sUMMER 2013 | St. Lawrence University Magazine
Rug Hall Recollections
The letter from Jerry Chiplock ’79 (Spring
p. 4) about the origins of Rug Hall brought
a smile to my face. I was the RA on “the Rug”
in the fall of 1975. Jerry accurately recounts the
myth,” as we understood it then.
Regardless of mythical etiology, Rug Hall was,
to my knowledge, the only hall having its own
moniker. This bred an esprit de corps and carried
a certain panache. What a wonderful group of
guys we had on the Rug that fall! My hometown
team, the Red Sox, won the pennant and I took a
fair amount of ribbing from the mostly New York
freshman loyalists of Rug Hall. What a time – it
doesn’t get any better.
Thomas F. Healy ’76 | Needham, Massachusetts
With regard to the “Rug Hall” incident: It is
true, although I don’t remember the “permanent
damage to the floor and ceiling below.” It oc-
curred during the winter of 1956-1957. The ice
did eventually melt, but as I recall, we mopped
the water up before it resulted in any major
damage. However, we did get a paint-blistering
speech from Dean of Men Kenneth Venderbush,
who told us, in no uncertain terms, how proper
men at St. Lawrence were expected to behave.
While carpet may have been installed at a later
date, I don’t believe it was put down until some-
time after the summer of 1960, by which time the
guilty parties had graduated.
Jonathan Amson ’60 | Arlington, Virginia
I lived on Rug Hall in 1970. There was folklore
about freezing the hall and skating, but I don't
think many of us believed it. It is noteworthy,
though, that this was the only hallway with a rug.
Its length did permit shooting tennis balls with
hockey sticks, trying to nail anyone coming out of
The hall was notable for its parties and other
antics. But we all received a great education and
learned quickly that intellectual pursuits were
TomAddicks '74 | Longmeadow, Massachusetts
Letter from Sandy Hook
I live in Newtown, Conn. Sandy Hook is one of
the four small hamlets that make up Newtown.
Prior to the life-changing events of Dec. 14,
people had no idea where I lived. Sadly,
that has changed forever.
The two unconnected facts that I attended
St. Lawrence and live in Newtown resulted in a
handwritten letter (imagine that in this day and
age?) from a St. Lawrence alumnus whom I had
never met, expressing his sorrow at what had
transpired at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
He hoped my family was OK. He had no idea
that my three kids had attended that school; that
we lost our neighbor Ann Marie Murphy, who
died holding and trying to protect one of her two
special needs students; that my two daughters
had taught seven of the children at a local kids’
No, he did it because it was a nice thing to do.
Unfortunately, my housekeeper tossed the letter,
so I have no way to respond or know who sent
it…except for this forum. To the writer: thank
you for reaching out. It was appreciated.
That letter symbolized just one of the countless
acts of kindness that have been bestowed on the
people of Newtown. The events triggered almost
universally the spirit within people to do some-
thing good. Living here, one is privileged and
stunned to hear of the overwhelming generosity
of organizations and individuals. There are the
highly public ones: President Obama’s visit, the
affected school’s choir singing before the Super
Bowl kickoff, stars from the NHL, NFL, NBA,
NASL and NASCAR all visiting Newtown. And
there are the simple handprints, tens of thousands
of them, from elementary school students from
across the USA, to decorate the walls of the new
temporary school in Monroe, Conn. – our archri-
val town, the one we rooted against in the annual
Thanksgiving Eve high school football game.
And so it goes. From the tragic acts has come a
true feeling for the restoration of humanity in all
the people of Newtown. And to the SLU alumnus
who penned the letter, again, thank you.
Thomas Sherman ’83 | Newtown, Connecticut
For more on one NHLer’s visit to Newtown, see page 52, and
for another Laurentian resident’s perspective on the tragedy there,
see Final Thought, page 65.