Bob SteckThank you for writing such a thoughtful tribute to Bob Steck, true to his activism and political engagement.

I will always be grateful for our time spent with him in the classroom – what a wonderful professor and friend. A true champion of philosophy and liberal arts education, he also made the best fettuccine 
carbonara that was ever served at the CC Cabin!

Gerrit Conover ’08

Wow!!!! Just went through your latest issue…
A-maaaaazing!!! Gorgeous/rich loaded with goodies.

Maybe next time I go to school I should pay close attention to class and less to the amount of ice time 
I was getting. Congrats.

Red Klashman 76

CC_BUL-August-CoverPhoto-GardensBee-2015When we received our issue of the August 2015 Bulletin I was amazed and somewhat shocked to see a brightly colored photograph of the red hot poker (Kniphofia uvaria) on the cover, and the cover title identifying the issue as “The Gardens of Colorado College.” Surely this can’t be correct. This plant, which has been defined over large parts of Australia as an invasive species, and is now escaping cultiva-
tion in California where it is considered a troublesome weed, CC is introducing into Colorado. Once
I got by the cover and continued to read the wide range of topics centering on conservation and developed around sustainability, I was extremely pleased. Even the article describing the work that has gone into the several gardens and outlining the planning that is taking place, demonstrated a work in progress. The Southwest Studies garden actually had its start during one of the Southwest Studies summer institutes in the late 1980s, when Joe Gordon encouraged Dick Beidleman and me to develop a list of native plant species that would do well around Dern House, and describe the ecosystems in which we were conducting our field activities. What fun we had!

As I studied through the article encouraging the need for sustainability, and for all departments to join together and rise to the challenge, I was reminded of the early 1950s when Sir Charles Snow (Lord Snow) described the “Two Cultures” and the scientific revolution. He spoke of the literary intellectuals and scientists as poles apart. He stated that the “gulf of mutual incomprehension” must be crossed if humankind is to survive, and that it was up to education to cause this to happen. It has always seemed to me one of the best places for this to occur is on the liberal arts college campus. At the same time
the Bulletin article only touched on the lost discipline of numeracy, which I consider paramount to survival
for all living systems. The concept of multiple variables, including the calculus, and I would add statistics, are certainly missing links in American education today.

In the 1970s, while I was department chair of biology, I was in Dean George Drake’s office making my case 
to add another botanist to the biology faculty, because we were adding additional sections of Biology 105 each year. George made the mistake of asking me when I thought we would have enough sections of beginning botany to fulfill this need. What an easy question that was! I would be extremely pleased when every student crossing the stage at graduation had completed at least one course in the plant sciences. Certainly today the future of Homo sapiens rests clearly on our need to understand and protect the green plant in a world of limits. Should not every faculty member feel this enthusiasm for his or her discipline?

David Buck '83

David Buck ’83

One other important point strengthens my case for the liberal arts. When I came upon that big smiling
face on page 21, I immediately remembered David Buck ’83. Jane Cauvel and I encouraged every student we could reach to get to know India – the culture, science, the arts, and the religions. If every student would have “taken the bait” and turned out as David has, we would be living in a much better world.

Martha (’70) and I want to join with William “Bro” Adams ’72 and encourage every student, faculty member, and friend who is so fortunate as to be a part of Colorado College, to join with others to give back to the college in every way possible.

Jack Carter

professor emeritus of biology

Editor’s Note: Kyle Larsen, garden specialist at CC, says the red hot poker, or Kniphofia genus, has been featured in the gardens of Colorado College for many years, while not becoming weedy or invasive. It is not listed as an invasive plant genus in Colorado, and various species have been vetted and promoted by the Plant Select program at Colorado State University and are championed by the Denver Botanic Gardens as favorable and drought-tolerant ornamentals for our Western climate.

Reaction to “Hands Up! Don’t Shoot!” essay

After reading the letters from my generation (approximately) I recalled the standing ovation of an exuberant Broadway audience given at the end of a dazzling performance of “Hamilton” last week. I realized that none of those who disapproved of Anusha Kedhar’s choreography at CC could enjoy or understand this hip-hop version of Hamilton’s life where the only white actor was King George.  I felt sorry that their time in college did not help them to avoid becoming out of date bigots. I was reminded of the racism endured during my time at Colorado College.

In September 1956 I arrived at Slocum Hall at 6 a.m. after a bus ride from Santa Fe, New Mexico. I made friends with everyone down the hall and soon thought about joining a fraternity during pledge week. During an interview at the Sigma Chi House I was asked, “Do you have any Negro Blood?” “I don’t know,” I answered. “I’m sorry we cannot pledge you,” was the response.

I grew up a “Spanish American” whose ancestors had arrived in New Mexico as 1704 land grant settlers. My relatives were prominent in government and business. I soon found that all the social life at CC centered around sororities and fraternities.  My mother was a Kappa at Purdue and my Aunt Melita, a Delta Gamma at University of Missouri so I was unaware of possible racial discrimination in Greek societies.

As I was shut out of Greek social circles I made friends and enjoyed activities with other scholarship workers — dishwashers, busboys, and hashers at the dining halls which included athletes and minorities, Africans, Americans, and Canadians. After two years I was ready to quit and join the Army. My grandparents persuaded me to stay. I returned and encouraged by professors Mary Chenoweth, John Paul Darriau, and Bernard Arnest and concentrated on making ambitious art projects which led to my receiving a scholarship to Yale Art School.

After graduation from Yale in the summer of 1965 I went down to Orangeburg, South Carolina to teach art at all black Claflin University. Afterward I joined students recruiting black non-voters in the county to register them at the courthouse. When the registrar refused to register all the crowds who were still waiting inside, we stayed in the courthouse until we were dragged out by police and FBI agents. We spent the night on the floor of the jail comparing experiences. We all were released the next day and we “Northerners” were advised to leave town ASAP.

Since then I have had many experiences working with African-Americans and learning about African-American issues. For the past 25 years I have worked as a visual arts coordinator setting up and supervising art programs in more than 100 NYCHA Community Centers located in the poorest neighborhoods of New York City. As a result I feel quite proud of my alma mater in their efforts to bring Colorado College students up to date on issues of racial bigotry and African-American experiences.

William “Wylie” (aka “Guillermo”) Lucero ’60

Dear CC Bulletin,

Professor Kudhar’s “point of view” that a Missouri police officer committed the racist murder of a surrendering and genteel young black man is inflammatory and provably false.  Many African-American eyewitnesses, the citizens on the grand jury, the state prosecutor, and the Obama/Holder Justice Department disagree with her.

I never advocated censorship.  The CC Bulletin can publish whatever it wants, but facts available to the author and her publisher made clear her damning accusation was libelous, wrong, and unfair. Blood libels historically have been utilized to stir vengeful reactions.  Police officers face enough danger without having people stirred up by false narratives.

Forensic evidence confirmed Ferguson Officer Wilson’s version of events. So did the three autopsies about which Professor Kedhar complained. She omitted that the two extra autopsies were done at the behest of Michael Brown’s family’s legal team and the Obama/Holder Justice Department.

Ferguson rioters chanting “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” burned, looted, and burglarized many businesses, causing millions of dollars in damage.  Officers in uniform have since been ambushed and shot to death by angry black men in New York, Texas, and Illinois.

Is it now wrong to expect scholarship and fairness from Colorado College?  Certain members of the faculty may feel compelled to rally around their colleague, but it would be nice if somebody informed students what really happened on the day Officer Darren Wilson shot dead Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.

Craig Silverman ’78

Editor:  Colorado College Bulletin

Several months ago the Colorado College Bulletin printed an article written by a dance instructor commenting on the Ferguson, Missouri, shooting incident. The author had not read the grand jury transcript, had no personal knowledge of the facts, and possessed no legal credentials for writing the article. Aside from innumerable factual errors and an absence of understanding homicide law, she launched into a rant about the abuse of “black bodies.”

I responded by questioning approval of the faculty and administration in publishing a politicized article written by an unqualified writer and devoid of any reference to Colorado College. That any professor exercising editorial review of the article would have approved this screed in the Bulletin was unthinkable.

The faculty wrote a reply endorsing an entirely different argument than mine by emphasizing the need for civil discourse and exchange of ideas, but would not allow censorship. Apparently the faculty are unaware of the difference between censorship and rebuttal. When you read the CC Bulletin you expect news about professors undertaking a research project, sports activities, campus activities, new and retiring professors, scholarships and subjects indigenous to the college.

The Bulletin offers information to college alumni or friends who want to maintain a relationship with their alma mater. When you read certain periodicals you expect a specific theme. Boeing does not write about airplanes in a fashion magazine. Does a death in a city thousands of miles away causing riots, arson, burglary, looting, and vandalism require inclusion in the Bulletin? A homicide in Ferguson, Missouri, was widely reported internationally, and no one needed any discussion of the subject in the CC Bulletin.

Interesting, that so many faculty members signed a reply worried about censorship but withheld any comment on the evidence or the law written in the CC article. Not a word from the faculty or the author about the arson and related crimes suffered by the residents.  No concession the Department of Justice report confirming absence of any evidence of a civil rights violation the Attorney General slavishly sought but never found.  Does this reluctance suggest an inference of faculty politicization?

The author and the faculty found no evidence of corruption, bribery, deal making, or other civil or criminal acts of misconduct in the grand jury proceedings. The State of Missouri invokes the grand jury to determine whether the prosecutor can file a criminal complaint. The standard of proof for grand jurors is exceedingly low, unlike the standard in criminal trials requiring a unanimous jury verdict and based on evidence proved beyond a reasonable doubt. The State of Missouri delivers into the hands of its citizens an extremely responsible duty as grand jurors — which they performed. Had they indicted the officer the case would have been resolved in a courtroom.  Not in the streets.

Lawrence Waddington ’53