by Tony Lee
At our 35th Reunion we were encouraged to plan positively for our retirement years. It's a real pleasure to hear from classmates who are doing new and interesting things. I hope all of you will send in news about your activities, and know that it may inspire other classmates.
Len Gaffga wrote: "I officially retired from IBM in 1997 with 27 years of experience in software development, mostly manufacturing software. I took up teaching just to keep myself current in my field of Production Operations Management, and added Economics which was my major at Yale. I couldn't be happier teaching a relaxed schedule as an adjunct professor here in Atlanta, especially every time a light goes on in the young mind of a student.
"I recently returned from four months of teaching Production Operations Management and Information Systems at the University of Jordan in Amman, Jordan under the auspices of the International Executive Service Corps (IESC). IESC is a government agency based in Stamford, CT. Cathy and I lived in a small hotel for the entire time and were always treated with kindness and respect. Jordan is a very safe place for Americans. Among my perks was a driver everyday to and from the university. She and her husband were putting their six children through private school. They cared about education and we became good friends.
"I think my experience might be relevant to many in the class of 1964 who have had a successful career, have recently retired, and are now looking for a way to give back. If you like travel and are eager for a cultural experience, this is great adventure. I don't recommend it if you are comfortable with your lifestyle and live for golf or tennis everyday. The comforts we take for granted here are far less common over there. I did manage to play tennis. It's just a bit more difficult to pull off.
"I heard about the IESC program independently from two Yalies: Tony Lee who was my roommate at our 35th reunion in May 1999, and JW Nystrom who serves with me as an officer in the Yale Club of Georgia. They spoke very positively about their experiences in the program.
"The normal assignment is to place a retired executive in a company in a third-world country. The goal is to transfer your experience to the company so they can solve their problems and thereby become better able to participate in the global economy. I was expecting to be placed in a company, but ended up teaching a section of MBA students studying Production Operations Management. We got into quantitative aspects of the discipline in a way that my undergraduates at home would never be capable of doing. I was elated. And this was my second surprise: I realized I wanted to teach graduate students in the U.S. as well. While still in Jordan I made the decision to pursue my doctorate when I returned home beginning the fall of this year."
Len's oldest son Chris will graduate from LSU Medical School in May. Middle son Nick is in his third year of medical school at U. of Alabama at Birmingham and his youngest son Tim graduated from Loyola, New Orleans in May and spent seven months in München learning German and playing the viola.
Although I, your Class Secretary, am not retired, I did spend 4 months on an IESC project in Zimbabwe in 1995. My assignment with an electrical contractor was very challenging and rewarding. Margie did volunteer work in a school and for a grant program. We traveled extensively and fell in love with the country, people, animals, and birds. Contrary to Len's admonition, I played golf every week on Nick Price's home course. Green fees were $8 and a caddie was $6. I still receive weekly emails from inside Zimbabwe describing in full detail the tragedy unfolding there at the hands of Robert Mugabe.
Bill Gould wrote: "My wife Inna and I have just moved to Rockville, MD. We lived in Russia for the last five years doing work in the public, private, and charity sectors. With degrees from Yale in both Russian language and history, I went to live in Russia in 1994 with high hopes for the success of the Support for East European Democracy (SEED) Act. And with twenty years of commercial banking, financial institutions analysis, and equity sales experience on Wall Street behind me, I felt I was in the right place at the right time. During the next six years I worked as: (1) managing director of an investment banking company, (2) bank and finance sector advisor to USAID, and (3) venture capital entrepreneur. In 1996 I married Inna Nazarova, Professor of Information Theory at St. Petersburg State University of Telecommunications. I had met Inna through common religious interests, and we have worked on a number of projects including getting food support to Russian church parishes by direct contact with US parishes."
We have 12 classmates with children at Yale: Dave Anderson (Patrick '01), Strachan Donnelley (Ceara '04), Ken Hannan (Ken '01), John Heintz (Kelly '04), Steve Hoffman (Anna Chloe '01), Rick Kroon (Andrew Richard '04), Bob Myers (Anne '04 and Katherine '01), John Nathan (Caroline '04), Chuck Pulaski (Alison '01), Gerry Shea (Sebastian '04), Tom Susman (Daily '04) and James W. Thompson (Ellen '03).
Sports flashes: Ed Massey, Denny Lynch, and others were responsible for bringing the New Haven Ravens to town, and the Ravens won the Eastern League Championship last year. There's still time to sign up for our class golf outing on June 8 at the Yale Golf Course. Contact me or Martin Padley (781-235-7320).
Jim Rogers continues his 3 year trip around the world. You can access his Web site from the Class News section of our class Web site. You can also contact Len Gaffga, Bill Gould, and Martin Padley via the Email Directory on our Web site.