Letter to the Editor


Recently, I received a brochure from the Development Office urging that I make the College a beneficiary in my will. Good timing, I thought. After all, I’m pushing 70, have a “nest-egg” that’s probably more ample than I’ll need, and I did spend forty-odd wonderful years as a Macalester faculty member for which I’m profoundly grateful-All compelling reasons for me to give financially in return.Soon after, however, I learned of Doug Stone’s having been summarily fired by the College after sixteen years of extraordinarily positive service. All at once, the idea of including the College in my estate was transformed from being an attractive prospect to a truly questionable one.

I was shocked at the cold-bloodedness of this action as well as by its administrative wrongheadedness. I wondered what such a summary termination of such a trusted, effective and highly respected servant of the College might imply about changes in Macalester’s long espoused values of equity, openness and social responsibility.

Such thoughts, in turn, made me reflect carefully on Clay Steinman’s analysis of the deeper reasons for this sad turn of events (Letters to the Editor, Sept. 12). Still more sadly, they led me to agree with much of what he concluded in his recent letter to the Weekly. Like Professor Steinman I now worry greatly that “our administrative hires have been less concerned about the college’s community and social mission than they have with developing an attractive bottom line.”

That characterization is a far remove from the College I remember with such strong affection and that I would want to support financially in the years ahead.

James B. Stewart

James Wallace Professor of

History, Emeritus