Yale University

Class Notes

March/April 2008

by Tony Lavely

The refrain often heard by Yale class and corresponding secretaries from classmates is: "I'm bored with class notes … I only see the same names over and over." I hope this is less true in our 1964 columns. I've tracked diverse news for an average of 35-40 classmates in recent columns with almost 200 classmates recorded in 2007. But true or not, one way for you to rectify any sense of sameness is to become a "first-time, long-time" contributor. E-mail or call me with some news about yourself and/or other classmates. It doesn't have to be extensive material. In fact, we're limited on number of words. So think of your input as a text (SMS) message with just 30-35 words or 160 characters. That's about the average length of a mention. You could text that much the next time you're stuck in traffic! Speaking of technology, how many of you read these notes on our class Web site, where they are posted two months in advance of their publication in the Yale Alumni Magazine? Would you be interested in an e-mail alert whenever something new is posted on our Web site? Let me know.

As I write these notes in mid-January, I'm reporting news since last November as well as plans for upcoming events in February and beyond. As I was on my way to an AYA Assembly last November, I had a nice visit with Paul Balser in Manhattan. Like many others, Paul went to the Yale Club of NYC to watch the telecast of the Harvard-Yale game. On Thursday night of that activity-filled weekend, I enjoyed one of my periodic visits to the Branford College Fellows meeting, where Master Steven Smith invites undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, administrators, and alumni to his York Street home. Our class AYA representative, Will Elting, joined me at the Yale Assembly LXVII: "Yale in a Green World." His good report follows:

"The AYA Assembly on November 15-17th was also the cover story for the November-December issue of the Yale Alumni Magazine. The magazine articles and the AYA Assembly described the leadership role of the School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and Dean Gus Speth, Jr. in everything related to the environmental movement and environmental concerns at Yale and the World. Additionally, a popular subject at the Assembly was sustainable building design and construction and, in particular, the design and construction of Kroon Hall, made possible by Richard Kroon. The University Update provided by President Levin at the conclusion of the AYA Assembly emphasized the conservation and sustainability goals for Yale and progress being made toward those goals."

An adjunct gathering of former AYA board members (of which I am one) reviewed the first-ever AYA Strategic Plan. I cannot emphasize enough how much Yale has changed with regard to (1) engaging her alumni in life-long learning (especially with Web-based online courses), and (2) focusing on outreach service to communities beyond Yale. I also participated in the Alumni Fund Convocation, scheduled in parallel, where we learned how new technology tools are increasingly being applied to alumni giving programs, making it easier for everyone. Bob Bulkeley, a fellow class agent, attended these sessions, too. Then the working part of the weekend gave way to lighter activities. Along with Chris Getman, Toddie, Terry Holcombe, Marya, and Will Elting, I attended the Yale Blue Leadership Ball on Friday night. The George H. W. Bush Lifetime Leadership Award was presented to five distinguished alumni. What was expected to be the emotional centerpiece of the weekend turned out to be a disappointment, as Harvard trounced Yale in the battle of unbeatens (the first since our freshman year) in The Game. Chris Getman and Sherman (Handsome Dad XVIII), provided their usual sideline support, but it was in vain. Will Elting, Pete Putzel, and Jim Baxter (with Barbara) were among those classmates who suffered in the stands. I even had my children along for our annual holiday card photo op! To assuage the loss, Getman invited classmates, friends, and family to the New Haven Lawn Club for dinner and to drown our sorrows.

Over the Thanksgiving holiday, I celebrated my daughter's 26th birthday by skydiving simultaneously with her and my son from 18,000 feet over Cape Canaveral. On a more serious airborne mission, Tony Morris reported that Rick Hatton received an award from Governor Schwarzenegger "for his extraordinary service in California firefighting with Tanker 910." Tony also testified before the Subcommittee on Domestic Policy in his role as head of the Wildfire Research Network.

Jethro Lieberman wrote that he has "stepped down as Associate Dean at New York Law School to head their Office of Academic Publishing." William Greene wrote: "I continue in my career at SUNY-Stony Brook Medical Center and have been named Chief Quality Officer and Senior Associate Medical Director at the University Hospital and Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs at the Medical School." Jimmy Rogers has moved from New York City to Singapore and has just published a new book, A Bull in China. He also has a featured article, "The China Century," in Fortune Investor's Guide, their special March issue.

Terry Holcombe is standing for reelection to Mory's Board of Governors, where Chris Getman is Vice President. In December, Former President Bush was honored with the 2008 Mory's Cup: http://picasaweb.google.com/morys1849.

Over the holidays, I heard from Joe Wishcamper, who has recovered from his quadriceps rupture. Also, a nice e-mail from Pat Caviness related a memorable New Year's Eve in Koh Samai, Thailand, in a private gathering listening to the singer, Jackson Browne. Other greetings arrived from Dan Pollack, Paul Balser, and Dick Niglio.

Looking forward, Waldo Johnston has called a meeting of the 45th Reunion Committee for February 1st in New Haven. Program Chairman, John Evans, and other committee members (sixty classmates have agreed to serve) will begin to accelerate the planning of this event only fifteen months away. So mark your calendars for early June 2009. That night, many of us will dine at Mory's and attend a Yale hockey game. Then the Class Council will convene at the School of Forestry & Environmental Studies for our annual meeting. Pete Putzel is heading the nominating committee for new class officers, so please e-mail Pete (hputzel@earthlink.net) with nominations. Our Class Secretary, Terry Holcombe, will leave for Cairo directly from this meeting. In late January, Tony Lee and Margie visited his sister in Bermuda over the New Year, and he was able to finalize the particulars for the Bermuda Golf Outing to be held the last week in October 2008. All classmates should receive registration materials in late January.

With sadness, I report the death from cancer of Bill Beatty in Fargo, ND, last December. You can find his obituary on our class Web site, In Memoriam. On behalf of the class, I expressed our condolences to his widow, Karen. I also extended our sympathies to Ellen Cole, who is our class notes editor at YAM, a good friend of our class. Her mother passed away last November.

Remember … text your notes to 407-770-8942!