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[quote align=”center” color=”#999999″]“I’m going to retreat to my Safe Space now.”[/quote]

Most of the letters we received for this issue had to do with our treatment of the election of Donald J. Trump W’68 as president (see the Jan|Feb “From the Editor”) and our “Gazetteer” story on Penn being a “sanctuary” campus.  —Ed.

 

Disappointed, Not Surprised

I was disappointed—but not surprised—to witness the lack of coverage of Donald Trump in the Jan|Feb issue. A Penn graduate was elected president of the United States, but because of the extreme leftist worldview that most of the University embraces, the fact barely received mention.

You know as well as I that had Hillary Clinton been a Penn alumna, and had she been elected president, her photo would have dominated the Gazette’s cover.

I can understand your reticence. Publishing an article about Mr. Trump would have caused, at best, destruction of Gazette copies before it hit the streets; and at worst, vandalism of the Gazette offices and calls for the ouster of the University president. Because those are the ABCs of how liberals operate: Attacks, Bullying, and Censorship.

About three years after I graduated from Penn, I realized how badly I’d been brainwashed, and I started thinking for myself. I no longer felt guilt about being male, after having been verbally bashed by my feminist psychology professor. Later, I saw the “water buffalo” incident for what it was—ludicrous. And now—puppies?—over losing an election?

Our once-great institution, now a leftist indoctrination center, has become an embarrassment.

Well, I’ve said enough; I’m going to retreat to my Safe Space now.

Joseph C. King C’79 Bellefonte, PA

 

Cookies, But No Trump?

I just received the Jan|Feb issue of The Pennsylvania Gazette and was looking forward to reading a feature article about Donald J. Trump, the first US president to graduate from the University of Pennsylvania. One would think that a magazine devoted to Penn alumni would publish an article describing this historic figure and his relationship to our University. I looked through the magazine three times … no article on Trump.

However, I did find your article on cookies.

Mark Thomas Holtzapple Gr’81 College Station, TX

 

Poor Journalism

The Jan|Feb Gazette included several stories about remarkable alumni: One man helping a village in Rwanda. Another about a woman influencing children’s television. A third story was a long article on Penn’s contribution to sports.

One of our alumni was recently elected the president of the United States. Donald Trump was not mentioned. Most colleges would have put Mr. Trump’s picture on the cover and led off with a story about his life and accomplishments. You could have discussed his years at Wharton and his relationship to Penn. I know Mr. Trump is proud to have attended Wharton. His children are Penn graduates.

Your ignoring Mr. Trump is simply poor journalism. Either it is incompetence, which I doubt, or your political persuasion has led you to not write about Penn’s most important alumni.

Jeffrey M. Leitner D’74 Loudonville, NY

 

Why Not Just an Alumni Note?

Finally, the Gazette mentions Penn’s most famous alum, even if only in the “From the Editor” section. I wondered if he might just be acknowledged in “Alumni Notes”—something like: Donald J. Trump W’68 reports that he was elected President of the United States.

Warren E. Peterson W’62 Seattle

 

No Escape from Coverage?

My response to the Jan|Feb Pennsylvania Gazette:

This is definitely not how I want to acknowledge the elevation of an alumnus of my college. And so, I won’t be able to escape coverage even in a magazine that usually gives me a bit of a rest from the day-to-day. Most of us know that our attendance at an Ivy League school in no way implies our intelligence let alone our humanity. That only comes over time as we use our degree to do good. This man has provided no evidence of doing good for others let alone his humanity or intelligence (unless you count his use of hateful, racist, misogynist, homophobic language to fire up a deplorable minority element in our citizenry). And so, he’s an illegitimate representative of our school and its values. Regrettably, I’ll be reading less of the Gazette over the next four years.

Mike Bellissimo C’81 Louisville, KY

 

Laughable and Insulting

As a member of Donald Trump’s Wharton Class of 1968 and a former assistant director of alumni relations (to which the Gazette reports), I found the “From the Editor” piece in the Jan|Feb issue both laughable and insulting.

I’d been curious for months to hear why the name Trump had not been mentioned in a publication that never hesitates to bask in the reflected glory of anyone remotely connected with the University.

To read “I didn’t feel that the Gazette had anything original to add”—this in the same issue that featured two of my other Wharton classmates in a feature article on the business of sports—implies Mr. Prendergast has not yet found his life’s work, or the University has given up even the pretense of being a true liberal university.

Richard J Conway W’68 WG’77 Gladwyne, PA

 

Trump and Truth

Ironically, Peter C. Balas concludes his gloating letter about Trump’s victory with the comment, “The truth will set you free” [“Letters,” Jan|Feb]. Was there ever a candidate for president who so distanced himself from the truth as Mr. Trump? Has there ever been a candidate who so scorned reason and who relied so heavily upon ad hominem and ad populum attacks?

Not surprisingly, Mr. Balas uses the same weapons. He uses the ad populum approach in noting that Trump’s critics inhabit an “Ivy league bubble in the rarefied Northeast Corridor,” and therefore he is skeptical about the ability of these critics to understand the “sea change” that Trump represents. Though it is difficult to pin down what a “sea change” is, it is not necessarily good: a tsunami is one kind of sea change; erosion is another.

Mr. Balas knows how to use ad hominem, too, when he characterizes those who did not vote for Trump as the “leftist elite” and wonders if they “will censor what is happening in the world.” And when he asks, “Is this discrimination in its finest form, Ivy league style?” he does not seem to realize that he is making an assumption about something that has not occurred. How can one speculate about what someone will say and then label it as discrimination?

The truth so far about Mr. Trump has been ugly, and it is more likely to deprive us of our freedoms than to set us free.

Don Z. Block Gr’77 Malvern, PA

 

Wishing Trump Well

I read the letters regarding President Trump in the Jan|Feb issue of the Gazette. President Trump mentioned many times in his campaign how proud he was of his Wharton degree.

I feel the same way about my 1959 Wharton degree, and from a fellow Wharton graduate, I want to wish him well in his presidency as he begins his term to be the president of all Americans, including those have had no voice and have been forgotten, as he strives to make America great again. I believe he means exactly what he says, and will accomplish his admirable mission.

Murray P. Hayutin W’59 Cherry Hills Village, CO

 

Advice from a Wharton Grad Clinton Supporter

Thank you for publishing letters from readers concerning the US presidential election. One was from a Wharton graduate who was clearly a Trump supporter and who ended his letter with the aphorism: The truth shall set you free. I also graduated from Wharton, but I do not want the readers to think that all Wharton graduates support Trump. I supported Clinton, who I came to respect when I worked on the Clinton Health Care Reform effort. I offer to all those who support Trump two simple aphorisms: (1) Be careful what you wish for; and (2) Don’t believe everything you think.

Albert Woodward WG’73 Bethesda, MD

 

Face the Trump Phenomenon Head On

Now that President Gutmann has released a statement of concern about President Trump’s polices toward refugees [“Gazetteer,” this issue], I urge the Gazette to do an in-depth feature, or collected writings issue, about Donald Trump and his relationship to the University. To date, he has been largely ignored by alumni affairs and (y)our beloved publication. Trump is viewed by some as the 300 pound gorilla of intolerance in the room, who touts his intelligence evidenced by a two-year stint at the Wharton School—from where, allegedly using his father’s financing, he emerged with a reputation, unfair or not, as a slumlord. Stories about his bullying behavior circulated when I was a Wharton freshman in 1968. A large contingent of the Wharton community signed a document prior to his election rejecting Mr. Trump’s various statements and policies.

Alumni may agree with none, some, or all of Trump’s language and policy directions, but the swirling questions about his temperament, competence, and truthfulness can’t be ignored. To do so impinges the reputation of the Gazette as a thoughtful and intelligent publication of the highest quality. There is real fear across the nation at multiple levels. Many of our friends and some cherished ideas feel hurt or appear denigrated. Reasoned discourse about law and the public good, for which the University is famous—it’s partly embedded in our motto, Leges sine moribus vanae (laws without morals are useless)—seems to be ignored. Many of us as students of history and culture are deeply concerned.

How about the next Gazette with essays from some of Trump’s biographers about the conditions of his acceptance to the University, and his comportment while a Penn student? Others might discuss the University’s reticence to date to engage his legacy. Bring a key pro-and-con voice into the mix. It’s not like the other Ivies don’t have politically and socially controversial graduates as well as widely beloved and admired ones. Facing the Trump phenomenon head-on will only raise the Gazette’s reputation and help alumni better engage the complexities of the current situation.

Nick Spitzer C’72 New Orleans

 

The University Did the Right Thing

Anticipating that Trump supporters will howl with rage at Amy Gutmann’s declaration of sanctuary for DREAMers at Penn, I’m writing to congratulate the University for doing the right thing [“Gazetteer,” Jan|Feb]. Our society has invested in the education of DREAMers for many years. It would be very foolish to let that investment go to waste by pushing them back into the shadows and making them vulnerable to deportation to dangerous countries they might know nothing about. The United States is their country. We need their skills and talents here.

Linda Rabben CGS’74 Takoma Park, MD

 

Penn Does the Opposite

It was heartwarming to read that Brown and even Princeton rejected the belly-button fetish of declaring their campuses as “sanctuary” areas. And then Penn does the opposite. Just think about how many military-serving Penn people were lost in war to preserve this school and nation for the benefit of the kids now privileged to attend, who have not got a clue what is essential to keep this country safe and to uphold the legal system.

Oleg Dudkin ME’48 Berwyn, PA

 

Real Issue Ignored

Nice going, President Gutmann! A couched phrase—“Penn is and always has been a ‘sanctuary’—a safe place for our students to live and learn”—ignores the real issue. Penn evidently is willing to break the law of the land. Disagreements should be settled at the ballot box!

I will be pleased to withhold further donations until the University leadership comes to its senses.

Thomas Temple Allan C’63 Charlottesville, VA

 

 

Immigration Laws Have Purpose

How can the University administration and President Gutmann, as responsible conscientious citizens, make a policy of not cooperating with the law enforcement agencies of our country in their duties to enforce the laws of our country? Do they really support civil disobedience? Are the University administration and Gutmann advocating selective enforcement of our laws?

Think of the chaos that would occur in our country if everyone obeyed only those laws he or she agreed with and disregarded the others. I am appalled, although not surprised, that Gutmann and the University would even consider flouting the immigration laws currently in force. If change is desired there is a process to follow. If the majority of our citizens want existing laws repealed and/or new ones made, then do it legislatively.

Both sets of my grandparents were immigrants who followed the rules and became US citizens—legally. Our immigration laws have purpose and set forth the requirements and numbers of new potential citizens to be permitted into our country. They are not meant to be coldhearted but to protect the legal citizens of the United States of America.

Alfred J. Bacon W’70 McQueeney, TX

 

Society Must Bear the Costs

It was with great sadness that I read of Dr. Gutmann’s decision to make the University of Pennsylvania a “sanctuary university” for undocumented students. While she and others can reside behind the gracious walls of academia, the rest of us have to struggle to support the financial and social burden they have given us to bear. In addition, they insult the many legal immigrants who are here and the many more future immigrants who are patiently waiting for permission to enter this country.

If they truly wish to have the courage of their convictions, I invite them to spend some time with me in the city of Hazleton, Pennsylvania, where I have worked over the years, and see the result of unfettered illegal immigration to the city. I wonder how many of Penn’s faculty would send their children to the public schools, live within the city limits, and patronize what local businesses are still left there. It’s easy to feel that you are being charitable, benevolent, and progressive when you can pass the societal costs on to citizens less economically and politically enabled than yourself. While with their decision they and others may pat themselves on the back, the rest of our society has to bear the costs for the healthcare, housing, and living expenses for illegal immigrants. It is not fair to expect citizens of this country to work longer, harder, for less income, in order to subsidize benefits for people who have entered this country illegally. It is not fair to citizens of this country to pay the tuitions for their children and the children of illegal aliens.

Finally, in Penn’s decision to ignore federal law and incentivize others to enter this country illegally, they have made the job of law enforcement, both on our borders and internally, all the more difficult and dangerous.

Michael A. Carol D’86 Allentown, PA

 

One Image

Now that President Amy Gutmann has declared Penn to be a “sanctuary” there is only one image that comes to mind: that of Gutmann standing on the steps of College Hall in a flowing white robe, holding a staff with a large red and blue “P” and proclaiming “Sanctuary.”

Sort of like Charles Laughton in The Hunchback of Notre Dame, but without the acrobatics and Maureen O’Hara.

God help us!

Robert Rosenthal W’60 Burbank, CA

 

 

Become Involved with Sanctuary Movements

I applaud the University’s “full throated declaration” of its status as a sanctuary campus where immigrant students can live and learn in safety. For the past 24 years, I have coordinated a Salvation Army feeding program for those in need in one of the towns in the metropolitan New York City area. For the last 15 or so years, the vast majority of those we serve have been Spanish-speaking immigrants. I suspect that most of these folks are undocumented and face the increased deportation threat that the new administration brings with it.

The student-led sanctuary movement is accompanied by another national effort centered around faith communities. Both colleges/universities and houses of worship were identified by Homeland Security in a 2014 memorandum as sites from which Immigration and Customs Enforcement would not seek to remove undocumented residents except in emergency situations. These sanctuary sites are needed.

The federal government operates a system of almost 1,000 immigrant detention centers throughout the United States. These centers housed about 45,000 adults and children during the last year, often in jail-like conditions. And studies have shown that only a small percentage of detainees have actually been convicted of a crime.

I encourage interested alumnae/alumni to become involved with sanctuary movements in your own communities. Find out what is going on and, if no movement has yet developed in your area, take the initiative and organize one. It takes only one person to get something started that could benefit many of our neighbors in need of safety and the feeling that others care about them.

James G. Waters WG’71 Pearl River, NY

 

A Nation of Laws

I was mystified to learn our president reaffirmed Penn as a sanctuary campus. I am not a lawyer by profession, but it seems to me this could potentially open her and the school up for lawsuits should an undocumented student commit a felony or be wanted by the police. It’s only a matter of time before another crime is committed somewhere such as the Steinle homicide in San Francisco. That city is now being sued by the Steinle family. And how about a terrorist attack? The FBI and other law-enforcement agencies will not be able to give complete protection to the populace as proven by gunmen who have “slipped through the cracks” to commit heinous crimes. Their job only becomes tougher when dealing with sanctuary hideouts. One last point: I don’t find it admirable or very smart this sanctuary policy by Penn, other campuses, and cities. We are a nation of laws not a nation of the laws we only agree with.

William Spangle D’76 Williamsport, PA

 

Too Broad an Approach

Amy Guttmann’s “sanctuary” declaration appears to extend well beyond the DACA status upon which the article’s approving tone rests. Even if the declaration really did limit itself to DACA students (which it does not), Guttmann insists that Penn reserves entirely for itself the right to determine which misdemeanors are serious and which aren’t.

The non-DACA circumstances to which this declaration appears to apply are stunningly broad. If a Penn student has deliberately overstayed a valid visa, and has in effect crowded out some other immigrant who would have played by the rules, where is the equity in not cooperating with the federal authorities who are trying to enforce those rules?

Only if one assumes that undocumented Penn students are always in the right, and that immigration officials are always in the wrong, can so broad an approach is Ms. Gutmann’s be deemed fair or reasonable.

Steve Stein W’61 L’64 Larkspur, CA

 

Great Chemistry

I enjoyed reading your story about sports executives who are Penn graduates [“Suiting Up,” Jan|Feb], but I disagree with your assertion that there isn’t a “linkage between a Penn education and its alumni presence in sports business.”

Although I majored in chemistry, if it weren’t for my Penn degree, I wouldn’t have enjoyed working the last 40 years in the sports industry. Joe Cohen W’68, who was featured in your article, hired me to work at the MSG Network in part because of our Penn connection, and I never would have followed Larry Wahl W’75 as the public relations director of the New York Yankees if we didn’t work together a decade earlier on the sports staff of WXPN Radio.

Because of those Penn connections, I have been fortunate to spend most of my career in sports PR with the Yankees and the Miami Dolphins, working for people like George Steinbrenner, Billy Martin, Don Shula, Jimmy Johnson, Nick Saban, and Bill Parcells. It certainly has been a lot more fun than anything I could have done with my chemistry degree.

Harvey Greene C’75 Parkland, FL

 

Inca Trail, Trump

I read with interest “The Royal Road” by Alexei Dmitriev [“Elsewhere,” Jan|Feb]—even more so as I plan to make the Inca Trail with Penn Travel in August.

The Spanish conquistadores in the 16th century were not different from others. The Incas themselves were not as benevolent as Alexei suggests. The winner takes it all. See, for example, Napoleon’s army when they had to leave behind all the treasures they carried from Moscow or from Spain. Or the Nazis taking up to the last chicken from France, and many others even today. I liked the picture and the rest of the article.

As for the triumph of Mr. Trump, I believe he is making many bad enemies too fast and gives them the benefit of no-surprise. His leadership style is quite different from Mr. Obama’s, but I wonder what would be the judgment he would get from all the previous 44 presidents. Anyway, what really matters is the results, not the emotions of the first moment. I wish him luck and I wish he will succeed. It will be better for the US of A.

Leon de Adrian WG’81 Aquitaine, France

 

OK, Done

I noticed that the “Letters” section of the last two issues of the Gazette had been substantially reduced, and I would be surprised if the reduction were attributable to a decline in mail. Sometimes the letters are the most thought-provoking part of an issue. Please restore it to its rightful size.

Sam Rothman C’61 Falls Church, VA

Actually, we did get fewer than the usual number of letters in the last two issues.—Ed.

 

Who Said “Less is More”?

I so enjoyed reading the “Venerating Venturi” article [“Gazetteer,” Jan|Feb]. For me, 50 years seems to have truly flown by (yikes!). I was inspired to pull a copy of Complexity and Contradiction from my shelf and jump in. Though Le Corbusier, his influence, and his approach to design are discussed by Vincent Scully in the introduction to the book, I feel that the correct attribution for “Less is More” belongs to Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. If you agree, perhaps you can publish a small correction in the next issue.

Sheila Campbell GAr’78 Mill Valley, CA

Most sources cite the first use of the phrase in Robert Browning’s poem, “Andrea del Sarto,” in 1855; however, in architecture it is associated with Ludwig Mies van der Rohe rather than Le Corbusier. Our apologies for the error.—Ed.

 

Cross Country Left Behind?

According to Penn’s website, men’s and women’s cross-country remain varsity sports at the University. How, then, to explain the absence of any mention of either sport in the Jan|Feb “Scoreboard” section? Alumni interested in knowing that the women’s squad earned its first-ever team berth to the national championships, or that senior Nick Tuck earned an individual qualification to the prestigious race, would have to look elsewhere. Is NCAA championship participation no longer a big deal?

Looking forward to the coverage the teams deserve.

Karen D. Wheeler CGS’01 Yardley, PA

 

Outstanding Teacher, Indelible Impression

I was saddened to read about the death of Alexander Riasanovsky [“Obituaries,” Jan|Feb]. He was an outstanding teacher and left an indelible impression on my undergraduate education.

I think there is an error in your notice. You indicate he joined the Penn faculty as an associate professor in 1965. That seems incorrect. I took his wonderful course on Russian history in the 1963-1964 academic year. That course was oversubscribed and there was a waiting list to enroll. I would assume that he was an established faculty member at that time.

Several years later, when I was a junior faculty member at the School of Veterinary Medicine, I had the pleasure of meeting him once again, this time to treat his Russian borzoi dog (very fitting indeed) for an eye problem, and I could tell him in person what an important influence he had been in my education. He truly was a great teacher.

Gustavo Aguirre C’66 V’68 Gr’75 Media, PA

It appears that Dr. Riasanovsky was on the faculty starting in 1959; he was promoted from assistant to associate professor in 1965. Our apologies for the error.—Ed.

 

Alex Riasanovsky: A Personal Recollection

As a college student, how fortunate it is to have a special person mold your personal universe. Someone so dynamic and brilliant that you feel at once transformed into a thinking adult, while you could sense that you were in the presence of genius. That was me, 50 years ago, at the University of Pennsylvania.

The Daily Pennsylvanian “Course Guide” cited Russian History 149 as one of the finest introductory courses in the University. Yet it was the guide’s reference to the course professor that truly resonated: “The Great One, as many students refer to him, received unanimous ratings of excellent from his students. His lectures are regarded as consistently interesting, often humorous, and always very well organized. He was also praised for his interest in the individual student, a trait not often found in one who lectures to 500 pupils.”

And so, Alexander V. Riasanovsky—“The Great One”—entered my life.

Watching Professor Riasanovsky on the grand stage in College Hall was mesmerizing. His cadence was fast-paced, his baritone voice carried in a thunderous roar when he emphasized a certain point, and his command of Russian history was awe-inspiring. Alex Riasanovsky was Penn personified. His Russian history course was popular with students from all programs: Wharton, pre-med, engineering, and liberal arts. Everyone wanted to hear him lecture. He was the consummate Penn ambassador, speaking to all the Penn Clubs throughout the United States, with alumni eager to hear his talk.

I got to know Alex more intimately when he allowed me the privilege of taking his graduate course in Russian history, and to this very day I fondly remember our conversations about the Russian intelligentsia. In his graduate seminar, Professor Riasanovsky challenged you to think analytically. He had edited a masterful book, Generalizations in Historical Writing, and believed that since history was approached from numerous philosophical, religious, social, political, and economic positions, the historian must be able to frame meaningful generalizations.

Born in Harbin, Manchuria, China in 1928, Alex’s childhood innocence ended abruptly at age 10 when he witnessed a Japanese soldier behead a prisoner. His family fled the Japanese occupation and found safe haven across the Pacific Ocean in Eugene, Oregon.

The Riasanovsky family was living history. Alex’s father Valentin was the preeminent scholar of Mongol law, and his mother Antonina won theAtlantic Monthly prize for fiction in 1940 for her novel The Family. Both Riasanovsky sons were Rhodes Scholars and both became famous Russian history professors, with Alex at Penn and his brother Nicholas at the University of California at Berkeley.

But Alex was more than just a wonderful history professor. He was also a true Renaissance man: an historian, a freethinker, a fine artist, and a prolific poet.

I wish I had learned the Russian language because my bookshelf is filled with his poetry written in Russian. A Wallace Stevens devotee, Alex wrote poem after poem, and, gratefully, some were translated into English.

Philosophically, Professor Riasanovsky was a man of peace, and he loved to poke wicked fun at the imperious political megalomaniacs. In a 1995 poem, he lamented eloquently:

This long

This gray

And twisted way

Marked by festoons

Of broken flowers

Leads to a land

Where blood-soaked sand

Is raised

In monuments and towers

Here judgement’s rendered

In a glance

Of lying levity, by clowns

Here means and ends

Are seen

As one

And executioners

Wear plastic crowns.

I will long cherish Alex’s books, especially the one with the inscription: “To my favorite student family.” But even more important, I will always cherish the memories with Alex and the love and friendship we shared together these many decades along with my wife Sandy and our three sons Alex, Eric, and Michael.

When my eldest son was born, we proudly named him Alex. I still have the wonderful note Professor Riasanovsky sent: “I’m very happy to hear about your son. What a lovely name you have given him!” Yes, Alex, a lovely name indeed!

Lee Gordon C’68 Owings Mills, MD

 

50 Years, One Mistake

It’s taken over 50 years for me to find an error to bring to your attention. “Perry World House” [Nov|Dec], identifies the cottage located at 3803 Locust Street as being the former location of the Kappa Alpha fraternity. The correction is that the Kappa Alpha Society, the progenitor of American fraternities, actually occupied that building. Further, there is no Kappa Alpha fraternity. The correct name is Kappa Alpha Order, and it was formed in 1865, some 40 years after the Kappa Alpha Society was founded.

I remember learning about this as a pledge in 1961.

Jim Cook C’63 Chesterfield, MO

 

Low Income Families Deserve Better

Education reformers could not be more encouraged when reading the first part of Walt Gardner C’57’s article, “Against Radical Disruption” [“Expert Opinion,” Nov|Dec], where he fairly, accurately, and devastatingly criticized the performance of public schools, or more accurately the lack thereof, leaving activists like me eagerly anticipating his proposed antidotes. But unfortunately, disappointingly, but not surprisingly, none were forthcoming. Instead he attacked anyone daring to suggest systemic disruption, directing his greatest vitriol against those of us who are championing school choice for all parents.

Mr. Gardner accurately described the problem, but then argues against the very systemic reform that will be most help for the neediest of kids. When half of America’s public school students cannot read, write, add, and subtract at grade level, most of whom are poor and of color, where is the moral outrage? Whether in the form of vouchers, tax credits, educational savings accounts, or charter schools, parental choice is the overarching public policy principle that will deliver the highest quality outcomes at the lowest cost.

To those who continue to defend the status quo, the one-size-fits-all, top heavy, outdated industrial model that denies low-income parents of children condemned to failing schools the means to escape, let me respectfully suggest that they volunteer to send their own children to those very same schools. Should that suggestion generate the usual silence, let me also respectfully suggest that hypocrites are alive and well. They are today’s version of Governor Wallace standing in Alabama’s school house doors 50 years ago blocking poor black kids from entering—they are standing in the doorways of today’s failed public schools blocking poor black, brown, and white kids from escaping.

Let freedom ring! All kids should have the opportunity to realize their potential and all parents should be respected, trusted, and encouraged to make decisions about what education they think is best for their children. It is their civil right, and yes, it is their responsibility to do so responsibly. Their kids should not be denied access to the American dream, and America should enjoy the benefits of their becoming productive, contributing citizens. Low-income families deserve better, and so does our country!

Steve Schuck W’58 Colorado Springs, CO

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    2 Responses

    1. Howard Scott Pearlman

      ** The Penn Fight Song **
      Behind the Ivy covered walls
      Of the sacred learning halls
      Here the Spirit can be found
      Of our namesake of renown
      It’s the soul of William Penn
      We are not the Penn of yesterday
      And you will find out when we play
      For those who believe we will lose
      You should never assume
      When it is Penn you are about to play
      Though you be mighty or be small
      we’ll make believers of them all
      Whether they be small or great
      They will share the same fate
      When the mighty Quakers call
      For we’ve got years to avenge
      And our honor to defend
      P … E Double N Spells
      PENN, PENN, PENN
      P … E Double N spells PENN
      Howard Scott Pearlman
      class of 1975
      Copyright 2000 Pearlman
      Call me at 856-354-8723 to hear the melody

    2. Jim Drummond GSFA '89 Burlington VT

      The Gazette’s silence about Donald Trump is understandable but ultimately not justifiable. Like many Penn grads, I am conflicted about being connected to the current president in any way at all, let alone through an institution I am proud of. Still, it would be hard to imagine a more newsworthy event than having an alumnus as president. No doubt Harvard and Yale had the same ambivalence about the George W. Bush presidency. Did they stay silent too?

      Judging by the letters, some readers respond to the president’s message. For others of us, Amy Gutman’s strong stand (in this issue) is a reflection of the strength of our civil society and our great institutions (like Penn) that refuse to just go along with a careening train wreck. The ambivalence of the Penn community is the story that should be written in these pages.

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