“I characterize you as Dartmouth’s greatest mistake of all time”

In the January/February 2014 issue of Dartmouth Alumni Magazine, Abbye E. Meyer, D’02, wrote about her lasting issues with the Dartmouth community — namely the exclusivity inherent in the social structure of Greek houses and senior and secret societies.

Then on Valentine’s Day, Judge Quentin L. Kopp, D’49, got in the spirit of the holiday and wrote Meyer an ode, of sorts:

“You claim feelings of ‘…loyalty and shame.’ I am ashamed of you.”

In three short paragraphs, the esteemed retired Judge Kopp, who unsuccessfully ran for mayor of San Francisco in ’79, attacked Meyer from all sides, even getting in a kick to The Huffington Post. Meyer’s article spoke about her cousin deciding not to apply to Dartmouth — and judging by the 14% drop in applications this year, he’s not alone in that decision. Good riddance, says Judge Kopp.

“I’m also pleased that your cousin is not applying to Dartmouth, lest he bring the same taint which you display in your article.”

Judge Kopp closes the letter with a syntactically complex section about “encourag[ing] the Office of Admissions to utilize color, national origin, and gender in admitting applicants, minus your cousin, to Dartmouth, so as to hasten the complete collapse of Dartmouth into just another pretty-named Ivy League college”.

We spoke with Judge Kopp yesterday about the letter, and what he meant in that final paragraph.

“What are [the other Ivies] like? I don’t know,” he said, but if he had a child applying for colleges now, he wouldn’t send him or her to an Ivy — well, maybe Cornell or Princeton, but otherwise he “[knows] enough about the others to know they’re comparable to [Meyer’s] attitude.” Judge Kopp does seem worried about the state of Dartmouth; he referred to the “Freedom Budget” protest as a sign of its downfall due to a complaining community of students.

“Dartmouth historically has been different from all seven schools,” but Judge Kopp does not believe that to be true anymore.

“I resented her whining tone and opinions,” Judge Kopp said about Meyer, noting that if she really didn’t like Dartmouth, she should have transferred. “It’s apparent she didn’t adapt well, she obviously came with a chip on her shoulder.” When asked if any of her arguments had merit, Judge Kopp admitted that he couldn’t be sure — he didn’t go to Dartmouth while it was co-ed so does not know what it’s like now — but he knows many women who have matriculated since the school went co-ed, all of whom “participated fully” in “classes, sports, sororities, social life,” and so on.

In fact Judge Kopp seemed to think that Meyer’s opinions derived from feeling outcast as a woman, rather than a student, and kept going back to that point, trying to figure out what gendered roadblocks were holding her back at the school, especially since she attended so long after the school had perfectly adapted to a co-ed student body. In any case, though, “she’s a whiner,” Judge Kopp said, and “she’ll transmit that whining to others” while pursuing her Ph.D.

The letter cc’s “Interested Alumni,” so we’re providing it here for those “Interested Alumni” to peruse. We’ve reached out to Meyer for comment.

Update, 4/19 Meyer has responded with the following:

I received a lot of feedback to the op-ed I published in the Dartmouth Alumni Magazine, and most of the letters were both affirming and heartbreaking. I think that most Dartmouth alumni (and I mean both alumnae and alumni, and people of all ethnic backgrounds, and people of all socioeconomic backgrounds)—if they take the time to think and digest—want the school to be known as an elite institution of education (an accurate reputation which is now in danger because of the applicant drop!) as well as an institution in which ALL students feel safe and encouraged and free to pursue their academic goals and to grow as (politicized) human beings. Dartmouth College offers an unparalleled undergraduate education! Let that be how it’s known!

5 Responses to ““I characterize you as Dartmouth’s greatest mistake of all time””

  1. abbye meyer Says:

    Dear Alexandra and colleagues and readers,

    Please email me (again—sorry for the delay!) at abbyemeyer@gmail.com. I would love to talk to administrators at Dartmouth, alumni and students of Dartmouth and other “elite institutions,” to members of your association, and especially to Judge Kopp.

    (I have responded to your email with at least a little bit of text, I hope!)

    Thanks for your care and coverage,
    Abbye E. Meyer (Dartmouth ’02)

  2. J.D. Galbraith Says:

    Dear Dartmouth,

    If anyone at this institution thinks Abbye Meyer is “Dartmouth’s greatest
    mistake”, they are either:

    1) Unclear as to what actually constitutes a mistake or

    2) Foolish to a degree that warrants removal of Dartmouth as an
    institution worthy of respect

    Having known Ms. Meyer for several years (though admittedly not
    well), I can safely say that Ms Meyer is intelligent and thoughtful and,
    without a doubt, not any institution of higher learning’s greatest mistake.
    That any alum would not be proud to have her, let alone ashamed of her,
    is simply ridiculous.

    To Ms. Meyer, if your institution of higher learning feels that you are not worthy of them, I am fairly confident that my institution of higher learning (admittedly, not an ivy, though accorded similar stature, at least according to the rest of the world) would be happy to adopt you as one of ours.

    Sincerely and supportively (to Ms. Meyer),

    J.D. Galbraith

    SHS ’00
    University of Wisconsin ’04
    Medical College of Wisconsin ’11

    In no way, shape or form affiliated with Dartmouth.

  3. BigGreen Says:

    Judge Kopp is laughable. Everyone knows Dinesh D’souza is Dartmouth’s greatest mistake.

  4. nite light Says:

    This reminds me of complaints towards the PGA, basically I guess ,being unfair
    To females. and someone I know made the comment… all these whiners should be focusing on improving the LPGA and getting the girls more money. I couldn’t agree more, the whole concept of pecking at the elite annoys me. it’s a waist of the naysayers time and the elite’s. Spend your time more usefully and focus your efforts on improving you and
    Like minded individuals lives. I’m pretty sure that most Greeks and secret society types would let you have your own clubs and such if you didn’t try to disturb their lives and beliefs. look as far as I know… Things have gotten better for the LPGA and it’s girls, and sorry for the pessimism…. I personally think LPGA girls are awesome. so i say go ahead and try to make things better for you and those that have similar opinions about the so called elite, it would more than likely just work out better for everybody, and the campus medical centers would have a much lower number of cases of the red ass. keep the ivy’s the best of the best, but when you just have the need…. party ooohhnnn !!!!!!!

  5. nite light Says:

    just incase you’re wondering what a case of the
    red ass is…. it’s basically that consistent demeanor of
    an awful butch lesbian that absolutely hates all men, and would stop at
    Nothing to help the wicked witch get into the office of the
    president, rather than say someone like JFK or Eisenhauer, or even the most
    amazingly moderate and fair male candidate. remedy for the red ass… margaritas, piña coladas, or daqueri’s…. and yes, mind blowing sex. works every time

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