Yale University

Class Notes

November 2002

by Tony Lee

Gerry Shea splits his time between Marblehead and Paris. He sent this in response to my request for news: "You're really bottom-fishing in looking for news from me, but here goes. I retired from Debevoise & Plimpton a few years ago. I have spent much of the last few years writing a proposal for a history of the deportation of the Acadians from Nova Scotia in 1755. John Farragher of Yale is writing a book on virtually the same subject, however, and this has made selling my proposal more difficult. My literary agents keep my spirits up with their editorial suggestions, optimism, and general empathy — a real test of fidelity since I have filled their coffers with little more than unsold words.

"Claire and I spend our Paris weekends at Mortefontaine, 40 kms north of town, where we held our Whiff reunion last summer. We have two sons. Sebastian is a junior at Yale majoring in physics and philosophy and is a skipper on the sailing team. Alex is going into his last year at the École Bilingue in Paris and spent the summer playing the piano at the Tanglewood Institute in western Massachusetts. My stepdaughter Pénélope is happily married and living in Brooklyn. All of which amply illustrates, given the personal limitations of which a number of our classmates are only too aware, the extraordinary good fortune I have had in marrying a talented and intelligent woman.

"We travel when we can with the children, and last New Year's spent 10 days in Cambodia to see the temples at Angkor. It was a memorable trip, and the 9th-14th century temples are a wonder of the world. I urge all classmates to go there, preferably soon, before it becomes a crowded attraction. The ravages of the war in that country are still apparent, and it makes you cry to wonder why you did nothing about it at the time — and then to go running back to the temples, for their beauty, and for their shelter."

Peter Schubeler writes from Switzerland: "Not much change on my side. Still operating an architecture (more hobby than business) and development consulting office in Zurich. Most satisfying experience in recent years has been setting up the Swiss-funded Municipal Support Programme in Serbia. But I have been getting the eerie feeling that just as the Balkans begin to join the world, the rest of the world goes and Balkanises, with the US doing its inadvertent best to kick it down that road."

Clancy Ridley emailed: "After thirty years of practicing law with King & Spalding, I retired to become a merchant. I serve as Chairman of Haverty's Furniture, a retail with operations in 14 Southeastern and Southwestern States. I also serve as Chairman of St. Joseph's Hospital of Atlanta which recently hired our classmate Steve Clay to handle a major and successful litigation matter. Steve was my freshman-year roommate, so a little favoritism is naturally fitting. My older daughter Augusta will join King & Spalding (Washington office) this month to work in white-collar crime. My younger daughter Clare just finished undergraduate work at Columbia and is beginning the long road to becoming a doctor. My bride of 33 years, a retired lawyer, works in a museum doing preservation of ancient objects. All seems good so far."

Rich Shiffrin reports from Indiana University: "I am an experimental/mathematical psychologist who studies normal human cognition: memory, learning, retrieval, attention, perception, and so on. I have carried out many experiments revealing the way these processes work, and have developed mathematical and computer simulation models that predict the results in quantitative detail."

Rich received the Rumelhart Prize at the August 2002 Cognitive Science meetings. This $100,000 represents the 'Nobel Prize' of Cognitive Science. See our class web site for more details about the award and Rich's contributions to the modeling of human cognition.

Many of us saw Ed Ranney at the Santa Fe Reunion. He sent this email during the summer: "My wife and I visited our first granddaughter, produced by our second daughter Lucy, a graduate of UNM in Spanish and Latin American studies and now pursuing an MA at Colorado State. The baby is Daisy Blake Ranney Smith, born just 11 days after my father George Ranney Yale '34 died.

"Aside from the perennial cycle, birthing-dying etc., I've been writing essays on historical photography of Peru. Last year I helped curate and write a show for Lima's Museo de Arte, which was a major step forward for the understanding of photography in Peru. I've been photographing archaeological sites in Peru since the mid '60s. I'm working toward publishing the major project I've been doing since 1985, focusing on the early sites along the coastal desert, from 3000 BC up to the Spanish conquest in 1532. Some of this work will be in show entitled The New World's Old World, scheduled for May, 2003, at AXA Gallery, New York.

"I'll be teaching this fall at the Glascow School of Art, where my wife Melanie has strong associations through her interest in Gaelic music. We have 2 other daughters: Amelia a teacher and graduate of Barnard, and Eleanor studying voice at UNM."

Fielding Secor sent a brief update: "I'm still practicing law, which is a slow way to die, and I married Judy Godburn this past December. We went to Church Carey's and Mac DeFord's 60th birthday celebration in Tenants Harbor, Maine last month."

In closing, an email from Tony Lavely: "On Sunday, September 1st, Rich Niglio and I had the great pleasure of attending the wedding of Beth Thomas, the daughter of our late classmate and teammate Stan Thomas. She married Brian Cohen at a beautiful ceremony in The Plaza Hotel, New York City. Beth was a beautiful bride and I know Stan would have been very proud. Beth is a fashion editor at Oprah magazine. I'm also pleased to report that his son Stanley B. Thomas, III ("Chip") is an outstanding lacrosse player at the University of Michigan. Stan was taken from us far too early, but his legacy memorializes his charm and talent."