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Letters: McDaniel College cuts hurt liberal arts education; Veterans have earned our thanks

Liberal arts education hurt by McDaniel cuts

As a graduate of Western Maryland College (now McDaniel), my degree is in political science, not the arts. I am now a lawyer by trade. But the lessons that stuck with me then and that have brought continued joy and intellectual stimulation to my life were those I learned in the Art History, French and Religion departments at WMC. Julie Badiee, Ira Zepp and Bill Cippola taught me to think, and left me with a lifelong desire to learn more. I believe the decision to cut the Arts majors by Dr. Casey and the Trustees is shortsighted, and driven by the all-mighty dollar. The idea of a liberal arts education is to foster interdisciplinary thought, in the Renaissance tradition, as it is the cross-pollination of ideas that leads to true innovation. Leonardo without the art? Just an engineer. Not that engineering alone is bad, but engineering combined with other areas of study results in a richer, more nuanced understanding.

I have watched the physical plant at McDaniel transition from the slightly grungy place I attended, to a bright, shiny, sexy campus, which has certainly cost money. The underlying philosophy of McDaniel seems to have changed from that of a humanist perspective to an economic one, which is a damn shame. A liberal arts education provides experiences that serve to make a person whole, thoughtful and open-minded. By cutting these majors, it is assured that what will remain in these fields of study will be, at best, one or two survey courses — certainly not the myriad of diverse options that I enjoyed in my four years at WMC. By limiting the curriculum, McDaniel is not only closing doors, but minds as well.

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Stacy Shaffer

Westminster

Stop crying and show respect to the president

Learning how to lose is one of life’s lessons. Two and a half years is a long time to cry. He is our commander in chief. Even babies stop crying with the aid of a pacifier or food. Remember your children are watching; they learn by your example. He is our commander in chief. Where is the respect?

Frank Cook

Mount Airy

Veterans have earned our thanks

Many have perhaps wondered or even asked, why I thank all the veterans that I meet. There are 10,000 of them overlooking a beach in France, and another 58,000 in a cemetery overlooking our nation's capital. They gave their lives, so that you may be reading this letter in freedom.

I have great respect for our flag, and our freedom, and think of all of the above mentioned heroes, each time I shake a veteran’s hand and thank them for our freedom. In particular, my father’s cousin, whose name appears on Panel 32 East, on Line 11, on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. He and countless others gave their lives for our freedom. If you see a veteran, thank them.

A wise man once said, not to ask what our country can do for us, but what we can do for our country. What those who served did for us is the greatest act they have done for their country. Thank you to all those who fought and died for America, you’ve earned it.

Neil T. Ege

Westminster

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