Xavier Magazine

Brush with Care

A sense of service led James Weber into dentistry. And in September, that same ideal earned the 1970 graduate the Ohio Dental Association’s Humanitarian Award for 2003.

Weber opened his practice in 1975 and has always done some public service work on his own, but his efforts took off in 1996 when he became involved with All God’s Children, an organization providing dental services to orphans in Romania. He made trips to the former Communist country in 1996, 1997 and 1998. Problems with the Romanian government in 1998 brought an end to the program, but not to Weber’s service. He took his efforts to Honduras in 2001, 2003 and again in February. “The site is at Santa Lucia, in the mountains near the El Salvador border,” he says. “It’s very remote.”

Stepping into other cultures has had a lasting impact. “I’ve developed a deep sense of what it means in my Christian faith to be a member of the body of Christ,” he says. “Prior to my trips, that concept had always been somewhat intellectual and theoretical. With each trip, it’s become more real. I think we take away more than we give.”

Xavier Magazine

Braids Success

Anthony Myles slumps into a plastic patio chair in JoAnn Baxley’s apartment. The senior forward on the men’s basketball team, who just turned in a seven-page paper on Descartes, downs a juice and chews through four bags of chips while Baxley braids his hair into 20 neatly arranged rows that curve in even patterns across his scalp. He’s got to look good because tomorrow the team plays on national television.

Myles isn’t the only one who’s been in this position. Teammates Dedrick Finn and Angelo Smith also have sat in the plastic patio chair. So has Cincinnati Bengals running back Corey Dillon. Baxley, a senior psychology major, is well known around the University—and the city—for her skill braiding hair. “Braids by Butta” she calls her work. Butta is short for Butterfly, which is her middle name.

What has made Butta so popular is her style. Before the taming begins, she washes the hair, picks away any knots and then uses her comb to start the first row, making sure the part is perfect. “That is what makes it look so good,” she says. “A lot of people can braid, but it’s the parting that can really make the hairstyle.”

Butta oughta know. She’s been braiding hair since she was 12 years old in her native Baltimore. She learned by watching her mother and practicing on her nephew’s long locks.

The first in her family to go to college, she uses the $20 to $40 she receives for each sitting in combination with a series of grants and loans, plus a part-time job at Target, to pay the remaining costs of tuition, books and living expenses.

As Myles sits patiently, she finishes the job with a little mousse and oil sheen to keep the braids down and looking shiny. He pops his 6-foot 9-inch frame out of the chair to check his look in a mirror. He’s happy.

“I love it,” he says. “I always like it no matter what she does.”

Xavier Magazine

Bat Art

The Cincinnati Reds couldn’t win a World Series trophy this year, so they did the next best thing—they made one. The Reds hired Tom Tsuchiya, Xavier’s resident sculptor, to build a 10-foot replica of the trophy for an artistic promotion put on by the city of Cincinnati in which all of the art was made out of baseball bats. Members of the University’s physical plant, notably carpenter Mike Millennor, pitched in. The piece brought some high-priced bids when it was auctioned off in November. Its buyer? The Florida Marlins, the upstart team that won the World Series with former Reds manager Jack McKeon at the helm. The price: $8,000.

Xavier Magazine

And More Letters

Against the Current Terry McIver, in his letter to the editor Spring 2004), contributes nicely to the bilious literature of exclusion and self-annointment that never stops from these people so desperate to believe that every word in the Bible is gold. And there’s the problem, isn’t it? The more the world’s problems call out for solutions grounded in some divinely inspired imagination, the more people like Mr. McIver try to wrench us all back to the past. And so we beat on, as Fitzgerald says, boats against the current. Hank Bunker

Memorable Tour After seeing my dentist, Dr. William Glockner, about every six months for nine years, I was aware that he was a graduate of the Xavier class of 1982.

We talked many times about Xavier and toyed with the idea of a personal tour of the updated campus. After seeing Dr. Glockner on March 9, we made plans to do that on March 12. After picking him up, we talked at length about people that stood out in his memory. Because I had been on campus since 1983, I was able to update his information on many of the people that he remembered.

As soon as we arrived, the adventure began. We toured Edgecliff, Schmidt and Hinkle halls. We stopped at the bursar’s office and continued on toward Albers.

Bill had mentioned a professor that he remembered well, so without saying anything, I took him to an office in Albers Hall. We went into the office of Carolyn Chambers. Chambers stood and after not seeing him since 1982, amazingly said, “Bill Glockner.” They had a great reunion and conversation, and then we went on our way.

We toured Gallagher, Buenger, The Commons and Cintas. We met Gene Carmichael, S.J., on the mall and they remembered each other and had a great conversation. Fr. Carmichael was one of the people that we had previously discussed.

I next took him to a home on Ledgewood to surprise him by seeing one of his favorite professors. We rang the bell and the door was opened by retired professor John Hart. He recognized us both and he remembered Bill from 1982. An atmosphere of elation came forth when they began discussing 1982 and when Bill was his student. After exchanging telephone numbers and e-mail addresses, we left and talked about our visit all the way home.

This experience points out the great care and thoughtfulness of the teaching staff at Xavier toward their previous students, and their warmth made this experience very exciting for both of us. Bill Dishon

Simplifyng Matters I was surprised at your article on killing in the name of religion [For God’s Sake, Spring 2004]. This is a very simple issue and I don?t understand why it has to appear so complicated. People kill for various reasons, none of which have anything to do with God. The killers simply use God as an excuse. In our country we see examples of this when snipers fell abortion doctors in the name of Jesus.

Terrorists are likely psychopaths using God as an excuse. Wars are often caused by psychopaths. The psychopathic leaders build Armies with other psychopaths, those in fear of not joining the army and those in fear of being overtaken. Mob psychology often contributes to the carnage because the individuals no longer feel responsible and have less fear in the group.

As stated in the article, God is a god of love. The best we can do is to strive to love each and every person, friend and foe alike.Joel DiGirolamo, MBA ’81 Lexington, Ky.

Xavier Magazine

A Link to the Rich and Famous

Movie star Loretta Young came for a visit. So did Vice President Hubert Humphrey. Cincinnati Archbishop Karl J. Alter, Jesuit Superior General Pedro Arrupe, S.J., and former University President Paul J. O’Connor, S.J., dropped by for dinner. And, according to one legend, The Beatles stopped in for a party.

For more than 40 years, Joseph Link’s home—now the Edward B. Brueggeman Center for Dialogue—played host to a mind-bending roster of guests. And at the epicenter of the activity was the charismatic Link, a longtime economics professor at the University who died early last year. Whether the Fab Four story is true or not is immaterial: At Link’s house, it seemed possible.

The 1935 graduate bought the 1920 Tudor-style house, which sits at the edge of campus along what is now the residential mall, in the early 1950s, says his niece, Nancy Murphy. Over the years, it came to mirror his personality.

“He was flamboyant,” says Richard Hirté, vice president for financial administration at the University. “And the house was exactly the same way. There were velvet chairs, tapestries on the wall, thrones, a lot of bright colors and a big lavish bar down in the basement.”

Like his home, Link’s life was ready-made for socializing. An Austrian baron by birth who hobnobbed with European royalty, Link graduated from the Foreign Service Institute in Washington, D.C., served in the U.S. Army Counter Intelligence Corps, and taught at the University of Cincinnati’s College Conservatory of Music. He also dated Young, moved in Hollywood circles and served as president of the Vernon Manor Hotel, among other things.

But he is perhaps best remembered as a quick-witted, generous man and a genial host who regularly invited family members and even his plumber to his social gatherings, where he often entertained guests by playing the organ, then slipped off and went to sleep while the party continued.

Ironically, in leaving his home to the University, Link ensured that the party would indeed continue. Although he had no idea the house would become a center for dialogue, it appears that Link’s legacy of bringing people together there will carry on well into the future. And that, Murphy says, is something her uncle surely would love.

Xavier Magazine

10 Years Later

June 14, 1989. The events of the day created a watershed event in Xavier history. Six Jesuit priests were murdered in El Salvador, immediately creating a link between the University and peace efforts in Central America, and indirectly creating one of Xavier’s most popular programs—the Nicaraguan service learning semester.

Professor of Spanish Irene Hodgson went to El Salvador and Nicaragua that next year to see the countries for herself, returning in 1992 with professor of communication arts Bill Daily. Both were struck by the level of poverty. She remembers Daily sitting in the back of a pickup truck saying, “We’ve got to get kids down here.”

By 1995, the first group of eight students went to Managua, where they moved in with families, studied the language and local history, and worked in community service agencies. A total of 90 students have been there in the nine years since. With the 10th group ready to go this spring, a reunion was held at Homecoming. A survey of the program’s alumni found a majority feel it was a life-changing experience that significantly affected their overall education.

“We confirmed what we already knew: That it not only made a difference in their lives at the time, but it has continued,” Hodgson says. “Part of it is the energy and the hope you get from the people who are in miserable circumstances.”