Righting a wrong

As usual, when I received the Virginia Tech Magazine (in this case the Winter 2002 issue), I looked forward to reading more information about Virginia Tech. However, when I briefly skimmed through the "major gifts highlights" columns in the philanthropy report, I spotted something that disturbed me greatly. Listed was a gift to the VTCAA James W. Monteith '41 Medal of Honor Endowed Scholarship. And on page 21 [of the magazine], the article refers to James "Jimmy" Monteith who fought in World War II alongside Benjamin Chewning.

With this letter, I hope to right an injustice that has been occurring more frequently in the past year or so and especially since Sept. 11. Here is my gripe: The majority of the articles written about 1st Lieutenant Monteith give his first name as "James." This is incorrect--his first name was "Jimmie."

I have taken it upon myself to carry on the campaign begun by the late William A. "Billy" Moore (who was, like me, a member of the Richmond Chapter of the Virginia Tech Alumni Association), to right the wrong about Jimmie's name. Up until recently (I am not sure about the last two years), the chapter has awarded a plaque in honor of Jimmie Monteith to a member of the Corps of Cadets because he was raised in Richmond and we considered him one of our own.

Robert P. Chandler '61
Richmond, Va.

History lesson

I'm commenting on the article "Brian Welch: Keeping it all in the family" (page 7 of the Winter 2002 edition of Virginia Tech Magazine). In the second paragraph of the article, the author writes, "Welch was born in Iran as the Shah was trying to overthrow the government." If I remember correctly, in July of 1978 (when Mr. Welch was born), the Shah of Iran was the government, and the Ayatollah Khomeini and his band of not-so-merry men were the ones trying to (and who did) overthrow the government of Reza Shah Pahlavi. History hasn't changed, has it?

Rich Elbert '83
Westfield, N.J.

Editor's note: Mr. Elbert is correct: The followers of Ayatollah Khomeini drove the Shah of Iran into exile in 1979, and the article certainly should have reflected this fact.

Celebrating a worthy cause

Imagine a child with spina bifida riding a horse for the first time, a young lady with cerebral palsy going to a dance, or a young man with muscular dystrophy riding in a canoe. Thanks to Camp Koinonia, which provides a camp experience to children and adults with disabilities, thousands of individuals have been touched by "an experience that lasts a lifetime." In 1977, Camp Koinonia was started at Virginia Tech with 64 campers, thanks to the energy and cooperation of faculty members such as Gene Hayes in recreation and leisure studies, Scott Geller in psychology, and Ann Sherman in special education. The program was developed to provide students with a "hands-on" experience working with persons with disabilities. NFL player Bruce Smith is just one notable Virginia Tech student who participated in the program.

The program was moved to the University of Tennessee when Dr. Hayes relocated to Knoxville and has been ongoing at the Knoxville campus since 1986. This year, Camp Koinonia celebrates its 25th year. Dr. Hayes and his students would like to invite all Virginia Tech students who participated in the program to relive the "experience that lasts a lifetime."

Tiffany P. Keplinger '00
Winchester, Va.

Editor's note: For more information about Camp Koinonia or its 25th-year celebration, please call 865/974-4363 or 865/974-1288 or e-mail Gene Hayes at ghayes1@utk.edu

Fourth generation Techman

You recently ran an article about the generations of families that have attended Virginia Tech. We feel you missed a very unusual one. Sophomore David P. Musser is a fourth generation Techman on both his mother and father's sides, thanks to his mother, Deborah Lanford Musser (English '74); his grandfather, Joseph W. Lanford (electrical engineering '32); his great-grandfather, Wallace B. Lanford (electrical engineering '05); his father, David W. Musser (environmental engineering technology '75); his grandfather, Harry P. Musser Jr. (electrical engineering '44); and his great-grandfather--Harry P. Musser (electrical engineering '10).

This is a long line of Hokies!

H.P. Musser Jr. '44
Charleston, W.Va.