Donald J. Rapson, Alum
School of Law 1954
Columbia College 1951
The best teacher I had at Columbia was Professor Gilbert Highet from whom I took Humanities in the fall of 1947. He had just returned to Columbia after having served in British Intelligence during World War II. Professor Highet was, of course, already a noted Greek and Roman scholar and truly a wordly person---but the added experience of his having been in Berlin pre-WWII and having observed Hitler and the Nazis in person made his presence an overwhelming and fascinating experience.
In my case, I had grown up in NYC and attended NYC public schools; I had done very little travelling outside NYC and had exposure only to people from the city. Thus, the exposure of this unwordly freshman to the sophistication, erudition and worldliness of Gilbert Highet--who was a brilliant and sparkling communicator truly interested in opening the minds of his students to new ideas and concepts--was as great a learning experience as one could possibly have.