This Berkshire Eagle editorial, “Williams Steps Up,” on the NARH gift from the College deserves comment.

Williams College has demonstrated exemplary generosity by contributing $1 million to the $12 million campaign now under way to renovate North Adams Regional Hospital. The college is no doubt acting in its own self-interest to an extent. A modern hospital is an essential component of a thriving, progressive North County community, and in order to attract high caliber faculty and students, up-to-date health care facilities are a compelling feature.

This just isn’t true. Prospective students have no idea whether the local hospital is the best or worst in Massachusetts (although most are smart enough to know that it is unlikely to be the best). How often did you think about hospital quality when you were 17?

Prospective faculty members are, by and large, so happy to have a tenure-track position at a decent school that hospital quality is the last thing on their minds.

But in a larger scale of things, Williams has recognized, as have other traditionally insular institutions of higher learning, that its fortunes are closely tied to the condition of its extended neighborhood. In so doing, the college has become a model of community leadership for others, especially in the corporate community, to emulate.

Who you calling “insular,” Berkshire Eagle? And, as long as we are looking for “leadership,” I wonder how much the Eagle has contributed to NARH?

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