There were a group of us who really enjoyed him, really respected him. I don’t think it was quite a cult. He was a very charismatic personality. He was relatively short, had a glint in his eye—I wouldn’t say handsome but very expressive face and very nice winning smile. And he’d sort of smile and say these provocative things. Now I think some of the other faculty members were a little concerned that he was very charismatic—too charismatic–and people might get influenced too much and the Chicago school and Leo Strauss, those were early days, was already having that influence, you know, the secretive thing, texts have secret messages, you have to study the texts, only a few people can really understand it, that type of stuff.

I think that he attracted certain types of students, people intellectually who were challenged by him. But I think there were quite a few people who were not at the highest grade level that were influenced by him also. I think he cared a lot about character. He would say that sometimes, “people of character,” and I don’t think his view of people was based solely on intellect. And there were a lot of high achievers, intellectual achievers, who really didn’t enjoy being with him. They wanted to get back to the books, learn the facts, learn the studies and this guy was a bit of a showman and, you know, “What is he really doing? I don’t need to hear all this stuff. I just want to learn stuff and get good grades and move on.” Some of those people have been very high achievers also.

Matt Nimetz '60