Dear LMU — Letters From Our Readers, Summer 2011

Prof. Thomas Pitts had the greatest academic influence on my life (“Word of Mouth,” His influence paved the way for me to become a college professor, researcher and college president. A sincere thanks for his advice and friendship.
Richard McCullough ’63
Mission Viejo, Calif.

Thank you, Father Reed, for letting me into Loyola the day before the start of the term with only report cards, when I decided USC was not where I wanted to be. And thanks especially to Mr. (later Father) Aziz for a logic class in the chapel basement that changed how I made decisions and that prepared a political science major for a career in computer systems.
Jim Robinson ’57
San Luis Obispo, Calif.

Frank Carothers, Dick Kocher, Gene Boling, Al Hile, Joe Castaldi, Bill Nelson, Ray Abdalla — gentlemen, scholars and friends. In my life, I loved them all.
Charles Bahl ’72
San Jose, Calif.

Thank you, Father Rausch, for making my college years memorable. Your theology classes were exciting and interesting in evolving honest discussions with your students on current themes of interest in Church dogma and theology. I will always remember you. Take care of yourself.
Sabrina Selva ’80
San Bernardino, Calif.

From the time I arrived at LAX and saw all the wonderful banners along Lincoln Blvd., I knew Commencement was going to be good. The party on campus the night before was great! The music, food and décor went above and beyond what I expected. I found it really nice, as a parent of a graduate, to have a place to go with my daughter and enjoy the splendor of the campus. As I was walking across campus with my graduate after the ceremony, we crossed paths with President David W. Burcham. He came up to my daughter and wanted to shake her hand “a third time.” He remembered she had received two diplomas from him in the past hour. That really topped off the experience!
Roberta Hom

A slideshow about Commencement 2011 can be found here.—The Editor.

Allow me to join the chorus of readers applauding the appointment of David W. Burcham as the new president of LMU. Among other things, I’m hopeful his appointment will lead to greater communication and coordination between the Westchester campus and the Loyola Law School. Sadly, the first time many Loyola law students step foot on the Westchester campus is when they go there for their graduation.
Josh Gross, Law ’99
Beverly Hills, Calif.

I’m an alumna of the School of Education, and as I read the faculty essays on education (“Back to the Future,” Spring 2011), I can’t help wondering why there’s no diversity. Of seven faculty essays, only one female faculty member is featured. This is one of my biggest problems with LMU: It professes to be an inclusive institution but lags far behind in its outreach efforts to diverse communities. Please try to diversify your content where possible. It would be very refreshing to see!
Jasmine Mora ’09
Washington, D.C.

I am pleased that you included Prof. Nina Lozano-Reich’s article about learning through study abroad in your Spring 2011 issue. One of my favorite classes at LMU was taught by Prof. Lozano-Reich. She epitomizes social justice and encourages her students to be actively involved in issues, which she ties in with communication studies superbly. I definitely encourage students to get involved in the Casa de la Solidaridad Program. Thank you, Prof. Lozano-Reich, for inspiring your students!
Britni McCotter ’07
Austin, Texas

Thanks for the great images of Special Games in the slideshow at LMU Magazine Online, especially the athletes who were coming in the ’80s and ’90s and still do, like William and Bobby. On Big Day this year, I wasn’t able to be in Westchester. But as coach of my 7-year-old son’s baseball team, I purposefully scheduled a game that day against a wonderful team of developmentally disabled young baseball players. Although we were 80 miles away from campus, the smiles, laughter and inspiration we experienced felt just like Special Games. Hakuna Matata, for sure. May God bless Special Games and the wonderful folks it serves!
Ray Watts ’93
Redlands, Calif.

Terrific article (Spring 2011)! Knowing that it came from one who very recently was among us and working here at Loyola High School makes it all the more exciting. Why? Because we know personally how much Olvera Street is in every fiber of author Christina Mariscal’s being. Keep up the good work, Christina.
Peter Filice, S.J.
Los Angeles

I am saddened to learn of the passing of Ernest Sweeney, S.J. (Spring 2011). I was a teaching assistant in the Department of History, and he was my
faculty adviser. I can still hear him inviting me
to share a story or tell him what was on my mind. It was Father Sweeney who suggested my course of study at Loyola: “Study what you love, and you will always succeed.” I’ve passed that sage advice to my nephews and will to my own children.
Eric Moody ’86
Castaic, Calif.

I read “Taking the Plunge” (Fall 2010), and it’s good to see some things never change — MUCH! My wife, Terry (Matusiewicz) Giles, and I dated throughout most of our time at LMU. During the 1975 May Day Celebration, you could have friends thrown in Foley Pond for a small donation. Terry was well loved and was thrown in the pond many times. Being a student with zero dollars, I recruited some friends to toss her in. At the time, I was able to convince her I had nothing to do with it. The Loyolan came out the following Monday, and there on the front page was me, and the lovely wench being thrown in Foley Pond was the woman who is now my lovely bride of 31 years. To this day, whenever we are on campus, Terry gives the pond, and me, a wide berth. Thanks for the memories.
Richard Giles ’76
Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.

In your story about the Civil War chest in the university’s Special Collections (Fall 2010), the contents of the chest were described as possibly belonging to Gen. William Rosecrans. I did my undergraduate work at Loyola University, living in the “Big House” as a Student Worker and graduating in 1957 with a bachelor’s of science degree and an Air Force commission. I have an advanced degree in clinical pathology (public health microbiology and cytopathology). I wonder whether DNA testing of material, carefully extracted from the shaving brush and the cannon ball fragment (which, I’m willing to bet, was from a wound he sustained) might be accomplished. Comparison DNA could come from relatives of the general, some of whom probably still live in California. Mysteries need to be solved.
Col. (ret.) Robert “Nick” Nikolewski ’57
San Antonio

Reading the article about the President’s Day of Service ( and seeing the photographs in the slideshow makes me so proud to be an alumna of LMU. It is inspirational to see how our LMU family is giving back to the community and making a positive impact.
Monica Pleasant ’98
Irvine, Calif.

In a list of LMU presidents in LMU Magazine (Spring 2011), the tenure of Robert B. Lawton, S.J., was incorrectly stated. He was president from 1999–2010.

A story in the same issue about an LMU Study Abroad program incorrectly indicated that the program currently exists in El Salvador. The program’s location has not yet been decided.