Letters to the Editor

To the Editor: The recent letters by Mr. Whitcomb and Mr. Woodhead ‘54 seemed to mix one good point with a bad case of the alumni flu. When I was in prep school, we had to wear white shirts to dinner, suits and lace-up shoes on Sundays, attend mandatory chapel every day go to three sit-down dining hall meals a day, and wear beanies as new boys the entire fall term. No longer, and many alumni of course are convinced that the “old school” has gone to hell in a handbasket as a result. We even have female students now, yet, in spite of dire warnings, the school has not become a hotbed for lascivious ententes and a breeding ground for unwed mothers. But to confuse these changes with changes in college acceptance rates or the level of academic rigor a school provides is simply silly. Tempus fugit and all that. I am sure that alumni in my day wandered about our campus grumbling about the abolition of stiff collars and mandatory ecclesiastical curricula. No secondary school sends as many students to the Ivy League as it once did, for reasons well-known to most of us. And, based on a review of last year’s results, I would suspect that, terms of the percentage of its students accepted by first-rate universities, Andover is still very much at or very near the “top of the heap.” Throwing balls in the library does seem to be a bit of an abrogation of scholastic decorum, and I am steadfastly against it. There are plenty of places to socialize and exercise at PA. But citing an errant missile as evidence that Ms. Chase is somehow lacking in leadership and standards seems a bit of a stretch, at best. Calling for her early retirement and blaming her for the inevitable process of insitutional evolution and adaptation are as inappropriate as using the reference desk for home plate. Yours sincerely, Burt Kozloff Parent