Letters: Winter 2013

Letters: Winter 2013

Students making a difference

I continue to be impressed by the students’ outside-of-class activities that are academically orientated. My wife and I are alumni of six colleges/universities, and your college is unique in its student involvement of a meaningful nature. TCNJ’s reputation beyond its regional boundaries is well deserved.

Martin LeBeau, DMA
Professor Emeritus of Music

’May this humble freshman…‘

I was in the Class of 1963 and this tradition was still in full swing (“Looking back,” Fall 2013). However, our placards were four times the size and personally decorated to reflect one’s interests and personality, as well as the “who, what, and where.” Upon approaching an upperclassman, you had to repeat this request for a signature: “May this humble freshman have the audacity to request your honorable signature upon this most conspicuous plaque.” There were no other duties rendered. It was a fun way to introduce yourself. I do not recall signing any plaques in future years, so perhaps 1959 was the last.

Joyce Gierisch Linson ’63

‘Omissions of greatness’

I was greatly disappointed to see the women’s softball team ignored (“Greatest Moments in Lions Sports History,” Fall 2013). I was a contributing member of the 1996 National Champion team and felt that at least one of our six National Championships should have been acknowledged! Our win came against Chapman University from California, which the year before was in Division II and still had scholarship players on the team. We resoundingly beat them 7-2. That was Sally Miller’s first year, and she continues to lead an excellent program at the College including celebrating her predecessor, June Walker, with a field commemoration. This was a gross oversight, and I would appreciate a follow-up to this issue.

Anita L. Quinn ’98, MEd ’03

1983 national champion softball team
1983 national champion softball team

It is beyond belief that there was not one mention of women’s softball or field hockey in the article. Both of these programs were the cornerstone for TCNJ’s women’s athletics program to be recognized as the top college for women athletes. At least you had women’s lacrosse recognized. There are many people still at the College who have been a part of one of these programs and many more who would willingly help you with a defining moment. Someone dropped the ball here and I, along with many other softball alumnae, are not happy.  I will give you my greatest moment: 1983 during our South Carolina spring break trip. We are playing Division I URI. We hold them in the top of the 7th and come in to bat. Sue Wilson looks at the batting order that inning and says, “ I’m batting cleanup. I get to hit the winning run in.” Sure enough, bases loaded and she hits a double up the middle. Game over. That night Dr. Walker gave the seven seniors their senior gifts. She said, “I am giving you this now because you are going to win us a national championship.” I will never forget those words. I, and the rest of the team, knew that the game that day gave her the guts to challenge us to accomplish this goal. It was the first of five NCAA championships for the College under Dr. Walker. So, I think you missed something.

Robin Payne ’83

The writer was inducted into TCNJ’s Athletic Hall of Fame Class in 1996, and the 1983 softball team was inducted as a Team of Distinction in 2008.

The first thing I thought when I heard that the softball team was not mentioned in the article was that it was a synopsis of the men’s athletic programs. But after reading the article, it is clear that women were included in the history, just not softball women …. This omission is hurtful and clearly deserving of an editorial apology. All of the women who competed in the softball program are proud of their accomplishments and it was an unnecessary gaffe.

Joanne DeFeo ’81

One team and one individual that should have been part of your list: the women’s cross country team finished second at the Nationals in fall 1981. The team was not expected to place in the Top 10. The individual was Colleen (Casey) Escarate ’84, who not only won both the 5,000- and 10,000-meter races at the Division III Nationals in spring 1982, but also went on to compete at the Division I Nationals in the 10,000-meter event. Both the team and individual are in the TCNJ Hall of Fame.

David Rein

The writer’s wife,  Janice (Chiavacci) Rein ’83,  is a member of the Alumni Association’s Executive Board.

I understand it must have been difficult to decide which events to highlight in the article, but to have completely overlooked the many accomplishments and contributions of TCNJ’s swimming and diving teams is inexcusable. One can only hope another article will appear in the next issue which will include [those teams].

Tom Simms

The writer’s daughter, Kristen ’06, was an eight-time All American on the 1- and 3-meter boards for the Lions’ swimming and diving team.

One event that should have been included: On March 2, 1988, Tim Jacoutot ’88 won his third Division III National Championship and his second Most Outstanding Wrestler Award. Tim defeated Saint Lawrence University’s John Canty 17-3, in the process becoming the only wrestler in Trenton State/TCNJ history to win three national titles.

Shari Jacoutot

More sounds of seasons past

016_16-SharpI have been meaning to write you about the “Looking back” photo in the December 2012 issue. I attended the College from 1969 until 1973. During that time, it was already a well-established tradition that the men of Phi Mu Alpha, the music fraternity, would provide Christmas caroling. Usually the week before Christmas break, we would carol throughout campus, stopping at each dorm to sing. Each night a different dorm was selected for us to enter and carol through the hallways. In 1969, there were still separate dorms for men and women, so each women’s dorm provided us with an escort. Afterward, some of the girls met with us and provided a light snack of Christmas cookies and maybe some hot chocolate in the building’s lounge. I don’t remember when the dorms went coed, but I believe a similar procedure was in effect.

Rudy Rostash ’73

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