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Columbia College Today January 2003
Cover Story
College Launches
    E-Community for
Dean's Scholarship
Javier Loya '91:
    From Baker Field
    to the Houston

Vince Passaro '79
   Waxes Poetic
   About Life -
   And Columbia

Rupp Receives
   Hamilton Medal



Alumni Profiles





This Issue





Professor Koch

Professor Kenneth Koch [CCT, November 2002] taught me to use words more carefully in his “History of Dramatic Poetry” class. Each of my pathology reports bears his influence. Reading poetry is one of my greatest joys. Few, if any, teachers have had a greater impact on me. He will be deeply missed.

Mitchell Wachtel ’81
College Station, Texas

More on the Core

Kenneth Koch on the cover of the Nov. 2002 CCT
Kenneth Koch, 1925-2001.

I enjoyed your editorial, “The Evolving Core,” as well as your article on the new General Science course in the November 2002 issue of CCT, and I applaud the continuing evolution of the Core Curriculum and the introduction of new bodies of knowledge into the Core. During my undergraduate years at Columbia (1946–50), there were CC A1 and A2, CC B1 and B2, Humanities A1 and A2, Humanities B1 and B2, the latter as I recall devoted to music, art and architecture. That was about it.

I also was interested in your mention of a future intercultural course in keeping with the growing multiculturalism of the world in which we live and seek to educate ourselves. This certainly ties in with the presence of an Intercultural Resource Center at Columbia, which I recently learned about when I had occasion to correspond with its director.

Incidentally, in David Lehman ’70’s story on Kenneth Koch, I was rather intrigued by the phrase, “Prudhomme on time,” appearing in Prof. Koch’s poem at the end of the article. Attempting to decipher to whom the professor was referring, I decided it was unlikely to be a person who in olden times was regarded as an arbitrator. Reflecting upon the other notable Prudhommes of which I’m aware, I finally concluded that this probably refers to Don Prudhomme, the race car driver, for whom “time” would be a most important consideration.

Best wishes for the holiday season and for the continuing excellence of CCT.

Bernard Prudhomme ’50
Alpharetta, Ga.

Since you mention adding a general science course to the Core Curriculum, which is a good idea, please allow me to take this opportunity to express my dismay at [Columbia] having dropped CC-B from the required Core liberal arts curriculum. Perhaps the least popular of all the Core courses, when it came to understanding the world in which I lived, this was the most valuable of all of them. But it took me a few years after graduation to recognize this.

Jack Eisenberg ’62

[Editor’s note: The two semesters known as CC-B, which focused on modern history, were dropped in the 1960s. A two-semester Major Cultures requirement, involving the study of cultures and civilizations of Asia, Africa and Latin America, was introduced in the 1990s.]

English Lesson

I find it regrettable that in paying tribute to a distinguished member of the Columbia English faculty, those who publish Columbia College Today were not able to avoid the solecism found on the cover of the November 2002 issue (and repeated in the table of contents). The adverb “since” must modify a verb in the present perfect, or possibly past perfect tense. If it seemed inappropriate to say “Koch has liberated the imaginations ... since joining ... ” because he no longer does so, then perhaps “Koch liberated the imaginations ... after joining,” or possibly “upon joining,” could have been substituted. The problem appears to stem from an attempt to mimic the sentence in the text of the article, “Koch had liberated ... since joining ... ” This sentence is itself mildly suspect (if the liberation was ongoing, then “had been liberating” is more appropriate), but at least matches tense to modifier correctly.

Colin Campbell ’90
New Brunswick, N.J.

You’re Welcome

Thank you very much for your excellent publication. The magazine has an outstanding balance of topics and is appealing as well in terms of its format. Columbia College students work hard to obtain their degrees and this alumni/alumnae magazine is a wonderful reward for their efforts.

Arthur L. Thomas ’50
Greenwich, Conn.

Columbia Athletics

GoColumbiaLionsSeveral recent letters have lambasted Columbia’s athletic teams for their losing records. Whether it’s alumni, students, coaches or the athletes themselves, most would agree that winning is more fun than losing. I get uneasy, however, when alumni put pressure on the College to produce winning athletic teams.

A huge state university with 30,000 undergraduates can recruit top athletes without significantly affecting the make-up of its student body. Small, coeducational, undergraduate schools with dozens of teams to fill simply can’t effectively recruit top athletes without a disproportionate emphasis on admitting student athletes. While Columbia undoubtedly could attract such athletes, it would be at the expense of a more diverse student body. Students with interests in the arts, music, theatre, religion, journalism and community service may be just as committed to their endeavors but rarely receive the special consideration afforded to athletes.

College athletics should be fun and a relief from the intense pressures of attending a world class academic institution. It should foster an appreciation for life-long healthful physical activity. It should not be about my couch potato ambitions of seeing alma mater beat Harvard.

Mark Hoffman ’76
Queensbury, N.Y.

CCT welcomes letters from readers about articles in the magazine, but cannot print or personally respond to all letters received. All letters are subject to editing for space and clarity. Please direct letters for publication “to the editor.”

Editor, Columbia College Today
475 Riverside Dr., Ste 917
New York, NY 10115-0998
Telephone: (212) 870-2752
Fax: (212) 870-2747





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