Letters to the editor

Winter 2020

Giving Props to Public Servants

Receiving the latest issue (autumn 2019) gave me goosebumps. It was a pleasant surprise to see a public servant on the cover, as well as the piece on “Supporting Student Veterans”. Chief Jeanine Nicholson’s story was inspiring, and I hope it encourages more Colgate students and alumni to consider service to their communities as a first responder a viable career choice. It can be a higher calling with significant meaning to serve others compared to pursuing careers primarily for the sake of financial benefits or prestige. Unfortunately, at prestigious academic institutions, going into the military or public service can be frowned upon or perceived as a waste of an education. 

I transferred to Colgate after two years at the Air Force Academy and am grateful for the growth I experienced being exposed to a completely different environment with a diversity of views. I now volunteer as a police and fire chaplain doing peer support work in the Los Angeles area. I wonder how many Colgate alumni know the sad statistics: In alarming rates, first responders struggle with PTSD, substance abuse, addictions, mental health issues, and medical problems from dealing with the trauma and accumulated stressors they endure in the service of their communities. None of them are looking to be called heroes or lavished with attention, but a little respect and appreciation could go a long way the next time you encounter a firefighter or police officer. 

Matt Domyancic ’97

Meaningful Work

I just wanted you to know how important the article on Michela Gallagher ’69 was for many, both older people and children of older people. I have early MCI, which has no cure, and I clipped the article and sent it to my doctor along with info I dug up on her company. What she has seems to work, and that is a very important first for millions of people, when there is no existing cure except exercise and good living. 

Bob Youker ’55

The Times They Are a-Changin’

I’ve always thought the Class of ’73, as the last all-male freshman class, probably had some interesting tales to share, much like the first coed Class of ’74. I recall receiving a letter at my home in the spring of ’69, shortly after I had accepted my admittance to Colgate, in which I was informed of the college’s decision to go coed in 1970. My parents were offered a refund on their deposit, and I was offered assistance in applying to other institutions. I had only applied to all-male schools, but the trend toward coeducation was occurring at every school to which I had been accepted. Colgate was my top choice, so the decision to attend was an easy one. As it was, I married during my first year, and I lived a truly “coed existence” throughout my Colgate days. The school slowly changed, and those first women on campus confronted (and overcame) an undue amount of sexism in virtually every facet of student life. As a frequent visitor to Colgate over the past two decades, I notice a more refined and genteel ambience. The vestiges of the rugged, all-male school have all but disappeared. 

Bruce Mitchell ’73

Noteworthy: The Third-Century Plan 

What a great issue! I especially liked the detailed article on The Third-Century Plan. I spent over an hour on a recent air trip reading and underlining. 

Donald Remey ’64

A Welcome Opinion

I found the piece “Dispatch from Afghanistan” to be very revealing regarding Afghanistan today. The positive views shared by Michael Smith ’70 were enlightening — views that we don’t see or hear on TV here in the U.S. An enthusiastic generation that has come of age after 2001, students are “reconnecting with the world outside of Afghanistan … due to the restoration of higher education and the internet” plus thriving businesses and new restaurants. I hope he is right in opining that “the momentum will never be stopped.” 

Bob Malley ’66 

An Inspirational Coach

Thank you for the sensitive, accurate, and thoughtful tribute to John Beyer. I was fortunate to be able to play for John for three years. He made a difference in so many of the lives of those who played for him, always adding a quiet humor and levity, but demanding excellence from us each soccer season. He laid the groundwork for the greatness that our soccer programs have achieved of late. 

In the interest of accuracy though, the accompanying photo was of the 1966 NCAA tournament team, not 1968 as the caption suggests. Regardless, I mourn the passing of a giant in Colgate soccer history. You earned your rest, coach!

Rick Umpleby ’69 

I was really moved by the tribute to John Beyer. When I was a Colgate intern at Ilion Central High School in the fall of 1963, John was my supervisor. John was a mentor in so many ways. I know he inspired me, and I was grateful for his knowledge in helping me to become a better teacher. Also, I had the good fortune to meet my wife, Margaret, in Ilion as she likewise was a Colgate intern assigned to Ilion Central. We will always be grateful to Colgate for bringing us together. We now have been married for more than 51 years. You put out a wonderful magazine, and we enjoy reading it. 

Pat (and Marge MA’68) Moylan

A Much-Appreciated Lesson

On “Lessons in Living (and Dying)”: This is so beautiful and heartfelt. Thank you for sharing this reflection, Professor [Meika] Loe. I’m going to print the sidebar (“What Constitutes a Meaningful Life?”) and post it on my refrigerator at home for my kids (and my spouse and me!) to see every day.

Emilio Spadola, Associate Professor of Anthropology and Middle Eastern and Islamic Civilization Studies