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Mizzou Mail

Hey, that’s me!


Thanks for your piece on the Brady Commons in MIZZOU magazine for Fall ’08 — it conjures up many memories, everything from drinks between classes, socializing with friends and skull sessions to watching the first Super Bowl on TV and stopping off for a bite on the way to games at the stadium! However, one correction: The picture of people dancing (Page 21) is not a sock-hop. (Note the lack of drinks, musicians, etc. — we did a better job of having a good time than that!) It is a gym class in social dance, which I was in (I’m the tall thin dark-haired guy on the right with his back to the camera). So we were just learning how to cut a rug in Spring ‘65 for all those fancier get-togethers with the opposite sex.

Nick Sobin, BA ’67, MA ’69
El Paso, Texas

Big class for small-town girl

What a nice article in the recent MIZZOU alumni magazine! The picture that was used with the story could have been from the class I attended in 1981. Economics was (and still is) a big subject, especially for a small town girl from Southern Missouri. To this day I realize that the more I learn, the less I know about it. Not only did you help introduce someone to a bigger world of opportunities, but you also encouraged the curiosity and passion for life that can become jaded during college. Thank you – and Professors James Holleran and Allen Bluedorn – for sharing so much of yourselves with your students.

Kim Wiley Trabue, BS BA ’83

Editor’s note: Stories about former Econ 51 Professor John Kuhlman continue to bubble up, sparked by coverage in MIZZOU magazine. You can read more comments and submit your own memories here.

How many graduate?

Your fall issue talks about the record incoming classes expected this year, something like 5,500 for this fall?

I wonder how many will graduate in the spring of 2012. That seems to be the big dilemma for higher education for the last decade or so. As a longtime reader of The New York Times, I know every year only about a million bachelor’s degrees are awarded from the 2,000 or so colleges and universities in America, but a large number enroll in the freshman class four years before. What happens to the ones who don’t make it?

Let’s take Mizzou. How many were enrolled in the freshman class of 2004, and how many graduated in the class of 2008? And of the ones who did make it, how many got good jobs, or any jobs? Of all college grads in America who are still working, only 4 out of 5 hold a job that takes a degree.

Three hundred million of us and a higher education budget of about $200 billion, and we produce only about a million college graduates every year. Something wrong there — it’s only an elite group that makes it. Why?

It starts earlier, I’m afraid. A third of all high school seniors did not graduate in spring 2008. All of us are dumber, I guess, and the computer isn’t helping. The July/August issue of the Atlantic asks, “Is Google making us stoopid”?

David B. Zoellner, BJ’55
Evanston, Ill.

Editor’s note: MU’s vice provost for enrollment management Ann Korschgen replies: Zoellner is correct that high school preparation and support makes a big difference in who attends college, and that is why MU has partnerships with school districts -- such as the MAC (Minority Achievement Committee) scholars program with the Columbia Public Schools -- and have launched the Missouri College Advising Corps (in cooperation with the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation in Lansdowne, Va.) to help prepare students for college. We also work in close partnership with the Kauffman Scholars program that helps prepare urban youth for college.
MU’s six-year graduation rate in 2008 is 68.8 percent; the national average in 2007 was 56.1 percent. The complete graduation rates for 2007, the most recent year available, is:
Four-year: 43 percent
Five-year: 65.1 percent
Six-year: 67.2 percent

Of MU graduates who found employment, 91 percent annually find work in jobs related to their majors. For those students who don’t complete their degree in six years, we have evidence they finish at other institutions or finish at a later date at Mizzou through the Recruit Back program.

Catching Mizzou football in Paris, France

I bleed Gold and Black, so when I was in Paris, France, on Oct. 18, 2008, I had to find a sports pub that was going to show the live broadcast of the MU-Texas football game (airing at 2 a.m. Paris time Oct. 19).

E-mails, phone calls and help from my hotel’s concierge pinpointed the only pub in Paris that had the game, The Great Canadian Pub, 25 Quai des Grands Augustins in the 6th Arrondissement on the Left Bank.

Amidst other rabid sports fans at the pub watching Montreal Canadian hockey and the American League playoff game, I had two television screens to myself for the Mizzou game. And throughout the game, I was texting a fellow MU fan in Austin, Texas.

As the game wore on, a few pub patrons attempted to ease my growing disappointment and frustration with encouragement and drinks. Finally, I walked back to my hotel in the cool, moon-light Paris early morning after 4.

Despite the score, the pub’s staff was extremely accommodating to the lone Yankee watching college football. So if you’re ever in Paris, stop by the Great Canadian Pub, and greet the manager Paschal with a MIZ-ZOU.

Joel Litman, BJ ’76