Reactions to 150 Years

Congratulations on a first-rate issue of Tufts Magazine. The articles were excellent and well written.

Paul Angiolillo, A70P
Framingham, MA


Congratulations on the Sesquicentennial edition of Tufts Magazine. It is an attractive, comprehensive and interesting summary of Tufts' history.

I was especially interested in the article "Founding Fathers: Tufts and the Universalist Tradition," written by David Reich. Overall, it is an informative, balanced and well-documented account of the founding of Tufts, including references to material covered in Light on the Hill, written by my husband, Russell E. Miller. However, there is one error I feel I must correct. Russell was not a Universalist. He was a long time active member of the Congregational Church. Indeed, the fact that he was not a member of the denomination was an important factor in his being chosen to write the history of Universalism.

Russell's chief interest was always the intellectual and social history of this country. He studied and taught the history and effects of education, religions, race relations, immigration, regional history, etc., on the country's development. His decision to write Light on the Hill was the result of the convergence of three interests: history of the University where he taught, history and advancement of education, and history of religions, including the Universalists and their theories on education. Tufts was a great case study.

His conclusion that if by the 1970s few at Tufts knew much about its Universalist background, it was because the school had "truly become the non-sectarian institution the founding fathers planned" is indeed an optimistic statement. It is also a professional assessment that was not the result of any personal involvement with the Universalist Church.

Joyce K. Miller
Reading, MA


I suspect that I am not alone in citing omissions to Tufts athletic history as noted in the "Go Jumbos" article by Mark Herlihy, A88, in the Sesquicentennial Celebration issue of Tufts Magazine. I believe David Harrison, A55, was an All-American lacrosse player. He was to become a jurist in the Massachusetts court system. I noticed his appearance in an advertisement in Sports Illustrated not long ago.

Bob Burgess, A55
Camden, DE


Kudos on the wonderful 150th celebration issue of Tufts Magazine. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about Tufts history, especially the piece on Jumbo. While I knew the basics of his life and death, the well-researched article by Susan Wilson provided many fascinating details about our beloved pachyderm! I also got a kick out of looking at all of the old photos; the detailed timeline was fascinating as well.

A few corrections, however. The timeline lists Hillside dorm and the Cabot Center as opening in 1986. I lived in Hillside my junior and senior years (1982-1984) and I believe the dorm had opened the year before, sometime in late 1981. Also, I lived in Houston during my sophomore year (1981-1982) and distinctly recall being woken each morning at 7 am by the workmen on the roof of Cabot as they completed the building. I believe Cabot opened shortly thereafter; I definitely had classes in the building during my upperclassmen years. Once again, thank you for such an informative and fun way to help us alums celebrate Tufts 150th!

Leslie Galton Goldberg, J84
Lexington, MA


We enjoyed your article on Jumbo lore and it made us remember our own favorite Jumbo story that we have entertained scores of friends with over the years.

In the fall of 1959, a group of spirited students decided to raise money to bring a live elephant to Tufts for the homecoming game. Collections were taken all over campus, and there was a great stir about the event. I was a majorette with the marching band, and we practiced a special halftime show leaving a big space for our soon-to-arrive special guest performer to march across the field. The fraternity houses and dorms set up extravagant yard decorations featuring Jumbo statues and images.

The evening before the game, we gathered for a pep rally and bonfire by the fieldhouse, eager to see the elephant that had been delivered by flatbed truck that afternoon. In the firelight, we noted that she looked very wrinkly as she munched on her hay, but we went to bed eager for the next day's drama-the football team was on a winning streak and the Lord Jeffs couldn't top Jumbo.

In the morning the band arrived early to practice our halftime show. We were stunned to see the elephant lying on the ground, not moving. The unthinkable had happened. Jumbo had dropped dead!

Needless to say, the large corpse in the end zone, though covered with a tarp, was a pall on the football game. The team lost, the band's performance was dispiritedly missing our star, and as we walked back up on campus all the homecoming displays had been altered to show Jumbo on his back with his feet in the air. I don't think anyone tried to bring a real Jumbo to campus again.

Ann Taggert Evans, J62
Buzz Evans, A60
Acton, MA


Thank you very much for the very interesting and informative article on Jumbo.

Jumbo was a very important part of my early life (1933-1945) living on East Capen Street, a few hundred yards from Barnum Museum. I have very fond memories of accompanying my father, Professor Kenneth Roeder, to his laboratory in the basement of Barnum Museum-any excuse to visit Jumbo and sit mesmerized in one of those leather-covered chairs and dream of Jumb''s early life.

When I was ten or 11 years old I would visit Jumbo while servicing a cockroach trap line that I maintained in Barnum Museum so that my father could have an uninterrupted supply of live cockroaches for his research. World War II had interrupted his other supplier, and I was more than happy to supply them at a nickel per roach.

The presence of Jumbo may have even influenced my choice of majoring (1950-1954) in geology, which was then housed in the basement of Barnum Museum. During those years I, along with many other students, would take our brown bag lunch under Jumbo's watchful eye.

It was a very sad day when I heard that fire had destroyed Barnum Museum and Jumbo. Thank you again for your article and for bringing back so many nice memories.

Professor Peter Roeder, A54
Department of Geological Sciences Queen's University Kingston,
Ontario, Canada


No More Clinton

Congratulations on the overall superb quality of Tufts Magazine, a significant improvement over its predecessor. The spring 2002 issue, with its terrific 150 years retrospective, was mostly wonderful.

However, Bill Clinton coverage on page 6, Al Gore on page 7, and Clinton again on pages 61 and 74? OK, so George Bush was on page 83. But this, after the gushing Helen Thomas quote sidebar in the spring 2001 issue?

If you're going to turn your otherwise excellent publication into a liberal Clintonista rag, save yourself the postage and send me no further issues.

Bob Malay, A67
Reading, MA


Two articles in the recent issue of Tufts Magazine have prompted me to share my reactions: a portion of the timeline, year 1969, and "Presidential Presence."

I refer first to the timeline, in which the following is under the year 1969: "Due to campus unrest over Vietnam, Navy and Air Force ROTC start a 3-year phase-out." In 1941, President Carmichael noted that the Navy V-12 program was "an absolute lifesaver for Tufts" during the war. ItŐs a shame that the administration in 1969 was pressured by a student body that had been "educated by professors from the radical left." This cave-in to such pressure is a slap in the face to all military who gave their lives so that the "radical left" could influence University policy to such a degree.

The second article covers ex-president Clinton's address to about 5,000 people at Tufts. A speech by an ex-president who incurred impeachment because he lied about his sexual promiscuity and who has come to be known in pro-life circles as the "abortion president" because he vetoed the partial-birth abortion ban law suggests to me that anything he has to say needs to be taken with a "large lump of salt."

In spite of the content of these two articles, the remainder of the spring issue was informative. All I ask is that my viewpoints be considered when I am asked for monetary support in the future.

Herbert J. Haebler, Jr., E45 (V-12)
Baltimore, MD





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