Letters to the EditorMarch 2001: Vol. 80, No. 2

Kent Hannon
Stegeman Coliseum/301A
UGA, Athens, GA 30602


40th anniversary of desegregation

January 9, 2001 ranks at the top of the list of important days for our University. No event will ever come close to matching the diversity of faces, ideas, cultures, and tears mingled together on this special day. The challenges offered to the UGA community will only serve as a catalyst to make our great University even better. It is evident from this one moment in our history that, no matter our past differences, we can come together for a celebration of where we were, where we are, and where we need to be as a community.

Associate Vice President, Student Affairs
UGA, Athens

The most moving and historic event at UGA in my 20 years here! All of us who lived through this civil rights period had the joy of being able to pay homage to the heroes who made our University, our state, and our nation confront the immorality and hypocrisy of a democracy that professed life, liberty, and justice for all. We are all better for the incredible courage of those who refused to accept the world as it was.

Professor of Teacher Education
Chair, Program for School Improvement
UGA, Athens

Who could not be impressed with the luminous personality of Charlayne Hunter-Gault: her intelligence, courage, humor, goodwill, and rhetorical skill. The Grady College is very proud she is a graduate. Under great pressure, the University and the media acted responsibly 40 years ago. Tuesday reminded us that we need to continue to press for equal opportunity for all.

Professor of Journalism/Mass Communication
UGA, Athens

When I meet with candidates for faculty positions in the College of Family and Consumer Sciences, I often tell them that Georgia is a "living laboratory." The issues facing the state cover a wide spectrum. At the University, we are in transition between the past and our vision for the future. It was a deeply moving experience to participate in the 40th anniversary of desegregation events, to affirm the human dignity, the personal courage, the value of education, and the power of reconciliation—which for me symbolized hope in the future. We must not let this event pass into history as just another commemoration. For me, it provides an impetus for rededication to the best of America's values.

Dean, College of Family and Consumer Sciences
UGA, Athens

Buon giorno, Cortona!

The article on the Cortona program ["Buon giorno, Cortona!"/ Dec. '00] was a thoroughly engaging piece—well-written, very informative, and a compelling publicity statement. The history of the program and its early struggles, its steady growth and development, and the current status it enjoys as an international leader in art and art history studies abroad were covered in a clear and succinct manner. Although a program with as many lively and intriguing facets as the Cortona operation can now claim is virtually impossible to describe in detail, the article included a number of the more important aspects, such as the vast array of art treasures within easy reach, the incomparable Tuscan light that painters find so exhilarating, the warmth and congeniality of the Cortonese, and the rare opportunity it affords to participants to experience a completely different culture.

There was, however, one omission which surprised and dismayed me as someone who was regularly involved with the program during my years as head of the (then) UGA Department of Art. I refer to Professor Aurelia Ghezzi, long-time principal assistant to a succession of three program directors. Aurelia's familiarity with Italian procedures and customs and her fluency in the language made her invaluable as both liaison and ambassadress for the program, as well as counselor to students and faculty and dependable trouble-shooter. Her working hours were long and she was always "on call." Anyone coping with a problem thought quickly of Aurelia and was grateful to her for her understanding and assistance; the women students, in particular, turned to her for advice and help. Students respect-ed and admired her as a friend and confidante and acknowledged her role in the success of the program. Indeed, it was difficult to think of the day-to-day program activities without also thinking about her contributions as assistant to the director and senior member of his "cabinet."

While one can agree that every individual whose work enhanced the vitality of the program over the years couldn't be cited by name in the article, I find it very distressing that Aurelia, a program mainstay, received no attention whatsoever.

Professor Emeritus of Art
UGA, Athens

I read with great interest the article, "Buon giorno, Cortona!" Being a graduate of the art history program, I am very familiar with this wonderful program. However, I want to correct a mistake. The article mentioned that one of the visiting professors taught at the Corcoran School of Art and Design in Washington, D.C., and it linked Corcoran to the National Gallery of Art, also in Washington, D.C. Other than their common location, there is no other affiliation between the two institutions.

Curatorial Assistant
American Architectural Foundation
Washington, D.C.

You, too, can have the Midas touch

What a great photo of Coach Jack Bauerle and UGA's 2000 Olympic swimming medalists Courtney Shealy and Kristy Kowal on the cover of Georgia Magazine, and the great accompanying article ["He's got the Midas touch!"/ Dec. '00] by Kent Hannon. Very impressive!

Bob Hirshberg and I were co-captains of UGA's first Southeastern Conference championship team in 1951, which was coached by Bump Gabrielsen. A wonderful memory. I'm very proud of the program's progress under Bauerle and his staff, and of UGA's spectacular new swimming facility, the Gabrielsen Natatorium.

I am a contributor to the Gabrielsen Swimming Scholarship Fund and I would like to encourage all UGA alumni swimmers to contribute to it by calling Scott Sikes, toll free, at the UGA Gift Planning Office (888/268-5442). The pooled income fund contribution allows donors to receive quarterly dividends—and you get an immediate tax deduction. It's a good deal for donors and for UGA!

Chattanooga, Tenn.

Farming in outer space

Thank you for publishing the alumni profile about me ("Farming in outer space"/Dec. '00).

As a fellow taxpayer, I think it's important that the public understand the work we do. As a Bulldog, I enjoy telling my engineering colleagues about the opportunities available to graduates of the UGA Biological and Agricultural Engineering program. The general public, and prospective students, need to know that our friends at the "North Avenue Trade School" don't have a monopoly on good engineering training. The biological and agricultural engineering program at UGA is one of the best of its kind in the country, and its graduates are working in a wide variety of areas. Articles like your alumni profile help illustrate this. Thank you again!

Houston, Texas

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