Does money always have to tarnish?Hats off to William...

the Forum

June 12, 1991

Does money always have to tarnish?

Hats off to William Desmond for his rebuttal to "The calls of Ivy" (June 4). Not only do I agree with his decision to choose Loyola College over Harvard, but I also believe he defended his essay very nicely. Does money always have to tarnish even the most honest issues? Mr. Desmond feels that the ivies are not the best place for him to continue his education and has simply stated why.

Are we so incredulous over this decision that we have to search for surreptitious reasons to justify the choice? The prestige of attending an Ivy League school is certainly impressive to some, but I'm not sure the education is any better, and Mr. Desmond has had the insight and courage to state so.

Further, when Marge Mitchell says she is proud that her son, Chris, was accepted to Harvard because he is an "example of a public school student 'reaching for the stars,'" I would like to know exactly what she means. Does she equate "the stars" with the $20,000-plus tuition and room and board the name schools charge, or does she mean the unrealistically inflated salaries many students earn upon graduation (again the tarnishment of money).

Could "reaching for the stars" simply signify a level of maturity that allows for inner peace, joy and contentment, no matter what financial conditions exist? And isn't it possible that those same "stars" to which Mrs. Mitchell refers sometimes get in our eyes and cloud our vision?

I encourage Mr. Desmond to rise above this whole issue and seek his stars in Jenkins Hall or the Donnelly Science Building on Charles Street. His integrity is a testimony to his parents, Loyola High School and eventually will be to Loyola College.

Susan C. Euker

Phoenix

As a daily reader of The Evening Sun and the New York Times, I've followed William Desmond's story with admiration. He's the young man who had the pleasure - and audacity - to refuse admission to the august Harvard for a place in the freshman class of our own home-grown Loyola. (Other Voices, May 21, "Tell Harvard I'm not home")

On June 4, Desmond took [Other Voices editor] Mike Bowler to task for having printed subsequent information that was not revealed in his excellent May 21 column. To wit, Desmond, as the child of two Loyola faculty members, will receive free tuition there.

To this reader, Bowler's follow-up, "The calls of Ivy" (Other voices, May 31), seemed empathetic to Desmond's situation. In all fairness, financial considerations rank high among the factors in students' decisions about which college to attend. Perhaps, too, Desmond's parents may have wanted him to continue his fine Jesuit education.

On the other hand, a letter to the editor, which appeared a few days after the New York Times ran Desmond's original column, read as if one of the institutions in question had contacted an alum to write a response. Since Desmond's mother was interviewed and quoted by the Times soon after her son's piece appeared, the sequence of events may have been manipulated. This sort of thing sometimes happens when one assails "augustness" by just saying "no."

William Desmond need not be defensive about his decision. He cannot be "tarnished." His abilities shine ` on their own merit. "August" is not for everybody, and Desmond will assuredly continue to thrive in the Loyola environment. The teaching there is superlative.

Susan C. Broadbent

Baltimore

Happy shows

The winning of a Tony Award by "The Will Rogers Follies" over "Miss Saigon" as the year's best musical may augur future deeds which will return the supremacy in that field to the United States.

The "Will Rogers Follies" presents a cheerful musical based on that great American humorist's appearances in the Ziegfeld Follies.

By contrast, "Miss Saigon" is a negative presentation of the last days of the Vietnam War.

Broadway needs more happy American shows and less gloomy, confrontational, imported ones.

JTC Joseph Saffron

Baltimore

Say it ain't so

A news item reports that Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf has been asked to be one of the judges at this year's Miss America Pageant, and so far, he has not turned down the offer.

It is a time-honored practice in this country for our public figures to turn their fame into big bucks once their day in the sun is over. Jerry Ford and Ronald Reagan both parlayed their stints in the White House into untold millions.

However, the thought of "Stormin' Norman" judging the mother of all beauty pageants severely tests my nausea tolerance. Will he wear his desert camouflage uniform? Will he ask Miss Iowa to do her latest baton twirling routine? Will he ask Miss Utah how she intends to serve humankind once her reign is over or perhaps her opinion of the philosophy of Albert Camus?

It is just too mind boggling to me. I keep hoping I am having a nightmare, but alas, is all too real. Say it ain't so, general.

Robert L. Paris

Baltimore

Regression

The Supreme Court has outlawed abortion counseling. This legislation infringes on our constitutional rights. In this day and age, the aged judges should have been more progressive and less regressive. Their ruling will create a backward step for the female population.

To all of the learned jurists may we suggest: "It is difficult to enforce a law that does not embody public opinion.''

Joseph Lerner

Baltimore

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