Letters to the editor

@BC welcomes letters from readers. Letters selected for publication may be edited for length and clarity. Please include a daytime phone number. You may send a letter by e-mail to bulletin@bc.edu.

Previous Letters

As a marketing and communications professional (and BC MBA alum), I have to say that this is the best electronic newsletter format I have had the pleasure to receive. Congrats! You hit the nail on the head.

Kathy Beal M.B.A. ’89

Don’t have more than a minute to drop a quick line to say hello and offer thanks for publishing your Hurricane Katrina communication site in such a timely manner. I’m a ’98 grad of A&S who majored in environmental geoscience and played women’s hockey, tried my hand in the world of finance, and finally opted to pursue a flight career with the Coast Guard.

I’m currently a C-130 Hercules aircraft commander for the USCG out of Saint Petersburg, FL. Members of my unit were among the first on scene after Katrina passed through the Gulf Coast, and responsible for over 2000 rescues. As everyone has seen by now, the devastation was unreal, but the outpouring of human compassion was amazing, and still is. Although I wasn’t directly affected by the storm’s fury in the sense of personal loss, I flew over the area as the first airborne communications platform and command and control center for all of the rescue helicopters on scene the very first night and into the morning, assisting in saving over 500 lives, and made many subsequent trips directly into New Orleans with supplies, and law enforcement and rescue teams, witnessing firsthand the destruction and tragedy.

My heart goes out to all those who have endured so much suffering from this horrible and far-reaching storm, and if I am in a position to be of help to any alums or their families, I’d urge them to contact me through this email address. Attached are a few photos of my and my crew from the first few days of relief efforts.

My thoughts and prayers are with all the victims and survivors of the storm.
God bless and be well,
Ryan Elissa MacLeod ’98
LT, U.S. Coast Guard

Editor’s note: To see MacLeod’s photos and to read more reports from alumni living in the hurricane zone, visit Boston College Magazine.

I am thrilled that BC is the new owner of this lovely property. My daughter is a BC junior and I grew up just down the road from St. Stephen’s in South Natick. The area has seen many religous orders come and go over the years; the Stigmatines, the Oblates and the Dominicans. Each time the beautiful properties were sold to a non-catholic group. As a catholic educator, I have participated in professional/retreat activities in Dover and as a child, I rode my bicycle around the property.

Once again, congratulations on a great decision.

Anna Maria Connolly

Sadly, the BC Bulletin reports that Captain David S. Connolly ’94 was killed in Afghanistan. However, BC’s website indicates the University remains involved in ROTC training for the U.S. Army, Navy, and Air Force, as well as the Marine Platoon Leader Training. I hope BC is re-evaluating its support of war as a means of conflict resolution through its support of ROTC and Platoon Leader training. Training the military in modern warfare would be a violation of Catholic Social Doctrine. Pope Benedict XVI, while he was a cardinal, expressed his doubts about modern warfare, recognizing the impossibility, in today’s wars, of avoiding the killing of large numbers of innocent, non-combatant children, women, and men. Such killings are contra to our Catholic Just War Theory. The late, lamented Pope John Paul II was very clear about his condemnation of war.

Joe Walker ’60

Have to tell you—I ran in the Boston Marathon on Monday and found it so very inspiring to finally reach BC and see my alma mater. What a beautiful campus!!

Phyllis Arsenault-Berry ’78

I am deeply saddened to learn of Dr. Brazier’s death. He was one of my favorite teachers in my college years. I was a graduate assistant in the government department in 1960-61, and he was my thesis advisor.

I shall forever remember his sense of humor, and the day he threw the Congressional record at me. It was the height of the right-wing John Birch Society, funded by John Welsh. We were arguing about people being communists. It came down to whether I could believe that Dwight Eisenhower was a communist or not. I was cornered and came out with the statement "it was possible." He threw up his hands, gasped and grabbed the congressional record (a rather large volume) and threw it past me against the wall. Then he went down to the snack bar and bought me a candy bar: Welsh’s fudge.

During that year his wife was very sick. My roommate and I invited them to dinner at our apartment, and we cooked without salt. He tasted it, again he gasped and sputtered, and said, "You dear girls cooked without salt. How wonderful of you."

He also salvaged my academic career and my professional career. I had started in the M.A.T. program, but after two days of observing junior high students in my second semester, I came back to campus and announced that I was quitting and that I was going back to my family in Ohio. He laughed. I said I was serious. He ordered me to sit right down and wait while he went to teach a class. When he came back, he had a plan. What would I do if I went back home? Become a secretary to a lawyer? He said I was too smart for that. He personally called the dean of grad students and arranged for me to shift courses (despite the late timing), drop two education courses and pick up two government courses, and transfer to a straight M.A. I did and it was the best decision I made. Then he arranged an interview with the CIA recruiter in Boston. I was hired and had a 33-year career with the CIA.

He was a good teacher, and a wonderful individual. He went an extra mile for me and I suspect all of his students, and I shall forever be grateful for my time with him. I intend to send a donation to the Diabetes Association in his name, as your notice suggests.

Thank you.

Barbara Scott M.A. ’61

Thanks for the revealing piece from your Vatican expert regarding the impressions that the traditonal church leadership in the Vatican have developed about Roman Catholic culture in the U.S. I celebrate the differences that were noted. That is who we are, and we had to fight hard to be, in effect, more protestant than the protestants. I also appreciated the article on the needs of the homeless in the United States. Like other aspects of health care in the United States, it is a national embarrassment, which we as a nation pretend does not exist. Just avoid making eye contact and they will go way. Thanks for addressing an uncomfortable topic.

Brian Condon ’64

I was very disappointed in the Chronicle interview with Fr. Leahy because the interviewer did not ask the most important question about the land purchase:  Why did the university agree to the purchase given that the money will be used to fund the settlements of the sexual abuses cases in the archdiocese?  While I certainly believe the archdiocese should compensate harmed individuals appropriately, I am very disappointed that Boston College is mired in these settlements now.  Fr. Leahy indicates in the interview that the funding for the purchase will have to come largely from gifts.  Unfortunately, I think Boston College is going to have a hard time raising that money. I agree in theory with the purchase of land to expand BC facilities, but completely disagree that BC, it’s alumni, and benefactors should be funding the archdiocese settlements. 

Sonia LaRosa ’93

I read with great interest the University’s plans for expansion with the new land acquisition. I was hoping that the use of the property would go in a different direction than sports fields. A university is ultimately judged by its graduate schools. The one thing missing from BC—the one thing in my mind that separates BC from the very top tier of worldwide universities—is the lack of a medical school. Perhaps this should be considered as a worthwhile use of the land before a baseball stadium is erected.

Kevin McEvoy ’75, MBA ’81

It’s nice to see the students of Boston College so vigorously participating in the city in which we all live.

It is a great honor to be a graduate of Boston College when you see the spirit of the institution shine through the students. I have no doubt in my mind that the dancing was fun for all. But I certainly hope people don’t mistake this for fun alone and overlook the truly hard work that it is. The students deserve credit for the physical demands that they placed upon themselves. Let’s not forget that all of these students had to juggle class work, and possibly other obligations, to spend their time on their feet for a good cause.

It’s great to see that the spirit of giving and community is alive and well. The dance marathon is a fine example of why I am proud to say that I’m a graduate of Boston College.

Jim Mulligan ’98

I had to laugh when taking a peek at March’s "Inside View: Unseen Heights." As a 1981 BS and 1986 Ph.D. chemistry graduate, I spent more than my share of time in Devlin Hall. Early in my undergraduate years, I had been to the tower of Gasson Hall, where my brother Albert (Class of ’72) and his friends had hung an image on sewn-together bed sheets of a maroon "fist" with the words "BC Strike!," I believe (I was young then so the wording may be incorrect). Also, I experienced enraged feelings of seeing an "NY" of the Yankees baseball team’s logo appear on sheets there in 1978 when the Red Sox lost a one game playoff for the AL title on a Bucky Dent home run. So naturally, I had to go there myself in spite of having nothing to show the world.

I have trodden the tunnels between Devlin and Gasson (and I THINK maybe Lyons as well?), after my sophomore year after being told about them by Chemistry Professor Emeritus Robert O’Malley. The geology department, with whom we shared Devlin, stored many interesting items there, however since the entrance was under the stairs near D008, they claimed it (after all, it was a tunnel!). They celebrated a once-a-year "party" there, after a certain "Saint of Geology" whose name I now forget.

We all kept it kind of "secret," as we felt protective of "our" tunnel, and said nothing of it when asked by fellow students what those grates on the quad were there for. Again, thanks for the panoramic tours! I hope you include more 360-degree photos in the bulletin!

Edward J. Caliguri, BS ’81, Ph.D. ’86

I wanted to send a quick message to let you know how much I have enjoyed receiving the last two issues of the @BC Bulletin. I think the layout and content are fantastic. And I definitely think the publication helps alumni, like me, reconnect with the school on a more consistent basis. I am very proud to be a graduate of Boston College and your publication reinforces that each time I receive it.

Shana G. Carroll A&S ’97

Just received your e-mail. My first choice was Fr. Neenan’s interview. I felt like he was here in my living room. He is the best! And perhaps the best part about him is he always makes you laugh. He always makes you feel good, even via the Web. He is an irreplaceable asset to BC.

I’m looking forward to reading the other articles, especially the one about Thomas O’Connor. I have sent the site to a number of folks.

Barb Costigan, BCSN ’72

Dear Editor:

I was enjoying the slideshow on BC’s two-millionth book acquisition ("Page Turner," February 2004) until I came to slide 11 and read "thereby contradicting Church teaching that the earth was the center of the universe."  What a disappointing lack of scholarship!  The Church never has had formal teaching on the relationship of the sun and the earth. Galileo was challenged for saying the Bible was in error and being unwilling to label his position as a hypothesis.  This thesis, by the way, was not rigorously proven for another 200 years (by Bessel in 1838).  It is ironic that the champion of observational science should take a position that is contradicted by our every day experience of seeing the sun "rise and set." 

Paul Kourtz
A&S ‘66

Editor’s note: Mr. Kourtz is correct, and thanks to the pliability of electrons, the correction has been made.

Dear Editor:

I appreciate the links to full obituaries for faculty and staff that you are providing in the @BC Bulletin. Would it be possible to offer links to obituaries for other recently deceased members of the community, such as my father, Pierre Lambert, a long-time member of the School of Education faculty, who died in February 2003?

Susan Lambert

Editor’s note: The @BC Bulletin will provide links to obituaries for faculty, staff, or students that appear in the Boston College Chronicle during the month prior to dissemination of the Bulletin. Many other community obituaries can be found on the Chronicle website, including one for Professor Lambert.

Write a letter to the editor

@BC welcomes letters from readers. Letters selected for publication may be edited for length and clarity. Please include a daytime phone number. You may send a letter by e-mail to bulletin@bc.edu.