Dear Dean Hazeltine,

I arrived in Providence five years ago with a passion for liberal arts and an interest in majoring in American History. It didn't take long—only a few days, in fact—for me to change my mind. I decided to accompany my friend to an engineering class because of his rave reviews about the professor. It was still "shopping period" and without anything better to do, it seemed like a decent use of time.

Ninety minutes later I was restructuring my schedule to accommodate what I found to be the most enjoyable course taught by this brilliant, hilarious, and captivating professor. The following semester I went on to take your next course, EN 90, and each semester after that I worked as a TA for whichever course you were teaching. Deciding to accompany my friend to class that fall day in 2001 was one of the best decisions I made at Brown and in my life.

Professor Hazeltine, I know that what I am about to say may make you a bit uncomfortable and that you might even blush, but it's something that I really want you to hear. You are a sensational teacher, a marvelous listener, a magnetic personality, an incredible friend, and a true role model. Your wisdom, guidance, intellect, and companionship are simply unparalleled and often overlooked due to your frighteningly humble manner and incredibly gentle presence. Without knowing it or trying to, you have been a terrific influence and inspiration in my life, and I can say with great confidence that, in this regard, I am not alone.

I would like to thank you for teaching me, helping me, having me over for brunch with you and your lovely wife Mary, and most of all, for being a great friend. Thank you so much for everything. I look forward to seeing you on my next trip to Providence. Congratulations and Happy Birthday!


Alex Bernstein
Class of 2005
New York, NY

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