugenics” are plainly intended to associate him with the depravity of the Tuskegee Experiment, which he never would have condoned. His published views on the practical, societal problem of under-educated, under-employed blacks in the post-War South may not be fashionable today but his recommendations prove my grandfather’s opposition to Jim Crow apartheid.
This renaming seems at best to reflect “that our college campuses should be cleansed of names and artifacts that awkwardly remind their students that others in the past held values different from their own [A. Kronman, Washington Post 08/22/19].” The fact of slavery, the many rationalizations concerning it, and the years of racial segregation which followed it in the South, are all part of the University’s institutional and personal heritage. We cannot simultaneously revisit the past yet ignore the views, in context, of those who lived it. Imagine the University scrubbed of the contributions of every individual who fails our hindsight reassessment of their flawlessness. Was Mr. Jefferson so imperfect a man that the University should have no founder?
Removing Dr. Barringer’s name entirely from the hospital he built discredits a good man, a medical innovator, a devoted alumnus, a key player in the University’s rebuilding and modernization. It diminishes the University itself to purge its own rich history in this manner.
Allen C. Barringer (Law ’72)