Unlocking the Seal
Your Winter 1998 article, “Unlocking the Seal,” unlocks the riddle of why UVM is identified in some places (including the University seal itself) as Universitas Viridi Montis rather than the Universitas Viridi Montanae some of us recall in other places. My letter, published in the Winter 1998 issue, raised questions about the linguistic propriety of both renditions. Having now pondered the University seal and your article’s accompanying text, I offer the following elaboration of my position.

Universitas Viridis Montis (appearing on the seal as Universitas V. Montis seems inappropriate if the translation is University of the Green Mountain (the translation shown in that article). Green Mountains (plural) is the better choice. The article itself explains the seal’s depiction of the sun rising over the university as sunrise “over the Green Mountains” (plural). Vermont is indeed the “Green Mountain State,” in a sense justification for calling UVM the “Green Mountain” university — hence justifying use of the Latin singular (viridis montis). But this Latin can just as readily be translated as University of the Green Mountain (sounding as if there were only one such elevation in the state of Vermont). The more acceptable rendition would be University of the Green Mountains — assuming that some Latin basis for continuing the “UVM” designation is desirable (I think it is).
If the latter is the preferred English rendition, the Latin should be Universitas Viridi Montorum, though I am not sure of the possessive plural of viridis. Maybe should be viridum (viridorum doesn’t sound right). Universitas Viridi Montorum has a right tone to it. This is my choice for the Latin basis for “UVM” if Latin should still be used (I think it should) on diplomas and other appropriate documents. It’s my choice, subject to correction by someone more conversant with correct Latin than this octogenarian claims to be these days.

David J. Steinberg ’39
Alexandria, Virginia

Remembering Mickey
What I appreciated most about Mickey Cochran was his pursuit of excellence and the way he took the time to analyze things — each skier’s technique individually — and then make one or two suggestions that might help you ski better.

I remember Mickey taking handfuls of aspirin for pain in his joints. That’s one reason why he didn’t really ski that much when he was coaching. It was probably brutal being out there in the cold just slide-slipping and traversing. But he genuinely seemed to get pleasure out of helping us improve — from working with athletes who were willing to put out the effort to be good. That caring and dedication rubbed off on a lot of us.

Dave Dodge ‘76
Williston, Vt.


(Ed: Dave and Bill Doble ’76 of Essex, Vt., took our challenge to identify the skiers from the 1970s team portrait that ran in the spring issue. They are: (Standing l to r) Chip LaCasse, Chris Brown, ?, Dave Dodge, Dave Hubbard, Petter Kongsli, ?, Charlie Hall, Dave Donahue, ?, Joey Lamb, Jeff Green, ?, Steve Lacy, ?, ?, Trygve Kolsen, ?, Tom Oddy, Stan Dunklee, Mickey Cochran. (Seated l to r) Martin Grimness, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, Billy Rathbone. There are still plenty of blanks to fill in. Let us know.