I was extremely moved to read Laura Barlament’s “The Last Letter” (Coda, autumn 2013). I, too, was privileged to have had Max Aue as a professor for several classes, ranging from a German language course to my grand finale at Emory, German Literature from 1750 to 1850, taught by Dr. Aue in Vienna. As a German literature major, I was one class short of graduating, and my last semester was spent in Vienna. While the course requirement I needed was not part of the curriculum offered, Dr. Aue was so enthusiastic about his field that he created the necessary German literature class for me. Along with one other student, I met with him in his mother’s book- and music-filled Viennese apartment where, over coffee and pastries, we would discuss the works from that era that were playing in the theater and opera house in Vienna that summer. After our readings and discussions, we would see the works performed. Dr. Aue had a deep love for the library in Vienna and sent us off on a treasure hunt of sorts, to find a copy of Nestroy’s Der Bose Geist Lupazivagabundis, which required penetrating the labyrinthian halls and towers, where I finally discovered the text (only available in Gothic German print) inside a porcelain stove–heated room on the top floor of a turret. When I published my first novel, Vicious Spring, I included him in the acknowledgements. No other person has ever taught me so profoundly about literature. I recently finished the first draft of my third novel, and it occurred to me that he would be my ideal reader to offer feedback. Having been out of touch for a few years, I composed a letter to him in my mind. Then I looked him up online and was devastated to learn of his untimely death. Barlament’s description of his classes is so evocative, and it brought me some measure of peace to sense how many, many students live on, whose minds he pried further open in his congenial way.
Hollis Hampton-Jones 87C
[“Portrait of the Artist,” autumn 2013, was a] wonderfully thoughtful article on one of our alumni [Brendan O’Connell 90C]. During my time at Emory, there were only three rather rudimentary art classes available to students, but fortunately, Emory was willing to give me credit for challenging coursework at the Atlanta College of Art. It’s nice to hear that the arts are coming back to Emory, at least to some degree.
Simone Handler-Hutchinson 87C
Morristown, New Jersey
In spite of President Wagner’s quip about starting an engineering school in the 1880s and not starting another (“Brain Gain,” autumn 2013), Emory once offered both BS and MS degrees in electrical engineering. Technically, it was not an engineering school, but an engineering department in what was then called the College of Arts and Sciences. Professor John B. Peebles was chair of the department. If I am not mistaken, he joined the Emory faculty when the college was still located at Oxford, before the move to the Druid Hills campus. The department was closed in 1950, when Professor Peebles retired. The other engineering faculty member at that time was Bob Rohrer, who happened to also be my brother-in-law. When the engineering department was closed, he went to Duke, got a PhD in physics, and returned to Emory and taught physics for many years. I graduated with a BS in engineering in 1948. There were eighteen in that class, probably the largest class the engineering department ever had. The other seventeen were all veterans of WWII, so I was the youngest. Many of the members of the classes of 1949 and 1950 also were veterans. I doubt that there are very many of us left now. It is good to know that Emory and Georgia Tech are combining their resources and skills for both research and instruction.
Baldwin Bridger 48C
I’m currently an MBA student at Georgia Tech. I loved the article “Brain Gain” about the relationship between Emory and Tech, and I agree that the relationship between the two schools is healthily symbiotic. I would like to point out one other way in which the schools are deeply integrated: the TI:GER Program. The program is a collaboration between Georgia Tech and Emory PhDs and postdocs, Emory Law students, and Georgia Tech MBA students who work together to build a commercialization plan for the scientists’ technologies. The program is taught by professors and lecturers at both universities and covers topics such as intellectual property protection, customer outreach, and industry analysis. The program has launched several companies and has provided dozens of students invaluable experience in fields in which they would not otherwise earn exposure. Looking forward to seeing more ways in which Emory and GT can collaborate!
Eric Crane 09B
As a recent alum of the Georgia Tech–Emory joint biomedical engineering/PhD program, I was glad to see the story on the program in the most recent issue of Emory Magazine (“Brain Gain,” autumn 2013). One detail jumped out at me in your online edition that I wanted to highlight. The “fellow researcher” in the photo with Manu Platt is Keon-Young Park 08C 18PhD, who not only received her Ba from Emory but is currently a member of the Emory School of Medicine’s MD/PhD program in the BME department. I hope this doesn’t come off as critical, because I enjoyed the article, but this seems like a missed opportunity to highlight the collaboration between the two schools.
Ian Campbell 13PhD
Editor’s note: Failing to identify Ms. Park as an Emory alumna was indeed an oversight; thanks to Mr. Campbell for bringing this to our attention.