one-sided it falls off my bookshelf."
In reading the June/02 issue, I saw a report on the revival
of the Festival of the Arts ("College
Report: The arts for art's sake") in which there was a reference made
to a social science professor, "Meyer Gerhardt." I suspect this is a
garbled reference to Gerhard Meyer, a wonderful and distinguished teacher, an
economist by training, a Christian socialist, and a lifelong friend of the theologian
Paul Tillich. He was renowned among many generations of undergraduates for his
teaching in the general education program. He was a gift to the University of
Chicago, inadvertently generated by the rise to power of the Nazis.
indeed this is the individual to whom this article refers, I think a correction
to that effect is appropriate. I am probably not the only reader of the Magazine
to suspect that the writer, who understandably would not know that this is an
error, got the name confused. As I believe Dean of the College John Boyer observed
some years ago, teachers of the idealism, intellectual sophistication, dedication,
and breadth of Gerhard Meyer no longer exist at Chicago or anywhere else. Meyer
did not publish, but the quality of his teaching and thought was in no sense inferior
to that of his colleagues whose names are still remembered by virtue of their
publications. It is, therefore, touching that a thoughtless error should result
in the opportunity for me and others to pay tribute to Gerhard Meyer and those
like him who were so important to the quality of our undergraduate experience
at the University of Chicago.
In my study I have
a framed photograph of Meyer with a cigarette in his mouth, standing alongside
his friend Christian W. Mackauer in the University bookstore waiting to pay for
that day's New York Times.
Leon Botstein, AB'67