Mail Bag

Mail Bag


2011 Distinguished Alumni

UNC honored 2011 Distinguished Alumni Sept. 22 during the Alumni Association’s Homecoming Spectacular at Greeley’s Union Colony Civic Center.

UNC’s Distinguished Alumni, honored for service and achievements that embody the university’s tradition of excellence, are:

Andrew Boian (BA-94), a senior speech writer for President Barack Obama and Vice President Joseph Biden

David Pierce Beaver (PhD-72), Western Illinois University professor emeritus

Steve Eastin (BA-70), actor and founder of an acting studio in Los Angeles

Michael Hutchinson (BA-79), a partner in the Colorado offices of Deloitte & Touche

Joseph Martin (PhD-82), associate professor and special advisor to the president at Northern Arizona University

Biographies and photos of the 2011 Distinguished Alumni are available on the Alumni Association website at


NV SpringMailbag: On a Striking Similarity

When the spring/summer edition of Northern Vision arrived, the photograph of Devon Beitzel on the cover struck me as something I had seen before. But what and where?

Since retirement I’ve been teaching art history classes as a member of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Denver.

Finally, the image on the cover came to me. I pulled my reference book, American Painting, and there it was. John Singleton Copley’s painting of Paul Revere. The photographer’s pose of Devon Beitzel is almost identical to Copley’s pose of Revere, including the shadow down the subject’s left side.

RevereI wonder if this was coincidental — difficult to imagine that it was. If you are able to find out, I would appreciate knowing what the photographer was thinking when setting up this photo shoot. 

— Earl L. Young, Class of ’53 

NV: We asked Barry LaPoint, who created the photo illustration, to explain. “This comparison is a very close coincidence, and a good one at that. My shot is a composite of Devon, shot with one flash in the middle of an indoor gymnasium, and a shot taken a few days earlier of an abandoned outdoor basketball court in late evening. Devon was given minimal instruction about the need for a serious shot making sure his arm with the tattoo was prominent. The pose was totally his idea of “serious.” I really believe this is just a coincidence of a young man who happened to pose similarly to a master painting. Great detective work, Earl!”


MapMailbag: On an Unfinished Michener Novel

I am writing to inquire about your possible interest in an article I have written about James A. Michener, his time in Greeley and how it led to his unfinished manuscript from 1950 about a fictional state much like Colorado, and about the relationship between that unfinished novel, Jefferson and Centennial. I have enjoyed doing much of my research in the James A. Michener Archives and had the wonderful assistance of the staff there. There are many treasures in the archives, including the unpublished, unfinished chapter of that planned novel.

— Bob Gatten, emeritus professor of Biology at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, has been inspired by many Michener novels and is especially interested in how Michener incorporates consistent themes throughout his many books.

NV: Yes, indeed, Bob. The manuscript, which includes a hand-drawn map of Jefferson sketched by Michener himself, click here to view it in its entirety.




Trivia: Win a Deluxe UNC Travel Mug
Tell us which campus building this light fixture is on to enter a drawing to receive a deluxe UNC Travel Mug.

Hint: A popular student hangout for many years, its name changed in the mid-1960s.

Send your answer by Nov. 15 to
Congratulations to the winners of last issue’s trivia contest — Vicki (Hamill) Fightmaster, Linda Martin and Ken Weaver. They answered correctly that in addition to alumna Connie Willis, Hansen-Willis residence hall is co-named in honor of another alumna — the late Mildred Hansen, former owner and publisher of the Greeley Tribune.