Readers share their thoughts

Bridging the gap

As a commuter on the Tappan Zee Bridge when it was new, I am very impressed with the design and construction of the New NY Bridge [“Engineering History,” Winter 2017]. I am proud that my fellow UB engineering alumni took such a prominent role in this important project.

Stanley Rosen (BS ’51)
Las Vegas, Nev.

Universal healing

I appreciate the soulful steps by UB medical students to help people in the street who don’t have the resources to help themselves [“Street Healers,” Winter 2017]. I’m thinking about spreading this wave in our town, so the world could be a better place to live in. 

Usama Ali

Fabulous program, fabulous students. Thank you, UB HEALS, for your work with these citizens of Buffalo. 

Diane Elze
Buffalo, N.Y.
The writer is associate professor of social work at UB.

Historical balance

I look forward to a balancing viewpoint to the partisan comments in your attack on those who exercise their Second Amendment rights [“American Forecaster,” Winter 2017]. You write [following a quote from Richard Hofstadter regarding American gun culture in 1970], “As with many of Hofstadter’s topics, one can’t help but wonder what he would have to say today, in an America where gun-related deaths have become lamentably routine.” I remain hopeful for a diversity of viewpoints from a supposedly diverse university.

Tom Reeve (JD ’74)
San Diego, Calif.

I wish to congratulate you on your excellent article about Richard Hofstadter. How apropos—his ideas on anti-intellectualism and the paranoid style in American politics could not be more timely! It was inspiring as well to read about UB’s heritage of great teaching as illustrated in the lasting influence of the legendary Professor Julius Pratt on Hofstadter.

Shonnie Finnegan
Amherst, N.Y.
The writer is UB archivist emerita.

The romantic inventor

I want to thank Norman McCombs (BA ’68) for inventing the oxygen concentrator [“For the Love of Grace,” Winter 2017]. My husband uses one every day. I loved the love story, too.

Harriet Bedell Shea (BA ’66)
Columbus, Ohio 

In praise of Colt Cotten

Like Colt Cotten [“Growing Up Country,” Winter 2017], I grew up about 15 miles from Benton, Pa. I was fortunate to get to UB in 1970—Buffalo was the best thing that ever happened to me. With my BS degree I have been clinically educating MS and PhD students for 40 years on how to make a living with their advanced degrees. I am so proud to have read Colt’s story. We rural people have many shared experiences, and we know that the way to a better future starts with education.

Vicki R. Yeager Caravelli (BS ’74)
Palatine, Ill.

Colt is a guy I’d want in a foxhole with me. He smiles easily, cares deeply and makes those who meet him want to be his friend. 

Jack Price
Pottsville, Pa.

Basketball diaries

I was surprised and delighted to see my father, Thomas Syracuse (MD ’33), in the photo of the 1930-31 team [“The Clubhouse,” Winter 2017]. My dad told the story of how—after he made a basket in a game with Syracuse University—the announcer called out, “Syracuse scores two for Buffalo!” Understandably, this caused some confusion for the fans. My dad was inducted into the UB Athletic Hall of Fame shortly before his death in 1989.

Tom Syracuse (BA ’70)
Marietta, Ga.

Your article on 100 years of Buffalo basketball brought back memories. I was an accelerated dental student from April 1944 to February 1947 and a member of the Xi Psi Phi dental fraternity. In 1945-46, three outstanding first-team UB basketball players were also fraternity brothers and dental students. Just a bit of UB basketball history.

Alfred E. Falcone (MD ’50, DDS ’47)
Jamesville, N.Y.

Prouder than ever

Congratulations on the Winter 2017 issue. My husband and I receive alumni association publications from four institutions. This may be the first time we both read an entire issue from cover to cover. Every article was informative, interesting and made us prouder than ever to be alumni of UB.

Jill Ortner (MLS ’93), John Ortner (PhD ’90)
Hamburg, N.Y.

Correction: We misstated one of the UB degrees held by Algirdas Gamziukas [“Inside the Cup,” Winter 2017]. He received a BS, not a PharmD, in 1956. UB did not offer a PharmD until the 1971 fall semester.

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