Unity on Common Grounds
Columbia College 1987
Class was about to begin in an auditorium of the Columbia Law School on a November afternoon in 1985. At the time I was a junior in Columbia College majoring in history and comparative religion. Just before class, Professor Wallace Gray signaled to me to come up to the rostrum and handed me a large envelope. I returned to my seat and opened the package. To my delight, I found an inscribed copy of Gray's latest book, Homer to Joyce, a study of the classic works of Western literature. For a full year as a sophomore I had been a student in Gray's seminar on the great books of Western civilization and now I was taking his popular course on the works of Eliot, Joyce, and Pound. Although we were two people from very different backgrounds—I was a yeshivah boy from the Bronx, he a WASP from the American heartland—we forged a bond based on love of literature and ideas, as well as mutual respect. For that, I will always be grateful.