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