Mailbox: 2007/1

Fulbrights, Vergiu Cornea, LGBT, Lee Bailey, and Deborah Buffton

Double Fulbrights in 1986
Having been a Fulbright recipient as well as an Ithaca College graduate, I read with great interest David Maley’s article “Fulbright Scholars Galore” (“South Hill Today,” 2006/4). Ithaca College and the students referenced in the article should be extremely proud of their outstanding achievements in their fields!

I was surprised, however, to read Mr. Maley’s statement that Fulbrights have been granted to IC graduates for the past 15 years and that 2006 is the first time two IC graduates were granted a Fulbright in the same year. In fact, 20 years ago, in 1986, my sister, Annika Pfluger ’86, and I both received Fulbright scholarships in the same year upon
graduating from Ithaca College. We were told at the time that we were the first IC graduates to receive Fulbrights.

Janna Pfluger-Boucher ’86
Delmar, New York

Editor’s note: Thank you for setting us straight. See more Fulbright news in our South Hill Today story, Three Fulbrights!


Portrait of the Artist
You have my special admiration for accomplishing so much in Barbara Adams’s article “Prince of the Dance” (2006/4, “South Hill Today”) in such a confined space. In two pages you dip into precisely the highlights of Professor Cornea’s career to convey what a privilege it was for the College to be in his presence for 22 years—without ever saying those words. Your ultimate portrayal of the artist who lives life for art and the wonderful closing words from the maestro himself at age 92 (“No alcohol, no cigarettes, no marriage—just dancing, dancing, dancing”) both validate and valorize the solitary life of the artist.

The quotes from his students (of whom I was one) and from his fellow faculty member J. Fred Pritt make it clear that Mr. Cornea inspired those around him. Even without using Mr. Cornea’s famous axiom “You think in words, but I am a dancer—I think in motion,” you made that very phenomenon occur on the page with the spectacular photo layout of hands, legs, arms, and eyes.

The whole thing is brilliant. I hope you and your staff enjoy a special sleep of contentment and fulfilment knowing that your article rises to the level of praise Mr. Cornea’s life (of 92 years and counting) dedicated to art demands, especially in its title, “Prince of the Dance.”

Congratulations and thanks.

Paul Keane ’68
White River Junction, Vermont


I cannot begin to tell you how wonderful Barbara Adams’s article about Vergiu Cornea was. There was a lot of information to sort through and condense, but Professor Adams accurately captured Vergiu’s true spirit. I must share with you that there were some unexpected results from its publication.

Vergiu has been contacted by many of his students from years ago, whom he hadn’t heard from since they graduated. Each one of them told him about the lasting effect he has had upon their lives and that they thought of him often throughout the years. At his advanced age, Vergiu had come to believe that he hadn’t had much of an impact on any of his students, but all of a sudden he was receiving letters and calls from people who thanked him for sharing his knowledge and insight with them. He was so moved and happy with the article that he has sent copies of it to his remaining family members and friends living in Germany and Romania, so they can have a better
understanding of the role he played here in Ithaca.

I am still very involved in Vergiu’s often solitary life in Ithaca, and at times I get the impression that he feels lonely and forgotten by the outside world. The ICQ article was a tremendous help in making him feel a part of the community and of Ithaca College itself. I congratulate Professor Adams for a very well written article and for the time and effort that you took to be true to Vergiu and the artist he has always been.

Alan Orloff ’75
New York, New York


Thank You for Coverage
I just want to thank the magazine for its tireless work to show the full experience of being an IC alumna or alumnus. As a 2003 graduate of IC, I know the hard work and dedication it took my classmates and me to help establish the LGBT center, and I think it is phenomenal that you have highlighted IC’s recognition in the Advocate College Guide for LGBT Students (“IC Lauded for Inclusiveness,” 2006/4).

I know that your job is not always easy, and there is always someone out there that is of differing opinions, but the publication and its work stay true to covering the full story and not making the magazine into public relations propaganda. My pride for Ithaca will always be strong, but it is moments like these that make me especially proud.

Ryan Prosser ’03
Springfield, Illinois


I am writing to say how proud I am of Ithaca for its recent recognition as one of the most LGBT-inclusive schools in the country.

I come from a very open and loving family.  For me, being gay and attending Ithaca College was like spending time with my extended family. I never felt the need to hide who I was. I was out and rowed with crew. I was active in student government. I made friends and met professors I still see. 

At Ithaca I was simply who I was.

After reconnecting with some high school friends and traveling the country, driving from Cape Cod to the Sierra Nevadas and back again, I can tell you that my college life might have been very different had I attended any other school. I’ve heard personal stories about harassment, discrimination, and hatred of LGBTstudents that is not condoned, but also not addressed and rectified by their colleges. It has made me appreciate Ithaca College even more.

Ithaca College is an open, inclusive school. It helped shape me into who I am today.  I couldn’t be more proud to call myself an alumnus. Ithaca forever!

Justin J. Cole ’04
Blackstone, Massachusetts


Disagreeing with Bailey
I’d love a footnoted version of Lee Bailey’s essay (“The End of Progress,” 2006/4). Is Professor Bailey sure it’s global warming that caused the Katrina disaster in New Orleans? Could building a city below sea level have some role? Could building levees unable to handle a level-5 hurricane have some role? Is Bailey sure that rampant obesity is because we eat meat? Has he heard of the Atkins diet? Could lack of exercise play a role? I think he needs to update his research on coal-burning technology. U.S. and Canadian coal industries would have facts disproving his term “dirty technology.” It was misleading to lump the United States’ coal-burning electric generation plants with those in China.

Surprisingly, though, I’m in agreement with Bailey that spirituality and science must cooperate. I’m just not convinced his science is anything more than political science.

Nancy Stezzi, P’07
Longhorne, Pennsylvania

Editor’s note: Read Lee Bailey’s thoughtful response.


Still Fighting Buffton
This is in response to Deborah Buffton’s essay “War, Peace, and Memory” (2006/2).

War fills our calendars to remind us why we value peace. We (Americans) prefer peace, but we will fight to keep it. This means we will not trade anything to gain peace. We will not give up our way of life to maintain peace. Peace without war is an ideal to strive for, but not at any price just to avoid war! We (Americans) remain prepared to protect ourselves.

War memorials do not glorify war. They glorify the peace won by war. They honor those fallen and those still living who sacrificed to win the war.

To debate is good, especially before and after a war. The problems come when the debate is in the middle. If the debate aids and abets the enemy, that usually results in more casualties on our side. The question isn’t free speech, per se, but the timing and appropriateness of that speech.

Survival, as a person or as a country, has never been cost free. It requires effort. Becoming the United States of America was never easy, and being the United States is still not easy.

In almost 23 years of military service, I never met anyone who liked war, or wanted to go to war, but all will do their job when called.

In the words of General George S. Patton to his troops: “I do not want you to die for your country, I want the other guy to die for his country!” or words to that effect, meaning, simply, “Stay alive and come home safely.”

You want courage? You could go to Iraq and Afghanistan and other places and find it every day, but you could also go closer to home, to a wheat field in Pennsylvania, where Flight 93 terminated. Those passengers wanted to protect the United States! Do you think we can do less?

Andrew K Duncan ’75
Universal City, Texas


There are no “look back” solutions to man’s dislike for others not like him. Unfortunately we were created with imperfections that in all of recorded history a solution has yet to be found. I doubt that Deborah Buffton is the first [to try to find one].

I’ve been in combat. It isn’t fun or rewarding. However, sometimes it is necessary whether we like it or not. If you find a cure for hatred and dispense it to all who hate, then you’ve got the answer. Too bad Buffton wasn’t there on 9/10 to dispense it to some really in need!

A great American, Thomas Jefferson, once wrote, “An association of men who will not quarrel with one another is a thing which has never yet existed, from the greatest confederacy of nations down to a town meeting or a vestry.”
He also wrote, “Every citizen should be a soldier. This was the case with the Greeks and Romans, and must be that of every free state.”

Interesting guy, that Thomas Jefferson! I must learn more about him, and maybe others should too.

John G. Tuthill ’66
Dallas, Texas

Editor’s note: This topic is closed.