Giving Tuesday and the 2016 “Dear Friends” Newsletter


A message from Joe Lemak, Director of the Elmira College Center for Mark Twain Studies

Dear Friend:

While at Quarry Farm in the early summer of 1874, Mark Twain wrote:

“…since we have perched away up here on top of the hill near heaven I have the feeling of being a sort of scrub angel & am more moved to help shove the clouds around, & get the stars on deck promptly, & keep all things trim & ship-shape in the firmament than to bother myself with the humble insect-interests & occupations of the distant earth.”  (letter to Charles E. Perkins, May 8, 1874)

While Twain may have felt like a “scrub angel” and did not need to worry about the “insect-interests” of the “distant earth” while summering on the East Hill in Elmira, New York, the staff of the Center of Mark Twain Studies has to dwell on mundane matters from time to time.  Once again, Dear Friend, we are asking you to start or renew your membership.  Please know that your tax-deductible contributions help us accomplish many things, including:

  • Support and outreach to students, teachers, and college professors
  • Scholarly conferences and symposia, including Elmira 2017: the Eighth International Conference on the State of Mark Twain Studies (August 3-5)
  • Continuation of the longstanding “The Trouble Begins at Eight” and the newly- founded “Summer Park Church” public lecture series, featuring the world’s leading Mark Twain scholars
  • The growth of marktwainstudies.org, the official website of CMTS. The website includes announcements, weekly blog posts, archival material, and a virtual tour of Quarry Farm
  • Preservation of two of America’s literary treasures—the Mark Twain Study and Quarry Farm

As a thank you for your contribution, you will receive mailings announcing upcoming events and the newsletter, Dear Friends, describing our recent activities. You also will receive a letter acknowledging your gift.  If you want to receive your announcements electronically, please let us know and we would be more than happy to oblige.

Starting this year, we also have the opportunity to provide you the Mark Twain Journal for the affordable subscription price of $15.  This academic periodical is published twice a year and is proud to be the oldest journal in the United States dedicated to a single author.

I am aware that “Giving Tuesday” is tomorrow.  We would be honored if you would consider donating to CTMS.  You can contact us at [email protected] or use the “DONATE” button found on this website.

I have attached our most recent version of Dear Friends, the CTMS newsletter. The Elmira College Center for Mark Twain Studies wants to have you be a part of the legacy of Mark Twain.  We hope you can join us.

Wishing you and yours a happy winter season,

Joe Lemak

Dear Friends: 2016 Year In Review