IMAGE:  June 2004
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More than meets the eye  
Chicago Seven: take three  
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A historian's task in time

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GRAPHIC:  Also in every issueLetters
Does the Greek letter chi stand for Chicago?

Truth in university advertising
President Randel should be applauded for advocating the University’s goal of generating the tools needed to determine the truth. I find it disappointing, however, that in the same article Mr. Randel furthers the myth that Chicago “offers the best education in this or any neighboring galaxy.” Although it’s handy as a recruiting tool, and possibly even accurate, I wonder how much this statement has eroded the University’s academic prowess by promoting the same sort of complacency that Mr. Randel fears is present in the American public. Surely the University would do better by striving to provide the best education possible—not only by setting an example of honesty, but by setting a goal for the University’s faculty, students, administration, staff, and alumni to follow.

On a similar note, I am amused and stupefied by the reactions to the February/04 letter from Studs Terkel, PhB’32, JD’34, that ridiculed the “constant air of self-congratulation” in the pages of the University of Chicago Magazine. Could the graduates of this fine institution be unable to grasp the fact that they are reading an alumni magazine? I again find wisdom in Mr. Randel’s article, which brings to light the not-so-recent trend of facts being determined by repetition and therefore a function of money.

The cynical writer of letters-to-the-editor might take an easy jab or two at the Magazine and the role of the University president, but where would that get us? Certainly, the Magazine ought to be open and honest about its goals. It already does a fantastic job at maintaining the University’s values within the alumni community, which, I would imagine, helps keep the University afloat financially. But in addition to the obligatory self-congratulation, perhaps the Magazine should go one step further and use its resources to actively promote the University’s goals.

David Loehlin, AB’03

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