Campus Memories

Student Prank Remembered

I remember well the candy-striped barrels on the two naval guns ("Student Pranks," December 1998). They were clearly visible from the opposite end of '86 Field, when you came on campus from the vicinity of the freshman dorms. I have told the story many times, since it struck me as just about the best prank ever pulled off by my fellow students.
  I have heard a rumor in recent years that Chi Phi alums of that era might throw more light on the subject. (I was Phi Mud, and disclaim any firsthand knowledge!) The Naval commander at that time was incensed, as he was supposed to be, and he put up that blackboard outside the NROTC building, with, if I remember correctly, the comment that "some unthinking students have done to our country what no other country has been able to do in 176 years."
  There was a rumor I heard at the time that he called in the heads of the other ROTC units to witness this "dastardly act." They of course were properly sympathetic. But the AFROTC commander returned to his office, and told his secretary that he was going into his office and was not to be disturbed. He shut the door, and for a prolonged period of time nothing was heard from his office except muffled laughter.
  Don't know why.

Alan Wilder '54
Chester, Vt.

Navy Days

You showed the Navy gun. Does anyone remember there was an airplane for the NROTC air trainees in the same place for inspiration?
  It was an old fabric-covered biplane, not in good shape as you can see from the tears in the wing.
  The Sage dorms were turned into Naval barracks for the V-12 trainees.
  Sad sacks: calisthenics at 6 a.m., breakfast at 7 a.m., classes at 8 a.m. Weather didn't matter.

Milton Beveridge '44
Atco, N.J.

Barbara Beveridge

Don't Bank on It!

I enjoyed the article on the Bay Area (December 1998) and though I haven't lived there for years, there is nowhere quite like it. One minor correction: the caption regarding the Bank of America. It's actually the Transamerica Pyramid. Having worked for a number of months for William Pereira, the architect, at the San Francisco office on this project, I know it only too well. Admittedly a San Francisco landmark at this point, in the late '60s while under design it was far from popular. There were about six or seven of us on the project and I think we all took some flak. My illustrious contributions were the "ears" and the elevators.
  Looking back, it was kind of fun and San Francisco architects and architecture at the time were really exciting. Thanks again for the article and for giving me a reason to write.

Walt Marder '61
Tallahassee, Fla.

Editor's Note: After being alerted to this error we were able to correct it on the online version of Rensselaer magazine.


Wow! I was blown away by the apparitions you captured in the page 5 photo (December 1998). Ghosts of students past? Or, perhaps, visitors from the Department of Parapsychology?

Art Dexter '50
Aiken, S.C.

Interested in ITS

I enjoyed reading the ITS article in the September Rensselaer magazine. I'm especially glad to hear of RPI's Center for Infrastructure and Transportation Studies.
  I'm currently employed by Miami-Dade County Public Works as their traffic control center engineer, responsible for the operation of the county's 2,400 traffic signals and the Traffic Control System that monitors and controls them. The TCS is 22 years old and is one of the largest and most successful signal control systems ever built. Staff from my office would be very interested in working on projects with the Center for Infrastructure and Transportation Studies if the opportunity arises.

Bob Williams '73
Miami, Fla.

TRB Conference

I work for Tensar Earth Technologies Inc. in Atlanta as the vice president of operations. Our business is primarily transportation related in supplying technology, materials, and systems for earth reinforcement using integral geogrids.
  We attend the Transportation Research Board's conference every year and unfortunately, I was not aware that RPI held a reception at the conference until I ran into Harry Apkarian '46 of Trans Tech several months ago and, most recently, read a terrific article in the alumni magazine regarding your center. I look forward to meeting center representatives at TRB and discussing options to work together in the future.

Peter Vanderzee '70
Atlanta, Ga.

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