Back to top

In Other Words

Letters to the editor.

RED-EYED COVER MODEL

Re: Frog Cover
(Fall 2017)

Knocked it out of the park!! What a phenomenal photo. I need to treat myself and have it framed.

Sue Froehlich ’82, ’87G
NORTHAMPTON, MASSACHUSETTS
 

Your last cover with the red-eyed tree frog was mesmerizing and the magazine’s contents equally so. I have found I look forward to receiving the UMass magazine more than the other three university publications we receive. I am proud to be a parent of two UMass students. Please keep those great articles coming.

Anne Gelbard
HAYDENVILLE, MASSACHUSETTS
 

 

ON THE CONTRARY

The new look for the university’s official magazine is bland in design, undistinctive in its standardized appearance, and obviously the product of a corporatized, we’re-just-like-everybody-else mentality. Can’t you do better than that?

Martin Comack ’99G
SOMERVILLE, MASSACHUSETTS
 

 

DOES HATE HAVE A HOME?

As a UMass alumna, I wish to congratulate the university on its endeavor to “reject hatred” on campus through its “Hate Has No Home at UMass” campaign (“In Other Words,” Fall 2017) and to “…stand united in defense of tolerance, diversity, and inclusion.” For too long, diversity of political thought and inclusion of ideologies other than liberalism have been spurned on campus, for the most part. In fact, hatred of a conservative point of view is blatant and bias in favor of a liberal ideology prevails, which flies in the face of the diversity that the university claims to espouse.

Additionally, I look forward to seeing/hearing of more tolerance and discussion of conservative ideology (which also supports multiculturalism, racial diversity, women’s rights, and a thriving planet) by professors at the university instead of the brainwashing of our students to think that the liberal ideology is the “only right” ideology and conservatives are not to be tolerated, never mind listened to.

Only by embracing and acknowledging all political views, and our rights as Americans to have them, will UMass uphold its pledge to be tolerant, diverse, and inclusive. I applaud your decision and will consider donating to the school if I see that what you profess to do is actually being done.

Dorothy Martin ’97G
WESTFIELD, MASSACHUSETTS

 

I am glad to see that UMass is committed to being a welcoming campus, unlike some others, which refuse to welcome people with diverse viewpoints.

Cathy Graves Norman ’75G
FREMONT, CALIFORNIA

The “Hate Has No Home at UMass” campaign won a 2018 bronze award for best practices in communications and marketing from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, District 1.

 


 

Robert Wilce scuba dives in arctic waters in an archival photograph.

Professor Wilce (right) dives with a graduate student in 1967.

FISH STORY

I’ve always thought of Bob Wilce (“Ice Diver,” Fall 2017) as a true gentleman and gentle man. Here’s another Wilce story: We were fishing the Boquet River in New York. Whenever Bob came across ferns, he’d dig them up and bring them home to Amherst for transplanting. He had varieties from all across New England. One particular day, he returned to camp with an abundance of flora sticking up out of his waders. We insisted this was his camouflage for hiding from trout. Bob was not amused but took it in stride.

Tony Lolli
GRANTSVILLE, MARYLAND

 

I took Dr. Robert Wilce’s phycology course (the study of algae) during my sophomore year. It was a fascinating course taught by a knowledgeable teacher. However, at that stage in my academic career, Dr. Wilce was simply one more professor. Your article provided me, albeit a half century later, with a more complete picture of Dr. Wilce, his research, his life and adventures, and his continued contribution to UMass.

David Clayton ’67
PLACIDA, FLORIDA

 


 

Bring on the Beast Cam
Photo by
Christine de Silva

SHARK SIGHTING

I really enjoyed all the scientific research articles in the Fall 2017 issue. As a fisheries biology graduate, I took particular interest in “Bring on the Beastcam.” I noticed that the shark being examined is a nurse shark (Ginglymostoma cirratum) and not a blacktip shark (Carcharhinus limbatus), as stated in the caption. That is an impressive piece of technology that Mr. Irschick has developed;
it will definitely help biologists all over
the world.

Bruce Hashinger ’76
BEAR, DELAWARE

 

You and the other shark-eyed biologists who wrote in are correct; that is indeed a nurse shark on the boat. We regret the error. —Ed.

 


 

Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress

MYSTERIOUS NO MORE

I was struck by the excellent article on David Grayson (“The Mysterious David Grayson,” Fall 2017). Besides its general excellence, there was a personal dimension for me. Some 71 years ago, I was a senior at Brooklyn Technical High School and enrolled in a fine course on radio writing. As part of our training, we students were assigned a biography of a notable person frequently obscure to the average student. I was assigned to write a piece on someone previously totally unknown to me—Ray Stannard Baker. In the process of research, I learned that besides being a muckraker and then a member of Woodrow Wilson’s cabinet, he was also a very popular author of nature books under the nom de plume of David Grayson.

 Fast forward to 1968, 10 years after I became a professor of English at UMass Amherst: I moved with my family to South Sunset Avenue, 100 yards or so from the old homestead of Ray Baker/David Grayson. As some of my students were wont to say, “What goes around comes around.”

Great issue, keep it up!

Jules Chametzky
Professor Emeritus
AMHERST, MASSACHUSETTS

 

I enjoy reading and collecting books about rural New England in the early 1900s, and I discovered David Grayson’s works about 10 years ago. Much to my surprise, I also found out his UMass connection. What I find moving when reading his books is that even in the early 1900s, there was a nostalgia for times gone by when people knew their neighbors and there was a sense of community. Here we are in 2018, and nothing has changed. These longings are universal to all of us—perhaps even more so in today’s world. Whenever I visit UMass and walk by the Grayson dormitory, I will have a smile on my face and I will thank him for his work.

Keith Kirkland ’85
DUDLEY, MASSACHUSETTS

 


 

My Manhattan

Illustration by Gwenda Kaczor

3 CHEERS FROM 3 DAVES

Just wanted you to know how much I enjoyed “My Manhattan,” by Brianna Parker ’19 (Fall 2017). I have read it to a bunch of people. Beautifully written, great rhythm, and a moving experience. Many reasons to be impressed.

David Valicenti ’93
PITTSFIELD, MASSACHUSETTS

 

“My Manhattan” was inspirational and riveting! It struck a chord with me when Brianna Parker wrote, “Prejudice and ignorance is mistaken for patriotism.” Right on!!!

David Cunningham ’79
EAST HAMPSTEAD, NEW HAMPSHIRE

 

Your Fall 2017 issue was outstandingly good! The breathtaking essay by Brianna Parker set the tone, and other articles and vignettes were excellent as well. Photos and graphics were very well done. A very positive presentation of interesting and significant contributions by current and past UMass affiliates. Despite the advances of the digital world, it is hard to imagine that it could match the impact of your printed work.

Dave Storey ’54
HADLEY, MASSACHUSETTS

 


 

INFERNAL MACHINES 

Your article about computer vision (“Machines That See,” Fall 2017) was interesting. I just wonder about the tone that all the applications mentioned are great. Is it really so great? I imagine a world where we are all characters in a BBC period piece. Instead of servants, we have robots and computers. What do people do then? The rich of England were doing a duty to hire people and care for the land that had been in their families for generations. What are we doing? Just would like to see people talk about the reality of this for humans versus a golly, gee-whiz tone that it is all so wonderful. Yes, let robots do dangerous work in mines, but maybe having to remember my keys might be good for me.

Arlen Gould ’97G
AMHERST, MASSACHUSETTS

Good to see that Class Notes are returning to the print edition of the magazine. This was always the first thing I would look for when receiving it! Removing Class Notes from print, in the first place, was an idea right up there with New Coke: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

Jeff Kline ’78
WOBURN, MASSACHUSETTS

 

Thanks, Jeff, you'll find Class Notes (now called Connections) here. Now do your part! We want to hear from you and other alumni out there. Submit your career and family news to UMassAlumni.com/classnotes. Report address changes and deaths to updates@umass.edu.