Letters: March / April 2024
cover of Jan/Feb '24 issue of Penn Stater Magazine


Freshman Memories

I chuckled at Lam Hood’s entanglement with Rosey Grier in a pickup basketball game. We had a fraternity boxing team, and Charley Brader, my fraternity brother and roommate, was our heavyweight. He was preparing for his first match when he suddenly came running back to us with the news that his opponent was to be Rosey Grier. He was terrified, but we kept telling him to play it cool by running around the ring and not getting tied up on the ropes and he would be all right. Not so. When we saw them in the ring together, Charley didn’t look much like a heavyweight compared to Rosey. He also wasn’t fast enough to stay away from Rosey, who caught up with him and landed one punch—and down for the count went Charley. I’m sure Charley doesn’t remember the punch, but his fraternity brothers sure did.

Andrew Kartalis ’54 Eng
Pepper Pike, Ohio


I missed sending this in in time for inclusion in the article about freshman year memories [“First Impressions,” Jan./Feb., p. 36]. Here would be my entry: The night before my first day of classes, I went into the bathroom with my roommate talking about how early we would have to leave East Halls for the walk to Schwab, where our first class, Psych 101, would be held. A girl across the sinks from us said, “Are you talking about an 8 a.m. class at Schwab? I have that class too, could we walk together?” We said yes, and the rest was history. The three of us later lived together, were in each other’s weddings, and are still in touch even though we live hours apart now, 35 years later. Lucky for me, the girl across the sink, Donna Nogar Rose, had high school friends in the boys’ dorm across the quad who introduced me to the boy in the room next door, my then soon-to-be boyfriend, and now husband of almost 30 years.

I so enjoy seeing the Penn Stater in our mail each month! So much so that we gave a lifetime membership to our son, a May 2023 grad, as his graduation gift!

Becky O’Hara Engleka ’92 Lib
Havertown, Pa.


I loved the illustrations in this edition and reading all of the first impressions of Penn State. It brought back many fun memories of my own! What a great way to kick off 2024! Thanks for a great edition.

Sarah Willis ’22 Bus
Eaton, Ohio


The letter from Patricia Mattson Forrester gave me a good laugh. I, too, lived in Thompson Hall as a freshman in 1959–60. My room was up the hill from the balcony. I remember the housemother that Forrester recalls. Below our windows, she would call to us, “Girls, pull your shades!” At the time, I didn’t realize it was panty raids she feared—I just thought she didn’t want men to be able to see into our rooms.

Another letter, by Edith Murray Walker Isacks, also resonated. At Penn State in 1959, marching band was not an option for women; only men qualified for Jim Dunlop’s marching band. I did participate in the concert band for three years. The men wore their Blue Band uniforms; we wore black dresses. Finally, the picture of the Alumni News on p. 59 also brought back memories. My father, Carl Peterson, graduated in 1925, and early on I discovered I liked reading the Alumni News, mainly for the sports. Thanks for the memories!

Sara Peterson Anderson ’63 Edu
Arlington, Va.


closeup of blue dink hat with Penn State University on it, courtesyI was a freshman in 1954 and have vivid memories of the blue dinks. We also wore big white signs which showed our curriculums, schools, names, etc. I happened to be in Applied Arts, which then was in the School of Engineering! There weren’t many girls in engineering back then. When an upperclassman asked us questions, girls had to curtsy, and guys had to bow. Hard to imagine that happening today.

Cindy Strong Barr ’58 A&A
Merry Hill, N.C.


A Table for All

As a lifelong Pittsburgh resident and proud Alumni Association member since my graduation year, I was disappointed to not see any female representation at the Penn State Table in the picture taken at the Duquesne Club [From the Editor, Jan./Feb., p. 7]. As an executive woman in leadership who deeply cares about charting our educational plans and priorities, I would be happy to attend a meeting and collaborate. Let’s be intentional to positively portray the progress we’ve made as a university to forge a path for gender equality.

Stacy Sydeski Hurt ’92 Lib
Bridgeville, Pa.


House Specialty

closeup of Nittany Lion Inn lobster bisque and crackers, courtesyIn your article on Gerry Abrams [My Favorite Things, Jan./Feb., p. 17], his favorite was the lobster bisque at the Nittany Lion Inn. My wife and I stayed at the Inn and one evening we asked the waitress for the recipe. The copy is below; if you want to forward it to Gerry Abrams, he might appreciate it.

Jerry Lyter ’61 Eng
Millerstown, Pa.


Nittany Lion Inn Lobster Bisque


1 lb. langostinos (small lobster tails out of the shell)

1 quart heavy cream

2 teaspoons tomato purée

1 ½ tablespoons lobster base

¼ cup sherry

⅛ cup brandy

Dash of Worcestershire sauce

Salt & pepper to taste

In a small pan, sauté langostinos lightly in butter (or oil). In a separate double boiler, warm heavy cream, tomato purée, lobster base, brandy, sherry, and Worcestershire sauce. When warmed, incorporate langostinos. To thicken, use 1 stick of butter to 1 cup of flour. Stir until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.


In Unison

“Once a choir member, always a choir member!” That’s what Mr. Brown always said to us, some five decades ago. Now, our alumni committee is collaborating with the College of Arts and Architecture and the School of Music to organize a reunion of choristers who sang during Raymond Brown’s tenure. Our reunion on June 21–23 coincides with We Are Weekend and the 50th anniversary of the opening of Eisenhower Auditorium. Sharing our choir memories and singing together again in practice sessions and during an alumni performance will highlight our reunion. We plan to focus our singing on the familiar repertoires of Chapel Choir and the ’74 European Tour as well as selections from Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Verdi’s Requiem, and La Montaine’s Be Glad Then America—all works performed by the choirs in the 1970s.

If you sang with Mr. Brown, you are smiling right now because you are still a choir member! Please reunite with us on campus this summer! For more information, email us at psuchoiralumni@gmail.com.

Jes Sellers ’74, ’76 MEd Edu
Cleveland, Ohio

Mark McCarthy ’76 Lib
Cleveland, Ohio


black and white photo of a large group of people at an airport, courtesy



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