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“Prohibition,” “Word up,” “Networking,” “Field notes,” “The globe teaches,” “Looking swell,” “Another side,” “Required reading,” “Game plan,” “Open source,” “The view,” “First things,” “Sports tectonics,” “History lessons”
Re “First Sight” by Ben Birnbaum and Seth Meehan (Winter 2013): As a freshman in spring 1966, I was given an independent study project to read and report on Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables in the original French. Boston College had a copy, but, because the book was on the Index Liborum Prohibitorum, it was hidden away in the “cage” in the basement of Bapst Library. My professor had to follow the complex procedure described in the article to get it released to me. I vividly remember being admitted into the locked cage to retrieve the book, with a librarian at my side to make sure I didn’t read any other “condemned” literature.
Re “Game On” (Winter 2013): I enjoyed the crossword puzzle and applaud the coup in landing Michael Dewey ’91 to write it. I’ve been a fan of his puzzles through the newspapers.
East Longmeadow, Massachusetts
In “Vox Populi” (Winter 2013), Sam Sawyer, SJ, points to the CARA survey in observing that young adults are unaware of the Catholic presence on the Web. Having taught undergraduates for 15 years, I can assure parents and mentors that students (at least those I teach) are deeply interested in religious questions. I wonder whether parents and teachers are in the habit of pointing the younger generation to high-level Catholic perspectives online, the way an older generation might have passed along a paper copy of America, Commonweal, or First Things to their children or grandchildren.
One of my goals in teaching is to help students to develop skills for navigating the information age, including the ability to understand the difference between informed judgment and knee-jerk opinion. Catholics have been negotiating that difference for a long time; the Internet is but the latest forum.
Special Assistant to the Vice President for University Mission and Ministry
The letter from Bill Bond ’52 (Winter 2013) concerning Lou Montgomery ’41 states that the football team played Georgetown in the 1941 Sugar Bowl for the National Championship. My memory is that the opponent was the University of Tennessee.
To settle the question, BCM consulted Boston College sports historian Reid Oslin ’68, MSW’71.
“Boston College did indeed play Tennessee in the January 1, 1941, Sugar Bowl game,” Oslin responded. “It beat the Vols 19–16 on a late-game 24-yard touchdown run by All-America halfback ‘Chuckin Charlie’ O’Rourke ’41.”
Oslin continued: “On November 16, 1940, O’Rourke also made a critical play in Boston College’s 19–18 football victory over Georgetown at Fenway Park. In the final minute, with the Eagles holding a 19–16 edge, Boston College was forced to punt from their own nine-yard line. O’Rourke took the snap, avoided would-be tacklers, and intentionally downed the ball in the endzone for a safety. The play gave the Hoyas two points, but it enabled Boston College to safely punt the ball on a free kick as the game clock expired.”
“One other note,” wrote Oslin. “Boston College retired Montgomery’s jersey last fall—not his number. The only two retired numbers are Doug Flutie’s 22 and Mike Ruth’s 68.”
Studies of such scope as the TIMSS and PIRLS surveys (“Scorekeepers,” Fall 2012) speak to Boston College’s leadership not only in the American education community but abroad as well. As a social studies teacher at a Jesuit high school, I’m proud BC is gathering data that will help countries improve their education systems to meet the needs of their students.
“Pal,” Brian Doyle’s Fall 2012 story of his brief encounter with the Dalai Lama, reminds me of a piece of University of Wisconsin lore.
When the Dalai Lama visited Madison, the school band met him at the airport with a rendition of “Hello Dolly.” It was a gutsy move that would either really work or really bomb. The Incarnation of Buddha smiled from ear to ear.
James P. McIntyre Professor of Economics
Re “On Authority,” by Richard Gaillardetz (Fall 2012): When Catholic theologians—including Catholic theologians at Jesuit universities—not only fail to embrace but even publicly repudiate doctrines that have been definitively pronounced, it seems a bit one-sided. If there has been a failure of proper “epistemological duality,” the most egregious faults in recent times have been committed by theologians.
Director, Pontifical Paul VI Institute of Catechetical and Pastoral Studies
St. Louis, Missouri
Every incoming freshman should have a copy of Dan Barry’s “Reduction” (Fall 2012) placed among his/her orientation papers. Also, I would give each incoming freshman a jar of olives. (Read the piece.)
Saint Louis, Missouri
Re “Sophomore Year,” by Dave Denison (Fall 2012): I’m happy to see that Boston College has invested in a coach who values character, academics, and leadership in student athletes. However, the ACC is a tough conference to win when you must play Duke, UNC, Florida State, and the like. Do you want to see a sold-out Conte Forum? Score a lot of points and win all your games in Chestnut Hill (and, please, don’t lose to Harvard or Bryant ever again). And play defense. Defense wins championships.
Fintan O’Toole’s Summer 2012 essay, “Under Age,” illustrates the significance of the work done on the Yeats archive by Ph.D. candidate Dathalinn O’Dea and associate professor of English Marjorie Howes. The article shows how valuable it can be to make authors’ papers available.
Department of English
Re “Park Place” (Fall 2012): The reconstruction of the brick and concrete wasteland in front of O’Neill Library into a park has given the school a new useable space. In light of this improvement, I do not understand Boston College’s support for a redesigned Green Line MBTA stop on Lake Street. It will detract from St. Ignatius Church, a beautiful and prominent edifice that serves as the practical and symbolic entrance to the campus.
Tom Crowley ’83
Re “Medalist,” by Harvard University president Drew Gilpin Faust (Fall 2012): President Faust’s lecture commemorating Boston College’s 150 years was inspiring, recalling this University’s accomplishments and encouraging its efforts to educate not only for technological expertise but also for “empathy.” Faust spoke of celebrating Boston College’s “commitment to scholarship, justice, and service.” St. Ignatius would have smiled even more broadly had he heard “commitment to Church.” That surely is needed “as urgently” as it was 150 years ago.
Ridgewood, New York
“Digest” in Fall 2012 notes the “geographically perturbing news” that Notre Dame has recently joined the Atlantic Coast Conference. True enough. But let’s not forget that Boston College was no slacker in pursuing the megabucks when it bolted the Big East for the ACC. Now, of course, the Big East is a geographical Frankenstein, cobbled together out of higher-education body parts from around the country. Boston College’s contribution to that process is not a chapter in my alma mater’s history that I am proud of.
On February 8, the Boston College community lost one of its greats, history professor Thomas W. Perry. Tom wove music, poetry, and art into his lectures, and as a result I left his class with a love of British history (no small feat for a first-generation Irish American). More important, I made a good friend.
Michael A. Duffy ’96
Editor’s notes: In the Fall 2012 issue, “Presences” featured photos of individuals who made foundational contributions at this University in the 20th century. Page 18 showed three of the first lay trustees, including Giles E. Mosher, Jr. ’55. BCM has learned of Mr. Mosher’s death, on February 12, at the age of 80. He served as a trustee from 1972 to 1978 and as a trustee associate from 1981 to 2008. A former chief executive of BayBank and vice chairman of Bank of America, Mr. Mosher joined the Board during a period of financial turmoil. “At the time of our greatest vulnerability, he was our chief banker,” said University Chancellor J. Donald Monan, SJ.
In the caption on page 21 of “First Sight,” in the Winter 2013 issue, Joseph Ziegler, SJ, is described as wearing a “cap.” The cap has a name. It is the three-cornered biretta traditionally worn by clerics.