Winter 2010



”Hallowed Hall” brought back fond memories of a June evening spent at the Shoreland. The once-in-a-person’s-lifetime experience was Hyde Park High School’s senior prom in 1938. Music was supplied by Eric Sagerquist and his orchestra. Mr. Sagerquist was the director of the studio orchestra on a popular weekly radio program, “The First Nighter.”

Seven and a half years later, years that include undergraduate studies at the U of C and duty as an engineering officer with the Pacific fleet during WWII, my prom date and I were married, a union that continued for more than 60 years until her death in 2006. Thanks for the memories.

—Arthur Fradkin, SB’42, MBA’54


I was born at Lying-In Hospital and got my BA and MD at the U of C. The Shoreland was always the epitome of elegance on the lake. My great-aunt Josie and her husband lived in Florida in the winter and the Shoreland in the summer. He wore two-tone shoes, and she always had fresh flowers in their suite. I looked forward to their return every summer because they gave their nieces and nephews what seemed to me extravagant gifts.

I was so happy to see that despite being a dorm, some of the Shoreland’s old elegance has been preserved. I live in Santa Monica quite happily now, but if I were in Chicago, I think I would look into renting one of the planned apartments. You can go home again.

—Loraine Stern, AB’65, MD’69


The May–June issue of the Core contains an article about the Festival of the Arts (FOTA), in which the phrase “First held in 1963...” occurs. I think this is not the first time I’ve seen the date given. But it is definitely wrong.

When I was a College student, I was briefly a member of the organizing committee of the first FOTA. My participation did not continue for very long, because I got into some kind of silly squabble with the committee chair. I can’t for the life of me remember her name, but her image remains clearly in mind.

In any case, the committee’s efforts succeeded in spite of my defection, and FOTA was held early in the spring quarter. It was held every year thereafter during my residence at the U of C, which ended in 1962, one year before the supposed debut of the event.

—Lawrence S. Lerner, AB’53, SM’55, PhD’62

The records of the Special Collections Research Center at the University of Chicago Library indicate that “the first Festival of the Arts took place April 14–17, 1955….In a letter/memo dated May 16, 1955, Dean of Students Robert Strozier reported to Members of the Planning Committee for the Festival of the Arts that, ‘At a meeting of the committee chairmen on the Festival of the Arts, it was decided to continue this festival in the spring of 1956.’ So the event became an annual event.”—Ed.


I’ve never looked at this publication before, but my wife told me to look through the Spring/Summer 2009 issue. Unlike the University of Chicago Magazine, which I find pretty dry, this was a blast to read. The “Top Ten: Course Adoptions” list was my favorite piece. I had a good time trying to guess the books on the list (in ’91, I had never heard of anyone being assigned The Souls of Black Folk). “Hallowed Hall” brought back memories of my own defunct Upper Rickert in Woodward Court, where we didn’t sell T-shirts, but boxers with “U of C: It’s Hard” printed on them (I still have a pair for old time’s sake).

—Ken Housinger, AB’91, AM’91, SM’05

We misnamed W. E. B. Dubois’s book The Souls of Black Folks in the Top Ten.—Ed.


I was struck by the presence of two items on the “Top Ten Course Adoptions” list, Foucault’s Discipline and Punish, and Weber’s Protestant Ethic. I criticized both some years ago in my book, The Social Misconstruction of Reality: Validity and Verification in the Scholarly Community (Yale, 1996). My sense is that Foucault’s work is an outright fraud. Weber’s might best be viewed as a product of groupthink. Rainer Lepsius, an editor of Weber’s complete works, put it simply: “There’s nothing to it.” I checked with an eminent economic historian, asking why his textbook made no mention of the famous thesis. His response: “I didn’t find it necessary.”

If U of C professors are commending those works, I think their students should be informed of the alternative readings.

—Richard Hamilton, AB’50


The excellent shot of Sam Chereskin as the well-dressed, genteel Frisbee player took me back to a time in 1942 when some classmates and I, studying at the newly created Institute of Meteorology, played a similar game in a field close to Burton Court. Of course we didn’t call it Frisbee, because at that time (so far as I know), no one was producing the formed plastic dish with that name. We were simply “tossing the lid,” our preferred configuration being the top of a lightweight metal cookie container, about eight inches in diameter with a half-inch turned down and beaded rim. I think it had better handling and flying characteristics than the Frisbees I have since tried.

A fast-paced session of “toss the lid” on a warm spring day soon convinces one that the jacket and tie, and perhaps more, are best put aside for some other occasion.

—Woodrow J. Radle, SB’42