Comments from “the U of L”

Jan 8, 2008 at 11:18 pm
• When Donald Swain became president of the University of Louisville in 1981, one of the first people he met was Bob Schulman. The Swains — Donald and Lavinia — remained friends with the Schulmans — Bob and Louise — to the end. Bob and Donald even took harmonica lessons together recently.
“Bob was better at it than I was,” Swain said. “We’d be going to dinner, and he’d have his harmonica with him and play a song outside the restaurant.”
Swain also knew of Schulman’s martini mandate when selecting a restaurant. Once at Korean restaurant that served no liquor, Bob took matters into his own hands. “He brought a brown bag with a Mason jar of clear liquid, and some martini olives. He made himself a martini, and we had a pleasant dinner.”
Then there were the bow ties, which Swain noted were always tied perfectly and then turned slightly off-center. “It was his way of being distinct, a small touch he put on his sartorial splendor.”

• Current U of L President James Ramsey:
“Bob was one of the great characters at the University of Louisville.  Whether advising student journalists or working on ethics programs for the College of Arts and Sciences, he left his mark on this campus in many ways. But we will most remember him for his humor and for his devotion to U of L and its students. We’ll miss him.”

• Ed Godfrey, former news director at WAVE-TV and current board member at The Louisville Cardinal:
“I was a big admirer — Bob was effervescent. He would try to maintain, as far as I could tell, the old journalistic premise of objectivity. He would never reveal his political leanings or attend a meeting where it would be perceived he was this or that. He was a ‘Big J guy’ — he loved the business, maintained his own ethical standards, and wished everyone else would maintain theirs.”

• John Ferre, professor of communication:
“I think Bob Hill got it down wonderfully in his column about Bob. He had a biting curiosity, limitless opinions, and he was deeply humane.
“He was always intensely engaged with young people in the field, making sure they were learning the best they could. He stayed abreast of changes and always kept up with the latest things.
“For years he was adviser to The Louisville Cardinal. Every week he’d send a 4- to 5-page single spaced critique of the paper. He probably wrote as much about the paper as it published each week. He was absolutely thorough; he was critical and praising. He was pushing them but always told them what they did well. He did that for years.”