LIVES WELL LIVED
Thank you for the In Memoriam tribute
to Fitz Roy Walling ’46 [Fall 2014].
We will be forever indebted to him for
giving us a chance when others did not.
That chance made a huge difference
in our lives, beginning with a Bucknell
education, wonderful lifelong friends
and a way of thinking that has helped
Toby Decker ’65, Needham, Mass.
Forrest Chilton ’65, Alexandria, Va.
I was saddened to learn of the death
of Professor Richard Nickelsen — he
was a major and lasting influence on
my life. As an art and English major,
with absolutely no talent for science
or math, I still had to complete my 12
hours of field four (science and math)
requirements. And one of those classes
had to be a two-semester lab course.
I feared chemistry, didn’t want to go
out at night for astronomy (a mistake
in my young life), and so I opted for
geology. And I fell in love.
It was amazing. I went eagerly to
class. I studied. I absorbed. I passed!
A number of years ago, after having
done well watching Jeopardy and getting
all the geology questions correct, I
wrote to thank Nickelsen for opening
my eyes to another world. And a few
years later, when downsizing my library,
I decided to send him several old books
from my treasured collection. They
were geology and geography books
from the early 1800s. I knew no one
who would appreciate them as he
might, and I hope that he did.
When I think of the rewards of a
liberal arts degree, I remember being
forced into a new field of study and
finding a whole new world that was
fascinating to me. (Well, except for
the experience of failing statistics and
barely squeaking through economic
botany, of course.) Many professors
taught me well and stand out in my
mind as having been good guides in
my chosen world of literature and art,
but Nickelsen was from an outside
world, and he welcomed me into it.
Penelope Suritz ’63
IT’S NOT ALWAYS ABOUT WINNING
As a former Bison wrestler, I greatly
appreciated William Bowman’s article
about the resurgence of the varsity
wrestling program at Bucknell and the
possibility of having our alma mater’s
first wrestling national champion
[Winter 2015]. While we have had other
grapplers with a real shot at being
national champions — Kevin LeValley
’11, for example, formerly the “most
outstanding wrestler” in a past Eastern
Intercollegiate Wrestling Association
tournament — Joe Stolfi ’16 seems
well positioned to earn that title.
While such a thing would be a huge
event for Bucknell, and a fitting tribute
to the incredible vision coach Dan
Wirnsberger has had for the team
(to say nothing of a great personal
achievement for Stolfi), it also underscores the generally underestimated
value the sport has to graduates and
society in general.
Wrestling is acknowledged, almost
uniquely among sports, as an activity
that nearly mirrors the discipline of
Zen and other self-sacrificing endeavors
in building character. Most serious
wrestlers are known for their depth of
character and great work ethic. Where
else at a university can these qualities
be learned? What better qualifications
could society or an employer value
than a superior education wedded to
a person with depth of character and
focus? Whatever the outcome of this
year’s National Championships, all of
Bucknell’s wrestlers are likely to go on
to be a credit to the University through
their unselfish discipline and hard work
in their future lives.
Wally Schwartz ’65
Note: Stolfi opened the NCAA
Championships in March by pinning
South Dakota State’s J. J. Everard,
followed by a loss to Maryland’s Spencer
Myers. Unfortunately, an injury on that
opening day forced him out of competition.
Stolfi, who still has one year of eligibility
ahead of him, holds the Bucknell record
for pins in a season and career pins, and
this year led the nation in wins by fall.
In our Spring issue we wrote that several
students traveled to New Zealand to conduct
research on icy debris fans. In fact just one
student, Alex Pellicciotti ’15, accompanied
faculty members on that trip. Pellicciotti
presented his research this spring at the
Kalman Research Symposium on campus.
The data he collected — as well as data
collected by a dozen other students over
the last two years — will be analyzed this
summer by Bucknell student researchers.
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