Principal on target

The most recent edition of the McGill News includes a newsbite with a misleading title, "Shapiro blasts business community." It reports on Principal Shapiro's speech to the Canadian Club.

I read the speech and believe you misread it. The speech was superb: passionate, informative and compelling, drawing attention to the destructive conjunction of current government policies which have radically reduced government grants while freezing tuition, thus seriously undermining the quality of education at Quebec's universities.

It was not a blast of the business community but an urgent call to arms to enlist the business community's support in the cause of changing these government policies. The blast was aimed at the deserving target: perverse government policy. In the absence of change, all of Quebec's universities will be badly hurt. Thank goodness Principal Shapiro has the courage to speak up and to do so with such eloquence.

J. Robert S. Prichard, LLD'96
President, University of Toronto

High-priced athletes

Nice to see the Rowing Team mentioned in print, even if it is in the honour of expensive equipment (Spring'98). I must respond to the statement that the most expensive player to outfit is a hockey player. If a racing shell costs $27,000 and it fits eight rowers and a cox, then the cost per athlete is $3,000. Even if we amortize the cost of a shell over its two-year usefulness as a Varsity boat, then the cost per athlete drops to $1,500, still higher than the $1,300 hockey hauberk.

Anthony Tremain, BA'89, BMus'94
Toronto, Ont.

Protest not

It is always a treat for me to receive the McGill News and I read it with avid interest.

I was intrigued to note in "Salaries for Students" (Winter'97) that McGill students are actively protesting against tuition increases. Your readers might be interested to know that McGill tuition appears ridiculously low when compared to college tuition in the United States.

For example, most state universities here average about $US10,000 to $US15,000 per year; while private universities currently run around $US30,000 per year. Thus, an undergraduate education can cost up to $US120,000 per student. Then, of course, there is graduate school.

That is not to say that McGill students should not be protesting -- after all, that is part of the fun of being an undergraduate -- but it might be worthwhile putting another perspective on the situation in a follow-up article.

Esther H. Steinhauer, BSc'69
White Plains, N.Y.

Melanie, too

Further to your piece on McGill Rhodes Scholars (Fall'97), I'd like to bring to your attention one you omitted: Melanie Newton, who graduated in German Studies in June 1996 and then went home to Barbados to serve as the youth representative on a commission to rewrite the constitution, and won a Rhodes Scholarship in the Caribbean competition during the course of the year. She is pursuing a PhD in history at St. Antony's College.

Brian Lewis
Assistant Professor, Department of History
McGill University

Missing 1959

Shortly after we were married in 1960, a house fire destroyed our copy of the 1959 Old McGill. It was our graduation year and we'd love to have another copy. Anyone with a copy to give or to sell, please feel free to call collect.

Don, BCom'59, and Ann (McNally) Budge, BSc'59
Coldwater, Ont., (705) 835-3318

Judgement overturned

In your story "Judgement Day" (Winter'96), Judge Daniel Tingley discussed a case in which he had recently rendered judgement, referred to as "A Promise Made and Accepted."

It is surprising that the judge discussed the case in terms which permitted the parties to be identified easily -- and while the case was still in appeal.

I think your readers are entitled to be told that the appeal has now been heard and that the three judges of the Appeal Court unanimously reversed Judge Tingley's ruling and declared that the Plaintiff's action was entirely unfounded.

Jocelyne Quesnel
Notary, Dorval, Que.

Ed Note: In fact, Judge Tingley did not "discuss the case." The quotes were taken directly from the case documents, which are on public record.

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THE MATTER OF TITLES. If McGill's most expensive journal was Nuclear Physics (Spring'98, pg. 17), then why did we show a photo of Particle Physics, some hawk-eyed readers wanted to know. Indeed, the Nuclear Physics journal has three different parts, and each part has more than 12 issues per year. Particle Physics is one of the parts of Nuclear Physics. The electronic version is available only to subscribers to the print copy, so McGill has to buy it.

Mark your calendar, again. The 1998 McGill Book Fair dates listed on pg. 36 of the Spring Issue were wrong. The correct dates are October 21 and 22, 1998 -- the same dates listed in the Coming Events brochure and on the alumni website (

Wrong Knowles. In the "In Memoriam" (Spring'98) section, Dorothy Aileen (Roberts) Knowles, BHS'40, BLS'53, was incorrectly listed as having died on October 18, 1997. Indeed, it was Dorothy (Roberts) Knowles, BA'27, who died on that date. She was the wife of former McGill Chaplain, Rev. E. Clifford Knowles, BA'27, MA'29, DD'56.

Caption correction. In the McGill Report on Private Giving inserted in the Spring'98 issue of the McGill News, an error was made in the caption under the Boeckh photo on pg. 26. The caption should have read Ian, Raymonde and Tony Boeckh. The family generously established a new Graham Boeckh Chair in Schizophrenia Studies at McGill. The chairholder will be named shortly.