The Michigan Daily - Monday, August 7, 2006 - 3
'U' student rides cross country for charity
Push America's Journey
of Hope cycling event raises
money for individuals with
By Arikia Millikan
For the Daily
While the idea of riding a bicycle across
the country may sound like a feat only
attempted in the Guiness Book of World
Records, Engineering sophomore Ben
Luster views the trek as "the experience
of a lifetime."
After biking an average of 75 miles
a day since leaving San Francisco
this past June, Luster returned to Ann
Arbor last Monday. As a team member
of the Journey of Hope cycling excur-
sion, which raises money for people
with disabilities, Luster visited the
Eisenhower Center, a rehabilitation
facility for individuals with acquired
JOH is one of the events sponsored by
Push America, a nonprofit organization
founded by the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity.
Luster was introduced to JOH through
Jerry Kozak, one of his brothers in Pi
Kappa Phi, and fell in love with the idea
soon after. -
The three Journey of Hope cycling teams
consist entirely of Pi Kappa Phi fraternity
members from schools around the country.
Luster will have cycled more than 3,500
miles when he and his 34 teammates reach
Washington D.C. this Saturday.
Before the riders mounted their bikes,
they each raised $5,000 for the event. Lus-
ter chose to write letters to his family and
friends, informing them of his plan and ask-
ing for support. He was quickly on his way
to San Francisco, having received an incred-
The money raised by the riders is typical-
ly given away in the form of $1,000 grants
to facilities for individuals suffering from a
variety of disabilities.
To show their appreciation, the staff and
clients at the Eisenhower Center arranged a
Las Vegas-themed party and dinner.
As far as training for the event, Luster said
he and most other participants in JOH have
little to no previous cycling experience.
Luster said his motivation for the ride
stems from the team's stops at facilities such
as the Eisenhower Center, where he and his
teammates can witness how their efforts
touch people's lives.
"It makes you forget about the miles you
just rode,' Luster said.
He said he also enjoys watching the scen-
ery change as he passes from state to state,
especially the passageways through Colo-
rado and Iowa.
And although Nevada may be the
inspiration for Saturday's party at the
Eisenhower Center for biking, Luster
says, "not so much."
According to Luster, the ride's greatest
challenge is taking care of himself because
the "body wears down after a while"
Luster's mother said she has encoun-
tered a few skeptics about his capacity to
complete the ride.
They ask, "How can this kid from Mich-
igan, where it's flat, climb these hills?"
but she said he "climbs like there's no
See BIKE RIDE, Page 8
Engineering sophomore Ben Luster, member of the Pi Kappa
Phi journey of Hope cycling team, visits the Eisenhower Center
in Ann Arbor last Monday. To participate, each biker raised
$5,000 to go toward helping individuals with disabilities.
Continued from Page 2
enough to have a "transformative"
impact. In our case, the annual yield
from (Taubman's) gift was almost 20
percent of our annual general fund bud-
get at the time, enough to recruit a stron-
ger student body and faculty."
Taubman, former chairman of Sothe-
by's auction house, was found guilty of
working with Andrew Tennant of rival
Christie's auction house to drive up pric-
es and commissions. It was estimated the
two earned $400 million over six years.
Throughout Taubman's investigation
and trial, then-University President Lee
Bollinger stood by Taubman and a poli-
cy not to change buildings' names.
"In our recollection, the University
has never before removed an individual's
name in this way. We are committed to
retaining (Taubman's) name," Bollinger
said in the statement released at the time
of the investigation.
But Public Policy Prof. and former
LSA Dean Edie Goldenberg said she
has reservations about University build-
ings being named after individuals who
have committed crimes. She said, "I
don't think that sets a wonderful exam-
ple for students."
Goldenberg said when a donor is con-
victed of a crime,"The University really
ought to give the money back and find
She said the University should not
be benefiting from illegal income.
Money should be returned to the
donor before the name is taken off of
a building, she said.
Kelbaugh said the University was
right in not removing Taubman's name.
"Our college and several other build-
ings and centers at UM and other uni-
versities are named after Al Taubman,'
Kelbaugh said. "When he had his run-
in with the law, none of the institutions
removed his name. My feeling, which
I think was shared by others, was that
it would be wrong to punish Mr. Taub-
man for his good deeds, even though
society chose to punish him for his
alleged bad deeds."
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