Winter 2004
Making the class
Conventional Wisdom
Alma Matters
Memīries Sweet
Riff Ram
Back Cover
Back Issues

TCU Magazine "Letters"

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Remarkable professor, indeed
I read with great interest the response from Sally Bohon concerning Dr. Bohon and what he is up to now. I must tell you that while not being the best student, I would never miss one of his classes. Talk about immersed in his thought and works. I appreciated his efforts and making his classes come alive. I wish I had been mature enough at the time to have studied harder and even made more of his great work. I’m glad he is doing well.

Robert E. Zimmerman, Jr., '72

War torn

I really enjoyed Tracy Sterling Bristol’s article ("In the Army now," Fall 2004), which was both hilarious and poignant. It took me back to when I graduated TCU in '60, married soon after, and my Reserve unit was called up in '61. Tracy’s words, "Army wife. Me?" were almost exactly my wife’s words, and like you, she tried to "be all that she could be." Hang in there, Tracy. This too shall pass.

Don Coltharp

I was glad to see that a variety of viewpoints were expressed in your cover story, "War Torn: Perspectives on a Nation in Conflict." It was interesting to hear about the war from a company commander. My CQ, Capt. DeAntoni leads by example. I am in awe of him but don’t get a chance to see things from his perspective. It sounds as if Capt. Van Hook encountered problems similar to those faced by my unit. In addition to the IEDs he mentioned, we have been facing the threat of VBIEDs -- vehicles laden with explosives that they drive into our vehicles. Going out on foot patrol is like entering a whole different world. The cultural gap is very wide and he captured the Iraqi worldview accurately.
The enemy is a ghost. It is easy to get frustrated at these hit-and-run tactics. It is hard not to take these frustrations out on the Iraqi people. I came here to get the bad guys and we will, eventually. It is exciting, perhaps because of the danger involved every time we go outside the wire. I have been manning a machine gun atop a HMMMWV, which means I stick out more than everybody. It is both the scariest and most exciting experience of my life. I am most impressed with my comrades. Most of them are the same age as TCU undergraduates. They have to make split second decisions that may decide the fate of themselves and the Iraqis around them. Thanks for trying to show all sides of the story.

Marine Lance Cpl. Kyle Wiltenbraker '03
"Suicide Charley" Camp near the Syrian border

The main part of your Fall issue was: "War Torn: Perspectives on a nation in combat." You attempted to cover yourself with the opening statement: "The following essays are not about the right or wrong of the war in Iraq. Nor whether we should be fighting it." However, you failed miserably, for comments within the articles were strongly about the "rightness" of the United States being in Iraq. Here are a few examples. John Van Hook: "But as an American, I personally think we’re doing the right thing (fighting in Iraq.)" Later he remarks: "President Bush is doing a good job. We may not have found weapons of mass destruction, but it’s what we’re doing now that counts." Christopher Walker says what you would expect him to say as national security adviser to Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert. Hastert, a conservative Republican, thinks the war is okay. According to Walker, the United States "had" to make a decision, with a pre-emptive strike. Walker also trumpets the Bush Administration by attempting to tie-together 9/11 and the war in Iraq; and "this objective (the war) may take 'a generation or more.’ " The everything-is-going-great belief is not revealed in the daily news. Kyle Ewing’s piece, "The OZ of Abu Ghraib," where he attempts to portray the notorious prison as a place of air-conditioned television watching, good food, and where detainees believe they "have made it to Mecca," are absurd comments. I look for a future issue of the magazine with a different set of perspectives, but I won’t hold my breath.

William W. McDermet III '60 BD

The TCU Magazine, Fall 2004 issue, was great. I especially liked the content of the articles about the war in Iraq. They were not preachy and I didn’t feel anyone was trying to convince me of thinking one way. Thank you for the information. I found myself laughing while I read Tracy Bristol’s article. Thank you for including it. The collage was especially fun. What a good issue!

Susan Ciccarelli

It sure sounded like "The Prism of 9.11," was contrary to your initial intention of not getting into "the right or wrong of the war." We all know that even before 9-11, Bush was determined to find a reason to invade Iraq because, in his words, Saddam "tried to kill my dad." Once we were attacked, he found an excuse for the invasion even though clearly it was Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan. There were plenty of more threats to us than Iraq. In fact, Iraq was a country more in control, albeit a sick one. Now Bush has opened the floodgates to terrorism, and created more terrorists. Not to mention more bitter families of dead Iraqi civilians.

Mark Grose, father of Sean Grose '02

Jesus and Jewish scholarship

The letter by Reverend Bunjes regarding ethical leadership in the Fall 2004 issue of The TCU Magazine is appreciated and timely. However, the attribution of the ideals, "Do unto others," and "Love your neighbor" to Jesus, is incomplete. The Gospels point out that Jesus uttered these statements directly from the pulpit (Hebrew "Bema") as he preached from the ancient Jewish Torah, much the same as we Jews read every Sabbath prayer service. These ancient and humane precepts were promulgated centuries before Jesus in that sacred text. To ignore this, and the fact that Jesus was a worshipping Jew, breaks what should be a seamless connection between parts of Judea-Christian Scripture.
This fracture has been the source of misunderstanding and untold suffering by the Jews, as politicized by tyrants. Fortunately, TCU and Brite Divinity School have moved forward in recent years to heal this egregious break. I have been blessed by my relationship with these contemporary scholars and theologians at TCU and Brite. Together, we of the Fort Worth Jewish community and these institutions have produced an ecumenical community that is enviable. A Chair of Jewish Studies has been established at Brite, endowed by members of the Fort Worth community. This position is filled by two Jewish Scholars, and has been warmly supported by the Faculty and the Christian and Jewish communities at large. To overlook or reject the direct historical connection between our faiths is a setback in the progress of ecumenical realization. The validity of the ancient Scripture as fundamental to Christian Theology is recognized widely in our time, riven as it is by the demands of separatism and supremacy, and, I would add, all to the good.

Stanley M.Kurtz, Ph.D., M.D. Fort Worth

Raising our bar

I am always impressed with the quality of The TCU Magazine. In fact, my husband and I were looking for the Frog on the cover of the latest issue when we got an idea. You should think about making a special commemorative book in the future with all the past covers. It could resemble the Absolut Vodka coffee table book or even Where’s Waldo. Keep it in mind!

June Chow '01

After many years of reading your magazine (brother class of '78 and daughter class of '00) I received the Fall 2004 issue and was amazed at the measurably higher quality excellence. You have raised the bar for journalism quality. This edition was so relevant to the social issues of our world today. The articles were written without partisan bias and were very interesting and informative as well as thought provoking. It is exciting to read what is written by TCU alumni but without compromising any quality of journalism. You and your staff have done an outstanding job of providing great journalistic literature not only for the graduates of TCU but the rest of us who get to enjoy what you have compiled.
Thank you for a job well done.

Terri Chapman, Sherman

Smoking mad

I cannot accept that TCU would allow their teams, fans, band and TV audience to participate in an event with advertisement for the Brown and Williamson Tobacco Company playing a large part in the sideline ads. Our job is to protect our young people from lethal drugs. I believe that TCU should demand an apology from the University of Louisville for this egregious violation and should refuse to play where ads for lethal drugs are displayed. Otherwise, why would one want to attend a university that raises the standards of play and life to a higher level. I remained extremely upset this was promulgated on these youngsters.

John M. Shearman, M.D., Portsmouth, N.H.

Koehler kudos

Thank you for recognizing Dr. Bill Koehler’s retirement in the Summer 2004 magazine. I will be forever grateful for Dr. Koehler’s leadership, which impacted positively so many areas at TCU -- particularly as it relates to the breakup of the Southwest Conference which left TCU out in the cold. At that time, TCU was on the verge of becoming a Division II regional institution. During those dark days, I like many Frog Fans, feared that TCU had lost its vision. I was advised by a friend to call Dr. Koehler with my concerns. Having never met Dr. Koehler and not being an influential alum, I did not expect anything more than a short, polite response. How wrong I was! Upon calling him, he invited me to meet with him in his office. He spent a full hour to let me vent my frustrations, and then to explain how TCU was going to recover from the break-up. He was the model of true leadership in action. While many so-called experts were advising TCU to meekly back away from competitive athletics and take its place in mediocrity, Koehler pushed TCU to not only survive, but thrive in intercollegiate athletics. The seeds of the success we are now enjoying at TCU on a national scale can be found in the vision, courage, and decision-making of Koehler in the mid-90’s. Those decisions have resulted in some of the best athletic leaders ever hired at TCU. In turn, the athletic program is achieving the highest results on the scoreboard and in the classroom in 50 years -- thus benefiting the entire TCU community. Everyone associated with TCU owes Dr. Koehler our sincere gratitude. I wish him all the best in his new life as president of the Ft. Worth School Board.

Randy Moresi '74, Hurst

Light through the clouds

I was privileged to be a student in Dr. [Jim] Corder’s "last rhetoric class," watching him pace nervously in the hallway outside his first floor Reed Hall classroom. He thought it was to be his final lecture, sealing a long and vibrant career -- of course they wouldn’t let him go. But even more momentous than that, a few years earlier he was scheduled to give the keynote address at a TCU conference. Since he was traveling in Europe with Roberta, he had to deliver it in absentia. As his recorded remarks wafted out over a rapt audience from the podium, it made a lasting impression on those of us who were mere mortals-in-the-flesh attendees. Even now, I feel Dr. Corder’s presence in a similar way -- from beyond -- in every rhetorical thought that washes over me.

Mahala Yates Stripling '97

Correction to "Remembering James"

Rick Hosea was the team manager for the '67-’68 SWC championship basketball team and not Greg Raisor as I mentioned in my letter in the Fall 2004 issue. Greg was manager in earlier years. Rick also went on to an impressive career as Development Officer for world-renowned M.D. Anderson hospital in Houston and is now a rancher in the Valley. Personal apologies to both Rick and Greg.

Carey R. Sloan '68, Tokyo, Japan