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Letters to the Editor

Sharing the Surprise

What a surprise to open the new IUP Magazine and see my picture with the Kaydeens on page 36. I am the last one seated on the right—MaryAnn Buchanan Steele ’67. My daughter and her husband were here when the magazine arrived, so they also got to enjoy the picture and hear the explanation of who we were and what we did. Thanks for the walk down memory lane.

MaryAnn Buchanan Steele ’67
Brookeville, MD

That’s Me

I am writing in regard to a photo that was in IUP Magazine recently. It was on page 36 and is of the ROTC Kaydeens of the 1965-66 school year. I wanted to update/fully identify one of the young women in the photo…me. I am in the second row on the far right (You know how we tall people are always in the rear!). My name is Diana Smith McCormick, from the Class of 1968. Yes, being chosen as a Kaydeen was an honor and quite a bit of fun. One of the good times of attending IUP.

Diana Smith McCormick ’68
Bridgeville, DE

Keep Them Coming

In reference to the picture of the 1965-66 Kaydeens, D. Kapanak is Dianne Kapanak Lucarelli [’82, M’85]. She now lives in North Carolina. She and her husband are longtime friends. I was a cadet and was commissioned in 1968 upon graduation. The picture brought back a lot of memories. Keep them coming.

Dennis Donati ’68 and Janet Magliocco Donati ’68
Lower Burrell

Connected by IUP

I guess that since I have moved often (I am now living near Asheville, North Carolina) the copy of the alumni magazine I used to get has not followed me through all the moves—but IUP friends and relatives have!

I got two Christmas cards with the page of the Kaydeens’ photo in the card and a message wondering if I had seen the photo.

One card was from the sister (Sharon Slobozien [’73], now living in D.C.) of one of my Sigma Sigma Sigma sorority sisters, Dona Slobozien Higgins, now living in Johnstown, and the other card was from my cousins Ed [’73] and Patti Draper [’74], now living in Key Largo, Florida.

Although spread along the East Coast, we are all still connected by IUP.

Elizabeth Agnello Weinberg ’68
Hendersonville, NC

Don’t Mess with the Drums

All male freshmen in the mid-’60s were required to be in the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps. As a trumpet player, I became a member of the ROTC band and have some permanent memories from that experience: getting really bad haircuts, a group of officers called the Rangers, and the Kaydeens.

The Kaydeens were an assortment of the most beautiful and poised women on the campus. Imagine selecting 17 incredible women, dressing them in red skirts and capes, white blouses, and black high-heeled shoes and then having them march past the thousands of guys dressed in dark green Army uniforms during public appearances and drill reviews. When they were around, no male ever noticed the soldiers.

Each year an Army general would come to the university to review the ROTC operation. Of course the band played the marches and drum cadences for this annual review.

Regrettably, the week before the review, the head of the band’s drum section had a disagreement with one of the officer Rangers. Demerits were flying around like origami birds at a paper-folding contest.

As the big day arrived, we all spit shined our shoes and polished our brass. When the Kaydeens floated past us, we stood at perfect attention and played our hearts out. Then the miles and miles of ROTC freshmen, led by their upper class officers, passed in front of the reviewing stand. Finally, it was time for the Rangers, who wore pink berets. Their plan included a complicated marching drill with spinning rifles and crisscross commands.

As they approached the reviewing stand, the lead drummer nodded his head, and the drums began the cadence. This time, however, they added one extra beat. None of the Rangers knew what hit them. They were out of step, tripping, and confused.

Moral of the story? Never mess with a chief financial officer or a drum section!

Nick Jacobs ’69, M’72

Men’s Soccer a Memory

The “Season of the Long Shots” was a great article. I remember hearing this story told by many former soccer players at IUP and Alderson-Broaddus. It was quite a moment in time for IUP men’s soccer. Unfortunately, those memories and historical moments are not being collected today. NCAA Division II men’s soccer was discontinued years ago, around the time cutbacks relating to Title IX were being instituted. IUP men’s soccer had grown to be a power in the state and ranked nationally on many occasions.

Nobody begrudges the fact that a women’s NCAA soccer program was formed a few short years after the men’s program was disbanded. Real equality would mean that there are both, men’s and women’s, NCAA soccer programs. Title IX has had many unfortunate unintended consequences as it relates to men’s college sports. I thank Athletic Director Frank Condino for spending a lot of time getting me up to speed on the essence of college athletics today.

As a Distinguished Alumnus, soccer player at IUP, member of the Distinguished Alumni Selection Committee, and a member of the Clarks, which has a music studio in Cogswell Hall named in honor of our efforts to raise funds, it breaks my heart to know that the amazing history that you wrote about in the “Season of the Long Shots” will be only a memory for men’s soccer at IUP. The continuing histories have been silenced.

Greg Joseph ’85
Allison Park

Shot He Never Forgot

I most certainly was at the A-B game when Trevor [Gladden] hit that shot that I never forgot. I was a J.V. member of the soccer team in ’78 and ’79. I had never played soccer before the ’78 season, but I contacted Coach [Vince] Celtnieks in ’78, and he gave me the opportunity to play and learn. There were some great guys on that team, Trevor being one of them. I was a [Physical Education] major, and Trevor was actually taking classes in the P.E. department. Trevor told me that “it did not matter how good you were at soccer. If you enjoyed it, just put on your boots and play.” He was a nice, unassuming fellow, and yes, he could play soccer. I often refer to that game when talking soccer to people. My son is in 10th grade at Valley High School in New Kensington and has played soccer for a number of years, so that goal often comes to mind. When I saw the picture in IUP Magazine, I started the story like it was yesterday, and then I looked at the team picture and saw myself and the rest of the guys—it was great to relive.

I wish I could remember everyone’s name from the picture because it was fun and a learning experience, both athletically and culturally. From the international guys to the eastern PA guys, I learned a lot. I am sure it helped me in my current profession as guidance counselor at Baldwin High School in Pittsburgh. Thanks for sharing the memories.

Gerry Hall ’81
New Kensington

Passing on the Influence

I graduated in the Class of 1975 as a math education major. I was moved to become a teacher and a coach because of all the positive experiences I had as a young man growing up with teachers and coaches playing significant roles in my life. At IUP, Dr. Robert Raemore, Dr. Lou Sutton, and Dr. Royden Grove certainly were influences, as well as some of my teachers and coaches in high school. I was a member of the IUP track and field team all four years, and by the time I graduated I was involved in six school records there.

Perhaps more significantly, those positive academic as well as track and field experiences launched me into a career of being the math department chair and head boys’ track coach at Selinsgrove Area High School. By the time I retired from teaching in 2010, I was equally proud of the accomplishments of my math students as I was my track athletes.

I share this information with you to point to the fact that certain people in a person’s life do definitely make a difference. I changed my major in my junior year (1974) from math arts and sciences to math education because of the huge positive influence teachers and coaches played in my life both in high school and college.

I just thought that it would be a positive way to give back to the community and to do my level best to be a teacher and coach to help influence others’ lives. I hope I was successful in that.

Don Wilhour ’75
Shamokin Dam

Another ‘House That Ruth Built’

In the 1927 World Series, Babe Ruth hit two home runs as the New York Yankees’ “Murderers’ Row” lineup blanked the Pittsburgh Pirates four games straight. That same year, the Babe tallied 60 home runs, a record that would stand for 34 years until broken by Roger Maris in 1961.

Ruth Podbielski told me that when she arrived in Indiana in 1955, she couldn’t even get the time of day. The magnificent presentation made at the [Kovalchick Convention and Athletic Complex] on Saturday, February 2, 2013, with Slippery Rock in town reminded me of how the Rock’s athletic teams have been “a force to be reckoned with” in PSAC Western Division competition. Simply stated, if you wanted to come out on top of the PSAC West in any sport or get very far in postseason competition, Slippery Rock often stood in your way. That Jeff Dow and his IUP women’s basketball team rang up the 101st victory in his IUP career against Slippery Rock speaks volumes, not just for Coach Dow, his staff, and his players, but for the unwavering path and determined support laid out by Ruth Podbielski over so many years.

Yankee Stadium in New York City became known as “the House That Ruth Built.” It is altogether fitting and proper for the softball field on IUP’s South Campus to bear the name of Ruth Podbielski. Her lasting imprint on every IUP women’s team and female athlete in every sport, as well as her recognition of and insistence upon classroom achievement, should also be recognized as “the House that Ruth Built.”

Jack Reefer ’69

Visions of Cinnamon Buns

How many of you remember that one of the highlights of going to IUP was eating cinnamon buns at the Capitol Restaurant, especially on date night? After hearing me remember them with fondness for years, my daughters located the Cozy Corner Cafe in Indiana (which has the original Capitol roll recipe) and surprised me with an overnight shipment for my birthday. Hope this brings back happy memories for many of you.

Gene Flango ’64
Williamsburg, VA

A Commuter’s Story

Although I may have missed it, I don’t recall reading recollections of commuter students in the ’60s. When I read the stories of dormitory life, sorority sisterhood, homecomings, and other social events, I think about how different college life was for those of us who traveled in every day from fairly distant parts of the region.

Although there was a commuters’ lounge, there was very little support for us or recognition of our particular challenges. There were about six of us, “older” women who managed to get acquainted. We ate lunch in Ackerman Hall, where we exchanged information and tips. All over the age of 30—in the ’60s that was a definite barrier between us and the traditional 18-somethings!

I first attended ISTC for a semester in 1952 on a four-year scholarship of $150 per year. With a catastrophic illness in the family, paying for my college education was impossible. I had to leave after a semester because, as an art student, even with $25 left over from the $50 tuition bill, I couldn’t afford to buy supplies.

However, because I took all my finals and withdrew officially, I was able to return in 1966 to (by then IUP) as a second semester freshman. I was an ancient 31 years of age, married with a six-year-old son. And a 78-mile daily round-trip journey away from campus.

The initial interview with the department head was discouraging. He grumpily informed me that he hoped I was serious about school since he was “tired of bored married women coming to college for a ‘lark.’” I was terrified that I wouldn’t be admitted and was so very grateful that he approved my application. Can anyone envision that scenario in this day and age?

I carried 19 credits a semester, leaving home in suburban Johnstown after dropping off my son at school. Taking no breaks, I headed back home in time to pick him up after school. With the incredible support and cheerleading of my husband, I was able to graduate magna cum laude in 1969. The department head was very gracious in his congratulations and apologies.

Only those of us who went through this unique time, when most older students were returning veterans and male, can understand how much our college education meant to us. Fortunately, we were encouraged and motivated by so many excellent and gifted teachers, except for one who told me that I needed to refresh my “dusty brain” before I could move on to second semester Communications (1966 course description for English).

I went on to earn a master’s degree at IUP and a Ph.D. at Penn State, where I joined the faculty at University Park, retiring as an associate professor in 1994.

For me, the memories of IUP are focused on the experience of pure learning, the discipline of focused effort, and the achievement of a life goal. Perhaps I needed that department head’s attitude to light my fire!

Mary Bandzey Saylor ’69, M’72

More from the Spring 2013 Issue of IUP Magazine

On Top of Marcellus Shale

On Top of Marcellus Shale

IUP expertise is tapped in shale gas boom

There for Life’s End

There for Life’s End

Bob Anderson ’67 helps people who are dying, whether it’s at the bedside or disaster site

Message from the President

IUP operates with accountability and efficiency—and we continually strive to improve our performance.

Namedroppers | Achievements | Mentors

Photo Gallery | In Brief

Just Like Old Times

Coach Curt Cignetti has fast returned IUP football to a tradition of success--one he knows well

Performance Has Its Rewards

IUP has always embraced the challenge of performance-based rewards from Harrisburg

Alumni on the Admissions Beat

Putting a face on IUP for prospective students around the country

The Johnson and Johnson of Art

Professor George Johnson and his wife, Julie, leave a beautiful campus legacy