Anonymous Letter Resolves 55-Year Old Prank at Clarke

posted on November 25, 2009

While it’s not uncommon for Clarke College President Sister Joanne Burrows to receive large stacks of mail each day, one specific piece of correspondence recently caught her attention.

With a postmark from Chicago, she opened the plain white envelope that was hand addressed to her and listed her assistant as the sender. Knowing the address was not in her assistant’s handwriting, she was prepared to open an anonymous letter of complaint.

The note inside, however, was far from a grievance. It was an apology over 50 years in the making.

“About 55 years ago, I was involved in the theft of a portable radio from a teachers’ lounge on the ground floor of your main building,” the letter stated. “I have regretted this foolish act ever since and have resolved many times in these past years to make restitution. I’m ashamed that it has taken this long to turn resolve into action. Please use the enclosed for the comfort of your current faculty members and ask them to forgive me, and join me in praying for God’s forgiveness as well.”

Accompanying the letter were five $100 bills. While the specific use of the donation has not yet been determined, Burrows said it will be used to provide enjoyment to the faculty as the donor intended.

“The financial gift aside, this note illustrates the fact that it is never too late to right our wrongs,” said Burrows. “It is heartwarming to know that this person has had a 55-year weight lifted off their shoulders.” 


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