Willamette University

The Inbox

Professor Kollmann

Wondering Out Loud

As a university professor, I was very gratified to find you publishing an article on the wholly unfair dismissal of Professor Kollmann in the ’50s. This was, indeed, the McCarthy period when many teachers lost their jobs due to their political and social beliefs. But was this the reason the good professor was fired? The article never quite makes it clear. The president pleads fiscal exigency but were other people being “let go” at this time? And you hint at McCarthyism ... or was it Kollmann’s dedication to free intellectual inquiry at a time when that was suspect?

Anyway, congratulations on publishing the article.

— Noel Kent

Kollmann Thanks

Thank you for your recent article concerning Dr. Edward Kollmann. I was a freshman in the fall of 1951. He had a small group of us for whom he was the freshman advisor. He was a kind and gentle man and we were fond of him.

When we heard he was being fired, we were sure it was because of his objection to ROTC coming to campus. We were sad and angry. I was one of those who signed the petition objecting to his dismissal. It seemed a scary thing to do at the time, as we were afraid we might be in trouble for signing it. Your article gave some clarity to the situation and also let me and others know that he had a successful career elsewhere.

— Fadhilla Nancy Bradley ’55

Acosta Isn’t Alone

I graduated from WU in 2005 with majors in Spanish and anthropology. I am a substitute teacher endorsed in Spanish. While I was happy to see the article about Curtis Acosta, [it would be] nice to recognize some other fairly recent WU graduates who teach in bilingual programs ... I have had the pleasure of working with [several] of these teachers and I can speak of their dedication to Latino students.

— Jeanne Beko ’05

Memoriam Misstep

Dear Tufton:

My wife Mary (Reeh) Empey ’56 and I have been avid readers of The Scene for over 50 years and always look forward to reading this outstanding publication. It does our university proud.

We were disappointed, however, in reading of the death of Robert Batchelder ’54, JD’57. There were some errors in the reporting of survivors and it seems to me more could have been reported about this loyal son of Willamette. Bob and Fran both loved Willamette and contributed financially and in many other ways to the university. I would hope that you would consider writing a new report in the next edition that would correct the errors and give a little more credit to this wonderful man.

— Donald Empey ’54

[We have reprinted an updated entry, courtesy of Empey himself, in In Memoriam. —Ed.]

Nacho Cordova

Getting it Right for Nacho

I assume that lots of people who knew my late friend and colleague Nacho Cordova noticed a regrettable error in his obit that appeared in the last magazine, but I don’t want to simply assume that others will take the time and ask you for a correction. His survivors include not “a son and two daughters,” but “two sons and one daughter” — namely, Alex Cordova ’10, Phoenix, and Terra (his one daughter).

— Ortwin Knorr, professor of classics

[Nacho’s entry has been duly corrected in this issue and his record updated. — Ed.]

Oxford Comma, Please

On p. 35 of Winter 2012, there is information about a trip to Angkor Wat and the Mekong. It said, “… you’ll see deep jungles and the Mekong Delta, stay in Bangkok and experience the famous Buddhist temple complex, Angkor Wat.”

The fact is that Bangkok is a capital city in Thailand … and Angkor Wat is located in Cambodia.

— Voralek “Nink” Kosakul MBA’93

Mr. Knopf’s Controversy

I very much appreciated the Winter 2012 issue of The Scene; the information about professor Kollmann, the ROTC program and Curtis Acosta’s connection with Willamette was new to me.

I suspect that The Scene doesn’t want to do controversial articles frequently, but [you might] want to tell how, in about 1942, President Knopf lost his job after causing a stir at the Selective Service board by registering as a conscientious objector.

— John Cotton ’47

[In fact, The Scene covered this interesting story in the Spring 1991 issue. We have uploaded the article for interested readers to review. —Ed]


Keep it Up, Blitz

It’s good to see our embodiment of school spirit out and about on campus more these days.

Rather than a symbol of competitiveness at a school that defines itself by its athletic organizations, our mascot is malls recognized as a symbol of good will and the sense of fun that balances the academic rigor on which we pride ourselves.

Blitz might be the most recognizable WU community member without having garnered distinguished academic awards, wielded administrative power, started a company or excelled in athletics. I don’t even know if you’d call Blitz employed. But our furry mascot lifts our spirits just by appearing, and one needn’t worry about the proper etiquette for meeting a prominent Willamette personage if Blitz approaches. The only requirements are a little enthusiasm and a smile.

I believe in the serious venture of education and research that is conducted by Willamette students, faculty and staff in Salem and beyond, but I also believe that the students, and those of us who work here, deserve the reminder that we are a community that goes beyond those things. That is what Blitz does for us. I’d want to continue to see more of our mascot at student events and around campus, plus occasional appearances at more official functions. Anywhere we are Willamette, Blitz has a place.

Go Bearcats!

— Ramona (Mills) Murtha ’89

Hidden Tufton word

Tufton Solution 2.0

Several dozen responses later, we’re gratified that so many readers spotted the word “Tufton” scribbled on the soccer ball on p. 13 in our last issue. We’ll have to be sneakier from now on — the usual incentives for finding him hidden somewhere apply.

Contact us

The Scene

Office of Alumni Relations

900 State Street, Salem, OR 97301

Published correspondence may be edited for length and/or clarity.