December 2004 -

Letters to the Editor

September 2004

Fat Chance

Leading the Pack

Your nostalgic look at C. L. Pack Experimental Forest ["Tales of the Forest," Sept. 2004] was a fine tribute to the role that this UW field facility has played since its beginnings in 1926. Managed by the College of Forest Resources, Pack Forest has recently updated its historic mission to encompass the broader concept of natural resources and environmental sustainability. In May of this year, I created the Center for Sustainable Forestry at Pack Forest. Pack Forest will play an exciting new role in discovering, teaching and demonstrating the concepts of sustainable forestry with special focus on advancing the strategic themes of our college-sustainable forest enterprises and sustainable land and ecosystem management in an urbanizing world. The center will provide services associated with sustainable forestry such as green certification expertise and technology transfer and will foster partnerships in sustainable forestland management with other stakeholders.

Pack Forest will continue to play a role in the college's transformed undergraduate programs. Students interested in sustainable forestry will have an opportunity to specialize in a sustainable forest management pathway through our new Environmental Science and Resource Management major. A soon-to-be-completed master of forestry program will be available to those seeking professional graduate education in sustainable forestry. Pack Forest, with its classroom and laboratory facilities and its diversity of forest types, sites and soils, will continue to be a valuable resource in a well-rounded forestry curriculum and research program. Pack Forest also plans to modernize its conference facilities to provide enhanced services to the many UW and off-campus groups that schedule conferences, short courses, and training and continuing education programs in Pack's ideal "retreat" setting. Chief among these improvements is the new Lodge at Pack Forest.

Dean B. Bruce Bare
UW College of Forest Resources

The Loss of a Scholar

... What caught my eye in the March 2004 issue was the short note concerning a former UW student and Rhodes Scholar named Frank Aller, '68 ["Rarified Air: UW Rhodes Scholars Since 1960"]. Frank has recently been mentioned in President Bill Clinton's book, My Life.

In 1965, I was a freshman at the UW living in a dormitory just off campus. After my first roommate joined a fraternity, Frank and I decided to share a dorm room. At that time, Frank was majoring in political science, but he decided to take up the serious study of Chinese in UW's excellent program in Far Eastern languages. We discussed the war in Vietnam often, and Frank expressed outrage at U.S. involvement. He felt that anyone who understood the history of foreign occupation of Vietnam would realize that the domino theory had been cooked up to "sell" a war to the American public. Frank and I had many enlivening discussions. One of the most memorable was his recounting a trip he made from Spokane to Gonzaga University to try to answer several religious and spiritual questions that were troubling him. "I was the head of the youth group in our church and wanted some answers, if you can imagine me in that role," he told me. The answer he was given was to go home and pray, which he thought was not a satisfactory response. In addition to his interest in politics and Chinese, Frank Aller was a brilliant pianist who agonized over whether to choose a career in politics or music. His many talents were noticed, for he was selected as a Rhodes Scholar not long after I departed to serve as port security watch on the Thomas G. Thompson, the new oceanographic survey vessel that the UW acquired. Frank also moved off campus, and one day, he called me to say he had been selected as a Rhodes Scholar, and asked if I wanted to come to a good-bye party before he left for England.

... Frank had told me he would rather go to Canada than serve in the army for a cause he detested, and I wondered what might have happened to him as years went by. It was not until I saw the note in Columns that I learned the sad truth. [Aller, who was Clinton's close friend when they both attended Oxford, committed suicide in 1971.] I later heard President Clinton refer to Frank during an interview on Larry King Live. It is sad for me to think that Frank Aller is no longer here to voice his opinion, play his wonderful music and make upbeat jokes in his always outwardly cheerful manner. Not once in the times I shared with Frank did he ever appear depressed. I remember him for his incredible insight, his graciousness and patience towards me, and his frequent laughter.

Professor James Hargrove, '69
Dept. of Foods and Nutrition
University of Georgia

Taking the Plunge
Regarding your article "10 Things You Probably Don't Know About UW History" [Sept. 2004], the "dormies" at Lander and Terry Halls also had a tradition that resulted in a toss into "Frosh Pond". In the early '60s when these dorms were occupied by men only, anyone who became engaged to be married was surprised one evening by a knock on the door. There to greet him were quite a number of his "friends and neighbors." It took quite a few, too, since it was expected that the hapless groom-to-be would kick and protest all the way to the pond ... especially on cold and rainy winter nights. I was escorted to my immersion in February 1965, after my roommate leaked the word that a September wedding was in my future. I am happy to report we just celebrated our 39th anniversary.

William S. Fuller, '66 ,'67
Federal Way


We were in error in the "Milestones" section of the September 2004 issue when we stated that the UW's "Global Business Center" received the 2004 Brotman Award for Instructional Excellence. The award went to the Certificate of International Studies in Business Program in the UW Business School. Further, it is this program, and not the Global Business Center, that "came into existence in 1992."

Also in the same issue, the article "Gates' Way" incorrectly identified the year that the late UW Regent Mary Gates died. It was 1994.

Due to incorrect information provided to Columns, we accidentally published the name of Frederick L. (Fritz) Hull, '58, in the "In Memory" section. In fact, he is alive and well and living on Whidbey Island. Turn to Alumnotes to find out more about him. We usually receive more letters than we have room to print. To read these extra letters, please visit our Web site at

Letters to the editor are encouraged. Brief letters are more likely to be published; longer letters may be edited due to lack of space. Please include a daytime phone number and send all correspondence to: Editor, Columns Magazine, 1415 N.E. 45th Street, Seattle, WA 98105. You may send e-mail to or send a fax to 206-685-0611.

Letters to the editor are encouraged. Brief letters are more likely to be published; longer letters may be edited. Please include a daytime phone number.

Editor, Columns
Magazine, 1415 N.E. 45th Street, Seattle, WA 98105
fax to (206) 685-0611