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Thread: Some terrible news - Page 5

Post#101 at 12-12-2007 05:16 PM by dbookwoym [at SF Bay Area joined Sep 2001 #posts 110]
12-12-2007, 05:16 PM #101
Join Date
Sep 2001
SF Bay Area

Bill, I wish you the best, and I want to thank you and Neil for having explored and explained the saeculum for us all. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
b. 1973
"...with great power comes great responsibility."
-Stan Lee
"There's always a trade-off."
-Dan Cortes

Post#102 at 12-12-2007 07:42 PM by KaiserD2 [at David Kaiser '47 joined Jul 2001 #posts 5,220]
12-12-2007, 07:42 PM #102
Join Date
Jul 2001
David Kaiser '47

More news

I spoke to Bill yesterday about something else.

About four years ago, Bill called me, because he had just heard that the managers of the Harvard endowment (our alma matter, '69) were going to receive seven-figure bonuses for their performances that year. (As indeed they did.) We were equally appalled, for at least four reasons, to wit:

1. No one should make that kind of money for doing anything.

2. Harvard is supposed to be a non-profit.

3. (More important) the cost of Harvard was about 2.5 times what we paid, adjusted for inflation, and I in particular was quite sure that the students were not getting an education 2.5 times as good, and

4. Tuition was continuing to increase 3-4% annually despite the brilliant performance of the endowment managers. In other words--and this was the point I felt most strongly enough--it was not clear that their brilliant management was helping anyone but themselves very much.

5. Students were borrowing enormous amounts of money to get through college, and that was inevitably going to influence their career choice in ways that Boomers did not have to face. (I incurred a $1000 debt during both college and grad school--and only had to pay off $500 because I did become a teacher.)

Bill and I organized a group of seven classmates (later expanded to about ten) who wrote the President to protest. Larry Summers, to whom we addressed a number of letters, never condescended to respond to us (although at our 35th reunion he explained that we were "deeply mistaken.") We did get a surprising amount of press, although financial writers invariably stated that we just didn't understand how the game was played.

Well, yesterday's New York Times reported that Harvard is about to start giving substantial financial aid to anyone whose family makes $180,000 or less per year, to cut the total cost (as I understand it) to 10% of family income. They will also stop counting parents' home equity on financial aid forms. We regard this as a considerable victory, and I will be drafting a new letter thanking the new President, Drew Faust (or perhaps an op-ed in the Harvard Crimson), commenting on this great step forward. (And backward.)

None of it would have happened without Bill Strauss '69.

Post#103 at 12-18-2007 12:23 PM by Mr. Reed [at Intersection of History joined Jun 2001 #posts 4,376]
12-18-2007, 12:23 PM #103
Join Date
Jun 2001
Intersection of History

Updates on Mr. Strauss' condition

Last edited by Mr. Reed; 12-18-2007 at 03:45 PM.
"The urge to dream, and the will to enable it is fundamental to being human and have coincided with what it is to be American." -- Neil deGrasse Tyson
intp '82er

Post#104 at 12-23-2007 04:34 PM by RockyMtnMike [at joined Dec 2007 #posts 2]
12-23-2007, 04:34 PM #104
Join Date
Dec 2007

Honoring and Celebrating William Strauss

Let the celebration of William Strauss's life begin. What a legacy!

There is William Strauss the Comedian, as brilliant as Bill Maher or Mark Russell.

There is William Strauss the Historian, with as sure a vision as any historian with a doctorate degree.

There is William Strauss the extraordinary Friend, Business Partner, Humanitarian, Husband, and Father, whom we read about in these pages.

And there is William Strauss the Storyteller, sharing the grand narrative of the Parade of History.

And that is the real genius, the lasting, enduring, permanent legacy: For here was a man who, joining with Neil Howe in the mid-1980s, somehow, miraculously, in three short years, developed a master theory of the cycles of history that triumphs any other paradigm out there.

And the real value of that is that each of us can -- and tens of thousands of us already have --- found that part of our identity that involves public and widely shared private history. We've found our identity in collective time. We've found our identity in history and in the present -- and the identity with which we are forging the collective future.

And, you see, no one else can say that but William Strauss and Neil Howe. They stand alone, peerless.

But the impact is so personal. To understand our ancestors. To understand the great cultural and outer-world achievements of some two dozen generations before us. To understand our peers. To understand our next-juniors. To understand what's gone wrong in our time and our lives. To understand what's possible in the 2010s and 2020s and beyond. To understand what's at stake.

One need not accept every sentence nor every conclusion to draw deep value from the four books of William Strauss and Neil Howe. One simply works through, paragraph by paragraph, deciding whether to be like one's generation or not like it in each trait. But step by step, year by year, reading again and again what they have written, we do find our identity, our values, our purpose, and our life.

So yes, let's honor and celebrate William Strauss. Honor and celebrate him in this tragic closing days of his Earthly life. Honor and celebrate him through the mourning and memorial to follow. And honor and celebrate him for decades to come. For no person has done more to help us understand who we are, where we are, and what we might become.

Mike Weber