Current Issue


Several readers wrote to identify these 1954 Pioneers football players. Pictured from left are Nick Angele, John Mette, Bob Ball, Fred Mahaffey and Chuck DeLuca.


I had happy memories of my days at DU when I read “The marching band’s last hurrah.” I played the snare drum in the band from 1952-55. (Does anyone remember the pajama parade in downtown Denver in 1955?) The Alumni Connections section included a picture of members of the 1954 “miracle” football team. Pictured second from right is Fred Mahaffey (BSBA ’55). He was the fullback on the team and the battalion commander in our ROTC. After graduating in 1955, Fred went into the Army Rangers and was later promoted to four-star rank, making him one of the youngest four-star generals ever. The 3rd Infantry Division dedicated its headquarters building in his honor.

Eliot Dubin (BSBA ’55)
Los Angeles

The group of 1954 football players pictured in the magazine took me back to Thanksgiving Day of that year. Denver was playing Colorado State for the Skyline Conference title. The game was played in the stadium, and it was packed. The weather was cold with a few snow flurries, but the crowd was so hyped it made little difference. The game was a blowout for DU and some folks said that watching the band was more exciting; however, we won the title and that was all that mattered. I attended the game with two student friends—Ed (BFA ’58) and Frank (BFA ’58) Dehne. This was the last football game that I ever attended (I’m not a sports buff). We had a great time.

Sid Eighmey (BSBA ’55)
Ithaca, N.Y.


Tsk, tattoos

The winter issue cover picture is admirable in that it reveals DU’s initiative to end homelessness. However, the picture also speaks volumes on the need to educate young people not to mar themselves with tattoos. Even if we are successful in elevating her out of homelessness, this young mother—embellished with tattoos—will be, I fear, limited forever to entry-level jobs in the workforce.

Brenda Stanberry (BA ’72)
Nashville, Tenn.


Hope for the homeless

I was very moved to read the article on homelessness. I came to the University of Denver having just escaped from the streets as a homeless teenage mother in 1981. I was terrified at the thought of having been accepted into the University with an academic background that was checkered at best. Armed only with the vague notion that I wanted to be a physician, and that I had applied for and been offered a full scholarship, I embarked on my pre-med education at DU. I had few of the skills needed to compete in the academic atmosphere. Furthermore, I had no social skills to make friends or find mentors. I did not want anyone to know how unprepared I was for this experience and how desperately scared I was. There were very few social-service models for assisting the homeless and/or teenage parents. I spent all of my time trying to catch up with basic skills, earn a living and care for my child. I tried my best to fit in and hid my home life from everyone on campus. I succeeded at DU with the help of several tutors and professors. I applied to only one medical school because I didn’t know it was an option to apply to others. Fortunately, I was accepted and graduated at the top of my class. I went on to a residency program in orthopedic surgery and today I have a full-time practice in pediatric orthopedic surgery. I am chief of the department of orthopedic surgery in my hospital and a clinical professor of orthopedic surgery at a nearby university hospital. My daughter grew up to have deep compassion for others and now directs a large not-for-profit medical program that serves the homeless. I rarely reflect back to those days, but your article on homelessness brought it all back in such vivid detail. I am so gratified to know that the University of Denver is investing in programs that serve the homeless. You never know who is out there waiting for the opportunity to succeed!

Dr. Mary Hurley (BA ’85)
Redlands, Calif.


Mother of all concerts

I saw the Frank Zappa poster on the back cover of the most recent DU magazine, and it was indeed “one helluva weird night.” I can’t give you an audience perspective on the show, but as one of the stage managers for the event, it was an interesting evening backstage. I recall that Zappa and his entourage were late in arriving, and that the greenroom accommodations were definitely not to his liking. By the time we got him settled down the show was running quite late, so we asked the opening band to play a bit longer while we sorted things out. The opener might have been Flash Cadillac & the Continental Kids or the all-female group Fanny. Anyway, long story short, Zappa was extremely arrogant and sarcastic at every turn, and when I politely asked him if a student who wrote for the DU newspaper could conduct a brief interview, he responded (and I quote) “F–k no!” So you get the picture: major rock ‘n’ roll star at the height of his career plays a small western college gig … If I’m not mistaken, this was the last big-name concert produced at the DU arena. To my recollection, Zappa played the arena’s swan song.

Richard Rose (BA ’75)
Tucson, Ariz.


I was drawn to the back cover featuring the Frank Zappa poster. In 1971 while I was a student at the University, I worked with the programs council. We were looking for new forms of entertainment and performing arts for the campus, including theater, dance and classical music, among others. In pursuit of these worthy goals, we contacted a Denver arts and music promoter, who proposed hosting Zappa and the Mothers of Invention at the arena. I had listened to a few of the Mothers’ recordings and was not impressed, or maybe I just didn’t understand them. One thing is for sure: The live performance was much better than any of their records. What a showman Frank Zappa was that night! As I remember it, he opened the show with a mix of jazz, blues, country, classical and ragtime music in his very unique style, along with running commentary on everything under the sun. We were thrilled that the concert was packed with a nice mix of students and dedicated Zappa followers. After playing for more than two hours straight, the Mothers launched into a full-blown rock ‘n’ roll set that just knocked out the audience and was the finale for the evening. People were so juiced by the music that no one wanted to leave at the end. What a scene, and what a concert it was.

Patrick Stanford (BA ’72, MSJA ’77)
Alamosa, Colo.


Dangerous minds

In reference to former Gov. Dick Lamm’s comments in the “Dangerous Minds” article, it is unfortunate that the DU public policy professor suggests that “Academic freedom was compromised by the excess of thinking that grew out of the civil rights movement.” To propose that an “excess of thinking” is detrimental to academics, especially concerning the civil rights movement, is an insult to the goals and basic motivations of higher education and intellectual progress. Mr. Lamm’s statement seems to imply that a shortage of thinking would have been a more desirable approach to the civil rights movement, or his idea of academic freedom, which is a sad comment from any professor.

Thomas “JJ” Henrikson (MSRECM ’07)

Comments are closed.