Letters to the Editor

Let's Hear the Women Roar

As parents of a first-year, we have enjoyed reading your comprehensive magazine covering athletics, guest speakers and special events on campus, and alumni news and publications. In the Winter 2017–18 issue, we particularly enjoyed the exceptional articles “Under Pressure,” “The Work of Art” and “Oceanographer Juliette Finzi Hart ’96 Shows the (Virtual) Reality of Climate Change.” We were also amused by the “A Snowball’s Chance” story. It is truly a broad and outstanding publication.

The women’s cross country team celebrating its first Ivy Heps title in more than a decade.

The women’s cross country team celebrating its first Ivy Heps title in more than a decade.


The two-page photo spread of the football team at the front of the magazine was colorful, full of spirit and captured the sensationalism of the team’s victory that day. The subsequent article about the team [in “Roar, Lion, Roar,” “Football’s Remarkable Reversal”], which ran a full page plus a quarter-page, certainly celebrated the much-deserved accomplishments of their season.

Why, though, would the women’s cross country team photo be the smallest of all the ones to accompany your sports articles? Their accomplishment was the first time that team won the Ivy League Heptagonal Championships since 2005! The first title in 12 years! That is very big sports news indeed, and yet the photo is so small you can barely see the girls’ faces. It was the only photo of female athletes and even smaller than that of the men’s basketball team 50 years ago. Even the individual photos of male athletes were larger than the one of this highly accomplished women’s team.

Kindly give the female student athletes the same coverage that you do for the men. They are all Lions and we applaud them all.

Names withheld

Remembering All the Champions

Alex Sachare ’71’s “That Championship Season” [Winter 2017–18, “Roar, Lion, Roar”] refers to the successful 1967–68 basketball team. That team had a 25–5 record, won games in the NCAA tournament before losing to Davidson in the second round and won the Ivy League championship in a playoff with Princeton.

Sachare says it was the first Columbia team to win the Ivy League championship. I assume he comes to this conclusion because the name “Ivy League” was used by the league after Brown joined the then-seven team Eastern Intercollegiate Basketball League, which was referred to in the press as the “Ivy League.” The EIBL consisted of Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Penn, Princeton and Yale, seven teams that played home and away for a total of 12 league games. In the 1950–51 season — which I was part of — we played 12 league games and Brown one game (which was not considered a league game). After Brown joined the league, each team played 14 league games.

The 1967–68 Columbia basketball team was a great team with great players. But the title of the article makes the reader believe, if they are not otherwise informed, that 1967– 68 was as far as championship basketball has gone for Columbia. At the end of the 1950– 51 season the team had won 22 games without a loss. At the end of the 1949–50 season the team had won nine consecutive games for a 31-game winning streak. The article does not anywhere mention that team even though it, too, is in the Columbia University Athletics Hall of Fame.

The ranks of the 1950–51 team have dwindled. Of the seven who played the most, John Azary ’51; Jack Molinas ’53; Bob Sullivan SEAS’51, SEAS’52; and Alan Stein ’52 have left us. Tom Powers ’51 and Bob Reiss ’52 are still with us.

Frank Lewis ’51, LAW’53
Goodyear, Ariz.

Class Notes

I always enjoy reading the Class Notes and seeing what my classmates are up to. One of them is Barack Obama ’83 (so we are generally well informed on him), but it is really good to catch up on the others!

Bill Schultz ’83