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Letters to the Editor

Are We All Dead?

It was rather interesting that there were no items [class notes] from the prior years to 1960. Are we all dead, in wheelchairs, have arthritis of the hands, or some other malady? Or perhaps we old folks did not write anything for this particular issue. Now on the other hand, we are probably too old to have anything exciting happen in our lives. I do. I get to see my four children, six grandchildren, and two great grandchildren every week. That is exciting that I have lived that long as to see my family.

They have great outings, lots of conversation, and good relationships between them all. Well, just thought I would pass this along so there is something to put in the next magazine. By the way, in a little humor, one or more call each morning to see if we died (Hah!).

Reverend Dr. J. William Dean ’55

Editor’s Note: IUP Magazine also heard from Home Economics professor emerita Eleanor Mihalyi Gallati ’54 on this topic. For this issue, IUP Magazine did receive news from classes graduating before the 1960s. See All about Alumni in the print version of IUP Magazine.

Friend, FBI Agent Remembered

In the Summer 2011 digital edition of IUP Magazine, you have requested identification of students in a photo from the Armstrong County campus, 1981.

The gentleman in the back row, seated third from left to right (moustache and rolled-up pant leg), is Mr. Kevin Kramer, special agent FBI, deceased.

Kevin and I were friends since high school, and he attended Kittanning for a year while I resided on the top floor of Gordon Hall. (Imagine the surprise on my mother’s face and mine when we found out it was coed by room!) In the fall of ’81, we roomed together at Oakland Hall then lived in an off-campus house one block between the Student Union and Esch Hall for the remainder of our IUP years.

While at IUP, Kevin studied criminology and was a student member of the campus police force. He was also a member of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity. He (and I) graduated in December 1984. Following IUP graduation, Kevin worked as a police officer in Mechanicsburg (his hometown), the Pennsylvania State Police (Ephrata barracks), and then got his dream job in the FBI. While stationed in Lancaster County, he met his wife, Heidi, and together had two children. He was then stationed as an FBI agent in Sioux City, Iowa. I recall visiting Kevin in the summer of ’95 and taking a trip with him to Colorado to catch up with another old friend and IUP graduate, Leroy Schambach.

It was sadly on April 14, 1996, while on duty, that Kevin was killed in an early morning auto accident en route to the stakeout of the Freemen (an antigovernment group) ranch in Montana. I still recall the shock of his brother’s phone call to me the following day. If you Google his name, followed by FBI, you will find several archived articles reporting his accident.

Frank J. Karli III ’84
Camp Hill

Editor’s Note: Also writing IUP archivist Harrison Wick to identify Kevin Kramer were Richard Hawley ’82, who knew Kramer from playing touch football behind Oakland Hall during their college days, and Ed Boito ’86, who pledged Delta Tau Delta with Kramer in 1982.

Patience of a Saint

I just wanted to respond to you about the Kittanning picture from the 1981 Oak on page 26 of the Summer 2012 IUP Magazine. I went there in the fall of 1982, so I do not know the students, but the African American man in the picture was named George (last name?). He was the Boyer Hall RA, and he lived on the first floor of Boyer Hall. Looking back now, he had the patience of a saint!

John McGuire ’87

Editor’s Note: George Young also was identified and put in touch with IUP Magazine by one of his coworkers at Penn State’s Harrisburg campus, Jennifer Allshouse ’89. Young, a Penn State alumnus, said he was a residence hall manager at the Armstrong campus’s Boyer and Minteer halls during the early ’80s. He, too, identified Kevin Kramer, saying Kramer was a student at a Harrisburg-area secondary school where Young was a student teacher.

Changing Times

Recently I had a conversation with Amber, a senior at IUP. When I told her about life at Indiana State Teachers College in the early 1950s, she was amazed at how things had changed. However, I was surprised at how things were at Indiana Normal School in the early days. A former neighbor, Anna Brass [Class of 1893], who attended the school then, told me that everything took place in John Sutton Hall—classes, eating, sleeping, and all activities. She only went home at Christmas. Why? Because it took her father all day to drive the horse and buggy from Oakmont to Indiana.

When I went to Indiana State Teachers College in September of 1949, we had Freshman Week. Freshman Week was an eye opener for Amber to understand. All freshmen had to meet at noon at the circle of grass in front of John Sutton Hall, now where the library stands. We wore our dinks, a small cap, and maybe different socks, clothes on backward, or whatever the upperclassmen decided for that day. They checked the dorms for freshmen, so it was difficult to escape the festivities. The whole affair was quite a spectacle for all who watched the performance each day.

In our sophomore year, there was Junior Standing to look forward to in order to continue our education. You had to pass a speech test and a swimming test, which was to float for five minutes and then to swim the length of the pool and back. The final step was to take a general test of all subjects. We sat in Fisher Auditorium a row apart, every third seat, with our large lap board to write. Student teaching was done on campus at Keith School, Kittanning, Punxsutawney, Blairsville, and Altoona.

As freshmen we had to be in the dorm at 9:00 p.m. No watching the one and only TV after 9:00 p.m. in what was the former Chapel, fourth floor, in John Sutton Hall. You wore your Sunday best to dinner on Sunday and sat at your designated table to eat family style. There was no opportunity to eat off campus until 1952.

In another 50 years, what is new now will be old. Look—we were Indians, now you are Crimson Hawks. Please don’t change our colors, maroon and gray.

When I attended the 40th reunion of my good friend Jean Vairo Delia [’52], we saw former students who we thought were so old looking! I wonder what the coeds will think of my classmates when we meet in June 2013 for our 60th class reunion.

Things may change over the years, but an education at IUP is still priceless. Some of the best years of your life will be spent at IUP and will always be special to you.

Dorothy Jakovac Wratcher ’53

During Freshman Week 1949, freshmen met at noon in the lawn to the west of Sutton Hall.

During Freshman Week 1949, freshmen met at noon in the lawn to the west of Sutton Hall.

More from the Fall-Winter 2012 Issue of IUP Magazine

Lesson Plan: Teacher Diversity

Lesson Plan: Teacher Diversity

IUP leads a coalition addressing the national shortage of African American male schoolteachers.

The Press and the Passion

The Press and the Passion

Susan Snyder ’85 on winning the 2012 Pulitzer Prize.


Message from the President

Several principles will guide us as we formulate together our vision of the future IUP.

Namedroppers | Achievements | Mentors

Photo Gallery | In Brief

Young Donors

Students are boosting their IUP philanthropy. What gives?

The Long-Shot Season

In 1979, the soccer team was sinking. Then came Trevor.

Mainframe to Mobile App

50 years of computing at IUP.

Crimson Core

Alumni Association Board Officers, and how they got that way.

Web Exclusives

Silent Generation at College

Bob Henger ’63 devotes a chapter of his book to his years at Indiana State College.

Unboxing the Memories

Some of the more unusual memorabilia that alumni have lovingly donated to IUP.