February 26, 2003: Letters
Letter Box Online
PAW welcomes letters. We may edit them for length,
accuracy, clarity, and civility.
Katie Hobson 94 writes that the standards for Princeton climb every year (Letters, November 6). So does the competition. We value what we work for and give our lives to. Age, creed, color, gender, and national origin are not relevant where merit is the prime test. Our new president, Shirley Tilghman, is a credit to Princeton and to education. So are Donald Rumsfeld 54 and Robert S. Mueller 66, secretary of defense and head of the F.B.I., respectively, Princetonians in the nations service.
Ralph Simmons 73 wisely states (Letters, November 6) that Princeton was a fabulous experience for both himself and a generation later for his son. Every generation has a right to govern itself. We make the kind of world we find ourselves living in. The Class of 1934 proudly boasts of Art Lane, who captained our freshman and senior class football teams both of which were undefeated. Records are made to be challenged. 1934s class motto was We did our part. If all Princetonians work shoulder to shoulder, giving their best, they can be sure to do their part to make Old Nassau the best old place of all. Then they can all look back nostalgically, yes fondly, to memories which ruthless time, as it marches on, cannot and should not eradicate.
Three cheers for Old Nassau!
Eugene C. Gerhart 34
In December, Alfred L. Bush, curator of the Princeton Collections of Western Americana and Curator of Historic Maps, retired.
Beginning in 1958, Bush made many significant contributions to the university community and beyond. He began as an editor of The Papers of Thomas Jefferson and published The Life Portraits of Thomas Jefferson. He soon became associate curator of manuscripts, then of maps. As Western Americana curator, he energetically sought new material and expanded the collection by a factor of five. He was particularly successful at obtaining American Indian-related and photographic materials. The collection is now one of the half-dozen best and is a magnet for scholars; it has also figured importantly in the universitys teaching mission. Bush himself taught in more than one department.
Over the years, Bush has been the leading light in the recruitment and retention of Native-American students at Princeton and served as mentor for many.
He organized more than 50 exhibitions in the library and a number at other institutions. The Photograph and the American Indian became a major book. He has also made contributions to the study of pre-Columbian art.
I sincerely hope that these few words will expand alumni appreciation of this outstanding Princeton community member.
Stephen C. Jett 60
With his understanding and compassion, Professor Miguel Centeno is surely on the high road. Planting Ivy (Perspective, December 18) was one of the nicest articles Ive read in a long time.
Elizabeth Johnson s39
I am writing to announce the formation of Princeton in Latin America (P.I.L.A.) by a group of students, faculty, and alumni. A postgraduate fellowship organization, modeled after the Princeton in Asia program and its younger sibling, Princeton in Africa, Princeton in Latin America seeks to enhance the lives of young Princeton graduates by placing them in yearlong fellowships with public service, humanitarian, and governmental organizations in Latin America. Many faculty have enthusiastically embraced the new organization, and P.I.L.A.s board includes professors Jeremy Adelman, Miguel Centeno, Paul Sigmund, and Deborah Yashar.
Emphasizing the value of firsthand work experience in shaping attitudes and mobilizing recent Princeton graduates on behalf of social change, P.I.L.A. hopes to fill an increasing demand among Princeton graduates for opportunities to become involved with development and service work in Latin America. To learn more about P.I.L.A., propose a fellowship placement, or offer ideas and suggestions, check out our Web site at www.princeton.edu/pila or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Andy Brown 69
D.C.C.? Call them students.
Princeton has finally recognized that the unenrollment of graduate students is a problem that causes undue burdens and stresses on Ph.D. candidates who are trying to finish their degrees (Notebook, November 6). But the problem is one of the universitys own making. Despite knowing that its high-achieving graduate students take more than five years to complete their degrees, the university insists on limiting enrollment periods to four or five years. The institution of a temporary social safety net (dubbed Degree Candidacy Continued, or D.C.C.) is only a Band-Aid solution.
D.C.C. status lasts one year, and does not cover one of the most important benefits of having student status the ability to defer college loans. Several other universities allow advanced Ph.D. candidates to continue their status as full-time students for a modest fee. With its financial largesse and wisdom of administration, Princeton would do well to follow their example.
Karthick Ramakrishnan *02
A cursory reading of architect Ralph Adam Crams book The Catholic Church and Art or his introduction to Henry Adamss classic Mont-Saint-Michel and Chartres would reveal a passionate enthusiast who never would have considered a smorgasbord approach to religion or architecture, or anything less for that matter, as anything but a road to irrelevancy.
Kenneth A. Stier Jr. 54