Letters: July / August 2022
May June 2022 cover

Friends Forever

“The Best of Friends” [May/June, p. 44] opened up a flood of memories, particularly the piece featuring the road trip to what would become Penn State’s second national championship. I, too, along with a handful of fellow Penn Staters, took a road trip for the same 1987 game against the feared Miami Hurricanes. Quite luckily for us, our trip ended up in Tempe, Arizona, where we were fortunate to actually attend the game in person. I’m not sure what game the writer and friends attended, but that Monte Carlo took them 2,300 miles away from the action.
Roger Corell ’84 Eng
Sacramento, Calif.

golf reunionI thoroughly enjoyed your recent piece “The Best of Friends” and wanted to share with you a photo of my best friends from Penn State. This is from our 18th annual golf trip in Charleston, S.C. We had 20 guys: mainly TKE brothers from 1979 to 1983, as well as SAE & Beta Theta Pi alumni. We all have been close friends for over 40 years and get together regularly for this trip, football games, and homecoming.  We Are!
Steven Parks ’81 Agr
Havertown, Pa.

These letters moved me literally to tears. As I read each one and got to each name in bold font, I just “got” that they were real people, genuinely friends for life. I welled up with each name. I have similar people in my life from Penn State. When we stood at childhood’s gate, we didn’t know what lifelong friends we would make.
Mark Biro ’78 Eng
Akron, Ohio

“U-Club” Memories

I was sorry to read about the University Club being demolished [“This Old House,” May/June, p. 7]. I was fortunate to have lived there my final term, the spring of 1977. You had to be 21 to live there, since there was a bar for club members in the basement. I was one of the few undergraduate students living there. It was so great living with graduate students from all fields of study, and some from other countries. We had a communal dining room and a so-so cook! We even had a talent show with residents that term. I am still in touch with some of the residents all these years later. So many memories.
Sally Mazor Page ’77 Edu
Las Vegas, Nev.

University Club buildingWhat a delightful surprise to see a photo of The University Club! I got to enjoy the club in the 1960s because my fiancé, a resident pursuing his M.S. in electrical engineering, lived there. The best part of the club was the basement: It had keyed individual liquor lockers. It also had a lounge area with a projector screen. Every Friday night an old movie was played. Almost everyone knew the script and acted along. We decorated the main floor for Christmas parties, had tea with British residents in the kitchen, and even had our wedding reception in the ballroom. Since alcohol wasn’t allowed on the main floor, much of the reception slowly migrated to the basement. It was a peaceful haven during a turbulent time. It breaks my heart that it is going to be demolished, but I’m sure I’m not the only one who will always love it.
Charlotte Long ’67 Lib
Panama City Beach, Fla.

I was delighted to see a picture of The University Club building. I lived at the U-Club for several years in the early 1960s while earning my Ph.D. in geology. The U-Club was a great place for a geology grad student to live. Proximity to the two buildings where earth science courses were taught was a big plus, as were social interactions with other club members. Those living at the club included two engineering faculty members, more than a dozen grad students in various earth science disciplines, and several engineers who worked at the wind tunnel facility. Thanks for bringing back many fond memories.
David Nickey ’66 PhD EMS
Columbus, Ohio

Firefighting History

fire truckThe article on the student fire department and 1923 Autocar [What’s Up With That?, May/June, p. 17] prompted me to send you some additional history. The 1923 Autocar has returned to State College and has been reunited with its 1923 REO stablemate from the Alpha Fire Company. They both reside in my collection. I, too, had been told Andrew Carnegie donated the Autocar fire truck, as the article stated, but a 1923 Collegian article indicates otherwise.
Richard James ’90 Lib
Port Matilda, Pa.

Bravo, Barron

On the occasion of his retirement, let me add to the chorus of praise for outgoing President Eric Barron. When I graduated in 1984, Bryce Jordan was president. When I started, it was John Oswald, and in between I helped make campus weather forecasts in the (Eric) Walker building. I’ve since learned a lot about how those three transformed the campus and Penn State’s reputation. Barron’s tenure may not have generated as many headlines, but we learned a decade ago that not every headline is a welcome one. While his tenure would be praiseworthy if he simply kept things running, he in fact did much more; in particular, by restrengthening our commitment to the student-athlete and to charitable events like THON. In a sentence, Eric Barron gave Penn State’s older alumni their Penn State Pride back. Well done!
Hugh S. Montaigne ’84 Lib
Ventnor, N.J.

Biotech Memories

Were you in the biotechnology program at Penn State in the 1990s? If so, you probably took a course taught by Kamal A. Rashid. Kamal developed and taught Introduction to Biotechnology and Animal Cell Culture Methods, among other courses. He also directed the Summer Symposium in Molecular Biology and the biotechnology and bioprocessing training programs at Penn State from 1991 to 2000. I am a writer working on a book with and about Kamal and his family. It’s part memoir and part history of the early days of the biotech industry and the impact that Kamal, Penn State, and its graduates have had on this vital industry. If you remember Kamal and would be willing to share your thoughts about him and the Penn State biotechnology programs, please contact me at mic@cohenpartners.net. Thank you.
Michael Cohen
Plymouth, Mass.


Cavers’ Delight

Grotto spread“Down We Go” [May/June, p. 36] features photos of Westmoreland County’s Bear Cave. This extensive limestone maze underlies one of the forest tracts that my wife, Kim, and I own. Nittany Grotto nurtured my lifelong obsession with caves, and Kim and I remain active cavers in our 60s. Our forest management plan encourages caving as a sport, and also as a science, with an emphasis on conservation. Thank you for publishing this well-illustrated article.
Tom Metzgar ’81 Agr
Export, Pa.



In our March/April issue, we mislabeled the job title of Cindy Miller '03 Hbg [Class Notes, p. 73]. She is CEO at Stericycle, not COO, as the title states. We regret the error.