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Letters: Fall 2013
Author: Kathryn Kirkland
Posted: September 25, 2013

Memories of encouragement

Jim Westwood's letter about the College Center ("Cafeteria Social Strata," Spring 2013) evoked many of my own memories. When I enrolled at Portland State College in 1958, we had but two classroom buildings: Old Main (now Lincoln Hall) and State Hall (now Cramer Hall). Two large houses to the south of State Hall served as the Registrar's office and the Business office. But times were changing quickly, and continuous construction was the PSC norm. The new College Center was a welcome change from the subterranean student center lodged in the basement of Old Main. Jim's "sociology of seating" coincides with my memories. I sat in the southwest corner with my friends. I guess that made me one of the more scholarly types.

Like Jim, I remember Professor Robert Tuttle, the first of my many English professors. In his Introduction to Fiction class, we had to write a final paper on Tess of the d'Urbervilles. At the time, I wavered between majoring in English or math. When Professor Tuttle returned my paper, he had written, "I don't agree with your view, but you state it well." With that encouraging comment, the die was cast. I majored in English, had a wonderful career teaching at Linn-Benton Community College, and spent a year as a Fulbright teacher in Denmark. Perhaps the most important thing Professor Tuttle taught was how important a seemingly ordinary comment can be to a student.

Art Bervin '62

New college calls for new logo

I read with some interest the article "The New College of the Arts" (Spring 2013). I suggest the first step toward credibility would be to demand the creation of a new PSU logo. The current clunky one resembles a freeway interchange, or perhaps the mating of angleworms. It has minimal design integrity. Now is the right time for a new look.

Wes Perrin '59
Retired founder/CEO of Portland advertising agency, Borders, Perrin and Norrander

Help with mystery photo

Editor's note: This is one of eight letters we received about our "mystery photo" in the Looking Back section of the Spring 2013 Portland State Magazine.

The young men in the photo are using an Electrotape, an electronic distance-measuring device manufactured by Cubic Corporation. Although I don't know their names, they were most likely engineering students, or students of "applied science" as it was called at PSU in those days. They were probably taking a class in land surveying.

The Electrotape was quite an advancement in surveying technology at that time. I learned to use it in the mid-1960s in my summer job as a surveying aid while I was attending PSU (1965-69). 

                         Dave Kurkoski '69

Magazine survey results

More than a 1,000 of you answered our email survey about Portland State Magazine this spring, and we appreciate your thoughtful responses. What do you want to see in the magazine? The top choice was University events and performances. Articles about University research and future plans as well as issues facing higher education and our community also received a thumbs up. The Park Blocks section (what's new on campus) closely following by Looking Back (PSU history) were the best-read sections.

We're listening and want to make sure our articles and photo choices keep you connected and interested in the University—especially since 81 percent of you said you prefer to receive information about PSU through the magazine. If you would like to receive an electronic version of the magazine, or you have a new email address, please write to us at

Kathryn Kirkland, editor

Portland State Magazine wants to hear from you. Email your comments to or send them to Portland State Magazine, Office of University Communications, PO Box 751, Portland OR 97207-0751. We reserve the right to edit for space and clarity.