The Colgate Scene
November 2006


The Scene welcomes letters. We reserve the right to decide whether a letter is acceptable for publication and to edit for accuracy, clarity, and length. Letters deemed potentially libelous or that malign a person or group will not be published.

Letters should not exceed 250 words. You can reach us by mail, or e-mail Please include your full name, class year if applicable, address, phone number, and/or e-mail address.

. . . Congratulations to Bruno Katz's letter [July 2006] on the recent so-called election for the alumni board.

Using the party machine to generate votes is nothing new in Third World Politics, or for that matter, U.S. politics circa 1895. Things are rapidly changing in much of the Third World and we have evolved from the "Big Boss" era of U.S. politics. Apparently the news has not been received by the denizens of the alumni board.

I had a knee-jerk reaction against the board candidate recommendations. In retrospect, it would have been far more informative and constructive had we had more information on what the "recommended" board members truly stood for, and why the opposition candidates felt the need for an alternative slate. Instead we got optimistic resumes and platitudes from both sides.

Still, using the party machine to generate votes, and the opposition's inability to articulate its mission made for a very sorry and tainted election. This is certainly not what we would expect from such a highly respected institution that touts its ability to generate leaders and open-minded thinkers. Truly, we have (sadly) dropped all meaning of Deo from our motto, and it looks like the Veritati part is to be defined by the alumni board. Shame.

. . . What a pleasure to read about Colgate's Upstate Institute [July 2006] and its characterization as a "think and do tank," a term coined by the Institute for Emerging Issues at North Carolina State University when it was organized in 2002 to translate the ideas generated through the internationally known Emerging Issues Forum into innovative public policy that makes North Carolina a better place to live, work, and play.

I'm sure it's no coincidence that the Upstate Institute's identification with the "think and do" approach relates to the contributions of Luke Bierman '79, until recently the director of the Institute for Emerging Issues, and his participation as a keynote speaker in the Upstate Cities conference referenced in the article. The "think and do" approach is relevant to the challenges of our global, interdependent economy and how we prepare to participate in a changing world. We at the Institute for Emerging Issues look forward to thinking and doing with our friends at the Upstate Institute.

. . . One of Colgate's great legacies to the world has been to create in its graduates a fanatical commitment to physical fitness. Half of the problems in the world would be solved if everyone was physically fit. The university should retain the swim test ["Colleges drop swim test," July 2006] as a requirement for graduation.

. . . I am writing in response to a recent letter [Sept. 2006] indicating that the New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer was a poor choice of a commencement speaker at the 2006 graduation ceremony.

I think Mr. Spitzer was an excellent choice to address the graduating Class of 2006. Mr. Spitzer deserves to speak to the students who are graduating from Colgate University, not only because he is a successful political leader and public official, but also because he is an excellent example of what Colgate graduates should strive to achieve.

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