1962 ski team with trophy and team car

The 1962 Pioneers ski team. Pictured, standing, left to right: Coach Willy Schaeffler, Aarne Valkama (BS ’64), Phil Shama, Oyvind Floystad (BA ’63), Jan Blom, Mike Baar (BSBA ’64), Chris Rounds. Kneeling, left to right: Alan Miller (BS ’62), Chris Selbeck (BS ’62).

Ski team scrapbook

I read with great interest the last issue of the University of Denver Magazine [winter 2010] that included the picture of the 1946 ski team on page 53. Enclosed are pictures of the 1962 ski team around our 1962 Buick team car, with what I believe is the NCAA championship trophy we won that year.

Phil Shama (BSBA ’64)
Mount Vernon, Wash.

Cover to cover

The winter 2010 alumni magazine was outstanding, and to be honest, the first one I’ve ever read cover to cover. “China on the Rise” fascinated me because I am planning to go on a tour to China in March, and I had gone to [Professor Suisheng Zhao’s] class during the Alumni Symposium the first weekend in October. The Holocaust memorial article was of interest to me because I have a family on my street who are Jewish and who have teenagers nearing college age, so I shared the magazine with them after I was through with it. “Greetings From the Sanatorium” was extremely interesting, and I was impressed by the professor who was using the names and stories to involve students in some real research. I also enjoyed “States of Change,” “Jersey girl” and “Boo-who?” Altogether the format, writing, and the paper of the magazine itself was truly a pleasurable experience. Thank you for grabbing my attention through the whole issue.

Barbara Nelson (MA ’69)
Englewood, Colo.

The dark side of microlending

We received the latest edition of the magazine in December. One story [Academics, winter 2010] was about how the granting of microcredit is being taught at the DU business school. Surprisingly, at least to me, all the economic “externalities” involved in
microlending were ignored by the writer. For instance, no mention was made about how microlending has become an easy source of large revenues, and even a form of usury, mostly because of the involvement by corporate players such as Deutsche Bank.

Recently the prime minister of Bangladesh was cited as follows in an opinion piece in the Financial Times: “Microlenders make the people of this country their guinea pig. … They are sucking blood from the poor in the name of poverty alleviation.”

Several pieces in the Financial Times have echoed sentiments felt every day in many other poor countries besides Bangladesh and India, where microcredit interest rates top 30 percent, and where the small-font contracts have caused lenders to commit suicide on a massive scale.

Another important fact ignored in the story is that microcredit has a rich history, and that the original providers of microloans are not doing so well anymore because the private banking industry is taking over their shares in the market. One original provider, Oikocredit in the Netherlands, was founded by the [World Council of Churches]; now it is giving in to the Deutsche
Banks of global capitalism.

I had hoped DU’s business students could have stood for the plight of the poor rather than to help redefine the DU mission into making money off the poor.

Paul Timmermans
Tigard, Ore.

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