UB Today Alumni Magazine Online - Winter 2000
FeaturesAlumni ProfilesClassnotesCalendarThe MailFinal WordEditor's Choice

Raising the Barre

Distance Learning

Alumni Mementos

Manic Depression


Play Ball!

More memories to share?

Perhaps you’d like to describe some of your UB mementos, and why you saved them. Send your comments to whitcher@buffalo.edu; we’ll publish your comments in a follow-up article in our electronic edition

(www.buffalo.edu/ubt) in July.



UB alumni share cherished memories and

possessions from their college years

So, what did you save?

photography by Frank Miller

hy do seemingly disposable items become lasting keepsakes? Do these bits of the past remind us of a time in our lives when we seemed most free, even a little rebellious? Or perhaps they constitute the only remaining link to once valued friends and companions, now lost through time, distance or neglect.
    The items pictured in these pages-along with stories and spontaneous remarks that flowed into our office via e-mail from across the country-came to us in response to a communique we posted to several Alumni Association listservs. Getting the objects here to photograph was a team effort involving the help and commitment of numerous alumni, who cheerfully rummaged through attics, or asked others to search their respective, often far-flung, holdings.
    In short, we "hit a nerve," as one UB Today advisory board member remarked when we apprised her of the quality of the responses we were receiving-and the surprising artifacts people had unearthed. Fraternity jackets and beanies, to be sure; but a hotplate? Perkins coffee mugs? Unpacking these various and sundry UB artifacts really "brought home to us" the power of the bond our alumni feel with their common past.

Hot plate cuisine
Arthur M. Altman, B.A. ’74
San Carlos, CA

"Throughout my stay in the dorms (eight semesters), I used a hot plate in my room to make my meals. I used an orange-colored pot to cook frozen mixed vegetables, which were my staple, along with fresh chicken and frozen fish. My brother inherited this pot from me after I left Buffalo (he went to SUNY at Albany). To this day, he and his two young sons use this pot to cook morning oatmeal in his home in northern Westchester County."

Fraternity jacket
Michael J. Worden, B.S. ’65
Honeoye Falls, NY

"I actually have two items of clothing that I can think of off the top of my head: One is my fraternity jacket with the Sig Ep insignia/crest on the left side, with "University Buffalo" written at the bottom of the crest. The other, believe it or not, is a phys-ed T-shirt from my freshman year-40 years ago! How or why I still have it is a mystery, but I came across it cleaning out my dresser last summer and I couldn’t bring myself to throw it out."

Little black book
Robert H. Cochran, B.S. ’77
North Tonawanda, NY

"The best item I saved from my days at UB was my little black book. It contained names, phone numbers and brief notes about people I met at UB. I kept my UB little black book to remind me of a pretty girl I met in a UB judo class. I admired her for her physical agility; she was petite, yet determined and strong. During judo practice she could easily put me down on the mat-I loved that. "I later admired her many contributions to the mental health field. She is an empowerment educator and coordinates a program for persons with mental health issues who were once institutionalized. This enterprise, called the Empowerment Program, is held at UB. She travels to Albany and Washington, advocating for better services and treatment for the underserved mental health population. Somehow, she was able to find time to have children, who are now all college graduates. I'm glad I kept my UB little black book to remind me about when I met this person. Keeping that little black book helped me find her, get to know her and ask her to be my partner for life. Our honeymoon continues after 28 years."

UB beanie
Gregory J. Schifferle, B.A. ’67
Williston, VT

"I kept a beanie I was given as a freshman. The rest of the stuff got worn out over the years.
    "Let me throw in this little story: I was only a 1.8 GPA at a time when the university had a 3.0 GPA system. But math majors had to take a comp exam in the senior year to graduate. I was really sweating that. Then I got an A on the comp exam. The only other A was given to a guy named Jonathan Swift. He had a 3.0 (or a 4.0 in today's terms). They thought I cheated, but I certainly didn't. That was my claim to fame.
    "Since then, I have worked for IBM in Burlington, Vermont, except that I tried to avoid being drafted and sent to Vietnam, so I enlisted in the Navy and they sent me to Vietnam anyway. But I was running an air-conditioned data center in Da Nang.
    "I had a stroke (out of the blue) in September 1998, and now I am on long-term disability from IBM, as I had 32 years with them. I am doing fine now, but that is why I am semiretired at age 52."

The love of his life
Scott M. Landress, B.A. ’86 & B.S. ’84
Mill Valley, CA

"My wife, Laura, was the greatest thing that happened to me at UB. We've been together for 16+ wonderful years now, and it all started one snowy Buffalo day in the Health Sciences Library on the Main Street Campus. We have three children and live in Mill Valley, California. Laura's a full-time mom. I'm founder and CEO of Spoovy.com, a digital entertainment company."

UB shot glass
Sean P. Cunningham, B.S. ’89
Belmont, CA

"I have a UB shot glass from '85-I won it at the Governors' Casino Night during my first orientation week. To win, pretty much everyone I had met to that point gave me their "money," and I qualified for the third-place prize shot glass. My friends thought it ironic because I was the only nondrinker among my circle of friends-I used my shot glass to store quarters for the laundry.
    "I also still have my 'One Last Time' button from the '88 UB-Buff State basketball game. As you might remember, UB moved to Division II in the late '80s, and UB's rivalry with the Bengals ended then. If I recall, there was one more contest-and it was a UB rout over State."

Fraternity initiation book
Robert L. Sacks, B.A. ’69
South Orange, NJ

In response to our request, New York City attorney Robert Sacks obligingly packaged up and sent us many of his UB treasures, which include his fraternity pledge book and "pledge paddle." Why has he held on to these objects for so many years? "I attribute it to two factors: I've lived in the same house for the past 25 years and I have a huge attic. And I guess I'm an archivist by nature."

Costume parts
Michele T. Callaghan, B.A. ’80
College Park, MD

"Tolstoy College and Morris dancing in the old student union evoke memories of my days at UB from 1976-79. I transferred to UB in my sophomore year, having spent my freshman year in Dublin, Ireland, at Trinity College. I was introduced to Charlie Haynie, the head of Tolstoy College, and David Conant, the founder of Willowood Morris, in my junior year.
    "Tolstoy was one of several small colleges within UB in the seventies. Tolstoy represented a left-wing, or alternative, approach to studies. I audited 'Radical Psychology,' where I met my first fiancé and had a teacher who actually told a student, 'My needs are not being met by this conversation,' as the student described his treatment in a mental institution. The last day of class we all told each other how we really felt about each other. I cried.
    "Morris dancing brings back other memories. We practiced in a small upper room in the student union and performed in Buffalo, Niagara Falls, Toronto and Saratoga Springs. My favorite memory was when we opened the Folk Festival the year that John Hammond Jr., Jean Ritchie, John McCutcheon and Boys of the Lough played. We also danced at a De Danaan concert and I had the members of the band over to a party at my apartment, where the lead singer gave me a button to put on the hat of my costume."

Survival Guide to Finals Week booklet
Stephanie A. Weisman, M.A. ’84 & B.A. ’78
Oakland, CA

"One of my most wonderful experiences as a graduate student at UB was developing and teaching a class in small-press publishing at Black Mountain College II, the arts college. Each semester the class would produce a publication-doing everything from selling ads to the layout to printing it on an old press in one of my student's basement.
"The Survival Guide was one of my favorite publications to come from this class. My focus was that everyone could have a 'voice'-everyone could make a publication. How you did it was dependent on how much money you had to spend, the point being that the basic process is always the same, from Xeroxed publications to four-color art books.
"These tenets are the ones I developed during my undergraduate and graduate years at UB; they continue to be the basis for what I do now, which is run a theater company in San Francisco called The Marsh, a breeding ground for new performance."

Perkins mug
Gary Steinkohl, B.S. ’81
New York, NY

"I cherish my two basic brown coffee mugs 'borrowed' from Perkins. Perkins was where my collegiate friends and I spent many days and nights ... studying 'til the late hours of the night ... over coffee, midnight food gougings ... with coffee to perk us up for more studying, and good, wholesome food ... washed down with coffee ... at all hours of the day and night. When it came time to leave, a pair of these brown mugs found its way into my packings ... and now sits on the coffee mug shelf in the kitchen, forever a reminder of fond days at Buffalo and coffee."

IPPON Judo Club membership card
Claire A. Pallo, B.A. ’72
Rochester, NY

"All the following were kept to help me remember details. Of course, there are a lot of details that cannot be linked to something tangible:
    "College ring-I wish it still fit.
"Freshman beanie-I never had the opportunity to wear a beanie before or since.
    "Four years of student ID cards-each with a picture and a lot of mileage on it (punch holes, etc.).
    "Hockey puck-from the night I got hit by one, watching the UB team play. I had a shiner for nearly three weeks. I still enjoy watching hockey.
    "IPPON Judo Club membership card-freshman year. I was on a student budget and tried this out as long as I could, until it was time to buy the clothing for it.
    "Computer Center brochure-my part-time job was at the data center, at the Ridge Lea Campus. This brochure contains a photo of one of the remote sites on the Main Street Campus, and someone I worked with. Computers were an oddity back then.
    "Transcripts-I still have all eight semesters' worth.
    "Photographs-I had a little black-and-white Polaroid back then. I have photos of roommates, a view from the dorm, crazy things we did, the house we rented, etc. Also, a picture of graduation day with my dad.
    "My years at UB were a tremendous growing time. When I travel through Buffalo now, I am washed in memories of that time in my life."

Ski hat
Thomas M. Albert, Ph.D. ’89 & M.A. ’82
Danville, CA

"The two items I keep are a No. 2-style pencil, except that it is wood color, not painted yellow, and it says "Buffalo School District," and an orange ski-type hat (for the snow, you know) with a white tassel on the top that says Buffalo News.
    "I used to wear that orange hat when I rode my bicycle around UB. Sometimes on a Saturday I'd ride my bicycle to Anacone's, a bar on Bailey Avenue. I'd come back at 2 a.m., when it was rare to see a car on the road in the residential areas, and I'd be a wee bit drunk, and sometimes I'd fall off my bicycle when making the turn into my driveway on Callodine Avenue and then slide several feet on my stomach on the cool, smooth snow."

Sorority pin
Victoria N. Sorvillo, B.S. ’97
Long Beach, NY

"One of my cherished college mementos is a small green bead on a safety pin. In 1993, the local sorority GDG (Green Dot Group) had its first group of pledges who distinguished themselves by wearing a green bead pinned over their heart. The members of GDG went on to found the UB chapter of the national sorority Alpha Gamma Delta. That small green bead is a reminder of what we set out to accomplish by starting a new and different sorority: 'Be what you want, but always be you.'"

Beanie with frosh pin
Penny F. Zeplowitz, Ed.B. ’64
Williamsville, NY

"I have kept this UB beanie with attached freshman pin all these years because it reminds me of all the fun I had as a UB student living away from home for the first time. It also reminds me of the close friendships I made at UB, many of which I still have."

Father’s football helmet
Patrick J. Rao, B.A. ’91
Syracuse, NY

"I have much football memorabilia from the 1950s. The memorabilia belonged to my father, Peter R. Rao, Ed.M. ’63 & Ed.B. '56, who died last year. It includes, among other things, his old leather helmet (without face guard), uniform, letter sweater and letter blanket. I believe that I also have some of his old game films. As you may know, my dad still holds UB’s record for most interceptions in one game, one of the team's longest-standing records. Also, he not only played for UB, but also coached there, and the current coach, Craig R. Cirbus, B.S. ’80, got his start under my dad."

Another dad’s memorabilia
Donald C. Roberts, B.A. ’93
Tonawanda, NY

For Don Roberts, the UB Alumni Association's president, collecting University at Buffalo memorabilia is a family affair. Not only has he kept items from when he was pursuing an associate's degree at UB in the 1960s (he completed his bachelor's degree in 1993), but he also carefully maintains several UB items belonging to his 96-year-old father, Myron A. Roberts, D.D.S. '30. They include this wonderfully preserved sweater from his father's days as manager of the UB basketball team in the late 1920s, and a ribbon pin and ticket from a father-son outing to a UB football game in 1947.

Student government campaign poster
David S. McClure, B.A. ’86
Manassas, VA

"I have retained many items from my UB days (1982-86).They include my student ID card, the campaign poster from when I ran for student government, copies of various campus publications, Buffalo Evening News articles about the woman who was murdered next door when I lived off-campus, my graduation tassel, etc.
    "The reason I kept all this stuff is that I cherish the memories of my days at UB. It was an important period of my life-the time I moved from childhood into adulthood. Several times I have tried to purge these items, but each time I could not go through with it. (I once had to retrieve some of the items from a dumpster just ahead of the trash truck.) I have now accepted that I will carry these items around for the rest of my life."

ArchivesGuestbook/FeedbackHomeAlumni HomeUB Home