A Really Big Stream

Wow! That sure is a big “Stream in the Rockies” [“The Collector,” Winter 1998, page 56]. If I had to hazard a guess, I’d say that Albert Bierstadt painted a view of Vernal Falls in Yosemite, as seen from near the present bridge across the Merced River. Yep, for sure. There are people hiking up the Mist Trail!

Stephen Slobin M.S. ’63, Ph.D. ’69
Altadena, CA

Inga Kiderra replies: According to USC Fisher Gallery records, the title of the painting is, indeed, A Stream in the Rockies. However, since Albert Bierstadt was notorious both for hyperbole and for idealizing landscapes — by combining features of sketches made in different regions — the “stream” may be Vernal Falls or, for that matter, it may be a vertical vision of the Columbia River.

Hoops for Food?

The article in the Winter 1998 issue on new and planned construction was interesting, but how come no mention of a possible on-campus basketball facility? What if the new Coliseum plan means tearing down the Sports Arena? What then becomes of the basketball teams? Do they wind up homeless waifs? Do they carry signs that say “Will Play Hoops For Food”?
More seriously, don’t make the same mistake as Stanford and think too small. Far better to think in terms of vision. When Maples Pavilion was built, many likely didn’t realize Stanford even had a basketball program. When I did dissertation research there in the early ’80s you couldn’t give tickets away. Now with the top-rated men’s and women’s teams you can bet the powers-that-be there wish they had more than 8,000 seats to sell.

Jeffrey R. Thomson M.A. ’78, Ph.D. ’84
Los Angeles, CA


USC Admissions

The insert in the Winter 1998 issue about how to prepare 9th-12th graders for successful application for USC admission was so excellent that I sent my copy on immediately to my daughter, who is the mother of a 10th grader.
Your magazine is so informative and well done that I always read it from cover to cover immediately upon receipt! Since I live at such a distance from my old alma mater, I am always so pleased to read of new expansion plans, as well as enjoying the photos. I hope you will include an article about growth and current status of campus fraternities and sororities sometime!

Allan L. Reid ’48
Monument, CO


Last October we had a college night at the First Colony Mall in Fort Bend County (southwest of Houston). I worked the info table and had some handout materials that USC had provided.
Wow! You would have thought I was handing out free money! The table was mobbed, and I handed out all of the materials in less than 45 minutes. People kept coming for more than an hour wanting to know if I had any more information. I gave out the website address to so many people that I lost count. It seems that Houston really wants to know more about USC.
Earlier in the day I had downloaded some information and photos from the website and made a slide show on a laptop computer with a sound file of the Alma Mater (also from the site). This proved extraordinarily effective in drawing people to the table. I was amazed at how energizing it is to speak with so many bright young people and their parents who seemed so genuinely interested in USC.

Walt Falgout ’72
Sugar Land, TX


I attended USC Preview (one of the undergraduate admission programs) in 1994 with my daughter. She was not impressed with USC’s neighborhood and its undergraduate curriculums. She went to UC Berkeley and graduated last summer. She is now a first-year medical student at Harvard Medical School.
I attended USC Preview again last spring with my son. I noticed the drastic changes in the neighborhood compared to four years ago. The surroundings are no longer a major stumbling block, and USC has also improved its undergraduate curriculum dramatically since Dr. Sample became president. My son picked USC over Harvard, Stanford, UC Berkeley, UCLA and others, and entered as a Trustee Scholar freshman. Now I am happy to say that he is busy, working hard, involved with school, community and research, and really enjoying his college life at USC.

Steve King, MSEE ’72
Rancho Santa Fe, Ca


Favorite Professor

I’m sorry that my submission is late for “My Favorite Professors” but I’d like to comment.
Dr. Richard Buskirk, Tom O’Malia and Mack Davis were the best teachers that I had during my four years at USC. I think of these men as the “triumvirate.” Dr. Buskirk was the director of the Entrepren-eur Program in the Business School, 1983. His forte was marketing. Tom O’Malia taught us finance and Mack Davis was the sales expert. I could listen to them speak for hours! While we studied from “the books,” Dr. Buskirk thought that it was very important to teach us “real world scenarios” and lessons so that when we graduated, we wouldn’t have to learn some of our lessons the hard way.
Each professor took a personal interest in us. On the first day of class, Dr. Buskirk asked us what ventures we wanted to start. He was very hard on us, and didn’t want us to see the very soft side of him. As we raised our hands and stated what business we wanted to start, he’d say “That’s been done before.” When he made that comment to me, I said “So what?” Surprised, he put his hand to his ear and said that he didn’t hear me. Again, I said “So what?” He actually liked that answer.
He wanted us to believe in ourselves, even if no one else did! I called his wife when I learned of his death, to give my condolences and to tell her how much Dr. Buskirk had meant to me. I was surprised that she knew who I was. You see, Dr. Buskirk spoke (bragged) about all of his students — we just didn’t know it because he was so busy driving us to be better.
Tom O’Malia, now the program’s director, still remembers that I played on my high school girls’ football team. He read that in the autobiography that we wrote when class started. I submitted a test once with just my last name on it and Tom wrote “You have a first name, don’t you?” I was touched at such sensitivity.
Mack told me to go into sales after graduation — to let a company train me. That was the best advice he could have given some of us, who were not ready to begin our venture. It made the difference in my life.
I think about these three men fondly and miss them. Throughout the years, I’ve called them for advice and they always responded and mentored!

Leana Grandy ’83
Redwood City, CA


Trojan Memories

Among the many things I enjoy about USC Trojan Family Magazine are the recollections of your readers. While attending graduate school at USC in 1936, I was lucky enough to be hired as a secretary for Elizabeth von KleinSmid, wife of the president, Dr. Rufus B. von KleinSmid. The Vons (we were more formal when addressing them) lived on Chester Place, next door to Estelle Doheny. Sometimes I would go along with Mrs. Von to hear Doctor speak. She sometimes called him Bunny, a nickname derived from his middle name, Bernard, I believe. I remember a debate at the Shrine Auditorium where we had second-row seats. At one point, Doctor disagreed with his opponent, raising his voice to the point where he was almost yelling. (Doctor Von did have a bit of a temper.) Mrs. Von, with her beautifully trained voice (she could sing very well), called out, “Bunny, that’s not nice.” There was a slight pause and then the debate went on. He was nicer after that.

Marie (Moog) Harvey ’37
Los Angeles, CA



I want to compliment your staff on the winter issue. I was impressed with your presentation of past, present, and future accomplishments and advancements at USC. As the magazine grows in content and size, so does my pride in our alma mater. Keep up the outstanding job.

Mark M. Urata ’85, D.D.S ’89, M.D. ’96
Pasadena, CA


Your latest issue is outstanding! I was impressed with all of the content and your method and style of presentation. Robert Lipsett was exceptional and fascinating, as were the other feature articles. I read it all from cover to cover, well, all except the classes prior and following the class of 1950! Thanks again for a fascinating issue.

Robert C. Madsen ’50
Pleasanton, CA


Notice Board

Could your readers cast their memories back to their early days at USC, and help with some historical research?
I’m trying to find the names of the first faculty members at USC who were members of minority groups. And, the walls of the faculty affairs office in Bovard are bare. They would be graced by pictures of significant USC teachers and scholars of years gone by. I’m hoping some readers have such photos, particularly from the earlier years of our university’s life, would be willing to share them.
Please send memories and photos to Martin L. Levine, Vice Provost for Faculty and Minority Affairs, Office of the Provost, USC, Los Angeles, CA 90089-4019.

Martin L. Levine




Monster Mash Winners!
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