1908 “Chicago women,” wrote undergraduate Katherine M. Slaught, PhB’09, in the February issue, “have infinite faith that the powers that be must in time recognize their needs and supply them.” Those needs included better athletic facilities. Decrying the rule that women cede the tennis courts to any male player, Slaught called for a women’s clubhouse, where the Women’s Union could be quartered and female students could hold meetings and events. In 1916, the coeds’ faith was rewarded with the opening of Ida Noyes Hall.
1948 The March 14 alumni reunion, the first reunion to welcome alumni families, featured a radio broadcast of Quiz Kids, a program begun by Louis G. Cowan, PhB’31. Alumni and their children peopled the panel and the live audience. Tickets cost a dollar, and proceeds benefited the Settlement League. The full house left thousands to hear the program on the air.
The March Magazine joyfully proclaimed that the marching band’s Big Bertha, the world’s largest drum, had passed her Geiger test at the Argonne National Laboratory, showing no sign of radioactivity. It had been feared that Bertha had been contaminated during World War II, when she was stored under Stagg Field’s west stands—where Enrico Fermi had achieved the first self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction.
1973 The February issue featured the scanning electron microscope newly developed by Albert Crewe, a professor in physics, biophysics, and the Enrico Fermi Institute. Able to photograph individual atoms, the microscope allowed DNA, RNA, enzymes, viruses, and membranes to be seen in detail, with a delicate touch that prevented damage.
In March, Patricia Armstrong, SM’68, wrote of her trip to South America to study alpine botany. Her journey through Peru, Bolivia, and Ecuador offered lessons not only on local flora, but also on assumptions. One Ecuadorian plant expert gasped, “You’re a botanist? You’re much too young and pretty.”
1988 To launch “a new era in intercollegiate athletics,” the lettermen’s club advertised a limited-edition porcelain bust of the U of C football coach Amos Alonzo Stagg. The bust could be had for a $250 gift to the Order of the C, founded by Stagg in 1904 to support varsity athletics at Chicago.
In other sporting news, the women’s varsity track team flew to Osaka, where the eight-member squad competed in the Japan Interuniversity Women’s Ekiden (Japanese for “relay”) against 29 rivals from universities around the world.
—Amy Traub, ’99