Cardinal Alert

The July cover package described the work of faculty scientists and alumni public-health leaders early in the pandemic.

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Cover image of STANFORD magazine, July 2020 issue

“They could see it coming in January,” from my @StanfordAlumni magazine. It is so sad scientists were ignored when sounding the alarms in JANUARY about #COVID.
Stacey L. Camp, MA ’04, PhD ’09

I just finished reading “The War Rooms” in the July issue, and I noticed the subtle, elegant and effective way the quoted text in the columns was connected to the relevant photos in the generous margins. I also appreciated the similar (but less original?) way this was handled in “Some Reassembly Required.” My compliments, and thanks, for making the articles easy and pleasant to read.
Drew Oman
Palo Alto, California

No Regrets

July essay by Melina Walling, ’20, reflected on graduating in pandemic times.

I cried when I read “. . . but this time, more than ever, I really wanted five more minutes.” There have been so many times in my life when I wanted five more minutes, including when I:

•  Said goodbye to my best friend when I left for Stanford;

•  Married with my family and best friends in attendance;

•  Broke up with my husband;

•  Held my mom in my arms for the very last time;

•  Dropped my daughter off for college;

•  Put my golden retriever to sleep;

•  Danced with my father for the last time.

None of these “regrets” have to do with my professional life, which has been full, productive and celebratory.

I told myself tonight that I never, ever want to regret not having five more minutes. I’ll be giving more kisses and hugs and thanks and congratulations and everything else of which I need to do more.

Thank you, Melina, for your special reminder. And I am so sorry that your senior year ended prematurely, but I applaud you for approaching it positively.
Cynthia Blees Klustner, ’75
Menlo Park, California

Now and Then

On July’s back page, we reprinted a 1992 Stanford Daily column on racial justice, written in the wake of the Rodney King verdict, by now–U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, ’91, MA ’92. The President’s Column in the same issue outlined steps the university is taking to support its Black community.

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Headshot of Corey Booker

When this happened, we marched from campus down University Ave, with Black students in the lead. Lots of businesses boarded up their doors and windows during that procession, which shocked the handful of white students who were with us.
Nicole Sanchez, ’94


Powerful, from @CoryBooker.
Ellen Ochoa, MS ’81, PhD ’85

As a retired Marine and an “old guy,” I’m not always fond of Cory Booker statements; however, this writing from long ago struck home, and perhaps I can understand where he comes from.
Donald Colby, ’55
Reno, Nevada

Since 1992, we have elected a Black president twice, and Booker himself to the U.S. Senate.

The brainless officers in the George Floyd case have been fired, arrested and charged with murder. The majority of police officers remain dedicated public servants and do not deserve the treatment they receive.

The time has come to call out those Booker T. Washington described as making a living sowing racial discord as the enemies of America they are, and to stop being what Lenin identified as “useful idiots” by supporting organizations like Black Lives Matter and riots in the streets.

There is a rational path to a more perfect union and justice for all. Let’s take it.
Bob Olson, ’60
San Ramon, California

As a “white guy,” I was delighted to see the Cory Booker essay. Not only is it brilliant, but it is something everyone should read.
Walt Brown, ’57
Roseville, California

Instead of giving us a repeat of the familiar ugly story of a Black person growing up in this racist country, suffering emotions of “Rage, Frustration, Bitterness [and] Animosity,” wouldn’t it be nice if Booker were to write about when people, even white people, may have helped him along the way, and even voted him into one of the highest offices in the land?
Daniel Hoyt Daniels, MS ’71
Spencertown, New York

Thank you for publishing Cory Booker’s column. And thank you, Cory, the student, for writing it. It also pains me that his words written in 1992 still ring true today. The question is: Why? 

Booker is a man of great drive and intelligence who clearly worked very hard to achieve all he has achieved athletically, academically and politically. Is he part of a “marginalized” community because his skin happens to be black? Does that fact make him incapable of competing equally with all others of different skin color? 

I urge all dealing with this issue to read Booker’s column and to engage those who have studied the issue for decades at the Hoover Institution. I am sure Shelby Steele and Thomas Sowell have much to contribute in answering the question and shaping the actions to take in response.

Stanford can and should take the lead on confronting the issues articulated by Booker. It cannot fall back on vague concepts and buzzwords such as “inclusion, diversity and equity” to deal with a very real problem.
Stan Gibson, ’67
Walnut Creek, California

Given the widespread protests triggered by the killing of George Floyd and others, Stanford would have been remiss if it did not establish a Community Board on Public Safety and launch a virtual forum for the campus community to discuss “equity, inclusion and racial justice” and, more important, equip leaders, managers and staff to tackle those issues.

The tragedy is that Stanford did not lead the way in response to the nationwide protests following the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968, or even after Cory Booker’s Stanford Daily essay and the 1992 Rodney King protests.
James R. Madison, ’53, LLB ’59
Menlo Park, California

Big Little Things

A July story covered graduate student Amber Moore’s research into the placenta.

Her quote “I’m fascinated by pregnancy. It’s beautiful and scary. It requires so many things to go right” elicited an immediate response in my 83-year-old brain: “And it’s remarkable how often all those many things go right.”
Marion Schwartz Keyworth
Carmel-by-the-Sea, California

Dorm on Paws

When he’s not chilling inside Otero House with resident fellows Jill, ’03, MA ’04, and Ben Patton, ’03, Kuma (aka @oterocat) patiently waits for students to return to the Farm. (Full disclosure: Jill is also Stanford’s senior editor.)

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Cat sitting outside on the grass

Miss you @oterocat!! Keep ruling the campus while we’re gone. 
Maia Brockbank, ’21

Photo: Ben Patton, ’03

Name Recognition

A story in the July issue looked back at the 1918 flu pandemic’s effects at Stanford.

The article features a photo from the Stanford Daily with a headline reading, in part, “Miss Elouise Loewenson, ’22, Is First Woman Student to Die.” Elouise Loewenson was the first cousin of Leland H. Lowenson, Class of 1924, who was the father of one of the writers of this letter and the grandfather of the other (note that the cousins spelled their last names differently, as the family name had been changed around that time for business purposes). We had always heard about the sad history of our cousin at Stanford but never realized that she was in fact the first female student on campus to succumb to the disease.
Lynn Lowenson Marks, ’57
Portland, Oregon
Michael Marks, ’85
Silverton, Oregon

‘Meaningful and Moving’

An online essay by New Mexico critical-care physician Nathan Nielsen, ’97, described treating a man who died on his 35th birthday of COVID-19. 

His message was meaningful and moving; it brought me to tears. I sincerely appreciate all that Nielsen and his medical crew have done for the COVID-19 patients. They are definitely heroes.
Janice Pettigrew