Web Exclusives: TigersRoar

Letter Box


Letters from readers about John O'Brien ’65, of the Hershey School

April 24, 2004

Some time ago I left the U.S. for a lengthy trip abroad, bringing with me a great deal of reading on which I needed to catch up. Among the papers and magazines was the Feburary 11 issue of PAW, with the story on John O’Brien. Rarely has the example of any life described in the magazine moved me so much as that of Mr. O’Brien’s.

Can there be few things more terrifying for a three-year-old child than to be orphaned? Or to then witness the bullying and subsequent decline of a more fragile older sibling, the last person of his immediate family on which to depend?

And yet this child found the strength to grow, to live through other adult traumas, including severe academic challenge at Princeton, and — most of all — to throw his energy over and over again into helping others, particularly those whose plight he especially understood.

We speak often of Princeton in the nation’s service. That certainly refers to the extraordinary gallantry of our soldiers. It refers also to the immense generosity that can be public service. It is certainly present as well in John O’Brien’s life, where it must mean the world to the children under his care.

Paradoxical though it may currently sound, the world is unifying. Mr. O’Brien’s work shows his dedication, in its essence, to serving the greatest human good.

John V.N. Philip ’76
New York, N.Y.

Respond to this letter
Send a letter to PAW

February 25, 2004

My family knew Mr. Hershey well. Nothing would please him more than to know that Mr. O'Brien is trying to restore the Hershey School with the ideas and ideals which he had for it.

Eleanor Wear Rose s'61

Vineyard Haven, Mass.

Respond to this letter
Send a letter to PAW

February 16, 2004

John O'Brien was admitted as a student-athlete in the Class of 1965. His remarkable and uplifting life blows away Bill Bowen's argument against such admissions.

Can Princeton afford to reject men of his caliber?

Robert C. Wheeler '42
Stamford, Conn.

Respond to this letter
Send a letter to PAW

Go back to our online Letter Box Table of Contents


Current Issue    Online Archives    Printed Issue Archives
Advertising Info    Reader Services    Search    Contact PAW    Your Class Secretary