Dear Dean Hazeltine,

Happy Birthday!

It's hard to imagine, but it has been 40 years since I met you as my academic advisor during freshman orientation. I left that session knowing that I had had the good fortune of being assigned to a caring individual. Over the next four years, your personal commitment to me as one of you many advisees became more and more important to me as I struggled through the engineering program.

On this occasion of your 75th birthday, I am reminded of an incident that occurred during my Brown undergraduate experience, which typifies for me the greatness of your character. You may not recall this, but it has stuck with me for over 37 years. I was taking a course in electronic engineering that you were instructing. I enjoyed the course very much and was heavily engaged in the coursework. So, a few days after taking the final, I headed over to you office to ask what my final grade was. You looked uncharacteristically tired and were obviously distracted. Your response to me was, "I don't have my grade book here with me, but you did well. I believe that you got a B." I thanked you and left disappointed because I felt I had earned an A.

When I returned to my fraternity later that afternoon, one of my fraternity brothers told me that you had been calling the fraternity all afternoon looking for me. As he was speaking the fraternity pay phone rang, yet again and I was summoned to take a call. It was you on the phone. You wanted me to know that you had checked your grade book and that I had indeed earned an A in the course! You didn't say it, but it was apparent to me that you weren't going to go home that night until you reached me. You cared that much for what most others would have considered a small thing.

That phone conversation has stayed with me for a long time. It's one event that has served as a reminder of the great person that you are and why you are held in such high regard by so many at Brown. Your depth of caring about people is truly extraordinary!

Best Wishes,

Joe DiMartino
Class of 1970
Center for Secondary School Redesign1
West Warwick, RI

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