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I graduated from Florida Presbyterian College, Eckerd, before it changed its name. The education was OK. For years I loved the college, wore my class ring, and told people it was where I got my real, basic education. But over the years I became more and more disillusioned by the treatment I received as an alumnus. I tried to participate in the learning community I had thought was Eckerd, but the only questions the college had were: How much can you give? and Can you attract new students? Finally, I applied for a job at Eckerd. It so happened that I applied for jobs at two other colleges at the same time. One was in South Carolina, one in New York, the other was Eckerd. I sent my applications off the same week. In a week I got a call from South Carolina. The person said that they had received my application and would give me an answer in about two weeks. About that same time I got an email from the University in New York saying that they received my application and would reply in a couple weeks. There was no word at all from Eckerd. Two weeks later, I got a call from South Carolina informing me that they had decided to call someone else. I thanked them and said I fully understood. A couple days later I got a wonderful, personal, thoughtful letter from the New York University. It was so kind and affirming that, a couple years later, when I sold a piece of land, I gave 10% of the profit to that University. Eckerd never said a word. I only found that I hadn?t been hired through an alumni letter. If I hadn?t been an alum I don?t think I would have been told anything. Later my son, also an alum, applied for a job at Eckerd. When it seemed that he was in a position to do the school a favor, he was called in and nicely affirmed by the Academic Dean. When another person applied and was accepted to the job the Dean said ? absolutely nothing. Overall my treatment, as an alum, was wholly bureaucratic and impersonal. My son?s treatment was insensitive to the point of cruelty. The education was adequate but the post-graduation treatment was a simple cost-benefit; ?what can you do for me??
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