Tufts logo
graphic Fall 2002
Send a Letter Send a Classnote Update Records Feedback
Tufts Alumni



Readers respond to letters

In the “No More Clinton” section of letters in the summer issue, I was delighted to see that the two other conservatives who ever graduated from Tufts are still alive.

Patricia Lewsen Rath, J66
South Bend, IN

Thank you for the article featuring our last elected president’s speech (spring, 2002). President Clinton is so articulate that it’s always important to find out what he is thinking. I don’t believe that Tufts Magazine has become a “liberal Clintonista rag” and appreciate the even hand used in editing the periodical.

Ruth J. Gordon, J54
Cloverdale, CA

In reviewing the “Letters” section of the summer issue, I read with interest the two letters under the heading “No More Clinton.”

The authors either do not recall or were not aware of the public actions and media coverage of then Tufts president Nils Y. Wessell’s support of Richard M. Nixon between 1968 and 1974.

Secondly, the benefits given to John E. Sununu while he served as governor of New Hampshire and later as chief of staff to President George H. W. Bush by Tufts University were out of order and unnecessary. Tufts records will clearly show that alumni monetary support dropped when this matter received media attention.

Tufts University has been and will continue to recognize and receive political leaders and office holders of both major political parties in this nation—and rightfully so.

John Linnehan, A54
Haverhill, MA

Regarding the recent Letters section entitled “No More Clinton,” it is absolutely unfathomable to me that the two writers indicate they cannot support Tufts if it covers or provides a forum for Bill Clinton. In other words, I can support Tufts and its philosophy of the free interchange of ideas as long as those ideas are in accordance with mine. Hey, folks, sorry—sometimes the ideas expressed at liberal arts colleges are going to be different from yours. However, all are free to give copious support to Bob Jones University.

Mitchell Rose, A73
Hollywood, CA

Mr. Haebler’s letter regarding Tufts student body in 1969 [in response to the 150th anniversary timeline] did not accurately represent the actual event. Tufts at the time was a school in transition, and there were several other rallies during that period that to my mind and those of my friends seemed a bit trendy—sort of “Cause of the Week” events—which were forgotten as soon as they ended. It is true that the editorial staff of the Observer had a political viewpoint in favor of liberal policies—even “Sports,” where I was editor for about two years. Even so, it would be a mistake to think of the student body as a whole as being particularly active. Socially progressive, perhaps, in the New York Times vein, but hardly radical. And as for describing the faculty as being rife with left-wing agents, only if you consider Sol Gittleman to be a rabid Marxist/Leninist!

I’m not here to discuss the politics, only to present a clearer picture of Tufts in the late 1960s. Especially because of the distance in time, these events must be reported accurately.

Tom Godfrey, A71
New York, NY


Though I missed seeing the mention of Dean Schmidt’s passing in the fall issue of Tufts Magazine, I did read the letter about him in the spring issue.

In my life, Dean Schmidt’s counsel also made a difference. I have always remembered him and wish I had taken time to tell him so.

After earning a B.S. from Tufts and teaching certification from the now Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Studies, I swiftly found an excellent teaching position. I desperately wanted to begin a graduate study program, but needed the encouragement Dean Schmidt provided me to proceed with that goal. In his quiet, supportive manner, he let me know that I could find the time and energy required. He helped me to feel confident enough to sail through the entrance exam, and I went on to earn my graduate degree while still managing my much-loved teaching position. For that, I have been forever grateful to a master of caring and expert counseling, Dean Schmidt.

Adele D. Carp, J63
Dover, MA

Thanks for the Memories

Imagine my surprise and delight to receive a telephone call from my aunt, Betsy Louise Kinsella Powers, J47, who asked me to turn to page 41 of the spring edition of Tufts Magazine. There, in the timeline, was a picture of my aunt with her date, Joe Connolly, at an NROTC Ring Dance, taken in 1944 at the Hotel Von Dam.

Thank you for the opportunity this photo gave us to share even more Tufts memories.

Elizabeth Hubbard-O’Shaughnessy, J69
Old Saybrook, CT

My husband, Ross Humphreys, A71, opened the spring issue of Tufts Magazine and exclaimed, “that’s my picture!”

From long experience, I knew he didn’t mean a portrait of himself. He was in fact pointing to a photo of a woman seen from behind, with an Afro and arms akimbo (page 32). The attribution was to the 1970 Tufts yearbook, for which Ross was photo editor. The next year he was yearbook editor.

“Who was she? What was happening,” I asked.
He didn’t remember.
“Okay,” I said. “What camera did you use? What film?”
He looked a little sheepish. “My Yashikamat,” he said. “Two and a quarter format. It took rolls of 12 exposures, and it broke soon after I made that shot. The film was Agfachrome.”

He’s still photographing and editing, but now he does it for our publishing business,

Treasure Chest Books/Rio Nuevo Publishers.
Susan Lowell Humphreys
Tucson, AZ

As a biology major who spent a great deal of time with Jumbo while in Barnum Hall, I thoroughly enjoyed “An Elephant’s Tale” by Susan Wilson.

I would like to add to the story of Jumbo’s “surviving” tail. During the early ’60s, Professor Russell Carpenter told me that one student tradition, in addition to placing pennies in Jumbo’s trunk, was to remove a bristle from the elephant’s tail. As I recall, a bristle was more like the tooth of a plastic comb than a hair. Needless to say, the original tail was fairly well stripped of bristles, so Professor Carpenter bought a replacement tail. He told me that the purchase order was the strangest he had ever submitted because of the common name for a tail with bristles; he ordered one set of elephant feathers!

Haven Sweet, A63
Associate Dean of Arts & Sciences
University of Central Florida
Orlando, FL

Universalists Not the First

Congregationalists may have been surprised to read in David Reich’s interesting article, “Founding Fathers: Tufts and the Universalist Tradition,” (spring, 2002) that “Universalists were the first American denomination to ordain female ministers…”
Universalists were among the first, but the first ordained woman minister was Oberlin College graduate Antoinette L. Brown Blackwell in 1853 at First Congregational Church, South Butler, New York, where she served as that church’s pastor. She left the ministry, however, a year later and subsequently became a Unitarian.

Moyne L. Cubbage
Barrington, RI






© 2002 Trustees of Tufts University, all rights reserved.