Your article “AAIC history lost in Leo Hall” deserves the gratitude of the Armenian people – both martyred and alive today. I can never forget the year 1985 when the esteemed mayor of La Verne, Jon Blickenstaff, and the dynamic president of AAIC, Dr. Garbis Der Yeghiayan visited Armenia. As a historian, I was given the honor of accompanying them for two days.
Mayor Blickenstaff on several occasions expressed his admiration of Armenian architecture and the Armenian tufa stone and wanted to know if it would be possible for the government to donate one slab of the stone for the proposed AAIC building as a symbol of Armenian history. Not only one slab, but 44 tons of the tufa stone were donated to AAIC and when we moved to Los Angeles in 1991, I attended the dedication ceremony of the new building whose facade is partially covered by the precious Armenian tufa stone. This special and unprecedented gesture by the Armenian government was done just to demonstrate its appreciation to the City of La Verne, and especially its high praise for the unique leadership role of Dr. Der Yeghiayan in superbly administering AAIC and vigorously promoting Armenian higher education in the United States.
Renaming the AAIC building to Leo Hall would simply be unwise and inappropriate. Leo and Armenian tufa stone, how sad and degrading! The only person who rightfully and deservedly symbolizes AAIC both in Armenia and the United States is Dr. Der Yeghiayan who tirelessly labored to make AAIC the pride of the Armenian world and a highly respected institution of higher education. The outcry of the Armenian public, including the media, would be unimaginable and the good name of the University of La Verne would be in jeopardy if the Board of Trustees ignoring the history of the institution and the honor of the Armenian people decides to adopt a decision which is unfair, wrong and defamatory.
The unsigned editorial in the April 15 Campus Times, titled “Budget shows ULV’s true priorities” was truly appalling.
I would, unfortunately, have to agree with the lack of a need for a music or theater program. I personally have only attended a few music recitals because they were required to fulfill my Music Appreciation GE, and haven’t heard of great attendance from the Theater department. In Southern California, those who are successful in music or theater have nearly endless opportunities to turn it into a career, and unless I’m missing out on some partnerships that the University has been keeping under wraps, there are no ties between ULV and these opportunities for success. If the University could claim some fame through one of their alumni in either the music or art field, I would be the first to make a stand for them.
However, one field which ULV does have a substantial claim to fame both on a national as well as an international level is in the speech communication department. In fact, the Campus Times highlighted this success in the April 8 edition [“Debaters excel at Nationals”], covering the success of ULV at the recent U.S. Universities National Championship held at the Claremont Colleges. Those who read the article would know that a ULV team was the top ranked team in the preliminaries, with the top two speaker positions both belonging to ULV students, and three ULV teams advancing into the quarterfinals. Additionally, ULV is also the top ranking American school internationally, and ranked 11th behind such prestigious schools as Oxford, Cambridge, Monash and Ataneo de Manilla. The coach of the ULV debate team is the chair of the World Council for all British Parliamentary schools. Yes, that means he’s the big boss.
The debate team also follows the University’s stated mission of “community and diversity” very well. On the debate team right now, there are students majoring in business, biology, chemistry, computer science, political science, sociology and philosophy. The tournaments which the debate team is involved in often include participants from up to five of the seven continents (unfortunately, there aren’t many universities debating in either South America or Antarctica). The past four world championships have been held on three different continents, with next year’s tournament being held on a fourth continent. Each year, the University has sent no less than seven students to these tournaments, and they have done exceptionally well.
Additionally, speech communication has been widely recognized as possibly one of the most underrated degrees a person can receive from a university. The ability to communicate with others has been slated by many companies as far more important than any “book knowledge” gained through other degrees. Anyone who has visited the campus career center lately will know that they preach about the importance of interviewing skills in today’s job world, and that’s just to get the job.
Can the theater and music departments make the same claims of achievement nationally and internationally, diversity among its’ major students, and importance of skill set outside of their major?
It is so good to make your acquaintance again. It’s neat to see how after a while you have the online edition of the Campus Times. I really like the layout, and the same usual Campus Times articles, pictures and interestingly ordinary “opinions” columns.
I always enjoyed how the columns are nice cozy narratives about something completely personal as if you want everyone to read your collection of details that actually sound like a bad country song. My funny friends! I found myself enjoying the strokes of paint on the picture of a funny, interesting and entertaining piece by John Patrick [“Tragic tales from the Magic Kingdom,” April 15]. Of course from knowing you, I can see your approach to stories, and the Magic Kingdom is wonderland of sick reality.
Hey, I’m not a good writer either, I’m not even a hack writer, I’m a hack-English major, just ask others, and also I’m rambling about myself too, (you’re such a hypocrite Rich!). But because your writings are like a junior-Cosmopolitan, whisking us into your worlds, keep up the good work. Many elements of the Web site are great too: the layout, the colors, the content and more. I’ll always remember our times in Palm Springs, and getting to know some cool friends.