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Inspirational

It was inspirational to see the article in UofL Magazine about the involvement of Darrell Griffith and STAR in the research of autism treatment.  

My wife, Nancy, and I relocated to Indianapolis in 2000 at the same time our daughter, Marissa, was diagnosed with autism. She is now nine, nonverbal and receives outstanding support in her school and community. I am very active in SPRED (Special Religious Education) at our church. My wife is active with Autism Awareness of Indiana, which works in the community to create opportunities for people with autism.    

I believe we could plan events that could benefit both Kentucky and Indiana and raise awareness and funding that would assist with autism-related programs. One thought I had in watching the recent Jimmy V classic basketball games was to arrange another “Big Four” classic in Conseco field house with Louisville, IU, Purdue and ND. The proceeds could contribute to the autism programs in Kentucky and Indiana. With Darrell’s name, maybe Charlie Weis at Notre Dame (he has a daughter with autism) and even Doug Flutie’s involvement, maybe it could happen.   

In closing I just wanted you to know that the work of Darrell Griffith and the STAR program means a lot to me and my family. Nancy and I are working in Indiana to take the awareness to the next level.  Please feel free to call or email us so we can share ideas and keep working toward a cure. 

Thanks for a job well done, 

Marty and Nancy Pate
Indianapolis, Ind. 

Playing God

I have been following your articles and letters on 2008 Alumnus of the Year Wes Unseld and would like to share with you the wonderful experience I had with him. As a modern languages major with an emphasis on French, I was part of the “French Players,” an amateur theater group under the tutelage of Professor Mary Jo Fink, when, in the spring of 1967, it was decided to put on a play titled Le Jeu d’Adam, a 12th century French language “Mystery” play about the story of Adam and Eve. I was cast in the role of Adam, and Jill Hayden was cast in the role of Eve (to my delight). But we needed someone big and overpowering to play God, and Wes was suggested. At first he refused, because he knew no French, then hesitated and then agreed. I taught him his lines phonetically, which he learned quickly and without an accent—proof of the level of intelligence of this man who went on to become, among many other accomplishments, president of the NBA Players Association.

Put this in context: an African-American playing God in what had always been an all-white play—in Louisville—in 1967. UofL was ahead of the curve when integrating its athletic teams (which is why Wes and his roommate Butch Beard came to UofL) and we had no hesitation in inviting an African-American to have a role in our play—but the role of GOD?!? It was truly a ground-breaking event—well attended and widely appreciated by the audience.

Aside from spending lots of time with Wes teaching him his lines, my two favorite memories of that experience were walking across campus with him when kids would ask him for his autograph and he would sign “God,” and when he chastised Adam (me) for sin. At one point he was so into his role I asked for a time out because I thought I was about to be struck by lightning!

If God can be defined (Merriam-Webster) as a being or object believed to have more than natural attributes and powers and to require human worship, Wes fits the definition.

Chris Stout 67A
Ridgewood, NJ

The Reynolds Building

I always enjoy receiving the UofL Magazine. Louisville represents some of the best times of my life for many varied reasons. In the  fall 2008 issue there is a black and white print of the Reynolds Metals Co. building. Is there any way I could obtain a print of this image? As a student of photography I know the photographic archives was housed in this building. I took many photography courses at UofL back in the late ’70s.

Sam Frank 81DMD
Pittsburgh, Pa.

(Editor’s note: The Photographic Archives are now housed in Ekstrom Library. They feature almost 2 million photographs with associated records and are available to researchers and casual browsers. Visit library.louisville.edu/ekstrom/special/ to learn more.

More ‘Fighting Spirit’

WOW, the fall issue of the UofL alumni magazine was spectacular!! There was SO much to read that was interesting and inspiring—“Best Ever” issue for me in 40 years as a UofL alumna!!  Hope you’ll continue the great variety of feature writing during the 2009 New Year.

Visuals of the UofL Fighting Cardinal Bird within the fall magazine prompted me to share its history with your readers. While living in Louisville and working as corp analyst for Humana Inc. (circa 1980), I was asked by CEO David Jones to head up Humana’s first corporate program for UofL season football tickets and tailgaters. At that time, the Cardinal logo was a pretty mild-mannered bird, so I worked with Humana’s communications and graphics personnel to give the Cardinal bird a more “fighting spirit” via gritting teeth, fierce eyes, etc. 

When our 1980 Humana employee football campaign ended, I received an unexpected phone call from the UofL Athletic Director.  He asked me “IF” UofL could permanently adopt Humana’s Fighting Cardinal Bird as their logo.  All of my Humana cohorts were both surprised & flattered.  We, of course, said YES, and the rest is 29-year logo history!!  On behalf of ALL my Humana co-workers, we are SO pleased that “our” Cardinal Bird logo has endured and engendered “more” of the great UofL Fighting Spirit.

Marilyn King Hankins 69A
Orlando, Fla.

(Editor’s Note: Accounts of when the Cardinal Bird got teeth and how the logo evolved throughout the years vary.) 

Impressed with A&S

I am just writing to say that, as a former student, faculty member and dean at UofL, I am extremely impressed with the recent activities of the College of Arts and Sciences. We had a committed but small group of active alumni when I was dean, and it is very nice to see how that has expanded over the years. That is a tribute to the A&S administration and to the dedicated alumni. I will be there in February for induction in the Hall of Honor. That is also a really nice addition to the college’s activities, and I am honored to be part of it.

Lois Cronholm 67A
Bala Cynwyd, Penn.

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