Yale University

Class Notes

December 1999

by Tony Lee

This is the last issue before the turn of the century. I imagine that many of us will be more reflective in the next few weeks wondering about the next millennium, and perhaps thinking about our personal involvement in it.

When I think about the major issues of the next century, I am proud that Yale has moved to build itself into a leading world institute on the environment. Yale plans to bring its full intellectual resources to help the world meet the challenges of sustaining the biosphere by educating undergraduates and providing research on specific environmental issues. Gus Speth, the new Dean of the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, has the specific task of making this happen.

At our 35th, there were many of our classmates who expressed an interest in supporting Gus. Chris Getman, Ward Wickwire, and I are organizing an effort to build a special relationship between our class and the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. There will be fund-raising initiatives as well as ways you can participate with your time, energy, and interest. You will soon receive a letter with additional details. We are planning an open house at the School during the afternoon of the winter hockey game, which Peter Truebner is coordinating. The opponent and date have not been decided as of the writing of these notes, but we will send a local mailing with the details and post the dates and invitation on our Web site. I hope you will attend.

In the meantime, if you share our interest and would like to learn more, contact Chris, Ward or me. A Yale Daily News editorial on October 1 entitled, "Inspiration for the environment," endorses Gus' plan. You can read the editorial at the Yalie Daily Web site at www.yaledailynews.com. Click on "archives" to access back issues. You also might want to read Gus' op ed on the same day entitled "Working at Yale to sustain the biosphere." Gus was also featured in the October issue of this magazine.

I recently had a long, enjoyable telephone conversation with Mike Mazer who practices law in Washington, DC. Mike didn't attend our reunion but has been thinking about men's passages and the phrase in Tuesdays with Morrie "You have to forgive yourself." Mike is interested in seeing other classmates and in the possibility of a mini class reunion.

Mike's been married for 28 years and has two children a son at Kenyon and a daughter at Dennison, who wants to be an elementary school teacher. He grew up in western Massachusetts where he could ice-skate on frozen ponds from Thanksgiving to March. With a change in location and climate, he now roller blades four or five times a week.

Michael Posner lives in Westfield, Mass. where he has been a pediatrician for 18 years. He enjoys his work in spite of managed health care and the absence of a national plan. His second marriage with Carol is approaching 20 years, and he gratefully admits to being quite happy with his life. Between them they have four children. Carol is currently a graduate student in social work and sociology, hoping to teach after many years as a community organizer, adoption social worker, child care licenser and therapist. Michael reports that Tom Kleven is a law professor at the historically black Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University.

Andy Harris reports from Salem, Oregon that he was the national president of Physicians for Social Responsibility in 1998, working closely with Bob Musil, who is the executive director of the 16,000 member organization. He had to cut his ophthalmology practice in half to work with PSR, and he now fills the void with part-time overseas medical work in Mexico, Moldova, India, etc. His two daughters are serving in remote regions of Peru with Food for the Hungry and in Honduras with the Peace Corps. His son, a sophomore engineering student at Stanford, is the Michael J. Fox of the family. Andy says his current challenge is learning Spanish and wishes he had started 50 years ago.

Quincy Rodgers recently retired from General Instrument Corp. after 21 years working with cable and satellite TV. He finds himself busier than ever with upcoming trips to Europe and SE Asia. He and Pam will soon be living at a tree farm near the Chesapeake Bay in MD. His daughter by his first marriage, Amy, is working as an advertising attorney for an oil consortium in Houston. Quincy reports that Bob Buchman and his wife Brenda recently visited.

Bob Dayton apologizes for missing the reunion. He was in the midst of opening a spectacular new golf course, which Harry Howell has joined as a national member. Bob and Joanie have three grandchildren who are the light of their lives. He spends most of his time promoting a mentoring program for at-risk youth in our inner cities, both at the national level (The National Mentoring Partnership) and locally (Twin Cities One to One).

Jim (James E.) Thompson emailed from New York that he is doing well. His wife, Francesca, died 3 years ago after a 10-year battle with bone and blood cancer. He is slowly learning to cope. His daughter teaches history in Miami and has two children. His son and his wife are finishing medical training at U Penn, and are expecting their first child in January. Jim might be the only person in our class who has been with the same company since graduation. For the past 20 years he has loved being involved with computers. He is an avid golfer, tries to play at least 36 holes every weekend, and has a 21 handicap.

We have a lot of golfers in the class who are interested in a class golf day at the Yale Golf Course in the Spring. If you are interested, send me an email. Assuming we have quite a few high handicappers, with our duck hooks and slices, we will have a splendid self-guided tour of Yale's finest forests.

Have a good holiday and, hopefully, an uneventful (Y2K-wise) New Years.