We’ve been pretty hard on Fairfield Greenwich founder Walter Noel, who at the very minimum did a horrendous job of performing due diligence, and who, at worst, may have purposely ignored some monster red flags about the Madoff business. But a student at Vanderbilt alma mater begs: Lay off! He’s a hard working man who made a mistake. In addition to sending us some old photos of Noel, he even scrawled a handwritten letter. And he sent it via snail mail. We can’t bring ourselves to actually defend the guy, so we’re just publishing the whole letter here. You may have to put it on full screen mode to read the writing.