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Columns Magazine

True to Self

As a UW graduate, my husband receives Columns, and he gave me the latest issue with Julie Garner’s article (True To Self, September). I was very happy to hear how the UW is helping transgender people. I have two young-adult children who are transgender (male to female). We support our kids and are helping them with this process. It is very encouraging to know that there is a college in the area that would treat my kids with the respect and assistance they need. UW should be an example for other colleges. Keep up the great work!

Shannon Warren
Columns Online

It seems the UW is joining the bandwagon of the cause du jour: transgender studies. I am sure the University is doing all it can to include everyone but do you think that it merits the front page? In the article, you claim there are approximately 700,000 transgendered people. With a U.S. population of 318.9 million, it comes out to be 0.22 percent transgender (not even one percent). Do you think this is of vital concern? Or is it more like a ploy to grab headlines? I have nothing against transgender folks but I think the constant spotlight on such a small number strikes me as a waste of journalistic (?) effort. Wouldn’t it be more important to have articles dealing with issues of discrimination against gays and lesbians in housing and employment? I guess that would not be in line with the current political correctness mentality.

Frank Caballero, ’68
Asheville, N.C.

As a UWAA life member, I am incredibly proud of the UW for helping to set the standards for transitioning students. I have such fond memories of McMahon Hall and my demanding major of architecture—in a different gender than what I am now.

Kimberly Joy Hitchcock, ’69, ’71
Columns Online

I’m not quite sure why the September Columns had a cover and six pages dedicated to transgender students. Did I miss the point? Maybe it was written to keep up with Bruce Jenner’s transformation—kind of like a pop-culture piece. I think that as a magazine you can do better than that. I’m not sure what that really added to the UW name.

Thomas Lehr, ’01
Carriere, Miss.

Articles such as this help educate people about transgender issues. It is heartening to see family acceptance yet at the same time, we must be aware of the prejudice that transgender people face. Our society is not particularly accepting and I see a long struggle toward inclusion.

Gail Cunningham
Columns Online

Grassy Dancefloor

There are some things that point toward hope for man in the presentation of your magazine. Large print of the deceased and at least an article or two of those good old campus days can still excite the less active and fortunate Dawgs who can still sing the fight song, an anthem of our hallowed halls. But the story (Museum of Modern Dance, September) doesn’t do its history justice. Those first classes began on the grass in front of the columns. Then Hutchinson Hall—it was a climb for anyone who wanted to see those performances. We had great artists like José Limón and movement specialists like Betty [Hayes]come in to augment our experiences. The current article has a photo of a woman with heaps of material on wands. That accurately expressed Madame Duvries and her time there in the Women’s P.E. Department. The one dancer with red or auburn hair recalled the thrilling leaps from dancers such as Marg Barlow, a beautiful and graceful redhead called “Red” by her pals. To watch her was, for us of “club feet,” an education.

Barbara Cathey, ’54

Building Community

Editor Jon Marmor’s Anew article surprised me. The enthusiasm he has for the University District Farmers Market as a gathering place for everyone is not consistent with the University’s decision to build a tall office building over the Brooklyn Avenue N.E. Sound Transit station instead of supporting the City of Seattle/UW Community Advisory Committee and University Partners’ design for an open plaza there. Community space, fresh air and sunlight in an ever-densifying area would be exciting! Coming up from the underground light rail to sunlight (or, perhaps, occasional rain) into an open area surrounded by restaurants and shops would be innovative.

Jean Amick

Divesting Dustup

I am dismayed that the UW Board of Regents has divested the endowment from coal. Instead of attacking the coal industry, the UW needs to invite willing companies to the table and request their help to protect our environment with their ideas and funds. This approach would be more consistent with the University’s sustainability efforts than “kicking out coal” and would also support the UWAA President’s way of addressing challenges with active engagement. Some coal companies are sequestering CO2 and others are using torrefied biomass, a renewable product that can be burned in coal plants without modification. I was reluctant to visit South Africa in the 1980s because I didn’t want my tourist dollar to support apartheid, but when I made my trip (visiting all of the “homelands”), I realized that some foreign investors were the ones educating black South Africans and sowing the seeds that would end apartheid. Any divestment by the UW needs to focus on individual companies, including specific evidence that their activities cause direct and substantial environmental injury. I am divesting the UW of my annual contribution in protest.

Clydia J. Cuykendall, ’74

109-year-old Fan

As I made my weekly visit with one of your graduates, I found her faithfully reading Columns. Mother is 109 and is still a faithful Husky. She misses going out to lunch with her Phi Mus. Now, being down on the third floor of Park Shore Retirement Home, she can’t hear the touchdown siren from Husky Stadium anymore. So that makes Columns all the more important to her. I thought you would like to know.

Carolyn Hannus
Daughter of Margaret Anderson Whitlock, ’27

Barnard Baby

I was a student in Dr. Kathryn Barnard’s graduate infant assessment class (In Memory, September). I learned so much from her and became certified through the Nursing Child Assessment Satellite Training program. I continued to be a pediatric nurse case manager, instructor, science docent at a museum and a volunteer for medical sales.

Amy J. Noer, ’93
Greensboro, N.C.

Down With Tuition

As a resident of California, I get to read about the University of California’s increase in tuition for the next three years. As a UW alumnus, I read (That’s Right, a Tuition Reduction, September) that the tuition to attend the University of Washington will be reduced during that same period. I have been proud to talk of my association with the UW. This reduction in tuition indicates that the University is very interested in helping students complete a college education. How encouraging. Hooray for the UW!

John W. Lackey, ’71
Costa Mesa, Calif.

Where Was Naomi?

It is beyond belief that there was not one mention of Naomi Pascal (UW Press: A Glorious 100 Years, September). It is the equivalent of an article on World War II in Europe that makes no mention of Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower. During her long tenure as the head of the UW Press, Naomi Pascal was the UW Press. She deserved better than that.

Doris H. Pieroth, ’69, ’79

Editors note: Naomi Pascal’s remarkable legacy in academic publishing was built during a 54-year career at the University of Washington Press. In 1974, she became editor-in-chief, a position she held until her retirement in 2002. Pascal died Dec. 5, 2014 at the age of 88.

Jon Bridgman

I hope it’s not too late to say a word about the late, great Jon Bridgman—my teacher, my master’s mentor, my friend (In Memory, June). I graduated from Stanford in 1964 but spent my junior year at the U-Dub. At Stanford, I had several legendary professors, including Wallace Stegner (English), Alexander Kerensky (Russian history) and Otis Pease (Western civilization). In my undergrad year at the UW (1962-63), I was fortunate to study with three UW legends: George Taylor, Tom Pressly and Giovanni Costigan. When I came back to the U-Dub to work on a master’s degree in the late ’80s, Jon took me under his wing and encouraged me to study with Richard Johnson, Hillel Kieval and (20 years later) again with Otis Pease and Tom Pressly. Fortunately, I took Jon’s advice. We also became close friends (after all, I wasn’t much older than he) and we stayed in touch until his health worsened last year. We wrote letters and he used very old, occasionally rare, stamps. As a longtime philatelist, I begged him not to ruin these beauties. He said, “I’ve got a desk full and need to use them.” Sigh. I was lucky to have had so many great teachers. None of them surpassed Jon, and, don’t tell anyone, but he was my favorite.

Doug Glant, ’91
Mercer Island

Thanks for the extended comments on the passing of Jon Bridgman. I took three classes from him and enjoyed each. The most memorable lecture was the one in the HUB auditorium that he did with a small boy in his arms because the babysitter was sick.

Stephen McCombs, ’76
Delta Junction, Alaska

Like so many others, I will greatly miss Professor Bridgman. The cohort of us older folks, graduates from many decades ago, loyally audited his courses as “Access students.” One correction of a previous letter: in addition to being a wonderful teacher and delightful person, Jon was also modest. While he did indeed serve in the U.S. Navy, he never claimed to have served during World War II. When that war ended, he was turning 15. His time in the Navy was in the early to mid 1950s.

Richard Winslow, ’67, ’76
Mercer Island

In Good Company

We subscribe to many exceptional publications, but I would like to tell you how exceptional I find Columns magazine to be. It is beautifully designed and always full of tremendously interesting articles. Even my wife, who is not a Husky, regularly reads it! Keep up the good work!

Scott Roth, ’86
Bainbridge Island

UW 101

Oy. In our September piece The New Triangle, we wrote that the site of the 1909 Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition later became UW’s main campus. Antoinette Wills, ’75, who, besides spending 30 years working here, is a walking encyclopedia of UW history, pointed out that we were off base. While many of the 1909 buildings were repurposed to serve the University’s needs, the site was already part of the main campus before the world’s fair. Looks like we might need to retake that UW history class.

Inspired, Entertained, Enraged? Wonderful. Write us: or at: Columns Magazine, Campus Box 359508, Seattle, WA 98195-9508. Thanks for stirring the pot.