From the [deep] Archives

                      We all need a little advice sometimes, and Punch Bowls of ages past have not been slow to deliver. What follows is from September 1975, and is a series of helpful advice letters from various school officials for adorable freshmen.

Advice for Freshman

Martin Meyerson, President
              I won’t beat around the bush. There’s no time like the present. Today’s college student faces a difficult dilemma. On one hand, we live in an individually orientated society. But on the other hand, a society of all individuals cannot properly function. For as I always say, too many cooks spoil the broth. And as Mrs. Meyerson always says, don’t cry over spilled milk.
              But I digress. To get back to the real crux of the matter, our interdependent community makes it necessary to strive for maximum cooperation. A good quote that comes to mind is, “A friend in need is a friend indeed.” (A dog is a man’s best friend.) In fact, let me give you my golden rule. Do unto others as you would have others do unto you. Isn’t that a golden rule? Silence is golden, too. And there’s a pot of gold at the end of every rainbow. And every cloud has its silver lining. Which reminds me, don’t count your chickens before they hatch, for the college years are a time of disappointment on one hand, and to use a current phrase, a real gas on the other.
              Let me conclude with a handy bit of advice from my second grade teacher, Mrs. Maxfly, used to always tell our class: “I’ve heard of strawberries and I’ve heard of blueberries, but I’ve never heard of liberries.”

James O. Freedman, Ombudsman
              Go back to where you came from! You’ve made a terrible mistake! This is the only chance they’ll let me speak to you. I can’t warn you enough. There are evil beings here and they want to harm you. They’ve already gotten my wife and kids, and they drive my car around without permission! Get out of here while you still can. Run, run for your lives!

Donald C. Carroll, Dean of the Wharton School
              We at Wharton know how you feel. We’ve been in the college business for 94 years and we’re still helping people. When money matters are troubling you, come, give us a call. Our loan officer will be glad to sit you down and discuss any problem you might have – whether it be a new car, an unexpected operation, or even bankruptcy. Remember, at Wharton your business is our business.

The Honorable Frank J. Rizzo, Mayor of Philadelphia
              The Bicentennial City of Philadelphia warmly welcomes you to one of its finest institutions, LaSalle College.

The Reverend Stanley E. Johnson, University Chaplain
              The greatest advice giver of all is God. We at Penn are fortunate to have Him with us at our University. Any student who needs advice in regard to any topic whatsoever, should feel free to stop by His office at 112 College Hall. Mrs. Adams, His secretary, will be more than happy to arrange an appointment at the earliest possible convenience.
              Unfortunately, His heavy travel schedule for lectures no longer allows Him to be available for independent studies.

George Kidd, Director of Dining Services
              My advice to every freshman is to buy our new Plan D meal contract, which offers 120 meals a week, served 24 times a day, Monday through Friday at all three convenient and modern Dining Service facilities. As with our other plans, Plan D meal card holders will be permitted second helpings on the bread, but only one spoon per person.
              The cost for the plan is the low low price of only $360 weekly, and if you buy one now, we will give you free, at no extra cost, a two-record set of 20 of Eddie Fisher’s favourite songs, including the all-time favourite, “Bind My Feet with Cable Wire and Leave Me on Mt. McKinley to Sing.”

Donald M. Shultis, Chief Security Officer
              Don’t fall out of hi-rise windows. Don’t rape people. Don’t rob stereos, televisions or refrigerators. Don’t litter or knock down buildings. Don’t play with matches. Don’t kidnap professors. Don’t shoplift or punch policemen. Don’t carpet your living room with Franklin Field Astroturf. Don’t poison dogs. Don’t borrow chapters from library books. Don’t keep your valuables near Wharton students. Don’t walk under ladders. Don’t drink the water in the bio pond. Don’t eat the ducks. Don’t autograph walls. Don’t spread rumors. Don’t scream “Fire!” in movie theatres. Don’t kill people. Don’t throw hand grenades. Don’t jaywalk. Don’t stay in your room during a fire. Don’t walk in front of a black cat. Don’t eat poison. Don’t have accidents. Don’t stick your head in a plastic bag. Don’t panic.

The Registrar
              This form is to be filled out by college students only and submitted with complete forms for pre-registration and returned to 16 College Hall. Use Number 2 pencil only. Press firmly.

Edwin M. Ledwell, Director of Residential Life
              As honorary mayor in University City, I welcome you to our friendly, little community where the grass is always green, children always play, birds always sing, and the sun always shines. There really is no advice I can give to new villagers, because here at University City, everyone is always happy. I guess this is because we have been blessed with luxurious housing for all. Whether you prefer a penthouse studio, a Spanish castle, or a luxury liner, we will be able to meet your every need. Furthermore, because of the will of the very first mayor of University City, Benjamin Franklin, the cost of housing here has always remained the same- free. And as mayor, I give my solemn word that on-campus housing will be available to you throughout all your years at Penn, so have no fears that you will be forced to look for housing in the Land of Death and Mean People, West Philadelphia.
      Again, welcome aboard, and if you need any advice, my door is always unlocked.

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