Diminishing Paepcke’s legacy
Dear Editor:Imagine for a moment, an Aspen community without the legacy of Walter and Elizabeth Paepcke. There would be no Aspen Institute, not to mention Paepcke Auditorium. There would be no convening of great leaders these past 56 years, no executive seminars that have shaped the minds and values of thousands of leaders around the world, no great ideas cultivated on the Bauhaus campus of The Aspen Institute. There would be no Aspen Music Festival as we know it today. No music students practicing on the Hyman Street mall, no performances at the Bayer Benedict music tent. There would be no Aspen Skiing Company since Walter Paepcke was its founder. There would be no Aspen as we know it today.To diminish the Paepcke’s legacy in the Aspen community by renaming Paepcke Auditorium is simply wrong. It runs contrary to the very values espoused by The Aspen Institute. What example does such a renowned institution as The Aspen Institute, with its noble mission “to develop leaders who can make value judgments,” set for other leaders if they allow such a disrespectful thing as this renaming to happen? I feel certain there is another, more appropriate solution that would honor the generosity of “decent, open-minded and graceful” donors today and in Aspen’s future.Walter Paepcke was described as a person who always said what he thought. On behalf of my family and Aspen’s next generation, I am speaking in favor of preserving the integrity of Paepcke Auditorium. And, to go a step further, suggest insuring the name of Paepcke Auditorium in perpetuity.The Aspen Institute’s First Annual Report, In Memory of Walter Paepcke, recites the reflections of Robert O. Anderson, “It is my wish that we carry on his plans for the future of Aspen as wisely and as swiftly as he would have.” It should be the wish of all Aspenites and the trustees of The Aspen Institute to think and act wisely in preserving the Paepcke’s vision and Aspen’s unique heritage.The powers that be should go back to their tank and do some better thinking.Carolyne HydeDenver
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