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
Ruth J. Gordon, J54
In reviewing the “Letters” section of the summer issue,
I read with interest the two letters under the heading “No
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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