Open Forum

The portrait of Milt Lindholm ’35 on the cover of the Summer issue, writes one reader, “signals all that Bates at its best stands for.”

Dancing Days
Marcy Plavin (“Dance of a Lifetime,” Summer 2004) is without a doubt one of the most influential people in my life. She has been a teacher, a mentor and a friend. She taught me to appreciate beauty in all its forms and encouraged me to take creative risks and do everything with joy. Her intelligence, humor, boundless energy, generosity, and love of art are a continuing inspiration to me and to the Bates community. Thanks also to Leonard Plavin, who has supported Marcy and the community of Bates dancers who descended upon their house so many times.
I am now a teacher myself, and every day I find myself drawing on what I have learned from Marcy over the past 20 years. I just hope that I can make as positive an impact on a student’s life as she has made on mine.
Kristen Purdy Russett ’88
Melrose, Mass.

Road Trip
Douglas Leach is dead (“Deaths,” Winter 2004). He taught history at Bates in a basement classroom of Hathorn Hall. My favorite course with him was U.S. colonial history. In May 1952, he took us on a field trip to Boston. Fifteen students, in three cars, went with Dr. Leach and his wife to Concord Bridge, Lexington Green, Bunker Hill, Old Ironsides, and Faneuil Hall. We left Lewiston on a Tuesday at 8 a.m. and returned to campus by 8:30 p.m. I became, later, a junior-high history teacher in Connecticut and, over a 25-year period, conducted many field trips with my students, including some to the same places we visited in 1952. Doug Leach was the inspiration, and I remember him with gratitude and fondness.
Robert Kolovson ’53
Portland, Maine

More Mayoralty
“The End of Mayoralty” continues to prompt reader reminiscences. The story is online at and subsequent letters are posted at

As a four-year inmate of Smith Hall Home for Incorrigibles, I participated in the campaigns of ’47 through ’50 and was manager for the successful effort of “Dixie Dave” Whiting ’51 in 1949. Managing a mayoralty campaign was like managing a volcano. All one could do was go with the flow of creative energy, talent, and enthusiasm. I’ve spent much of my subsequent life amidst professional politicians, but never met one with the panache of “Comrade” Corish ’50, “Dixie Dave,” or “Diamond Jim” Ferguson ’51. I somewhat agree with Steve Feinberg ’49 that the “loss of Mayoralty is a loss of the character of Bates.” Could it be revived, or would it be a hopeless anachronism in an era of humorless political correctness?
Charles Radcliffe ’50
Annapolis, Md.

Milt’s Moment
Dean Emeritus of Admissions

Milt Lindholm ’35, whose portrait by Phyllis Graber Jensen was on the cover of the Summer issue in celebration of his honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree, shared with Bates Magazine the correspondence he received after the magazine’s publication. Truth be told, he shared them with modesty, and only after a nudge from his wife, Jane ’37. She nudged because, as a former associate editor of this publication, Jane recognizes good Bates reading! Edited excerpts follow:

Recently, in a reflective mood, I compiled a list of defining moments in my life. High on this list was my pre-admission interview with you in the principal’s office of Haverhill High School. It was largely through my social experiences at the College that I gained some understanding of myself and an appreciation for people of all stripes. The friends I made at Bates continue to be the pillars of my life. It may be unusual that it’s not the influence of the faculty, but rather the Bates administration, that stands out in my mind: Hazel Clark, Margaret Bisbee, Mabel Eaton, Norm Ross, and you! Each individual was memorable — thoughtful and skilled and kind and helpful…and each a unique teacher of life’s lessons.
Brenda Buttrick Snyder ’56
Wilmot, N.H.

In my “read later” pile, I came to Bates Magazine with your picture on the cover and the account of your honorary degree and all the hoopla that attended the “Lindholm Commencement.” And that has prompted me to write you this note. Call it a fan letter. For someone associated with Colby, I have been unusually fortunate in having so many good friends from Bates. The very first was the incomparable Harry Rowe. Then Ed Muskie, Frank Coffin, Vince McKusick, Peter Gomes, yourself, Chuck Phillips, Hedley Reynolds, Jean Sampson, George Ladd. I am so proud of my association with Bates, its long pre-eminence in the field of civil rights, its many distinguished graduates, and for me, many good friends in its far-flung community.
Robert Strider
President Emeritus, Colby College
Jamaica Plain, Mass.

You played a most important role in my life, admitting me to Bates in February 1946 when half the U.S. Army was trying to get into college to take advantage of the GI Bill. I like to think I justified your vote of confidence in me by getting a Ph.D. in history from Columbia, publishing 14 books, and being honored by a chair in the Department of History at Clark University. So thanks for giving me the opportunity of a Bates education.
George Athan Billias ’48
Worcester, Mass.

My father, Richard Dolloff ’58, who is retired from 38 years in education, nearly 30 of them as a high school principal, sent the magazine to me, as he knew that I became acquainted with you during our time in Lewiston. Like many people who have seen and experienced a great deal in life, he reserves his most sincere praise for only those who have, in his mind, demonstrated the highest standards of morality, compassion, and professionalism. It is clear that, like every other Bates alum, he has held you in the highest regard since meeting you 50 years ago.
Andrew Dolloff
Scarborough, Maine

The photo of you on the cover of Bates has been tugging at me. I think that you probably don’t begin to realize the power of that portrait. It symbolizes wisdom, experience, compassion, humor, a bit of pathos, a deep-down joie de vivre. The College could not have chosen a better subject to signal all that Bates at its best stands for.
Frank Coffin ’40
South Portland, Maine

You and Jane have molded, mentored, and motivated the hopes and dreams of thousands of young people who sought to find their place in the world. Blessed am I to have been one of those fledgling students.
John Jenkins ’74

You were instrumental in bringing me into the fold by encouraging – and enabling – me to switch from being a visiting student to a matriculating junior. It led to a Bates B.A., a Bowdoin M.A., a part-time teaching position at Bates, and my appointment as dean of women in 1969 – most of it by pure chance. “Time and chance happeneth to them all,” I learned from Ecclesiastes, and it certainly happened to me. But none of it could have possibly come about without your original help and encouragement.
Judith Magyar Isaacson ’65

What a delight to see you on the cover of Bates Magazine! I returned to campus for our 40th Reunion last year. Bates friendships are enduring, I think. We have all matured, naturally, and the campus has matured as well – new buildings, rhododendrons blooming. You have touched more students than anyone else, and the message in your address at Commencement, to “keep in touch,” certainly resonates. I adore Bates. Nothing can compare.
Natalie Shober Moir ’63
Baden, Ontario

The cover of the Bates Magazine is now on our family wall in the sun porch. Milt, you are among our family diplomas, awards, and special moments.
Emily and Roger Morency ’62
Beverly, Mass.

I can think of no greater pleasure during my more than 20 years on the Bates Board of Trustees than the opportunity to vote in favor of recognizing your invaluable and many contributions to the College. Your impact on Bates is impossible to measure. There are so many of us who had the chance to graduate from Bates solely as a result of your great judgment, as some of us would like to think. The reality, of course, had more to do with your willingness to take a chance when exercising your judgment. Milt, for that I will forever be grateful.
Jim Callahan ’65
Lynnfield, Mass.