Winter 2013

Your Letters

Lacking Chemistry

It happened again. In the Autumn issue you printed a photo of Eric Schloss, ’59 BA, ’63 MD, in front of “formerly the Medical Sciences Building” (page 43). When I took honours chemistry — 1945 to 1949 — about one-half of that building was occupied by the chemistry department and it remained there for some years after that.

In my day, O. J. Walker was department head and Walter E. Harris, professor emeritus and former department chair who recently passed, was my mentor. Details can be found in Department of Chemistry: History and A Memoir, 1909-2003 by W.E. Harris, pages 14 and 21. Some years ago, a beautiful rendering of the old classic by Evelyn Schmidt was offered for sale. I hastened to order a numbered copy. You can sense my dismay to find that it was titled the Medical Sciences–Dentistry/Pharmacy Centre. How about calling it formerly the Medical and Chemistry Sciences Building? Or whatever.

For your further info, the outstanding education I received at the U of A allowed me to receive a scholarship to Princeton University for my PhD. I was far ahead of most other candidates and sailed through in two years and nine months. 

G. William Goward, ’49 BSc(Hons), ’51 MSc, Clinton, Conn.

Digging Up Dino Fans

This is my chance to thank you and the Alumni Association for offering the New Trail magazine to alumni. I find its articles are unique and fascinating. Also, I read avidly every word in all the Department articles. Where else could I read about the exploits and research triumphs of so many of our alumni! I particularly appreciated the article by Sarah Ligon, “The New Evolution of Dinosaurs” [Autumn 2013, page 28], and its reporting on the important research proceeding at the U of A. I found it thrilling to read about the excavations and discoveries by several U of A paleontologists. Again, many thanks! 

Glen Patterson, ’42 BCom, Vancouver

In “The New Evolution of Dinosaurs,” New Trail states “the university hired its first vertebrate paleontologist and created a research program that today rivals any in the world.” That paleontologist deserves to be recognized as Richard C. Fox, who provided a wealth of information to generations of students. I was one of them, taking a master’s in insect taxonomy in the entomology department. George Ball, my supervisor, insisted that I and his other graduate taxonomy students take Richard Fox’s paleontology course. He provided detailed analysis of some exemplary “case studies,” showing how to think clearly about the phylogenetic relationships and past biology of the duck-billed dinosaurs, among other groups. His clear, persuasive lectures laid the groundwork of how I interpreted the no-see-um biting midges I have gone on to study for the past 30 years. To go full circle, I provided the first evidence that the no-see-ums in Alberta Cretaceous amber likely fed on the eyelids of those very duck-billed dinosaurs. Inspiring teaching for which I’ve always been grateful. 

Art Borkent, ’75 BSc(Spec), ’78 MSc, Salmon Arm, B.C.

UPDATE In the Spring 2013 issue of New Trail we reported in Class Notes that Tim Wiles, ’80 BCom, had been appointed deputy minister of Alberta Education in May 2012. It has been brought to our attention that he is now president and chief executive officer of the Credit Union Deposit Guarantee Corp., effective March 1, 2013.