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Thank you so very much for arranging for me to get 30 copies of your wonderful issue [summer 2004] of the University of Denver Magazine. The cover, the graphic of the map of Africa [“Seeds of Change”], the heart-wrenching story of Mutuma and Beatrice [“Hope in the Heart of Africa”], and the uplifting story of Karambu and other DU-connected folks will persuade my church family to give generously to help children orphaned by AIDS. The writing, the photography and the cover were all much above the expected in institutional publications. What bright futures you all have!

Lou Ann Townsend, MA ’70

mission chair, Delta United Methodist Church

Delta, Colo.

I read with great interest about the work of Karambu Ringera [“Hope in the Heart of Africa,” summer 2004.] I did my PhD fieldwork in rural Kenya and have continued to work there. This fall I will be going to Tanzania to lead the orientation for Students for International Change, who have organized an AIDS education program outside of Arusha. I also have a student who will be working on a master’s in international health and who is very interested in finding an internship in East Africa to work on AIDS and children. Terrific issue. It makes me proud to be an alum.

Suki Hoagland, MA ’81

Stanford, Calif.

I am one of the Pioneers from the ’60s. Let me congratulate you on your fine “Pioneers Hockey in Review” supplement to another excellent University of Denver Magazine. Just for the record, the 1963–64 team won the WCHA Championship [MacNaughton Cup], beating the Michigan Wolverines 6-2. The Pioneers then played Michigan again in the 1964 NCAA championships in Denver. We lost to Michigan (6-4) in the in the championship game. We all received a second-place medal, which I have managed to hang on to. It was a great experience even in those days. Keep up the good work.

Grant Warwick, attd. 1961-67

Delta, British Columbia

Receiving the University of Denver Magazine [spring 2004] has been interesting and has brought to mind a subject not often discussed: the working student. My experience at DU was a major turning point in my life. I was not a great student. I did not take the courses required. I could not participate in most of the activities available. However, my time at DU—1959–1963 and 1966–1967—was important to my development. Today, as a retired senior project manager and teacher, I recognize that I had what is now called attention deficit disorder and dyslexia. I had virtually no money. I had family that could provide housing but little else. I began college in the Colorado state system but could not support myself in a “college town.” So I took a single course of philosophy at the downtown DU campus. I could always find work in Denver and pay the more expensive tuition and fees at the University of Denver. I took the classes I wanted, with little regard for the standard curriculum. After all, I was paying my own way. I was lucky. Dr. Allen Breck, head of the history department, allowed me to take the classes I was interested in. He encouraged me to step up to classes with students who were far better prepared. His stories about his travel and his love of learning were inspiring. I was always grateful that he took the time to discuss many things with me and was always willing to allow me to make my own choices. The second piece of luck was to take a class with Dr. Elwood Murray (BA ’18). He was a professor emeritus and taught General Semantics. His lessons about how to recognize my own “maps” and “filters” continue to teach me new things each and every day. I carried his class notes with me for at least 30 years. He also took me into his home, fed me and my girlfriend hot chocolate, played with great gusto his newly practiced organ skills and drove the smallest car on campus. He was certainly older then than I am now, but his vitality, intellect and humanity will always be a guiding light for me when I work with my students. My third piece of luck was that I knew Dr. Keith Case (PhD ’48), head of the communication department. His son and I had met in high school. Because I was a friend of his son, he was always available to answer questions and to provide guidance. I had no scholarship. I had no trips to exotic places to experience other cultures. I held at least a dozen different jobs, most full time while carrying a full load of classes. I was often tired and cranky, overzealous about politics and religion, and mostly a difficult, opinionated and vocal student. In those days, DU allowed a kind of freedom and provided people who were wonderful role models. They were my entrée into the world of learning through books and experience. I will not likely recognize many other students from that period and will never be a person to name a building after, but I have been able to survive many ups and downs in my life. The people I looked up to during my years at DU guided me to do what needed to be done, in my own way. I hope DU always has a place for those like me.

Charles “Chuck” Lovell, BA ’63

Laguna Niguel, Calif.

For generations, black DU students, as well as all blacks in this country, were banned from the Trocadero Ballroom at Elitch Gardens. They could not swim in the pool, nor enjoy certain other activities in the park. As a black child growing up in Denver, I often visited a cousin who lived two blocks from Elitch’s. We could walk to the park and participate in what was available to us. Of course, as children we were naïve and enjoyed time spent at Elitch’s. As a young adult returning to Denver from college, I, along with others, resented the racism which prevailed at Elitch’s. I cannot recall the dates when a group of black and white friends went to the ballroom. The whites were admitted, but not the blacks. This group took this denial of civil rights to court and eventually won the case. This was not a “smiling time” or a “special place” for us. Regretfully, I am unable to appreciate your article [“Dancing at the Troc,” spring 2004], which glorifies the Trocadero. It incited feelings of resentment and bad memories. Should I assume you are unaware of this part of the Trocadero’s history?

Lorraine Hobbs, MSW ’73


“Dancing at the Troc” author Steve Fisher responds: In researching this piece, I missed the fact that the Trocadero experience could not be shared by everyone. None of the histories of Elitch’s that I consulted mentioned segregation, though further research conducted after receiving this letter proved that Elitch’s shared in the nation’s segregationist history. I sincerely apologize for the omission.

Many thanks for answering my request for information about my uncle, Alfred Serafin (Class of 1935) in the spring 2004 edition of your magazine. I enjoyed the publication and found myself reading it cover to cover. Having never been to Colorado, your informative magazine influenced me to visit. The Denver Chamber of Commerce has an asset in your publication. Mr. Leo Block [BA ’35] must read your magazine cover to cover as well. He responded to my request for information about my uncle. Mr. Block and Al Serafin spent four years together at DU, and he brought tears to my eyes when he said, “I loved him.” Apparently, they were the best of friends, extremely active in school sports and other activities. Al Serafin was drafted into the Navy but was unable to complete his duty (doctors found he had a heart problem and he was given a medical discharge). After he returned to Denver, he went to work for DU. From what I have read in his obituary on file at Penrose Library, he loved DU and the students loved him. He was an alumnus and an administrator and received many honors while at DU. Sadly the heart condition that kept him from completing his service in the Navy was what took his life. Al died at home in Denver on Nov. 7, 1976. He was 64. Please give my thanks to Steve Fisher at Penrose Library. He answered my first e-mail requesting information about my uncle. Without his kind help, I would not have been able to fit together the pieces of Al Serafin’s time at DU. There must be something in the water at DU that makes for special people.

Helga Tomaino

Anaheim, Calif.

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