May 2, 1986

Dear President Sovern,

Attached, please find a copy of "Surgam," the literary magazine of the Philolexian Society.

You may know that Philolexian has been called "the oldest thing at Columbia except the College itself," and that it dates from 1802. It is so much a part of this university, in fact, that its official color, light blue, was taken by Columbia as one of its two school colors.

Which brings me to my point: in the course of my researches in the Columbiana library, I find absolutely no documentation permitting the university to use Philolexian's color. In fact, the phrase "some say stole" occurs in official Philolexian history when used in relation to the university's acquisition of the light blue.

We therefore expect some form of restitution, based on the many years of the light blue hue being used on such items as shirts, jackets, mugs, banners, letterheads, sports uniforms, etc. We have concurred that the sum of one million dollars ($1,000,000) would be appropriate. Rest assured that all monies will be used for the furthering of Philolexian's stated purpose of improving its members in oratory, composition, and forensic discussion. Please leave the money--in the form of used tens and twenties--in front of Alma Mater by tomorrow night at midnight. Unmarked paper bag, please.

Thank you for your cooperation. We hope to see you at commencement.


Thomas Vinciguerra
C '85, J '86


The Philolexian Society
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