Enter the debunking article
Wrong on three counts
Legends delight those associated with institutions old enough to
have begotten them, but getting the stories straight is, as Mr.
Liss allows in “Myth
Information,” a challenge. For instance, he refers to
the 1915 Ida Noyes pool as the University’s first. Actually,
it was preceded by the pool in Bartlett, a building dedicated in
1904. It is reported that Bartlett was built in anticipation of
being a venue for the 1904 Olympics, but it lost out when St. Louis
snatched the games from the city of Chicago.
Likewise, as much as Hyde Park cherishes its
monk parakeets, the police car parked beneath their nest was more
likely there to protect Mayor Washington, who lived across the street,
than to protect the birds. It was (and may still be) routine for
the Chicago police to post a watch in front of the mayors’
homes; if I remember correctly, Mayor Richard J. Daley’s house
on South Lowe was protected front and back.
And finally, the correct rendering of the memorial
inscription in Rockefeller Chapel is “HIC IACENT [not IACET]
PRAESIDUM SUORUMQUE CINERES.” This translates to read, “Here
lie the ashes of the presidents and their wives.” Suorumque,
literally “and theirs,” is an example of a rather dismissive
economy of Latin expression which would not pass muster today for
Along with legends, we are blessed to have also
the eye-witnessed true stories that Professor Emeritus Edward W.
Rosenheim, AB’39, AM’46, PhD’53, regaled us with
at the celebration of the University’s centennial. Perhaps
the Magazine will retell some of those too.
Wayne T. Johnson
The University of Chicago Magazine
welcomes letters. Letters for publication must be signed and may
be edited for space and clarity. In order to provide a range of
views, we encourage writers to limit themselves to 300 words or
less. Write: Editor, University of Chicago Magazine,
5801 S. Ellis Avenue, Chicago, IL 60637. Or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.