Yale University

Class Notes

December 2000

by Tony Lee

Congratulations to Len Baker for his appointment to the Yale Corporation. This is the "board of directors" that runs the University. The Corporation consists of 16 Fellows plus the President of the University and the Governor and Lt. Governor of Connecticut, ex officio. Six of the 16 are elected by alumni, one each year for six-year terms. The other 10 are Successor Fellows, successors to the original congregational clergymen who founded the University in 1701. Len is one of the Successor Fellows, appointed for a 6-year term, with a second term customary. Our class is very fortunate to have a member on the Corporation, and we look forward to having many dialogues with Len over the years.

Len emailed: "I am looking forward to this assignment, although I think the Fellows are expected to work pretty hard for Yale. We meet six times a year in New Haven for a day and a half. Yale is in great shape: the budget is balanced, the endowment is way up (40% gains in the latest fiscal year), the buildings are getting fixed, and Rick Levin is a terrific leader who is well liked by all constituencies. Yale has the chance to undertake a number of initiatives over the next decade: the Forestry School is one, another is rebuilding science, a third is building up the School of Management. Yale College remains a focus; the rest of the colleges need to be refurbished, and Dick Broadhead has a number of exciting ideas about improving the undergraduate experience, which is already superb."

John Nathan wrote a nice newsy email: "Since graduating from Yale with an engineering degree and then from Yale Law School, I have specialized in patent and trademark litigation. I am a partner of the New York intellectual property law firm Fish & Neave, which represented many famous inventors, including the Wright brothers, Alexander Graham Bell, and Thomas Edison. Currently, I represent and try patent cases for Gillette, Time Warner, HBO, and Johnson & Johnson.

"I live in New York City and have a home in Pound Ridge, New York, where my wife Cathy and I hope to retire, if I can ever bring some of my endless cases to a conclusion. Cathy, also a lawyer, saw the light and gave up practicing law some years ago. She is now a senior partner of TMP Worldwide Executive Search and heads the country's leading legal-search-practice group specializing in general counsel searches for major corporations.

"Our daughter Caroline is a Yale freshman. Our older daughter Elizabeth graduated from Harvard last June after majoring in physics, astrophysics, and astronomy. Currently, she is in England working on a masters in international relations at Cambridge, where she is a Harvard-Cambridge Fellow."

And from Paul Balser: "I am now pulling back from my full-time work as a partner in Generation Partners, a direct private equity firm with $325 million under management. This is a continuation of a process that I started about 18 months ago. I still go to the office every day but my weekends are getting longer. I purchased a lovely boat, Shearwater, a 48-foot catamaran which I am putting into charter in the Caribbean in the winter and New England in the summer. I'm having a fun time running this new small business, with three employees (captain, cook, and part-time bookkeeper), a new web site — caribeyankee.com — and lots of time sailing on board myself. While I have not lost my marbles to the point that I think I can make money at this effort, I am still happy with the process.

"I just had my first grandchild, Benjamin Harris Balser, and I am having a good time getting to know him and spoiling him as best I can. Beyond this, I remain involved with my kids, my girl friend Alice, and my philanthropic work. Of course, squash is still part of my life as well. I look forward to hearing more from others."

Bob Bulkeley completed his move from Baltimore to Campton, New Hampshire this summer. They live about 100 yards from the White Mountain National Forest on a dirt road, and report having seen a bear and her cub, and a doe and a fawn. Bob will eventually be doing some substance-abuse-prevention education in schools. He and his wife Ouisie are delighted to be in a quiet place with some wonderful new neighbors and near some lifelong friends from Camp Pasquaney where he just finished his 42nd summer as a counselor.

Our webmaster Sam Francis writes: "Retirement is treating me well, after 27 years of R&D for Bell Labs. I'm dabbling in free-lance web-site development, including our Yale Class web site (www.aya.yale.edu/classes/yc1964/) and, more ambitiously, a site for a division of General Dynamics (www.gdats.com), where I worked for a bit. I'm learning golf, having bartered with a local pro to exchange the development of his web site for eternal golf lessons (which is about as long as it will take me to learn the game). And I'm traveling extensively, most recently chartering a bareboat for two weeks to sail the French Riviera and Corsica with family and friends. For those of you who are considering retirement, I can say, with enthusiasm, 'take the plunge.' "

Jim Bowers: "We're just getting back in harness from a fine summer. I had business at Oxford, and my wife at Cambridge this summer. We took our youngest along, and met our daughter who's in the Peace Corps in Malawi. After our business trips, we did our best to relieve the oversupply of Guinness in Dublin. I would recommend that the rest of the class might consider doing their parts in this rewarding enterprise as well."

Frank Basler has volunteered to be our class coordinator for our new summer fellowship program for an undergraduate junior majoring in environmental studies. Frank and Susie live in Westport, CT where he has a consulting practice focused in executive coaching, team development, culture change, and training. The first applicants for the fellowship will apply in February, 2001 for an experience during the summer. We will be able to meet the student and hear about his/her experience after the trip.

Have a nice winter holiday, my friends. Hope to see you at the hockey game on February 10.