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We asked alumni to tell us their favourite stories. Here are just a few pages from the collective U of T scrapbook of memories.

If you have a memory of the university you'd like to share, please post it here. Whether it's a funny anecdote or a defining moment, your fellow members of the university community - alumni, students, staff and friends - would love to hear about it.


A Scrapbook of Memories

Annis, (nee )McMane, Munro
Burlington, Ont 1934 UC

10/1/2002 10:21:06 PM
Enter your memories and best wishes here
Whitney Hall was a newly-opened women's residence in 1931, and I lived in Falconer House, and found it a wonderful time to be a young student at U/T.
I also remember Dr. Satterley's famous liquid air experiment-- I was enrolled in a Physics course.
There are many great memories, too many to list here. I was very young,17, and had attended a small continuation school--- Toronto was a great place to be.
My daughter graduated from Vic, and one grandson is graduating this year.
My best wishes for many more wonderful years and achievemnts for U/T.



Richard Wintle
Maple, Ontario 1990 Arts & Science / New College

6/28/2002 12:45:52 PM
Some very memorable moments from my first year music history class:

1) Professor Andrew Hughes explaining in the first lecture that he wears an academic gown to intimidate his students, to intimidate his fellow professors, and to remind any passing politicians from Queen's Park that there is an institution of higher learning nearby.

2) Professor Sawa, a once-a-week lecturer from the Near and Middle Eastern studies department, giving an astonishing performance on the Kanun, a zither-like instrument.

3) Professor Hughes giving a performance of John Cage's 4'33' to the (mostly bemused) class (this solo piano piece consists of 4 minutes and 33 seconds of silence).




F. Riahi
The Hague, The Netherlands 1993 Woodsworth

6/11/2002 8:43:25 AM
For me, these are some of my most colorful memories from the U of T days:

Squeezing through crowded hallways at the Trinity college to take a seat on the cold and cozy stairway listening to a lecture by the peace advocate, Dr. Rapaport,

The first kiss from an old sweetheart, on a rainy automn night at the corner of the courtyard in the centre of UC,

Mesmerized by reading overdoze, coming across a window with a special sunny view of down town Toronto, up high in a remote place at Robarts library,

The annual Oktoberfest at the department of Germanic studies, and carring the door prize back home on the subway--a big fudge house,

Coming out of the final exam centre, with an ecstatic tingle in my stomach, walking along Bloor E. into the warm days of late spring.




Lianne Thompson
Mississauga 1984 Erindale

5/29/2002 9:22:28 AM
It was September of 1981, and two friends and I had just completed the English Proficiency test required by the university at that time. We were three young women (18 and 19 - that was so long ago!), excited about starting university, striking out on our own, with the whole future in front of us.

After we completed the exam, it was still early on a pleasant September evening and we decided that we would go to Erindale's one and only pub for our first venture into the university social life. We strolled across campus to the pub, walked in the door and...faced an entire, crowded room full of male students.

All our courage deserted us and we fled quickly, bursting into laughter as we emerged into the warm night. To this day, we don't know if it was some special men's night, or if there HAD been some female students there and we were just too flustered to notice them.

My years at U of T, Erindale were wonderful and fulfilling, opening my mind to new ideas and possibilities. But still, it is the memory of those three flustered young women, on the verge of adult-hood and laughing at their own timidity that remains clear in my memory over 20 years later.




Richard Potter
Milford ON 1962 and 1965 UC and Law
http://www.i-lawmarketing.ca

5/8/2002 8:00:55 AM
When, after two years, I left SPS for UC, since I lived at home in Toronto, Hart House became my preferred haunt. I was a member of the Music Committee and participated in several memorable events. At a time when the CBC Sunday Evening Concerts dominated the musical scene at HH, we decided that it was time that HH had a headliner jazz concert. The very first one starred Oscar Peterson and his Trio - black tie, huge audience, great success. Years later, when I was on the UTAA or still President of the Law Alumni Association, I wangled an invite to the grad ceremony at which Oscar received an honorary degree. Graciously, he said he remembered the 1960s concert event simply because it was a first and, as an artist, he said, you always remember a first.
Later, I was lucky to be at the law school at a time when some of the finest teachers of the 20th Century were there - Cecil Wright, Bora Laskin, John Willis, Jim Milner, Albert Abel. Memories and lessons for a lifetime.
Happy birhtday, U of T!




Mara King (nee Rozevicius)
Canmore, Alberta 1977 Scarborough College - Physical Geography

5/7/2002 3:22:10 PM
Those were the days:
1. Wearing hipwaders in Lake Ontario in late November doing a wave study.
2. Soils field trip - Prof. Bryan waking us up by banging on a garbagecan lid.
3. Fruit flys escaping the biology lab.
4. 'A Pint for a Pint' - getting a free beer for giving a pint of blood.
Most of all I credit UofT for my enjoyment of 'lifelong learning'.





Frances Chambers
North York 1963 Woodsworth

4/8/2002 2:46:25 PM
First year physics with Dr. John Satterley in 1949-50 was definitely the highlight of my studies at U of T. Doc Satterley was an outstanding teacher who won the respect and affection of all his students. A little old man with failing eyesight, he had a fringe of fluffy white hair that was cut once a year, an occasion that his class of more than 200 students greeted with applause. Any paper not written with black ink (blue was too hard for him to see) had five marks deducted. At the beginning of the year, when he wrote up an experiment on the board, he would write ‘We hope and pray’ before the result. Later this was shortened to ‘We h and p.’ He wanted us to understand that nothing was infallible.

Doc Satterley was a great showman. If he wanted to demonstrate that heating a jar lid expanded it so that it would come off easily, he would struggle mightily to get it off, then heat it and take it off with a flourish. Actually, the struggle was an act: the lid was loose so that he would be sure of the desired result.
Once a year there was an hour of pure entertainment: Doc Satterley’s Liquid Air Lecture. You had to arrive at least an hour early to get in, because students flocked from all over the university to enjoy the show. The seats were filled, the steps were packed and every inch of standing room was used. Satterley’s show was to drop a live goldfish into liquid air which is so cold that the fish froze in a flash then hit the fish with a hammer, shattering it like glass. It was such a great show (for all except the poor fish) that it was hard to remember that it was a physics lecture and take notes. The next day, a Saturday, the show was repeated to make a documentary and many of the students returned to see it again.



David Sowby
Dublin 1951 Faculty of Medicine

4/8/2002 2:44:59 PM
A few months before meds finals, I came within an ace of being expelled from the university. Every Christmas the medical students put on the revue called Daffydil, which took place in the splendid theatre of Hart House. In my year’s skit I was assigned the role of Dean of the Medical School. Dr. Macfarlane had reached the rank of brigadier in the Canadian army, and so it was traditional to portray him wearing an officer’s cap with a red band around it. Part of the trouble was that in the skit he was depicted as a hospital orderly, constantly sweeping the floor, saying nothing except “Yes, Sir” and “No, Sir.”

The Dean was present at the final performance, and from the stage I could see him sitting in the front row, looking decidedly uncomfortable. At the cast party after the show, we were all having a great time when suddenly the professor of obstetrics, Dr. Van Wyck, came over to me and said that the Dean was furious and wanted me expelled. Apparently hed heard someone say to me on stage: “Macfarlane, sweep up that shit,” to which I was supposed to have replied: “There’s too much shit, Sir.”

We were all astounded, because nothing like this had been said. Other actors were sent for, and the producer, and eventually we convinced Dr. Van Wyck that the Dean must have been hearing things. Van Wyck succeeded in calming the Dean down. It was a nervewracking few hours, though.





John Chipman
Thunder Bay 1947 Arts and Science

4/8/2002 2:43:47 PM
I was a returned vets who hoped to earn a degree by misspending my afternoons playing bridge. When it transpired that I had to do some work, I enrolled as a latecomer in third-year Greek and Roman History. That decision changed the way I felt about university.

The course was given on the second floor of the cloisters by Professor Gilbert Bagnani. He was tall with a shock of unruly hair, a beak of a nose and a huge military handlebar moustache. There were just five of us in the class, including Charmion King (the actor – who would marry Gordon Pinsent – already notable on campus for her comedy and dramatic flair). The small room had six big wicker chairs grouped in a semicircle around a working fireplace. In the cold weather Bagnani brought wood from the farm where he lived, making it a cozy den to learn in. He wore a wonderful floor-length raccoon coat right out of the 1920s. I think he kept it on the manure pile at the back of the barn because it had an odour and a life of its own. It would writhe and rumble in the corner where he had thrown it during class.

Most of us were smokers. Bagnani chewed on long, crooked, evil-smelling black cigars and we left the room shrouded in a terribly smelly unhealthy miasma. The next occupant was the registrar himself, who would huff and puff loudly about its state. He was reduced to thumb-tacking little cardboard signs with No Smoking printed on them. I well remember the first morning they appeared. Baganini ceremoniously took his chair closest to the fire, which we had been instructed to light on our arrival, and without looking, he reached up and pulled one of the No Smoking signs free. He carefully folded it into a mini ashtray and then lit up, to our huge pleasure.

Because of my military background, he assigned me to research and compare the military campaigns of Rommel and Hannibal, which had me happily devouring arcane literature in the library at the expense of my other classes. He told wonderful tales of adventures while on archeology digs in Egypt, guarding the tomb in shifts with his wife, rifles over their knees to keep away robbers. He told us how he had won enough money on the turn of a card at Monte Carlo to finance his doctoral degree in England. He enlivened his lectures with yarns about his days with the Italian cavalry in the First World War. He opened my eyes to a lifetime of pleasure in higher learning!

A few years ago, I rented an apartment in Athens right under the Acropolis. I walked those wonderful streets talking to myself, but really to him, trying to tell him how much he enriched my life. Each contribution I make to your fundraising drives is for him.




K.G. Sanders
Toronto 1949 Arts and Science

4/8/2002 2:30:42 PM
Just turned 17, I’d never been away from home before. Suddenly I was thrown in with war vets, some of them older than 40, and sharing one of those old hut dorms in Ajax with about 40 others. I remember the huge wartime cafeteria that served 1,000 of us, where we used to have milk-drinking contests until we almost burst. I also remember those large green cattle car vans that took us to the classrooms. Some of the guys would try jumping out while the van was still going: the trick was to face the front of the van and be running before you hit the pavement, otherwise you immediately fell painfully sideways on impact. By the time we had finished two years of engineering we had our fast exits all figured out. But by then we were in
Toronto.

I had an old 1927 Chev coupe with a rumble seat and I used to drive in from Weston. I picked up two classmates along the way, both 200-pounders (one later became a Falconbridge exec). Coming home I’d swing uphill around the Casa Loma corner with the little coupe under maximum power. It used to scare the heck out of those big guys because we would almost roll.

We had one girl in our year who was forced to be our cheerleader for all athletic events. We called her Cartwheel Harriet. I never did find out how she progressed in life after graduation. One of our guys used to date her. She never really was good at doing cartwheels, but she was a worthy engineering undergrad.

We used to have big water fights between the dorms at Ajax, ones that always resulted in the deployment of the fire hoses. In one fight, our rivals turned the hoses on us out in the street, but a couple of us sneaked up and slammed the door they were shooting from while, at the same time, our gang rushed another door. Good military tactics. But the education was first class.



Elizabeth Szekeres
Brampton  1974 Urban geography, UTM

4/8/2002 11:41:57 AM
My fondest memory of my time at the University of Toronto comes from the 1970s. As an urban geography student of Dr. Gunter Gad and the late Dr. Howard Andrews, I enrolled in an urban planning course that featured a field trip to Vancouver. Our core group of planning devotees spent a week in Vancouver, touring previously researched sites of interest, visiting the varied neighbourhoods and learning about community planning initiatives.

One highlight was a tour of a wonderful cedar home on the ocean, with a multi-million-dollar view of Horseshoe Bay, a superb example of West Coast architecture and urban design. But somewhere on the trip, we got a little lost. Gunter was driving the first vehicle, and I was in the following one, driven by Howard.

When Gunter made what seemed like a wrong turn, we were highly amused to hear Howard’s ample lips expostulate: ‘GOOD GOD, GAD!’ as he tried to understand where we were being led. It was truly a moment I won’t forget!



Mark Jamison
Toronto 1973 Music

4/8/2002 11:09:30 AM
I was an undergrad in Music (Performance) from 1969-73 and for at least three of those years I also managed the U of T symphony. In the context of our current preoccupation with security, I recently recalled this incident from those years. We were rehearsing an opera production of Verdi’s Falstaff (I am pretty certain) at the Edward Johnson Building one evening when someone called in a bomb threat. We asked everyone to leave and they did so, very slowly and with some grumbling. After everyone was out, the custodian, a campus security guard and I crawled under the orchestra pit to investigate. We found lots of garbage and mouse droppings but little else.
We resumed rehearsal. In the end, the only bomb may have been the Production (perhaps Verdi had called in from the afterlife to warn us off his work. We were enthusiastic if nothing else.)
Today, I doubt that the bomb squad would be composed of a student, a janitor and an older gentleman supplementing his pension. Pity, that!





  
 
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