Phi Beta Cons

Reader Mail re: Beer-Guzzling President

Shameful, ain’t it? As I see it, the main offense Dr. Paxton committed appears to have been drinking something as plebian as beer and being seen doing so in public. Everybody knows that college presidents should only drink single malt whiskey or Courvoisier VSOP, and then only in the privacy of their offices, in the presence of well-heeled alumni and other potential big donors.

Why, when I was a lad attending Georgetown University, our esteemed president, Father Robert Henle, SJ, was known to us as “Bourbon Bob,” and it was understood by one and all that his primary role at the University was to get the deep pockets soused, and when they were in their cups, to convince them to whip out their checkbooks. He was very good at his job, so much so that this role often spilled out into his other functions, such as making commencement addresses, once of which he delivered fully three sheets to the wind.

But the Seventies were a different time, and if we had no quality control in that decade, neither were we as puritanical as the liberal mavens of political correctness. For all that he was a drunk, though, Henle would never condone the falsification of the grades of student athletes (and we had some good ones!). The son of an Arab sheikh looking to endow a new building, however, might be another matter.

Stuart Koehl Falls Church, Va.

NRO Staff — Members of the National Review Online editorial and operational teams are included under the umbrella “NR Staff.”

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