I thank The Post and Courier for its coverage of the life of former Congressman Arthur Ravenel Jr., who passed away Monday at age 95.
Ravenel wasn’t a typical politician. He seldom, if ever, simply echoed the party line talking points. He was one of the few Republican candidates endorsed by the Sierra Club.
I do take issue with his being attributed with a “familiar Southern drawl.” He had a distinctive, traditional Charleston and Lowcountry accent, which, like many local traditions, has passed away with his generation.
He used it to entertain and seduce people into voting for him. He was “folksy” with a goal.
The last time I heard Cousin Arthur speak publicly, he was being interviewed on a radio station. Of course, the host asked, “Do you have plans to run for office again?”
His reply: “Right now, I’m running to get into heaven. But, you know, my poll numbers don’t look so good.”
As the Ravenel Bridge was completed, someone mused that it should be called “The Cuzway.” Not a bad idea.
Ravenel also should be remembered for his role in historic preservation. He restored the Faber-Ward House on East Bay Street, the Presqu’ile House on Amherst Street and other important buildings.
Arthur Ravenel embodied one of the traditions of his Anglo/Huguenot ancestors. He was a public servant first, and a politician out of necessity to fulfill that duty.
ROBERT P. STOCKTON
Boost college funding
A recent letter to the editor focused on the value of a college education.
The writer used the example of the College of Charleston tuition rate hikes as exceeding inflation.
Although tuition rate hikes are a reality of higher education, our Legislature should not be overlooked as one of the causes.
In 2006, the college received 19.2% of its total annual revenue from the state.
Following the economic crisis of 2007, this percentage decreased and appeared to bottom out in 2013 at 8.2%.
In 2022, the college received 10.7% of its operating budget from the state.
Fifteen years after the economic downturn, and with billions in surplus, the state has yet to fulfill its commitment to return higher education funding to pre-2007 levels.
It is no wonder tuition hikes became a common occurrence even though they are unpopular and burdensome to the family budget.
I suspect other higher education institutions in the state were in the same boat before the Legislature agreed to provide additional funding in return for tuition freezes for in-state undergraduate students.
When the state decides to save money by reducing support for higher education, rate hikes are understandable and predictable.
I’m curious to know if Columbia is ever planning to fully restore the funding to our universities so they are not continually faced with the question of increasing tuition.
Keep track of papers
Libraries have a system to ensure who has the books that are checked out, even children’s books.
It would appear that our government relies on the honor system when ensuring classified information is returned, even some information classified top secret.
Perhaps it would be a good idea to employ librarians to ensure our country’s classified information is properly handled.