Yale University

Class Notes

March/April 2012

by Tony Lavely

The weekend of November 17-19 was momentous for our Class!  On Thursday, at an AYA Dinner in Commons, Terry Holcombe was awarded the Yale Medal.  One sentence in the citation read: "Steadfast and tenacious in engaging classmates and alumni in support of Yale, he works quietly, often behind the scenes, and is superb at deflecting the credit to others."  On Friday evening, Chris Getman was awarded the George H. W. Bush Lifetime Leadership Award by Yale Athletics.  Notably, Chris is the only Yale alumnus to have been recognized with three prominent Yale awards:  The Leadership Award, the Yale Medal, and Mory's Cup.  In his speech that evening, Chris expressed concern that Yale was not maintaining a competitive balance in athletic recruitment. His full remarks are posted on our Class websiteYale Alumni Magazine will also publish his speech and encourage readers to comment/blog.

Alas, the euphoria of these award dinners was not sustained in The Bowl on Saturday afternoon.  The Lavely family was joined at a tailgate by Sam Francis and two of Stan Thomas's children, Beth and Chip. An early score by the Eli was quickly overwhelmed by a Harvard barrage. Many classmates expressed concern over another loss to Harvard.  Nat Norton wrote: I'm ok up here in Vermont but upset by what has happened to Yale football over the past decade."  Sometime later, Tony Lee circulated an interesting article from the Times Digest (12/23/11), "Financial Aid Changes Game as Ivy Teams Flourish" [but not Yale football].

On the same November weekend, the Association of Yale Alumni held Assembly LXXI "The Yale PhD: 150 Years of Leadership for Yale and the World." Our new Class Delegate, Steve Norman, submitted an excellent report. One highlight reads: "The Graduate Deans of each academic area spoke of the trends, with students in the Physical Sciences tending to seek opportunities in the private sector, students in the Social Sciences tending toward public sector and teaching opportunities, and Humanities students primarily focusing on teaching and writing."  Steve's full report is on our Class website.  On a related note, Chip Levengood is the AYA delegate for the Yale Club of Madrid.  Michael Price wrote that he could not attend the weekend festivities because "I'll be returning from Venice where I viewed my son's work in the Biennale."

The annual letter from Chip Brennan soliciting Class Dues produced a flurry of news items.  Angus Gillespie sent a Rutgers University press release announcing his book, Crossing Under the Hudson, which is available for purchase on our Class website's "Publications" page.  Roger Thompson wrote: "My wife and I just returned from an 18-month stint on the island of Mallorca, Spain, where we met Rafael Nadal in Manacor, his hometown." Donald Crabtree wrote: "I retired from Harris Corp last year.  Judith and I just returned from a Mediterranean cruise."  Peter Hicks asked some interesting questions: "Who were the Davenport College Fellows in 1961-64? Are Yale B.A. degrees written in Latin and B.S. degrees in English?"

Dan Pollack emailed: "Mike Mazer recently retired and has taken up painting."  Samples of his work are posted on our Class websiteAlfred Webre emailed: "I've been appointed judge on the Kuala Lumpur war crimes tribunal, which is conducting a trial of George W. Bush, Richard Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and former UK Prime Minister Anthony Blair, for war crimes, genocide, and crimes against humanity in Iraq." Alfred is author of Exopolitics: Politics, Government and Law in the UniverseStephen Greenblatt was honored with the National Book Award (Nonfiction) for his 2011 book, The Swerve.  All classmate-authored books are posted on our Class website with an Amazon ordering feature.  Since Steve's award included a video, our innovative webmaster, Sam Francis, added a video feature to the website.

In December, Joe Lieberman pressed Congress to bring an explicit ban on insider trading by lawmakers (Wall Street Journal 12/1/11).  Andy Harris was recognized with the national Purpose Prize, which recognizes people late in their careers who are creating new ways to solve social problems.  Details are posted on our Class website."  Over the holidays, Dick Berk, who is a professor at Penn, emailed that his daughter, Rachel, has had a movie she co-produced accepted at Sundance and his 13-year old son, Michael, is a budding major-league baseball prospect.  Dick also called my attention to a new TV documentary featuring Wendell Motley and the 1964 Trinidad and Tobago Olympic 1600m relay team that won the bronze medal (and Wendell won the silver in the 400m dash).  "The Miracle Team" is posted on our Class website.

Many classmates are already indicating they plan to attend our 50th reunion in 2014.  Ralph DeFronzo wrote, "Count me in for the 50th!"  In 2008, Ralph received scientific lifetime-achievement awards from both the American Diabetes Association (Banting Award) and the European Diabetes Award (Claude Bernard Award).  Bill Woodfin also "looks forward to our 50th" and commended the Reunion Committee for its work.

Your Secretary had the pleasure of attending the monthly Class luncheon at the Yale Club of NYC in November.  Lavely was joined by Chip Thomas (Stan Thomas's son) and Ben Lavely.  Bill Galvin said it best, "You guys bring a vitality and a look to the future that is often lacking at this table."  Howard Gillette continues his good work interviewing classmates about their experiences as undergraduates and since then.  Tom Trowbridge sent a report about the December Yale Club lunch: "Lee Sigal gave us his observations about North Korea, which were timely given the death of Kim Jong-il.  We also covered the upcoming election, the euro and the European financial situation, and health issues."

Larry Crutcher sent a nice holiday e-letter with lots of family news.  Larry has agreed to chair the 50th Reunion Class Book Committee, and we will be well-served by his publishing experience.  Holiday greetings also came from Rich Niglio, who was on his way to Mexico with his family and then on to Grand Cayman.  Larry Lawrence, who affiliated with our Class several years ago, lives in Greenwich, CT, and is the new Board chair of The Field Club.  Tony Lee is leading the 50th Reunion Attendance Committee, and it is doing exhaustive work finding heretofore "lost" classmates.  Tony and Margie left for an adventuresome trip to New Zealand at year-end.  Ed Gaffney, a prolific Facebook user, highlighted the new Open Yale Courses on a recent post.  Pete Putzel, one of the 50th Reunion Tri-Chairs, recently had an opera evening with Dave Plimpton and Bob Kaiser.

One of the sad duties of your Secretary is to report the deaths of classmates.  Eddie Swe died on November 8th in Bethesda, MD (more). Jon Van Dyke, a prominent legal scholar in Hawaii, died on November 29th while traveling in Australia (more).  Church Carey, a career  businessman in Puerto Rico, died on December 17th in Camden, ME (more).  Obituaries for all of these fine men can be found on our Class website "In Memoriam."  Mac Deford was Church's first cousin and a close neighbor in Maine.  An earlier obituary of George Odell has been expanded with remembrances by Tony Lee and Toby Hubbard.