PC gone too far

By Richard Huston and Pam Huston

I speak as a former member of the U of I Marching Illini Band and a graduate of this great university (BA ’61, MS ’64 and PhD ’67). My wife (B.A ’66, M.S. ’68) and I feel that the Board of Trustees did not preserve either our tradition or heritage when they allowed Chairman Eppley to make the decision instead of voting publically on whether to retain the Chief as the U of I mascot.

This decision is more disappointing than an Illini sports team losing every regular season game in any given decade. We were hoping for some ‘spine’ in our U of I leadership team to stay the course and NOT give in by destroying a tradition that the vast majority of Illinois graduates are very proud of. Proud in the sense that this mascot has represented our institution and heritage in a dignified manner for decades. He is a magnificent symbol of a proud people who lived in our state. He linked the graduating classes together at sporting events and enhanced our university’s reputation with clear thinking people.

Our respect for this University has literally disappeared now. To be driven to this decision by a minority tirade is the worst example of pandering to a minority that we have ever seen at this institution. We saw the PC responses of members of the Board of Trustees and it makes us absolutely sick to our stomachs.

Now know this … we have been fortunate to gather resources that require some careful thought as to their distribution. We would have loved to have made the U of I a recipient of some of these funds. We absolutely love this institution. We treasure the relationships with former colleagues and teachers at the U of I. Now, having worked at University of Illinois at Chicago, University of Nebraska Medical Center and now Kansas University Medical Center, we will find other ways to help improve education and research in academic arenas other than the University of Illinois.

Richard Huston

Pam Huston

University alumni