Dear Dean Hazeltine,

The news of the request for tributes to you reached me through my son, Josh, class of 2004. It's not often that father and son have the opportunity to take courses from the same professor. I really enjoyed renewing our friendship during my visits to Brown while Josh was there.

Apparently, but not surprisingly, the leaders of the tribute effort didn't solicit input from those who knew you when you were an assistant professor in your early 30s. Nevertheless, I'll never forget the significant role you played in rescuing my engineering degree from Brown in the fall of 1961.

Without going into detail about the exact reasons for my difficulties, it will be sufficient to say that I returned to Brown "cleverly disguised as a responsible adult" after an involuntary one-semester hiatus. Luckily for me, you were my academic advisor. You welcomed me back and sat down to figure out how I could make up the courses I'd dropped. Your solution was an overload requiring me to take extra courses for the next two semesters. You warned me that it wouldn't be easy. Engineering students were stretched with normal course loads, and I would be taking some of the courses without having had their suggested prerequisites.

I remember what you said then, "You won't screw up." Your confidence in me kept me on track. I remember thinking, "I must not let myself down. I must not let my parents down. I must not let Professor Hazeltine down." I didn't screw up – not then, anyhow.

Later I learned of a management principle called, "The Pygmalion Effect," derived from a Greek myth in which the sculptor, Pygmalion, fell in love with a statue he had carved. His love was so strong that the statue came to life as a beautiful woman. Thus, the Pygmalion Effect says that people tend to behave as they are treated. You treated me as a responsible student, and I thank you for that. Happy Birthday!

John Butler
Class of 1963
Easton, MD

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