January 29, 2007
Katherine Bullock Helen Elswit
Margaret Foerster Willard Hanzlik
William Hayes Durant Hunter
Michael Sharples Charles Spaulding Jr.
Dear Members of the Board of Trustees of the Principia,
It is with great anticipation and trepidation that I pen this letter. Anticipation that the events currently transpiring on the Principia campuses provide the possibility for saving Prin from the self-destructive spiral that I have witnessed the last several years. Trepidation that if this effort to remove Stuart Jenkins and return Prin to the spiritual and democratic foundation that has epitomized its entire history is not successful this beloved institution may be mortally damaged …wounded beyond repair. This is a seminal moment!
A brief history of this writer follows. My children, Ashley (Schmidt) Smith (C’02) and Blake Schmidt (C’00) were the 18th and 19th members of our family to attend Prin. My wife, Brooke Howell Schmidt (C’71) and I (C’71) met at Prin. While students we were very active in student government… culminating in my being Men’s Org President. Since graduating we have been active in our Prin club serving several years as President. I also served 3 years (2000-2003) on the NEC (National Executive Committee) repre-senting Region 1. For 6 years while our children were at the college we were on campus an average of 3 times a year. George Moffett wrote of me in, in part, last November: “someone who has done more in the field to support Principia than just about anyone I can think of. We owe you so much for what you have done in
We have closely watched what has transpired on both campuses since Stuart Jenkins arrived first with surprise, then shock, revulsion and despair. We saw so many of the pillars of the community summarily leave, heard repeated tales of him running roughshod over the historic boards, committees and offices which had brought diversity to the community and saw the balanced whole man fast becoming solely the athletic man.
Although separated by ½ a country from the campuses I have kept in close contact with many friends and acquaintances who are still in
Like many other alumni and friends of Prin we have suspended any financial contributions while Stuart remains as CEO. We have also distanced ourselves from his planned visit to
When Stuart was first appointed as CEO/Chairman I drove to
At last summer’s reunion I was disappointed and embarrassed each time Stuart Jenkins spoke. Inspiration, clarity, love for the whole man were all missing. He addressed the alumni gathered in Cox, misreading printed words projected on a screen. I felt as though I was at a high school assembly. I was uncomfortable.
Now is the time for wisdom to prevail. Now is the time for humility to trump ego. The trustees have the opportunity to become part of the solution, rather than part of the problem.
I feel very strongly that Stuart Jenkin's time at Prin has been a catastrophe. He has demoralized, debilitated and decimated the faculty, staff and administration. His style is personal, intrusive and dictatorial.
George Moffett, Bob Clark, Hal Hoerner, Elaine Follis, Dory Smith and many others are inspirational Christian Scientists and leaders. They will be major contributors to the cause of Christian Science and their communities wherever they are. But it is Prin’s loss that concerns me! It is so much harder to remedy a mistake than to make one.
Please admit that Stuart Jenkins and Principia are not a match. Please assure the remaining faculty and staff that they are valued and will be retained. Please ask Martha and George Moffett to stay at the college. Please in deed and in word restore the faith of the many thousands of alumni and friends around the world that Mary Kimball Morgan’s vision is alive and well. And most importantly demonstrate to the students that guided by Principle “No sordid, selfish motive can find nourishment in the mental soil of Principia.” [Education at Principia p.12]. Be healers! Be the solution!
“Spirit blesses the multiplication of its own pure and perfect ideas.” Science and Health 512:20