Letter from Alfred E. Stearns to Florence Bigelow, Principal, Walnut Hill School, Natick, Mass. , January 9, 1928


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Letter from Alfred E. Stearns to Florence Bigelow, Principal, Walnut Hill School, Natick, Mass. , January 9, 1928


Letter from Alfred E. Stearns to Florence Bigelow, Principal, Walnut Hill School, Natick, Mass., January 9, 1928


My dear Miss Bigelow:

On my return to Andover after a brief holiday I find your most interesting letter of December 29 and am glad to learn that my suggestion that you write to Mr. Elliott Speer appears to have proved of help.

I should immensely like to have Helen Tsai with you, and for two reasons: first, because I have always felt that the atmosphere and standards of Walnut Hill fit in so well with what I believe a good girls' school ought to sustain and which in these modern days seems so hard to find; and, second, because I do not like to send the girl too far away. Unfortunately, however, her father, in answer to my definite request for information, has stated that he does not wish her to prepare for college but to get the best all-round training that can be had and of a general character. Very possibly she can secure with you all that she could get elsewhere, even if she does not go to college, but in view of the fact that she must do her work through the medium of the English language, a foreign language course to her, I do not like to have her loaded too heavily with the language course regularly required by our American colleges. With only two exceptions, some sixty Chinese boys whom I have guided in their American education carried no Latin on their schedules, and it is my impression that about the same ratio would hold in connection with German.

I like very much your suggestion of paying you a visit some time in company with the girl, so that we can see and talk things out for ourselves. If this present weather holds and I can find a spare day and if not early in the spring, I shall endeavor to realize this hope.

I greatly appreciate your invitation to me to talk to your girls at one of your vesper services during the year. While most of my speaking engagements are limited to male audiences, I have accepted engagements for a number of years now at the Spence School in New York, but always in connection with other appointments in the vicinity. I finally yielded, after several years of pleading on the part of Mrs. Houghton, to speak at the Knox School this year. Miss Potter at Lasell, too, has been very generous in asking me to go there. This is all preliminary to saying that I am not disposed to shy at though not given to seeking appointments at girls' schools. But frankly I fear that I cannot add any other engagement to my list for the current year, owing to the fact that the extra pressure connected with preparations for our Sesquicentennial which we plan to celebrate this coming May is going to take all of the extra time and strength that I can spare. Perhaps at some later date you will be good enough to extend the invitation again and I in a position to accept.

Very sincerely yours,


Alfred E. Stearns


Phillips Academy


January 9, 1928


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