Yale University

Class Notes

May/June 2004

by Tony Lee

You gotta love the Class of 1964! What a bunch of wonderful and creative guys! We've always been slightly off-key, a little rebellious and difficult to handle. Every reunion year we try hard to set new records for attendance and donations. One of our classmates, trying to help us reach the donation goal, donated an old, moth-eaten set of moose antlers, which he valued at $15,000, to the university to be hung in the newly renovated Pierson dining hall. Since all donations for the Pierson renovation are matched, this gift should bring an additional $15,000 in cash for construction costs. Bold creative leadership! Always thinking outside the box. Who could this classmate be? The answer will be revealed at the reunion.

A press release from Seattle announced that Hugh Straley, MD, has officially been named the new medical director of Group Health Cooperative, as well as president of its multi-specialty medical group, Group Health Permanente. Hugh was described by the current CEO as "a thoughtful forthright and strong leader. It will be a privilege to work closely with him to improve the care of our consumers, the financial stability of our organization, and connections with our staff and communities." Hugh originally came to Group Health in 1979 to serve as a practicing medical oncologist and hematologist.

Bill Drennen wrote: "Currently a real estate agent in Shepherdstown, West Virginia and also participating in a family-owned golf course/real estate development project. My second book Red White Black and Blue was just published by Ohio University Press and is available on Amazon.com. My wife Sarah is chair of the foreign language department at nearby Shepherd College. Oldest son Zachary graduated from Harvard Divinity School in 2002 and is an Episcopal priest in Parkersburg, WV. Second son Samuel has just received an MBA from Thunderbird School of Management in Phoenix."

Wally Winter is getting a head start on our reunion in that he will be traveling to New Haven two weeks early to see his son Ethan get his degree from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. His daughter Sylvia recently received her degree in landscape architecture from the Graduate School of Design at Harvard and works at the Arnold Arboretum in Boston.

Syd Lea is teaching graduate courses at Dartmouth. His eighth collection of poems, Ghost Pain, will appear next year and this fall a second naturalist work of nonfiction, A Little Wildness, will be published.

Ed Gaffney wrote: "I retired from Los Alamos National Lab in January and joined my wife of 28 years in Glenwood, Iowa where she is pastor of the First Congregational United Church. This is a welcomed change from most of the last 5 years, of which we have only been able to live together for one year." Ed will still be pursuing employment opportunities, perhaps at the nearby Offutt Air Force Base.

Now that we're into our 60's (and in a new age bracket for competition) several classmates are finding a resurgence of athletic prowess. Jon McBride competed in the US Squash Racquets Association Men's Hardball National Championships at the Merion, PA Cricket Club. He brought home a little hardware for his efforts — a small silver cup as Winner of the Men's 60+ consolation round.

I was in Bermuda in February playing in a golf tournament at the Mid Ocean Club. Teeing off in front of me was Andy Baxter. He hasn't lost any hair or gained any weight, looked terrific, and hit an even better-looking drive straight and long. He has recently retired from a financial career in New York and now lives in Old Lyme, CT.

Bob Kaiser wrote an excellent article in the Washington Post about his dodging the Reaper. It's an incredible testimony to the miracles of modern medicine. I encourage all of you to read Bob's powerful story on our website.

John "Chip" Madden died in February after a 3-year battle with cancer. Chip's father and his two sons are Yale graduates. He attended a Boston gathering of Yale classmates at Nick Danforth's last summer and shared openly about his battle with cancer. It was a very moving experience. Our condolences go to his wife Bryn and sons. The obituary and a few pictures are on our website.