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Professor Emeritus of Architecture

Theodore Larson
The Michigan Alumnus 14

Emeritus status has meant for me 
the freedom to do a lot of things I 
had long been wanting to do. No 
longer any frustrating academic 
deadlines to worry about or faculty
 committee meetings to attend —
just the sheer luxury of time to read 
and think and to do only whatever 
strikes me as significant and really 
worth while, always at my own
 sweet pace.

Actually, I am busier than usual 
as a professional consultant on the 
planning and design of the built
 environment. I feel re invigorated
 and fully productive. This is indeed 
a happy period of my life.

Credit for such personal euphoria 
must go to a very charming and 
talented wife. Myra Gulick and I
 were married in June 1970. I had
 been a widower for seven lonely

Myra is now an associate profes
sor in the new U-M School of Art.
 Next fall she begins her first sab
batical study. It will be focused on 
the emerging role of the artist in
 American business and industry.
 Four typical corporations will be
 visited and analyzed in depth. I ex
pect to share in this learning experience, for our campus romance has
 blossomed into a true intellectual 

Global planning of the built envi
ronment for an evolving world
 community implies, I believe, the 
parallel development of a global
 network of university-based in
formation centers. Multi-discipli
nary and multi-professional in 
character, these centers should be 
able to perceive and define the 
emerging goals of social develop
ment and to provide an integrated
 flow of specialized data to planners
 and designers at every magnitude
 of environmental concern — local,
 regional, national, global.

Michigan, I've been telling my 
friends and colleagues, could well 
take the lead in lining up a consor
tium of universities to provide such 
an interlocking information service
 within the United States.

I must say a word about Dukie 
and the Duchess, our two English 
Royal Mute Swans. They merit a 
brief bit of attention as tokens of 
the natural environment.

The rear yard of our home abuts
 city-owned South Geddes Pond
 which the Parks Department is
 trying to restore as a wild bird
 sanctuary. Myra and I have been
 allowed to acquire the two swans 
and to turn them loose on the pond, 
provided we continue to be respon
sible for their maintenance and
 good deportment.

When winter comes, they have 
to be confined inside a pen high
 enough and strong enough to pro
tect them from hunting dogs. Open
 water is essential for their ingestion
 of food, so an air compressor and 
bubbler system has been installed 
to keep the pen ice-free. This ar
rangement works well so long as the 
temperature stays above 15. Below 
this point we can count on waking
 up to find the two swans sur
rounded by a sheet of ice that may 
be as much as an inch thick, where upon Myra and I bundle up, don 
our waders, and begin chopping

During this winter of historic 
chill we have had to ask a husky art 
student to come in to assist. A com
pensating reward has been the joy
 of watching dozens of mallards and
 black ducks drop in on Dukie and 
the Duchess for some free loading of 
grain and a daily bath. From the 
prevailing signs we also expect 
there will be some little cygnets this