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Johnson, Dwight A. (ed.) / Wisconsin alumnus
Volume 51, Number 1 (Oct. 1949)

Public service,   pp. 12-14

Curriculum,   pp. 14-15

Page 14

ican suggests that thinking ability
is mostly a matter of training, the
end result of a long learning proc-
ess. They say the untrained brain is
sufficient only for "trial-and-error,
fumble-through behavior."
  The more experience, the more
thinking. That goes for both men
and monkeys.
  INSURANCE teaching at Wis-
consin is in the hands of an "un-
usually capable staff," praises an
editorial in a summer issue of an in-
surance trade journal, the Eastern
Underwriter. Other schools have
been written about, but "the Uni-
versity of Wisconsin has not had the
recognition in the insurance press
that it warrants," says the article.
Over 400 students each year take
advanced insurance courses at Wis-
  Accompanying the editorial were
brief autobiographical sketches of
the insurance staff headed by Dean
F. H. Elwell.
  LIFE went to a Summer prom
and wrote a report which begins
with the big statement that "at the
University of Wisconsin summer
school there are so many women
students that unattached males can
afford to play hard to get."
  The Aug. 22 four-page spread
features pretty Prom Queen Betty
O'Donnell, 19, St. Louis, Mo., and a
Lake Mendota water ballet pre-
sented to the tune of Bali H'ai by 10
women students.
Two More FM Towers
  A YEAR AFTER World War I,
University physics Professor Earle
M. Terry gave the big push which
launched WHA, the first station in
the country to offer scheduled broad-
  That was fine. But a slip-up came
some years later when the govern-
ment assigned AM frequencies-at
Wisconsin they didn't even bother to
obtain a clear channel (Chicago
bothered and obtained five). "No
clear channel" meant the oldest sta-
tion in the nation would have to go
off the air when nightfall brought
better and more distant (and con-
fused) reception.
  Luckily, opportunity came a sec-
ond time. FM got around to Wiscon-
sin in 1945 and the state and Uni-
versity determined to take advan-
tage of the new and better tech-
nique. The legislature created the
State Radio council to set up a
state-wide system of non-commercial
educational radio stations; it appro-
priated money for FM transmitters
at WHA and Waukesha county's
  University educators agreed the
steps were in the right direction.
Two years later they applauded
again when the state provided for
two more FM stations, one east of
Lake Winnebago at Chilton and the
other near Wausau.
  Two more years went by until
1949. The radio council now wanted
$178,400 for another' two stations,
one near La Crosse and one near
Eau Claire. The legislature said OK
again, but this time there were ru-
m o r s that Governor Rennebohm
might veto the bill because there
were too few FM receivers in Wis-
consin. Over at Radio hall even the
departmental secretary said she was
"keeping her fingers crossed."
  Now the scare is over, the bill is
signed, and the radio people are
planning to ask 1951 lawmakers for
two final transmitters for the ex-
treme northern and southwestern
tips of the state.
  Cost of two radio transmitters is
about equal to two miles of modern
highway, says the Wisconsin State
Journal. It's that inexpensive be-
cause the stations operate through
radio workshops of schools and col-
leges in their areas. Most of the pro-
grams originate in Radio hall on the
Madison campus, many in Univer-
sity classrooms. They feature edu-
cational and   informational pro-
grams ranging from entertainment
for pre-school children to hour-long
lectures for adults; many commer-
cial stations cannot afford to carry
such advertising-free programs.
  And the People like the state sta-
tion programs. Earlier this year
President Fred received $500 and
the following letter from an anony-
mous listener:
  "Enclosed is a check for the Uni-
versity in appreciation of the fine
listening our family has had over
WHA. Through the unselfish service
of the faculty and staff, we have
been fortunate to hear the best of
lectures in so many branches of
learning. All through the day, be-
ginning with the cheery music of the
Band Wagon, the programs are so
very much worth while .."
Book Purge Halts
  A SEARCH for textbooks con-
taining communist propaganda was
begun but later called off last sum-
mer by the House Un-American
Activities committee. The book hunt
was for texts used in college social
studies courses, a n d  Wisconsin,
along with many other universities,
was asked for a list.
  President Fred reluctantly com-
plied because he "fully recognized
the legal right of congress to make
this inquiry. However," he wrote the
Un-American committee, "we ques-
tion seriously the wisdom of doing
so." Fred told the congressmen the
inquiry had already done harm at
Wisconsin and elsewhere.
  "No disavowal can eradicate the
impression that this action might be
the first step toward infringement
of the freedom of speech," the Wis-
consin president charged.
  The old faithful bronze plaque,
the Wisconsin principles of teaching
and research stated by the 1894
regents, served its purpose again.
President Fred quoted it to the mis-
guided congressmen:
and Octopus
editor of 1947,
Alan A. Ander-
son, found this
old Octy favorite
reprinted last
summer in the
August issue of
the Ladies
Horn e Jourhal.
A n accompany-
ing article, "Col-
lege Men Are
Funny," was il-
lustrated with
cartoons from
several campus
humor maga-
"And my buddy looks like he
just stepped out of Esquire."

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