The Magazine of the University of Minnesota Duluth
TAKING PART IN HISTORY
David and Susan Fedo
Kennedy had recently visited the Berlin Wall to tell
the world, Ich bin ein Berliner. Martin Luther King made
his I Have a Dream, speech in August and these were powerful
occurrences for David, an English major and editor of the UMD student
newspaper, the Statesman.
Kennedy came into the gymnasium and got up on
stage with Provost Raymond Darland. There were many dignitaries who
joined him. I remember seeing the U.S. Senator from Minnesota, Hubert
Humphrey, the Secretary of Agriculture Orville Freeman, and the U.S.
Senator from Montana, Mike Mansfield. Kennedy was crossing the country,
giving speeches about the environment.
Less than eight weeks later, Kennedy was dead. One
of our friends came up to us as we left class and said that Kennedy
had been shot, Susan said. We didnt believe it could
But they found out otherwise when they joined other
students in the Kirby Student Center to watch the news. David said,
You cant imagine what it felt like to sit in Kirby and
watch Walter Cronkite tell us that Kennedy had been assassinated.
It was probably the single most dramatic moment of our lives, and
it was made all the more powerful because we had just seen the President
right on our own campus.
Even though they were college students, David and
Susan Fedo felt that they were witnessing history.
A second impressionable event put them, once again,
in the flow of world affairs. Susan, who was the student chair of
convocations and lectures, brought the celebrated English poet W.H.
Auden to UMD in 1964. David had inherited his fathers
old station wagon and thats what we drove to pick up Auden at
the airport, she said. He didnt seem to mind. He
got in the front seat and then bumped his head on the windshield and
asked how far was the nearest open pit mine.
David introduced Auden to the student body and later
Susan and David took Auden to the Pickwick Restaurant. She said, I
was given a lot of responsibility from people like Ed Siggelkow, the
UMD Dean of Students. He was one of the best read people I have ever
met; he was always reading something interesting. The talks I had
with Ed Siggelkow are an example of the rich life we had outside of
classroom. It was wonderful. He made all of us in student government
feel that we were in a special place.
Susan and David, who now reside in Medford, Massachu-
setts, a suburb of Boston, have taken their UMD experiences and put
them to good use. Susan, who graduated with a double major from UMD
in psychology and sociology/anthropology, went on to receive her M.A.
from Ohio University and her Ed.D. from Boston University. Since then
she has worked in college student affairs, was the director of the
Wellesley College student center and also worked for Wellesley in
non-academic student services. She now is Director of Human Resources
for Wheelock College in Boston.
David was also active on campus. He acted in theatre
productions, directed a play, and was a radio announcer for KUMD FM,
as well as being the editor of the Statesman during his junior year.
David went on to receive his M.A. and his Ph.D. from Boston University,
and has a number of publications to his credit, including a book on
William Carlos Williams. A true Renaissance man, he still writes and
publishes poetry, when he isnt working at Curry College, in
Milton, MA, where he is academic dean and vice president for academic
David and Susan get back to Duluth at least once a
year; their families are still in the area. David attended Central
High School and Susan attended East. When they get back, they make
it a priority to see the UMD campus.
David said, UMD was a rich and rewarding experience
for both of us. I met people who were absolutely pivotal in shaping
my life, Professors Wendell Glick, Robert Owens, and William A. Rosenthal
among others. They prepared us very well for graduate school. The
sense of community was powerful. The quality of teaching was incredible,
and we both benefited from superior teaching.
In addition to tromping around campus, Susan and David
stay in touch with UMD in other ways. David stays in touch with some
of his English faculty. Because the Fedos are Friends of the Hemingway
Collection in the JFK Library in Boston, they visit it often. Hanging
in the library is a photograph of JFK which was taken by retired UMD
photographer, Ken Moran.
Susan and David hosted a UMD event for UMD New England
alumni last summer. They also attend UMD hockey games whenever they
get the chance. Thats where we met Chancellor Martin.
Susan said. And we have become good friends.
As alumni, we see UMD growing so much stronger,
so much better, David said. Its thrilling for us:
the new library, the new music building, UMDs growing reputation,
the prestige. Its a very solid place.
Susan said, When we were students at UMD, we
felt close to important world events. We still feel that way. UMD
was a tremendous experience for us.