Dear Professor Hazeltine,

Long before freshman orientation, I knew about you. As a high school student, I visited Brown for a summer program, and while wandering aimlessly around inside the Ratty on the first day, I overheard a couple of students raving about your classes. When I arrived at Brown as a first-year and confirmed with an upper-class student that yours was the most popular course in the entire university ("The dude won so many teaching awards that they named the award after him!"), I enrolled in EN 9.

I have to tell you, I was mortified when you came up to me and shook my hand in the middle of the first lecture. I was floored that you knew my name. But as the semester rolled by, I became accustomed to the case studies and learned to listen for the wise advice that you so generously doled out in your lectures. Everything you said made so much sense—know your organizational culture, capitalize on first mover advantage, eliminate redundancy, use economies of scale, be socially responsible.

EN 9 naturally segued into EN 90, and by the time I became a TA for you, I was frequently walking through your ever-open office door seeking out advice from you about half-baked business ideas, school, and future employment. You wrote me countless letters of recommendation and patiently guided me through the post-graduation job search. I even have you to thank for steering me away from a potentially catastrophic job offer—the company tanked six months later!

At present, I supervise a Planned Parenthood clinic in Boston. Management is still very new to me and on several occasions, I have pulled out my old EN 90 notebook for guidance! I am forever grateful for the lessons that you taught me, for believing that I could be a good student, a good TA, a good businessperson, and for supporting me in getting there.

I know that I join thousands of students in wishing you a happy birthday. Your influence has molded generations of young people into kind, ethical, and successful adults. I wish you all the best in the world.


Shannon Connolly
Class of 2003
Day Supervisor in Abortion Services
Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts
Boston, MA

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