by Howard Gillette, Guest Columnist
Phone: (856) 577-5057
I am pleased to have the chance to guest-edit this column as an opportunity to introduce a book I am writing on our class. The goal is to construct a collective biography as a means of examining the effects of changes grounded in the 1960s, broadly conceived. A full description of the project can be found on my website. I hope those who are interested and whom I have not yet talked to will contact me about participating. I am especially interested in gathering observations on the sexual revolution, adding to fruitful interviews I have already had with Nick Danforth and Bob Ball, as follow up to the panel they presented for our 40th reunion. In the meantime, I can report on some of the activities of classmates that have been previously unreported here.
Tom Roderick traces his work in education directly back to his role as a tutor in Dwight Hall. Through the Northern Student Movement, a counterpart to SNCC headed by 1965's Peter Countryman, Tom spent his first year out of Yale running a volunteer tutoring program in North Philadelphia. From there he moved to Harlem, where he soon became involved in a parent-controlled school he has since described in A School of Our Own, published in 2001 and recently added to the class website. Since 1983 he has directed the Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility, founded originally as Educators for Social Responsibility NYC Metro Area by educators concerned about the dangers of nuclear war. Following Mahatma Gandhi's call to "begin with the children," Morningside Center has worked in hundreds of NYC public schools over the years, helping teachers and young people develop their peacemaking skills. Morningside Center is helping lead a national campaign to make high quality, research-based social and emotional learning an integral part of every child's education.
After receiving his degree in law at the University of Michigan, Joe Rich joined the civil-rights division of the Department of Justice where over a thirty-year career he was involved in the full range of federal interventions, from early school desegregation cases to voting rights. He currently directs the Fair Housing Project of the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights, which was formed in 1963 at President Kennedy's request to enlist legal services for civil rights from the private sector, During the Reagan administration, he worked directly for Brad Reynolds, whose impassioned effort to move federal policy to what he described as a color-blind approach earned him an admiring 1996 biography by Raymond Wolters.
As president of the University of Michigan from 1988 to 1996, Jim Duderstadt introduced measures to dramatically increase minority enrollment. The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the university's practices in a landmark affirmative action case in 2003, but Jim reports internal revisions in practice at Michigan have resulted in significant declines in minority enrollment since. In the aftermath of his presidency, Jim is serving on a number of prestigious National Academy panels, one of which has recently reported on the challenges facing the American research university.
In addition to Jim, we count an extraordinary group of academics, some of whom have shifted careers in recent years. Dan Lowenstein, after establishing himself as the leading figure on election law in California while teaching at UCLA's law school, assumed the position of director of that university's new Center for Liberal Arts and Free Institutions in 2009. The Center was established to promote study of the great works and achievements of western civilization. Dick Berk moved from UCLA to the University of Pennsylvania in 2006 where he is currently Professor of Statistics and Criminology. Both a social activist in his graduate years at John Hopkins and a contributor to the assessment of civil disorders that wracked American cities in the 1960s, his subsequent work has marshaled quantitative evidence to address a number of persistent social issues. Ed Arens currently directs the Center for Environmental Design Research at Berkeley. Ed assumed his position after a period of work in both the private and public sectors built on his unusual training in architecture, engineering, and environmental studies.
There is other news, of course, not the least that the Association of Yale Alumni will award Terry Holcombe its highest distinction for individual service to the university, the Yale Medal, at ceremonies scheduled for the Harvard-Yale weekend. See the Y64 class website for details.
Joe Wishcamper reports, "I just completed my service as Board Chairman of the state university system in Maine. The Board governs the state's seven public universities. Although it is a small system, it faces the same long term challenges as nearly all public universities and systems, mostly because the model on which it is based is obsolete and unsustainable. I struggled to institute reforms, with partial success, during my three years as Chair and ten years as a Board member. Meanwhile, I continue to run my apartment business which now has holdings in fifteen states. Our properties are exclusively for low-income families and seniors. I also serve on the boards of the Maine Medical Center and the Maine chapter of The Nature Conservancy. To date, I have not slowed down any more than the body has demanded; for this, I feel fortunate, as my life is full of challenges and rewards." I have several posts on my website detailing Joe's work on affordable housing in Mississippi.
Reporting his retirement from Mount Olive College where he was CFO for ten years, Bam Alling writes, "It has been a wonderful experience growing a struggling local college to the fifth largest (of the 35) private colleges and universities in North Carolina, and a regionally recognized leader in our adult education programs delivered in 7 locations. Ann and I will move to Wilmington NC where we have several friends from the North, a great church which we joined four years ago, and of course our boat and the beach." Also recently retired is Ron Parlato after more than 40 years working in international development specializing in health. He recounts his experiences from Washington, D.C., where he has been based since 1977, in his blog. He describes his postings as "the great, adventurous and hilarious ride through 50 or more countries of Africa, Asia and more."
If you would like to be a guest columnist for Class Notes in 2012, as I am for this column, please contact Class Secretary Tony Lavely. It gives him a break, and it's fun reaching out to classmates.