The Letter Box

The Letter Box

Tom Hagaman ’77 caught a typo in the fall “In Closing” article, which incorrectly listed 1985 as the year the Department of Education was dismantled. The correct year was 1994; autonomy was granted to the state colleges in 1985.
“…Going Green” smacks of yellow journalism

“Blue and Gold…and Going Green” screamed of yet another alarmist and scientifically unfounded bit of yellow journalism. [I] cringed at every false statement and exaggeration…. [and] am disappointed to see that [TCNJ’s] spending and management priorities in light of the recent budget crises are out of order and being spent on the near crapshoot that is preventing theoretical [man-made global warming]…. This “infusion” of “sustainability” into the curriculum will displace other useful information or entire courses, which I consider unacceptable.

Carl Gullans ’07

Ed’s note: The writer stands behind the article as written. Links to all data cited in the piece are provided online at

Another alum’s Einstein tale (full text)

Dr. Einstein was walking in Mercer Street, Princeton, in 1952. I was too shy to stop him before he opened his garden gate.

I was just as dumbstruck when a group of lively girls blocked my way one night in Manhattan. “What’s going on?” I asked. “Frank Sinatra will be coming out of that door!” So I waited. Frank was very attentive to his admiring fans. Why didn’t I talk to him?

My adviser at The Institute of International Education, NYC, wanted me to follow courses in Geomorphology at Columbia. I was inspired by Professor A.K. Lobeck. I have his geological maps.

Homesickness drew me back to Southampton, England, and my war-widowed mother. Friends still write to me. The late Professor A.K. Botts (Trenton State) and his wife came to stay with me at my present address.

Thank you America for friendships and field trips. I preserve my passes to the Senate and House of Representatives. How has life treated Christa Dahlke (Germany) and Matilde De Matos (Brazil)? As a team we gave more than 75 talks.

Allan Cooper, Exchange Student 1951-52. I lived in 202 Bliss Hall; and roomed with Fred Black ’53.

Hausdoerffer’s tale
The story and video starring Bill Hausdoerffer was very nice. It’s great to have this kind of information preserved for future generations. Thanks for doing it.
Ralph Edelbach
Associate Professor of Technological Studies

Fall 2007 “Looking back” responses (full text)

Looking Back fall 2007What a surprise to open your magazine this morning and see an old photo of my husband of 48 years, Maynard Hess, adjusting his blindfold (second from the left). He and George Toole (first from the left) were pledges to Theta Nu Fraternity in the ’56 pledge class. On the far right is Alan Read who became Maynard’s roommate and later his best man at our wedding. By coincidence we were sad to learn of Alan’s death several weeks ago.
Ellie Lucaire Hess ’61

In the autumn 2007 edition of TCNJ Magazine on page 1 you asked if anyone knew the names of the people in the photograph. I believe this was an initiation for Theta Nu Fraternity. I was a member of the fraternity starting in the spring of 57 through the spring of 60. I was able to identify five of the people in the picture.
1 unknown
2 Maynard Hess
3 Paul Kraus
4 Gerald Nowak
5 unknown
6 unknown
7 Albert Dorhout
8 Alan Read
James Swalm ’60, History

As a 1958 (B.S.) and 1962 (M.A.) graduate of TCNJ, I was very pleased to see the photo on page 1 of the Autumn 2007 issue. It brought back many good memories of my four years at the College as a member of Theta Nu Sigma Fraternity. Theta Nu was a frat which contained men with majors of all types, but uniquely, it did contain almost all of the TSC male Music Majors. Because of this, Theta Nu Sigma produced a forty voice male chorus and an 18 piece big band, both of which performed extensively on campus, at other college campuses and throughout the state of New Jersey. Some of my best early musical experiences came out of being a member of these groups.

The photo you printed was taken at the Theta Nu Sigma induction ceremony at the end of pledge season in 1956-57. The men in the photo that I remember are Paul Krauss (3rd from left), Jerry Nowack (4th from left) John Amos (5th from left) and Doug Beavers (7th from left). The blindfoldeed pledge (2nd from left) is probably Burt Perinchief ’60. I was there but did not appear in the photo.

Theta Nu died out as a musical fraternity when Phi Mu Alpha, a “professional” fraterity, appeared on campus in the 1970s.

On another subject, as director of the Dartmouth College Wind Symphony in Hanover, NH, I just conducted a concert in which the only other Trenton State graduate faculty member at Dartmouth, Professor William Cook ’54, shared the stage. He was the narrator in a performance a major piece based on the 1963 “I Have A Dream” speech of Martin Luther King, Jr. Bill just retired last summer from Dartmouth. He is one the most revered members of the English department and is a noted poet.

We are both proud to have attended The College of New Jersey!

Max Culpepper ’58, ’62, Director of Band and Wind Symphony, Dartmouth College

Regarding the picture on page 1 of TCNJ Magazine, autumn 2007. Of course this is the solemn induction ceremony of Theta Nu Sigma fraternity, as pledges Maynard Hess in light suit and other unidentified pledge are led in by pledge master Paul Krauss, followed by Jerry Nowak and Mark “Muck” Heston, unidentified brother, current alumni president Doug Beavers, and unidentified brother. The location may be the old Inn, scene of the annual thanksgiving ceremony for all students, where Maynard and I worked the slop chute for all our college days to cover each semester’s tuition ($75). I learned the Greek alphabet while racking trays (remembered to this day) to prevent breaking the paddle rhythm applied by installed brothers while a pledge. Moral of message to Garcia? Secret word? Secret handshake? My lips are sealed.

By the way, who are these Sinfonia people? Christmas carols were always performed on those snowy nights by the male chorus of Theta Nu for the ladies in the windows, safely locked in their dorms (7:30 for frosh, 9:00 for sophs, 10:30 for juniors, and 12:00 for srs. Commuters missed the whole event). The only lady allowed out temporarily was Suzanne Willever, who sang “Fairest Lord Jesus” with the men in her lovely alto voice, then scurried back to safety in Norsworthy while the blackberry-brandy soaked carolers moved on to Ely, Allen, Brewster, and the new Centennial Hall.

Also by the way, one of our teachers (they weren’t called professors) was Mike Travers, pronounced TRAY-vers, not TRAH-vers, also known locally as the “hanging judge.” Those were simpler days.

Merl Soslick ’58
I’m sure the man with the light jacket is Maynard Hess. The shorter man at the left front may be George Toole, but I am not positive of that. Both of those men were in Theta Nu Sigma Fraternity, but I don’t know if that is a photo from that group. Hopefully you’ll get more information from someone in the photo.
Jessica Posch Servis ’59

The picture is of pledges going to a Theta Nu fraternity initiation, perhaps. The 3rd person from the left is Paul Krause, next Jerry Nowak (?), next John Amos. Perhaps contact one of those to get the rest of the names and verify the “event.”
Art Frank ’54

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