Skip to Navigation
University of Pittsburgh
Print This Page Print this pages

May 3, 2001


Thanks for your support

To the editor:

Thank you, University of Pittsburgh administration, staff, faculty and student body!

For four years Pitt has been a Gold Sponsor of the annual Komen Pittsburgh Race for the Cure on Mother's Day in Schenley Park. The race is affiliated with the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation and is one of 112 races nationwide. Pitt has been instrumental in helping us fulfill our mission to eradicate breast cancer as a life-threatening disease by advancing screening, education, treatment and research.

Chancellor Mark Nordenberg gave his initial support years ago and since then many University departments have rallied around to make our event an annual success. They assist in delivering T-shirts and race bibs to seven registration sites around the city; host registration central at Posvar Hall; provide custodial, security and facility support; and assist with parking and transportation issues.

After doing some research we have found that Pitt is the only institution of higher learning in the country that plays a major role in any of the Races for the Cure. Our heartfelt thanks go out to each and every one of you who has given a helping hand. Thank you for being such great friends to the Komen Pittsburgh Race for the Cure.

Laurie Moser

Executive Director

Linda Charapp, Race Chair

Susan Morelli, Race Co-Chair


More on education, the Middle East

To the editor:

I observe with regret, but with no surprise, that Ira Harkavy's response to my letter of criticism of his keynote address to the plenary session of the University Senate is largely political (University Times, April 5 and April 19). That is to say, he quotes a Steven M. Cahn to the effect that John Dewey's thought is egalitarian and democratic, whereas Plato's is aristocratic and elitist. In so doing, he missed the point of my criticism entirely.

I was not defending Platonic political philosophy but only saying that anyone delivering a major address to educators advising that we should forget abstract thought and Plato is making a serious and obvious mistake. Abstract thought, after all, finds its highest expression in mathematics. And without mathematics, there would be no understanding of the world in which we live nor any technological innovation.

To obtain a liberal education, one must learn to reflect. And I know of no better way to cultivate reflection in students than by asking them to read and take seriously authors like Plato, Aristotle, Kant, Descartes, John Stuart Mill and others whose works are part of world philosophical literature. Students may reject everything they read, but they will be the better for having studied it.

John Dewey's principle is that we "learn by doing." The old saw that experience is the best teacher would seem to follow from that. But all of us know people who have many experiences and learn nothing from them. Therefore, learning depends more on reflection than it does on experience or doing. And the best way to deepen one's reflection is to read and think about some of the most profound books ever written. Such thinking is one of the most difficult, but also one of the most rewarding activities a student can engage in before turning to living and doing.

Regarding my April 10 debate with Rabbi Berkun about the Middle East (April 19 University Times):

1. I would like to express my gratitude to Dean Carolyn Ban and Sue Scheeren of the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs for hosting the event. I also want to thank Bruce Steele and Nancy J. Brown for the kind of quality coverage of an event that makes the University Times unique among this institution's many publications.

2. Rabbi Berkun's point about Jews throughout two centuries saying "next year in Jerusalem" is obviously accurate. When he said that, I wondered why, after more than 50 years since the birth of Israel, a majority of Jews in the world do not live there. In particular, much to the consternation of prime ministers Ben Gurion and Begin, American Jewish organizations have resolutely refused to encourage mass migration to Israel.

3. Regarding terrorism, one must note that the kill ratio of Palestinians to Israelis is eight to one, and the ratio of wounded is something like 30 or 50 to one. There may be some Israelis who have suffered permanent injury from being hit by rocks, but at least 1,000 Palestinian young men have suffered permanent injury because of bullets.

4. Chairman Arafat should not be faulted for refusing to sign the agreement offered by Israel last year. Were it an interim agreement, he would have signed it. But it was treated as a final peace treaty under the terms of which Palestinians would not have control over their borders, their supplies of water or electricity, their economy, etc. In other words, they would not have enjoyed sovereignty. They will enjoy sovereignty and are determined to have it no matter what the cost. As I've said elsewhere, the great promise of Zionism was security, but Israel has never been secure. A lasting peace treaty must deal with Israelis and Palestinians as equals. That is to say, real security must be based on a just peace, and Prime Minister Sharon is capable of bringing Israel neither.

Robert G. Hazo


University of Pittsburgh

American Experience Program


Letters Policy

Letters should be submitted at least one week prior to publication. Persons criticized in a letter will receive a copy of the letter so that they may prepare a response. If no response is received the letter will be published alone.

Letters can be sent to 308 Bellefield Hall (include hard copy and a disk when possible) or can be sent by e-mail to

The University Times reserves the right to edit letters for clarity or length. Individuals are limited to two published letters per academic term. Unsigned letters will not be accepted for publication.

Leave a Reply