Letters to the Editor

Spring 2021

Hat Trick

I enjoyed reading the article “Match Made in Hamilton” in the most recent issue (winter 2021). My sisters, Christi Curtin ’90 McCarthy and Susan Curtin ’91 Gouldin, and I are included in the count of known Colgate marriages. All three of us are alums who married Colgate guys. We three all played club ice hockey (no varsity team in the ’80s), so I guess this is our own personal “hat trick” of marriages.

Vicki Curtin ’87 Karamanoukian

Remembering Bert Levine ’63

In response to “From Politician to Professor: Bertram J. Levine ’63” (winter 2021): While Colgate’s Washington Study Group (WSG) is well known and respected, the 1993 WSG, of which I was a member, had two additional things in its favor that year. First, it was President Clinton’s inauguration and first 100 days in office. Second, and no less important, Bertram J. Levine ’63 led the WSG that year. We soon realized, and better appreciated over time, that Professor Levine (“Bert” to those who knew him) was uniquely positioned to leverage his contacts and friendships for the benefit of the WSG’s 13 students. Bert managed to score tickets to the presidential inauguration as well as tickets to the first-ever MTV inaugural ball. You can imagine how excited 13 college kids were to attend these historic events. In addition to the rigors of the two courses Bert taught and the internships he arranged for us in the executive and legislative branches, Bert generously shared his time and wisdom about law, politics, family, and the ’gate with his students while enjoying, for example, a game at Camden Yards, a day at Six Flags, as well as the many dinner parties he arranged. Bert, ever the lawyer by training and background, placed a premium on preparation and effective communication, with listening being just as important or more so than speaking in Bert’s estimation. Bert beamed when a member of our WSG asked a notable Washington figure an insightful and thought-provoking question that brought credit to the ’gate. The 1993 WSG was a transformative life experience, and we are all better to have known Bert and learned the ways of Capitol Hill under his tutelage. In addition to his family, Bert leaves a lasting legacy of alums who are forever grateful and look forward to paying things forward in support of our alma mater.

John N. Vagianelis ’93, P’24

Social media responses to “Part and Parcel” (winter 2021), which highlighted Colgate’s mailroom:

Memories! One of the most important pieces of snail mail of my life was delivered to me there: news I’d been awarded a Watson fellowship and would spend the year after graduation in India.

Amy Allocco ’97

I was 2065 way back in 1983!

Maggie O’Connor ’87

Box 937, 1976–80. Still remember the combo.

Robert Musiker ’80

Link to the outside world. 2081 from ’76 to ’80. Visited in 2019, fond memories.

Tassey Russo ’80

Omission in Coed Issue

It was a pleasure to read all those stories and profiles highlighting the first women (students and professors) at Colgate (autumn 2020). It was especially enlightening that the articles highlighted the experiences of women of color. Their stories — and the particular challenges they faced during the early years (decades?) of coeducation — have often been overlooked and minimized in prior accounts.

All that said, I confess I was disappointed by the omission — even in the full-page timeline — of any mention of the 1976 founding of Bolton House, the first women’s center at Colgate and the first all-women’s University residence on what was then Fraternity Row.

I was lucky enough to live in that house in its first year, 1976–77, and I’m forever grateful to the classmates of mine, our freshman year Resident Advisor Colleen Ranney ’77, and others, who had the foresight and the moxie to advocate for converting 84 Broad Street into a vibrant and cozy living and learning community for women when we moved off the freshman hill. Students of that era may still remember the Harvest Supper and dedication ceremony we hosted during the fall 1976 Homecoming weekend to celebrate our place in the Colgate firmament.

(The Bolton House story is similarly overlooked in Becoming Colgate, although that book detailing the college’s history does feature two pictures of the house, including one of the door to a room that happens to have been mine.)

When we moved in that first fall, we had no idea that so many of the friendships we would make there would last us through generations — and even carry us through a pandemic. Today, we understand how special that experience was. In its time, Bolton House represented something very special to Colgate too. And that’s a history that should be forever remembered.

Goldie Blumenstyk ’79

Editor’s note: To learn more about the history of Bolton House, see “Places of Imagination” in this issue.

cover of autumn 2020 issue

Coeducation Cover

The autumn 2020 cover was a perfect choice to celebrate the first coeducational class in 1970. Liz Frazier ’73 was a bright, multi-talented, gracious, and beautiful person. And I have no doubt that she still is.

Bruce Vogelsang ’67