Currently browsing the archives for December 2004

True or False?

This story has the ring of an urban legend.

Colleges and universities should help cultivate an understanding of why it is blessed to be American and help us to avoid America’s disintegration. A sign of how far we are from that goal is found in a review in a political science journal of several books, including one by William Bennett, former U.S. education secretary.

Bennett is quoted as having written in Why We Fight that on the Sunday after the terrorist attack of Sept. 11 there was a Pledge of Allegiance at his alma mater of Williams College that was attended by “two hundred students, numerous maintenance and cafeteria workers, the college president … and exactly one professor.”

True or false or somewhere in between?


Eph Poll Geekery

Only a handful of our readers could possibly care about this, but I really want to figure out the correct answer to the question: How many Williams undergraduates preferred John Kerry for President?

Geekery follows below:

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Get a Life

Professor Ralph Bradburd, my teacher in ECON 251 twenty years ago this spring, has the following comments on EphBlog.

David, to be blunt, why don’t you “get a life.” Instead of spending your time worrying about whether Williams is too liberal, or too this or too that, or gives too much money to the town, or doesn’t give enough, whatever, just move on. Do you harbor some deep grudge? Do you think that Williams failed you in some way? Do you wish that you could somehow remake Williams in your own image? Do you think that the college is going down the tubes? Or that it WOULD go down the tubes without your constant monitoring? Let it go. If you really believe that the best possible use of your time and skills in this world is to fuss about Williams, then either your skills aren’t what they should be or you haven’t looked outside your window to see the real problems in this world.

I am fairly certain that Professor Bradburd’s comments are not directed EphBlog in general. I suspect he has no objections to postings about Eph engagements, Ephs in warzones or Williams in the news. Instead, what Bradburd objects to are my constructive criticisms [How about “wildeyed rants“? — ed.] of how Williams is doing as an institution and how it might do better.

His is a fair complaint. I thank Professor Bradburd for taking the time to make it and for giving me permission to publish it. Much of the (meager!) success that I have had in graduate school and the business world is a direct result of the quality of the education that I received from Williams faculty like Ralph Bradburd — as well as Morty Schapiro, David Smith, Alan White and many others — so I take his comments seriously.

I hope to prepare a more substantive response in due course.


Kraft ’86 and Patriots

Trustee Jon Kraft ’86 gets a nice write-up here (scroll down toward the bottom).

When Robert Kraft purchased the New England Patriots in 1994, it was his son Jonathan whose behind-the-scenes negotiating skills helped finalize the deal and secure the risk-filled financing that was needed for the Kraft family to purchase the team for what was then the highest price ever paid for a sports franchise.

More quoted below. Morty no doubt already knows that a talk by Jon would be at least as interesting as — and probably better titled than — one by Bob Scott. Indeed, it would be a great idea to arrange a talk by one trustee during each of their quarterly meetings. The more interaction between alumni — especially rich, powerful alumni — and students, the better. [You mean “enganged, thoughtful alumni” — ed. Them too!]

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