Oberlin Alumni Magazine

Winter 2008-09 Vol. 104 No. 2 OAM Home | Oberlin Online


A World of Green

It is so good to be affiliated with an institution that has its fingers on the pulse of our planet and the foresight and courage to do something about it. In reading the fall 2008 issue, I was encouraged by Oberlin’s involvement in making a difference in the environment. I am very proud of the College’s endeavors and the object lessons that Oberlin is providing for colleges, communities, and corporations. Keep up the great work!

Rev. Ronald M. Segedy ’61
Racine, Wis.

I think the fall issue is the best alumni magazine ever. It’s inspiring, it’s hopeful, it’s practical, and it makes me proud to be an Obie. Keep up the good work, green Obies!

Douglas O. Maass ’66
Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.

Oberlin’s efforts at resource conservation are laudable. But your discussions of carbon-free energy sources contain no mention of nuclear energy. What kind of dream world do Oberlinians live in if they think that solar, wind, geothermal, and biofuel energies can satisfy future needs, let alone replace a significant amount of coal-generated energy? Remember, the concerns are of global warming and resource conservation, especially of fossil fuels, and not ill-defined terms like “green” and “clean.”

John E. Tanner, Jr. ’51
Idaho Falls, Idaho

I always enjoy the magazine. In “A World of Green,” the Light Bulb Brigade’s momentous task of switching all existing incandescent bulbs with energy-saving compacts is described. We have heard, however, that the longer-burning bulbs contain mercury and will cause another environmental disaster in seven years when they all burn out and have to be discarded. Have any student, faculty, or alumni groups investigated that issue?

Myrina McCullough ’69
Washington, D.C.

Another Oberlin Story

Editor’s Note: In the last issue of OAM, we requested alumni-written, first-person narratives to add to Oberlin’s new web site at www.oberlin.edu. Here is one of several submissions. To add your own Oberlin story, visit http://stories.oberlin.edu/contribute.shtml.

I was discharged in 1945 from the Navy, where I was one of four aviators who flew off the deck of the battleship U.S.S. Providence. Since I had five years of higher education coming to me from my service time in the Navy, I asked Mr. Watkins, my high school principal, which college I should apply to. We lived in Western Mass then. He knew about Oberlin College, as some of his family had attended there. Immediately, I applied to that “little college” in Ohio, where I was accepted upon the recommendation of Mr. Watkins. Thus, my story really begins. My bride(of eight months) and I took off for Oberlin College in February of 1946. We were so excited and full of anticipation in not knowing what was in store for us! First off, our living quarters were quite unusual: an expandable trailer with no running water or bathroom. The College had apparently acquired several dozen trailers from some government project in Kentucky following the war. The experience of being with all the other couples was great! Some had children already, and some had babies as time went on. Our oldest son was born at Allen Hospital in March 1950. We found it necessary to work to help supplement the GI Bill, but that was okay. I worked for the College’s building and grounds department, and my wife, Betty, worked part time in some of the offices on campus. I found the academic work very difficult at first and different from the shop courses I had taken in high school. But my training in the Navy helped bring me up to speed. Being with the veterans was very enjoyable. We could reminisce about our service experiences all the time. Betty and I also enjoyed Friday afternoon teas at Professor Howard Robinson’s house, and the music from the Conservatory helped to enrich our lives. Yes, the whole experience really changed our lives forever. It made it possible for me to get a BA from Oberlin, a master’s degree from the University of Vermont, and a doctorate from Columbia University. We credit Oberlin for much that we have ever done, ever had, or contributed to the world!

Don Fitzgerald ’49
Ashfield, Mass.