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Letters to the editor


Art Class

State of the Art” in the September/October 2019 issue offered a tour of campus’s outdoor sculptures. We asked which ones you remembered.

While taking an introductory art class we were instructed to write a paper on the Lipchitz sculpture Song of the Vowels. The statue intrigued me then, and it did so again recently when my wife and I and friends visited the campus.

Don Hay ’66
Indianapolis, IN

Of interest is the story of how sculpture professor Jack Squier got Lipchitz’s Song of the Vowels and Bather sculptures here through the generosity of the Uris brothers. Jack tells it in our video “Simply Squier: Professor Jack Squier, MFA ’52.” He also relates how he got his students to create the Botanic Gardens sculptures, and sculptor Joel Perlman ’65—who did Dynamis at the Friedman Wrestling Center—talks about how close he felt to Professor Squier. The link can be found at

Phil Handler ’62, BARCH ’64, MArch ’65
West Hartford, CT

I like them all, except Song of the Vowels. I think it is crude, plus I object to the fact that it isn’t even unique, as other versions or castings of the same thing have been foisted on Princeton and elsewhere.

Jason Gettinger ’64
New York, NY

Looking through my old negatives, I found a photo I took around 1987 or 1988 that shows the Herakles in Ithaka statue inside the Johnson Museum of Art lobby [below].


Ken Zirkel ’88
Seekonk, MA

I’ve always liked Herakles by Jason Seley ’40. On a recent visit to the Lab of Ornithology, I enjoyed the works there, especially the Goldsworthy cairn. Having recently seen his work at Glenstone in Maryland, it was great to find out he had been an A.D. White Professor-at-Large.

Niels Nielsen ’83
Bethseda, MD

My fondest memory is of the Stump. It changed often as students painted it in the dead of night.

Andy Henderson ’78, me ’79
Cypress, TX

I remember camping out under Hyperbolic Paraboloid. It is great that it is still there.

Miklos Salgo ’68
Hillsborough, CA

The sculptures in the Botanic Gardens were always my muses when I first found them when it truly was a deserted and sparsely and scarcely known place. They still astound me today fifty years later. I visit once a year when I can.

Marc Grappel ’71
Highland Park, NJ

More Buzz

Hive Mind” (September/October 2019) reminded me of the summer of 1993, which I spent working with the apiculture books in Mann Library. I was fascinated by the old books on bees, with drawings and insight from authors long gone, so dedicated to these industrious creatures. I’d climb the stairs to the stacks with barcodes, thin metal strips, and thermometer in hand. The barcodes you know; the metal strips went into the book spines as a security device. The thermometer was there because if the temperature in the stacks exceeded 90 (or was it 95?) they sent us home—with pay! When that happened I’d buzz down the stairs and out into the fresh air, headed for Buttermilk Falls. I loved the crisp, cold water but also loved experiencing a tangible connection to history through those books.

Christine Del Favero ’96
Boston, MA

Bearing Fruit

Thanks to Alexandra Bond ’12 for her appreciation of Liberty Hyde Bailey (September/October 2019). My cousins and I owe our very existence to him, because it was at an evening gathering for students at his home that our grandparents met: Mary Whitson 1905 and George F. Warren, PhD 1905 (professor 1906–38). I also appreciated the quote about Bailey’s scorn for “grumbling at the weather” as I similarly say that “to a climatologist, all weather is good weather!”

Stephen Warren ’67
Seattle, WA

Welcome Back

Alumni also shared their memories of arriving on campus in response to “Big Red Welcome.”

In our 1957 Mercury station wagon jammed to the top with all (well, most) of my worldly possessions and my four siblings, we had a flat tire on the Northeast Extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike—had to unload the car to change the tire, then load back up again. After that, lugging it all up to the top of the tower in Risley was a snap.

Susan Schifter Labarthe ’64, BS ’67
Montpelier, VT

What I remember most about moving-in day back in 1973 was that I somehow got into the “new” North Campus dorms. My roommate (Kenzo Koenig ’77, ME ’78) had already arrived and filled the room with all his high-tech music equipment (stereo, turntable, speakers, reel-to-reel tape deck), lots of neon bar signs, beer mugs and other paraphernalia, wall decorations, etc. I arrived with nothing but a green army-type duffel bag. We were a great fit. Somehow, the Cornell roommate matching algorithm of that time managed to put us together.

John Molinda ’77
Pittsburgh, PA

SPEAK UP! CAM encourages letters and comments from readers on the magazine’s content. They may be edited for length, clarity, and civility. We are not able to publish and respond to all correspondence received.

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