by Tony Lavely
As I compose this column in early May, I've just watched on ESPNU the men's lacrosse team upset Penn State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, recovering from a five-goal deficit. And only a month ago, our men's hockey team won the National Championship. Nat Norton attended the championship game in person (a birthday gift from his two sons), "It was amazing to be there!" Tony Lee watched from a bar on the Outer Banks of NC and commented, "The young men gelled as the exact right time and will enjoy the thrill of a lifetime." Pat Caviness emailed: "Not in my lifetime did I think I would see a Yale men's team win an NCAA title." David Sherman emailed from London and invoked memories of Toby Hubbard (hockey captain in 1964), and now departed Bruce Warner and Strachan Donnelley.
Blaine Krickl reported from London on a book-signing event for Gerry Shea's new book, Song without Words. Other classmates attending were: David Sherman, Michael Nagel, and Karl Ziegler. For Blaine's report and other links, please go to our Class Website, under "News." Sherman added: There might have been a dry eye as Gerry told his story, but mine was not one of them." Speaking of book parties, Pete Putzel attended the NYC launch of Bob Kaiser's new book, Act of Congress, which got a glowing review in The Wall Street Journal (go to Class Website under "News").
Loring Knoblauch reported on a recent Class luncheon in Chicago. You can find it under "News" on our Class Website, but one comment is noteworthy: "All seven in attendance are planning to attend our 50th reunion (though many have never attended a previous reunion)."
Peter Jokl was the featured speaker at a special Mory's luncheon in May. His theme was "Sports Science and Medicine: Performance, Aging, Injury, and Health." Chris Getman introduced Peter and reported: "He was great. He's very entertaining, engaging, and knowledgeable. It was a sold-out event." Pete Putzel continues to organize a Class table at The Yale Club of NYC (fourth Tuesday of every month). Dan Gsovski emailed: "I'll be a couple of tables over at a Russian Chorus alumni conclave but hope to table-hop."
Appreciation goes to Chuck Mokriski for underwriting the J. Frederick Mokriski Scholarship Fund and to Jonathan Leader for endowing the Leader Family Scholarship Fund. With one month to go in the fiscal year, our Class has raised over $200,000 for the YAF.
From comments I receive, it seems like more and more classmates are checking our Class Website in addition to the printed Yale Alumni Magazine. We heard from a class in the 1970s (anonymity provided), "Your Website is much better [than ours] or your class is much better. Your site is excellent in the way it has real information from lots of classmates." Robert Whitby emailed: "Your note inspired me for the first time to look at our Class Website. Browsing through it was far more rewarding than I had anticipated. There is a lot of great history there and some very interesting writings from classmates." Thanks again to Sam Francis for his stewardship of our Website!
In March, Tony Lee (who is doing a great job spearheading attendance for our 50th reunion) emailed about his visits to Civil War sites: "We've been to Gettysburg, Antietam, and Harper's Ferry (with Bill Drennen in 2011). The Park Service has done a wonderful job preserving these sites." Art Boylston has published a book, Defying Providence: Smallpox and the Forgotten 18th Century Medical Revolution, listed under "Publications" on our Class Website. Tyler Smith deflected the praise Bob Hilgendorf heaped on him in the previous issue: "Bob's reference to 'with distinction' can be translated as 'finished.' One guy I beat was 83!" Hilgendorf responded: Tyler is again guilty of false modesty. Anyway, 83 is the new 63, right?"
Stephen Greenblatt (who added pictures to the Website under "Photo Gallery") emailed from Italy where he is on sabbatical: "This has been an amazing time to be in Italy, without a government and, for a while, without a pope. It makes our fractured system look positively functional." Jon McBride emailed the news that Paul Steiger was awarded an honorary doctorate from Columbia. The citation is posted on our Class Website under "News." In April, Lee Sigal wrote an Op-Ed in The Boston Globe entitled, "Path to Peace in Korea," and it is posted under "News" on our Class Website.
Rich Niglio returned to New Haven in April to donate bone marrow stem cells for his brother. "Despite the low odds of 25%, it was a perfect match!" Many classmates commented on the Boston Marathon bombings, but none with more proximity than Michael Price who lives near Harvard Stadium: "We were told to stay in our house because killers were at large, and then we sat in front of the TV watching swarms of police searching the neighborhood." Dick Berk commented: "It's a world our kids will have to live with for years to come."
With the increased emphasis Yale is putting on community service, the Class Council has asked me to solicit classmates on your involvement in volunteer efforts. Al Rossiter emailed: "I'm volunteering is two different prisons, leading a book discussion in one and teaching writing in another. Part of my motivation comes from reading Sherwin Nuland's book, The Art of Aging (Nuland spoke at our 45th reunion)." Paul Balser (who is leading the 50th Reunion Capital Campaign) emailed: I'm chairman of Hudson Guild (a NYC settlement house) and a board member of United Neighborhood Houses and Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance." Paul added: "I had drinks recently with Allyn Ford and his wife in NYC. All well and happy." Bill Drennen and his wife visited Prague in April. Bill is also helping on the reunion attendance drive.
Mike Mazer continues to create wonderful paintings, and some of them are shown on our Website under "News." By the way, you can use the "Search" feature on the Website to locate any classmate listing by name. There will be a special curated exhibit of classmate books, paintings, and other artwork at our 50th reunion in Sterling Memorial Library. Gus Speth attended a special celebration at SF&ES in April: "Cameron and I joined the Environment School's celebration of the greening of Yale that occurred during President Levin's stellar reign. Of course, it took place in Kroon Hall, and Rick Kroon and Mary Jane were there for the festivities. It gave yours truly a chance to sound off again, this time in favor of fossil-fuel divestment, which created quite a stir."
Larry Crutcher just launched the 50th Reunion Class Book effort (you should have received the questionnaire and forms in the mail ... start writing your essay now). Larry rewarded himself with a cruise along the coast of Romania and Bulgaria.
Sadly, I report the death of Bunt McKee in April. Some of you will remember Bunt performing at a special Class Dinner in NYC in January 2009. Ed Massey, who organized that dinner, said it best, "For one of the people I knew the least, he affected me the most."