letters

ANOTHER BIG JAKE LOCKER FAN

Through a neighborhood blog, I learned that a young man from Tacoma had been paralyzed in a tubing accident in late July. His family started a “Caring Bridge” link for him, where I began following his progress. No sooner had this lad been moved from Harborview Medical Center to Seattle Children’s than Jake Locker came to visit him, and a picture of the two was posted on the website—Jake leaning over the bed with a big grin and this very new patient to Children’s, also with a big grin.

I was so impressed by Jake showing up at this young man’s bedside, presumably with little fanfare. I remember at the time reading the story of Jake’s afternoon with the little boy with terminal brain cancer and was impressed with him then. I think I now must be counted among Jake’s biggest fans and for nothing to do with Husky Football.

Brandy Wilimovsky
Seattle

A LIFE OF CHARACTER AND INTEGRITY

I congratulate the UW for choosing Bruce Nordstrom as your 2010 Alumnus Summa Laude Dignatus. I would like to add just a little additional perspective to this fine gentleman.

Bruce’s integrity has little equal and I believe it is a principal reason he is and has been such a great leader. His company has one rule: Rule #1: Use your best judgment in all situations. There will be no other rules.

It takes considerable character and integrity to live by one simple rule in one’s business. But my experience, every time I visit a Nordstrom store, their employees value the empowerment placed upon them, and go out of their way to please and satisfy every customer.

I also think the employee peer pressure to perform and the “Nordstrom Way” is intense and it is why Nordstrom, Inc. is such a great investment. Finally, [you published] a great picture of Bruce [in the June issue]. Every line on his face has been well earned and is a tribute to his character. Congratulations on an excellent choice of Alumnus Summa Laude Dignatus.

Nat Penrose
Shoreline

OVERLOOKING PRESIDENT MARY THAYER

Phyllis Wise is the first Asian-American interim president of the University of Washington. However, she is not the first woman to hold that post.

In researching our book, Obituaries of the Presidents of the University of Washington, we discovered that Mary W. (May) Thayer claimed that distinction, serving as president from March until August 1874. It is refreshing to see a woman ascend to the presidency; [it’s] just unfortunate that it took another 136 years.

Kathryn A. Cullen, ’81, ’83
Thomas J. Cullen, ’70, ’74
Seattle

HONORING MORE WASP HEROES

In the September issue of Columns, we highlighted former University of Washington student Barbara Erickson London, one of the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs of World War II,) who was presented a Congressional Gold Medal for her service during the war.

One WASP job during World War II was to deliver new planes from the factory to bases or ports of debarkation so they could be taken to the male pilots in combat overseas. WASPs also towed targets behind planes so men on the ground could shoot at moving targets with live ammunition. WASP pilots flew more than 70 types of aircraft more than 60 million miles to help bring an end to the war.

London wasn’t the only UW student or alumnae who became a WASP and received the Congressional Gold Medal in March. Other UW students or graduates who became WASPs include:

1. Dorothy F. Scott attended the UW. She was killed in service as a WASP. The airport in Oroville, Wash., is named after her.

2. Helen “Peg” Calhoun graduated from the UW with a degree in sociology. She flew fighters for the WASP program.

3. Marjory Foster Munn married a B-17 pilot and local attorney and finished her UW degree in 1965.

4. Elvira Griggs Cardin graduated from the UW in 1935 with a degree in French.

5. Nancy Nordhoff Dunnam (of Bellevue) and Carol Nicholson Lewis were both Garfield High School grads and attended the UW.

6. Arline Baker took three Civilian Pilot Training Program courses at the UW as a student and became a WASP.

7. Mary “Pat” Hiller Call (of Mount Vernon) was a UW senior majoring in sociology and learning to fly in the Civilian Pilot Training Program when she joined the WASP program.

8. Elizabeth Erickson (from Issaquah) attended the UW and was killed while flying for the WASP. In all, four WASP pilots from the state of Washington were killed in service.

9. Betty Greene (from Medina) attended the UW for nursing school, but left to follow her passion—flying—in the WASP program. She later started Mission Aviation Fellowship in California.

If you would like to learn more about the WASP program, please visit “WASP on the Web” and “Wings Across America” at www.wasp-wwii.org

From the Web

Re: Zen UW
Scot Fechtel, DC MD says:

“Having met all of the monks mentioned in this story over the more than 20 years attending Shasta Abbey, I must comment that your writer, Cameron Walker, has presented both the monks and the monastery in an honest and accurate manner. The story was lyrical and captured the spirit of the monastery! Thank you.”

Re: Alumni Vote (Sept. 2010)
“What should be the next UW president’s No. 1 priority?”
Grant H says:

“An affordable education should be the first priority.A student should not have to accept a large debt for a 4-year degree. If we expect the young people to grow this nation and compete in the world market, they need access to fair paying jobs that demand a higher education. Sports are entertaining but do not make a great university and certainly don’t solve the problems of this world.”


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