NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2003
In danger of missing my YAM deadline, I am writing these notes on the day after my 70th birthday. Fifty years ago I thought seventy year olds looked ancient. How could I have been so wrong? To celebrate the milestone, Gay took the entire family to a mystery (to me) destination on Lake George for labor day weekend, followed by our first ever AYA trip- “The Art and Culture of the Iberian Peninsula.” We went with our good friends and delightful fellow travelers Julia and Bill Hobart (Yale 1949). The trip was an outstanding experience, and we were blessed to be accompanied by two excellent Yale professionals. Professor Frank Griffel is an expert on Islamic history and culture. His lectures were riveting, his on-site explanations enriching. He also was a lot of fun to be with, as was Steve Victor, the AYA representative, also a wise and attentive companion. If you have the chance to travel with either of these two, grab it.
While some of us are at play, others work. Truman Bidwell recently joined the law firm Thelen Reid and Priest LLP as a partner specializing in Business and Finance, with a focus on international financial transactions, including mergers and acquisitions. Truman also serves as pro-bono General Counsel of Berkeley Divinity School.
Others at work: George Berman, our distinguished web master, forwarded an e-mail from Peter Treskov, whose book, Conquered, not Defeated, was published in October. Peter reports: “Having driven my family and friends crazy with my childhood memories and reflections on life during the German occupation of Denmark during World War II, my retirement finally provided the opportunity to put these reflections on paper. To do so involved a significant amount of historical research, which resulted in at least two conclusions on my part. It was amazing to me how many of my recollections tied in with actual events. On the other hand, it also demonstrated how subjective a subject history really is.” On the latter point, Peter cites the differing Danish and Swedish perspectives on Denmark’s loss to Sweden in the sixteenth century of the Norwegian Bohus Len.
Continuing in the publishing vein, Ned Vare’s third book is out, Smarting Us Up, the Undumbing of America, a treatise “about the damaging experience of attending public school plus the story of raising a son without any schooling at all.” You may recall that Ned is a home-school advocate. Ned recently married his “long-time girl friend, Luz”.
Guess who performed the ceremony. Their son, who received his minister’s certificate over the internet. Ned asks: “How many children do you know who married their parents?”
Two brief Yale-related notes: Jack Silliman recently was re-elected to a three year term as a Director of The Yale Alumni Fund. John Eaton presented a major concert at the Yale Club of New York City on September 29th. My YAM deadline precludes my including a report on the concert in this issue.
Tersh Boasberg has provided me with a report on a wild-west weekend which merits extensive quotations and considerable editing. I will spare you the details of the high cholesterol meals and the unbelievable intake of fine wines, ports, cognacs etc, while confirming that all returned none the worse for the experience. Tersh writes: “The phone call came from John Gratten Fitz Gibbon…Professor of Art Emeritus, bon vivant, raconteur, eminence gris of the California art world. Would I join him and a few Yale ’56 buddies at the Cody, WY ranch of classmate Roger Hollander.” Tersh goes on to report that Roger has bought Buffalo Bill’s old ranch and that he accepted the invitation, which included transportation on Kim Chace’s time-shared jet. The others attending were Milt Gaines, who is in the process of climbing the tallest peaks in the 50 states, with only Wyoming and Montana to go before the weekend, and Bill Bourke, “Navy jet and United Airlines pilot, lawyer, winery owner, and tour guide for Fitz on their recent expedition to France.” The group’s sightseeing excursions included the Hotel Irma in downtown Cody, where the huge bar that Queen Victoria gave to Buffalo Bill after his English tour is on display, and the Buffalo Bill Museum, where Fitz was the guide for the collection of Remingtons, Bierstadts and other notables.
It is clear from Tersh’s report that the sightseeing highlight was Roger’s house, “with its breathtaking 180 degree views from the mountains ringing the eastern portion of Yellowstone, to the high peaks of Montana, past Cody reservoir and the lakes in between… The house was built as a summer retreat by the New York maritime insurance magnate, W.R.Coe, when he purchased the property from Buffalo Bill around the turn of the century.” Roger has many interests: “These include a 300-400 case wine cellar…a library that resembles L&B with hundreds (thousands?) of catalogued books on history; literature; South and East Asia art; photography; architecture; music; wine; and a few of his other favorite subjects.” Roger also has a “spectacular” collection of 15th to 17th century Indian textiles.
Encouraged by the wines, the evening conversations ranged from Bill Bourke’s recitation of Seamus Heaney poems and Fitz’s “stentorian” presentation of excerpts from the Iliad to discussions of Greek heroes, the 19th century Wyoming rendezvous of mountain traders in the Wind River and the fabrics of India and Indonesia. Followed, Tersh reports, by group renditions of Boola Boola, Bulldog and the Whiffenpoof song, followed in turn by “slowly crawling into bed with water glasses and Advil.”
Tersh’s final words: “Friendship Lasts, and lasts. ’04, anyone?”
That prompts me to report that active planning for our ‘50th in 2006 is underway, including the hope that mini-reunions will continue to be planned for the next two years. We want YOU to be involved. Please e-mail or write me if you are willing to participate in your area in planning events and contacting classmates. Most importantly, what would YOU like to see occur at our ‘50th reunion? What kind of discussions, tours, meals? What are YOUR ideas and, if you are not sure about returning to New Haven in 2006, what are YOUR concerns? Thank YOU for your help.
As reported in the national edition of the New York Times and confirmed by his daughter, Leslie, Robert Romoser died on August 30th of a sudden heart attack. An army veteran, Bob worked for over 30 years as a Trust Officer and later Vice-President at the Northern Trust Company Bank in Chicago. Bob was with his entire family in Maine in July. Leslie comments that “some of his fondest years of schooling were spent at Yale.”
Bob is survived by two daughters and, as the Times article so touchingly reports, his many loving friends and “his two most devoted companions, his dogs, Lollypop and Aleka.”
Welcome back. On a beautiful, warm day in July it is difficult to imagine a cold and (hopefully) clear day in November. However, on November 22nd— Yale vs. Harvard weekend— we will gather in New Haven for our annual class dinner, an opportunity to greet friends, enjoy a pleasant dinner, and hear reports from our Davenport fellowship winners about their programs in the U.S., Hungary, and Argentina.
Speaking of reunions, a personal highlight of the New York dinner and John Eaton concert, reported on in the last issue of this publication, was the opportunity to catch up with Nick Steiner. Nick wrote me in April about how happy he was that he had overcome his hesitation and had come to the dinner. In addition to re-uniting with old friends, Nick commented that “ the best part of the evening (well, John Eaton, like vintage wine, just improves with age) was having the opportunity to meet certain individuals— each bright, interesting, and totally engaging— with whom I’d barely spoken before.” Nick’s perspective on the death of our two grandchildren, expressed with beautiful sensitivity, reflected the courageous battle he has fought with cancer. You may recall Ed Barlow’s YAM column of April 2000 on Nick’s brush with death: “Death was expected at any moment.” Looking back on his experiences, Nick’s perspectives are very much worth repeating: “One thing that we (I include your wife) undoubtedly share: having lived through such experiences changes you! Beyond the pain, it leaves you a stronger person, better equipped to handle other challenges and problems that might come your way…First, as bizarre as it may seem, coming down with melanoma may have been the best thing that could have happened to me back then. It forced me to break out of a way of life (professional and marriage) that had become increasingly unrewarding and self-destructive. Part of the problem was that I unfortunately lacked insight into any of this, whatsoever, at the time. What saved me, along with Dr. Wong’s herbs, was meeting an unusual, kind, intelligent, much younger woman who opened me up emotionally and broadened my day-to-day horizons, in ways that couldn’t help but have a salutary effect on my immune system.” Nick continues to live with chronic pain but is in prolonged remission. He concludes: “I’m aware each day of how lucky I am just to be alive. I regard much that has come my way since the time when everything changed in the 1980’s as priceless gifts.” Thank you, Nick.
Ted Robb has e-mailed me that Ed duPont was married on February 15th to Elissa Mueller Stevens. Ed’s first wife died a few years ago.
The Indiana Historical Society’s May/June newsletter contains a report on Reid Williamson. Reid has been President of the Historic Landmark Foundation of Indiana since 1974. Indiana Landmarks now is the largest statewide preservation organization in the U.S. Reid is a former trustee and advisor to the National Trust for Historic Preservation and a co-founder of Preservation Action and the Indiana Main Street program. The list of accolades and awards that Reid has earned fills an entire paragraph of the newsletter.
The last issue of the YAM contained a brief mention of Tom Moorhead’s death. Because of my deadline, I was not able to report on the many tributes which have celebrated Tom’s life. I joined Jim Jeffords, Gib Durfee, John Eaton, Larry Hewes, and Pierre Shostal for a moving memorial service at the U.S. Department of Labor, where Secretary Chao, Tom’s son, Merrell ,and his widow, Elizabeth, all spoke eloquently about Tom’s life and remarkable career in the international labor field. Tom’s colleagues all emphasized his long-held and deeply felt commitment to helping improve the lives of child laborers around the world. A video shown at the service included the Yale Alumni Chorus saluting Tom at his funeral in New Canaan with “He’s Got the Whole World in his Hands.” In view of Tom’s love of the Alumni Chorus, it seems appropriate that the Thomas B. Moorhead Fund at the ‘Neath the Elms Foundation was created by the chorus. A further indication of the world’s respect for Tom was provided me in Elizabeth’s June e-mail. She was off to Geneva for a memorial service at the International Labor Organization. The alumni office sent me the delayed news of Frank Edwards’ death in May 2002. In search of more information, I talked with one of Frank’s children, Nina, and with his widow, Mary. Frank died from complications of diabetes. A retired navy commander, Frank also had retired as a vice president at an Atlanta advertising agency. Mary can be reached at 1672 Damon Court, Dunwoody, GA 30338. Frank had three children and two grandchildren.
More sad news from Georgia. Ted Riegel died on March 31,2003. His was a remarkable story. After graduating from Lawrenceville and before joining our class at Yale, where he earned a BA and an MA, Ted underwent extensive brain surgery. After teaching at Westminster School in Atlanta, Ted became a vocational rehabilitation Counselor, earning a PhD in Educational Psychology at the University of Georgia. He worked tirelessly on behalf of people with disabilities, starting his own business, Riegel Mobility. Ted was active in the environmental field and had a passion for music, singing in various choruses. One of his last performances was in “The Mikado.” Ted hosted annual Fourth of July parties, entertaining friends with his vast collection of one-liners. He is survived by two sisters and a brother.
By now you will have received your class dues notice from our distinguished Treasurer, Ted Robb. Please respond promptly and include your news. My file is empty.
SUMMER 2003 YAM
Over 80 classmates, spouses and other family gathered at the New York Yale Club on April 23rd for our mini-reunion. What an evening! Ed Barlow and his committee, with the tremendous assistance of Ed’s Administrative Assistant and woman Friday, Monica Betancourt, arranged for two private rooms, a delicious dinner, and the icing on the cake, a beautiful concert presented by John Eaton. I will resist the temptation to list all the attendees but do want to recognize all those who came from afar: From California arrived Mike Marron and Herb McLaughlin; Roger Wilkin flew in from Kansas, and Peter Sullivan came down from Portland, Me. Washington John Eaton groupies were represented by Jordie Cohen, while the Boston contingent included Joe McNay and Bill Hoskins. The South came North, with the appearances of Martin Bowen and Bill Wieland. It turns out that Bill’s beautiful daughter is married to Marv Berenblum’s handsome son. All of that group was there, as were the spouses and significant friends of almost all who attended.
Gordie Ambach hosted a good by to D.C. reception heavily populated with classmates and other friends. It is hard to imagine Gordie in retirement, after so many years working to improve the educational opportunities for the youth of this country. He will be missed. The Ambachs will divide their time between Stratton Vt., and aNew York City pad.
Ivan Philips comments that he and Winnie divide their time between New York City and Putnam Valley, N.Y., while spending time with a daughter, Gillian, in New York and with son Jamie in London. Anne Philips e-mailed me that Jerry Phillips has been a law professor at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, for 36 years, with a specialty in products liability. Unfortunately, Jerry is fighting renal cell carcinoma. We wish Jerry well in that struggle and hope that he will be able to add more years to the 36 in the classroom.
Jack Pincus originally e-mailed me with some comments about Yale, and I was able to direct him to his neighbor in Boca Raton, George Berman, our webmaster and Jack’s freshman roommate. In return, I extracted a promise of news for this column. Jack has responded. Judy and Jack have moved to Boca Raton after 28 years in Longmeadow, MA, practicing ophthalmology and four years in Tampa with a Fortune 500 company. Jack decided to move and reduce his stress level following some cardiac problems. So…he took up golf and discovered that sports therapy didn’t work. More successful is the pursuit of knowledge; Jack is taking courses at Florida Atlantic University in subjects ranging from opera to politics. Judy (Smith 1958) was a high school English teacher and AP reader for ETS. Judy and Jack are fortunate, for all three children and six grandchildren live in Florida. One son is a real estate attorney; his siblings reflect the influences of their parents. David, Yale 1985, is Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at the University of Florida, and Mindy is a school counselor, about to become Head of School at Beth Am Day School in Miami.
Ned Vare continues with his primary interest-“Separation of education from government”- promoting “the joys and benefits of homeschooling and other alternatives to government schooling.”
Jim Bishop, surrounded by a bevy of young sailor types, all celebrating the victory of Jim’s racing boat, GoldDigger, during the Miami/Nassau Race Week.
Howard Broek has discovered that it is cooler in Fort Lauderdale in June and July than in St. Charles, Illinois, so that is where the Broeks encamped. Blessed with six grandchildren, Howard has accumulated 3400 family photos- just in case you are tempted to ask Howard to see some pictures of his family.
th, I received a very sad e-mail from Larry Hewes, reporting that Tom Moorhead died on April 28th, from a sudden and unexpected blood clot on the brain. Tom had been undergoing chemotherapy for a recurrence of cancer but had been in good spirits. It was so impressive that Tom would take on the challenge of government service at this point in his life, serving as Deputy Under Secretary of Labor for International Affairs after a long and successful business career. Tom is survived by his wife, Elizabeth, and three children. Elizabeth can be reached at 800 25th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20037
How I have learned to love the internet. Just in is a fascinating E-mail from Gil Leppelmeier, in response to my query for news. Gil and spouse Merja moved to Finland in 1987. Gil “got in on the ground floor of Finland’s entry into space research and exploration”, joining the Technical Research Centre of Finland and helping to develop five space instruments, “three of which are currently operating in space and two of which are sitting in a closet waiting for a Russian launch.” In 1992 Gil moved to the Finnish Meteorological Institute as Space Research Professor, continuing his active involvement in the Global Ozone Monitoring by Occultation of Stars project, the vehicle of which now looks down on us from above, reporting on such questions as “is the ozone hole responding to the efforts to contain it?” Gil also has been involved in missions to the Sun, Mars, and Titan and has been honored with the Order of the Lion of Finland- the second highest honor available for a foreigner in peacetime. Having retired a year ago, Gil now has his own consulting firm. He reflects on the differences between a multi-cultural and a homogeneous society. “The former has the advantages of flexibility and diversity, while the latter can safely apply things like the various aspects of the welfare state, because the wide-spread common value system limits the extent to which people will take undue advantage of their neighbors’ generosity.” Gil observes that his first summer in Finland was five days long; last summer lasted from the first week in May until mid-September. He still recommends a visit, a suggestion Gay and I can heartily endorse.
Stanley Brown reports on his enjoyment of an AYA trip, “Voyage to the Lands of Myths and Legends”, with his eleven year old grandson, who described the experience as “awesome”.
On the retirement front: Lorin Jurvis retired in February 2002 after President and CEO of Patriotic Education Inc. Robert Fisher, an orthopedic surgeon, has laid down his scalpel and started attending classes at Trinity College in Hartford.
Hugh Magee reports that he will retire this June as Vicar of St. James Episcopal Church in Cashmere, Washington, also relinquishing various other diocesan responsibilities. Hugh and Yvonne, who is a Mary Kay Sales Director, are debating a move to Spokane or to Oregon. Hugh may take on a new challenge later in the year. Hugh and I began to communicate shortly after the space shuttle disaster, and he was kind enough to send me a beautiful poem, “High Flight”, in honor of the astronauts who died. The poem is especially poignant as it was written by Hugh’s oldest brother, John, who was killed in a flying accident over England in 1941 while participating in the Battle of Britain. John had delayed his matriculation at Yale to join the Royal Canadian Air Force. The Magee family Yale connections are extensive, including Hugh’s brother, David, and his father, the Reverend John Magee, Class of ’06, who was the Episcopal Chaplain at Yale from 1946 to 1953. I do not have the space to include the entire poem, which is available from Hugh, but I do want to provide a taste of its beauty:
“I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or even eagle flew —
And, while with silent lifting mind I’ve trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand and touched the face of God.”
Some classmates continue their education. Peter Sullivan has completed all his requirements except his dissertation for a PhD in American History at the University of Maine. His subject is a Puritan Minister, John Higginson. Peter reports that although six chapters of the opus are competed, he finds that golf and travel are slowing his progress. Peter and Judy recently returned from a trip to Germany.
David O’Brasky provides a cautionary note for our age group. Thanks to a colonoscopy, a cluster of pre-cancerous polyps was found in time and removed. David reminds us that everyone should have that procedure every three to five years.
Once again, the sad news. Marie Shannon reports that Chuck Shannon died of renal carcinoma on July 30, 2002. Marie can be reached at 14450 SW 82nd Avenue, Miami Florida 33158-1402. The alumni office advises me that Fred Grab died on June 12, 2002.Fred was a professor in the English department at Bard College. I have no further information.
An obituary from the Boston Globe carries the following headline: “Theodore Harrison, MIT professor, renegade.” Ted died on December 11th. He had been a professor of international politics and foreign affairs at MIT; during the Vietnam war, to avoid paying taxes, Ted moved to Ghana, where he established a handicraft export business. Returning to the U.S. in 1973, Ted took up a new career as a human services coordinator in Massachusetts. His son, Anthony Kwame, is quoted: “He had a lot of principles that he really stood behind, even sometimes to the point of being stubborn with them. He had a commitment to social justice. I think it was… a real concern for the welfare of all peoples.” Ted is survived by his wife, Adelaide Ama Darkwa-Mensah, two sons, and a daughter. Adelaide resides at P.O. Box 82, Old Ashfield Road, Shelburne Falls, MA 01370
Finally, thanks to the 344 of you who had sent in your class dues up to December 31st. The number of contributors is up, but we would like to hear from those who keep putting Ted Robb’s appeal at the bottom of the in-box pile. In addition to paying for subscriptions to this magazine and to funding various class events and expenses, your dues underwrite a program which I believe is unique to our class-the Davenport summer fellowships. The class selection committees in Boston, New York and Washington have completed their deliberations and have selected the projects to receive funding for next summer, choosing three winners from 21 applications.
One scholarship recipient will report on the un-heard stories of the survivors in Bosnia, documenting how a rural community is responding to the high risk of radioactive contamination and how the process of reconstruction is proceeding in Sarajevo. Another winner, a History major who is a cellist member of a music ensemble which won the Friends of Music at Yale competition, will research and perform the music of Argentina’s greatest tango composer, Astor Piazzolla. The other recipient will stay closer to home. He is a philosophy major who will undertake a journalistic investigation of the American coal industry, asking such questions as: “Do we live in an age in which certain segments of the population still devote themselves to, and structure their lives around very demanding physical labor?
Can we say there is a coal mining culture in the United States?” As is the custom, those and other questions will be answered by the winners at our class dinner after the Harvard game.
Oh, the changes in our lives as we approach the magic 70. Some of us continue to work full- or part-time; others officially retire but seem to keep busy with consulting and volunteer commitments; many of us enjoy the blessings of grandchildren, wondering what kind of world they will inherit. Some of our lives include elements of all of the above, and many of us (including the Lords) may be cleaning out our basements and disposing of years of accumulated junk in anticipation of a move to down-sized or warm weather living.
To illustrate the latter option and its possible implications, our web master, George Berman, writes: “Pack rats of the world unite! Cleaning out files after our move to Boca Raton, FL, I came across a photo of a girl who dated both Jack Pincus and me in freshman year. I decided that he might as well have the photo for the second 50 years, so I looked up his address in the Alumni Directory. Lo and behold, Jack lives right here in Boca. It turns out I had also dated Jack’s wife, Judy. We got together over brunch, and Judy brought out two Yale programs from 1952, showing us as an “item.” Bright college years…” I can only add that George obviously had a more active freshman year social life than I.
Speaking of George and Jack, be sure and check www.Yale56.org for Jack’s commentary on the discussion regarding Yale’s investment policy and Israel. On the same site, you will find Carlos Omana’s reflections on the crisis in Venezuela. Why not express your thoughts on issues of interest and concern? Just E-mail email@example.com.
Regarding our transitions, I continue to receive reports on 50th high school reunions. Irwin Miller was one of two Lawrence Woodmere Academy grads in our class; the other was Bob Hirsch. Of the twelve males in the graduating class of 1952 at the Academy, two attended Princeton and one each to Harvard and MIT. Were we all smarter then, or was it easier to get into college? A female member of that distinguished class was Toni, now Mrs. Ken Liebman.
Those classmates who continue in the nine to five world are involved in such interesting projects. Gil Leppelmeier reports that he saw John Gille at an Aura Science Team meeting in September: “John is looking great in spite of the problems of getting together a very complex atmospheric research instrument for launch in a little over a year.” Gil’s enthusiasm for his work shines through in his note: “We (Gil and John) both find a big payoff in this business of working with very sharp people and getting to play with high-tech toys, all in a good cause.”
Bob Mason, and spouse Clare, continue their partnership, currently producing a documentary series, “American Business Taming the Knowledge Revolution.”
Dick Goldman, long-time stalwart in Independent Schools, retired last June after thirty years at Germantown Friends in Philadelphia. However, Dick’s retirement is only partial; he continues to edit Studies in Education, one of Germantown’s publications. After commenting on trips to Lake Champlain and London, Dick affirms: “So far retirement is wonderful.”
Not surprisingly, trips postponed during our full-time working years now are feasible for many of us. Martin Bowen made it to India, exploring the development of Mughal painting and Buddhist sculpture. He and Johanna celebrated their fortieth anniversary in Tuscany last June, living in a vineyard, sampling Tuscan wines and Pecorino cheeses. Johanna’s birthday was celebrated in October with eleven family members. Marty, too, continues to work part-time in his psychiatric practice, while also retreating to the shore and attending grandparents’ day events and grandchildrens’ soccer games. Marty concludes: “Life grows better and better, and I appreciate my debt to Yale more and more as the years pass.
Jay Butler’s trip to Chester, England, last July was to meet his second grandson, born on December 7th 2001 to daughter Emily.
Charlie Bleich and spouse Linda have joined the exodus to warmer weather, moving to Florida where they have caught up with Susan and Marvin Berenblum. I gather Charlie has retired from his dental practice.
Now, the sad news. I regret to report that Percy Douglas died suddenly in New York on February 2nd. A former Marine, Percy’s subsequent involvement in the performance world stretched from the Rockettes to the Rockefellers. For years he was involved in the production of the shows at Radio City Music Hall, and he later served as an advisor to the Rockefeller family. He also was the Senior Partner at New Producers Organization. Percy’s outstanding contributions to the non-profit world are illustrated by the organizations which paid him tribute in the New York Times obituaries: Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center; Brown Harris Stevens Residential Management; Island Academy; The Broadway Association; the Association for a Better New York. All commented on Percy’s character and devotion to their causes, using such adjectives as “leader, confidant, raconteur, gentleman, and patriot.”Percy is survived by his daughter, Laura, and two grandchildren. I am grateful to William Patrick Clark and James A.M. Douglas for providing me with information on Percy’s life.
The well is running dry; please send me your news and views.
_____________________________________________________ BACK TO TOP
The class web master has been busy up-dating www.Yale56.org. If you want to see how Don
Chatfield, Charles Dorchester, Ken Hales, Eric Moore, Ted Wilkinson and George Woloch look now, click on. You also will find a feature on John Fitz Gibbon, whose collection was featured at the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, California from December 21st to February 23rd. George Berman forwarded Bill Bourke’s e-mail describing the event, following up on John’s letter to me. Bill reports that the class was well represented at the opening; Milt Gaines, Roger Hollander, Bill Rees, and David Slavitt all were present. David wrote a poem, “Privately Owned”, to introduce the catalogue to the exhibit, which contains 125 paintings, sculptures, and works on paper from Fitz’s collection. To quote Bill: “The show…represents a monumental tribute to Brother John’s lifetime commitment to excellence in fine art and to the dedicated artists who contribute so much to enriching our lives. It is a visual feast…An exceptionally fine catalogue, published in both hard and soft back, is available from the museum at 216 O Street, Sacramento 95814.” Telephone: 916-264-5531. John and Jock Reynolds, Director of the Yale Art Gallery, have essays in the publication. The exhibit will open in Santa Fe in mid-March; then it goes to Youngstown, Ohio and Corpus Christi, Texas.
Bill Bourke’s interest in the fine arts is further confirmed by his report on a trip he and Teresa organized, a fine arts pilgrimage for family and friends to Japan, highlighted by a visit to the museum/home of the world-famous sculptor, Isamu Noguchi. Bill’s report on the trip is so interesting that I hope he will post it on our web site.
While on the subject of the arts, George Litton’s son, Andrew, conducted at Woolsey Hall on October 19th. Andrew led the Yale Philarmonia, Yale Camerata, and the New Haven Chorale in an all-Walton concert. Andrew’s career is flourishing. He conducted Belshazzars Feast in New York a few years ago, leading the Dallas Symphony and Chorale.
Completing our reports on classmate’s children currently enrolled at Yale, Robert Baker’s daughter, Ashley, is a junior in Trumbull, majoring in American Studies with an objective to follow in her Father’s footsteps to Yale Law School. Bob is Chairman of the family real estate business, building shopping centers in New York and New Jersey, including many Wal-Marts. Bob has no plans to retire, as he loves what he is doing and is not a “burned out” lawyer. However, the Bakers intend to spend more time in their Florida digs.
Brief notes from the retirement…or “I thought I had retired”…front. Carla and Dick Wilde were enjoying retirement and their two grandchildren until Dick was called back by his former company, UTC Hamilton Sunstrand, to return for a third time in four years as an engineering consultant. Russell Broad, after becoming a grandparent five times in two years, with a sixth on the way, is “winding down” at UBS Paine Webber, “retiring” to a three day week. Bruce Ensley is “discovering life after the Pentagon” at home with his digital camera and home computer. Ed McGowan also made it to full retirement, but Bob Peck only moved to the semi- stage after thirty years teaching at the Haverford School in Philadelphia. At least now he can play tennis three or four times a week. Jim Ingerson, Charlie Dorchester, Bob Harrington, and Steve Waters, Saybrook roommates, gathered with their spouses for a September reunion in Laconia, New Hampshire. Jim reports that all are “retired, in reasonable health, and busy.”
Rocky Suddarth’s idea of retirement is to consult for Merrill Lynch, take piano less
ons from John Eaton and study music theory at the University of Maryland. Of course, Rocky also is our class delegate the Association of Yale Alumni semi-annual convocations. The subject of last fall’s meeting was the undergraduate curriculum review currently underway. Rocky’s report is so interesting and timely, I am publishing it almost uncut:
“Several days (before the meeting), each of the 200-plus delegates received an undergraduate syllabus with 1800 courses (600 in our day). We were asked to formulate our ideal Yale College academic program knowing what we know now, with the charge to select a major and 36 courses over four years. It was great fun. My straw poll, based on five samples, intuition and a large bias, concluded: 1) Liberal arts majors remained liberal arts majors; 2) social sciences majors, in the enlightenment of their current years, opted for the liberal arts; and 3) the scientists did not show up (presumably because they are happily doing science elsewhere). The consensus was: “Why waste college years in trade school?”
1956ers Steve Scher and I found our major- History, the Arts and Letters- replaced by an even more interesting Humanities major, with Harold Bloom its high priest and a requirement to start in the ancient Near East and end in Foucault. Bob Wheeler, a History major, also opted for the Humanities “but with a lot of history courses.” For electives I courageously chose Biology over my earlier “Rocks for Jocks.” With a nod to multi-culturalism, which abounds throughout, I worked in a course on China with Jonathan Spence. I resisted the temptation to take electives in Film in favor of courses in French, so I can finally understand my Father-in-Law. I also (like Bob Wheeler) chose Directed Studies freshman year, now that those Fordie geniuses are not around for competition.
President Levin and Dean Brodhead did have some serious business to discuss. The main issue is how to make available to undergraduates the resources of a great research university. Under this concern lies the hearty perennial: How can a faculty chosen for its specialized research skills interrelate with a general undergraduate curriculum? Put another way: “You want me to hurt my chances for a Nobel Prize by focusing major energy on undergraduates?” One idea is to use as a model the Center for Foreign Languages, where scholars actually learn to teach and start centers for writing (and, I hope, speaking), quantitative reasoning and science and technology. In encouraging increased faculty attention to students, the phrase “perhaps setting incentives” was used. Now you’re talking. By the way, “on-demand” tutors are now available in the residential colleges. I suspect that 1956 would have produced more engineers and fewer history majors if that had been available for calculus.
Other subjects of interest were: 1) Why do pre-meds have to suffer through crowded, cookie-cutter lectures while others luxuriate in boutique-like seminars?
2) How to keep undergrads from seeking the least scientific courses to fulfill that requirement. Some progress has been made. Science for Poets no longer exists. 3) How to parlay the foreign language requirement into real competence? Answer: Start total immersion courses abroad in the summer (plus, I assume, find a native, non-English speaking girl or boy friend). Stay tuned. President Levin, Dean Brodhead and the committee have some interesting ideas and a lot of persuasiveness.”
Thank you, Rocky. What do you think? What major and 36 courses would you choose? Let us know at www.Yale56.org.
Dick Eckart for filling in so effectively last month as Class Secretarywhile the Lords joined Sally and Tersh Boasberg for a swing through Sicily and Malta. Anyone who knows Sally and Gay realizes how fortunate Tersh and I are to travel with such brilliant guides. Upon our return, the four of us hosted a book signing party for Warren Zimmermann at which Yale ’56 was well represented, including the visiting Dan Banks, in from San Francisco for a few days. Warren’s fascinating book, First Great Triumph: How Five Americans Made this Country A Great Power, has received rave reviews around the country, including in The New York Review of Books, the Daily and Sunday New York Times. The Sunday Times reviewer called it “brilliantly readable”; the paper included the First Great Triumph on its holiday list of recommended books.
Jack Silliman has been awarded the Annual Fund’s highest honor, the Chairman’s Award, in recognition of his exemplary service to the Fund. Bob Wheeler reported on our class “I Have a Dream” project. Our “dreamers” now are high school seniors. The statistics tell the success story: In New Haven, the seventh poorest community in the country, the two comprehensive high schools, Hillhouse and Cross, graduate less than 40% of their freshman classes, with only 70% of those graduating attending two or four year colleges. Of our “dreamer” contingent, 80% are on schedule to graduate next June, with 10% on track for a 2004 graduation. Of those finishing this year, 100% are applying for two or four year colleges or entering the military. Behind the numbers are some outstanding young men and women. Francisco, who is applying to technical schools, will be the first in his family to graduate from high school; Amit, who has lived in New Haven and in India over the past several years, is applying to Yale, MIT and Tufts; Rhonda, an active volunteer at a day care center, hopes to attend Wesleyan, UCONN or Connecticut College;Michael, an outstanding basketball player who started playing on the “I Have a Dream” team in sixth grade, is actively being recruited by Division II and III colleges; Stephanie, who ran away from home in the seventh grade and later returned, aspires to be a nurse; Brandi will graduate this year despite suffering from systemic Lupus and diabetes. Among her college choices is Lincoln University in Pennsylvania, which she and her classmates visited last year thanks to the initiative and planning of Ted Robb, a Lincoln trustee. All of us can be proud of this record, which your generosity helped make possible.
We do need an additional $300 000 to continue our support of these graduates in college. I am pleased to report that we have received a pledge of $150 000 as a challenge grant for the “dreamers”, to be matched by the rest of us. You are receiving a letter from Ed Barlow and Bob Wheeler with more details.
th reunion. At that meeting the class committee also approved mini-reunions for April 2003 and 2004. SAVE THE DATE: April 23, 2003-Wednesday- John Eaton will perform a special concert in honor of 1956 at the Yale Club in New York, accompanied by a dinner for our classmates, spouses and family. In addition, there will be an opportunity to procure tickets for one of several Broadway matinees on that day. Ed Barlow and his committee will be contacting you with details. If you live anywhere near New York City, I hope you will plan to come. If you live elsewhere, why not take advantage of this opportunity to join us?
Bud Prince. In addition to hearing from the Davenport Master, Dr. Richard Schottenfeld, and from an outstanding singing group, Mixed Company, we were presented with brief reports by the Class of 1956 Fellowship winners. As you know, we fund from our class dues threejuniors to pursue a project of special interest during the summer before their senior year. The subjects this year indicate the scope of these projects: A study of the health care system in Cuba; training horses in Utah; American rivers and their relationship to the increasing urbanization of the west. Once again those of us in attendance were very impressed by the undergraduates from whom we heard.
Rocky Suddarth’s fascinating analysis of the recent AYA symposium on undergraduate education at Yale in this article, but space limitations require that Rocky’scomments be held in abeyance until next month. I do want to clarify for William Patrick Clark’s friends that I am not a family wrecker. My mistaken identification of Bill’s spouse in a recent column was either a result of a computer gremlin or the onset of some mental disintegration-take your pick. Let the record show that Bill has been happily married for 44 years to JANET BURNS CLARK.
th high school reunions, this report is in from Eric Moore on the 50th at Scarsdale High School. Talk about a feeder for Yale! The class of 1952 at Scarsdale included Eric, Al Baldwin, Jim Kingsbury, Ward Reed, Jim McCaffrey, and Jack Silliman, all of whom attended the festivities. Among the absent at the reunion were the late Monte Everett, Frank Kleeman, Gary Corwin, Steve Greenberg, and Bill Bourke. Eric sang a setting of Psalm 91 and Al Baldwin spoke at the Sunday memorial service. Eric also reported an impressive commentary on the value still placed on education in Scarsdale: Teachers in the High School can earn as much as $110 000 per year, one of the reasons that the school does so well in college placement, as reported by Worth magazine. If only all communities recognized the importance of their teachers in such a fashion. After the reunion Eric and Al returned to New Haven to bring back a “flood of memories”, staying in Berkeley with the Dean, attending a campus crusade meeting, a choral concert and football practice, anddropping in at Mory’s,Barrie Ltd and J. Press. Of course, Eric also met with the tennis coach during his “Yale walkabout.” On that happy note, and blessedly with no deaths to report, I’ll put another log on the fire and sign off.