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Disappointed by Honorary Degree Choice

Born and raised in Puerto Rico, I was disappointed by President Robert A. Brown presenting an honorary degree to Carmen Yulín Cruz Soto (CAS’84, Hon.’18), the mayor of San Juan, P. R., [“US Rep. John Lewis (Hon.’18) to 2018 Grads: Be Bold and Be Courageous,” Summer 2018]. In the difficult period following Hurricanes Irma and Maria, what was needed was for everyone to come together and work in a constructive manner to get the island back on the path of normalcy, so that the crisis its citizens found themselves in could be addressed ASAP. This wasn’t the case with the mayor of San Juan, who placed politics and bickering above the needs of the citizens of the island in her quest to be the next governor. I find it difficult to understand how Boston University could have honored a person like this.

Personally, if I had been President Brown, I would have given the honorary degree to Cecilia Lopez, who was recognized in the same issue of Bostonia (“Meet Warren Towers’ Omelet Lady”) for dedicating 25 years to Boston University as a member of Dining Services at Warren Towers. She deserved it more.

Joseph R. Raub, JR. (SDM’76)
Temple, Tex.

Appreciation for the Art and Science of Woodworking

As a mechanical engineering alumnus, I thoroughly enjoyed reading “The Woodworker” (Summer 2018) and learning about how Justin Fiaschetti (ENG’21) combines science and art to yield amazing results. It is also great to know that the College of Engineering now has facilities such as EPIC that allow engineering and other students to pursue their passions.

Dylan Steeg (ENG’95)
Freemont, Calif.

Life Lessons from COM’s Jonathan Klarfeld

Thanks to Amy Laskowski for her article on the passing of College of Communication professor Jonathan Klarfeld (Summer 2018). I graduated in 1987 from the print journalism master’s program, and Jon was my academic advisor and instructor for two semesters. He taught me how to write concisely and accurately and how to ask the right questions to obtain the information you need. These are skills I have used as a sportswriter and editor, insurance marketing representative, and most recently in my role in environmental philanthropy and sustainability. He helped me land a part-time weekend sports writing job at the Boston Herald when I was in school, which helped me land my first full-time job after graduation. His critique, humor, enthusiasm, and encouragement made his students better interviewers, reporters, and writers—skills that can be used for a lifetime.

Thank you, Jon.

Darren Blankenship (COM’87)
Madison, Wisc.