Appears In

Mail to the Illinois State magazine editor for May 2016:

To the Editor,

Why not change the opening of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address for ISU students too, since these days no one knows what a “score” is? (ISU’s motto, November 2015). Why not dump ALL the Latin mottos throughout U.S. academe, since American students don’t read Latin anymore?

The new motto is a “dumbing down,” plain and simple, that doesn’t encourage students to ask about it, think about it critically, discover more about it and its history, but rather gives them what students can comprehend these days—the required number of characters that can fit on a Twitter post. Disgusting!

Online comment
Anne Hubbard Norton ’74

To the Editor,

I was excited to read the article on the motto. In 1960 I was involved in the “real” first campus radio station connected to faculty, staff, students and local residents through a radio signal coupled to power lines.

The station was located and broadcast from the tower in Cook Hall. There was a contest to name our station. The winning entry proposed the call letters WGLT. The entrant submitted that as a teaching institution, our motto should be reflected in the station call sign. The call letters submitted stood for We Gladly Learn and Teach.

This was the first unofficial change to incorporate both genders and a slight modification to the motto. Even though the official change did not occur until 1992, as an announcer and DJ since the first semester of the 1960-1961 school year, the new motto was mentioned often during station identification breaks.

Dale Finfrock ’73

To the Editor,

Change the motto back to what it was pre-1992. What you have now sounds like something a third grader might compose. It’s generic. Some things just don’t need to be changed.

Mildred Williams ’81