I was about to get rid of the October/00 issue of the Magazine,
I happened to glance through it and found that most unusual occurrence,
an error of fact! On page 30, you state that Orientation "began
in 1934." My own experience with Orientation Week took place
in 1932, two years earlier.
arrived via an overnight train coach ride, a callow 16-year-old
from Omaha, on the morning of Sunday, October 2, 1932. I was met
by family friends who took me to their apartment in the south
70s. That evening, I was taken to Burton Court, where I lived
for the next seven years in 619A. Burton-Judson was only one year
old at the time. The appointments dazzled this hobbledehoy.
are only a few happenings of Orientation Week itself that I recall.
Of course I remember President Hutchins's welcoming speech. He
told us, among other things, that he assumed we had been properly
brought up and that the University would not act in loco parentis.
He also confirmed the fact that we were not required to attend
class but reminded us that we were paying the princely sum of
$200 a year in tuition and should not be wasting it.
the next half-dozen years the basic cost of tuition, board and
room, books, and fees amounted to about $900 per year. This was
about one-third of my family's annual income, but I was able to
supplement it working two-and-a-half hours a day in the kitchen:
at 42.5 cents an hour to pay my board of 92 cents a day. I also
washed glassware for a graduate student in chemistry under the
National Youth Administration at the same rate.
to Orientation: I was highly amused to find that the assistant
bursar and bursar were named Cotton and Mather. I had no problems
getting the classes for which I was advised to register. However,
I never did see the upper-year person who was supposed to guide
me that week. I remember writing to him before coming to Chicago
and particularly asking about Blackfriars. He modestly replied
that he, a Deke, had played the lead for three years. It turns
out that I did, eventually, as a graduate student, write the book
for two shows. For years I thought that I bore a large share of
the guilt for Blackfriars' demise. Only during the last several
years have I been reassured by William H. McNeill's memoir, Hutchins'
University, in which he attributes it to World War II.
Richlin, SB'35, PhD'41
Culver City, California