DECEMBER 2002 [by guest Secretary Dick Eckart]
I remember the event as though it took place yesterday. An alarm went off two floors up. Feet stomped across the floor. The alarm, flung out the open window, rang its way past our window on its way to the turf below. There are all kinds of ways of responding to wake up calls. No doubt, all of us have thought of throwing the alarm out the window. Some have even done it. How are we doing on our own wake up calls now that we are in our late sixties? Warren Zimmermann, our last Ambassador to Yugoslavia, has written a nifty book about American Foreign Policy, soon to be published.
[Webmaster’s note, 10/23 The New York Times published a lengthy review of Warren’s book. Read it at http://www.nytimes.com/2002/10/23/books/23BERN.html]
Warren’s well crafted point of view and his bold way of telling his story makes his work on American Foreign Policy a good one to read. Following his book on the destruction of Yugoslavia which came out in 1996, the book is entitled: First Great Triumph: How Five Americans Made their Country a World Power. The focus is on the period of the Spanish American Civil War. It probes the lives of the people Warren calls “the founding fathers of American Imperialism.” Those five men – Teddy Roosevelt, John Hay, Capt. Alfred Mahan, Elihu Root, and Sen. Henry Cabot Lodge – are portrayed as having major flaws as well as having major virtues. One of the worst events described in the book was the American war against the Philippine Rebels, a war with striking parallels to our war in Viet Nam. Warren found John Hay to be the most interesting of the five, spanning over forty years of history from being a Personal Aid to Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War to being Secretary of State to William McKinley and Teddy Roosevelt. In one prepublication blurb, a reviewer wrote: At a moment when Americans have become aware that they are citizens of an Empire, no book could be more timely or illuminating than this engrossing study of our founding imperialists.”
On November 6th, there was an evening for book signing at Charlie Lord’s house, given by the Lords and the Boasbergs, which brought together most of our classmates living in the Washington area. As a matter of fact, I saw Warren, my other room mate Es Esselstyn, and classmates Ken Liebman, Warren Lammert, Ned Ruffin, David Horton and Paul Buckwalter at a Deerfield reunion in early June. One of the events of those three/four days was an open discussion held on stage between Warren and two other highly qualified men on United States Policy in the Middle East. Zimmermann was clear and incisive in the remarks he made. That open seminar was one of the best (if not the best event) of that gathering. We cheered at its end as though we were at a pep rally before a football game. Gib Durfee sent Charlie Lord an article about Fred Alger, our esteemed classmate. Let me quote from that issue of The Economist: “For the decade of the 1990’s, Fred Alger Management had the best record of any fund management firm in America. Gains on its Spectra mutual fund averaged 29% a year, 11 percentage points better than the broad based S&P 500 index……Alger’s headquarters were on the 93rd floor of the World Trade Center’s North Tower. All 35 people at work that morning died including Fred’s brother, David …… Reconstruction started immediately and hidden strengths were found ….. Fred came out of retirement and he and a portfolio manager named Dan Chung were large buyers of shares in Wall Street Brokerages …… Assets under management have shrunk by 23% to $10 billion …… Alger is optimistic as usual. America will continue to grow. Even in difficult times, says Mr. Chung, “good companies create value.” Gib’s letter was in part about his wife, Camilla, who is an excellent oarsperson. She sculls as well as rows competitively in a pair oar both in the United States and abroad. This year at the US National Masters rowing competition, on days when temperatures for two days rose between 100 and 105 degrees, Camilla managed to win two gold medals and two silver medals. Is that good or what? Bob Mason writes from Washington D.C. that he is “working away on the documentary series called ‘American Business Taming the Knowledge Revolution.'”
Ever try to listen to someone who goes on and on about some subject no one understands? The super bright don’t leave us feeling foolish. Mason’s work aims to keep us from feeling we are idiots! As for me, my wake up call finds me wanting to catch up with people I’ve not seen since graduation in 1956. This past spring, I called up John Packard, someone I’ve known for sixty years, to see where he is and what he’s doing. John sends his regards. I also telephoned Jim Murray and Marshall Witten, room mates my first year in College, and had good conversations with them. This catching up stuff can lead to funny things. One of the jobs I have been given as a retired clergyman is being Chaplain to the Retired Clergy in the Diocese of Rochester. It came as a surprise to find that the leader of Province #2 is Allan Baldwin, treasurer of our class. I wrote to Allan, who had moved to Rhode Island, and told him how good it would be to work with him. It was a long newsy letter. I went on about what had been happening to me and to my family, wondering how things had gone with him.
I told Allan how much I looked forward to our fall meeting. Allan wrote back a rather guarded letter, telling me that he too looked forward to that fall meeting. When we finally met each other in September of 2001, it was a different Allan Baldwin than I had known at Yale. Thank goodness he had a sense of humor. Finally, I had dinner with Brooke Blackburn in May and decided with him to see if our Berzelius delegation might gather for a reunion at some time in the next year and it looks like that reunion is going to happen. I’d be more than interested to see how your own wake up calls have gone.
Richard Eckart email@example.com
Continuing to report on classmates with children who currently are undergraduates at Yale: Mike Atkins, Yale 2005, is the son of Al Atkins. A resident of Calhoun, Mike is a scholar-athlete, playing rugby and intramural hockey. Al’s wife, Judith, is a clinical social worker in the Westchester County Schools. As for Al, he earned his masters in sociology at Columbia, went on to get his PhD and started teaching clinical psychology at Yeshiva. This experience developed into a psychoanalytic and psychotherapeutic private practice plus twenty years as Director of Psychology at Montefiore Hospital. Al is now in a full-time private practice, including geriatric counseling.
Peter Brier is adjusting to retirement after a very fulfilling teaching career. We had an interesting conversation about his life in the English department at Cal State L.A., originally a “rainbow” college, currently with virtually no white students. Peter told me about one of his former students, Ruben, a Mexican-American who fought in Viet Nam,
became a policeman and went back to Cal State at night to study English. Peter helped Ruben enroll at Harvard, where he earned his PhD, specializing in 18th century English studies, with a focus on Pope. Ruben returned to teach English at Cal State as a humanist fighting the “dehumanization of literature, as Peter describes it. Peter was eloquent as he discussed his ambivalence about deferring to political and ideological influences, finding writers who had not been properly represented in the past, a “virtue carried to an extreme”, at the expense of exposure to historically important authors. “We gave kids what we thought they should have, but we manipulated them, as we did not give them the great writers.” Peter is very concerned: “America is proud of its values, but we are not an intellectual country. We are falling back from the challenge of keeping intellect at the center of our lives, and we are shortchanging the kids. It is not enough to give them pride in their own ethnic authors.” Comments? Log on to www.yale56.org. Moriah Brier, class of 2004, is an economics major who loves Yale and Davenport. She is active in theater and interested in a business career. Her summer job was at the Huntington Library, working on material related to Christopher Isherwood. Peter is writing a book, George Eliot’s Rabbi, discussing the influence of Eliot’s last novel, Daniel Deronda, on Henry James.
William Patrick Clark reports that he and Judith are still hard at work, have six children and eleven grandchildren, “too many horses” and their good health. Bill sent a message for “all the Jane Fonda for President supporters: Yale provided 12 candidates for the U.S. Marine Corps in 2001. In 1956 Yale was the third largest resource of Marine officers- Notre Dame and Villanova being first and second.”
Mike McCone’s letter brought back memories of Freshman year, when he and I sat next to each other in Tom Mendhall’s class, assiduously taking notes. Mike noticed that I was using a President Eisenhower pen ( courtesy of a politically active mother) while Mike’s pen, a high school graduation gift from two great aunts, had Mike’s name on it, a fun contrast, good for a laugh. Mike reports remembering my touch football “prowess”, along with Parker Gilbert’s. Albeit flattered by that recollection, I do question the word “prowess.” Although not involved with Yale since graduation, Mike has stayed in touch with his good friends, John Tunney, Lew Lapham, John Eaton, and Mike Marron. Since his retirement Mike has been volunteering in a first grade San Francisco public school class. “It has changed my life as I have tried to change the lives of my new friends.”
It seems that every month there is sad news to report. Bill Bourke reports that Ed Delfs died of congestive heart failure on July 15th. Ed was a remarkable man. While we were at Yale, Ed was engaged by the Cleveland Museum to lead dinosaur discovery expeditions to the American west, leading to the discovery of some landmark specimens which are on display at the museum. Ed pursued graduate studies in vertebrate paleontology at Columbia and just before receiving his PhD decided to go for a medical degree at Case Western Reserve in obstetrics and gynecology. He practiced in Los Altos until his retirement a short time ago. Ed’s widow, Annelle, is an opera singer; she may be reached at 10505 Sundown Canyon Way, Los Altos, CA 94022. Ed also is survived by three children and three grandchildren.
It is September 12th 2002 as I write this column. With the first anniversary of 9/11 fresh in our minds and with Jerry Post’s psychological profile of terrorists newly posted on www.yale56.org, we all must be reflecting on how much our world has changed. A profile of terrorists? Who would have thought we’d be seeing that in this country? I looked back at my copy of Peter Tomei’s December 1956 class notes for this publication. Peter concluded those notes: “Christmas is upon us, and once again the world is not a very settled place in which to live.” Peter then provides the context of the Presidential elections for his next comments: “But when all is said and done, there was not much dancing in the streets by one side or gnashing of teeth by the other, as with acute sensitivity we watched other people die for the simple little freedoms. In the face of the world’s agonies, we are nonetheless planning our own lives ahead: we are getting married, beginning our careers, continuing our studies, and serving our military service…that tiny grain of sand that Blake wrote about, in which you can see the real world with all its beauty and hope and promise has not really slipped away.” We pray this is still true.
Next month…a guest correspondent…Dick Eckart.
Welcome to fall. I hope that your summer was a pleasant one, with time for rest, and reflection. With October upon us, I have two reminders:
~Class dues help to underwrite your subscription to this magazine, without which you could not read this column. Even if you would prefer not to read my prose, think of all the other news and views you would miss. Our dues also help to support mini-reunions, our Davenport Fellowship program, and class mailings. Please send in your payment now. Thanks.
~Speaking of mini-reunions, please join your classmates for dinner after the Princeton game, November 16th. It is an evening of good cheer, wine and food. It also is an early evening, so those who want to drive home can do so.
Lots of news- happy and sad. First, the happy. Tom Moorhead and Elizabeth Howard were married in the Bahamas on May 3rd. As you know from a previous column, Tom is Deputy Undersecretary of Labor for International Affairs in the Bush administration.
What a joy it is for me to talk to classmates and to learn about their experiences and professional contributions. James N. Douglas is Professor Emeritus of Astronomy at the University of Texas in Austin. Jim is a Radio-Astronomer; his radio catalogue of the sky was published in 1996. It contains distant objects that were around at the beginning of the universe. Jim was on the Yale faculty from 1956 until 1965. He needed wide open spaces to continue his ground-breaking work, so he moved to Texas. Jim’s daughter, Eleanore, is a member of the Yale class of 2003, residing in Saybrook. She is a history major with an international relations emphasis and spent last summer as an intern at the Naval War College.
Tom Okin recently sent me his first letter ever for the class notes. (Why don’t you do the same?) Tom has been practicing cardiology in Denver since 1968, with no plans to retire. In fact, he has started a new cardiac MRI project at St. Anthony’s hospital. Cardiac MRI’s are called the “one stop shop” of heart imaging. Tom’s and Danielle’s two sons graduated from Middlebury with very impressive academic records. One is an Assistant Professor of geology at the University of Virginia. Tom concludes: “My golf game is ok, and I’ve still got the same wife. How conventional.” … Conventional? Perhaps, but also happy, I suspect.
Do you remember the influx of classmates from Kansas City in 1952? Rodger Wilkin, Hoyt Purcell, and John Barnes recently returned for their 50th reunion at Pembroke-Country Day School. Ah, the good old days: Eight of 38 graduates of that school also graduated from Yale, Harvard, Princeton and Dartmouth. In case you have forgotten, the other Kansas City natives in our class included Vern Buck, Jordie Cohen, Art Kabrick, Bob Mason, and Joe McNay.
As reported in the New York Times, John Eaton returned to Havana once again to play on July 4th at the invitation of our top ranking diplomat in Cuba. Our cultural reporter, Gib Durfee, interviewed John, who commented: “This year’s Fourth of July event was spiced up a bit by our knowledge that Castro was moved at the last moment to throw a competing event at the Karl Marx theater in downtown Havana. This was carefully planned to occupy the same time frame as the American party…I was humbled to find that Castro’s program (entitled Grand Cultural Gala in Honor of North American People) featured a pianist playing Gershwin, an obvious reference to the fact that the previous year I had highlighted Gershwin in a concert and during an interview on Cuban television.” Over 600 political dissidents, foreign diplomats, and Cuban merchants attended John’s concert. In late June our famous pianist/historian returned to the Smithsonian, where he was taped and recorded for the forthcoming TV programs.
Hercules Segalas retired as Chairman of Solomon Smith Barney Consumer Products Investment Banking Group in July 2001. Two months later he co-founded the investment banking firm of Sawaya, Segalas and Co., with offices in New York, Nantucket and Vero Beach . Peggy and Hercules moved to Windsor in Vero Beach five years ago, where Hercules and Jay McNamara are golfing buddies. Although it is not in the local Chamber of Commerce brochure, a good friend of ours from Scotland was bitten by a shark a few years ago while staying at Windsor. Our friend survived, but when he visits us in Nantucket, he encourages me to dive into the Atlantic first.
Congratulations to Myron Bromberg who recently was elected a Director of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers. Myron was a founding and managing principal of the firm Porzio, Bromberg and Newman. He has trial and appellate experience in tort and commercial litigation, with expertise in technical and scientific matters.
Now…on to the sad news. William Fitzgerald died last March 16th. A graduate of Hillhouse High in New Haven and a navy vet (before enrolling at Yale), Bill retired after 35 years at Southern New England Telephone. He was active in Old Saybrook town politics and on the Planning Commission and was a member of the Yale Tri-centennial Celebration Committee. Bill is survived by his wife, Ruth, who may be reached at 109 Maple Avenue, Old Saybrook, CT, and by two sons, a daughter, and three grandchildren.
John Vogel died on March 23rd. An economics major, John’s career was in insurance, first with Prudential in Newark, subsequently with Southwestern Life in Dallas, and finally as a COBRA/HIPAA administrator in Houston. A man with a broad range of interests, including travel, golf, classical music, gardening, and stamp collecting, John is survived by his wife, Virginia, two sons, a daughter, and four grandchildren. Virginia’s address is 16314 Oaklane Trail, Magnolia, TX 77355.
Arnie Kaplan wrote to report on the death of Ralph Gianelly last June. Arnie, Jud Kaplan, and Bob Jacobson attended the funeral. As Arnie reminds us, Ralph was a “triple threat” at Yale- a scholar, an athlete, and a leader. Ralph was Chief of Cardiology at Bay State Medical Center in Springfield, MA for 32 years. Arnie writes: “Ralph was fascinated by Winston Churchill and quoted liberally from his prose.” Ralph’s wife, Cindy, lives at 38 Concord Road, Longmeadow, MA 01106. The Gianelly family includes two daughters and a son. Arnie’s touching tribute to Ralph concludes with a quote from William Butler Yeats: “Think where man’s glory most begins and ends, and say my glory was: I had such friends.” Amen.
The answer is six. The question ? Last month I asked if you could guess how many of our classmates currently are paying Yale tuitions for their undergraduate children. One of the six is Joe McNay, whose son, Stuart, is a member of the class of 2004. You may recall the New York Times article on the renaissance of Yale sailing. Much of the credit for that recent success was attributed to Stuart, who won the Junior Olympics in 4-20’s and the North American Championship in a Vanguard 15. He currently is tenth in U.S. collegiate ranks. Joe continues at Essex Investments, helping his many clients, including Yale, prosper.
Donald Velsey reports that he is in the process of retiring from his architecture practice in Washington. However, the term retirement is used loosely in this case. Don continues to travel the globe as a consultant on health care architecture and planning.
I received a very interesting letter from Ned Vare, from which I quote: “While I have been quiet all these years, I’ve always been proud and happy to learn of all the accomplishments of our classmates. I was always proud to be among you and inspired to hear of your successes.” Ned was the Libertarian Candidate for Connecticut governor in 1998 and continues as Vice-Chairman of the state party.
Finally, and most interestingly, Ned and spouse, Luz Shosie, are home school advocates: ” Luz and I are connected with several home schooling groups, state and national. We write articles, speak and conduct workshops at home school and alternative education conventions and gatherings. I’ve made about 150 programs for local access TV about the corruption and failure of the public school system in America—yes, in every state and town…It might be a shock to traditionalists among our classmates to read that Luz and I raised a son on the advice of home schooling pioneer John Holt (Yale, about ’47) whose books advocate that school is what prevents most children from being educated. Cassidy never went to school (never wanted to), never used school books of any kind and was entirely in charge of his own education. His first school has been Hunter College in NYC, where he has been in the top two percent academically from day one, has lived in his own apartment off-campus, has had part-time work and been an intern at a private company, off and on. He’ll graduate in June.” Comments, anyone? Contact me or provide your thoughts on www.Yale’56.org.
Steve Reiss writes that his new novel, The Alternative, is out on-line. Hard copies may be ordered at the major dot.com booksellers. The plot sounds timely and fascinating. It concerns the journeys of a Jewish Hungarian W.W. II survivor and a Christian English intellectual who wind up in America, with a final conversion to Islam. The book “stresses the sweetness and sublimity of essential Islam.” The “outer story is black comedy.” Steve comments that the book is “thirty-five years in the making.”
Jim Moore’s two sons are pursuing separate and interesting paths. Jim (Yale ’88) is a technology analyst at State Street Research while Peter is a tennis instructor, working for Club Med in Mexico. Jim senior has one grandchild.
While on the subject of grandchildren, Russell Broad’s number is up to four, all born since last summer. Russell is still active as a broker for UBS Paine Webber, having moved from Boston to Chatham, MA., near his beach house and elderly parents.
Ed Barlow has sent me material illustrating the commitment and compassion of Senator Jim Jeffords. Ed’s son, David, had a friend at Middlebury College who is a Tibetan musicologist and Fulbright Scholar. Ngawang Choepel, a gentle young man, returned home after two years in Vermont, armed with a video camera. He wanted to film Tibetan song and dance. He ended up in prison with an eighteen year sentence for espionage. Jim Jeffords cited this case when voting against Most Favored Nation status for China, also protesting the Chinese government’s refusal of visiting rights for Ngawang’s mother. Thanks in part to Jim’s efforts, Ngawang was freed, arriving in Washington when David Barlow was here starring in a new play at the Arena Stage. There was a wonderful reunion and a meeting with our senator classmate.
Two classmates, Bob Wheeler and Ted Robb collaborated on a project for our “I Have a Dream” tenth grade students, whom our class helps to support in New Haven. Ted, a trustee at Lincoln University in Philadelphia, arranged with Bob for the “dreamers” to visit Lincoln and NYU, the students’ first college visits. All parties report that the visits were a great success.
Finally, a reminder from Jack Silliman: “As of March 4th the class has raised $247,570 for the annual Yale Alumni Fund from 40% of our classmates. This is $36,000 ahead of last year at this time, but by June 30th we ended up giving some $430,000. We have a ways to go. A grateful thanks to those who have given and a gentle reminder to those who haven’t- please give.”
Wonderful news from all over. My thanks to all who have written and reported — the 1956 CNN network.
ERIC MOORE writes from Seattle, via Yahoo. Thanks to a flight attendant daughter (one of three daughters) Eric, who lives in North Carolina, is able to fly the world. He reports that DON SHERRARD is a Professor of Medicine at the University of Washington. Eric went hiking through virgin forest, had lunch and dinner with Don and wife, Edith, and went to see the Seattle Opera’s excellent production of Dvorak’s ‘Rusalka’ with the Sherrards. Don teaches and works in the field of renal disease research and its connection to bone disease, with about 150 publications to his credit.
Eric also caught up with DICK PARKE, who sat next to Eric in freshman glee club. Dick reminisced about his collaborations with Leonard Bernstein, Jerome Hines (who cast Dick in the role of the Apostle John in the opera “I Am The Way”), Frederika von Stade , Judith Anderson and others. Dick returned to Seattle several years ago and worked for Microsoft. JUD KAPLAN e-mailed me about the horror of being an eye-witness from his office to the crashes into the World Trade Center. On a happier note, Jud reports on the marriage of his daughter Marjorie to Paul Felser, a lawyer. Marjorie worked in the display department at Saks and now is living in Savannah. The wedding also was a reunion that really began in McClelland in 1952. Present from that old campus residence were RALPH GIANELLY, ARNIE KAPLAN, ROBBY JACOBSON, and JOE McCARTHY, with their spouses.
DON CHATFIELD writes: ” I couldn’t resist your appeal in the YAM for October.” Don is retiring in June 2002 after teaching preaching at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary for 35 years, a ” Presbyterian-in-exile among the Methodists.” Don is trying to decide what he wants to be when he grows up. If you find an answer, Don, please let the rest of us know.
JOHN HENNING reports in from Palm Beach Gardens, Florida that he retired in 1990 as Manager of Financial Analysis for plane leasing at McDonnell Douglas in California. John held a similar position at Greyhound in Phoenix. John, wife Laura, and son John moved to Florida in 2000. Some of us must stay north, missing the sun- belt life. IVAN PHILLIPS and his wife Winnie live in Jefferson Valley, New York, and spend time in New York City with daughter Gillian and with Ivan’s roommate, CUSH MAY.
JAMES HARRIS also has stayed in the colder climes, South Natick, MA, where he continues to work as a manufacturers’ rep. in his own company. Jim must receive a lot of annual giving appeals; his two sons attended: Harvard, Vassar, Oxford, Sorbonne, and Stanford. One is a lawyer, the other a press secretary for a congressman. Jim is upset about Yale football and his “beloved Yankees” but finds solace on the golf course.
In the midst of all the controversy about our nation’s health system, I have an interesting and provocative message from ARNIE KAPLAN: “After years of frustration and hassle dealing with managed care organizations (that threatened me with burn-out after 35 rewarding years practicing psychiatry), I withdrew from all insurance networks and feel a renaissance of all the excitement and thrill which initially led me to the practice of medicine. It’s a wonderful feeling to look forward again to going to the office.” Comments anyone? E-mail or write me, or post your thoughts on www.yale56.org, where, by the way, you will find this column posted each month. GIB DURFEE writes: “A group of fifteen fans of JOHN EATON’s made an evening of it last Friday (December 14th). We met for dinner and then an outstanding concert performance by John at the Smithsonian after a hiatus of several years: back by popular demand, and to a packed house.” The Washington Post critic wrote: ” Short of calling in the taxidermists, the Smithsonian should find a way to make pianist John Eaton part of its permanent collection. Listening to Eaton marvel at the wonders of American popular music is something worth forever showcasing in the nation’s capital…Eaton was in typical form- amusing, cantankerous and filled with admiration for the music of Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, Hoagy Carmichael and their selected ilk.” The Eaton groupies, with spouses, included TERSH BOASBERG, BOB MASON, GIB DURFEE, TED ROBB, ROCKY SUDDARTH and the Durfee’s son, Don, and his wife, Doris. We Washingtonians are pleased that Peg and TED ROBB have found a get-away in Washington to add to their primary locus in Philadelphia.
Back to the sun belt-a wonderful note from Bob Hirsch, writing from Flagstaff, Arizona. “Here in Flagstaff the aspens are changing colors and the nights are already in the 30’s. At our winter home in Scottsdale, just two hours driving from here, the temperature is still well over 100. We stay here until November, as it is perfect for golf, hiking, and just being outdoors.” When Bob wrote, back in October, the family was preparing for a son Steve’s wedding.
I am running out of space. My apologies to those who have written and about whom you will read in the coming months: RUSSELL BROAD, SABIN ROBBINS, NED VARE, DICK ECKART, DICK WILDE, JIM BISHOP…and you? Many of the notes I have received arrived with the payment of class dues. If you haven’t sent in the latter, please do so, and add a note about your life for this column. Thanks and best wishes.
On November 17th scores of classmates descended on New Haven. Officially the weekend is identified by the home (Harvard or Princeton) game, about which the less said the better this year. Actually that Saturday, each year, offers so much more. Yes, a lot of us sat together in the Bowl with over 50 000 other souls, but many classmates and spouses spent the afternoon at stunning exhibits in the Yale galleries or at other sites.
The Class Executive Committee met on Saturday morning- more about that later. The highlight was the Class dinner on Saturday night, attended by over 70 classmates, spouses, friends and guests. Present for that festive event were: Barlow, Berenblum, Berman, Boasberg, Bonsal, Braun, Bromberg, Charlie Cook, David, Englander, Foote, Marshall Kaplan, Liebman, Lord, Mason, McGregor, McGuerty, McNay, Moorhead, Phillips, Poorvu, Prince, Rae, Rees, Richards, Rindlaub, Robb, Selig, Silliman, Suddarth, Welch, West, Wheeler, Wilde. As usual, Bud Prince, reunion maestro, and Roger Englander, our music master, excelled. The Bakers Dozen, joined by alum Ken Liebman, sang. We were “blown away” by the reports of our three Davenport Fellows. To remind you: Each year, through our class dues, we fund three Davenport students, in the summer between junior and senior years, to pursue a project of special interest. Sky Harmony Brosi led off with a description of her work in Appalachia, writing and illustrating a children’s book about the middle- school students who led the fight to prevent the strip mining of Big Black Mountain, the tallest peak in Kentucky. Sunita Puri is a self-described South Asian- American, Indian-American, Punjabi-American who ran daily health education and immigrant education classes for young South Asian women recently arrived in London. Finally, Shayna Strom reported on her summer in Bangladesh. She worked with Muslim women trying to balance concern for their faith and for their economic well being in the micro-lending program. Gay Lord summed up the feelings many of us have: “You gave a gift to those students, but you really gave a gift to yourselves” A photo slide show of this wonderful evening may be seen on www.Yale56.org. Back to the class Executive Committee meeting: Bob Wheeler reported on the great success of our “I Have a Dream Program” in New Haven. We have more money to raise, an important challenge as our “dreamers” are now in high school, with college looming in the future. Ed Barlow and Bud Prince have agreed to co-chair a committee to plan mini-reunions, national and local, over the next four years. Please contact them if you would like to be involved.
Thanks to the initiative of Tersh Boasberg , we are in the process of establishing an in-memoriam endowment at Yale to honor deceased classmates- more on this coming later this year. Finally, our new class delegate to the AYA convention, Rocky Suddarth, provided the following report. “What a treat for me, as the new Class of ’56 representative to have as my first duty to attend the grand finale of the Tercentennial. I am sorry that Ray Foote, my able predecessor, could not have been there. I spotted our classmates Joe McNay and Bill Poorvu in attendance. The two-day affair was indeed bittersweet. On the one hand, much of it was a ringing celebration of Yale’s 300 years of excellence and its contribution to learning and to the development of the country. This all occurred against the dark backdrop of the September 11th tragedy. The Yale Daily News carried a special edition with pictures and memorials of the nine known Yale graduates who perished on September 11th. Many Tercentennial speakers addressed the topic of terrorism. Former President Clinton stated his view that ‘we are engaged in the first great struggle for the soul of the 21st century…and we must ask ourselves what we have to do, not only to prevent terrorism and protect ourselves, but to undermine the conditions and attitudes which make terrorist foot soldiers and sympathizers.’
On the celebratory side, it was particularly gratifying to hear Harvard President Summers give an eloquent appreciation of Yale’s contribution to scholarship and American society. I also appreciated witnessing at the Bowl the audiovisual parade of Yale graduates who have contributed so much. Only General Patton seemed to demur regarding Nathan Hale by his remark (quoted by Gaddis Smith): ‘Aim not to die for your country but to make sure the other SOB dies for his.’ I had a genuine sense of Yale’s vibrant vision in the 21st century.
President Levin outlined two major new areas of emphasis: science and technology (with some $1 billion earmarked for major expansion) and a global university. In my view, both these areas have been sadly neglected in the last four decades and immense efforts are required for catch-up. Yale has not been without some turmoil regarding its vision over the past forty years. Gaddis Smith contrasted President Griswold’s view that Yale should avoid involvement with the world’s problems (and with government funding) with President Brewster’s vision that Yale should open itself more to the outside. President Levin is articulating his own vision with singular purpose, and I believe it is a compelling one. Much of the symposium was devoted to “Global Perspectives” and to “Envisioning the World in the Next Century: Challenges to a Global University.” Some highlights: One was the John Gaddis lecture on democracy and foreign policy, where he drew out some parallels between the Cold War and the current war on terrorism, recalling that Communism in the 1950’s was seen less as a rival state than as an international conspiracy threatening the U.S. from within and without. Paul Kennedy averred that September 11th has changed the world in ways that we can yet only dimly perceive. Former Mexican President Zedillo presented an eloquent plea for a new international architecture that reflects more the interests of the developing world- with 80% of the world’s population enjoying only 20% of its product- and for a rededication to help eradicate poverty and foster growth. Robin Winks provided his view of the world in 2100, describing the greatest challenge as survival on the planet against critical population and environmental trends. He speculated that America may not be dominant but that it may be imitated. He concluded that our chief threat is fear, which we can only drive out by holding to a ‘constructive view worth living and dying for.’ ” Rocky also reported on the exciting new website: www.allianceforlifetimelearning.org, offering an impressive list of courses from Yale, Oxford, Princeton and Stanford.
Of course, we welcome your comments on Rocky’s observations on our 1956 website. Speaking of this computer age, Sally Boasberg reports that my latest virus offers an attachment photo of me…naked. If you got that offer, ignore it. It’s not worth it. Shades of those posture pictures. It is heartening to learn of classmates willing to forego retirement and enter government service. Tom Moorhead has moved to Washington, having accepted President Bush’s appointment as the deputy undersecretary of labor for international affairs. Tom will provide counsel on labor related trade issues, representing the U.S. before the International Labor Organization and helping to implement the North American Agreement on Labor Cooperation, the labor side agreement to NAFTA. Tom’s last position was vice-president of human resources at Carter-Wallace.
Now…the hard part. I must report that three more classmates have died. Jim McCaffrey e-mailed me that Monte Everett died on October 9th in Nashville. Jim confirms that Monte was as cheerful and amusing as ever, right up to his death. On October 7th, two days before his death, Monte and Jim, continuing a thirty- year tradition, made their weekly pro football bets. The next day Monte was rushed to the hospital, and he died within twenty-four hours. Monte’s widow, Sarah Everett, may be reached at 720 Spring Street, Apt. L-3, Charlotte, Tennessee, 37036. Robert Rhoads died last fall in Trenton. A lawyer, Robert was a U.S. public defender and a corporate attorney for W.T. Grant Stores before opening a private practice. He is survived by four brothers. Richard Williams died in Clovis California in October, after a long illness. He worked at Hallowell Chevrolet in Clovis. Unfortunately, I have no additional information.