Thanks to PAW for the excellent article on the Critical Languages Program (feature, May 15). The program was life-changing for me as I elevated my career aspirations to earning a Ph.D. in East Asian Studies at Princeton and then to serving at the National Security Agency, where, at the outset, I made good use of my language skills. I fully agree with my CIA colleague Bob Suettinger that the program’s return on investment for Princeton and our nation was quite high. Moreover, the Chinese-language training I received was exceptional, including the training at the Middlebury College Chinese Summer Language Program. That program was directed by Princeton’s Chinese-language faculty and was already world-class although only in its third year when I attended in 1968.
However, I do note with sadness that others who attended the Critical Languages Program but who did not receive degrees from Princeton are not treated as alumni. After all, as I read regularly in PAW, Princeton appears to consider as alumni undergraduate and graduate students who leave the University without receiving a degree. Surely something can be done to right this wrong, even at this late date. Then my 1968–69 roommates (Ted Davis, Jim Garafallou, Bob Gordon, and Mike Weiskopf) could read this letter.