As I write this letter to welcome the Spring 2018 issue of our University Seminars Newsletter it is tax day, it is pouring, and the temperature has not yet gone up to 40 degrees. Even so, we have a lot to be grateful for. This month those members who attended our Annual Dinner and Tannenbaum Lecture had the gift of hearing a brilliant talk by Professor Farah Griffin. At the risk of losing a nuance or two, I wish to share her argument here: justice is necessary, but only justice with mercy is sufficient. That speaks to our Seminars program: we may have as many different definitions of justice as we have Seminars, but they all share a merciful commitment to the tamping down of competition, and they all welcome disagreement while precluding marginalization. In the fall we will begin a project to commemorate our 75th anniversary as a program of free and independent Seminars, held together all these years by those commitments. You’ve been asked by our office to fill out a survey to help determine the contents of a planned 75th anniversary book edited by Columbia historian Thomas Vinciguerra. It will be the 2020 book in the Columbia University Press Schoff series. Please respond promptly, so we can get this important project under way. All the best for Spring and always happy to learn what you are thinking.
Director, The University Seminars