Letters to the Editor

September/October 2016

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Letters to the Editor

Let Us Count the Ways

I very much enjoyed the article “17 Lists You’ve Never Seen Before” (July/August). I would like to add a 10th “big name” to the “9 Big Names Who Played on the Farm Before They Were Famous.” In my sophomore year (1956-57), I took an introductory physics class for premed students from Professor Albert Baez, PhD ’50. 

During the quarter, he graciously invited the students in the class to come to his home for an informal social get-together with his family. During the evening, his daughter, then a student at Palo Alto High School, brought out her guitar and entertained us with wonderful folk songs. Little did we know that Joan Baez was destined to become an activist and a world-famous folk singer. How fortunate we were to have such personal experiences at Stanford!
Len Klay, ’59, MD ’62
Santa Rosa, California

Oh, if you had only gone back another decade to the ’50s, you could have listed a 10th name. I attended a freshman orientation dance on campus in August 1955, and a performer onstage named Dave Guard, ’56, played a guitar and sang some songs. Two years later, he joined two others to form the Kingston Trio, which, for the next 10 years, was one of the country’s best-known folk music groups. 
Jerry Petrone, ’59
San Diego, California

The Kingston Trio played early in the 1958-59 school year at Wilbur Hall in the courtyard right under my freshman dorm window. I’m sure other alums will add to the Big Nine list.
Don Nicholson, ’62
Coral Gables, Florida

You have a photo of Steve Perry with the caption: “Small-time San Francisco phenom Journey opened a Dave Mason concert at Maples Pavilion in 1975.” Featuring ex-Santana singer/keyboardist Gregg Rolie and guitarist Neal Schon, Journey blew Dave Mason off the stage. Steve Perry joined the group a few years later.
Curt Busse, ’74
Celebration, Florida

In “10 Stanford Firsts,” you identified Chris Hutson, ’76, MS ’77, as the first “tree queen” in 1975. Chris was actually the Tree. Now the real challenge for you: Who was the queen?
Alan Mela, ’72, MS ’74
Lake Oswego, Oregon

Editor’s note: Thanks for the correction. We’re still sleuthing for the queen. Write if you know.

I loved the “Lists” issue. Under “4 Obscure Items” are two wildly opposite people. From my personal acquaintance, Allen Ginsberg was a shameless, aggressive pedophile, a consummate moocher and a skilled hustler. By contrast, Dr. Adelaide Brown devoted her life to helping poor women.
Thomas P. Lowry, ’54, MD ’57
Woodbridge, Virginia 

Your backhanded compliment to UC-Berkeley was so charming, even with one error, as to bear repeating. Among the “6 Things Stanford Lacks” was “Namesakes on the periodic table (The Axe-envious school across the Bay can claim seaborgium, livermorium, berkelium, and californium.)” For “livermorium” read “lawrencium,” after Ernest O. Lawrence, a pivotal figure in atom smashing [and namesake of the Lawrence Berkeley and Lawrence Livermore laboratories]. Perhaps a livermorium one day, if our National Laboratory in Livermore can bring us practical fusion energy.
Allen Dull, ’64
Vista, California

Editor's note: Livermorium (atomic number 116) was discovered in 2000.

I mourned the closing of the Bowling Center at Tresidder (“3 Do-Overs from Stanford History”). In the late 1960s, I made my beer money handing out shoes (and pool balls and ping-pong equipment) behind the reception desk. I also bowled a lot and was a member of the Stanford team that was good enough to tie for first in the interscholastic championships in 1969.

During my time there, two engineers (twins, if memory serves) spent a lot of time on lanes 13 and 14 trying to perfect an automatic scoring system, no doubt setting the knowledge foundation for the scoring systems now seen at today’s bowling centers.
Douglas Pirnie, ’69
New York, New York

I am sure your lists will get plenty of comments. Here are mine:

An extinct major left off is architecture, although I know that sort of subject area within engineering is making a comeback.

When I was a freshman and probably sneaking a beer at Rossotti’s, I think I met one or two of what became the Kingston Trio, who certainly were not then famous. 

Having spent a good part of last year planning a wedding for my daughter, I would have appreciated the list of strange special requests for MemChu weddings.
Chris Adams, ’58
Berkeley, California

Regarding “Extinct Majors,” I take great umbrage at the implication that the nursing profession is extinct. Stanford University-trained nurses were always considered the best prepared and in high demand. I would not trade my five years (two undergrad and three at the old Cooper-Lane Hospital) for anything! There was only one way to care for a patient: the proper way that recognized the dignity of the person while following medical orders. Occasionally those orders had to be “modified” slightly when the medical men and the few women in the late ’40s did not always recognize that care includes treating the patient as a person.

While the Stanford nursing program ceased in the mid-’70s with, we surmise, a more than gentle nudge by the medical faculty to release funding for the expanding medical training programs, there remains a strong group of women and a few men who wish to reinstate the program on a combined baccalaureate/master’s level. As long as there are sick people needing care, well-prepared nurses need to be at the hospital bedside, in the home or in the clinics.
Shirley Juarez Boydstun, ’50
Guadalupe, California

His Way

I greatly enjoyed the article about my great-uncle Bolton in the July/August issue (“The Unbendable Bolton Brown”). He died around the time I was born, so I never knew him, but everyone in the family knew of him. Since many of us share some of his characteristics, he probably didn’t look as odd to us as he did to other people, but even in a family full of strong-minded eccentrics he stood out. I was fascinated by the description of his reaction to his father’s objection to his heretical views—in part because I hold some of the same ones, arrived at independently—and reminded of my mother’s favorite anecdote about him. It seems that when still a child he sat down in church with his hat on. Someone whispered in his ear, “Bolton, little boys take their hats off in church.” He replied, “Bolton Brown doesn’t.” Judging from the article, which taught me quite a bit I hadn’t known about him, he didn’t change much as he grew older.

For the record, my paternal grandmother was Harriet Brown Coolidge, who graduated from Stanford around the turn of the last century. Sorry I don’t have the exact year, but it would have been between 1900 and 1905. She was one of the Rev. Brown’s large brood who emigrated from upstate New York to Palo Alto. 
David Coolidge
Berkeley, California

Carolina Bound

As a Tar Heel myself, I admire Kristen Powers’s desire to make a difference in the world (“Carolina’s Blues,” Student Voice, July/August). I’m betting on her succeeding.

However, having lived through the civil rights movement of the Sixties as a recent grad at the time, I have some thoughts that may be useful to her. They stem from lessons learned from Adlai Stevenson’s famous talk “What a Man Knows at 50,” and from the parable of the blind men and the elephant.

Don’t be too easily led.

I was inspired in real time by MLK Jr. to judge men on the content of their character, only to be told today by BLM and others that if I don’t share their views, I am a racist bigot; that somehow a mentality of being guilty of “driving while black” is wrong, but being guilty of “policing while white” isn’t. As for officer Darren Wilson’s behavior, thoroughly reviewed, I am more interested in the behavior of officer Michael Slager regarding Walter Scott, or the myriad and nameless black-on-black killers in inner cities whom today’s movements ignore.

One more observation never discussed: the contradiction of “Southern prejudice.” I grew up in a home where the day started and ended with black women who were to me like surrogate moms, whose caring was apparent and whose authority was absolute. When we moved to California, it was like leaving family behind. And it was in California I first encountered negative attitudes toward black people as a race, who were so often judged by the color of their skin. By the way, check out the Quad from 1957, and tell me how many black faces you see.

I’m just saying if one wants to be an advocate for change, do your homework. See what Jason Riley (Please Stop Helping Us) says, as well as [Marc] Lamont Hill. While attempting to change attitudes among white peers may be safer, perhaps trying to change attitudes among black peers would be more productive. And above all, let’s learn from history. MLK Jr. did more for race relations in one speech than BLM has done since inception. He did it by persuasion, not confrontation; uniting us, not dividing us.

Go, Kristen. Take good care of North Carolina. I believe in you.
Bob Olson, ’60
San Ramon, California

As a native Virginian who has struggled for decades with the prejudice much of the rest of the country has toward the South, I appreciated Kristen Powers’s thoughtful essay. She’s right; her state is both beautiful and troubled, and its politics have become more ugly and discriminatory in recent years, yet she wants to go back to become an agent for political and social change in the place she loves. Nobody is better suited to do so than a native daughter, and I expect she will encounter many like-minded North Carolinians who will welcome her warmly. Kristen’s engagement with the Stanford NAACP reminded me of my own efforts to create an NAACP chapter at my college, William & Mary, in the ’60s. Both she and I learned that where we were most needed was in our own white communities. First, though, we had to learn about ourselves and our unacknowledged privilege and complicity in the racial injustices we longed to change. I hope reading “Carolina’s Blues” can help open the minds of non-Southern readers to the complex and deeply felt ties that bind Southern whites to our homeland. 
Jane Hale, MA ’81, PhD ’84
Marshfield, Massachusetts

Thank you for the article by one of this year’s graduates, who explains why she intends to go home to North Carolina after graduation in spite of her mixed feelings about her identity as a North Carolinian and a Southerner. “Carolina’s Blues” include not just music, but also the sky and the ocean, the Blue Devils and the Tar Heels, and the current political and racial unease in the state. 

She credits a CNN contributor with advising her to take what she learned at Stanford as a major in African and African American Studies and put it to use for the sake of justice and equality in her own community back home. Her bold ambition is to work in the nonprofit sector and eventually in politics because she believes “policymaking needs more race-conscious activists.” And how! That’s my totally nonacademic response. 

I say, come on, Kristen Powers. We need you and we need you now. Many challenges await you, but so do the rocking chairs at Maple View Ice Cream. Welcome home! 
Ellen H. Baer, MA ’73
Durham, North Carolina

Campus Colors

Thank you for the coloring page in the July/August issue (1000 Words). Until now, I’ve never quite been able to make out the indefinite Biblical scene depicted on the facade of MemChu. Now if I could just find my crayons.
Sharon Fogleman Hockensmith, ’65
McKinney, Texas

Disruptive Sewage

Disruption of the sewage system is something that is long overdue (“Water Pressure,” Farm Report, July/August). Our lives have become surrounded by things that we largely take for granted, including both the water and sewage systems that make our lives possible.

For instance, with a simple turn of a faucet handle, we almost always get reliable, safe water. And after that, with a simple flush, using that same water, our digested food and a lot of other stuff is carried away, out of sight, out of mind.

But it can’t stay that way. We have to start talking about the nexus of water, sewage and energy, and the possible scarcity of all due to drought, population growth and climate change.

Unlike natural and cyclic droughts, the other two stresses on our water and energy resources appear to have an ever-increasing population connection. Population growth, currently at the very heart of our economic viability, uses more water and energy, and only produces once-used water. To the extent that climate change is a reaction to the greater carbon footprint of that same increasing human population, the possibilities for more wet-dry extremes, as well as energy shortages, are probably real.

Fortunately, the dividing line between water and sewage is rapidly disappearing in the interest of total water management, where water supplies are constrained by law or court decisions or limited by drought. We will soon no longer be able to simply “flush and forget,” and we shouldn’t. We have the technology (but not the mind-set to overcome the “yuck” factor) to recycle and reuse our own sewage to augment surface water supplies and recharge groundwater basins. This is the most reliable of all possible sources of supplemental water, unaffected by and immune from climate change, and it grows with the population! It is the quantity and quality of water produced that is important, not its history.

And, as we rebuild, replace and improve our aging sewage treatment plants, let’s rename them as what they really are and can be: resource recovery plants.
Ralph Wagner, ’52
Lake Arrowhead, California

Mighty Miniatures

The “Ant-Inspired” article was certainly interesting, but [the tiny robots’ strength] seemed beyond belief (Farm Report, July/August). Wasn’t it all against physics and logic? If it was true, was the Chevy on a sloped concrete floor?
Jean Kay, ’55
San Rafael, California

Assault Case

“A former Stanford student and varsity swimmer. . . .” Why has every story on this matter—whether in Stanford magazine (“Assault Case Sparks Outcry,” Farm Report, July/August) or elsewhere in the media—started with this line? Why not cite his academic major or residence hall or astrological sign or eye color? Does the fact that he was on the swim team have anything to do with the case? Are we to draw the conclusion that everyone—but especially women, I guess—should be wary of swimmers?
Kirk Schumacher, ’71
Richmond, California

This account ignores the basic fact that the perpetrator, 19 years old and at an on-campus event, was intensely drunk. Stanford’s response turns, as always, a blind eye on this aspect.

Is the university doing anything to address its minor students’ drinking on campus? Obviously it is an established custom, but it is illegal. Why does the university continue to wink at it, and not even address it in this situation?

Who bought the alcohol? Who permitted it being served, in such excess, to Turner and a score or more other underage students and their friends? In a bar, Turner would not have been served or would have been cut off when he was much less drunk than he obviously was. A bartender would also have been obliged to cut off the victim, who was passed out drunk. How many other guests were equally drunk? How many of them drove afterwards? Is the host fraternity Kappa Alpha bearing any responsibility? 

The university does not seem to be worried about any of that. But (thank goodness) Turner will not “set foot” on the campus again.

The sexual assault element of this case is hugely important, and the university is right to address it vigorously. But the university errs in utterly ignoring the underlying cause, possibly because it is so endemic and has gone on for generations. Its reaction to this situation is embarrassing.
Nancy Wilson, ’59
Kentfield, California

Regarding the recent case of Brock Turner and Emily Doe: I am writing with a heart full of compassion for the survivor, anguish that so many students and alumni have experienced sexual assault, frustration at the lack of justice in our criminal justice system, a deep love for Stanford, and an urgent desire to share with the alumni community some of the positive, proactive work being done on campus not only to prevent incidents of sexual violence, but also to create the cultural transformation we as a society critically need.

Since its inception, Stanford has been dedicated to finding solutions to big challenges and to preparing students for leadership in a complex world. It is imperative that we address the complex issues of student well-being and sexual violence with the same conviction. As an alumna and a current staff member at the Stanford Women’s Community Center, working primarily with undergraduates on issues of gender equity and social justice, I offer a glimmer of hope: Stanford has programs under way seeking to do just this. These programs are aimed to raise awareness of diversity, foster intentionality around decision-making, draw attention to how we build our communities, and develop the skills for how we will create a culture that respects and cares for all people. They have been developed with great thoughtfulness and coordination, in a true student and administrative partnership. 

I invite you to visit to learn more about these programs and to feel free to reach out to me with questions. We certainly have more to do, and yet it gives me hope that the university is taking bold, tangible steps toward necessary change. Together, we are working to create the world we want to live in—at Stanford and beyond.
Marta Hanson, ’11
Assistant Dean & Associate Director 
Stanford Women’s Community Center

Dangerous Decision

I was deeply disappointed in Stanford when I read “Trustees Say No to Divestment” (Farm Report, July/August). If those in power do not act, the next generation, including my son, Wyatt (a toddler), and daughter, Cora (a baby), will face a world of man-made climate disaster, floods, droughts, social upheaval and millions if not billions of people displaced. Stanford controls billions of dollars in its endowment, and right now it is placing a bet on the destruction of our planet.

The Board of Trustees is willfully ignoring the universally supported science that shows the risk of catastrophic climate change is very real and that we must rapidly transition away from fossil fuels. I was 8 years old when NASA’s James Hansen told Congress “it’s time to stop waffling” about climate change. I’ve devoted my work to developing renewable energy and other climate solutions, and I’ve waited to see real leadership from those in power.

Outgoing President John Hennessy wrote in the magazine’s May/June issue (“The Mission That Drives Us”) that Stanford is focused on the “education of future leaders” and that he assesses opportunities by asking if they “contribute to improving the world beyond our campus.” Stanford has power; Stanford has money. I’m still waiting to see if it can lead.
Benjamin Patton, ’03
Redwood City, California

In April, the Stanford Board of Trustees announced its decision not to divest from the oil and gas industries, placing itself squarely on the wrong side of history. The logic used to justify the decision is not only deeply flawed, but also highly dangerous.

That logic is summarized in a quote from the BOT’s press release: “The trustees do not believe that a credible case can be made for divesting from the fossil fuel industry until there are competitive and readily available alternatives.” The statement goes on to tout Stanford’s work on developing these alternatives.

Implicit in this rhetoric is the assumption that alternatives to fossil fuels are not ready and that additional R&D is required to develop them. This assumption is false. The precipitous drop in the cost of solar, wind, batteries and other clean technologies has made them competitive with fossil fuels.

We do not need to wait for better technologies, nor can we afford to wait. In order to limit warming to 2 degrees C, developed countries must decrease their emissions by 80 percent by 2050. Since energy technologies take decades to develop, test and deploy at scale, the 2050 goal must be achieved primarily with existing technologies.

Stanford should continue to pursue pioneering basic and applied energy research; however, the BOT is wrong to believe that such research is necessary or sufficient to tackle climate change. This belief is dangerous because it distorts the priorities of policymakers and investors.

The Stanford BOT as individuals and as an institution exerts influence well beyond the Stanford community. As such, the board members should not only reconsider their decision on divestment, but should also ensure that their actions reflect the reality that renewables are ready to be deployed at scale.
Graham Provost, ’13, MS ’14
San Carlos, California

My son is graduating from Stanford this June with a degree in mechanical engineering. I am so disappointed to hear about the Board of Trustees’ decision regarding fossil fuel divestiture [that] it will be difficult for me to take pride in my son’s accomplishments and the role Stanford has played in his achievements. I have to wonder how many of Stanford’s trustees have a degree in science, or have read much about climate change and global warming. Unfortunately, my son was not required to learn about the outlook he faces over the next 30 to 40 years due to global warming, loss of access to natural resources we depend on and flooding of some of our major cities, never mind what is predicted beyond that time period based on the latest science. Nor has he been trained in the scientific method at Stanford. 

As a psychologist, I understand how difficult it is to acknowledge the gravity of the outlook we face, and I understand that we have still not substantially acted on this information, due in no small part to our having been lied to for many years by Exxon and other oil industry giants in a very successful mass-marketing campaign. But it is terribly disappointing to see the trustees conclude that because “oil and gas are integral parts of our economy,” funding these industries should be continued. Just one obvious reason that their conclusion is naive is that we could be investing that same money in renewable energy and likely see a higher profit than by continuing to invest in oil and fossil fuels. 

As the fuel becomes harder to reach and process, and the cost of doing so continues to increase, the cost in energy required to harvest the fuel will soon outweigh the energy it will provide. When that happens, as it has already begun to in the natural gas sector, fossil fuel companies will lose money and eventually go out of business—but at that point there will no longer be any means of replacing its “integral part in the economy” with renewable energy substitutes. Whoops—and so goes that portion of the Stanford endowment left invested in the fossil fuel industries, along with our chance to replace it!

Most of us want to deny that many of our children will not live normal lives to their natural ends. But I would expect more from an academic institution like Stanford in terms of its ability to face these realities with honor and honesty, and with a firm belief in and reliance on science and the scientific method. If trustees sought advice from their own scientists in this field and could accept our dim future outlook, then every decision they made for the university and the future of our children would be wiser and more fruitful.

Divestiture will necessitate huge changes in the way we live, and students who are part of this movement are willing to face those uncertainties, those inconveniences and hardships because they also understand that without divestiture, the outcome for them eventually will be dreadful. And they will remember the untrustworthiness of their trustees if the board continues to foolhardily attempt to maintain an unsustainable status quo. 
Kim Kendall
Mercer Island, Washington

The decision to keep fossil fuel as a Stanford investment is a mistake. We see the impact of climate change every day, and we are very concerned over its impact on the livelihood of future generations. It is going to be a bad investment, as oil will lose value as solar energy technologies improve.
Joseph Ng, MA ’74
Los Altos Hills, California 

I am dismayed—in a vast, tragic way—by word that the trustees have voted not to divest from the oil and gas industries. If not you now, who ever?

I have spent much of the past two years fighting against Kinder Morgan’s proposed fracked gas pipelines through my state of Massachusetts. In one of the many community forums offered by KM that I attended, their “air quality guy” proclaimed that methane is harmless. It simply rises and dissipates. (State troopers, by the way, had been called in for this meeting in a town of 900 people.) When we suggested that it has been shown to be one of the most potent greenhouse gasses to affect climate change, he said, “What does climate change have to do with you here?” Perhaps Stanford is suffering from a similar variety of compartmentalized thinking.

I walked across the country two years ago to speak with communities about climate change and to learn from front-line communities and sacrifice zones about their ongoing struggles. They are everywhere.

Some of my friends from this march continue to fight the proposed Bakken pipeline through Iowa, where landowners were told it was a done deal and therefore they should hand over their family farms because what else are you going to do about it? Continued support of the fossil fuel industry is not inevitable. It signifies a lack of imagination and effort, and a willingness to participate in grand acts of violence often because of their apparent remoteness.

Stanford seems to be taking guidance from similar money-as-life influences rather than listening to the collective voices of the people most directly affected by fossil fuel industry contamination and abuses. Some call it neoliberalism, which I have come to learn means double-standard hypocrisy: making others live in conditions you would not accept for the sake of your own comfort and convenience.

The university’s support of extraction and the commodification of place is diametrically opposed to what feeds the soul and the intellect the most deeply for the long haul. We need Stanford to be a leader, to think beyond the status quo, and to not only reenvision a saner future but also to enact it.

I’m sure you’ve heard it all. Nonetheless, one more small voice begs you to reconsider your course without delay.
Shira Wohlberg, ’92, MA ’93
Williamstown, Massachusetts

The trustees are to be congratulated for divesting from coal, though this is a bit late in the day, since Peabody Energy and others are already bankrupt. The board states that so long as “oil and gas remain integral components of the global economy,” Stanford will continue to resist pressure to divest from other fossil fuel companies such as ExxonMobil.

In this age of smartphones, are they the dinosaurs? What investments are the trustees making in smart energy?
Linda Murrell Agerbak, ’58
Arlington, Massachusetts

It is sad to learn that the Board of Trustees sees fit to “support the university and its students in perpetuity” by investing in destabilizing those students’ climate.

The trustees seem to care. In their April 25 statement they note that “Climate change is among the most serious challenges of our time,” and list nearly a billion dollars in teaching, research and campus operation efforts to reduce fossil fuel use. But they will keep investing in development of those fuels for no reason but that they exist, and despite recognizing that the context in which they were purchased has changed and that they feed climate change. Stanford is exhibiting a classic, sad and harmful case of institutional lethargy.

The oil and gas industry expects to grow steadily, from current consumption of 96 million barrels/day to 109 million barrels/day in 2035. Meanwhile, as the world warms, the board wants to wait to divest until alternative fuels are widely available. It’s a nice idea, but delay compounds the catastrophe, and Stanford’s holdings of, say, $3 billion in oil and gas are not going to instantly crush the multitrillion-dollar industry. Their divestment, however, could spur the development of the fuel and lifestyle alternatives that will reduce climate change.

Yes, the trustees seem to care about their investment decision. They’re just catastrophically wrong. Until they find a better course, Stanford donors should know that contributions put into the board’s hands undermine the futures of the students they are meant
to help.
Dan Greaney, ’79
Redding, California

Paying for Plastics

The SAGE column (“Biodegradable Products,” Online Exclusives, July/August) correctly stresses the primary imperative to reduce plastic use of any type, biodegradable or not. It’s at the checkout counters where the shopper can make a real difference. 

Retailers have long opposed moves to ban plastic bags or directly charge the consumer for their use for fear of being abandoned for stores that offer bags at no extra charge. However, the hidden cost of plastic bags is recouped by imposing higher grocery prices, which in turn are borne by all shoppers, including those who avoid single-use plastic bags. We pay for our profligate and unthinking plastic bag consumption in the additional cost of goods. 

Banning or charging for plastic bags at the checkout counter disentangles us from having to subsidize the unrestrained plastic bag use of others, and could offer relief for both the environment and our wallets.
Joseph Ting
Brisbane, Australia


I am disgusted that you published Roderick Hall’s letter containing the argument that “missions brought Christianity, education, laws and modern agricultural methods to backward indigenous peoples” (“Naming Names,” July/August). Is it your policy to publish every letter you receive regardless of hateful speech?
Caitlin Smith Sayegh, ’09
Los Angeles, California

Thank You

Your magazine has published many well-deserved tributes to our outgoing president (“Where He Took Us,” May/June). Please allow one additional note of thanks. President Hennessy hosted the first Leading Matters conference in Singapore in 2010. He subsequently described our city-state as “a technologically advanced, very cosmopolitan city with a vibrant Stanford community,” which “shares Stanford’s passion for innovation.” The Singapore event “was our most international event ever, attended by alumni and parents from nine countries.” We fervently hope that Singapore becomes a regular stop for future Stanford events and continues to build on Hennessy’s vision. Our nation’s passion for innovation is exceeded only by its commitment to lifelong learning and high-quality education. 
John Driscoll, ’76

‘We Are All Flawed’

I was dismayed that some students are asking for the removal of Junipero Serra’s name from various Stanford buildings (“What’s in a Name?” Farm Report, May/June). He is accused of having “subjugated indigenous communities.” As I understand it, his primary motivation for journeying thousands of miles to found the missions in California was to give to these indigenous communities what he held dearest, namely his Christian faith. Even if you think that this gift had no real value, you should admire his commitment and self-sacrifice.

The article states that many of the older names on campus were chosen to commemorate historical figures, “not all of them with unblemished records.” If that is the criterion for naming, I suggest that we eliminate the names of all persons from all buildings (not to mention the university), as we are all flawed humans.
Ronald Bailey, ’66
Dilsen-Stokkem, Belgium

The following did not appear in the print version of Stanford.

Naming Names

I was disappointed that you did not include “Alternate Names for Stanford Landmarks” (“17 Lists You've Never Seen Before,” July/August). Why so controversial?

I can think of three: Mem Chu for Memorial Church, Hoo Tow for Hoover Tower, and my favorite, Mem Claw for the Tresidder fountain.

Surely there are many more. Please help me continue my Stanford education!
Bradley Price, ’69
Austin, Texas


“I want to lead more white Southerners to become allies in racial justice movements, such as Black Lives Matter," says Kristen Powers, ’16 (“Carolina's Blues,” Student Voice, July/August). Is this a young lady who subscribes to the chant “Kill Cops Now” or something resembling that?  What has Stanford raised, educated, graduated in this young child? Why not “I want to lead more black and white Southerners to become allies,” at a minimum? Also, while advancing the BLM movement, why doesn’t she denounce the movement’s racist chants? Should she not admit that BLM is one of the most racially divisive movements on Earth today? 
Major F. Gates, Gr. ’63
El Granada, California


My issue arrived a couple of days ago. After browsing the table of contents and reading your column (“Feeling Listless?” First Impressions, July/August), I had to read the remainder of the magazine. I found it to be one of the best. Thank you for all you have done for the publication.
Joe Zukin, ’49
Sebastopol, California


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