O U R R E A D E R S W R I T E
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A thriving Jewish community at
I was pleased to learn that the Jewish students at Hopkins finally have their own Torah [April, Vignette]. It is a testament to the perpetual strength of this body of students and the generous support they receive from the university, as well as the larger community, on an ongoing basis.
However, the description of the basement of AMR I as presented in the article paints an incomplete picture of the thriving Jewish environment at Hopkins. When I arrived on campus, this cramped room was the hub of Jewish activity, serving as the kosher dining hall, sanctuary, and primary meeting space. During my time at Homewood, I witnessed the purchase, planning, and dedication of the Bunting-Meyerhoff Interfaith Center, an expansive building that provides for the needs of the Jewish community, as well as of the many other faith groups on campus. Jewish students are now fortunate to have a space that can comfortably accommodate Shabbat services, community meals, and frequent social activities.
Hopkins showed great courage and insight in creating a facility that serves the needs of all the diverse religious groups on campus and provides an opportunity for interfaith dialogue in an environment of mutual respect and understanding.
The Interfaith Center, already in existence, is a place
where students can learn about Jewish culture--and in turn,
Jewish students can learn about other faiths and cultures.
As Hillel breaks ground on its own building [the Smokler
Center for Jewish Life], its supporters would be wise not to
isolate themselves from this facility [Bunting-Meyerhoff],
unique in the world of higher learning. Only in this
environment can the Jewish community continue to grow, as it
is taught: "Who is wise? One who learns from all persons."
(Ethics of Our Fathers, 4:1)
Regarding the letter from William H. Garrett II (MD '58) in which he mourned the demise of the Pithotomy Club [April, letters], I would like to point out that the club barred Jews and women.
My classmates and I crashed one of their parties dressed as
boys (with the help of two male classmates). We found only
drunkenness and vulgar sophomoric humor.
Les Harris [MLA '72] certainly is an interesting character
Labyrinthine World of Les Harris"]. It is ironic,
however, that while a couple of Hopkins astronomers once
asserted that the universe is turquoise, matching Harris'
unique vision, it turns out that the universe is actually a
much less exciting, but perhaps more artistically flexible,
The photo on page 65 of the April edition is, indeed, a pictographic record of the principal Spring Fair organizers, but not for 1977. This group represents the core committee for the 1975 Spring Fair, the theme for which was "The 1920s."
"3400 On Stage" was a generic title for all of the early Spring Fairs, reflecting the idea that Hopkins opened its doors to the community and was "on stage" for the three-day festival. The chairperson for 1975 was Bill Ferguson '76, who is the student sporting the longest hair, appearing in the right forefront of the picture. I was to his right in that photo. I chaired the Fair in 1976, the theme for which was "the Bicentennial." That same year was the JHU Centennial, so it seemed only natural to pay some homage to the nation's 200th. The 1977 Spring Fair, another "3400 On Stage," was themed "Mardi Gras" and was chaired by Michael Posever '77. It is notable that Michael Liss '77 was the financial guru who presided over the budgets of both 1976 and 1977, ensuring financial success and gratitude from [President] Steve Muller for cleaning up the campus within two days after the event closed.
The Fair was conceived in 1972 as a vehicle to open up
Hopkins' Homewood campus to the Baltimore community (and to
relieve the tension prior to finals in May). To the best of
my knowledge the idea came from Andy Savitz, Student Council
president from 1971-75, and Sue Blum '75, the first
chairperson. The Hopkins Spring Fair has, over the years,
become one of Baltimore's most anticipated and beloved
festivals. I hope the magazine continues to highlight its
The cover of the [April]
issue of the magazine by Paul Cox was superb. It says so
clearly, "It's great to be alive this spring."
This letter was prompted by your story on page 20 [February] about the rec center addition abutting the Newton H. White, Jr. Athletic Center.
Back in the late '60s, I was assistant to President Milton S. Eisenhower. Captain Newton H. White (an Annapolis grad retired from the U.S. Navy, as well as a wealthy insurance company founder in Tennessee) was referred to me as [I was] the Homewood fund-raiser in those days.
Captain White told me he wanted to establish a couple of scholarships for boys from Tennessee, his birthplace. He was motivated by his esteem for his physician, a Homewood and med school grad. We set up the scholarships, invited White to select two Tennesseans from those we had admitted to our entering class, and began an enduring relationship that lasted for years.
Captain White died during my tenure, and Mrs. White asked me to suggest a suitable Homewood building as a memorial to her husband. (We needed new, large gifts those days because the Ford Foundation had just awarded us its first challenge grant: $12 million if we raised $6 million in new money within three years.)
Because of the Captain's enthusiasm for sports, I got Dr. Eisenhower's approval to suggest our new physical education complex, which we then estimated would cost $1.5 million.
Mrs. White liked the idea, agreed to $1.5 million, and we began planning the facility. She enjoyed following it every step of the way, and visited the construction site frequently. Near the end, she asked me if we were really going to be able to build the White Athletic Center for $1.5 million. I told her that from the outset we had known the building would cost $2 million, but since she agreed to our initially incorrect estimate, we would get the remaining $500,000 from other sources. "No way, Bill," was her immediate response. That wouldn't be fair to the Captain, she insisted. And she provided me a check for $2 million with JHU as payee. That then became the largest gift to Homewood in the 20th century. How times have changed.
Hopkins has done the right thing again. The rec center
belongs right next to the Newton H. White, Jr. Athletic
Center, and I believe Captain White would have applauded its
Professor Louis Galambos' brief article on President Dwight
D. Eisenhower [April,
"Cool-Headed Ike"] does not do a bad job of quickly
presenting one aspect of that presidency. A more balanced
treatment may be found in Blanch Wiesen Cook's The
Declassified Eisenhower: A Divided Legacy of Peace and
Political Warfare (Garden City, N.Y., 1981). The first half
of her book closely parallels Galambos' treatment and
essentially thanks Eisenhower for not getting us all killed
during the Cold War. The second half, however, explains the
long-lived evil that President Eisenhower and Secretary of
State John Foster Dulles brought to Guatemala. The mass
butchery that that poor land has suffered for the almost 50
years since then is directly attributable to Eisenhower,
Dulles, and the American ambassador to Guatemala of that
day--John D. Peurifoy, a State Department thug sent down
there to do a hit job.
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