Bons Mots for Bonnie
Rohna Isaacson Shoul '46
I congratulate you on your winter issue of the Bates Magazine. I am so pleased to see a teacher like Bonnie Shulman profiled in the lead article and to know that Bates is hiring people like her. This is the first time I've been motivated to comment on the magazine, and I somehow feel the prompting came from Phyllis Graber Jensen's story and photos.
I also read the story on women at Bates ("A Changeable Climate for Bates Women"). I have always been glad that my college was for both men and women. Lena Walmsley, Hazel Clark, Lavinia Schaeffer, and Mabel Eaton were important to me, but more like them, as women role models, would have been welcome and reassuring.
Betty Towle Daniels '50
After having read about the suit in Time ("Romancing the Student," April 3, 1995), it seems that Bates has already made the mistake of trying to cover for Woodfield to rather disastrous results. If improving the climate for women at Bates has anything to do with changing people's behavior, then there must be a connection between official policy condemning sexual harassment and social sanctions. By refusing to identify anyone, the College protects the violator and makes the task of promoting individual responsibility for behavior more difficult. At least for those Bates students who filed complaints against Woodfield, show them that the College regrets not having dealt directly and decisively with this case in 1991.
Brian Holdridge '90
Death in the Family
William J. Goodreau '53
Where's My Plaque?|
I enjoyed seeing our 1970 Ivy Day Plaque in the Report of Giving in the winter Bates Magazine. I cannot remember where it is located and I have been looking for it for the past year. Where is it?
Susan Murphy '70
I was delighted to see a photo of the 1960 Ivy plaque in the 1995 Report of Giving. I designed the plaque for my class, but have never been able to find it since Coram Library, where it was originally placed, was enlarged. Just curious.
Jane Damon Zocchi '60
The Class of '60 plaque is along an exterior wall of the Gray Cage foundation, to the right of the entrance. The Class of '70 plaque is on the foundation of Dana Chemistry, facing Hedge Hall. -- Editor
Since his death, Muskie's many admirers have celebrated his intellectual zeal -- honed in part at Bates -- for seeking the just and right answers to problems confronting our society. His thoughtful opposition to the war in Vietnam was but one example. Pollution was another issue Muskie tackled (he was the key figure behind the Water Quality Act and the Clean Air Act of 1963), and one look at the photograph of Rumford -- Muskie's hometown -- in the collection of George French '08 photos in this issue reminds us what was happening to the air and water in Maine and around the country during the middle part of this century.
Our favorite example of Ed Muskie's ability to articulate and defend what is truly worthwhile came in a letter he wrote to this magazine in 1941 -- just five years after his graduation and five years before the start of his political career. Muskie's letter was in response to a letter from an alumnus who had scolded the College for not facing the reality of the day: that the chief business of the American people was business. The alumnus argued that Bates should "realize what business is looking for and direct the departments of the College to that end." What was needed, he said, was a curriculum that addressed "accounting, insurance, selling, banking, production, [and] personnel."
Given that the country was climbing out of the Great Depression on the back of big business and government, it wasn't an unreasonable position to take. But Muskie recognized a rush to judgment against the liberal-arts college and wrote a response on December 16, 1941 -- nine days after Pearl Harbor -- a portion of which is reprinted here:
Bates is a liberal arts college. As such she fills and will continue to fill a need so long as democracy endures. Her function is to bring within the grasp of the student the richness of all knowledge so that he may fully understand his capacity for happiness and contentment. Her purpose is to stimulate the development of the student's mind and soul on such a broad plane that he can effectively work to realize that capacity. When the college has done this job well she sends forth graduates who are prepared to live full lives. Whether those lives be spent in teaching, in law, in medicine, in ministry, or in the chain store, the large corporation or the government service, they will be spent well, with a maximum of service to their fellow men.Fifty-five years ago, in a tumultuous and changing world, Ed Muskie not only identified the essence of a liberal-arts education, but also recognized its enduring value. And that, reader, is just a tiny part of Muskie's great legacy to Bates, Maine, and the country.
H. Jay Burns
© 1996 Bates College.
All Rights Reserved.
Last modified: 7/19/96 by RLP