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10 June 1947
Dear Dean Rieber:
Your very welcome note of 21 April was forwarded to me from the Department of State some time ago and I regret the delay in replying. I have been jumping from pillar to post in recent weeks and have never remained in one place long enough to write a letter.
I cannot begin to tell you how delighted I was to receive your letter. In the even score of years since I graduated from U.C.L.A. I have thought often of you and Mrs. Rieber, and the gratitude I owe to you for the inspiration you gave me in my college years. Although I am, I suppose, a quite hard-headed political scientist, and in recent years, I fear, something of a bureaucrat, it is not without significance that the two professors who made the strongest impact on me and whom I remember most vividly were both philosophers—you at U.C.L.A. and Charles H. McIlwain at Harvard.
I marvel at your memory. It was twenty years ago when I delivered at U.C.L.A. the address to which you refer, which, as, I recall was titled "The Fourth Dimension of Personality." You inspired the theme and it was you who gave me the volume of Edna Millay's poems to read from which I quoted in my speech. I remember so well, how, when I was struggling for ideas, you suggested I take the poems on a lonely vigil at the beach.
On several occasions in these intervening years I have tried to get in touch with you directly, although I have never written. Back in the late thirties, when I visited Los Angeles briefly on my return from the Far East, I made inquiry and was informed that you were residing in New York. Some years later I tried to locate
― 2 ―you in New York and was told that you had returned to the Pacific Coast.
Only a few weeks ago, I thrilled at the sound of your voice on a recording played for me by Miss Florence Read at Spellman, who enthusiastically shares my admiration for you. It took me back to our class on the Philosophy of Religion on the Vermont Avenue Campus.
I had planned to visit California this summer and I certainly intended to get in touch with you soon after my arrival. But now my summer plans have been re-arranged for me, since I have been assigned to accompany the United Nations mission to Palestine. We leave on Wednesday of this week. I will need on this mission all of the philosophy, vision and patience which you and McIlwain taught me—and more.
I do sincerely hope that I may have the opportunity of chatting with you at some early date. I can think of nothing that would be so satisfying to me.
With kindest regards,
Ralph J. Bunche
Dr. C. H. Rieber