by Dennis Lynch
The October 6, 1997, edition of The New York Times trumpeted the success of the Yale $1.7 billion capital drive. The campaign raised $200 million more than its goal. According to the article: “Yale is on the rebound. Competition for admission is up. The budget is balanced for the first time in six years. The endowment is $5.8 billion ... New buildings are going up, and old ones are being repaired. Long-troubled relations with New Haven are improving.” It has been rare in recent years that the media has had anything positive to say about our alma mater.
The October 1997 Yale Alumni Magazine also reviewed the success of the capital campaign. Both Terry Holcombe, “chief steward of the Campaign,” and Len Baker were prominently mentioned for their extraordinary efforts. Len was quoted as saying that his years at Yale “really defined my life.” Many of us feel the same.
Senator Joe Lieberman was another classmate in the news. It is not common for The Wall Street Journal to quote excerpts from a Democrat's speech, but Joe's September 30 offering was highlighted. In his address to the Senate, directed particularly toward his fellow Democrats, Joe argued for the federal funding of $7 million to extend scholarships to 2,000 District of Columbia students in order for them to attend a public or private school of their choice. Joe's position on allowing student choice is not one shared by most of his fellow Democrats. His words were stirring: “This is not a choice between public schools and private, parochial schools. ... The true choice here is between preserving the status quo at all costs, which is slamming the door in the face of the parents and children who want to do better, and doing what is necessary to put those children first. ... This (funding) is a lifeline for 2000 children who are trapped in a school system where none of us would let our kids be.” The measure did not pass in spite of Joe's cogent comments. However, it is refreshing to know that there are some truly thoughtful public servants who are not totally ideologically driven. Some actually think! Thank you, Joe!
Lastly, Chris Getman, program chairman for our 35th Reunion, notes that he is “pleased with the responses for the Reunion — a lot of interest.” He further opines that it “will be the best yet.” We hope to see all of you there.