Magazine / Uncategorized


The next world power

I greatly enjoyed the article “China on the Rise” [winter 2010]. It reminded me of my first quarter at DU (fall of ’64). I had enrolled for a class called The Rise of the West. I had no idea what I was in store for; it just sounded interesting. I took myself over to a large lecture hall (maybe in Boettcher) and realized that there were upperclassmen and underclassmen in the same room. A very distinguished-looking British man started lecturing on the decline of the West. It took me a few classes to get accustomed to his heavy British accent. He was, in fact, the famous historian Arnold Toynbee. I was thoroughly shocked when he told us that China would be the next world power. I enjoyed the class, and my interest in China had been piqued. A few years ago I was fortunate enough to travel to China. I found his words frequently echoing in my ears. Here was, indeed, the next world power, and I could see the evidence for myself.

Anne Gumbiner Ney (BA ’68)
Bettendorf, Iowa

Health care questions remain

How will Colorado’s economy benefit from health care reform if people still simply can’t afford rising insurance premiums? The article [Research, winter 2010] doesn’t say, and neither does the study preview posted on the Center for Colorado’s Economic Future (CCEF) website. But this seems exactly the kind of question we should answer before presuming the reform is going to serve us so well. CCEF’s funding partner, the Colorado Trust, offers more documentation. At least two of its recent publications cite high cost as the overwhelming reason why Coloradans defer purchasing health insurance, but the authors only conclude by suggesting that we “continue to examine the affordability of insurance products within the state.” Nothing affirmative there. But is there a doubt that even with some cost savings through reform, premiums are only likely to keep rising out of reach and keep more Coloradans from spending on health care? Who or what can stop this? After reform is fully implemented, will there be genuine, compelling incentive for insurance companies to keep the rate of price increase lower than what it is now? Will the proposed penalties make insurance any more affordable for the bloke just out of range of the subsidies but still having trouble making ends meet? It just doesn’t seem like the math checks yet. I thank the team at DU who points out that a rework of our health care system — some kind of rework — could provide compound benefits for Coloradans. But perhaps the reform, as currently defined, will not be so great for our economy as they say.

David Reusch
DU neighbor

Jazzed up

By no means can I compare myself with Neil Duncan, the brave young veteran who appears on the cover and whose heroic story of recovery is detailed within the pages [“Climbing Back,” spring 2011], but I too am a combat veteran. I too returned to the United States and pursued my degree at DU. The thing that stuck with me the most is the fact that it seems as if DU is acknowledging our current crop of brave volunteer servicemen and women. This show of gratitude and respect will certainly go a long way toward helping in the healing process. Thank you for that. Reading about the TEDxDU program made me wish that I was not stuck on the East Coast so that I might be able to attend in person these up-to-the-minute and exciting presentations. The current crop of DU students are so lucky to have this sort of program being made available to them. I noted with sadness the passing of Murray Armstrong. When I was a student at DU, Murray used Keith Magnuson as the hockey team’s “hatchet man,” and I fondly recalled what an exciting time it was every game that the 1968–69 Pioneers were on the ice! Lastly, as I read the letters, I was also struck by Barbara Nelson’s comments [about the winter 2010 issue]. I have to agree with her on this current issue. Wow! The same evening that I devoured this issue (cover to cover), I then recalled several articles to my wife during our evening meal. She replied, “Boy! That magazine certainly has you all jazzed up!” Again, thank you!

John Wear II (BSBA ’71)
New Hope, Penn.


Explosive journalism

What do you get when you cross feminism with multiculturalism and a dash of Marxism? You get the article in the spring 2011 edition of your magazine [“Beyond the Veil”], which features Rebecca Otis, an aspiring, well-intentioned graduate student who must disguise her own Jewishness to live among people who have demonstrated many times they are not interested in peace with Israel. You also get a bizarre argument that an empowered woman in Palestine is one who seeks to don a suicide vest and detonate herself in an ice cream parlor or any other legitimate target of a “nationalist struggle.” I suggest she mistitled her dissertation. A more accurate title might have been “I am woman; hear me explode!”

Ken Morris (MA ’93)
Golden, Colo.

More on Phipps

The article on the Phipps family [“The Phipps Legacy,” spring 2011] did not mention that they owned a large ranch at Wagon Wheel Gap, near Monte Vista, Colo. My father-in-law, Charles Durkee, was a farmhand there, and his wife was a nanny for Allan and Gerald.

Peter Homburger (BS ’50, MBA ’56)
Wheat Ridge, Colo.


Thank you for the lovely article about the Phipps family, the Phipps mansion and the Phipps tennis house. I was one of the lucky students who was hired over the years to live, with my wife, in the apartment above the tennis court and to serve as the conference coordinator for all the conferences and events that DU scheduled in the tennis house. But no article about the mansion is complete without mention of Sy and Lulabelle Alexander, who lived for decades in the mansion. They came from Corsicana, Texas, and served the Phipps family for many years as cook (Lulabelle) and butler/valet (Sy). After DU opened the house for conferences and meetings, Sy and Lulabelle stayed on, hired by DU, and assisted in numerous ways well into their 80s. They were a remarkable pair —effervescent, caring, humble and loyal to DU and to the heritage of the mansion. My wife and I were fortunate to meet them and to love them, and they were a very important part of the history of that place.

Lawrence Raful (JD ’75)
Long Island, N.Y.


Words of gratitude

I read the Editor’s Note in the spring 2011 University of Denver Magazine and was very moved by it. When I graduated from DU in 1961 I joined the Peace Corps and went to the Philippines for two years. I lived in Ibajay, Aklan, on the Island of Panay (next to Negros Island). Every day the people spoke of World War II because it had affected each of them. The Japanese had occupied Ibajay and were terribly cruel to the people. On market day each Tuesday, people would come up to me, tug on my skirt and simply say, “Thank you.” They then walked away. After several people did this, I asked, “What are the people thanking me for?” I was told they were thanking me for liberation. I was the first American they had seen since the war ended, and they were very appreciative of the Americans who liberated them. So [Chelsey Baker-Hauck’s] great uncle was not forgotten. To this day he is very much appreciated by the people in the Philippines.

Sylvia Boecker (BA ’61)
Williamsburg, Va.


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