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Letters

It’s a “minor miracle” that Bates now has an endowed chair honoring a conservative economist.

Lofty Accomplishment

The picture of the 2001 sign on the Hathorn bell tower in the recent summer/fall Bates Magazine brought back fond memories for our two families of this year’s graduation, where our sons received their diplomas. We were, in fact, doubly proud of our sons. First for their academic success and second for the fact that President Harward referred specifically to David and Scott’s “lofty accomplishment” in both of his graduation speeches.

The “noteworthy sign” was but the final chapter. We understand that the task involved three years of strategic planning, several dry runs, a ton of duct tape, various rappelling and advanced communications equipment, two roofline traverses in total darkness, and even some training in lock picking by a tenured Bates professor.

We hope that everyone enjoyed the fruits of their labor. But we pray that their efforts are more of a reflection of their love of Bates and hard work, than a prediction of their future vocations!

Jeff and Marlene Bergart
John and Kathryn Betournay
via e-mail

New Horizon

The cover story entitled “Changing the Bates Horizon” could not have been timelier or more relevant. It is especially important as the United States enters a new chapter in its history that we reaffirm the importance of international education. The Sept. 11 massacre should not hinder international students from coming to the United States to study, nor should it prevent U.S. students from going abroad to seek an international study experience.

International students studying in the United States are confronted with a variety of freedoms we sometimes take for granted, including freedom of speech and of religion. Our democratic principles and ideals will hopefully serve as models many of these students will take home with them. In addition, friendships developed here will continually sustain the flow and exchange of information and ideas for many years to come.

American higher education is currently one of our leading exports. More than a half million international students attend our colleges and universities. We cannot allow this to suffer. Americans studying abroad are forced to look at themselves in the mirror and define and understand what it means to be an American. They also gain invaluable experience which will only benefit them professionally in the future. The workplace is a global one and our students need to function on an international level.

I commend Bates for its support of international education. According to Bates Magazine, there are 90 international students representing 66 countries at Bates. These statistics are most impressive. Conversely, Bates sends 65 percent of its students on study abroad, the fourth leading baccalaureate institution in the United States to send students abroad.

My contact with international students during my years at Bates provided me an invaluable door to many different cultures. I am still in close contact with a number of these international students and count them as my dearest friends. When I was at Bates, the College encouraged all students to go abroad who wanted to do so. They proportionally applied financial aid packages to approved study abroad programs – one of few U.S. institutions at the time to do so. I was, therefore, able to spend two Short Terms and my junior year abroad, allowing me to visit the Soviet Union and its political bloc, the People’s Republic of China, and the divided Germanys. These experiences guided me in my decision to pursue graduate study at the Freie Universitaet in Berlin and in my subsequent career choice.

One of the additional tragedies of Sept. 11 would be the sacrifice of international education. We must not let terrorists be the victor.

Peter R. Kerrigan ’87
via e-mail

The writer is assistant director, Higher Education Resource Group, Institute of International Education. – Editor

In the Stars

I had very mixed feelings seeing the photo (summer/fall 2001) of the old astronomy dome on the ground outside Carnegie. I am pleased to see the renovations and restoration of the telescope and know that students are still and will in the future be able to acquire a love of astronomy. It was at Bates that I first learned how to find more than just the Big Dipper in the sky. I made many good friends while a lab assistant to the astronomy course and enjoyed hours of using that telescope. Now I enjoy sharing the constellations and their mythology with my son.

On the other hand, I am wary that the newness of the replacement dome might cause today’s physics students to refrain from finding ways to transform the dome into the “Great Pumpkin” visible from Chase Hall on Halloween night. It was quite a sight!

Is there even enough red, yellow, and orange colored chalk left on campus anymore to effect the transformation?

B.J. Kittredge ’78
via e-mail

Kenney Correction

I read the article “The Beautiful John Kenney” with interest and was pleased that Dr. John Kenney had received the Benjamin Mays Award.

However, there is an error concerning the name of his late brother. His late brother’s name was Howard W. Kenney, Class of 1940, and known to all as “Howie.” He was a pre-med student in my late husband’s class, and they were the best of friends. I was a class ahead of them and a biology assistant at that time, so I knew all of the biology majors in that class.

My husband and I had visited with Dr. Howard Kenney and his wife at their 50th Reunion, I believe, and were so saddened sometime later to learn of his untimely death.

I remember Dr. John Kenney as a student, but thought he was a class or two ahead of me, so was surprised to see that he graduated in the Class of ’42. Perhaps he withdrew from his undergraduate studies for a time and then went back to finish.

Marita Dick Stratton ’39
via- e-mail

We regret the mistake. Regarding John Kenney’s class, Mrs. Stratton’s memory is correct: Dr. Kenney has said he endured illness during his Bates days necessitating withdrawal from school, so that while he entered with the Class of 1938, he graduated in 1942. – Editor

Miraculous Bates

Congratulations and thanks to Bates Trustee Joseph Willett ’73 and Janice Willett for a $1.5-million gift to Bates for an endowed chair in economics to honor Thomas Sowell (2001 Philanthropy at Bates). Dr. Sowell, an economist and senior fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, is one of a group of conservative African American intellectuals that has steadfastly opposed racial preferences in college admissions and employment. For this and other conservative views, he has suffered much obloquy from the liberal establishment. It is a minor miracle that he will be honored by Bates.

I met Dr. Sowell in Washington, D.C., in 1980 when he was advising then President-elect Reagan on education policy, and later at Stanford. He couples intellectual brilliance with great personal warmth and charm. Since then, I regularly read with pleasure his nationally syndicated newspaper column. For a decade I have been beseeching President Harward – amidst Bates’ shower of honors for liberals – to recognize some conservatives, and have often mentioned Dr. Sowell to no apparent effect. I have wondered what it takes to get Bates to honor an outstanding conservative citizen. Now I know. It takes $1.5 million!

Bless Trustee Willett for that. But a caution to him: Ensure the College will fully honor Dr. Sowell and insist that his chair be filled by an economist who shares his philosophy and views.

Charles W. Radcliffe ’50
Annapolis, Md.

Correction

All members of the Bates community recently received Philanthropy at Bates, our annual report of giving. While every effort was made to ensure accuracy, the donors noted below were inadvertently omitted or misplaced with regard to giving level. We apologize for our errors.

American International Group
Matching Gift

Robert and Janet Bissell P’02
Cheney Associate

Eustace and Joan Buchanan P’93
Cheney Associate

Marjorie Poznansky Getz ’76
Partner of the President

Pauline Guenette P’89
Honor Roll

John and Laura Killian P’03
Hathorn Associate

Samuel and Dominique Milbank P’00
President’s Cabinet

Carl Benton Straub
Cheney Associate

To Our Letter Writers

We welcome letters of approximately 400 or fewer words. Letters may be edited for style, grammar, length, clarity, and relevance to College issues and issues discussed in Bates Magazine. Please address letters to Bates Magazine, Office of College Relations, 141 Nichols St., Lewiston, ME 04240, or e-mail magazine@bates.edu.


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