To all who answered the call of our summer fundraising letter, our warmest gratitude for helping to support the BAM. We’re proud of our 119-year-old tradition of editorial independence, our recent awards, our new website, the journalism we’re producing, and the conversations that are happening in our pages and out in the world between our readers. But we couldn’t be doing any of this without you, dear readers. You not only supported us generously this summer—and we want you to know how thrilled we all were, and how thrilled our accountant was, as your envelopes and online gifts came in—but you have increasingly been reaching out to us with all sorts of interesting story ideas. Your contributions, of all kinds, are what allow us to create the BAM. And thanks to you, we have some wonderful features in the works.
Many of you easily spotted the typo we placed in our fundraising letter—a spelling error that was perhaps a little too easy to find, but that we were happy to learn brought some of you a moment of levity, a favor you returned in your emails to us. “I had a great ‘reed,’ more enjoyable than the work on my desk this Friday afternoon!” wrote Meredith Brown ’87. “The promotion for woodwind players was too cryptic,” complained Russell Bruce Campbell ’74 ScB, ’74 ScM. “Then again, what can you expect from an anthropomorphic bear?” wondered Eric Andersen ’98. Bravo! And Elizabeth Beckhard Waller ’74, you are correct: We did not intend to reference Reed College in Oregon, although we’re sure it’s a fine institution.
Yet others of you pointed out instances of grammar or syntax you found suspect, and while some, we would argue, are matters of changing usage or style, in at least one case, we think you might have got us (member of the Class of ’04 who wishes to remain anonymous, hats off on finding a nominative pronoun that was in compound with a gerund and should have been possessive). Finally, Ray Rhinehard ’62 took us to task for our reference to “old classmates,” language he found “cringeworthy.” He wondered if “of a certain age” or “venerable” might not be better descriptors, then added, “How about ‘classmates,’ adjective free?”
All great feedback. And next time, we’re resolved to bury a typo that will be a little trickier to unearth.
A word about next time: We are returning, after a two-year hiatus, to BAM’s long established tradition of twice-yearly fundraising letters. So you’ll be seeing that typo-laden letter from us at the end of the year, accompanied by social media giving campaigns and, of course, the ever-present giving button on our website. We hope you don’t find any of it intrusive. Know that we have plans to grow and evolve in the ways we get the BAM to you—and that whether or not you’re able to donate, we always want to hear from you.