by Tony Lavely
Note: Classmates' names in gold font are links to a pre-addressed email form (if your browser is properly configured). Other links (underlined) take you to more information about the topic. A shorter version of these Notes is published in the Yale Alumni Magazine.
The New Year is well underway with many classmate gatherings to report and others to announce for the months ahead. Our annual Class Council meeting takes place in New Haven on Saturday, February 18th, including a Mory’s dinner and hockey the night before. If you have suggestions for the Council, please email or call any Council member. As previously reported, Sam Calloway is replacing Jim Baxter on our Class Council. Jim, who has moved to Mexico, emailed: “I really enjoyed participating on the Council and getting to know some of our classmates. All the best to you and the rest of the Council!”
The Class lunches at The Yale Club of NYC, faithfully organized by Pete Putzel, regularly fill multiple tables. I had the opportunity to attend the November luncheon, along with 11 other classmates. We were all relieved to learn that Ed Trippe had recovered from a heart episode. Alan McFarland was there, too, only days before his wife, KT, was appointed to the national security team in the new administration. Alan will be dividing time between NYC and D.C. After Joe Lieberman weighed in with praise for the appointment, Alan emailed: “Joe is a long, dear, and valued friend who survived Directed Studies with me and all of Yale Law School when it was changing the world of law. He’s been a great gift to the Republic and to me.” There were 9 classmates at the December NYC luncheon where national politics was again the prevalent discussion topic.
The big news coming out of Yale was the announcement of the Committee to Establish Principles on Renaming. Our own Len Baker was one of three alumni on the committee. Len emailed: “Happy to talk about what we did. You may have noticed that I’m on the second committee, an advisory group to President Salovey as to how to implement the principles with respect to Calhoun.” President Salovey held an informative conference call in November for which I dialed in. Salovey predicted a win over Harvard after a locker room meeting with the team. The win on the field was a relief to many long-suffering classmates/teammates. It was matched by a win for the Yale Alumni Fund in a participation challenge against Harvard that raised over $2 million from 4,250 donors.
Don Edwards attended AYA Assembly LXXVI in November as our Class delegate. His report on “Teaching to Our Strengths: Yale’s Schools of Art, Architecture, Drama and Music,” is posted on our Class website. Don added: “Doug Griggs and I participated in the Glee Club’s 155th Anniversary weekend and concert in October.” Terry Holcombe continues to follow progress on the Class of 1964 Gateway in Benjamin Franklin College. Terry emailed: “The gate and location are even better than what I had negotiated for!” Plans for a mini-reunion to celebrate the Gateway will be announced following the Class Council meeting. Neil Hoffmann announced May 18th for the Class Spring Golf Outing on the Yale Course. John Evans has floated the idea of a mini-reunion in the Pacific Northwest and up into Canada during July 2018. Robert Whitby has proposed an itinerary. Details will be announced following the Class Council meeting.
The AYA has announced a new mentoring program for current students under the direction of the Committee on Careers, Life, and Yale. A number of classmates have volunteered as mentors. In response to the AYA mentoring program announcement, Ed Massey emailed: “I am not a candidate because of station in life, but I did this 35 years ago and mentored a student who was an MFA in classical guitar. I eventually hired him, and he ultimately served as president of a Japanese electronic games company. We still talk twice a month. Mentoring is a great program that keeps on giving.” Although we had postponed our plans for a civil rights mini-reunion in Atlanta before Jonathan Holloway (who was to be our keynote speaker) announced his departure to become the Provost at Northwestern, he graciously emailed: “Even though the group won’t be convening this year, I want to say how moved I was by your desire to gather to celebrate one another and to think about what you experienced at such a pivotal moment in our nation’s history.”
Tom Walton wrote: “I bought a 35-foot sailboat in February, launched her in April, and enjoyed sailing in the Chesapeake as late as November.” Butch Hetherington moved back to New Haven. Rebecca emailed: “One advantage of being close to the campus is the ease of attending all of Yale’s home games.” Following the announcement of a new AYA Chair, Russell Sunshine emailed: “I knew and admired Weili Chang decades ago when she was at Georgetown Law. I’m delighted she’ll be leading the alumni.” On Facebook, Sam Low tracked Hokule’a completing her round-the-world voyage. Sam also posted: “New England in general and Martha’s Vineyard in particular lead the country and even the globe in efforts to save, restore, and protect the land.” Dick Berk emailed: “I will soon be a grandfather. My daughter is expecting a boy in the spring. My son, Michael, had a great first semester at Penn. I must say that kids have to navigate through much more difficult stuff than we ever had to.”
Soren West sent a newspaper report (posted with photos on our website) documenting his successful 2,100-mile hike of the Appalachian Trail in November. Soren’s motto: “Just keep on going!” James Currie emailed: I’m attending the 50th Australian Currie Family Reunion in February in Bendigo, Australia. I made the first one 50 years ago!” On his 76th birthday, Robert Whitby emailed: “Seventy-six ain’t 35, but it seems ok. We just returned from a 3-week trip to South Africa.” Chris Getman wrote about a major new event in his business life: “I have sold my company, Soundview, and joined forces with Fairfield-Bush, a registered investment advisor in New Haven about half a block from my old office. I really enjoy going to work and the work that I do.” In his new role on the Board of the Yale Alumni Fund, Tony Lavely will serve on its Technology Workgroup (audible groan from Webmaster Sam Francis).
Mac Deford emailed: “Just got back from my annual trip to Beirut for the board meeting of International College. Drove down to Tyre, just above the Israeli border. What’s amazing is how relatively calm Lebanon is, when you consider there are close to 1.5 million Syrian refugees there.” Yale again expressed appreciation to Jonathan Leader for the Leader Family Scholarship Fund which is supporting two undergraduates this year. Tim Breen emailed: “For the first four months of 2017, I will serve as the Kluge Professor of American Law and Governance at the Library of Congress, which will allow me to continue my study of America’s legal culture during the Revolution.”
Holiday greetings carried news from other classmates. Larry Lawrence (who was a mentor to my daughter at The Field Club in Greenwich) and Sally went to Kalmar, Sweden in June to visit distant family members on the way to a fantastic Scandinavian cruise. Rich Niglio sent photos of his extended family. Chip Brennan had side-by-side photos of his marriage to Mary in 1966 with a full re-creation of the event last June. Bill Drennen wrote: “I did some fancy traveling and went some fun places and still I have my sons and grandchildren more or less on my side. Suffered some maladies but came out all right!” Dan Berman wrote: “I’m writing a sequel to my book, Death on the Job, and I’m still active in anti-asbestos campaigns.” Ed Massey and Anne wrote: “We have begun a new threshold … our home is for sale. We shall miss it terribly, but it opens up new adventures. We’ve rented a house on Drakes Island, Maine that beautifully fits our family needs.” Butch Hetherington wrote: “We are meeting many bright and interesting people in our new home in New Haven. At The Whitney Center, we enjoy lectures by college professors, musical concerts, an on-site art gallery, and an exercise center.” Dan Pollack visited his daughter and her family in Napa Valley.
Pat Caviness is back in San Francisco for chemotherapy treatments and wrote: “I continue to have high confidence in UCSF. Before we got here, we had a great time with friends in Canada in a small, charming seaside town, a 45-minuite ferry ride from Vancouver.” Karl Ziegler emailed: “We had an exhilarating reunion with Nick Danforth on New Year’s Eve. Two other former roommates were elsewhere: Sheldon Leader was in Southern France and Panos Koumandos was in Greece.”
John Wylie’s new book, Old Mind New Mind: Emotional Fossils and the Evolution of the Human Spirit, is posted on our Class website. Frank Hotchkiss wrote a new book, Playing With Fire, a fast-paced novel about the NYC ad world, which is also posted there. Bill Drennen has published a new book, Life and Times of Maggie Drennen, and is working on another book about the history of his family in the salt business. Jon McBride and Tony Lee had a letter to the editor published in the Yale Alumni Magazine in September-October, commenting on “The Forgotten Antiwar Movement.” After the election, Gene Van Loan emailed: “If you read my Op Ed (on our Class website), you might conclude that I was on the wrong side of history. However, the history of this Presidency has yet to be written.” Sam Low posted: “I am honored to report that The Smithsonian has accepted an oral history that I recorded about a Peruvian man into the National Anthropological Archives.”
Bill Gould reported the death of Larry Chapman last October in Philadelphia. Bill also provided a moving remembrance — calling Larry “an architect’s architect” — that is posted along with Larry’s obituary on our Class website. Usually, we limit obituary mentions to members of our Class. But because he was a friend to so many classmates who played varsity sports, we remember Don Scharf ’55, who died on December 29th. His obituary said: Don’s lifetime commitment and generosity of time and energy to Yale and Yale athletics is unprecedented.”