Error perpetuates stereotype

I was happy to see, in the Spring 2000 article on Alumnae Regional Scholars, the recognition of ARS funding that one of our majors, Anneliese Butler '01 received for her studies at the South East Asian Studies Summer Institute (SEASSI). I would like to add that Anneliese was funded by the Bryn Mawr anthropology department as well for this summer of language study. My wife, Janice Newberry, I, and my daughter, Ana, did not, however, delay our plans to go to Indonesia because of political unrest as reported in the story. In fact I did go on my own and received funds from the College to do so. Janice and Ana had to stay behind for unrelated reasons. I am writing to you because representing Indonesia's "political unrest" as the reason for our not going does injustice to any distant understanding of Indonesia in ways that are stereotypical—chaotic Third World countries always in some kind of revolution or another.

—Steve Ferzacca, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Bryn Mawr College

Editor's note: Anthropologist Janice Newberry is Coordinator for Undergraduate Internships and Research Activities at Bryn Mawr and acting assistant undergraduate dean.

McBride Scholars

What a pleasure to open a new issue of the Alumnae Bulletin! Increasingly over the last two or three years, personal stories in original voices are touching and riveting. The McBride Scholars are the most recent example of your excellent work. Keep it up! I have sent issues of the magazine on to other writers who have been similarly impressed.

—Susan Orr Braudy '63

Twenty-plus years after my graduation, this month was first time that I read the Alumnae Bulletin COVER TO COVER. I was riveted by the stories of the McBride Scholars. Their sensitivity, curiosity and depth grabbed my imagination-causing me to wonder how much more I might have gotten from my wonderful education, had I only had the maturity to soak it all up!

I was especially inspired by the attention the women you featured had obviously paid to their spiritual and emotional lives, in addition to the development of their minds. Again, it seems to be a reflection of the difference between who we "traditional" students were at 18, vs. who we have all become in mid-life and beyond.

Thank you, Bryn Mawr, for having the insight to reach beyond the traditional mold to recruit people whose contributions to the world-and to the school-are so clear. Please, help the program grow-and help the rest of us alums find ways to make relationships with these "non-traditional" students who are both our chronological peers and our teachers.

—Amanda Trosten-Bloom '79

P.S. How I wish I'd known about the labyrinth when I visited the campus last year!!!!

How very much I enjoyed "Steps on the Way," with the six articles by and re the McBrides! What a fabulous idea. I am so proud of us!!

—Margery Richardson Claghorn '46

Thank you so much for the issue on the McBride Scholars. In 1965, Bryn Mawr admitted its first group of adult learners. Most of them were students who had previously attended one of the Seven Sister schools and who required a year or so for completion of their degrees. Two of us had had relatively little college level work and we were in a way, an experiment, something we were very aware of, and we were determined to prove that we could do it so that others would be able to follow us.

Bryn Mawr accepted me when virtually no other school in the greater Philadelphia area would take us. I had tried Temple University, where they told me I could come at night, which would have meant leaving my children alone at exactly the time when I needed to be there; The University of Pennsylvania, which apparently lost my application; The Pennsylvania Academy; and the Tyler School of Art, where they told me that I was too old to be molded by them and anyway, I wouldn't fill a place in the dorms. I was then 35 years old.

Bryn Mawr accepted me without questions about a rusty brain and with the expectation that I would succeed. Bryn Mawr changed my life. Bryn Mawr helped me get a fellowship to graduate school and Bryn Mawr turned me into a thinking, creative scholar. I not only finished my degree in three years but went on to earn a Ph.D.

For more than 20 years I worked as a museum curator and adjunct University lecturer. When I retired, I joined the faculty of the MFA program at Vermont College of Norwich University. An innovative long distance learning program in which I teach adult learners who come from all over the world and who are the most motivated students I have ever taught. I also resumed my studio practice and am now a photographer and digital artist.

Without Bryn Mawr, none of this would have been possible.

Please accept my small contribution to the McBride endowment and thank you for making it possible for me to lead a continuing productive life.

—Nina Parris '68

Magazine for the thinking mind

Even though I receive far too many newpapers and magazines for my own good, the Alumnae Bulletin gets my attention every time. Its eye-catching cover art and frequently offbeat choice of cover story, the news of the College, the notes on books and the notes on classes always draw me in.

In a print world that increasingly panders to the short attention span by the use of television-like formats, I'd like you to know that there is certainly a place in this BrynMawr alumna's world for a magazine that appeals to the thinking mind. Keep up the good work!

—Stephanie Tramdack Cash '72

We welcome letters expressing a range of opinions on issues addressed in the magazine. Letters must be signed in order to be considered for publication. We may edit letters for accuracy, length and civility.

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