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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (July 22, 1969)
TUESDAY, JULY 22, 1969
University's first black administrator
leaves to do hospital work in South
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Being a big sister is almost as much fun as having one, according
to Nancy Brickson, a NU coed who does volunteer work with
Student Action Front.
SAF has orientation
Student Action Front, an organiza
tion'for students with a social con
science, is having an orientation
session in the Nebraska Union, Thurs
The 25 volunteers will be warned
of some of the pitfalls encountered
in volunteer work, pitfalls such as
paternalism. They will also be given
pointers on how to gain acceptance
and how to face mistakes and failures.
Work which SAF volunteers may
do includes big sister or big brother
relationships, work with senior
citizens, leading 4-11 clubs or serving
as a community organizer's assistant.
"We want more manpower for all
of the jobs that need to be done,"
said Janet White, the program
chairman for the. group.
Most of those doing work this sum
mer are attending classes, she said,
but they still find time for SAF.
She added that anyone can apply
for volunteer work at the SAF office
located on the third floor of the Union.
The organization has been making
Music school presents
operatic 'Masked Ball
Tickets for the University of
Nebraska's summer opera, Giuseppe
Verdi's "A Masked Ball," are on sale
at the school of music.
Unlike past years, the opera will
be solely a school of music production.
Previously, operas were produced in
collaboration with the department of
speech and dramatic art.
"This is a typical grand opera filled
with great arias and tremendous
duets," according to John Zei, assis
tant professor of voice who is serving
as producer, director and stage
The three-act tragedy revolves
around the unrequited love affair of
Gustav III, a Swedish king, and
Amelia, the wife of his prime
Most of the members of last sum
When the playwright directs the
play that he has written, he feels
like he has a split personality.
At least, that's the way Joseph
Baldwin, a professor in the depart
ment of speech and dramatic art,
feels about directing the double-bill,
"An Evening of Comedy," at Howell
He wrote both of the plays "The
House Within the House Within" and
AND SOMETIMES the playwright
gets the best of the director For ex
ample, during rehearsal Baldwin
found a few lines that he wanted to
At other times, the director wonders
what the playwright had in mind. And
then Baldwin remembers that he is
the one responsible for whatever the
A few years ago, Baldwin was at
the University of Mississippi directing
another plav that he had written.
Two weeks before opening night, the
playwristf. In him decided that the
Irst acf v,:s '03 long. But, as director
of 'he i y.' 1 3 decided not to change
it bocs'u:3 the actors already knew
BALDWIN is enjoying the "Chekhov
"Uiikkliov w a favorite playwright.
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plans for the, fall semester.
"SAF wants to serve educational
purposes as well as continue doing
volunteer work," Miss White said.
Plans include bringing several
speakers to campus lor lectures and
discussions, offering a course through
the Free University and organizing
on-call jobs, which will give students
the opportunity of doing volunteer
work as. their schedules permit.
SAF also plans to send represen
tatives to meetings of the Mayor's
Human Rights Commission.
Many volunteers do work at the
Malone Center, Miss White said. And
one student is working with two
ministers in trying to set up a youth
center for young people who live in
the. Malone area.
SAF, which was organized last
January, had about 70 volunteer
workers during the spring semester.
Miss White says that this number
"will be much larger when we get
going in the fall."
mer's "La Boeme" u J
to make a company of about 50 work
ing on the production, Zei sj....
Richard Grace, associate professor
of voice Is the musical director. Cos
tumes are being designed by Lee
Ridge of Lincoln and Dean Tschetter,
a graduate student, is designing the
A'l seats will be reserved for the
performances scheduled Aug. 16, 17
and 19. Reservations may be made
any time during the day, Monday
through Friday, at Room 113 in the
Westbrook Music Building or by call
ing 472-2505. Ticket price is $1.55.
the 8 p.m. performances will be
in Howell Theatre at 12th and R
Streets. Tickets will not be sold at
the Howell box office until opening
night Aug. 16.
And I am having fun spoofing him
a bit," he said.
The Russian, one of the most ad
mired of the early modern
playwrights; wrote "beautiful, poetic
plays about the decay of the
aristocracy" at the turn of the cen
tury. Though his characters are bored,
pathetic people usually living on
country estates, Baldwin says that "at
heart, Chekhov's plays are comedies,
so I figured he wouldn't mind having
a little fun made."
Baldwin describes his other play,
"The House Within the House Within,"
as "something of a tragi-comedy for
lack of a better word."
HIS INSPIRATION for the play
came from a fascination with the
mirrors In a barber shop where "you
can see yourself in six or eight dif
ferent mirrors all at the same time.
"You think that you are in the right
place. But there always seems to be
another place or i'oom just beyond
where you are sitting."
"House Within" was staged by the
theatre group at the University of
Alabama last summer.
Baldwin always tries to go see his
plays wherever they are produced.
The Alabama production "was a bang
up job," he said, adding that he has
tried to-do the play a little differently.
Black administrators are hard to
The University's first black ad
ministrator, Joe Butler, assistant in
Student Affairs who worked with
foreign student's and the tuition waiver
group, is leaving at the end of July.
He has accepted a position as
chaplain at an all black-staffod
hospital in Nashville, Tenn. The
hospital has a mobile unit which "has
captured my imagination."
THE UNIT, offering both medical
and social welfare aid, works in the
Delta area. This summer the van is
working in Mississippi. Last summer,
the unit was at the Resurrection City
encampment in Washington, D.C.
Butler will also be involved with
community relations work for the
hospital, he added.
Though he has had offers from other
schools in the North as well as an
offer to stay at the University, Butler
says that he wants to return to the
kind of work to which he committed
himself, as an ordained minister.
He refers to the widespread search
by colleges and universities for black
administrative staff ' members as
"really a cry for help.
"Before the black revolution, we
weren't needed," he said. "Wise ad
ministrators now sense that they have
a problem in which they have
neglected to become well-versed
enough to handle.
BUTLER FEELS that there is also
a need for white administrators to
read the books coming out and the
revised histories so that they
themselves can understand the black
students as they would try to under
stand other students with special pro
blems. "Most middle class whites are
distressingly naive as to the true
underlying causes of our present race
To find black staff members, some
schools are raiding predominantly
black colleges in the south with offers
of large salaries, he said.
This procedure .''smacks of
"I hate to see large, rich northern
schools, who a decade ago wouldn't
have considered hiring these people,
denuding southern black colleges of
their best staff," he said. "These
schools are still needed."
Butler says that the staff at the
University has been genuine '
plays he wrote
Like music which isn't considered
music until it is performed, Baldwin
doesn't consider a play to be a play
until it is produced on stage.
THAT'S WHY the playwright in him
Is always happy whenever one of his
plays is produced.
In fact, he calls the bulletin board
in his office "my Happiness Board"
because it displays programs and
posters, the tangible mementos from
actual performances of his plays.
Though Baldwin has not had any
commercial successes, some of his
plays are produced by college and
university theatre groups,
"I've never had a play o n
Broadway," he said, "but one of my
plays was produced on Staten Island,
which is six miles off Broadway."
Baldwin describes the art o f
playwriting'' as "always a n ad
venture"." Right now, he is betwesn plays. But
as soon as the repertory season on
the Howell stage is finished, Baldwin
said that he will prrbbly feel like
beginning another play.
"I HAVE STACKS of ideas, which
I look at once in a A'hile. Whenever
one of them starts looking good to
me, then I start writing."
lie does much of his writing in his
"I HAVE FOUND my professional
relationship with the 'staff very con
vivial," he said. "And all of the
department's have been very
cooperative with what I've been trying
As far as the black students
themselves are concerned he says,
"we" are in the midst of a revolu
tion." Black students are knowledgeable and
increasingly so. At .one time, black
youths were reading comic books.
Now they are reading Malcom X and
Grier and Cobbs, he said.
"They are fully aware of the causes
of the present social malaise. And
they are justifiably impatient and
Butler's being with a white ad
The search for a counselor "to meet
the needs of disadvantaged students,"
is continuing, according to Harry
Canon, director of the University's
Two candidates have been in
terviewed for the job, Canon said,
adding that no decision has been made
and the search is. still under way.
"It's important to get someone
qualified for the job."
"We want someone who can com
municate effectively with young
Prof recalls 'operation zodiac'
The moon voyage of Apollo 11 holds
extraordinary satisfaction for a
retired University of Nebraska
engineering professor, J. P. Colbert.
More than 20 years ago long
before the first sputnik Colbert
drew many a chuckle from Nebraska
civic and study club audiences with
his talk. "Operation Zodiac: A Trip
to the Moon."
"I always prefaced my talk with
a statement that while this was to
be a fanciful journey, the rocket tech
niques I would describe were entirely
sound," Colbert recalls.
Most of those who heard the talk
accepted it as whimsy, Colbert said.
But he invariably received a few ad
The U.S. Department of State's
geographer, Etzel Pearcy, will speak
at a World Affairs Preview, 1:10 p.m.
Thursday in the Nebraska Union's
His topic will be "The New
According to Frank Sorenson,
director of summer sessions, Pearcy
is familiar with the world's oceans
and their potentials. His topic,
oceanography, deals with the study
of the ocean to discover the oceans
potential resources and future uses
for these resources.
Pearcy will be a special guest at
a representative faculty luncheon
earlier in the day. Having just
returned from a tour of France, he
office on the second floor of the
"Quite often, the campus police find
me here on Sundays," he said. "I
suppose they wonder what I'm doing
When Baldwin writes, he uses pen
"I have to," he says. "When I use
the typewriter, I become wordy and
write too much. The speeches don't
speak well, then."
When he was a graduate stu
dent.Baldwin said that he would write
two long plays during the year while
other members of his class would
spend two years polishing ore play.
BLADWIN ALSO writes poetry.
' "I send it off. but it never gets
published," he said.
Disappointed as an unpublished
poet, Baldwin has another way of
getting his verse published by In
serting it into his plays. Two of his
plays have been written entirely in
Baldwin described himself as a
"journalism student who got hooked
on the theatre." He added that
perhaps the discipline of counting out
pcadlines was good tor him.
"Anyway, I got used to seeing
things 1 had written in print. And
then, I got hooked on writing plays."
ministration has "sort of made me
a target of that suspicion.
"I guess that it was natural that
I be seen as a 'house nigger' until
sufficient rapport to dispell suspicion
developed between me and black
students. I prefer to feel that this
distrust,has been dispelled."
IN THIS SENSE, Butler feels, the
next black administrators at the
University will be "accepted with
more readiness by black students."
Though he was hot hired specifically
for the purpose of counseling black
students, Butler said that "a number
of black ' students did come into his
office on a walk-in basis."
He feels that he has been able to
help many of these students, while
a few "have felt it a duty to label
members of minority groups and who
also can communicate their needs to
the University's faculty and staff,"
Such a person should have a
background in the behavorial sciences
or in counseling, he continued.
A committee from the Afro
American Collegiate Society (AACS)
is helping with the search as well
as Walt Strong, the interim black stu
dent coordinator for the summer.
monitions that a University prof
should not be wasting his time on
"One of the news wire services
carried a story about my plan to
launch a man-carrying rocket to the
moon and I received letters from all
across our nation and from Europe.
"I remember getting one important
looking letter from Hamburg,
Germany," Colbert said. "It was
written in German and I hurried to
have somebody translate it for me.
It turned out that my German cor
respondent had read the news story
and had one comment for me: 'You're
to visit NU
will make that the topic of his lun-
Pearcy has been the State
Department's geographer since 1957.
Before that, he was a foreign service
officer for seven years. He also spent
seven years as Trans World Airlines'
geographer and he was an assistant
professor of geography at the
University of Missouri in 1943.
Born in Indiana, Pearcy earned his
baccalaureate degree from the
University of California at Los
Angeles and his graduate degrees
from Clark University, Worcester,
In addition to traveling on all con
tinents, including Antarctica, Pearcy
has lived in 11 different countries.
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Professor Joseph Baldwin is between plays now. But soon
he will start writing another one.
me an Uncle Tom, a label which I
try to understand.
"I think that black students will
begin to see that the cause needs
a unity of all blacks administrators,
students, faculty as well as the help
of sincere, well-meaning whites."
He hopes that the cause will not
"suffer a defeat because of self-im-'
As for his work with the tuition
waiver group of 20 students last year
Butler feels that the project "was
tremendously successful." He
estimates that about three-fourths of
the students are continuing their study
at the University this fall.
THE PROGRAM, which has been
expended by the Regents to include
40 tuition waivers, is being headed
by Walt Strong, interim black student
Butler's advisory duties to foreign
students will be taken over by Ivan
Alphonse. Alphonse, who is a
Panamanian, has been an associate
in lay ministry at the Wesley Foun
dation on the NU campus this last
Butler feels that the effectiveness
of the foreign student office is in
creased with a black adviser because
many foreign students are non
white. "Foreign students tend to ap
preciate the cosmopolitan flavor of
a racially varied foreign student of
fice," he said.
Colbert said in his version of the
space voyage, the rocket ship landed
on and later blasted off the moon's
surface. No extra "Eagle" module
"A technique such as I related in
the talk," he said, "was actually con
sidered seriously by space officials
but was finally dropped because it
would be far more expensive than
the module method," he said.
Colbert followed the Apollo 11 moon
launch from his summer cabin in
Estes Park, Colo.
"And," he admitted. "I was think
ing about 'Operation Zodiac' all the
is on display
For its first public showing, the
National Aeronautics and Space
Administration's E a r t h - s u n Rela
tionship Exhibit went on display
Saturday in the University of
Nebraska Museum's Elephant Hall.
The newest NASA exhibit offers
viewers "the most recent scientific
information regarding the earth-sun
relationship obtained from space ex
ploration." NASA's exhibit, here at the request
of Allan Griesemer, the museum's
curator of educational services, will
be on display in Elephant Hall until
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