to the Editor
I wanted to thank you for the great story on the CREAM program. I enjoyed
it so much that I shared it with my 11th grade U.S. History students.
Im always looking for anything to help my students see college as
something more than classes, parties, and Greek life. Thanks for a job
Nathan McCann 95 G03
San Antonio, Texas
While I was happy that you gave publicity to the Lane Series (50
Candles for the Lane, Fall 2004), I was disappointed at your account
of its early history. When Nellie Lane gave the $300,000 endowment in
1954, the name was changed from the Program Series to the Lane Series.
Your article states that the Lane Series burst onto the scene
as though it was new and different from the Program Series; it was in
fact the same series, with a new name and bigger budget.
Especially disappointing is that no credit was given to the founder of
the series, Jerome Agel 52. Jerry presented his brainchild to the
Student Government in 1951 and they agreed to underwrite the series with
a grant of $400 to get it off the ground. Jerry was the director for the
first season, fall 51 to spring 52. He asked the late Sam
Bogorad, English professor, to be his advisor and Barbara (Bobby) Demarest,
Class of 1953, to be his assistant.
Your article mentions that in the first year with the endowment getting
artists to Vermont wasnt easy; you can imagine how tough it
was before the endowment. Jerry and Bobby scrambled to sell subscriptions
that first season trying to fill the venue, the Ira Allen Chapel. They
were able to attract such names as Dylan Thomas, Pearl Primus and her
African Dance Troupe, John Jay (professional skier), and Hans Kohn (European
historian) among others. The following year, Bobby Demarest became the
director and performers/speakers included Charles Laughton, W.H. Auden,
Norman Thomas, and Mel Allen to name a few. Bobby asked Jack Trevithick,
another English professor, to be her advisor for the 5253
season. As your article points out, Trevithick was involved in the Lane
Series for many years.
Jerry Agel is currently living in New York City with his wife, Nina. He
has authored more than 40 major books, including collaborations with Carl
Sagan, Stanley Kubrick, and Isaac Asimov. One of his children, Jesse,
graduated from UVM in 1984 and is now the associate head coach of the
mens basketball team. Bobby Demarest Robinson is a historian and
educator, and the founder of the Massachusetts Studies Project at UMass
Boston. She currently resides in Waltham, Massachusetts.
Phil Robinson 82,
son of Bobby (Demarest) Robinson 53
SONS OF MARSH
Thanks for the article Good thought, good action by Dean Taylor
in the Fall 2004 issue. This article gives historical background to UVMs
continuing commitment to face the problems of people with
a response from the whole man, not simply with ideas.
Dean Taylor writes of the contradictions of the men who are, arguably,
UVMs greatest educational philosophers. It was satisfying to understand
how James Marshs and John Deweys pragmatic commitment
was larger than their intellectual gulf.
Another Marsh admirer was William G.T. Shedd, who graduated from UVM in
1839. Alan Gomes of Biola University has written how Marsh imbued Shedd
with a love of philosophy and literature and conveyed
this enthusiasm to his pupil. Shedd taught English literature at
UVM from 18451852, producing an edition of Coleridges complete
works and Lectures Upon the Philosophy of History. Monica Grecu has written
how one of Shedds theological works ranks second only to the
work of Jonathan Edwards. I would love to see an article about this
great UVM alumnus.
Philip A. Urie 74