Yale University

Class Notes

May 2003

by Tony Lee

My fellow classmates. Although you are reading this column in May, I am writing it in mid-March at the end of a long cold snowy winter here in New England. Temperatures this morning were in the mid teens. We are longing to see the first sign of spring, longing to see that purple crocus that pops its head just to the side of the walkway about this time of year.

Bill Bowe emailed: "I joined Encyclopaedia Britannica in 1986 after serving as general counsel for United Press International. UPI had recently filed for bankruptcy and I thought it sporting to take another stab at supporting my family. Working at Britannica gave me a ringside seat to the dot.com boom and bust. I found out that its very difficult be profitable if you give away your product for free on the Internet. If I'd taken more economics classes at Yale, and fully mastered the buy-low, sell-high doctrine, I might have arrived at this keen insight sooner. It would have saved the company a lot of trouble. However, now we're back on track, with both print and electronic products." Bill lives with his wife and two children in Northbrook, Illinois.

Following the attacks of September 11, Verne MacDonald worked with The Salvation Army for a few months in lower Manhattan. The Salvation Army's ongoing effort consists of applying donated funds to pay essential bills for people financially damaged by the attacks. Mac has shifted gears recently to an enterprise called September 11 Quilts. This non-profit effort, originated by an art scholar in New York, gathers and displays quilts made to honor victims or commemorate recovery activities. You can visit their web site at september11quilts.org.

I heard from Gordon Davis who is currently in Beijing training Chinese environmental leaders on the application of rule of law principles to environmental governance. Gordon was stunned by the proposed Domestic Security Enhancement Act, which the Administration thinks is needed to correct "flaws" in the USA Patriot Act passed in the wake of 9/11, and itself criticized as antidemocratic extremism. He writes that "This bill contains material that, if enacted, will radically compromise the civil rights of Americans - way beyond anything yet seen from this Administration. Please, please exhort our classmates to take the time to familiarize themselves with these issues."

Dr. Bob Musil has renewed a long-term contract as Executive Director of Physicians for Social Responsibility. He attended the World Summit for Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, South Africa and helped launch the World Alliance for Children's Environmental Health. Millions are dying worldwide from environmentally-linked diseases. One of Bob's board members and frequent speaker on the West Coast is Andy Harris.

Burt Davis' stepmother sent an update on his status. Burt had a major cerebral hemorrhage stroke in 2001 when at the YMCA gym in Palo Alto. He has been in and out of several hospitals and rehab centers, and is now in Alameda Care Center, 430 Willow Street, Alameda, CA 94501. He'd love to hear from classmates.

On a somber note, Bob Fleming was sailing with Sam Francis in the Caribbean this winter. Sam writes: "It's my sad duty to inform you that Bob Fleming passed away on March 5. He and 6 others were aboard a 45' catamaran with me on our annual sailing cruise. The night of March 4, he bedded down in the cockpit and I did the same in the main cabin, 10 feet away. I said good night to him at 10:30 pm, and found him at 6:30 am. CPR was to no avail. He must have died peacefully during the night, almost certainly of cardiac arrest. He was a great friend and a very special person. I'll miss him terribly." Sam wrote a wonderful tribute to Bob in the In Memoriam section of our web site.