Yale University

Class Notes

Summer 2000

by Tony Lee

If you've visited our web site recently, you'll notice that Sam Francis cartooned me as an over-worked, under-paid, bedraggled secretary. Having just returned from two terrific weekends (in May as I write this) at Yale, I feel more like a pampered prince. The campus is beautiful and it was a real privilege to attend two excellent conferences: the AYA Assembly on "Yale and the Global Environment" and "The Good in Nature and Humanity, Connecting Science, Religion and the Natural World" at the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Gus Speth spoke at both conferences and Strachan Donnelley facilitated a discussion on bringing environmental and spiritual practitioners together with land practitioners. David MacBryde, Ken Demario, and Bill Woodfin attended the AYA Assembly.

Frank Hotchkiss wrote a letter describing his practice of Buddhism for 30 years with daily meditation, and his increased ability to see things as they are and not as he would wish them to be. There is no place for self-pity or victimhood in Buddhism, he says, and as a result he has ended up a happier person. Frank and his wife of 27 years Sandi now live in Santa Barbara where he has a PR agency and she has an advertising specialty business. He has returned to fiction writing and has recently written two books which are being shopped with publishers. Frank reported that Jeff Frant stopped by on a bicycle tour of Southern California and they had a delightful cup of coffee together. Frank's letter is on our web site.

Tom Susman writes: "I'm incredibly pleased to let my classmates know that our daughter Daily will be entering the class of 2004, thus joining the ranks of a long line of Susman Yalies (number 8). It will be great to have yet one more set of opportunities to get back to New Haven and enjoy the refurbished Yale campus. Susan, Daily and I will be heading off on a family trip to Kenya this summer for a celebratory safari. But now that college-admission season is over, we have already started resting much easier."

Erik Midelfort broke his self-imposed silence and provided a nice update. He has been a history professor at the University of Virginia for thirty years. He is a principal (at Yale one would say "master") of the oldest residential college, Brown College, and a few years ago was granted a distinguished endowed chair. Last year he published a book that he'd been working on for over 25 years: A History of Madness in Sixteenth-Century Germany. He lives in Brown College with his wife, Anne McKeithen, and 13-year-old daughter Lucy. He thinks occasionally about retirement, but with a 13-year-old to put through college, it won't happen soon.

Don Haggerty retired in 1987 from teaching and research in biochemistry and cell biology at UCLA in order to pursue his interests in foreign languages, classical music, philosophy, literature, painting, printmaking, and photography. He initially lived in Cork County, Ireland, until the Irish winters drove him south to Argentina, where after 5 years of immigration procedures, he's about to be granted permanent residency. He's been studying the fine arts under an eminent Argentine painter and printmaker to help compensate for his paucity of formal background in those areas.

Jethro Lieberman has been appointed Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at New York Law School. He continues as professor of law at NYLS and as adjunct professor of political science at Columbia University. Richard Shiffrin was recently elected to both the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Creaky joints have ruled out most sports except for back-country skiing and rock climbing. Charles Van Tuyl has 7 grandchildren and asks "How much better can life be?"

Our class has its own version of the old Abbott and Costello gig of "Who's on first, What's on second, and I don't know's on third." You might want to get a second cup of coffee before reading the following! I received the following delightful email from Piers Norris Turner, Yale Class of 1997: "David Turner and Bob Norris, both Saybrook class of 1964, were good friends during their college years and continue to be now, some years down the road. For years they have reunited each year with several other great 1964 Saybrugians, among them Phil Lochner, Larry Buck, and Peter Igoe, to attend a Yale football game. As luck would have it, three of these men had children in the Saybrook class of 1997. As stranger luck would have it, two of these children, Piers Turner (that's me) and Abigail Norris managed to like each other enough to get married last summer. The third child, Jon Igoe, could only attend the wedding. I should add that Abby and I didn't know each other growing up, except as our parents' friends' offspring and rarely interacted at our parents' football game reunions. And the Norrises reside in Norwell, MA while the Turners live in Syracuse, NY. That Abby and I happened to hit it off junior year was good fortune, as we barely knew each other during our first two years at Yale. Getting the in-laws together has been a dream as you might imagine. But the story has a great twist. A few years after Yale, in 1967, David Turner married Nancy DeGennaro from the College of New Rochelle. At that wedding, Bob Norris happened to meet (he needed a ride) a good friend of Nancy's from college named Peg Smith. As you might guess, Bob Norris went on to marry Peg. So, Abby's parents first met at my parents' wedding. If not for my parents' wedding, and Bob and Peg's chance meeting there, there might never have been an Abby for me to marry last summer!" Thanks, Piers, for the great story. Now a 3-question test for the 1964 class to see if we're still with it: Where was Bob pretending he wanted to go in order to get a ride from Nancy's friend, Peg? If Piers is truly a Turner, how did his middle name get turned into a Norris? If they all loved Saybrook so much, why did Piers get named after another residential college? Huh? Email me your answers and I'll post them on our web site.