When I saw your “Fleet Feet” photo [IUP Magazine , Spring 2014], I immediately identified my father Cecil Clark Willis [’61], far right in the picture, who ran track at IUP. My father has since passed, but my mother is verifying the dates that he attended IUP.
We got a kick out of the photo, as all of my siblings, Lauren Willis Prepelka [’92] and Grant Willis [’99], graduated from IUP.
Kelly Willis Konz ’90 Potomac, MD
Editor’s Note: Other track members identified in the photo are Richard Bigley ’63, second from left; William (Jeff) Sechrist ’64, third from left; and Tom Heilman ’63, second from right. The alumni who recognized them and contacted IUP archivist Harrison Wick include Sylvia Kuras ’63, Ray Martin ’63, Richard Pavlin ’65, Vern Reamer ’63, M’69, and Larry Vosovic ’64.
I enjoyed the reminiscences of Dorothy Jakovac Wratcher ’53 in her letter, “Memories on File,” in the Spring issue of the IUP Magazine . Several of the professors mentioned I had also, and the article brought back many pleasant memories.
Eugene Seelye ’56 Wellsboro
Amazing Teacher, Fantastic Person
In the fall of 1983, I was an overwhelmed freshman at IUP, unsure of whether I was even college material. The one time each week that I looked forward to, though, was biology lab. My biology professor did not teach the lab; it was taught by Mr. Richard Strawcutter. He had the ability to make complicated subjects understandable, used humor to drive important points home, and most of all, was infinitely approachable and friendly. When it came time to schedule my Biology II class for the spring of 1984, I convinced all of my friends who were taking biology to take Mr. Strawcutter’s class with me. Some of us still talk about that class—it was the best combination of learning and fun that I’ve ever had.
Over the next three years, we would see each other on campus and smile and wave, but our paths never really crossed, since I was an accounting major. Then, in the spring of 1987, I was taking a shortcut through Weyandt Hall during a rainstorm and passed Mr. Strawcutter’s office. “Hey, Rick, aren’t you going to say hello?” he called out, and I stopped and went back (how did he remember my name?). He was cleaning out his office, days from retirement, and I told him that he couldn’t retire, that there were incoming freshmen who were going to need him. He told me that since I was leaving, he could, too. We probably spent a half-hour just talking before I had to go.
So, when I received my latest IUP Magazine and read that Mr. Strawcutter had died, I got a little emotional. He was not only an amazing teacher, he was a fantastic person, too. We need more like him. May he rest in peace.
Rick Steer ’87 Westbrook, ME
More from the Summer 2014 Issue of IUP Magazine
Members of the campus community, including President Michael Driscoll, talk about the challenges IUP and other universities face with excessive partying and what they’re doing to combat it.
The women’s rugby club lacked a coach, visibility, and the funds to go to the national tournament, but its title run was the stuff Hollywood movies are made of.
Providing feedback on this issue of IUP Magazine will help to improve the product and earn you a chance at winning an IUP sweatshirt. Complete the online survey by September 1, 2014, to be eligible.
The IUP Alumni Association presented its highest honor to 10 alumni in fields ranging from the arts and culinary arts to the military and television and film production.
Former Keith School students, student teachers, and faculty members will gather this fall to say goodbye to the building.
When Jerry Esposito ’66 took over what would become Citizens’ Ambulance Service, he relied on the students of Indiana State College to answer calls.