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Hands Across The Sea

THE MAIL

NO WRITER ATTRIBUTED

To the Editors of The Crimson:

In Nicole Seligman's piece, "Bok Trip Yields $1.2 Million for East Asian Studies Here," (Crimson, February 2, 1977), you ran good coverage of Harvard's most recent Asian venture. However, at least two further thoughts come to mind.

First, considering the signal historical, political, and cultural importance of East Asia, not to mention the various sad implications of America's own involvement in Asia over the past generation or so, it seems startling indeed, if true, that the president of Harvard had not visited East Asia before this. Second, could not the $1.2 million of Asian money pledged to Harvard be better used within the communities from whence it comes; for example, at the two fine universities in Hong Kong, or at those in Taiwan? Or, to bring a like point to bear back home, could not Harvard fund its East Asian programs more fully through American sources, and thereby both (1) leave Asian resources for Asian programs, and (2) draw a wider cross-section of American philanthropists, business leaders, and enterprise into Asia related programs, and thus perhaps fulfill a broader, and much needed, educational purpose? (As a top economic power, Japan is of course something of an exception to the foregoing rough line of reasoning, a line prompted rather by the pledges coming from Hong Kong and Taiwan.) Michael R. Martin   GSAS

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