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From our pages
1912 In "Events and Discussions," the Magazine's editor urged alumni to do more to build strong U of C communities and connections, asking, "How many alumni undertake to preach the gospel of the University of Chicago anywhere?" Elsewhere in the issue, Howard P. Kirtley from the Class of 1900 offered another side of the story when he wrote from Salt Lake City, "We have an Alumni Club here. But our ignorance of University affairs must be excused, for the Magazine is generally lost in the mails."

1952 With the polling industry becoming "as integral a part of the American political legend as the campaign button industry," the Magazine profiled the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) and its recent study of polling methods. Although NORC researchers examined how pollsters collected and processed public opinion information that would reflect and influence the 1952 presidential campaign, NORC did not poll the election results. Because many organizations were already polling election results, "it simply is not necessary to do so," said NORC, noting that the idea that polling organizations need to test the validity of the election results, if ever considered true, "certainly is no longer."

1977 B. G. Yovovick, AB'71, SM'74, profiled the unusual jobs held by undergraduates during the academic year. The University's employment bureau, which kept records of student jobs, reported in 1976 that one student commuted from Cleveland to campus via mail plane. Many students worked off campus as "hookers," steel mill workers who hooked chains around slabs of steel on lifts. One student was a night watchman among the Field Museum's specimens, guarding the spooky "75 yards of fish curled into jars of formaldehyde. The place was lit by a 75-watt bulb which reflected from their eyes. There were hundreds of beady fish eyes, staring." Other students were hired to assist private-detective agencies as "shadow workers" and guards, while some athletes worked for express companies, guarding the transportation of cash. Some students, such as Michael Shields, AB'77, profited from their extracurricular passions. Shields snapped photos for Time and Newsweek, and for Life's Book of the Year, he photographed Saul Bellow, X'39, who taught at the University from 1962 to 1993.

1992 To celebrate the University's Centennial, the Magazine held a contest, asking alumni to submit important ideas associated with the University of Chicago. Brian R. Alm, AM'71, recalled an enduring thought from graduate school that was inspired by English professor Norman Maclean, PhD'40, who noted that "a good teacher is a tough guy who cares very deeply about something that is hard to understand." Craig David Blackstone, SB'87, SM'87, praised James D. Watson, PhB'46, SB'47, and Francis Crick for laying the foundations of modern genetics, showing us "how much of what makes us what we are-good as well as bad-is encoded in our DNA, our own double helices, our own 'twists' of fate."
-A.W.




  APRIL 2002

  > > Volume 94, Number 4


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