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Seventy-nine presidents of private universities and colleges-but not President Pusey-sent a letter to President Nixon Saturday urging him to adopt a "stepped-up timetable for withdrawal from Vietnam." Mary I. Bunting, president of Radcliffe was one of the signers.
Pusey, when asked why he had not endorsed the letter, said, "It has been my policy not to sign things ever since I've been president of Harvard. But it doesn't imply that I'm for the war or anything like that."
The college heads, speaking "as individuals who work with young men and women," said "our military engagement in Vietnam now stands as a denial of so much that is best in our society." The letter said, "More and more, we see the war deflecting energies and resources from urgent business on our own door-step. An end to the war will not solve the problems on or off the campus. It will however permit us to work more effectively in support of more peaceful priorities."
The letter concludes. "We urge upon the President of the United States and upon Congress a stepped-up timetable for withdrawal from Vietnam. We believe this to be in our country's highest interest, at home and abroad."
Pusey was one of three Ivy League presidents who did not sign the letter. Kingman Brewster Jr., president of Yale, had sent a stronger letter to Nixon last Thursday, asking for unconditional withdrawal of American troops from Vietnam. A spokesman for John Sloan Dickey, pres-ident of Dartmouth. said that Dickey thinks he can be "more effective if he doesn't take public stands in foreign affairs. Dickey, who was a State Department official before going to Dartmouth, has in the past expressed his opposition to the war.
...And Bryn Mawr
The letter, initiated by John R. Coleman, president of Haverford College, was circulated to about 100 other presidents beginning Oct. 2 over the signatures of the presidents of Swarthmore, Princeton, M.I.T., the University of Chicago, and Bryn Mawr.
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