January/February 1997 WSU Alumni News


Rainbow Requiem

Celebrating his father's life was the impulse behind Schenectady, N.Y., psychiatrist Dr. Rudy Nydegger's decision to commission a classical piece of music by American composer Timothy Luby. "My father had been a musician all his life," Nydegger '66/69 explains, "so it occurred to me a piece of music would be a fitting tribute." The resulting requiem Mass had its world premiere recently in Troy, N.Y. Luby's "In the Shadow of the Rainbow" honors and reflects the personality of Vernon Nydegger '38, the late Wichita band leader perhpas best known for his mastery of the saxophone and clarinet. In his composition, Luby took care to use the dominant 11th chord, which Nydegger had employed repeatedly in a piece he wrote for his wife. Luby's inspiration also included a resplendent rainbow he once saw while hiking in Massachusetts. "For years afterward," Luby has reported, "whenever I found myself despairing, this image of the rainbow afforded great comfort."

Young Scholar

While most 18-year-olds are looking forward to the senior prom and graduation, Eddie Dreger '96 has set his sights on graduate school. Dreger celebrated his 19th birthday and completed his undergraduate studeis — with a straight-A average — on Dec. 21. The young scholar earned a degree in chemistry with a minor in mathematics. "I've been doing research that involves improving the efficiency and reducing the side effects of chemotherapy," he says. Dreger will continue this research while pursuing his master's degree.

Panda Project

Sadly, some 65 percent of child abuse cases involve injuries to children's necks, faces and heads. So who more logical than dental professionals to help identify abuse victims? Educating dental workers about how to recognize and report child abuse is the aim of Prevent Abuse and neglect through Dental Awareness. Originated in Massachusetts, PANDA was established in Kansas in 1995 through the dedicated efforts of Junetta (French) Everett '79, vice president for professional relations at Delta Dental in Wichita, a dental insurance provider and PANDA sponsor. Everett explains that dentists, hygienists and dental assistants have traditionally reported only a small percentage of child abuse cases. But since PANDA, reporting has increased 72 percent. "It's part of my heart," Everett says about the progrm. "I believe in it." 

An Honorable Mention

Who is your heroine? Your mom? A former teacher? WSU's Center for Women's Studies, along with the WSU Endowment Association, is giving people an opportunity to honor their heroines by purchasing a commenorative brick, paver or bench in the Plaza of Heroines, located near Ablah Library. A neaby computer kiosk will contain histories of the heroines. Giving opportunities start at $100. The project, which benefits the Center for Women's Studies, kicks off in March. 

Quality Work

Prakash R. Hans Raj '93 is taking care of business in his native Malaysia. As a training executive in the human resource and development division of Elektrisola Group, which manufactures enameled copper magnet wires that are thinner than human hair, he is in charge of making sure Elektrisola will be certified as a Total Quality company by mid-1998. "If the company qualifies, then it will be awarded the Prime Minister's Quality Award," he explains. In addition to its factory in Malaysia, Elektrisola has plants in Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Mexico and in Boscawen, New Hampshire. "The nature of the product," Prakash relates, "requires the factory to be situated in a clean and dust-free environment. Therefore, the company has provided us with lodging in a resort area free from traffic jams and smoke pollution. The only problem is, it's a very quiet place."

General Counsel

Congratulations to Col. Scott W. Stucky '70 of the U.S. Air Force Reserve, who, on Dec. 1, 1996, became General Counsel of the Senate Committee on Armed Services. That title alone is most impressive! "It is a great opportunity, which I owe to old WSU and Air Force ROTC there," Stucky says. He and his wife, Jean, along with children Mary-Clare, 4, and Joseph, 1, live in Washington, D.C. Stucky's training and years of experience in the military will certainly pay off when dealing with all of those congressmen on Capitol Hill. Good luck, Colonel!



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