by Tony Lavely
This special edition of Class Notes reports on our 45th Class
Reunion, June 4 - 7, 2009. Preliminary tabulations are that 190 classmates
attended accompanied by 130 guests. The total of 320 represents a record
attendance for a 45th reunion. An attendance record isn't the end in itself;
what it provided was more diverse points of view. This is what made the
panel discussions and even the social interaction in Pierson College
courtyard so lively. Thanks to Bill Galvin for
co-chairing the Attendance Committee and also to the 64-strong Reunion
Committee that provided so much outreach. Thanks again to
Waldo Johnston, Reunion Chairman, and
John Evans, Program Chairman, who together
delivered an exciting program of speakers and panels. Thanks also to
Terry Holcombe, Chris
Getman, and Len Baker for leading us to
a Reunion Class Gift of $15.4 million!
The program got underway on Thursday afternoon with two timely and challenging panels. "Water Wars" was moderated by John Evans and keynoted by Brian Richter from the Nature Conservatory; panelists, Bruce Driver, John Jeavons, and Tom Lovejoy extended the subject in diverse and interesting ways. The second panel was "Climate & the Environment," moderated by Dean Gus Speth. Each of the panelists — Peter Bradford, Bob Kaiser, Angus Macbeth, Bob Musil, and David Schoenbrod — graded the Obama Administration on its First 100 Days. Later, a special dedication was held at stunning Kroon Hall, made possible by Rick Kroon. Thursday night, classmates had a splendid dinner at the Union League Café, generously underwritten by Larry Crutcher. After dinner, Don Leka and other musical talents entertained in the Pierson Courtyard.
Friday morning began with Bible Study, led by Jim Hart, and then the many authors in our class displayed their new publications at the Authors' Table. Check out our Class Website for a listing of classmate publications. Also Friday morning, 25 golfers braved the drizzle at the Yale Course for the usual competitive rounds organized by Tony Lee. Yale Faculty lectures were interspersed on Friday and Saturday, too numerous to describe. Friday afternoon, Jim Duderstadt moderated a timely topic and panel on "The Art of Aging," keynoted by Dr. Sherwin Nuland, noted YSM faculty member and acclaimed author. This was followed by a diverse panel of Richard Dauphine and Dennis DeSilvey on the medical viewpoint; Rev. Jim Minor and Rabbi Jim Ponet on the religious viewpoint; and special outside guest, Beryl Bender Birch, offering the viewpoint of a yoga teacher/practitioner. Later that afternoon, our Class Memorial Service was held at Battell Chapel, ably organized by Joe Wishcamper and officiated by Rev. Stephan Klingelhofer. Moving eulogies were spoken for 22 classmates who have departed since out last reunion. That evening, our very own Whiffenpoofs entertained in Pierson Courtyard. At the Class Dinner, Pete Putzel nominated a slate of class officers and council for various terms; the nominations were approved by acclamation. Special thanks to Terry Holcombe, who is stepping down as Class Secretary.
Saturday morning began with a yoga practice at Payne Whitney where 42 classmates and guests were led by Beryl Bender Birch. After some additional Yale faculty programs, we convened two more class panels Saturday afternoon. The first, "Conflict Resolution Among Muslims, Christians, and Jews" was moderated by John Evans and keynoted by Yale faculty member Dr. Joseph Cumming; he was joined for discussion by classmate Nick Baskey. This was followed by a panel discussion, "Managing Investments in Troubled Times," moderated by Len Baker with lively point/counterpoint provided by Jim Rogers and our new honorary classmate, David Swensen. President Levin delivered a University Update in Woolsey Hall followed by a celebration of Yale singing.
Goodbyes were said Sunday morning, with many classmates remarking on the ease of communicating by adding their e-mail addresses to our Class Website; regrettably, we are not linked to the Yale Alumni Directory, so you need to send your current email address to Sam Francis or me.