Dear LMU — Letters from Our Readers, Winter 2016

Your timing (“Muslim USA,” Summer 2016) could not have been worse — right after the mass shooting in Orlando, Florida. You should have listened to Trump first. Shameful article.
Kevin Connolly ’53
San Clemente, California

Today I received the latest issue of LMU Magazine. As a pro-fessor of education, I receive many such magazines from universities I have worked for or graduated from. I am very proud of LMU for its dedication to taking the gospel and presenting it in a life-giving way. As a nation, we are reeling from the tragedy in Orlando, Florida. The summer issue from LMU is perfect in detailing how Christ is about others, justice and love. I also have a nonprofit where I use the gospel of social justice, belonging and community to try to bring the message of giving and love not only to the students who are a part of the organization, but to those who they serve. Again, my heartfelt thank you!
A.Y. (Fred) Ramirez M.A. ’95
Chino Hills, California

Thanks to the publisher. Perfect timing. Muslims and Islam are here to stay regardless of what goes on.
Mo Fadawi
Torrance, California

This was a beautiful article — I especially enjoyed reading the participants’ contributions. It gives me hope that we can be the country I believe we’re capable of being, and that the bigots and hatemongers here in the U.S. won’t prevail.
Leigh Bailey
Los Angeles

I always enjoy reading LMU Magazine from cover to cover. Currently I live in Quantico, Virginia, where my husband is stationed with the U.S. Marine Corps. Moving away from Los Angeles has been the toughest thing for me as a military spouse. I especially enjoyed this last issue and the articles about our Muslim students, faculty and staff. I currently teach adult ESL in Fairfax County, Virginia, and I am learning more about Islam than I ever expected.
Margaret Martin ’08
Quantico, Virginia

What a lovely and great essay by Lynell George ’84, and what a thrill to find it in LMU Magazine! I love this paragraph: “We forget that just as important as what we wish for ourselves is gleaning the insight that may seem beyond our imagination. That big life we crave, the one larger than we can conceive, is often the consequence of risk, misadventure and recovery. As one subject finally came to understand it: ‘Don’t look; leap. Trust the dark. Trust what you’ve cultivated inside.’ ” This idea — coming out of the darkness with a deeper trust in one’s inner voice (which some might call the voice of the divine) — seems in accord with the mystical traditions of people like St. Ignatius Loyola, St. John of the Cross, or St. Thérèse of Lisieux, etc. Thanks for your work!
Christa Forster

I enjoyed the article titled “The Duke” (Summer 2016). Just an FYI: In the photo on Page 38, it’s not Don Klosterman who is wearing No. 10. Back in the day, the ballplayers grabbed any jersey from the clean laundry basket to wear to practice. The team members, who are all class of ’54, are (l-r): Ken Mahood, Tommy Grimes, Coach Jerry Neri (kneeling), Danny Seivert and Bob Burton. Your magazine is very informative and interesting. Keep up the fine work.
Ken Mahood ’54
Westlake Village, California

“Becoming Nonna” (My Take, Summer 2016) is a fine illustration of the fact that Amy Orr Morris-Young is not only a gifted, clear-thinking writer, she is — more importantly — fun to read.
Mitch Finley
Spokane, Washington

How very sad that you had President Bill Clinton speak at the 2016 commencement exercises (“President Clinton to Graduates: ‘Set the World on Fire,’ Summer 2016). I have always been proud of Loyola and my years there. I am ashamed to admit that my university would invite a man who cheated on his wife and was impeached by the House of Representatives to speak to the graduates. I guess things have changed since I was a student. Maybe the university has a different agenda in 2016.
Bud Lazar ’64
Laguna Woods, California

Good selection for speaker. And I am appalled at threats to stop donations based on his selection. My Jesuit education, high school and college, taught me that a man should be judged by his body of work and not simply by his personal shortcomings. Who among us is not flawed? Pope Francis has fostered some welcome compassion and empathy to our Catholic community and world. Our tendency to judge, disdain and denigrate ill becomes us. Save condemnation for genuine evil, not mere human frailty. And I am not a Hillary supporter.
David Ogren ’77
San Luis Obispo, California

I find it very curious that our “Catholic” university would invite President Clinton. His documented personal history that includes impeachment (without conviction), disbarment from the practice of law and a lengthy history as a sexual predator would seem to be antithetical to the moral and ethical standards on which the university was established. A close analysis of the Clinton “charitable” foundation would reveal that the “donations” (including those from foreign entities) go to advancing his political agenda, including his wife’s campaign in 2016, rather than the purported charitable beneficiaries of the foundation. I am in total disagreement with President Timothy Law Snyder’s assertion that he is one of the greatest statesmen of our time. Perhaps ethics, morality and virtue are no longer a component of the designation “greatest.” If that is the case, then I, too, find that LMU no longer promotes or personifies the values that I define as Catholic, and my association with the university will diminish and eventually become extinct.
Robert M. Johnson ’70, Law ’77
Los Angeles

Everyone is, of course, entitled to one’s own opinion, but it seems to me that there are some serious oversights in the views of those criticizing LMU’s selection of President Bill Clinton as the 2016 commencement speaker. First of all, they are judging Bill Clinton, who is not a Catholic, by a set of very conservative Catholic standards. Secondly, I do not think that they have a very accurate understanding of the nature of a Catholic university; at best, they have a very narrow one. A Catholic university should not be identified with the Catholic Church. By the standards being applied to Bill Clinton, a Catholic university could only invite a Catholic with a very narrow view of Catholicism. Actually, Pope Francis might have trouble meeting these standards. After all, he said do not judge. I ask those who support using this narrow view of Catholicism as a criteria for evaluating the actions of a Catholic university to contemplate the ramifications of applying this standard to the graduating class of a Catholic university. Who are we to judge?
John Connolly
Professor Emeritus
Los Angeles

Great edition, with the articles on Muslims on campus, Billy Bean and the incredible Don Klosterman. Made me proud of my school!
Leo McElroy ’53

Your alumni magazine is an exceptional publication — interesting and, at times, provocative. I enjoy it immensely!
Bob Leuver ’50
Timonium, Maryland