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On Pillsbury Hall
II had to smile at Annie Zheng’s description of the “fringe-ness” of an English major [“A Place for Words,” Fall 2021]. When I arrived on campus in 1968 as a grad student in English, the department was in Vincent Hall on the Mall. At that time, it ranked in the top 10 departments in the U.S. However, I always wondered if the University’s space planners might have been teasing us. After all, much of the curriculum focused on dead writers. Perhaps that’s why the department shared Vincent Hall with Mortuary Science.
Will Hegeman (M.A. ’71, English)
Thank you for the excellent piece in the Fall 2021 issue of Minnesota Alumni on the renovation of Pillsbury Hall for English and the Humanities! Undergraduate English major Annie Zheng was the perfect person to speak for us. I was especially pleased to learn that she has a minor in creative writing (a fairly new program in our department). I hope that you will also feature our phenomenally successful MFA Program in Creative Writing in the near future. Our own Julie Schumacher (author of the acclaimed comic novels Dear Committee Members and The Shakespeare Requirement) has just been named Regents Professor, as I am sure that you know.
Regents Professor Emerita
Department of English
On Al Milgrom
Al Milgrom [“Al Milgrom’s Last Adventure,” Fall 2021] was indeed a difficult man to work for. I worked for him as an assistant at the University Film Society as an undergraduate, putting up posters, running errands, selling tickets, opening and closing the theater. I don’t believe he was ever satisfied that I or anyone else put in enough hours for the film society. (A previous assistant confided that he returned the favor by stealing stamps.) For a few years, I saw almost every foreign film of note, missing only the first few minutes and the endings (selling tickets and opening the doors for the patrons). But this experience left me with an abiding interest in film and in foreign films. I still happily squint to read subtitles. Al was an institution. I once ruined a few of his fliers, and I don’t know if he ever forgave me, but the UFS and Al were a major part of why I loved life at the University.
Gary Henrickson (B.A. ’70, M.A. ’76, Ph.D. ’81)
Fergus Falls, Minnesota
In our Fall 2021 issue feature “Not Business as Usual,” we misidentified the name of Felipa Cespedes’ photography company. It is Fotogenic MN Photobooths. Minnesota Alumni regrets the error.