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I want to thank you for publishing the wonderful article about Valerie Neal. I am shamefully overdue in reading it, but once I picked it up, I could not put it down! Please keep the great stories coming about our alumni who are living what many only dream. It is such an inspiration!
Gayle Goodman Lynch '96
I am proud that a Horned Frog [Valerie Neal] holds such a distinguished position. Working with Enterprise must be extremely rewarding. I recall seeing her [Enterprise] strapped to a 747 at a pit stop at Carswell AFB during my freshman year at TCU. Although the other orbiters gained all the fame and glory, it was Enterprise, serving her dedicated role as a test bed for landing and other critical features that made the shuttle program tenable.
Sadly, I was on my way back to Milton-Daniel after enduring a mercilessly boring lecture on political theory when news of Challenger wafted through the mall between Sadler and Reed Halls. With the good sometimes comes the bad. But knowing that Americans were pushing the throttles made me proud, which at the same time caused my grief.
Craig Taylor '87
North Richland Hills
I received your Summer 2004 edition today and was pleased to see your announcement about the new Minister to the University, Angela Kaufman.
However, the article did remind me of how you acknowledged the retirement of John Butler in your Spring 2004 edition. John faithfully served as the Minister to the University for 25 years! I can only assume that The TCU Magazine staff must have been asleep during this time period. John's influence and service deserved more than the 100 or less words and the inch square photo. You missed a grand opportunity to celebrate this fine man. As an alumni, I was incredibly disappointed.
Howard C. Cavner '84 (MDiv), Springfield, Mo.
Editor's note: The magazine respected John Butler's request for a private good-bye.
I commend TCU's mission: "To educate individuals to think and act as ethical leaders and responsible citizens in the global community." The University's integrity pledge is a positive addition. As a graduate of TCU ('76) and Brite ('79) and a pastor, it seems appropriate to interview faculty from the undergraduate religion department and Brite Divinity School as well. The words of Jesus "Do to others as you would have them do to you," and "Love your neighbor as yourself" are excellent foundations for ethics. Ethics, apart from Jesus' command to love our neighbor, is a bit cold. Love is personal and enriching. Keep up the good work!
Carl Bunjes, senior minister, Killeen
I was reading your online magazine and came across my friend Kelly Marino in the article "Hollywood Dreams Come True" (Notables, Summer 2004). I then yelled at Kelly who sits 10 feet from me at MTV in Los Angeles. She told me I was mentioned in the article when she said, "I took a leap and stayed with friends when I moved out to California." I would be 'said' friend and I, too work in MTV News. I work in Production Management and manage all of the shoots/interviews that Kelly goes on.
The irony is this: Kelly lived on my couch when she first moved here, while I was coordinating production for a small 3-D motion graphics company. A year later, I found myself hating my job and Kelly tossed my resume on a few desks. Today, two Horned Frogs work hand and hand in the wild and crazy environment at MTV. Without TCU, we would just be watching MTV rather than making it. We currently have an intern in our office who will be a senior at TCU in the fall. It's funny because no one had heard of TCU and now it's Horned Frog mania!
Meredith Davis '00, Los Angeles
Thanks for the wonderful story on James Cash in your summer edition. James' continuing success is no surprise to those of us who were blessed to be a teammate of his during his playing days as a Horned Frog basketballer. His courage and strength of character, his humor and his incredible dedication were early indicators that he was headed for bigger and better things after his basketball career.
Along with Mickey McCarty, James formed the backbone of the magical 1967-68 TCU team that got to the Final 8 of the NCAA playoffs after winning the SWC championship. With James, Mickey and Tom Swift -- none over 6' 6" -- dominating the boards, TCU rolled until finally beaten by Elvin Hayes and Don Chaney's University of Houston team in the finals of the Midwest Regionals. And all of this in Johnny Swaim's first year as head coach!
James' work ethic and drive were a standard characteristic of many on our team that year … and virtually all, not surprisingly, have enjoyed continuing success after leaving TCU. Mickey went on to a successful pro football career even though not playing in college. Bill Swanson earned an MBA at TCU and became managing partner for an international accounting firm; Rick Wittenbraker, after obtaining a law degree, is senior counsel for a large law firm in Houston; Randy Kerth is president of a moving and storage firm; Jeff Harp became president of a Fort Worth bank; Tommy Gowan an ordained minister; and team manager, Greg Raisor became a Vietnam War hero after obtaining his commission through the TCU ROTC program.
I'm sure James will be "connecting more dots" before he is through so we can continue to cheer his good works and successes -- as we did during that unforgettable '67-'68 season.
Carey Sloan '68, Tokyo, Japan
Editor's note: Due to technical issues, nearly 200 e-mails which had been sent over the past two years arrived en masse in our mailbox in July. The following letters were among them.
I feel compelled to thank you for the delightful article on "Unforgettable Professors" in the Fall 2003 issue. I think, perhaps, it is difficult when a professor finally steps down to know if they have had any lasting impact. Thus, your article must have brought great enjoyment to the many teachers who were cited.
You should have seen the broad grin when I read to my husband (Dr. John Bohon, History, 1965-95) the delightful description by Jim Stuart '71 likening him to the crazy inventor in Back to the Future. Jim could not have chosen a more perfect description! John is still the madcap, wild hair flying fanatic, only now he is attacking his Florida acres of oaks and azaleas instead of a blackboard. Having left the cocoon of the university, he has metamorphosed, full blown, into Chaunce the Gardener! But the scholar is not gone entirely. At the age of 73, he spends two hours daily teaching himself Mandarin Chinese. What a guy!
Sally Landis Bohon '85, Deland, Fla.
Lizzie Means' essay (Fall 2002) about growing up on the ranch and the lessons learned from that experience were meaningful for me in two respects: her father and I were both at TCU at the same time and knew each other well from our ranching roots.
More important, her description of what the ranch experience was like for her was much the same as mine. I remember holding the hind leg of a calf while my dad treated it and thinking, "I am 16 years old and what am I doing sitting in a pile of manure?" The only way I knew to escape was to get an education and so I did.
There were many times at TCU I felt like a fish out of water, and my confidence failed. Giving up or not trying was not an option.
TCU put the finishing touches on a remarkable childhood. Like Lizzie expressed so well, who would guess what treasured secrets come with the West Texas coed. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about Lizzie.
Molly Jones Allison '72, Angelo State University