I salute Texas A&M. The article by Myron Cope (The Proudest Squares, Nov. 18) points out that the school is the butt of many jokes for its continued adherence to some old virtues—loyalty, obedience and reverence. This is not surprising. These days the squares are out of vogue. The dissenters are everywhere, always tearing down, never building up; always knocking, always downgrading, looking for the easy way.
Well, Mr. Cope says they aren't taking it easy at Texas A&M. They still are under the impression that self-discipline, physical fitness, religious faith and hard work are important equipment in life. They believe in sweating it out instead of sitting it out.
Let us be thankful for an environment that recognizes a square deal for honest men who look other men squarely in the eye. To be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, a man must commit uncommon acts of valor above and beyond the call of duty. Where do we get such men? Mr. Cope states that during World War II, six were squares from Texas A&M.
Mr. Cope really told it like it is on the Texas A&M campus today. He said, "The civilians are a new breed of Aggie, and the cold truth is that one encounters no difficulty finding a great many students who say of Aggie jokes, 'I love 'em.' " Mr. Cope is right. These are students, not Aggies. Mr. Cope asks, "What would Texas be without true Aggies?" I do not offer an answer to this question.
You can't imagine how much this means to me as a senior in the corps of cadets. Everyday I become more aware of the traditions being destroyed and the changes taking place on the Texas A&M campus.
DANNY G. SEALE
College Station, Texas
We would like to thank William Johnson and SI for the article A Golden Age Comes to Athens (Nov. 25). We fondly call our university Harvard-on-the-Hocking, but we are in no way trying to emulate that Cambridge, Mass. school or any other. Ohio University has a tradition and an atmosphere all its own—definitely 1968, not 1804, as was implied in the article.
Thank you for your fine article on Ohio University's educational setup and football team. However, besides dating events from OU's 1965 0-and-10 season (my freshman year) we also date events from our annual spring floods and April or May releases of pent-up student emotions in the form of mass meetings and large gatherings on street corners, termed "riots" by the press. We have also dubbed ourselves the Berkeley-of-the-Backwoods. These are points of information, not criticism.
In Kentucky, we have always considered Transylvania College in Lexington as the oldest institution of higher education west of the Alleghenies. Transylvania was founded in 1780 and was attended by Jefferson Davis, among other well-known men.
WILLIAM D. PRATT, M.D.
WESTERN ILLINOIS STYLE
While reading Alfred Wright's otherwise excellent article on the California Bears (Beards Are Cooled but the Bears Are Hot, Nov. 4), I was dismayed by his final reference to Western Illinois State Normal, along with Eureka, as a place where Governor Ronald Reagan might have been "molded in the great intellectual traditions of statehouse politics." Please be informed that our name is now Western Illinois University (we dropped the normal school label in 1921) and also that Governor Reagan was never enrolled in our institution. Eureka College was a better guess!
Finally, in terms of intellectual tradition, we at Western have absolutely no objection at all to emulating the University of California at Berkeley.
JOHN T. BERNHARD
Western Illinois University