Letters to the Editor

Mascot Missing

I will be honest, when IUP Magazine comes in the mail I cannot wait to flip through the pages! However, when I read the article “ A Symbol in Bronze” from the Fall/Winter 2013 magazine, I was disappointed to read about the mascot issue that has faced IUP because there was no mention of the period in IUP history with the black bear named “Cherokee.” The black bear (even though I was not fond of it) and the Spirit of the Warrior statue are what I associate with my time at IUP.

Leanna Keegan ’02
Ebensburg

That’s My Uncle!

At my family get-together over the weekend, I found out that my uncle’s photo was in the most recent edition of IUP Magazine [Fall/Winter 2013]. On page 19, the archived picture from the Armstrong County branch campus is a photo of my uncle Larry Leard ’67 and Ed Mazurek, both from Ford City. (Larry is standing next to the sign; Ed is the one wearing the glasses.)

Larry did an internship with Senator Albert Pechan and had a long career with the Internal Revenue Service in Washington, DC, and Pittsburgh. His most recent visit to IUP was for my son Chris’s IUP graduation in May 2012, when Chris was the student commencement speaker.

Mark Anthony ’82, M’83
Columbia, SC

Keeping Up with Technology

I wanted to respond to the comments made in the Fall/Winter issue regarding why resources are spent researching and partnering with the gas industry. The implication by the reader was that by doing so it appears to be an “endorsement” of the industry. As just one member of the Sustainable Energy Team, allow me to convince you otherwise.

As I often tell my students, the biggest challenge IUP Safety Sciences graduates will face is keeping up with the safety and health hazards associated with emerging technology. New ways of doing business happen all the time—some fail and some succeed. The safety profession focuses on recognition, evaluation, and control of hazards. Safety Sciences’ involvement in all phases of gas drilling, transportation, and petroleum processing, for our students, is simply a characteristic of good education.

An excellent example is the current industry emphasis on eliminating silica exposures to workers during hydraulic fracturing. As a direct result of a lecture presented at an industry conference in Philadelphia, I was able to invite HalenHardy to visit campus, free of charge, to demonstrate their cutting-edge air shower. (This truck-mounted chamber is used to remove silica from workers’ clothing, post-exposure, to reduce the likelihood of it entering the lungs.) It is not a long-term solution, but the engineering controls are evolving. In November, approximately 250 students participated in the National OSHA Stand Down Day on campus. Students had the chance to hear how OSHA is addressing hazards in the gas industry and to see real hazards in different phases of operation. It was nothing that could have been accomplished in the classroom.

Teaching students to keep up with technology begins with engaged faculty. We are not issuing a good or bad label on the industry but rather creating top-notch education for our students for what is now one of the largest segments of employment. Collaboration with other faculty to apply for grants focused on such things as monitoring silica control effectiveness contributes to that evolution. It also provides greater depth of study for the students at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. I assure you, your dollars are well spent, and our alma mater is being true to its mission.

Laura Helmrich-Rhodes ’88, M’93
Associate Professor, IUP Safety Sciences Department


Editor’s Note: Any further correspondence regarding “On Top of Marcellus,” from the Spring 2013 issue of
IUP Magazine, will appear on the magazine website.

Jimmy at the 100th

Recently I was able to stop in Indiana on a trip. I was amazed at the changes that I saw. As a freshman, I lived in Turnbull Hall, which has been replaced by a modern new dorm building. All of the new housing is very impressive. I also got to watch the football game, the Coal Bowl actually, which was a great victory. Yay!

The real reason for my communication. As I was in Miller Stadium, I was reminded of an event I witnessed there. I was at IUP from ’74 to ’78. The event was the 100th year of our school at Indiana in the fall of my sophomore year. The ceremony was to feature Jimmy Stewart as the guest speaker. First, on the Friday before the ceremony, I was walking near Sutton Hall and got to shake hands with him as he was being shown around campus.

So now I was excited to go to the ceremony. The Friday weather was good, Saturday’s not so good. The dais was under a tent facing the stands. It had been cloudy all morning, and so, of course, the minute it was Jimmy’s turn to speak, the sky opened up.

Jimmy acknowledged the rain and kept right on speaking. And you know, not a single person I could see moved an inch, even though we were all getting soaked. I will never forget that weekend, 38 years ago.

Peter L. Dueben ’78
Lexington, KY

The Marching Harps

The Marching Harps

While checking up on old friends this week, I learned of the recent passing of Leonard Abrams. Leonard’s contributions of his time and talent to IUP and to positive relations with Indiana Borough and the Indiana community have been many. But my eyes immediately turned to the picture hanging on my home office wall, a sketch by Frank Shaffer [’53] of Leonard and myself in angelic garb, marching down the street, strumming on our harps, while floating over our heads flies the banner, “IUP Society of Marching Harps.”

In this inspired drawing, Frank memorialized one of the many original creations of Leonard’s fertile mind. While we were having lunch at the Hadley Union Building one day, I was telling Leonard about one of the more interesting finds in the course of my annual inventory of the items owned by the Student Cooperative Association. Amid the balls and bats from the baseball team, the rakes and shovels for the onetime community gardening project at the Co-op Park, and the pool sets for the Student Union, was a harp. What can we do with that? Leonard knew what to do with it, as he related to me.

In no time at all, we had a sign-up sheet posted on the Union Bulletin Board inviting all interested in helping to form a Marching Harp Society to sign their names and contact numbers below. Several people actually did sign up, but sadly, we couldn’t come up with enough harps to get the program going.

In any case, I wonder if that harp is still there, or has it gone above, to help the angels welcome Leonard to their midst.

Christopher Knowlton M’69
Williamsburg, VA
Former Executive Director, IUP Student Cooperative Association

Memories on File

Since I received such a favorable response to my article in the Fall-Winter 2012 issue of IUP Magazine , I decided to write one more article on life at ISTC between 1949 and 1953.

Indiana State Teachers College was celebrating its Diamond Jubilee in May 1950. An outstanding yearbook was issued with a picture of a girl dressed in vintage clothing stepping down from a buggy and helped by a boy also dressed in clothes of that era. Marilyn Weaver [Haack ’51], of my hometown of Oakmont, Pennsylvania, was the girl.

That spring the festivities featured a Human Maypole Dance. A tall girl was selected to be the center, holding multiple wide ribbons as the outer circle of girls held the ends of the ribbons. They then danced to weave the ribbons around the girl in the center.

In our freshman year, we had a geography teacher by the name of Dr. Norah Zink. She certainly was a teacher who taught with a hands-on approach. How many of you remember being a smog pot? You stood on two feet and raised your arms, flapping them up and down to chase the fog away to save the crops. Then there was Mr. [Merrill] Iams, who taught us how to fix a plug and how to identity different trees on campus and at White’s Woods. It was at the woods that the college lodge was located. Once, the Elementary Club held a spaghetti dinner there. Of course as the crowd grew, a little more water was added to the sauce to solve the problem of the growing crowd.

In February, we had “It’s Laughter We’re After.” Fraternity and sorority groups put on a skit. Also at Fisher Auditorium, one of the cultural events was the appearance of Charles Laughton.

It’s Laughter We’re After

It’s Laughter We’re After — Courtesy of Dorothy Wratcher 


We bought art supplies at Jimmy Stewart’s father’s hardware store on Philadelphia Street. The front window of the store was filled with mementos of Jimmy. The Stewart family home was up the street from Brody’s Department Store on Philadelphia Street. At the end of the street was a steep set of steps. At the top of the steps, the first house on the left was the Stewart residence.

Other teachers were Miss Malinda Hamblen and Miss [Lena] Ellenberger, who taught us CPR, first aid, and physical education. It was a real fiasco when you got tangled in bandages and splints. I’ll never forget Dr. Ralph Cordier and his constant reminder of Christopher Gist, an early American hero. Miss Rachel Moss blushed in class when returning veterans would ask her embarrassing questions in the Family Living class. Surely you guys remember Mr. [Wilber] Emmert. He taught Visual Aids. When he had the dark green blinds lowered, lights switched off, and got ready to show a movie, some guys would step behind one of the blinds and then step out of the window onto the ground level to smoke a cigarette. Near the end of the film, someone would rattle the blind to signal them to come into the room. Leonard Hall burned down during Easter vacation in 1953, and Mr. Emmert must have lost a portion of his clothing that he kept in his room. Teaching your classmates a song in Mr. Robert Burggraf’s class wasn’t the easiest thing to do.

We quickly learned the places to eat off campus. We frequented the Capitol Restaurant on Sunday evenings to get a freshly baked, large cinnamon roll for one dollar. There was an older gentleman there named Jimmy, who was blind and took care of the cash register. Across the street from Wilson Library was the local campus hangout, the Dairy Dell. There were other places, like Dean’s Diner for delicious pie, Ricupero’s for spaghetti. It was on a side street by the old courthouse. You had to climb the stairs to the second floor to be served. Stapleton’s served food and was a bus station. Across the street was a good bakery. Beyond the Indiana cemetery was the Rustic Lodge. We walked to the lodge and called a cab to go back to the dorm. We were tired from the long walk and all the food we consumed.

There were evenings when the Elementary Club sold ham salad sandwiches in the John Sutton dorm for 10 cents. The workers filled up with the heels of the bread spread with ham salad.

Christmas dinner was a special event. The girls wore gowns. After the turkey dinner in the dining room, a dance was held in the Blue Room. When I attended my 60th class reunion in May 2013, I found only the ceiling is blue now. How fortunate we are to still have the Oak Grove. We are slowly losing all the grassy areas on campus. Leonard Hall and Keith School are on the way out, to be replaced with a new building.

We were not able to have electrical appliances in our dorm. We used to mix Jell-O with hot tap water in the winter and set the bowl on the fire escape to harden the Jell-O. If someone did sneak in a hot plate, we made Lipton noodle soup or pudding.

So many years have gone by, but those years have left us with a multitude of memories on file to revisit whenever we want to think of those years at ISTC. They bind us together on our path of life.

Dorothy Jakovac Wratcher ’53
Monroeville

More from the Spring 2014 Issue of IUP Magazine

Living the Vision

Living the Vision

In need of a shared vision to guide its future, the university turned to the Journalism Department for help

Mission to Protect

Mission to Protect

Alumnus John Gilly is on a quest for vaccines to prevent some of the world’s most threatening diseases

Message from the President

IUP offers an excellent return on investment—for the students it serves and for the alumni who generously support the university.

Namedroppers | Achievements | Mentors

Photo Gallery | Letters to the Editor

Web Exclusive

Dash from the Past

Raymond Carroll was guilty of thievery the evening of January 31, 1914, but he was no lawbreaker—just a record breaker

Members for Life

Lasting bonds have been forged in IUP student groups and programs

From the Ground Up

Two major construction projects are under way on campus: the Crimson Café and a new building for the College of Humanities and Social Sciences

They Believe in Science

A $1.25-million gift from an alumni couple offers a powerful start for a new science building

Twice as Nice