Autumn 2017
Letters to the Editor

Praise for U of T’s vital work to save Indigenous languages, for our story on Ursula Franklin and for our Spring 2017 issue

Language Is Vital to Culture

I applaud the work of Prof. Ryan DeCaire and others in their efforts to keep alive our Indigenous languages (“Lost Words,” Spring 2017). This work underscores important aspects of language as more than just a means of communication, but also as a scaffold of a culture and a codification of a society’s cosmology. As an anthropology grad, I understand the vital role language plays in this regard.

In my career as a superintendent with the former Toronto Board of Education, I had responsibility for Ojibwa, Mohawk and Cree language programs and had the opportunity to work with members of the First Nations community in promoting and sustaining these languages for our students.

It is indeed encouraging to read about the marvellous activities of the Centre for Indigenous Studies. I wish it well.

Donald Irwin
BA 1960 Victoria, MEd 1985, Brechin, Ontario


The Power of One

Your story about the wonderful Ursula Franklin (“Warrior for Peace,” Spring 2017) is a reminder of how one person can fight for change and help improve people’s lives in many different ways.

Your readers may be interested in a recent documentary, Hilleman: A Perilous Quest to Save the World’s Children, about scientist Maurice Hilleman who pioneered vaccines. He produced more than 40 of them, including 14 for children. He is, or should be, considered one of the greatest scientists of the 20th century, having saved untold millions of children’s lives with his vaccines. He deserves a posthumous Nobel Prize.

Jack Hoffman
BScPhm 1956, Côte-Saint-Luc, Quebec


How the War Ended

Prof. Ursula Franklin’s legacy to the university, country and world is enormous. I was startled, however, to see the reference to an “armistice” that ended the Second World War. VE Day was not an armistice, but rather the unconditional surrender of Nazi Germany to the Allies.

David Josephy
BSc 1976 New College, Guelph, Ontario


Cite Your Evidence

Regarding “U of T Gains Global Edge” (Spring 2017): Apart from Prof. Ted Sargent’s oracular pronouncement, what evidence did this article present for its opening sentence that Brexit and Trump are behind the growth in foreign applications to U of T? I read it twice, and didn’t see any.

James Whyte
BSc 1981 New College, Innisfill, Ontario


Naming Women

It concerns me that women are often identified with their husband’s name, even if it’s their childhood or early education that is being described. For example, your tribute to the late Rose Wolfe (Spring 2017) says “Wolfe earned a BA in sociology.” The article states later that she married after getting her degree. So, Rose Senderowitz earned a BA. Rose “Wolfe” did not.

Gwenne Becker
BCom 1955 Victoria, Toronto


Basic Income Has a Precedent

Your article about the Ontario government’s plans to test a universal basic income (“A Stronger Safety Net,” Spring 2017) ignores our own federal government’s similar large experiment conducted more than 40 years ago. It should not just be mentioned, but learned from.

Robert Thomas
BSc 1964 Trinity, Winnipeg


Write to us!

U of T Magazine welcomes letters at


Readers tweeted some cover-to-cover love for our Spring 2017 issue.

This is an especially good issue of U of T Magazine for so many reasons.
Daniel Munro @dk_munro

Appreciate getting this publication as a proud OISE/UofT alumna. Great articles!
Lisa Anne Floyd @lisaannefloyd


Some particularly liked the story about the late Ursula Franklin  …

Important #reminder & call to #action from Dr. Ursula Franklin, especially in these #StrangeTimes
Mahfuza Rahman @MahfuzaLRahman


… and the doctor who kept a patient alive without lungs for six days.

Incredible story of human sharing, medicine and technological innovation. My classmate Dr. Shaf Keshavjee continues to inspire.
Dr. Rick MacDonald @Kidsdoc1Rick


The university got some love, too.

Gr8 move #UofT to intentionally hire more Indigenous faculty and staff, acknowledge mistakes of past. #TRC17
Pamela Gough @pamelagough

A “playful” space @UofT? Bring it on! Imagine if we took play and creativity seriously in coursework? Still see many 1-answer questions.
Leslie Stewart Rose @lstewartrose


Not everyone bought into all of the entrepreneurial advice, though.

Agree with almost everything except the “get an advanced degree” tip.
Tim Decker @TimDecker86


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