I sent a letter to the people listed in Mary Beth’s e-mail and to the Editor in Chief at the Miscellany News. I think making noise about this is important, but I wonder what else we can do. I think we need to put our heads together and really consider if we can stop this, and how.
-Austin Murphy ’05 Sociology
Published: Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Full Letter after the jump…
My name is Austin Murphy, and I graduated from Vassar in 2005. Although I was not an English major, I took many classes in the Department, and I’d have to say that Composition and Narrative Writing were my two favorite courses.
My interest in writing has led to my pursuit of a Masters at Teachers College, Columbia University in the Teaching of English. I am eager to share my passion for reading and writing with my students, a passion that might not have blossomed had I not been able to take these writing courses at Vassar. The Vassar Creative Writing program changed my life, and I am incredibly dismayed to hear that you are considering doing away with it.
The Vassar I remember was a place where creativity was valued, where kids who were smart but a bit “off-beat” went to share their unique perspective with others, to invest time and energy in pursuits that were more about discovering their life passions than preparing for a big post-graduation payday. Please have the courage to stand up for the Vassar I remember. Financial difficulties come and go, but the character of an institution lasts.
Don’t make the mistake of turning Vassar into just another degree factory. I will not be proud to have graduated from that Vassar.
—Austin Murphy ’05