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Letters

Photo ID Corrected
I did not attend Bates College (though my daughter, Karen Lankau ’87, did) but I do remember Jim Keenan ’61 from Deering High School. Referring to page 30 of the fall 1995 issue, your caption is incorrect. [The caption said Keenan was in the foreground, in street clothes, with glasses and clapping]. Jim Keenan is behind that gentleman, in the partially obscured Bates track warmup suit, along the sidelines.

Walt Lankau
Stow, Massachusetts

You can blame the message, not the messenger. With sharp recollection, Walt Slovenski helped us identify some of the bystanders in the photo, including Jim Keenan ’61. But our notetaking went awry that day, leading to the mistake. — Editor

Who’s the Real Bates Grad?
I was glad to see Bates beat Bowdoin in football, but more surprised to see my wife’s name on the mailing label of the fall issue. Obviously a computer snafu, but since she never attended Bates, would you please correct the address to read my name? Thanks.

Keith E. Taylor ’77
Marblehead, Massachusetts

I am a loyal alumnus of Amherst, the twin brother of a Bates graduate (Robert ’56) and the contented husband of another Bates graduate (Claire Poulin ’56), whose life has been unsettled by the address label from the fall issue of Bates, which had my name on it.

Here in her fortieth year, contemplating a generous gift to Alma Mater, the former Ms. Poulin (now Damon) finds herself stricken from the alumni magazine mailing list and replaced by a rank outsider who, despite many hours of pleasure and enlightenment on the Bates campus in times past and a check-signing role at fund-raising time in the present, has no legitimate claim to alumni loyalty in any way close to her own.

Please restore her name to its rightful place in your computer bank of alumni, thereby bringing peace and serenity once more to Katonah, New York. Thank you.

Allan L. Damon
Katonah, New York

After forty-nine years of receiving my Bates magazine under my own name, why did you change it to my late husband’s name with the fall 1995 issue? He attended Bates for a semester or two, but graduated from Bowdoin. But I forgive you.

Mary Tibbetts Kelly ’46
Fairfax, Virginia

A thousand apologies. They say buying a house is one of life’s most stressful experiences. But switching to a new computer system in the workplace, which is what Bates is now doing, might top the list. The fall issue was the first mailed using this new system (no, it’s not named “HAL”), and it refused to spit out the correct labels for the correct alumnus or alumna, resulting in the unfortunate and occasionally hurtful mistakes noted above and in many other letters and e-mails to the College. We are sorry. Alumni should see vast improvement with this issue. — Editor

Stirred Memories
The tribute to Walt Slovenski in the fall 1995 issue was a most deserving one that stirred some very pleasant memories. As a member of the Class of 1960 and as sports editor of The Bates Student, I had the pleasure of covering Walt as he firmly established his teams in the forefront of college track. Rudy Smith ’61 and John Douglas ’60 were classmates, along with many others who gave Bates athletic prominence.

At the same time, your current issue reports on the back cover the ending of a losing streak that certainly must have galled Walt as it does many others. Losing thirty-seven football games in a row is beyond embarrassing and reflects a lack of direction, purpose, and responsibility to both students and alumni. Such an abysmal record hardly meshes with or reflects the academic successes of Bates and its stature among small colleges. Given the absence of any reportage regarding the football program, it is difficult to determine whether any significant improvement is on the horizon. Perhaps it is time to drop the sport.

Alan B. Wayne ’60
Marina Del Rey, California

Early Ecology
I particularly enjoyed the article on environmental studies in the fall issue of the Bates Magazine.

However, I did not see any mention of the ecology course taught by Professor Wait in the biology department. I remember that it was taught in the spring of 1956 and 1957, and perhaps after that.

I took the class in 1956 and was the lab assistant in 1957. We did some classroom work, but also took many field trips to local lakes and forests, the ocean, and the Androscoggin, and did a lot of measuring and studying things at those places. We slept our in sleeping bags on a mountain once in March and it was cold.

I had worked hard at Bates in mostly academic courses and indoor courses. I went on some Outing Club activities, but not as many as I would have liked, so I loved taking a course that got us outdoors. Our field trips always involved food, planned and prepared by class members. Professor Wait really believed in that. It sure tasted good and we were very careful of the environment in cooking it and cleaning up afterwards.

I can’t remember who all was in it, but I remember Carol Peterson ’57 was in the class.

Alice Clough Brower ’57
Logan, Utah

Robert Brooks Wait taught his ecology course annually until his retirement following the 1975-1976 academic year. — Editor


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