Passion and Enthusiasm
Thank you for your story about the retirement of Professor Kaelber in the Fall 2021 issue. He was one of my favorite professors, and he really made an impression on me as a religion/philosophy major. I remember his passion and enthusiasm in class. We had many discussions about what a broader view of religion entailed. I — and, I am sure, all of his students through the years — wish him well in retirement!
— Bruce Richardson ’75
On our cover story, ‘Lonnie Brandon & the North Hall 27’
Your article on the North Hall 27 stirred up a whirlwind of memories and a sense of how little we understood in 1970 about the Black experience. That year, I was a senior nursing student living on campus. When the Black students (who knew there were so few?) took over North Hall, making it clear that they were serious about their demands, nursing students received a strong message from their department: “Do not engage in this process. Show up for your classes and clinicals. You have a professional obligation to perform your job, and there will be serious consequences for not doing so.” I remember feeling both pride in being a nursing student, and sad that I could not join in a protest for what I believed the Black students deserved. Until recently I would have said we have come a long way, but current events leave one wondering.
— Nancy Langman ’70
Congratulations on your cover story about Lonnie Brandon and the Cunard Hall protest in 1970. The article is comprehensive, fair and honest, and for me it filled in a lot of gaps I personally had. As a Wagner grad and having had Mr. Brandon in my modern European history class at Montclair High School, I decided I had to go to Wagner and ask for his reinstatement as a student after the Black Concern members were expelled. I do not recall the name of the person with whom I met, but I obviously had no impact. Taking place at about the same time — in January 1970 — the Montclair High School Black Student Union led a walkout demanding many of the same things as the Black students at Wagner. In a few weeks I was appointed the school’s principal and had to deal with those issues. It was a very challenging time for both Montclair and Wagner, but I think we are all the better for it.
— Tonnes Stave ’58
Note: We forwarded the letter from Tonnes Stave to Lonnie Brandon as soon as we received it. That afternoon, the former history teacher and his student had an hour-long telephone conversation, their first in more than half a century.