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Winter 2005


Reaffirming Presence
Thank you for writing and re-publishing the article on Gloria White-Hammond in the winter 2005 issue of Tufts Magazine. As an alum, I am happy to be associated with an institution in which masterful leaders such as Ms. White-Hammond reside and/or get their training.

While the intimate tone of the article is effective in communicating the person-to-person nature of the work she does, there is a subtle aspect that is superficial and inappropriate. Readers are indeed able to focus on a leader’s good work without being exposed to an enchantment with her physical form.

To illustrate, consider perhaps the cover article. In it, Dean Linda Abriola’s accomplishments, vision, and personal thoughts about her journey are clearly conveyed, without mention of her physical form. And we notice in each picture, she wears jewelry and a beaming countenance.

Naisha Walton, J96
Brooklyn, NY
I recently read the article on Dr. Gloria White-Hammond and was so moved by the story of this quiet woman with her steel resolve and an even stronger (titanium?) heart, I had to write to thank you for such a well-written and inspiring piece. Is there any way to reach Dr. White-Hammond? I’d like to tell her how much her story touched my heart and find out the best ways to support her efforts in the Sudan. It would seem to me, she’d make a wonderful nominee for the MacArthur “Genius” Award—the proceeds of which she might like to put to good use in the Sudan.

Linda Bing, G75
Virginia Beach, VA

I read the article about Dr. Gloria White-Hammond and I must say, the telling of her story by Bruce Morgan was amazing, inspirational, brilliant, affirming, and spectacular! Do you have an address where I can get in touch with her? In Philadelphia I am the child and adolescent public-policy director for a nonprofit organization that works in the area of mental health advocacy, education, and consumer support. I would love to connect with her, as I plan on going to South Africa in 2006 to work on HIV/AIDS issues affecting children and youth.

Thank you so much for such a resoundingly positive article that truly reaffirms my commitment to working with our diverse communities here in Philadelphia.

Eric D. Ashton, G99
Philadelphia, PA

To contact Dr. Gloria White-Hammond, email her at pastorglo@aol.com.

Major Leap Upwards
Thank you for the article on Dr. Mayer (“The Accidental President,” winter 2005). As an older alumnus, I have been interested over the years in watching as Tufts College became Tufts University, and as its status in the academic world kept rising after Dr. Mayer became president. I am sure that most of us had little or no idea of what went on behind the scenes, as Dr. Gittleman so aptly tells us. From the days of “you know—Tufts—fifty with every toothbrush” to today has been a major leap upward.  
Ralph C. Palange, E36
Shrewsbury, MA

When I first started reading Professor Gittleman’s story of Jean Mayer’s presidency of Tufts, I thought I was reading an exposé with a Hollywood film flavor. Soon I realized that Mayer may have been one of the most exciting and revolutionary leaders of the university. I wonder if any past Tufts presidents have equally interesting skeletons in their closets. Perhaps Professor Gittleman can rediscover them for us!

One point I would like to make is that the author failed to mention that the veterinary college in Waltham, Massachusetts, became Brandeis University in 1948.

Frank Lindauer, A55
Tucker, GA

Heartened by Humanities
Regarding the winter 2005 edition, I was heartened to read several features highlighting Tufts faculty and student achievements in the humanities (i.e., the “Professor’s Row,” “Upfront,” and “Spotlight” sections). All too often, high-profile, profiteering sectors of the academy, like the sciences, eclipse the steady yet imperative deliberations that occur within the humanities. By recognizing the delicate, vital place of the liberal arts within the larger academic ecosystem, Tufts Magazine provides an exemplary paradigm that I hope the university at large adopts.

John Corso, G02, Museum 02
Ithaca, NY

Another Side to Coal
As a professional engineer in the energy production field since graduating from Tufts in 1958, I was troubled to see pictures of student activities (“Cleaning Up the Energy Act,” winter 2005) in your magazine. I’m sure these two clowns have no idea where the electricity comes from for their cell phone and laptop chargers, TVs, stereos, and room hotplates other than the plug in the wall and some distant windmill.

They should take a walk to the bottom of the hill, where the engineering students are learning about all forms of energy and maybe those two would have the windmill hugging the smokestack crying, “Thank you for making this country more energy independent.” They would also learn that more than 50 percent of the electricity generated in the U.S.A. comes from coal and that each American consumes about 7,500 pounds of coal-produced energy per year. Wind energy has some problems with bird whacking, noise and scenic pollution, etc., and needs more study.

It’s too bad that coal takes a bad rap, maybe because it’s black and dirty, but tremendous progress has occurred, funded by the utility companies (your electric costs) to develop clean coal technologies in the last 50 years. Visit the website of Electric Power Research Institute, Palo Alto, CA (www.epri.com) to learn more. Maybe the two students in the photo will someday “come up with a smart idea,” this time focusing on the progress of electric generation technology in concert and partnership with the environmental regulations rather than mocking king coal and other fossil fuel emissions from smokestacks.

Peter F. Stanley, E58
Whitefish, MT

An Incredible Legacy
Your article about term scholarships (“Gifts to Grow On,” winter 2005) brought back many memories for me of my own scholarship experience at Tufts. A small-town Maine girl, I was able to go to Tufts due to the generosity of Ruth Haskell and her husband. When I was informed that I was the recipient of the Haskell Scholarship and encouraged to write to Mrs. Haskell, I did so in the most formal, polite, and careful letter I could compose. Not long after, I received a note from Mrs. Haskell, saying, “Well, that was very nice, but now tell me what you are really like!” That began a relationship that lasted until she died. She invited me and my fiancé to dine with her at Longwood Towers in Boston one Sunday, an experience indelibly marked in my memory by the menu item “sweetbreads,” which I certainly had never tasted, and by a look at Brahmin Boston that I would never have come across in my circle. During the summer she invited my mother and me to her home in Rockport, Maine. As we pulled up to the back door, the custom where I grew up, the butler met us and asked us to go around to the front. We were treated to a lovely tea on fine china with petits fours, and sparkling conversation with this remarkable lady. The next summer she invited my fiancé and me to her “cottage” in Thomaston, Maine. We had a “politician’s luncheon” (her words—chicken and peas) with views of the bay beyond. She was interested in everything about Tufts and what the young folks were up to. Although she was by then very elderly, there was nothing old about her spirit and interest in being up to date. She attended our wedding, gave us a wedding gift that funded an entire living room set (in 1968), and sent anonymously every Christmas after that until she died a place setting of our silver pattern. I think of her often, usually with chagrin that I was so young and inexperienced that I did not appreciate what a treasure she was, so full of wisdom and so generous with both time and money. I wish I had gotten to know her better, that I had developed a more personal relationship with her. But I also like to think that she would be proud that I have continued my relationship with Tufts over the years, used my Tufts education in teaching Latin and in leadership in foreign language education for 25 years, and in encouraging and mentoring young people, many of whom have chosen to attend Tufts over the years. To those you profiled and the others who have given to term scholarships, kudos—your good deeds will be remembered always.
Carlene Weber Craib, J68, G94
Westford, MA