To the Editor:
There is no greater asset in the possession of the College (and, of course, of other colleges and universities) than the interest and loyalty of its graduates. This is not primarily a matter of material support, but rather of the constant renewal of a community of grateful memory.
It is understandable that alumni and alumnae would be drawn to participate in campus controversies. I have done so myself — usually without being asked and surely, for the most part, without being paid the least attention.
I now regret doing so. I should have recalled my own experience as member of faculty at Amherst (1968-79) and the Georgetown Law Center (1979-2001) and, before that, at the London School of Economics and Oxford. Administrators, faculty and students at these very different places had quite a lot to contend with, and the interventions of graduates often only constituted evidence for their remoteness, at best, and their ignorance, at worst.
I am glad to leave the College’s current problems in the very capable hands of those actually in Williamstown. They certainly will not do worse than preceding generations and very probably will do better.
Norman Birnbaum ’46