To the Editor,
What a great article! (“Days of May,” May 2017).
As a person who was there during the time that John Freed referred to as “a rather sleepy teachers’ college,” I can assure everyone that it was far from sleepy!
We had the number one college circus in the U.S. and a nationally recognized sports department. We had tremendous cultural opportunities. The college provided regular weekend social opportunities. We had an open door to the head of our department, and a highly skilled and friendly faculty.
My days at ISU had a profound influence on my life. It was very carefully chosen by this Oklahoma girl. My parents were determined that I would get the best education—even though we were so poor we didn’t have running water or electricity.
When I arrived as a junior, I sat on my bed and cried. I didn’t know a soul, and had never been away from Oklahoma. That was the last time I cried! I had joy of friends, learning, and participation in such a “crackling” environment!
We had a few black students on campus. I remember four who were friends of mine. I never did see any signs of discrimination. There was some when we went downtown, but none on the campus that I ever saw.
JimAnn Smith Oliver, ’54
To the Editor,
I rarely ever read my Illinois State magazine and I’ve never written in, but I just had to tell you what an incredible article Kate Arthur wrote about Vickie Lannie (“When every moment matters,” Feb. 2017). I kept thinking while I read it that she is a true hero, unlike today’s sports “heroes.”
Jerry Davison ’81