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  • Author:
    Robert Bao
  • Published:
    Summer 2012


Your cover story seems to ignore that water usually comes from rain that comes from the condensation of water vapor that comes from the evaporation of the ocean, sea, river, lake, and pond supplies of liquid water, exhalations of animal and human life, and burning of hydrocarbons.Hydrocarbons are all plant life and fossil fuels.

The statement, “Water is not the new oil, it is far more important. It sustains life,” is incomplete. It should have included carbon dioxide. Water in the vapor form and carbon dioxide in the gaseous mode are the two most prevalent greenhouse gases. Carbon dioxide gives us oxygen from photosynthesis for creating vegetation. Carbon dioxide is relatively constant at 392 parts per million or .00392% of our atmosphere. The earth’s vegetation has a voracious appetite for this gas. To get more fresh water, humans need to burn more fossil fuels and vegetation to get more water vapor and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Joe Schramek, ’61

Dearborn Heights

You well describe how MSU is effectively connecting and empowering the students, faculty & alumni in a global initiative that serves the basic need of a thirsty world. However, you still have a “branding” task in hand—continuing to organize this effort, which could emerge as the story of the next decade. MSU needs to continue to be in front of the wave. We need to mobilize the awareness and political will to act ahead of the problems. This would add another brick in the foundation of the MSU brand.

Mickey E. Fouts, ’54

Castle Rock, CO


I was surprised that the School of Packaging Building was not identified in your story about “Bricks & Mortar.” It was built in the mid-60s with funds from alumni and industry. In 1982 a campaign was initiated to raise $3.5 million to double its size.This campaign was a test run for “MSU 2000,” which raised about $260 million. The “new” packaging building was completed in 1987. Today there are over 7,000 graduates of the School of Packaging—the nation’s premier packaging school.

Paul L. Peoples, ’59

MSU Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations (1983-92)


Great universities offer more than education and research, and “Brick and Mortar Giffs” illustrated this so well." How exciting to see that's dedication to MSU has been expressed by those philanthropic individuals who generously support the beautiful campus!" I’ve traveled back to MSU many times over the years, and I’m convinced that it is indeed as thriving, lively, and memorable as ever.

Mary Ann (Sikkema) Potter, ’67

Oxford, NC


Your column about the football helmet logo brought back memories of the 1970s when I was a graduate student in the College of Education and spent time with athletic medicine in the football program. The Spartan helmet design has changed over time, but I like the current Spartan profile.It’s a timeless icon of clean dimension . . . Light years better than any scruffy image and vastly more identifiable than an “S.”

I wish Mark Dantonio would get rid of the flared white stripe on the front of the helmet and stay with the national recognized classic Spartan icon.

Richard W. Redfearn, PhD ’74

Chapel Hill, NC


Re your stories in the Winter 2012 issue regarding Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring. According to Forbes and National Geographic magazines, an estimated 20 to 60 million people have died since DDT was essentially banned.When I fly into Chicago at night and see lights sprawl forever, I realize more people have been killed by malaria than live within those lights—some 12 times more, mostly children!

It’s ironic that MSU is singing Rachel Carson’s accolades when Congress blocked a resolution honoring her 100th anniversary.She was blamed for using junk science to turn the public against chemicals.

Barry Winkel, ’71

South Haven


Your spring issue is a handsome magazine, embellished, of course, by the excellent reporting on the Sparty helmet logo story (“Revisiting An Old, Forlorn Crime Against Spartanhood”). My fame is a little late in coming but I will try to bear it with appropriate humility. By the way, thanks for subtracting two years from my age. I could use them.

Bob Perrin

MSU Vice President for University and Federal

Relations (1970-79)

Naples, FL


I worked at the Coral Gables four years, waiting tables and checking Ids. We were paid $1 an hour (with $.03 withheld for social security). In the cartoon, owner Tom Johnson has the cigar.Standing next to him is Tom King, dean of students. Next, seated, is President Hannah. The others are assorted BMOCs. The MSU coed with the roses was named “Miss Big Ten” for the Rose Bowl.

The Veteran’s Club met there.No beer was served until the meeting was over, so the meetings were usually short. The giant black duck was the Club’s mascot, nicknamed “The Ruptured Duck.” We held dinners to honor vets and one speaker was Gov. John B. Swainson, a vet who had lost both legs during WWII.

Bob Rorich, ’62, MA ’64