Letters to the editor

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Author: Readers

Father Malloy’s presidency

In “The Pastoral Presidency of Monk Malloy,” I believe one line was left out of the sidebar table of information entitled “Measuring Up.” That would be the cost of tuition. Even with the increase in financial aid awarded, is Notre Dame still within the reach of the middle class where so many of my classmates came from when I attended the University?

Russ Wyborski ‘83
Ann Arbor, Michigan

I was a senior faculty member in Notre Dame’s College of Engineering for 10 years, retiring in 2001. I cannot say that Father Malloy has not stepped forward from time to time as a true leader, willing to open himself to very vocal criticism for the sake of what he believed the mission of the University should include. But many important controversies that the Notre Dame family struggled with during my time at Notre Dame received no leadership. One example of this is the question over Notre Dame’s primary goal: Should it strive to be “a great Catholic university” or “a great university that is Catholic”? To my knowledge, Father Malloy has never stepped forward and unequivocally made a choice between the two options.

Steven C. Bass
Saint John, U.S. Virgin Islands

Father Malloy has done a great job and deserves all the praise. Unfortunately, it appears that he is being moved out because something is wrong at the University. Something is wrong, but it started long before Monk, and he either did not recognize the problem or was unable to do anything about it.

It all started with Father Theodore Hesburgh, CSC, and the 1967 Land O’ Lakes statement, which basically said that no bishop, not even the pope, would interfere with academic freedom at these Catholic institutions. Today the mandate that is required by the Church to teach theology is being ignored. We now have academic excellence, a place where wealthy parents can send their very smart sons and daughters, a place where the faculty need not be Catholic, and a place where the football team need not win. Cheer, cheer for old academic freedom.

Tom Wich ’63
Clarendon Hills, Illinois

A son’s war

Tom McMahon’s account of his son in harm’s way in Kosovo and Iraq (“A Family at War”) is a heartrending display of parental love. It also reveals, starkly, that the U.S. Bishops’ pastoral letter, The Challenge of Peace_, and John Paul II’s repeated condemnations of the Iraq war have not penetrated American Catholic culture. Nowhere in the piece is there any concern about the moral legitimacy of a pre-emptive war of aggression that has taken 100,000 Iraqi lives and wounded, maimed or subjected to depleted uranium contamination at least a million more.

_William H. Slavick ’49
Portland, Maine

Party invitations

I was appalled to read that the Notre Dame College Republicans refused to support voter registration efforts that included posting voter registration and Election Day information on South Bend buses before the November election (Seen and Heard, winter 2004-05). The stated rationale—that such information might encourage bus riders, presumed to be poor and working class, to vote and presumably to vote for Democrats—smacks of the voter suppression efforts that the Republican Party has been accused of in Ohio and Florida, among other places.

Instead of expressing confidence that their party could triumph based on the merits of its policy positions, the College Republicans preferred to withhold basic information about exercising one’s right to vote. They have a bright future in their party.

Tim Vercellotti ’83_
_Durham, North Carolina

Walter Poirier

As a U.S. Peace Corps veteran, I was saddened to learn of the plight of Walter Poirier ’00 (“Into Thin Air”). When incidents like this occur, sound organization requires that both pre-service training and in-country support be carefully examined with an eye toward improvement, even security. What has not changed in the 40-plus years since I served in the Peace Corps is my opinion of its value: the best bang for the overseas buck in the U.S. budget then or now, thanks to a dedicated corps of volunteers.

Michael E. O’Donnell
Wise, Virginia_

Although Wally Poirier graduated before I entered Notre Dame and the hallowed halls of Zahm, from what others have said of him I think David Devine ‘94 fully captured his spirit. Devine’s centering on stories was beautifully crafted. Wally will always live on through stories; that is how we all survive. It is comforting to know that as long as one remembers the stories and retells them, those special people and moments that defined our existence at Our Lady’s university will never be forgotten.

Robert Hutchison ‘03_
Saint Louis

Emil T.

I read your article ("Determination, ’Dad’ helped alumna succeed") about Lena Jefferson ’90 and Dr. Emil T. Hofman with great emotion. I have always greatly admired Dr. Hofman for his concern for his students and all freshmen. I am reminded of these lines I once wrote as an 18-year-old freshman:

God made the ocean,

God made the sea,

But best of all,

He made Emil T.

Paul Coppola ’78
Washington, D.C
.

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