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Spring 2004


Tufts’ Humanitarian Work
I just finished your winter 2004 issue on “The Challenge of Humanitarian Aid.” It was a thrilling introduction to many worlds I could not imagine before. The article “Voices from the Field” was a work of art! The pieces in the article, individually, were all well written and thought provoking. Together, they provide a marvelous tapestry of world challenge. This issue made me proud to be associated with Tufts.

Matt Tarker, A52
Turnersville, NJ
I read the winter 2004 magazine with great appreciation, finding interconnection in the inspiring articles “Moments of Exquisite Compassion,” “New Humanitarians,” and “Voices from the Field.” Would that more mainstream magazines were so relevant! Thank you for such a worthwhile magazine!

Augustus Nasmith Jr., F67, F69
Rutland, VT
Thank you for your recent (winter 2004) articles on humanitarian assistance. Tufts University graduates have a track record in this field that long predates the founding of the Education for Public Inquiry and International Citizenship program or the Feinstein International Famine Center. Tufts’ creation of these institutions is admirable.

Looking at the programs offered by Tufts, and at the work being done there, I was disappointed that the College of Engineering doesn’t appear to be very involved in the relief and development work of Tufts staff and students. I am a Tufts graduate (E75) with more than 20 years of experience in development and relief work in water and sanitation in developing countries. In 2001, I earned an M.Sc. in water and waste engineering, aimed at training people who work in developing countries, from Loughborough University in the U.K. I was one of three Americans out of about 20 students. No similar program is offered in the U.S., although there is at least one other in the U.K.

Adequate water and sanitation are essential to good nutrition. It almost goes without saying that diseases and parasites found in water and sanitation (or the lack thereof) contribute to malnutrition, while malnutrition lowers the body’s defenses to diseases related to water and sanitation.

Perhaps Tufts is doing more in this field than is evident from searching its website, but it seems to me that there is an opportunity, as well as a need, for more attention to this critical issue. In the meantime, keep up the great work!

Maryanne Leblanc, E75
Burlington, CT

Editor’s Note: School of Engineering faculty are involved in water, sanitation, and health projects in the developing world. Civil and environmental engineering students and faculty, for instance, are working on projects in Nicaragua, Ghana, Jamaica, and Burkina Faso. The school is also partnering with five other Tufts schools—a partnership that includes the Feinstein International Famine Center—to address worldwide water issues through the new Water: Systems, Science and Society (WSSS) program. For more details, see page 11 and visit http://www.tufts.edu/water/.
Ah, Memories
Thanks to Jon Jones for an article (“Ah, Winter,” winter 2004) that triggered fond memories of my years in the Tufts Mountain Club (TMC) (1961–1965). It was with the TMC that I discovered the joys of snowshoeing, winter backpacking, and a bit of ice climbing.

I offer one correction. Today’s Loj is the fourth TMC lodge, not the third. The one not mentioned in the article was lodge #2, an A-frame built to replace the farmhouse that burned on January 1, 1962. It was completed in February 1965, and abandoned less than five years later to make way for I-93. It sat directly across the Pemigewasset River from the present Loj.

Nick Haddad, E65
Watertown, MA

Tufts Mountain Club alumni who loved Loj #2 were no doubt surprised to see it left out of Jon Jones’s article. The A-frame cabin, located on the opposite side of the Pemigewassett River from the current site, had to be abandoned in preparation for the extension of I-93 to Franconia Notch. This was before I joined TMC in 1971; “my” Loj was the big farmhouse that preceded the current facility.
I had always heard that the TMC Thanksgiving originated as a celebration to mark the end of final exams, back when Tufts held finals after Christmas. (And it was considerably more than 31 years ago that “One More Log MacDonald” inadvertently burned down the first Loj—the TMC website says 1962, which seems about right.) But who cares? All great traditions mix truth and legend, and TMC has had its share of traditions: ma-boo-hais, jello slurping, snow soccer. . .

Cheryl Muffet Gracey, J74
TMC President 1972–73
Kirksville, MO

Shaping the Future
I read the nice article about Krisna Kumar in the most recent Tufts Magazine (winter 2004) that highlighted his research and his selection by MIT’s Technology Review as one of the world’s 100 Top Young Innovators. It is great to see young Tufts faculty recognized for their contributions, vision, and hard work, which are shaping our future.

Technology Review actually selected two Tufts-related people. The other one was Tufts graduate Meg Hourihan, J94, chosen in the Internet category. Certainly we are proud of her selection as parents and as graduates of Tufts. The recognition definitely speaks to the quality of Tufts undergraduate education. Meg had no computer science or graduate school background, just the structured thinking and the structure of language developed as an English major. Writing is the common element, and the Internet is now the environment for the web log tool that she co-developed. An interesting path to the discoveries and the development of blogger.

Peter Hourihan, E63
Charlestown, MA
In Memoriam
I was saddened by the passing of Professor Percy Hill Jr. last September. I was disappointed that your winter 2004 issue’s “In Memoriam” failed to mention Professor Hill’s role as coordinator of the General Electric Company (GE)–Tufts University affiliation during the 1950s and 1960s. It was through the GE–Tufts Apprenticeship Program that I received my engineering education at Tufts. Professor Hill was a wonderful leader and mentor to many GE apprentices. You may have forgotten Professor Hill’s role with his GE students, but the GE apprentices will never forget this kind and dedicated man.

Harold Hawkes, A60, E62
Melrose, MA
Language Choice
Referring to the first letter in your winter 2004 issue titled “Tufts Vets,” no one in the profession should use the phrase “have her put to sleep,” and I think, or hope, that no one does. But do the professionals at Tufts Vet School educate their clients (of course, not their patients) so that this phrase is not used?
Joan Vadina, J73
Needham, MA
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