Education: Dirt Farmer Gone Wrong

In some ways, Dean Harry J, Carman of Columbia College,* Columbia University was a very odd sort of dean. He was a baggily dressed man with a Yankee twang and white hair that always seemed ruffled. He called distinguished visitors "you dear folks," said "peoples" when he meant "people"; and his eminent colleague, Historian Jacques Barzun, he insisted on calling Jake.

In summer he would vanish to his farm in upstate New York to mend roofs, trudge through the mud and bargain at cattle auctions. In spring he played on a campus softball team known as Carman's Indians. He himself often wondered...

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