Mail Bag

Swimming Against Mark Spitz

Like most people, I had to work my way through college. By work, I mean that I swam six or more hours a day, took a lot of credits and had a good GPA. I made All-American three times in high school and three times at UNC. I was offered scholarships at some of the best schools, but they were partial scholarships and did not cover all of the expenses. Rene Kern (former UNC coach) saw me swim against well-known swimmer Mark Spitz (I came in second), and he offered me a full scholarship at UNC. I took it. I played water polo and swam for the UNC team with five other very good swimmers that Rene recruited. Rene flew from California to Greeley just to present our case for induction into the UNC Hall of Fame.

Tom Bryant (BA-74), UNC Athletics Hall of Fame, Class of 2014, who went on to coach in Wyoming and create the Laramie Recreation Center. He's pictured in the front row, second from the left, in the photo. Read more about the class at

Your Letters

The fall/winter 2013 edition of Northern Vision has been one of the best since I have been receiving it. Something for everyone in my family including my two teenage boys, one of whom used one of The Lumineers' (page 14) songs in a school project and one who is a NASCAR fan and read the article about Barney Visser (page 22). Our oldest has only been driving a year and our younger son will get his driving permit in a couple of months and through sharing the sad story about Alex Heit (page 11) we again talked about the dangers of (driving) distractions. Even though we were saddened to read the article about him, I appreciate Alex's parents' willingness to share and their passion to keep it from happening again.
Shawna Shade (BAE-90)

The fall/winter 2013 edition of Northern Vision is the best magazine edition that I have read in several years. I have returned to read this publication several times and have shared it with family and friends. I loved the "A World with 100 People" (page 3). It is simplistic yet exceptionally enlightening. I have had at least six people read it so far and all have shared my admiration for this piece. I also enjoyed articles "Lumineers Luminary" (page 14) and "Seeking Answers" (page 8). Further compliments go for the graphics and the layout. Readable, enjoyable, memorable. It makes me proud to be an alumnus of UNC.
Brent Yoder (BA-77)

In the article "Dangers of Distracted Driving" in the fall/winter edition, it states: "Decades ago, Mothers Against Drunk Driving made inebriated driving socially unacceptable, but there is no similarly powerful movement aimed at distracted drivers. And the distractions inside cars are only increasing." In fact, a national organization does exist for raising awareness of the dangers of distracted driving. It's called FocusDriven,, an organization that has appeared before Congress as well as on national talk shows.
Edie Dolben

Past issues of Northern Vision are available in archives.


Trivia: Win a UNC Gift Bag

Tell us which professor and coach sent letters to more than 1,600 UNC students serving in the military during World War II so they could keep up to date with campus news to be entered into a drawing for a UNC backpack containing a variety of UNC-branded items — coffee mugs, pens, pennants and more. Send your answer by June 10 to

Congratulations to the winners of last issue’s trivia contest, whose names were randomly drawn from entries with the correct answer. Rebecca Figgs, Samantha Ortiz and Eric Palmer knew that UNC is taking a leading role in preserving the history of Dearfield, the once-thriving African-American agricultural community east of Greeley that has become the Colorado ghost town UNC is most closely associated with.