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Winter 2001
1st Among Firsts
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One practical benefit did result from our Sunbeam Society. In the early days of the thaw in U.S.-China relationships, a group of American university presidents, among them the Youngs and the Ryans, were invited to visit Chinese universities. The journey concluded with a visit to Mongolia. I found it necessary to return to Indiana just before the Mongolia segment, but asked Sue to write and tell me about it. She agreed, but was concerned about the possibility of her mail being censored. How could she be sure that her comments would make it through intact? I suggested that if she found Mongolia to be wonderful, she could send a postcard reporting the visit to be a Sunbeam experience. If it was otherwise, she could refer to it as Moonbeam. Some weeks later, I received a postcard that read: "Greetings from Mongolia," with "Moonbeam" written over every remaining space.

Sue Young, multitalented, stimulating, irrepressible in spirit, simply would never flinch. She always seemed to have her eye fastened on higher, better things, and she invested her energy and talent in institutions and people. Like all of her friends, we miss her. But we feel her presence in so many ways that make us just want to be better, to do better, because that is what Sue expects of us.

John W. Ryan is president emeritus of Indiana University, where he served from 1971-'87. He received the UCLA Medal in 1987.


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