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C-PALSY  September 2002

C-PALSY September 2002

Subject:

Re: Be careful how you treat "lesser" people

From:

Kathy Salkin <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

St. John's University Cerebral Palsy List

Date:

Wed, 4 Sep 2002 16:28:13 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (108 lines)

I've heard this story many times, and have often wondered if it is true.

Well, it's a good story, but according to the Lelands' bio on the Stanford U.
page, that's not what happened.  The URL is:

http://www.stanford.edu/home/stanford/history/begin.html

The Lelands weren't farmers; Mr. Leland was a financier who owned trotters
(like Tennessee walking horses) for a hobby, and their son died of TB at the
age of 16.

Kat
On Wed, 4 Sep 2002 16:14:12 EDT "BG Greer, PhD" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> An older lady in a faded gingham dress and her
> elder
> husband, dressed in a homespun threadbare suit,
> stepped off the train in Boston, and walked
> timidly
> without an appointment into the Harvard
> University
> President's outer office.
> The secretary could tell in a moment that such
> backwoods, country hicks had no business at
> Harvard
> and probably didn't even deserve to be in
> Cambridge.
> She frowned. "We want to see the President,"
> the man
> said softly. "He'll be busy all day," the
> secretary
> snapped. "We'll wait," the lady replied.
> For hours, the secretary ignored them, hoping
> that the
> couple would finally become discouraged and go
> away.
> They didn't and the secretary grew frustrated
> and
> finally decided to disturb the President, even
> though
> it was a chore she always regretted "Maybe if
> they
> just see you for a few minutes, they'll leave,"
> she
> told him. He sighed in exasperation and nodded.
> Someone of his importance obviously didn't have
> the
> time to spend with them, but he detested
> gingham dresses and
> homespun suits cluttering up his outer office.
> The President, stern-faced with dignity,
> strutted
> toward the couple. The lady told him, "We had a
> son
> who attended Harvard for one year. He loved
> Harvard.
> He was happy here. But about a year ago, he was
> accidentally
> killed. And my husband and I would like to
> erect a
> memorial to him,somewhere on campus."
> The President wasn't touched; he was shocked.
> "Madam," he said gruffly. "We can't put up a
> statue
> for every person who attended Harvard and died.
> If we
> did, this place would look like a cemetery."
> "Oh, no," the lady explained quickly. "We don't
> want
> to erect a statue. We thought we would like to
> give a
> building to Harvard."
> The president rolled his eyes. He glanced at
> the
> gingham dress and homespun suit,then exclaimed,
> "A
> building! Do you have any earthly idea how much
> a
> building costs? We have over seven and a half
> million
> dollars in the physical plant at Harvard."
> For a moment the lady was silent. The president
> was
> pleased. He could get rid of them now. And the
> lady
> turned to her husband and said quietly, "Is
> that all
> it costs to start a university? Why don't we
> just
> start our own?"
> Her husband nodded. The President's face wilted
> in
> confusion and bewilderment. And Mr. and Mrs.
> Leland
> Stanford walked away, traveling to Palo Alto,
> CA where
> they established the university that bears
> their name,
> a memorial to a son that Harvard no longer
> cared
> about.
> You can easily judge the character of others by
> how
> they treat those who can do nothing for them or
> to
> them.
>

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