Boom with a View

It’s been a long time since I left USC and USC Trojan Family Magazine, but I don’t know how often I have meant to write that I think you have done a wonderful job with the publication. I’m doing it now before I forget again.
Just the other day, I went onto the USC Web-site for the first time, and checked out a map. So much was unfamiliar to me. I really appreciate the pullout section in this issue [“Boom with a View,” Summer 2000, p. 38]. I am distressed, of course, but understanding, to see that Stonier Hall is to be torn down. I lived there in 1952-53 as a student (when it was Aeneas Hall), and later it was the location of one of my many offices on campus.

Al Beebe ’55
Albuquerque, NM

The writer is a former editor of Trojan Family, which makes his praise especially significant.

Please accept my appreciation and congratulations for the usually excellent USC Trojan Family Magazine publication. I read it cover to cover and always find articles of interest along with frequent mention of personal friends, acquaintances and circumstances.
However, as I reviewed the exciting descriptions of the campus master planning, architectural proposals and environmental enhancements presented in the Summer 2000 issue, I experienced a disturbing mix of emotions involving delight, pride, disappointment and even some anger. USC is about to experience one of the most important development periods of its history, one which requires the dedicated involvement of the most experienced, skilled and visionary professionals to fulfill its promise: the architects!
Yet, except for incidental reference to historical achievers (Parkinson Bro-thers, Flewelling, Sam Lunden), their names are never mentioned! The architects (individuals and firms) selected to design the plans, buildings and landscape are charged with an enormous respon-sibility and should be recognized, whether from USC or not. In relevance, the USC School of Architecture, one of the finest in the world, has an extraordinary alumni of distinguished architects who have made significant contributions to the built environment throughout the world, especially in Southern California. I would assume that several of those are involved in this vital undertaking at their university. I urge you to redress this oversight in your subsequent issue.

Ward Wyatt Deems ’53
Solana Beach, CA

Jon Soffa AIA, executive director, Planning, Design and Construction Project Manage-ment, replies: “Mr. Deems’ reference to the importance of the architects to our campus projects is without question, and I am happy to correct the omission. Following is a list of projects for which architects have been named: Pardee Way – Olin Partnership; Internationally Themed Residential College – Cannon Architects; Ralph and Goldy Lewis Hall – Zimmer Gunsul Frasca; Jane Hoffman and J. Kristoffer Popovich Hall – AC Martin Partners; Loker Track Stadium and Dedeaux Field Renovation – HNTB; Troy Hall Renovation – Tomko Woll Group; and Neurogenetics Institute – Perkins & Will. Many of these firms have strong ties to the Trojan Family. All have the skill, vision and experience noted by Mr. Deems. Many of these firms and the staff who work for them no doubt have an educational foundation acquired from our outstanding School of Architecture.

Reality Check

I have just completed reading the Summer 2000 issue of USC Trojan Family Magazine. I enjoyed it as I always do, with one exception. I felt the article “Engineering Reality Check” [p. 16] indicated a lack of understanding the real world. It certainly doesn’t square with my experience.
Professor Lu notes that “Toyota doesn’t build optimum cars.” I beg to differ. Engineering is science with a heavy emphasis on cost. Toyota builds a Corolla to a price which allows people on low incomes to buy it. Their Camry is built specifically for those who have more money and want additional amenities. The Lexus is specifically designed for those who want luxury and can afford it. Each and every Toyota automobile is optimized for the market it is intended for (as are every other automobile manufacturer’s products).
My experience is that engineers can optimize a product very well when dealing with other engineers. There is no need to bring math and equations and computer simulations and AI into the meeting. Everyone has, knows and understands these tools. When engineers meet with management, sales, marketing and finance, these tools are useless, because only the engineers have and understand them.
I know of no group of professionals that asks “why?” more often than engineers. This may not be as apparent in the classroom as it is in the real world. There is no need to try to teach it. The thing engineers need to develop is the ability to communicate. This is a very difficult thing for engineers because they understand complex problems without a great deal of effort, but they have difficulty explaining these concepts (if they are explainable) to non-engineers. The examples given in this article can both be explained as a failure to communicate, not a failure to negotiate.
In summary, it is my opinion that there are too many advanced degrees and not enough real-world experience behind this project.

Donald F. Pepper, P.E. (retired) ’64
Carlsbad, CA

Because I am so favorably impressed by each issue and really enjoy reading USC Trojan Family Magazine, I was chagrined and disappointed by a statement in “Engi-neering Reality Check” in the Summer 2000 issue. To say, as the article did, that “traditional wisdom has held that engineers should design for the absolute optimum,” is absolute nonsense. It smacks of liberal arts ignorance of what engineering is all about. Engineers are and always have been constrained in their designs by funding for design and construction; available time; limitations of available space and weight (think NASA!); and any number of other factors. I am reminded of NASA’s failures of recent years while operating under the slogan “Better, faster, cheaper.” Engineers ruefully invite NASA to choose any two of those three goals.

Harry Parker, P.E. ’51
Venice, Ca

Stephen Lu, professor of manufacturing engineering, replies: I believe Mr. Parker has misunderstood my statement and that we essentially agree. My point is that
engineers should not design for an absolute optimum, which does not exist in the real world. Rather, they should collaboratively negotiate good compromises based on the kinds of competing constraints that Mr. Parker lists. The collaboration must include all the competing interests. As he points out with his NASA example, a collaboration that includes only two out of three invites failure. Certainly, constraints can be economic, as Mr. Pepper points out with the Toyota example. And when engineers negotiate with non-engineers, they need better communication skills than they typically receive in schools today, so once again we agree. But I do believe that engineering students should learn to ask “why” in the classroom, a conclusion that comes from my real-world experience.

Less Fame, More Names

I recently came across the Spring 2000 issue and found it very enjoyable reading. However, after reading the article by John Zollinger entitled “Industrial Strength: USC Cinema-Television at 70” [p. 32], I was disappointed to read mostly about only the “famous” alumni such as George Lucas and Robert Zemeckis. There are many behind the scenes who should have been honored by their mention, because films and television shows, like many things, are the sum of the whole involved. I roomed and am still good friends with one in particular, Gary Rydstrom ’81 (to date, 10 Oscar nominations and six Oscars for sound on such films as Terminator 2 and Jurassic Park). Even a notation of all who have made their mark in some way would have been nice.

Richard Litchfield ’83
Alhambra, CA

Obit Omits

Mathew T. Moneymaker ’92 was undoubtedly a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy, [not in the U.S. Air Force, as indicated in his obituary, Summer 2000, p. 78]. Air Force officers rarely fly from Navy aircraft carriers; then, only after attaining the rank of major. Thank you for your excellent publication.

Allan R. Thompson
Cdr. U.S. Navy (retired) ’55
Huntington Beach, CA

Mathew Moneymaker, 29, was indeed a lieutenant in the Navy. He was a pilot with Sea Control Squadron 32, nicknamed the Maulers, and assigned to Jacksonville Naval Air Station. We regret the error.

Thank you for publishing the information I sent about the passing of my dear late wife, Lona D. McDonough ’40 in your Summer 2000 issue [p. 76]. Unfortunately, I neglected to include her maiden name. Her Trojan friends and acquaintances may remember her as Lona Romano.

Gordon L. McDonough Jr. ’43
Glendale, CA

Trojan Memories

The first university building in Southern California, now home of the SC School of Music, cost $5,000.

Your last two issues of the USC Trojan Family Magazine have certainly taken me down memory lane. My great uncle John Dickinson, who passed away in 1899, was part of the original faculty at the time USC was established. He taught math and science and was a very brilliant and well-read person. His love for reading and learning led him to seek help in establishing a library for the students. He was the driving force behind the establishment of the first USC library [“Doheny: The Very Heart of the University,” Spring 2000, p. 37]. I have a clipping from the Southern California Trojan student newspaper [circa 1930], with the following amusing reference from 1887: “Later a small allowance was made by the trustees for the purchase of books but with the strict injunction that they must not have any Shakespeare unless expurgated and that such immoral poets as Byron must be forever excluded from their chaste domains.”
The photos of Widney Alumni House [“Editor’s Note,” p. 4, and “Strengthening the Bonds,” Summer 2000, p. 59], brought memories of my mother attending school in that building. When it became the School of Music, my two aunts attended courses there. I found an early photo in the Trojan Column Diamond Jubilee Souvenir Edition, dated August-September 1955 (see below left). Note the price of that building!
My generation of alumni is becoming fewer and fewer, but I count myself fortunate in seeing the wonderful progress and development that this university is undergoing. Thank you for allowing me to share some of my USC memorabilia.

Katherine B. Keller ’36
Napa, CA

My father, at 92 years of age, has taken up writing articles. The article I am sending you, I think you will find very interesting. It is by Col. Stanley C. Pearson MA ’33 and was published in the Air Force Village West newsletter in Riverside, Calif., where he and my mother, Dorothy C. Pearson ’33 (née Campbell), have retired. My father would be thrilled if it were reprinted in USC Trojan Family Magazine. My parents have been married for 70 years.

Carol Donahue
San Pedro, CA

We’re happy to comply (see below).

In the graduating class of 1933 at the University of Southern California were three students, all strangers to one another: Stanley Pearson, Dorothy Campbell and Sno Pine Liu. Stanley did not march with the graduates. It was the Depression, and he could not afford the $10 to rent a cap and gown, so he sat with the audience.
When the ceremony started, Dr. Rufus von KleinSmid, perfection personified, recognized outstanding graduates. A man in the audience stood up and shouted with glee as his daughter received the Lottie Lane Prize for the highest scholarship in the university. Little did I know that this was to be my first encounter with my father-in-law.
Two years after graduation, I met Dorothy and we immediately fell in love. After pursuing her for three months, I arranged to meet her in Sacramento and we traveled to Reno, Nevada, to avoid the California three-day marriage waiting period. We were married in 1935.
I took a position with the Civilian Conservation Corps in Northern California, and Dorothy continued her work in Los Angeles until she could join me. In August 1941, our second child was born, and immediately afterwards, I was ordered to active duty. I bid my wife and new daughter fare-well while they were still in the hospital, and reported for duty a few months before the United States entered World War II.
In early 1942, my unit was ordered to China as a service group for the Flying Tigers, stationed at K’un-ming. One day in 1943, a Chinese officer came up to me and said, in broken English, “We college mates.” I didn’t know what he meant until later, when he produced a program listing the 1933 USC graduating class. There I was, and there was Dorothy, and there, too, was Sno Pine Liu.
After 10 years, the triangle was closed. Fight on for USC! We’ve found the three!

Stan Pearson MA ’33
Riverside, CA

The Spirit Reigns

Congratulations on the USC Trojan Family Magazine Spring 2000 issue. Outstanding! I’ve sent six copies to fellow Trojans who might not have received it. My grandchildren must come to USC! Damn, it’s great to be a Trojan!

Walter Forward ’46
Sacramento, CA

Notice Board

In regard to the Letters to the Editor in your Summer 2000 issue from people who have found class rings, I wish someone would find mine. I lost it water-skiing on the James River in Williamsburg, Virginia – just off the 16th hole of the River Course at Kingsmill. Alert to divers – reward if found. It’s a traditional medium-sized gold ring with garnet stone; USC embossed on the stone. I can be reached at (949) 722-7224.

Brett Hemphill ’88
Newport Beach, CA

A perfect year!!! The USC ice hockey team finished undefeated in the PAC 8 season (20-0). The perfect season was capped off by beating UCLA in overtime 6-5 in the PAC 8 championship game. Further, USC had its first All-American in 60 years, as Eric Kahnert led the nation in scoring averaging with nearly 4 points a game! As if that wasn’t enough good news, the USC hockey team was invited to be one of eight universities representing the United States in an international tournament hosted by the government of Iceland this Thanksgiving. Three teams from Canada and five from Europe will also represent their countries at this worldwide collegiate hockey tournament.
This incredible endorsement of USC’s ice hockey program as one of the finest in the country is a testament to the thousands of hours the players and volunteers pour in to the program each and every year. USC ice hockey is a student-run and supported team sport; all non-student participants (coaches, trainers, operations, merchandise, etc.) are volunteers. If you would like to join us in supporting this wonderful sport, please write me care of USC Ice Hockey, Lyon University Center, Los Angeles, CA 90089-2500. You can keep up with the team on the Web ( Fight On!

Mark Wilbur ’85, MBA ’94
Rancho Palos Verdes, CA

The writer is head coach of USC ice hockey.

I am a reporter trying to find information on USC alumni from the 1920s and 1930s of Japanese descent. I know of several accounts of U.S. WWII veterans who met English-speaking, former U.S. university students among the Japanese officers they came into contact with either as POWs after being captured in the Philippines, or who were themselves captured by U.S. forces. Many of them mention USC and UCLA, although the informants may have been guessing. At least one veteran, a man named Mario Tonelli who played for Notre Dame in the 1938 game against USC, told me he met a Japanese officer in prison camp who claimed to have been a spectator at that game.
If you have any information on these young men, either Nisei immigrants or foreign exchange students, who fought on the Japanese side in WWII, please contact me at <>. Thank you.

Joel Millman
Carlsbad, CA


Previous Last Word Answers
We welcome letters from readers, although we do reserve the right to select and edit for space. Send letters to:

Mailbag, c/o USC Trojan Family Magazine, University of Southern California,
Los Angeles, CA 90089-2538, fax: (213) 821-1101

And of course, by e-mail at

Features --All Abroad - Second Sight - Warren Bennis
Departments -- Mailbag - On Stage - What's New - In Support - Alumni News - The Last Word