skip to main content
Picture of two people walking across campus

December 2008

<< Newsletters

Vol. 2008-2009 No. 5

Treating cancer in the heartland

When the IU Association of Retired Faculty and Staff holds its first meeting of 2009 at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 14, Allan Thornton, M.D., medical director of the Midwest Proton Radiotherapy Institute, will speak about the highly precise cancer treatment that is possible through proton radiation. Affiliated with the IU School of Medicine, MPRI is a joint venture between Clarian Health Partners and IU Research and Technology Corp. The meeting will be at the IU Foundation’s Showalter House.

In the 1990s only two proton treatment facilities were in operation – in Loma Linda, Calif., and in Boston. Because the IU Cyclotron Facility had the power to develop a proton radiotherapy center in Bloomington, discussions began in the late 1990s about establishing MPRI. Its mission is to cure patients with both benign and malignant disease through the use – either alone or in combination with other treatment options – of proton radiation.

Dr. Thornton received his medical degree from the University of Virginia in 1981 and did his residency at Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto. He joined MPRI in 2001. MPRI began treating patients in 2004. Please come to hear him describe this valuable resource in the heartland.

Summer in December: Beijing recalled

At its December meeting IU swimmers and divers transported the retirees from Bloomington back to Beijing. The group celebrated the winter holidays with a gala luncheon at Terry’s.

In her introduction of head diving coach Jeff Huber, Marge Belisle reflected on IU’s long relationship with the Olympics in swimming, diving, track and field events, and men’s basketball. Coach Huber has been recognized as U.S. Coach of the Year, and his divers hold numerous Big Ten and national records.
He showed slides of IU’s Olympians at Beijing, where they spent more than a month.

They managed enough time outside the pool to check out the Great Wall, sample some local food via rickshaw and tour a glass-blowing studio. They participated in the opening and closing ceremonies, looking spiffy in their Ralph Lauren-designed outfits, and they met President and Mrs. Bush.

Huber introduced Mike Westfall, IU’s distance swimming coach, who served on Ukraine’s coaching staff. He talked about the challenges of two weeks of camp in Vladivostok, where for diversion he read every book and watched every DVD he had brought. Twice.

The flight to Beijing took only 90 minutes, thankfully, as it was achieved in a vintage airplane. Once in Beijing, Westfall looked forward to conversations with English speakers, but all comers addressed him in Russian, since he was working with the Ukrainians. His first Olympics provided a lot of thrills, including seeing Michael Phelps’ record-shattering performance live.

Ukrainian (and IU) swimmers Sergey Fesenko and Kate Zubkova also shared their experiences at the Olympics and took questions from the audience. They reported training 25 to 27 hours each week, in the pool and on weights, and paying careful attention to nutrition.

Doris Burton announced that 89 retirees have contributed to the 2008 United Way campaign, 29 of them Vanguards (giving $1,000 or more). A total of $52,015 has come in, more than half the $90,000 goal for this year. With the economy tanking, however, the need is greater than ever.
Judy Granbois

Calling all IU retiree artists!

Members of the Retirees Association are invited to participate in the seventh annual Emeriti House Art Exhibit, scheduled for the month of April 2009. The shows are now multimedia, so all kinds of graphic arts, plus jewelry, pottery, woodworking, and other media are welcome, in addition to photography. Submissions won’t be due until early March for jurying, so this is early notice, but time flies.

John Woodcock is chairing this year’s show. Other committee members are Gil Clark, Dick
Dever, Bill Hansen, Audrey Heller, Sandy Hertling
, and Ruth Miller. If you have work you would like to submit, or if you have questions about the process of submitting, please contact John at or 339-2741 so you can be kept up to date by e-mail.

About the enclosed directory

Entries in the attached directory are in alphabetical order across rows rather than down columns. So look across the row rather than down the column to find your name. If no e-mail address or telephone number was listed on the membership form, none was included in this directory.

Please send corrections to database manager Gerald Marker at

Let’s widen the circle

Please use the enclosed directory to see if some of your retired IU friends are missing being part of the association. Consider giving them a membership ($10 single, $15 couple), invite them to the next meeting, or pass along this newsletter and membership form. Memberships are for the academic year. Future programs will include a meeting with IU football coach Bill Lynch on Feb. 11, a meeting with IU’s first lady, Laurie Burns McRobbie, on April 8, and a potluck dinner on May 13 featuring the music of Cole Porter.

The Retirees Association is open to faculty or staff members retired from any IU campus and the spouses, partners, widows, or widowers of faculty or staff members. Because programs take place in Bloomington, most members are retired from the Bloomington campus, but retirees from other campuses, particularly those who live in the Bloomington area, have joined and are most welcome.