Sunday, June 10, 2007

Wave the flag for Old Chicago

Had a great time this weekend in Hyde Park. Saw many old friends and colleagues. Swam in the Myers-McLoraine pool and got in a workout in the Bernard Del Giorno Fitness Center. The Ratner Athletics Center is just outstanding. The building is filled with images and trappings of the history of physical education and athletics at the University. Jay Berwanger's Heisman Trophy now has a proper home. Makes me so proud to know I also earned that C blanket.

Got in a little schmooze time--with Bernie and Gerry Ratner--at the University Club during the Order of the C reception. Hit the Medici and Salonica. Stopped in to salute Hanna Gray in all her glory in Hutch Commons.

This little postcard goes out to all of our Chicago friends, with special thanks to Rosie and Brian. Thank you for taking great care of us this weekend. We miss you, your wisdom, intellect, mentoring and humor. You remind us that coaching is a noble endeavor, and that brains, athletic skill and personal integrity are not mutally exclusive traits.

And for the rest of you U of C geeks, Hyde Park is still very much Hyde Park; but the University is physically growing by leaps and bounds. It was great to observe the beginning of convocation for The College--although it doesn't seem quite as formal being outside. It is still wonderful; every undergraduate has her/his name read and shakes the President's hand. It is a fabulous rite of passage for all who make it. And with the anonymous 100 million dollar gift last week, more special young people will be able to experience a Chicago education.

Nice to know the life of the mind now has a much better place to take care of the life of the body. The U of C gets DIII athletics, and its place within an academic institution, right. Chicago athletes go on to do great things in life, whether it is join Teach for America or clerk for the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, like Chicago All-American baseball player Mark Mosier (A.B '97, J.D. '04) is currently doing. I wonder how Kim Ng (A.B. '90, softball infielder) is doing as assistant GM of the Dodgers?

Amos Alonzo Stagg and Gertrude Dudley would approve.

1 comment:

Geoffrey Gerber AB 90 said...

The balance between the life of the mind and the life of the body can be difficult to maintain. The U of C has struggled to do this over the years, swinging from its pre-WWII prominence and success in the Big Ten (with a concurrently prominant social life) to its Hutchins-era de-emphasis on organized athletics (with a concomitant self-directed exclusion of many scholar-athletes).

The University's motto(crescat scientia vita excolatur) is Latin for "Let knowledge grow from more to more; and so be human life enriched." I'd like to think that the choice of Latin words is intentional. The U of C did not use "eruditio" which also means knowledge or learning. It did not use "doctrina" another word for learning. Instead it chose to use "scientia" which is the base for "conscientia" (meaning inter alia, consciousness). "Scientia" means knowledge, but it also means skill.

Thus, for Chicago, life is not enriched by an accummulation of learning, it is enriched by the acquisition of more knowledge, with a broad conception of knowledge that includes the acquisition of skills. It is this broader acquisition of knowledge that cannot grow from more to more without attention to the life of the body as well.

This postcard is a nice tribute to an institution that has consistently undergone a process of critical self-evaluation and, based upon that analysis, been courageous enough (rightly or wrongly) to undertake actions designed to improve itself and the opportunities and environment for its students.
Go Maroons!