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Photo courtesy of Tom White

Memory lane

You will no doubt receive several responses to the picture of the “students gathered around their charred belongings” [Page 37, summer 2007]. The photographer was Robert Katz, who had excellent skills and chronicled our college years. Left to right: James Pool, Rick Ricci, Jim Chase, Dana Percival and Scot Percival. Seated: J. David Manley IV. Ricci and Scot Percival lived there. It was rented from a Mrs. Maersch, who was not happy. All would be Class of 1976, except Dana may have been 1975, and I don’t think Manley graduated. Manley died a couple of years ago. All were good friends and still are. Chase and Scot Percival still live in Denver. Ricci, Scot and I had driven two visiting girls to the airport. In the hour we were gone, the fire broke out. Firemen came and put it out, dragged the charred stuff out and left. When we returned, we pulled up and stopped, thinking, “This isn’t the house.” But it was. Manley was there waiting, and friends Katz, Chase and Dana came over.

Jim Pool, BSBA ’76
Sherborn, Mass.

Thompson’s legacy

As an art student in Professor John Thompson’s painting classes in the 1940s, I was extremely interested to read [in the summer 2007 issue] about the discovery of his Little Theatre mural. I had never known about the mural. Those of us fortunate enough to be in Prof. Thompson’s classes felt that we had found the absolutely best art teacher we could ever have. He gave us an understanding and appreciation of the great artists of the past, as well as guidance and encouragement with our own work. I still remember some of his sayings, such as: “Now take Cezanne — that’s higher mathematics!” I sincerely hope that the restoration of his mural will be carried on to completion. It would be a fitting memorial to an outstanding teacher.

Carol Waugh, BFA ’45
Pleasanton, Calif.

The editor responds: An art restoration expert and two DU interns worked over the summer to remove paint covering the Thompson mural. By press time, they had restored about 24 square feet of the mural.

Doggone good

Your summer 2007 cover piece [“Creature Comfort”] on service animals and their DU companions was the most wonderful thing I’ve read in years.

Patti Arthur, LLM ’91
Salida, Colo.

I commend the magazine staff for a job well done on format, design and content. It’s both exciting and heart warming to read some of the articles that stimulate memories of my life and times as a student at DU. The summer 2007 edition included an article about Red Rocks. I attended many Easter sunrise services and concerts there that were very inspirational and a joy to remember. The story on “Creature Comfort” especially warmed my heart, being the sister of a [person with disabilities] who achieved much in her short life span. With her gifted voice she brought joy and harmony to many. Wishing you continued success. I’ll remain a faithful reader and alumna of the University of Denver.

Ruth Jinacio Jasper, BA ’54
Lafayette, La.

The summer issue immediately drew my attention with its cover graphic. It held my attention as I reviewed the cover piece. I was riveted by Marc Piscotty’s photos. After I read your editor’s note, I connected with the diversity theme and read other magazine content in that light. In part, I was drawn to the cover photo because there is an uncanny physical resemblance between cover subject Dave Bahr and a friend. In part, my background as an adaptive ski instructor keeps me fascinated with all the ways broader society adapts to individuals experiencing disabilities. I also want to note that you have great talent. I rarely see the print medium used more effectively than your DU magazine. Thank you.

Paul Todd, BA ’65
Anchorage, Alaska

What a pleasure it was to see in the summer edition of the magazine photos of Canine Companions for Independence (CCI) dogs among the many service dogs who are assisting people at their jobs and in their classes! We are ardent supporters of CCI, and one of the members of our parish is a puppy raiser who regularly brings the latest puppy-in-training to church to learn “church manners,” including sitting through the sermons and not reacting to the sounds of the pipe organ. Every day I learn of some new and wonderful way that a service dog has expanded the horizons for a person with limited mobility or physical restrictions, and I hope your article will encourage more people to participate in the training and nurture of these fabulous dogs. Service dogs enrich the lives of everyone around them. Thank you for a marvelous write-up! Please consider doing a follow-up story from time to time.

Whitney Robinson Blair, BA ’65
Richmond, Va.

Sandy Curtis, a DU graduate and a co-worker, lent me your summer edition so I could read the “Creature Comfort” article. Sandy knew I would be interested because I have raised several puppies for Canine Companions for Independence (CCI), an organization whose “working gear” and logo appears on several of the dogs in the article. I liked the excellent, warm pictures and the short sketches of the teams! However, I was left wondering at the lack of follow-up and contact information for anyone with a disability who might not be aware of all the programs in the States that can provide “canine help.” Speaking for my own affiliation, Canine Companions for Independence is a national nonprofit organization that enhances the lives of children and adults with disabilities by providing highly trained assistance dogs and ongoing support to ensure quality partnerships. Thank you for the article and your efforts to promote diversity!

Mark Kowalski
Vancouver, Wash.

Diversity dialog

I love the new format and content of the DU magazine. I look forward to receiving each publication and thoroughly enjoy reading each one. The diversity is a great asset and reflects the mission of DU. The magazine would lack depth without it. Thank you for doing such a superb job.

Dianne Benning, MSW ’96
Colorado Springs, Colo.

Congratulations on a fine magazine! I just finished reading your summer edition. I was impressed by the layout, the writing and most importantly the inclusion of diverse people. The magazine continues to improve and better reflect the DU community. Thank you.

Lynn Valencia, MSS ’95

I am pleased to read [Q&A, summer 2007] that DU is considering options of inviting and supporting more diversity at my alma mater. In looking back at my DU career, I was fortunate to also be teaching at Metro State. The variation between the campuses was evident. Indeed, now that I am a faculty member at one of the nation’s more diverse institutions of higher learning in a location of a great confluence of peoples, both the benefits of diversity and significant limitations of a learning environment lacking in the same is more evident than ever. I am pleased to see that you are considering a more inclusive definition of diversity, including “not just racial or ethnic diversity, but intellectual diversity, international diversity, diversity in philosophy, diversity in political thought, religious diversity.” What concerns me is that, once again, sexual and affectional orientation have not been included in this definition. I draw reference to this omission as I perceived the same issue both during my DU student career and as a resident of Colorado. Simply, diversity as related to orientation was either not addressed, deemed insignificant, or, perhaps worse of all, noted as being antithetical to DU’s mission and goals. I sincerely hope that these issues are not the onus for the omission of this significant portion of DU’s population, a group that includes students, faculty and staff, and, proudly, alumni. I wish you and the DU community continued success in this important area of education and growth.

Scott Gratson, PhD ’02

The editor responds: Although the chancellor didn’t mention it specifically in his column, orientation is indeed a hallmark of diversity that the University values. DU’s Center for Multicultural Excellence offers programs and support related to gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex issues, and the University hosts several related organizations for students and other members of the DU community.

Red Rocks remembrance

Just wanted to thank you for sending the summer issue of the magazine all the way across the Atlantic. I particularly enjoyed the article on Red Rocks, with its accompanying picture of Creation Rock above the audience, because it enabled me to show my English husband what I’d tried to explain to him in words: When I was a child in the late ’50s, my stepfather played in the Denver Symphony Orchestra’s Red Rocks production of Wagner’s Die Walkure, and my mother and I were in the audience. During the “Ride of the Valkyries,” Valkyries were perched above us atop Ship Rock and Creation Rock singing their hearts out, while stagehands lay on their stomachs behind them gripping their ankles to stop them blowing off in the wind! Later, when Wotan ignited a ring of fire around Brunnhilde, the wind blew the fire straight into the orchestra pit and sent the musicians, clutching their instruments, scurrying for safety.

Kelly (Patterson) Galpin, MA ’68
St. Albans, England

Cover photo firestorm

Regarding your cover of the spring 2007 University of Denver Magazine: Are you kidding??? Certainly there could have been a cover photo that inspires more pride in the University. I was embarrassed to leave it on my coffee table. Best of luck to your staff in making future decisions.

Steve Bruce, BSBA ’74
San Marino, Calif.

I’m writing to express my strong disagreement with a letter in your summer 2007 issue criticizing your choice of a photo from a production of Cabaret for the cover of the prior edition. If [the letter’s author] finds your picture of this highly professional-looking performer to be “insulting,” I can only imagine that she has no conception of the amount of talent, skill, professionalism and hard work that goes into such a production. Students who participate in theatrical and musical productions develop communication, interpersonal, technical and other skills that they will find to be invaluable, whether or not they pursue careers in professional theater. We should be proud of the work DU students and faculty are doing at the Newman Center. Your cover photo was an excellent choice.

Robert Ey, JD ’79
Hopewell, N.J.

I recently received the summer 2007 issue of the magazine and have to disagree with the alumna who said she found the spring issue cover “insulting and trivial.” I was delighted to read about the new fine arts center and thoroughly enjoyed seeing some of the performance students at their best. I thought the cover was artistic and engaging and it encouraged readers to appreciate the many facets of this excellent institution of ours. I’m enjoying the new look of the publication, too, and what seems to me to be broader coverage of many different dimensions of DU. Even though I’m not able to visit very often (I now live on the Western Slope), I love seeing and hearing about what students, faculty and administrators are up to. My sense is that the school gets better and stronger every year.

Sharyl Peterson, MA ’80, PhD ’83
Fruita, Colo.

Second opinion

Thank you for your hard work on the University of Denver Magazine. I always read it and especially enjoy staying up-to-date with friends in the Alumni Connections section. I noticed in the summer 2007 edition that you included a column called “Career Corner” in which a contributor addressed a question about how best to highlight skills on a résumé for a new career. As a professional copywriter and résumé writer, I have to disagree somewhat with the response. Your contributor simply recommended adding a summary of qualifications or a professional summary to the résumé, along with making bullet points as relevant as possible to the career goal. Although this is fine to do, I know that these steps won’t necessarily compel a potential employer to schedule an interview, which is the goal of a résumé. Most job-seekers prepare their résumés to be one giant job description rather than a focused overview of accomplishments. Employers and hiring managers want to see hard facts throughout the entire résumé that clearly demonstrate achievements, not a listing of daily tasks. This is best done with numbers, percentages, etc. Instead of saying (using your example) “outstanding interpersonal skills; ability to quickly build rapport with new contacts leading to long-term business relationships,” I would rephrase this to read: “outstanding interpersonal skills; ability to efficiently build strong relationships with new contacts, resulting in over 10 new business opportunities within a 3-year period.” This is the type of information that gets noticed, and it’s easy for a hiring manager to pick out relevant skills when the accomplishments are spelled out thoroughly. I encourage my clients to try to find as many measurable results as possible that can be applied to specific statements on their résumés. This produces the best results and gets the all-important interview.

Cindy Rayfield, BA ’88
Englewood, Colo.

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