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  • Author:
    Robert Bao
  • Published:
    Winter 2012

BY THE NUMBERS

“MSU By The Numb3rs”— great article; great issue. On page 48, Tom Izzo says, “There are a lot of unknowns, but I like what I know about the unknowns. Of course, you don’t know for sure until you get them in game situations.” Did Izzo spend a lot of time with (Detroit Tigers manager) Jim Leyland over the summer?

Jim VanDevelde, ’61
Frankenmuth

Two—the number of MSU faculty who were elected to both the National Academy of Sciences and to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (Anton Lang, plant physiologist, 1967 and 1968; and James L. Dye, chemistry, in 1989 and 1990).

Doug Noverr
Professor, Writing, Rhetoric and American Culture

“MSU by the Numbers” was interesting and informative.Here’s another number for you:67. That’s the percent share of the television audience that watched MSU’s 1956 Rose Bowl win over UCLA. That’s the game that Dave “Golden Toe” Kaiser made a 41-yard field goal with seven seconds remaining, giving MSU a 17-14 win. To this day, that’s the Highest rated college football bowl game of all time.

Sixty-Seven is a good MSU number!

Bruce McCristal, ’54
Bloomfield Hills

How about these numbers: 8,000—the number of Spartans in the New York City area.200—the average number of Spartans at our club’s game watch parties. And finally 3—the number of times I’ve returned to MSU when we play Michigan (and we’ve won each time, including the latest 28-14 win!).

Jason Slomack, ’92
Flemington, NJ

Jason is currently a vice president of the Greater New York alumni regional club. –Editor.

MATH & SCIENCE EDUCATION

In my 37 years of teaching high school English, I questioned certain aspects of educational research—questions that emerged as I read Susan Pettit-Riley’s “Why Can’t America Compete in Math and Science?”: How do we balance career-oriented math and science with subjects like literature,Languages and history to foster more well-rounded learners?How can we ensure that researchers are not insulated from the real world of the schools, where too many teachers and administrators are constrained by time, disciplinary matters and other demands? How do we motivate schools?

Pettit-Riley used the phrase “including motivation,” which I would change to “especially motivation.” MSU’s Institute for Research on Mathematics and Science Education has taken on a tremendous challenge. I hope solutions are forthcoming.

Mary Ann Potter, ’67
Oxford, NC

ALTRUISM AT MSU

Read your Summer 2011 issue from cover to cover and was gratified to learn that altruism is alive and well in East Lansing in the form of alternative spring breaks. It was heartwarming to see MSU students forsake the bacchanalian pleasures for a caring and learning experience that they will never forget. In my four years in East Lansing, I never ventured beyond Detroit city limits. Had the concept of an alternative spring break been around back then, I surely would have explored signing on for one. Kudos to all involved.

Pat Gallinagh, ’67
Ironwood

BUBBA SMITH

I sincerely appreciated your Bubba Smith remembrance. You captured that MSU 1963-66 football era perfectly. As a student aide in Fred Stabley’s sports publicity office, my task was to write hometown stories on all new team members. When I interviewed Bubba, he said his older brother, Willy Ray, at Iowa, was getting all the news back home. Then he commanded me to “make sure” his story made the paper. Aft er a game or so, I don’t think he ever worried about publicity again.

Michael McVeigh, ’65
Irvine, CA

FREAKY DEAKY

You mentioned that 15 interns from MSU worked on the set of Freaky Deaky, the upcoming Movie based on a novel by Elmore Leonard. The location manager, George Constas, and the assistant video coordinator, Mark Adler, are both MSU graduates. We are working with Brian Winn, associate professor of Telecom, Information Studies & Media and director of MSU’s Games and Entertainment Laboratory, on developing a possible mobile video game based on the film.Stay tuned.

Bob Cantrell, ’62
Executive Producer, Freaky Deaky
DeWitt

MONSTROUS SIGNING

I greatly enjoyed the story about Glendon Swarthout (Summer2011) . I had the distinction of being taught by him as a freshman in 1951 and of being his colleague in the MSU English Department as a graduate student/instructor in 1958-60. He was my best instructor. I was on the campus when both They Came to Cordura and Where the Boys Are were published.Aft er Cordura was published, the bookstore across from campus was filled to overflowing.It was a monstrous book-signing.The irony was that had it not been for that success, Glendon would not have been able to interest Hollywood in Boys—which, of course, eventually became a far bigger hit.

It was fun to read about Glendon and to see that he and his excellent work have not been forgotten.

Robert Reising, ’55
Conway, AR

English Professor Reising, co-author of Chasing Moonlight (John F. Blair, 2009), was the catcher on MSU’s 1954 Big Ten championship baseball team and was the baseball coach at Duke and Furman universities.–Editor.