Letter from Alfred E. Stearns to Mary Sun, Elmira College, March 13, 1928


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Letter from Alfred E. Stearns to Mary Sun, Elmira College, March 13, 1928


Letter from Alfred E. Stearns to Mary Sun, Elmira College, March 13, 1928


My dear Mary:

Thank you for your letter with its good news that your health is a bit better than it was when you last wrote me. I hope you have come to realize by this time what Miss Clemons always emphasized with you, that your eczema could be kept in check by and only by a normal amount of wholesome and vigorous exercise. Do not forget it, please.

By all means spend your Easter vacation with your friend in Lowville, if you wish and if she is the right kind of a girl. I assume that the latter is true, else you would not wish to go with her.

When it comes to your summer plans, I should much prefer to have you at Cornell on general principles, but if you find that the Syracuse environment is better, why try that. Don't go back on your Chinese friends, however, provided they are doing and are interested in the things that really count. I do not see why you should not be able to divide your time and interests in proper proportions between both your American and Chinese friends.

What you tell me about the habits and conduct of some of your students at Elmira is naturally disturbing. On the other hand, I can hardly believe that conditions there are worse than they are in other colleges and that more than a very small proportion of the girls show the weaknesses which you mention. In every school and college in the land you will find a group who will behave in this foolish and regrettable way. They are always the noisiest and most conspicuous ones in the whole student body and for that reason give the impression that their numbers are far greater than they actually are. If this is not true at Elmira and things are as bad as you intimate, something must be radically wrong with the college, and it may well be a question whether in that that case you ought to continue there after this current year. Anyway, keep your own head and poise and you will earn not only the satisfaction of your own conscience but the respect and good will of all of your friends in college whose opinions and judgments count.

Ever sincerely yours,


Alfred E. Stearns


Phillips Academy


March 13, 1928


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