Welcome to OU Magazine’s Letters to the Editor section. Last issue’s stories on the charter class and today’s freshman got one reader thinking about his undergraduate days and a trip to China he and fellow students took more than 35 years ago. Two other readers were reminded of the OU professors who inspired them by our story on Distinguished Professor Jane Eberwein. We hope to hear from you, too.
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An experience of a lifetime
A little over 35 years ago, 43 Oakland students, along with two OU professors spent a semester in Hong Kong studying Chinese history, culture, philosophy and language. After brief stays in Japan, Taiwan and the Philippines, our group settled into a small hotel in Hong Kong’s Kowloon section where we lived, ate and attended classes.
Times have certainly changed. Not only was this before Chinese control, but it was before tunnels connected the island with Kowloon on the mainland, before subways replaced English style double-decker busses…there were no formal relations between “Red China” and the United States, and Americans did not travel to China. The Oakland group took the highly unusual step of applying for visas to visit China. If these visas had been approved, which they were not, this would have been front-page news back home. The border between China and Hong Kong was strictly an agricultural area. There was not yet a city on the Chinese side; today Shenzhen has a population exceeding 7 million.
I have been fortunate to stay in touch with a handful of fellow Hong Kong travelers, including the surviving professor, Henry Rosemont Jr.
David Black, CAS ’69
(Editor’s Note: Black returned to Hong Kong for the first time earlier this year. He asks anyone who was on that trip if they’d like to discuss a possible reunion or get in touch with fellow trip participants, to contact him at email@example.com.)
Teacher becomes lifelong friend
I am writing to you after reading your wonderful article on Jane Eberwein. As a 30-year employee at Oakland University and an alumna, I would like to tell you that my educational experience at Oakland was enriched by Dr. Jay Meehan. I had Dr. Meehan for two classes and for an independent study and his dedication and caring for his students has not only enriched my life but I am sure the lives of many students who had the honor of being a student in his class. He has remained a true friend and mentor to me and I would be remiss in not bringing this to your attention.
Mary Isaccs, BGS ’96
Shelby Township, Mich.
A mentor who set the bar high
It was heartwarming to read of Professor Ron Cramer’s sustained success and dedication to teaching in the summer OU Magazine. I’m teaching in an alternative school district in northwest Houston. I am now working on my third degree and have taught for over 24 years, and I have never had a greater mentor than Dr. Ron Cramer. He set the bar high for me to follow. I owe Professor Cramer a debt of gratitude. His passion for teaching is contagious as is his dedication to excellence.
Judy Reidy, MAT ‘76