Letter from Robert Huke, Dartmouth College, to Robert Oppenheimer, Princeton University, 11 September 1958

oppenheimer letter, 1958September 11, 1958

Dr. Robert Oppenheimer
Institute for Advanced Study
Princeton, New Jersey

Dear Dr. Oppenheimer:

            As chairman of the Dartmouth College Lecture Series for 1958-59, I would like to extend an invitation to you on behalf of the College and the Lecture Series to visit the Dartmouth campus and speak to the College community.

           The Dartmouth College Lecture Series is a long established institution on our campus and, football aside, is the leading extra curricula activity. It is a non-profit organization operating on a small budget from the college’s general fund. Lectures are well attended and, indeed, looked forward to not only by the students and faculty but by the leading citizens within a considerable radius of Hanover.

            Our aim is to bring to Hanover outstanding personalities to discuss topics of current and lasting importance but topics which are normally not covered thoroughly in an average student’s curriculum.

            During the past two years we have had speakers such as Alistair Cooke, Hugh Gaitskell, Bennett Cerf, Abba Eban, and Daniel Schorr. In the forthcoming year we have scheduled Clement Atlee and Professor George B. Cressey.

            One special reason why we would like to have you speak on our campus is that this year we have instituted a unique “Program of Independent Reading” for Freshmen and Sophomores and your book Science and the Common Understanding is on the reading list. To have your lecture on our campus would not only be a stimulus to this new program but would be an event never to be forgotten.

            The dates I have in mind are: Thursday, April 9 [Ch. E Wilson 1st May]; Tuesday, April 14; or Tuesday, April 21. If none of these dates are convenient, perhaps Thursday, January 22, or Wednesday, January 21 would be better [Calvert on 21st;]. The lecture would be scheduled for 8:30 p.m. [March 3rd 5th 10th]

            It goes without saying that the College will take care of all accommodations for you and for your wife, if she cares to accompany you. There is also an honorarium of $350 [$500].

Yours sincerely,
Robert E. Huke
Chairman, Dartmouth College Lecture Series
[Date in March, March would follow Atlee, He will call again Wed.]

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Text and image reproduced here with permission from the papers of J. Robert Oppenheimer, held in the manuscript division of the Library of Congress.