I was disappointed and then grew angry when I read Somerset President Pat Early’s comments relative to the Penrod Society’s
misfortune apparently caused by Somerset employee and Penrod volunteer Brandon Benker. ("Penrod suspect had record" in the
Jan. 12 issue) After Early stated that he was aware of Benker’s prior drinking-and-driving conviction, his response was "So
does half the young population that went to school," a comment which is both irresponsible and untrue.
In my experience working with recent graduates, I find them—as a group—to be honest, forthright, trustworthy, hardworking
and sober. I would challenge Early to find a statistic showing that a preponderance of undergraduate or graduate students
is charged or even routinely participates in drinking and driving. His subsequent comment stating "What we’re really guilty
of … is encouraging our people to get involved in the community" added insult to injury, as the financial services industry
provides some of the most committed and knowledgeable individuals to assist 501(c)3 organizations as they work to fulfill
their missions in our communities.