Yale University

Class Notes

March 1995

by Dennis Lynch

On behalf of our class, I wish to thank George Humphrey for his efforts not only in coordinating the reunion but also in handling the chores of class secretary so capably for the past five years. He will be a very tough act to follow.

Our classmates, 128 strong, descended upon New Haven for our 30th Reunion last fall. Tony Lee, Jon McBride, and Wally Winter, Class of 1964 program organizers, selected the theme of “Creating a New American Dream” for our reunion discussion. Panelists and participants alike engaged in active debate about the definitions and relevance of the “American Dream” today. In subsequent notes, I will quote some of the more interesting observations and conclusions. I wish to thank Gordon Davis and all the organizers of our reunion. They did a masterful job.

Charitable activities are a continuing focus of our classmates. Bob Dayton is currently heading an initiative in the Twin Cities called One-to-One, whose objective is to link every at-risk youth in Minneapolis and St. Paul to a mentor. The J. Frederick Mokriski Scholarship, given in memory of Chuck Mokriski's father, contributes to the outstanding quality of Yale's student body. This year's recipient, Jonathan Bock ’95, is a molecular biophysics and biochemistry major who plans to attend medical school. Jonathan is also a member of the Whiffenpoofs. Lastly, Paul Balser is president of the Hudson Guild, a 100-year-old New York City settlement house. Paul remarried in 1990 to “a lovely lady,” Alexandra Martin.

As George Humphrey mentioned in the December Notes, our class is well represented in Yale College. Here are some additional updates on present attendees and recent graduates: Richard Patterson's son Tristan is now a Yale freshman and so is Geoff Best's son Charles. John Ryan reports with pride and relief that his son Brent ’91 and daughter Elizabeth ’94 are gainfully employed. Recently, John met his roommate, Jim Ferguson, in New Haven when Jim was dropping off his son, Andy ’98. Last but not least, John Madden's son John ’94 is now at Washington University in the MD/PhD program, while younger son Nicholas ’98 is a freshman playing on the football team.

We are at a stage of life when many of us are changing our careers, sometimes voluntarily and sometimes not. Mark Larratt-Smith has taken a new position with Ortech Corporation, a research-and-development firm in Ontario. The company is a working partnership between public and private sectors. Mark has been in touch with his two college roommates, Allan Wakefield and Morgan Phillips. Jim McCurley writes, “I am finding it difficult at nearly 52 to get started in a promising new career.” But others are more hopeful. Frank Hotchkiss's first attempt at screenwriting, Downsizing, seems to have received a very favorable response — all class film producers, please take note. However, on a more practical note, Frank “has been forced to give up his beloved Porsche,” facing the financial prospect of sending his daughter Lisa to Colorado University.

In addition to his existing responsibilities, Jim Turchik has been appointed professor of medicine, SUNY Health Service Center in Albany. He spent an enjoyable afternoon with Ralph Defronzo, who had given a lecture entitled, “The Insulin Resistance Syndrome.” Ralph is professor of medicine and director of the Diabetes Unit at the University of Texas, San Antonio. As of June 1994, Tom Walton is employed as an environmental specialist in the Asia Environmental Division of the World Bank in Washington.

Several classmates have extended open invitations: Panos Coumandos offers hospitality to any of us visiting Athens. His address is: 4 Festou Street, Kifissia, Athens 14561, Greece; home phone number: 301-8082-956, business phone: 301-9573-870. Robert Ball offers accommodations at his beautiful ranch in Yellowstone Park (406/222-0208). Bob has probably one of the most unusual vocations — he is a career manager for composers and classical musicians. Chip Levengood has been transferred overseas by J.P. Morgan. He and his wife Katherine welcome visitors. His new address is: Fernando El Santo 21, 6 DRCHO, 28010 Madrid.

Stewart Flory is currently on sabbatical at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Sam Low is doing his thing — writing books and producing films. He recently completed a film, Fast Cars, which will be shown on “NOVA,” May 23, 1995. Stay tuned. In addition, he has begun a new film project and book based on his grandfather's manuscript describing cowboy life at Hawaii's famous Parker Ranch. Speaking of books, Jimmy Rogers' book, Investment Biker, was favorably reviewed by Richard Russell, editor of the Dow Theory Letter, who said, “ . . . the book is a treat; I recommend it.”

Marty Gerstel, retired CEO and co-chairman of ALZA, and his wife Shoshanna are dividing their time between Menlo Park, California, and Jerusalem. Over 25 years, Marty took ALZA from a start-up research-and-development partnership to an internationally respected pharmaceutical company. He did a fantastic job. Regarding other achievements, Bob Sexton received the Charles A. Dana Award for Pioneering Achievement in Education. However, Bob puts the award in perspective by offering his view that the highlight of the past year “ . . . was being with friends at the reunion.”

Jeremy Wood continues to “ . . . practice architecture and urban design in an ever-more-difficult economy . . . most recently completing design work on renovations to the University of Pennsylvania Hospital.” All's well with his family. Most importantly, Jeremy has totally restored his 1964 Volvo in lieu of “ . . . the hair transplant, red sports car, or motorcycle of midlife foolishness.” Franklin Basler completed his training as a psychoanalyst, and his organization-development consulting practice is “thriving.”

Don Lowenstein “ . . . has been fighting the good fight to persuade the Supreme Court to strike down Congressional term limits. This latter effort brought me into contact last year with our classmate John Armor. I am not sure he agrees that my fight is so 'good'. . . . ” Fall election results suggest that John may not be alone in his view.

Regretfully, I report the death of Brian Rapp, who died Christmas Day after a prolonged illness. He will be greatly missed.