Yale University

Class Notes

January/February 2008

by Tony Lavely

The highlight of this period is unquestionably the highly successful mini-reunion held in New York City on October 19-20th. The concept was created and tirelessly organized by Ed Massey (with considerable assistance from Anne), despite the demands of launching a new business venture, Next Generation Companies. Attended by forty-eight classmates and their twenty-five guests, the reunion began on Friday afternoon with a docent-led tour of the Rubin Museum of Art, arranged by Peter Hutchings who runs the business affairs of this magnificent new museum that is dedicated to Himalayan art. The next time you're in NYC, call Peter for a personal tour. Dinner on Friday night was held at The Yale Club of New York City. Our featured speaker was Paul Steiger, who recently stepped down as Managing Editor of the Wall Street Journal. John Stacks and Lee Sigal joined Paul on the dais. With a wealth of print media experience among them, these three classmates provided a personal and insightful look at the rapidly changing world of news reporting. Leaving little doubt about the relevance of their observations, the audience asked many wide-ranging and engaging questions. Following dinner, we enjoyed dancing to the music of Luigi & Arlette, local NYC musicians arranged for by John Leader. Saturday morning, many of those who attended stayed on for a spectacular brunch at the Yale Club. The number of classmates who attended this mini-reunion from afar was impressive. In addition to strong representation from New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, I counted classmates from Ohio, Tennessee, Florida, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Louisiana. Many voiced the view that a gathering like this should be an annual event. Steve Dana volunteered to organize a gathering in Philadelphia. Don Leka suggested a reunion theme showcasing classmates who are professional musicians. Eric Woglom, who also attended the mini-reunion, wrote that the law firm for whom he has worked since 1967 was recently acquired by Ropes & Gray.

Also last October, eleven "serious" golfers assembled on the Yale Course. The outing was organized by Bill Galvin, another attendee of the mini-reunion, who runs a financial public relations business in Greenwich, CT. He reported: "Copious strokes were allocated on the first tee in an attempt to neutralize the impact of Neil Hoffmann's guest, a scratch golfer who proved it with a 73. Par was occasionally challenged (unsuccessfully) by Chris Getman, Jim Baxter, John Evans, Butch Hetherington, Buck Wilson, Tony Lee, and Sam Francis." Getman added: "Dinner at Mory's was won by Baxter who had two martinis up in addition to the extra large sirloin." Tony Lee asked me to remind all classmates of the Bermuda Golf Outing to be held the last week in October 2008. Registration materials should be arriving in your mailbox soon. Check the Class Web site for more information on this spectacular event. Chris Getman was torn between attending the NYC mini-reunion or the wedding in South Carolina of Strachan Donnelley's daughter, Ceara (Yale '04), so he spent the night on the tarmac at fogged-in White Plains airport and missed both events! Chris also wrote: "Realizing that I had only three weeks to hit every major league baseball park, I visited RFK in D.C. where Jon McBride deflected a foul ball headed straight for my head. McBride sustained damage to his hand, but I still took the shot in the throat, asking the official scorer to post an 'E' for McBride."

Bill Moeller wrote about the August 2007 trip to the Pantanal region of Brazil (led by Gus Speth) with Steve Kahn, Paul Balser, Wally Winter, and Fielding Secor. Sam Francis posted a picture of the group on our Class Web site. Terry Holcombe reported that the October Yale Bulletin & Calendar carried a story about the endowment of the Deanship of the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies by Carl Knobloch (Yale '51). Gus Speth was named as the first to hold the Knobloch Deanship. President Levin said, "We are thrilled to honor Gus and his extraordinary vision, dedication, and accomplishments." Terry also sent word that Rob Goodwin was recently named to head mental health services at the University of Connecticut. Rob has been practicing psychiatry in Hartford since graduation.

I chatted with Dick Ainsworth at the NYC mini-reunion. He told me he had run into fellow Clevelander, George Humphrey, at the Rolling Rock Golf Club in Ligonier, PA, in early October. Waldo Johnston was on a sailing charter in late October, and he asked me to thank the more than sixty classmates who have contributed program ideas for our 45th reunion in June 2009. The reunion Program Chair, John Evans, was in Orlando in early November for the International Conference on Robotics & Automation. John and I met for drinks at one of the Disney hotels. John is preparing a Reunion Program Report for the Class Council meeting in early February. While many great program ideas have been offered, John is especially keen on the concept of "Mind-Body-Spirit" issues. I share his enthusiasm for this topic and told him about stopping into Payne Whitney Gymnasium recently and learning that yoga is the most highly fee-subscribed activity offered at Yale (Namaste).

Tony Morris and Rick Hatton, who share a passion for fighting wildfires in the West, met for dinner in Malibu in September to make plans for the season. Little did they realize that a month later, they would be among the evacuees during the Southern California fires.

In late October, there was an article in TheStreet.com titled "Trade Commodities Like Legend Jimmy Rogers." In September, Jeremy Wood attended the 25th Birthday Party of Philip Johnson's Glass House in New Canaan, CT, and donated his photographs to The Trust for Historic Preservation. Jeremy is a member of the Architectural League of New York and donated his book prize, Glass House, to Yale Architecture School Library.

Bob Sexton continues his good work for the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence in Lexington, KY, which recently published a report about the Kentucky Education Reform Act, "A Glass Half Empty or Half Full?" Charles Warner, an attorney in Columbus, OH, was recently named "as one of the ‘Best Lawyers' in America" in the area of labor and employment law. Nick Baskey has been in Cairo for the past year, where his son, Alistair (Yale '99) was also stationed. In September, the Department of Foreign Service asked Nick to go to Jerusalem to work with the Tony Blair Mission.

In November, I exchanged e-mails with Dick Niglio, who is CEO of Microgistix in Minneapolis, MN, hoping that he might be back in New Haven for The Game. Chuck Mokriski posted a wonderful remembrance of Mowry Connelly on our Class Web site, under "In Memoriam," with the title, "A Bright and Brassy Barrister."

At this mid-November writing, I am at 30,000 feet on my way to New Haven. I'll be attending a Branford Fellows gathering, the AYA Convocation, "Yale in a Green World," the Blue Leadership Ball (with Getman, Holcombe and Will Elting, and hopefully on Saturday will witness the first undefeated Yale football team since our freshman year.

For those of you reading these notes in the Yale Alumni Magazine (as opposed to their earlier posting on our Class Web site), you should know that our annual Class Council meeting, Mory's dinner, and hockey game will be on February 1st and 2nd.