IMAGE:  April 2004

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In its early days the Magazine printed only 500 copies, but as circulation grew to 2,000 the editors, lacking a corresponding budget increase, were forced to shrink the size of each issue. In April they earnestly pleaded their case to readers: “Not long since an alumnus complained that the Magazine was dull. He was right; it is dull. ... The Magazine at present is strictly informational. A statement of what is going on plus what James Barrie’s Maggie called ‘charrrm’ there seems no room for. What shall we do? Suggestions are invited.”

IMAGE:  Neil Clark Warren, PhD'67
Photo by Dan Dry

Vonnegut on campus (see 1994).

Writing about his career in civil engineering and public works, Gordon R. Clapp, AM’33, drew from his experience as chairman of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). Despite the popular bias that government work can never match private enterprise, Clapp pointed out that the TVA’s dam construction came in on budget and on schedule while the competing corporations foundered with labor difficulties. Clapp attributed TVA’s success to its workers’ patriotism. On each TVA dam was inscribed: “Built for the People of the United States.”

In the Spring issue Ruth Eisenberg, PhB’28, recounted her battles against New Mexico real-estate developers to keep a chain of dormant volcanoes west of Albuquerque free public space. Enlisting biologists, geologists, and anthropologists to vouch for the volcanoes’ natural and historical importance, Eisenberg cajoled Albuquerque city planners into purchasing most of the land and organizing a 2,100-acre Volcano Park, now associated with Petroglyph National Monument.

A visit from novelist Kurt Vonnegut, AM’71, drew an overflow crowd to Max Palevsky Cinema. As reported in the April Magazine, Vonnegut discussed technological alienation, art’s declining hope in the age of television, and contemporary loneliness. He praised his teachers in the anthropology department despite difficulties acquiring his degree—he left Chicago in 1947 after his master’s thesis was rejected, but in 1971 his novel Cat’s Cradle was declared to have fulfilled his thesis requirement.—J.N.L.


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