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Columbia College Today March 2004
Cover Story


   Save the Date!
The Good Ol'
250 Years
Hitting the
   High Notes
Strengthening the
    Safety Net
They All Lived
   in a (White
   and) Yellow



Alumni Profiles





This Issue





Questioning and Affirmation

An excellent article by Margaret Hunt Gram ’05 on Arnold Beichman ’34 (January). He is exactly what Columbia (ought to) stand for: vigorous inquiry as well as unwavering patriotism. As Professor Wm. Theodore de Bary '41 said a little later in the issue, a rare combination of “questioning and affirmation.”

I also enjoyed de Bary’s article on formulating an Asian Humanities course. Very interesting insights on how he and the department went about doing that. I also liked the fact that he wasn’t the typical West-bashing academic and evenhandedly affirmed Western as well as Eastern canons. He is one of the reasons Columbia enjoys its high reputation.

Thanks for the enlightening reads.

Jeanette Baik ’96
New York City

Your piece on the “anti-communist warrior,” Arnold Beichman ’34, is inaccurate in its representation of his oral exams. They could not have taken place "in spring 1968" if the panel of examining professors “asked him why he thought the Soviet Union had invaded Czechoslovakia,” for the simple reason that the Soviet Union did not invade Czechoslovakia until August of that year. Either Beichman’s exams did not occur when he said they did or he is conflating another incident with those exams. Whatever the case, and as a historian I am only too well aware that memory is an active agent in the reconstruction of the past, I could not let the mistake go without comment.

Lewis Siegelbaum ’70
East Lansing, Mich.

Word of Praise

Columbia College Today is so much better than Alumni News, of which I was an assistant editor in 1939! But we did our bit for Columbia.

Thomas M. Jones ’37 Burlington, N.C.

Whose “Night” Was It?

In your January issue, a full-page ad for Columbia250 features Clement Clarke Moore, “1798 Columbia valedictorian,” who the ad says, “is best known today for the poem that begins, “Twas the night before Christmas...”

On page 28 is a “Bookshelf” notice for the sixth edition of The Modern Researcher by Jacques Barzun ’27 and Henry F. Graff. Barzun and Graff’s book contains a five-page discussion of the poem’s authorship. Citing recent research by Professor Don Foster of Vassar College, Barzun and Graff conclude: "Foster’s detective work was done. Henry Livingston was the author of ‘ ’Twas the Night Before Christmas.’ Moore had lived a lie that the world accepted for almost two centuries - and the public at large will probably continue to do so. But for good scholars and readers of up-to-date reference works, the record now has been set straight."

Leo Wong ’68
Albany, N.Y.

That’s Carl Hovde ’50

The Class of 1950 is most appreciative of having the name of its member, and former College dean, Carl Hovde, attached to a room in the Heyman Center, as reported on page 8 of the January issue. I’m sure the Class of 1951 is equally appreciative, as Carl is listed there as being a member of that class. Carl is a highly valued member of ’50. The Class of 1950 is as vigilant as ever even after 54 years, so we accept your apology and look forward to seeing a correction printed in the next issue of CCT.

Ralph Italie ’50
New Rochelle, N.Y.

2002-03 Columbia College Fund Annual Report Corrections

The following donors made contributions to the Columbia College Fund during the 2002-03 fiscal year. Due to an oversight, we neglected to include their names in the 51st Annual Report. We gratefully acknowledge their gifts and offer our sincerest apologies.

Nadege Fleurimond '03
Barbara P. Mladinov, friend, contributed to the 60th Reunion of the Class of 1943 at the Honor Roll level
Roberta L. Frank, P'95, '97, made her contribution at John Jay member level.

The stated gift levels of the following donors were incorrect:

Stephen M. Sachs '67 should have been listed as a John Jay Fellow
William C. Wang '76 should have been listed as a John Jay Sponsor
Thomas M. Nevitt '82 should have been listed as a John Jay Sponsor


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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