Yale University

Class Notes

March/April 2014

by Tony Lavely

Note: Due to word-count restriction, this column is longer than the version that appears in the Yale Alumni Magazine.  It also contains hyperlinks for ease of locating source documents, which the printed version does not.

This column begins by mentioning a number of Yale events of interest to our Class.  None is more special than our 50th Class Reunion which is now only months away.  Sam Francis has updated the Reunion section of our Class Website with a second-by-second countdown as well as a list of classmates planning to attend (over 150 as of January 13).  Add your name to the list!  Larry Crutcher, editor of our Reunion Class Book (which all classmates will receive in February), reported: "We ended up with 504 personal essays which is over 60% of contactable classmates. Remarkable!"  Tony Lee, head of the Attendance Committee, predicts that the phone-tree campaign "has us on track for attendance of over 422 classmates which is 50% of contactable classmates."  Evans Hall, named in memory of Ned Evans, opened in January and will be a reunion venue.

Steve Norman, our Class AYA Representative, attended Assembly LXXIII: "New Haven at 375."  Steve wrote an excellent report which is posted in News on our Class Website: "The city is little known to many alumni, like our class which attended Yale in the 1960s."  That same weekend featured the inauguration of President Salovey, previously reported (Salovey will be in Atlanta on May 6th for a special alumni reception at the Carter Center).  The same weekend, Len Baker was awarded the Yale Medal for his outstanding service to Yale.  Many classmates were on hand to congratulate him.  The citation and pictures are posted on our Class Website.  Less joyful that weekend was The Game in which Yale again fell victim to Harvard.  On a more positive note, Ward Wickwire reports that Yale won the third annual Alumni Fund Participation Challenge with gifts and new pledges of $1.7 million from 3,999 donors. 

Our 2013 summer intern, Sumana Serchan, at Urban Resources Initiative  (in affiliation with Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies) wrote an excellent report and recorded a video of her experiences which are posted on our Class Website.  Our class support for this internship is named in honor of Strachan Donnelley who championed environmental causes.

On January 11th, your Class Council and 50th Reunion Committee met in NYC at The Yale Club to make final preparations for our 50th Class Reunion and our Quinquennial Class Meeting to elect Council Members and Officers.  On Saturday evening, classmates attended the first annual "Rivalry on Ice" in Madison Square Garden between the Harvard and Yale men's hockey teams (Yale dominated 5-1).

Bob Musil posted "Time to stop clear cutting and prevent climate change."  Tony Morris was interviewed on KWMR-FM about aerial firefighting.  Dick Berk, who was an avid rugby player in graduate school, attended the match between Team USA and the Maori All Blacks from New Zealand.  Chuck Mokriski corrected the impression that I gave of a personal Papal audience: "While I sat 25 meters from him, there were 110,000 with me at St. Peter's!"  Many classmates have written about combining their trip to our 50th Reunion with side-trips to see other classmates: Dan Pollack will see Mike Mazer in D.C.; Pat Caviness, ex-pat that he is, will be making stops in SF, NOLA, Atlanta, Little Rock, and NYC.  Pat and Frederique traveled to Cambodia in January with photos posted to Google+.  Nortin Hadler emailed: "Greg Gilbert, Brooks Carder, Steve Weller, Mark Ramsaier and I enjoyed a mini-reunion hosted by the Carders in Del Mar."

Angus Gillespie, president of his local chapter of the Navy League, represented the US Navy at the coin toss for the Rutgers-Cincinnati football game in November.  Bob Buchanan went on a birding trip in Africa in November.  The University of Kentucky honored departed classmate Bob Sexton by archiving his papers on educational advocacy for children.  Frank Franklin and John Hunsaker applauded this honor: "Bob had a special and incredible set of skills."  Chris Getman visited The Island School in Eleuthera in November.  Kent van den Berg emailed: "I retired from my faculty position in the Saint Louis University Law School in June."  Sam Deloria posted on FB in November: "At the American Anthropological Association Convention in Chicago where SWMBO (She Who Must Be Obeyed) was on a panel." Sam added: "I think I mentioned the time I found myself wandering around Times Square muttering to myself about people who wander around Times Square muttering to themselves." 

Spike Forbes appeared on a Tonight Show broadcast in October: "Clear proof" he said, "that we all age differently."  Candy posted a picture of Waldo Johnson carving turkey at Thanksgiving.  Ron Parlato and I exchanged emails on oysters and sushi, of which we are both very fond.  Ron: "I love them in some weirdly obsessive way."  Many classmates posted praise at the time of Nelson Mandela's death.  Dan Pollack is looking good with his expanding family on FB posts by Nancy.  Jeremy Scott Wood now holds the record for "Most Recently Wed" with his June marriage in Chilmark MA to Catherine Thompson.  When advised of his record, he emailed: "We didn't time this to win any prizes; it's all for love."  Jeremy added: "I see Nick Danforth and Tony Lee quite often as we try to sort out the world's problems."  Ed Massey posted: "Facebook is pretty good at keeping track of birthdays, as he wished Gordon Davis a happy birthday."

Sam Francis and Bobbie visited their son Kip in La Spezia, Italy, where Kip is working as a visiting researcher at the NATO Undersea Research Centre.  They also visited Florence, Pisa, Lerici, and the Cinque Terre. The always-active Tony Lee emailed in December: "Just had two of the best cross-country skiing days that we could hope for."  Douglass Lea posted a new profile picture on FB: "Keep trying to change my selfie but can't complete the act. Why? Because the current one captures my inner sense of self, my default age and spirit, not all those damnable views of an eldering gent shrouded by grayness."  Dan Berman emailed an article in which asbestos victims ask Yale to revoke an honorary degree for Stefan Schmidheiny.  Terry Holcombe and Marya celebrated Boxing Day with Peter Giblin and Mauritza in London.  Joe Wishcamper went fishing in Argentina in January.  Doane Perry posted the celebration of his father's 100th birthday in January.

As you may recall from earlier columns, the Publications section of our Website has expanded considerably to include: Visual Arts, Sound Off! and Blogs.  These sections are better than ever and reflect wide-ranging and prolific classmate works.  Authors and artists have been invited to display their work in Sterling Memorial Library and Davenport College during our 50th Reunion.  Ron Parlato emailed a challenge about Sound Off!  "Opinions are far tamer than Tony Lee (its originator) ever thought, probably for three reasons: (1) Only a few of us still have an interest in changing any minds; (2) We have come to our conclusions long ago and don't need to defend them; (3) We don't want to offend our small community of classmates."  Perhaps to prove Ron wrong, Tony Lee posted a provocative view on 9/11.  Nine classmates have added articles since the last column. Two new artists have been added to Visual Arts: Stephen Becroft and Douglass Lea.

In Publications, we have added books by Lars Eleon Troide (recently deceased), Tim Bachmeyer, and John JeavonsSam Low posted: "I personally inscribe every copy of my book,  Hawai'iki Rising, ordered on Amazon.  Sam is also working on the re-release of his documentary film, The Navigators: Pathfinders of the PacificNew articles by Chas Freeman, Sydney Lea, and Sam Deloria have also been included.  Our most active bloggers are: Ron Parlato, Jim Rogers, and John WylieEd Massey was featured in  Western Fictioneers Blog.  A shout-out to my brother Jay Lavely '65, with whom we celebrated his 70th birthday in December in Santa Monica.  David MacBryde is treasurer of The Yale Club of Germany.  He emailed: "Consider joining the Yale Club of Germany Facebook page."

In Memoriam records that Lars Eleon Troide, a distinguished editorial scholar who taught at McGill University in Montreal, died on September 10, 2013.  John Wylie, James Cohen, Keith Huffman, and Martin Padley added considerably to the remembrance of Roger Kenna '65 who died in 1975.