Freedman says his chemotheraphy is done

by Jason Casell | 11/22/94 6:00am

College President James Freedman announced yesterday that he will not need to undergo more chemotherapy treatments for his non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

His announcement came in the form of a letter to the Dartmouth community that will be distributed to administrators, alumni, professors and students. Freedman also talked about his coming six-month sabbatical in his letter.

Since being diagnosed with cancer last April, Freedman has undergone eight treatments during a six-month span, which concluded in September.

College Spokesman Alex Huppe called the treatment successful "insofar as we can tell."

In his two-page letter, Freedman said, "Several days ago, I was gratified to learn from my physicians that no further chemotherapy is required. They are unable, of course, to guarantee against any eventual recurrence. They will simply have to monitor my status periodically, as they would in any such case."

"I am feeling very well," Freedman said in an interview last night. "My strength is well back, and I feel much stronger than when I was on the chemotherapy."

He would not elaborate further on his medical condition or provide any specific details about the treatment. "I don't think I am going to go beyond the statement," he said.

Huppe said Freedman's condition is "best described as cautiously optimistic."

"It takes years to make a full determination, but he is guarded and cautious," Huppe said. "He has completed his prescribed chemotherapy, and in lay terms 'so far so good.'"

Huppe did not indicate plans for further treatment and said he expects a "lengthy period of monitoring the President's condition."

Freedman stated in his letter, "I have been especially pleased that I have been able to continue to serve as President over the last eight months with little more than the inevitable temporary loss of hair, a curtailment of my travel schedule, and a reduction of evening obligations."

Freedman's letter, which was dated yesterday and addressed to "Dartmouth Friends," will be posted "around campus" in the next few days, Huppe said.

In his letter, Freedman expressed gratitude for "the letters, cards, and other expressions of concern and support that I have received throughout these last eight months ... I cannot tell you how much all of this has meant to Sheba and me, and how much it has helped to fortify and sustain us."

Freedman will begin his scheduled sabbatical Jan. 1 and according to the letter "will continue to participate in the Will to Excel Capital Campaign, and will participate in the selection of new deans of Thayer School and the Tuck School, and Commencement Exercises."

Huppe said Freedman is "absolutely looking forward" to his sabbatical, which will be spent primarily at the Harvard Law School where Freedman will have an office.

In his letter, Freedman said the time there will afford him "an opportunity to do some writing and reading that is too rarely permitted while serving as what President Dickey called the 'the man on the job.'" Freedman also said the renewed interaction with law faculty will be "restorative and fruitful."

In the letter Freedman also proclaimed his faith in Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences James Wright, who will serve as acting President during Freedman's sabbatical. "I am confident that, when I return to Parkhurst hall next summer, I will find the College in better shape than ever."