Vistas Wants Your Two Cents!
Letters to Vistas — whether critical or complimentary — can be sent online at the Vistas Web site (www.lmu.edu/vistas). They can also be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to Vistas, Loyola Marymount University, 1 LMU Drive, Suite 2800, Los Angeles, CA 90045.
Questioning whether the Classics (“When Past is Present,” Spring 2009) are relevant presupposes that they are not, which is outrageous. Athens in the 5th century B.C.E. was trying to determine its role in a world where it was surrounded by neighbors with competing interests, while facing a lingering external threat — the Persian Empire. On top of that, it was wrestling with having a democratic government when there were practically no models to follow. Athens was prone to making mistakes, and we can learn from its history without making the same mistakes ourselves.
In the same Vistas issue was a story about Karl Rove’s visit to LMU as the keynote speaker for First Amendment Week. I love the irony of having the man who masterminded a serious, and nearly successful, effort to subvert and corrupt the First Amendment talk about how important that amendment is. Among fellow alumni that I know who are attuned to ancient history and the Classics, Rove is a modern day Alcibiades — a calculating, well-educated and ambitious man who only wants power and lacks character. Athens was persuaded by Alcibiades’ rhetoric. His leadership returned Athens to a devastating war against the Spartans that ultimately destroyed Athens.
If we ever forget about the Classics, we will be in real trouble: We’ll be easy prey for the modern versions of Alcibiades, and worse.
Andrew Ranson ’98
You guys are doing a great job with Vistas. I really liked the article about LMU’s presence in China (“The Great Call of China,” Winter 2008). I have been reading the magazine for quite a while, and I am always impressed with the writing, photography and design work. I have been in the public relations world for more than 20 years and have dealt with newspapers and magazines throughout that time, and yours is definitely one of the best. Keep up the good work!
Barry Pawelek M.A. ’00
In my view, LMU had a very successful basketball season (“Athletics,” Spring 2009). These days, a record of 3 wins and 24 losses is something to take pride in. It means LMU had a team that was almost a genuine student activity — as if the players were all walk-ons, like the student newspaper and magazine staffs. Imagine — a college that isn’t part of the farm system for professional sports! It is refreshing, especially as seen from here in Berkeley, where the football coach at the local campus earns more than the university president!
Phil McArdle ’61, ’70
Schooled in Radio
It was with great interest that I read the article about KXLU (Summer 2008). I remember fondly my time as a disc jockey on “Alma del Barrio,” from 1976–79. I also engineered the “Age of the Organ” show for Student Affairs Dean Tom Quinlan and “The Brazilian Hour.” The communications skills learned during my student experience helped me tremendously in my career. My love of salsa and Latin music and public service advocacy was born from that experience. My best wishes to the students and alumni who follow that tradition. Saturdays and Sundays wouldn’t be the same in L.A. without KXLU and “Alma del Barrio.”
Diana Fuentes-Michel ’79
California Student Aid Commission