Letters to the editor

Boston Globe Magazine readers on Marty Meehan’s turnaround of UMass Lowell, a departing literary power couple, and Julia Child.


Your recent article about Marty Meehan’s impact at UMass Lowell rang very true to our family (“Meehan’s House,” August 19). Two of our children are enrolled in the state university system, which we believe provides tremendous financial value while offering a world-class education. My son visited several engineering programs at both public and private schools and was most impressed by the chemical engineering department at UMass Lowell. From day one, the focus upon recruiting talented students was evident from everyone he met . . .  and this is clearly due to chancellor Meehan’s impact. On a personal note, my son did have some problems with a student housing issue that were not addressed in a manner that was consistent with school policy. After working our way through the hierarchy in an attempt to solve the issue, I remembered that Meehan had told us at many of the new-student receptions that we attended that we should e-mail him with problems. We did, he responded immediately, and the issue was resolved. In an age where the lack of appropriate customer service is often bemoaned, Meehan’s personal engagement was much appreciated. My son is looking forward to his time at UMass Lowell, a school that truly seems to care about each and every student.

Ned Pratt / Lunenburg

Nicely done article. I cannot believe how the campus has grown since I graduated in 1971. I came back for a visit in 1989 after getting my MBA from Portland State University in Portland, Oregon. I remember good times at both schools. I thank you for a good job of telling the truth about the school’s expansion. I do not have a large amount of money, but I always send a small donation to the Department of Management.


Joseph Parzick / Portland, Oregon

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I enjoyed the article about the remaking of UMass Lowell, but the writer’s comment that it was a “hard-luck campus” rubs me the wrong way. I am sure that this is the attitude that most citizens of Massachusetts have regarding the state university system. Being a graduate of UMass Lowell myself, I feel both pride and disappointment about my alma mater. I studied engineering there and have been working in industry for over 30 years. I have worked with many different people of different educational backgrounds and feel that my education at UMass has served me well. I feel disappointed because, in my opinion, the school does not get the respect it deserves because of the attitude of most people in this state that it is second-rate. It has one of the best programs in plastics engineering in the country. It also has one of the best music programs. In addition, they are doing great work in physics and the other sciences. I wish I would read an article that mentions these leading edge programs. UMass Lowell is a great school and I hope the citizens and politicians of this state will recognize the great programs it has to offer.

Ron Fiorello / Tewksbury


I just finished reading Sebastian Smee’s “A Masterpiece in Red Brick” (August 12) and was struck by the beauty of it. Although I have no connection to Bill and Beverly Corbett and am not a member of the literary community, this article deeply touched me. It was inspiring to read of the unselfish encouragement and support the Corbetts gave to writers through the decades. Thank you for sharing their story in this beautifully written piece.

 Louise Cavanaugh / Holyoke


After perusing Smee’s insightful and interesting article on the Corbetts, methinks the only thing lacking in their salon was the illuminating presence of Gertrude Stein and her lifelong companion, Alice B. Toklas.

Mel B. Yoken / Chancellor Professor Emeritus of French Language and Literature, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth

What a fabulous article! The Corbetts sound like extraordinary people who understand the true meaning of living a wonderful life. And how wonderful that they will now be inspiring their grandchildren in New York. It’s apparent that they have touched many, giving them marvelous memories. Thank you again. You made my Sunday!

Debra Worthington / Belmont

What a most wonderful and loving piece Smee has written. I felt right at home at the Corbetts’ kitchen table and with every word that he wrote. A completely enjoyable experience. Thank you for an article that one can settle into — grab onto — to hear the entire story, instead of the bullet points that many pieces provide. 


Jini Foster / Framingham

I am a young poet whose first chapbook, Consent, was just published by Pressed Wafer. I count it as a true privilege to have lunched with Bill and experienced 9 Columbus Square before the move. Smee’s article captured so much about the magic and the generosity that was at work there. Thank you for it and for your continued excellent art writing, as I find it in the Globe. It is a rare pleasure among much blur.

Nate Klug / New Haven


I just read Stephanie Tyburski’s column “Blessings From Julia Child” (Perspective, August 12), in which she recounts Julia’s appearance on Martha Stewart’s show to make croquembouche. The joy Julia took in putting her “leaning tower” together was typical of her approach to cooking in general and is, indeed, in short supply in today’s food world. Thanks for a great article and a great reminder to relax in the kitchen.

Jennifer Andrews / Centerville

Hilarious. Hysterical. Fabulous writing, especially the last sentence. The piece is now hanging on my fridge in hopes of extending the blessings to my kitchen. Let’s see more writing from Tyburski in the future.

Helen O’Donnell / Winchendon

COMMENTS? Write to or The Boston Globe Magazine/Letters, PO Box 55819, Boston, MA 02205-5819. Letters are subject to editing.