Over-involved Alumni: Get a Life

by John Eldredge | 12/4/07 12:51am

To the Editor:

My father, Newc Eldredge '50, forwarded me the story from your Nov. 26 issue regarding Trustee Todd Zywicki '88's comments characterizing former College President James Freedman as a "truly evil man" ("Zywicki draws fire for remarks"). I find Zywicki's comments to be very unfortunate and regrettable. His comments and his alleged membership in the anti-College administration Phrygian Society are symptomatic of a larger issue in my view -- namely the over-involvement of alumni (regardless of political persuasion) in influencing the long-term policies and daily operations of the College.

Some of us alumni seem to lose perspective on the fact that our primary time for experiencing and shaping Dartmouth was during our four years as undergraduates. Yes, we should have some limited input into the affairs of the College and, yes, we should be encouraged to attend events at the College and donate money if we so choose. But our time has come and gone. Some of us clearly need to "get a life" and focus our energies on other pursuits rather than trying to distort or even ruin the educational and cultural experience of the current students and faculty members who are truly the essence of the institution as it exists today.