LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
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
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
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
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
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
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