Alumni for Excellence

by Thomas HoodJUL 12, 2020/0 Comments

I fear I have been blinded for a period of years by my institutional affection and great memories from noticing what appear to be some disturbing long-term trends at Yale. The much-publicized recent campus culture issue involving hate speech vs. freedom of speech and similar matters of a quasi-political nature are only marginally related, if at all, to these concerns.

https://yale1969.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/68584463_1514851801988121_4302970851591979008_o-300x150.jpgPasted below (shaded area) is a piece put together last year by Yale Alumni For Excellence, using credible publicly-available sources.  It summarizes some alarming statistics indicating a degree of deterioration in the quality of Yale’s educational mission; simply stated Yale is lagging behind its peer institutions.

Responsibility for Yale’s educational mission is vested in the board of the Corporation and there are six Alumni Fellows, one elected each year for a six year term. In theory these Fellows represent Yale’s alumni.

However, this election process is structured to preserve the status quo. The Corporation selects two candidates each year for alumni to vote on, but there is no disclosure as to how these candidates were chosen, where they stand on issues important to Yale, or what they hope to accomplish.

The process for alumni to put their own candidate on the ballot is torturous. By getting signatures from 4,400 alums from now until October 1, 2020, a candidate will then be on the ballot for Alumni Fellow in May 2021.

Victor Ashe ’67, is seeking the position of Alumni Fellow through this petition process. Among other things, he has pledged to work to make this whole process and the actions of the Yale Corporation more transparent.

You can see Victor’s impressive background and learn more about these issues at his website: www.asheforyale.com.

A networking campaign has been organized to help Victor collect the signatures he needs between now and October 1, 2020. As a member of the network, I would like your support.  You can sign the petition easily online here (or download the form provided there, sign it and mail it).

If you are as concerned as I have become about these trends at our beloved alma mater, please also consider volunteering to help Victor  overcome the unfair petition process.  Details and signup form are on his website here.

Please consider active participation in this important, perhaps watershed, campaign.

ALUMNI FOR EXCELLENCE AT YALE

Recent activities at Yale raise serious questions about the University’s future. It seems that not a month goes by without yet another negative report. As alumni, it gives us no pleasure to discuss these developments, but they are impossible to ignore. The uncomfortable truth is that Yale is falling behind its peers in many areas.

Faculty

  • The 2019 FAS Senate Research and Scholarly Excellence Report revealed that “69 percent of tenured faculty members said they do not believe that their respective department ranks within the top five in their respective fields among institutions of higher education” and “just 1 .8% said their department was the clear leader in its field.”
  • Faculty salaries lag behind peer institutions by 13%.
  • According to the FAS Senate, the administration has ignored these concerns.

Administration

  • Yale is the undisputed Ivy League heavyweight champion of bureaucracy, with 81 .8 bureaucrats per 1 1000 students (compared to, for example, 45.2 per 1 ,000 students at Harvard). In fact, Yale seems to be closing in on the national championship of bureaucracy: Out of 1 ,622 colleges and universities surveyed by The Chronicle of Higher Education, only four had more bureaucrats per student than Yale.
  • From 1 995-96 to 201 6-1 7, Yale’s managerial and professional staff increased by 77.25%, compared to a 10.44% increase in service and maintenance staff.
  • Despite this vast bureaucracy, Yale was caught up in the recent national bribery scandal in admissions, indicating an embarrassing failure of oversight.

Fundraising

  • Yale’s alumni giving rate of 28.3% is lower than Stanford’s, lower than MIT’s, and lower than all but one of its Ivy League peers. (Yale Daily News, citing U.S. News & World Report)
  • In a recent survey of alumni leaders, 63% of those who expressed an opinion said that alumni have become less enthusiastic about donating to Yale in recent years.

Values

  • Yale seems increasingly hostile to freedom of speech, to unfettered inquiry, and to heterodox opinions.
  • Yale’s free speech policy, articulated in the Woodward Report in 1 975, is first rate. But principles matter when they are tested, and the Woodward Report now seems to be a hollow promise. Following the embarrassments of 201 5, Yale hardly seems committed to “the right to think the unthinkable, discuss the unmentionable, and challenge the unchallengeable.”
  • According to the Yale Daily News, 75% of students “believe Yale does not provide a welcoming environment for conservative students to share their opinions on political issues.”

Tuition

  • The cost of tuition, room, and board has soared to $72,100, more than doubling in less than twenty years and far outpacing inflation.

Where did this money go, if not to the University’s core academic mission? As other commitments consume ever larger amounts of the budget, investments in faculty, students, and academic pursuits are paying the price. This trajectory is unsustainable and a new direction is necessary.

Richard Gilder

Richard Gilder

His ideas and philanthropy helped to revive New York and Central Park.

By May 15, 2020 6:53 pm ET

Dick Gilder and Lois Chiles attend the Central Park Conservancy Hat Luncheon on May 2, 2018. Photo: Robin Platzer/Twin Images/Zuma Press

At a moment when New York City is facing an historic challenge from the novel coronavirus, it is worth remembering Richard Gilder, who did much to pull the city out of the economic and social crises of the 1970s and 1980s. Unmasking the Michael Flynn UnmaskersSubscribe

Dick Gilder, who died at 87 of congestive heart failure in Virginia this week, was a native New Yorker and an impatient optimist. He dropped out of Yale Law School because he found the law’s pace too slow. He preferred life in the financial markets, founding the brokerage firm, Gilder, Gagnon, Howe & Co. There he discovered his calling—not making money, which he did, but using his money to solve civic problems.

One of the biggest, literally, sat outside his windows in the 1970s: Central Park. New York’s magnificent park had become something of a wasteland in the 1970s when the city was in a financial crisis.

Donating $17 million of his own money, Gilder put in motion an idea that became the Central Park Conservancy, to this day a model of private-public partnership, which revived and still sustains Central Park as a city jewel. He later became chairman of the then-stodgy New-York Historical Society and transformed it into one of the city’s most dynamic cultural destinations.

Gilder was an enthusiastic believer in the benefits of private markets and private enterprise. He kept his politics out of the cultural institutions he helped, but he understood that successful political ideas also needed institutional support to survive.

He became an active supporter and chairman of the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, which produced many proposals in the 1980s to pull New York City out of a cycle of social decay and crime. At the center of Gilder’s ideas was the belief that strong economic growth was the indispensable instrument of prosperity. So in 1999 he co-founded the aptly named Club for Growth, a political action committee dedicated to promoting political ideas that enhanced the possibility of economic growth and its social and cultural benefits.

The simple reality is that Dick Gilder all his life was his own club for growth. His hometown, New York City, benefited enormously from Gilder’s vision of putting free-market ideas in the service of sustainable civic renewal.

Emerging from the social and economic devastation of the coronavirus pandemic, New York again faces a difficult future, as it did in the 1970s. We hope the city can still nurture and promote those who remember and revive the Gilder legacy of letting private interests produce public good. It works.

Copyright ©2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8

How Epidemics Change Civilizations

Measures developed for the plagues of the 14th century are helping authorities fight the coronavirus now, says Yale historian Frank Snowden.

By

Jason Willick

March 27, 2020 7:06 pm ET

To put the coronavirus pandemic in perspective, consider what happened when the bubonic plague struck London in 1665. The onset of the disease could be sudden, says Yale historian Frank Snowden: “You actually have people afflicted and in agony in public spaces.” Trade and commerce swiftly shut down, and “every economic activity disappeared.” The city erected hospitals to isolate the sick. “You have the burning of sulfur in the streets—bonfires to purify the air.”

Some 100,000 Londoners—close to a quarter of the population, equivalent to two million today—died. Some sufferers committed suicide by “throwing themselves into the Thames,” Mr. Snowden says. “Such was their horror at what was happening to their bodies, and the excruciating pain of the buboes”—inflamed lymph nodes—that are the classic symptom of the bubonic plague. Social order broke down as the authorities fled. “Death cart” drivers went door to door, collecting corpses for a fee and sometimes plundering the possessions of survivors.

The plague’s violent assaults on European cities in the Middle Ages and Renaissance periods created “social dislocation in a way we can’t imagine,” says Mr. Snowden, whose October 2019 book, “Epidemics in Society: From the Black Death to the Present”—a survey of infectious diseases and their social impact—is suddenly timely.

I interviewed Mr. Snowden, 73, over Skype. We’re both home in lockdown, I in California and he in Rome, where he’s gone to do research in the Vatican archives. In the mid-14th century, Italy was “the most scourged place in Europe with the Black Death,” he notes. In the 21st century, it’s among the countries hardest hit by Covid-19.

Science has consigned the plague, caused by the flea- and rat-borne bacterium Yersinia pestis, to the margins of public-health concern (though it remains feared as a potential aerosolized bioweapon). Yet its legacy raises challenging questions about how the coronavirus might change the world.

For all the modern West’s biomedical prowess, some of its blunt tools against a poorly understood disease are similar to what was first attempted in the 14th century. Take quarantine. Hundreds of millions of Americans and Europeans are isolated in their homes in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Isolation as a defense against infectious disease originated in the city-states of Venice and Florence. Italy was the center of Mediterranean trade, and the plague arrived in 1347 on commercial ships. The dominant theory at the time was “miasmatism”—the atmosphere was poisoned—perhaps by visitors’ garments—and people get sick “when they breathe that in, or absorb it through their pores,” Mr. Snowden says. “That is, there is some emanation, and it can be thought to be coming from the soil, or from the bodies” of sick people.

After plague visitations, the Venetian navy eventually began to force sailors arriving at the harbor to disembark on a nearby island, where they remained for 40 days—quaranta—a duration chosen for its biblical significance. The strategy worked when it was enforced as disease-ridden fleas died out and the sick died or recovered. Mr. Snowden notes that Americans returning from Wuhan, China, in early February were “detained on army bases for a quarantine period”—14 days rather than 40.

“We can see the roots of many aspects of modern health already in the Renaissance,” he adds. Another example is the wax “plague costume” worn by physicians. It resembled modern-day medical garb—“the protective garments that you see in the hospital for people dealing with Ebola, or this sort of space suit”—but with a long beak containing resonant herbs. They were thought to “purify the air that you were breathing in.” The costume “did, in fact, have some protective value,” Mr. Snowden says, because the wax repelled the fleas that carried the disease.

Antiplague efforts dramatically changed Europeans’ relationship to government. “The Florentines established what were called health magistrates, which are the ancestors of what today we call boards of health or departments of health,” Mr. Snowden explains. “Endowed with special legal powers,” they coordinated plague countermeasures.

The plague was more traumatic than a military assault, and the response was often warlike in its ferocity. One response was a “sanitary cordon,” or encircling of a city-state with soldiers, who didn’t allow anyone in or out. “Imagine one’s own city, and suddenly, in the morning, it’s cordoned off by the National Guard with fixed bayonets and helmets on, and orders to shoot if we cross,” Mr. Snowden says. Cordons were regularly imposed in European cities in times of plague risk, leading to terror and violence. In the 18th century, the Austrian army was “deployed to prevent bubonic plague from moving up the Balkan Peninsula and into Western Europe” by halting travelers who might be carrying it.

The sociologist Charles Tilly (1929-2008) famously argued that “war makes the state”—that borders and bureaucracies were forged by necessity in military conflict. Plague had similar effects, requiring “military commitment, administration, finance and all the rest of it,” Mr. Snowden says. In addition to a navy to enforce quarantines, “you needed to have a police power,” a monopoly on force over a wide area. Sometimes “watchmen were stationed outside the homes of people who had the plague, and no one was allowed in or out.”

Yet while the plague saw power move up from villages and city-states to national capitals, the coronavirus is encouraging a devolution of authority from supranational units to the nation-state. This is most obvious in the European Union, where member states are setting their own responses. Open borders within the EU have been closed, and some countries have restricted export of medical supplies. The virus has heightened tensions between the U.S. and China, as Beijing tries to protect its image and Americans worry about access to medical supply chains.

The coronavirus is threatening “the economic and political sinews of globalization, and causing them to unravel to a certain degree,” Mr. Snowden says. He notes that “coronavirus is emphatically a disease of globalization.” The virus is striking hardest in cities that are “densely populated and linked by rapid air travel, by movements of tourists, of refugees, all kinds of businesspeople, all kinds of interlocking networks.”

The social dynamics of a pandemic are determined partly by who is most affected. Cholera, for example, “is famously associated with social and class tensions and turmoil,” Mr. Snowden says. A vicious gastrointestinal infection, it was most prevalent in crowded urban tenements with contaminated food or water. “We could pick Naples, or we could pick New York City in the 19th century,” he says. “Municipal officials, the authorities, the doctors, the priests, the middle classes, the wealthy, who live in different neighborhoods, are not succumbing to this disease.” That led to conspiracy theories about its origin, and to working-class riots.

Similarly, the bubonic plague struck India, then a British colony, in the late 19th century. The British responded by introducing Renaissance-era antiplague measures—“very draconian exercises of power and authority, but by a colonial government, over the native population,” Mr. Snowden says. “The population of India regarded this as more fearful than the plague itself” and resisted. Britain, worried that “this would be the beginning of modern Indian nationalism,” backed off the measures, which were mostly ineffective anyway.

Respiratory viruses, Mr. Snowden says, tend to be socially indiscriminate in whom they infect. Yet because of its origins in the vectors of globalization, the coronavirus appears to have affected the elite in a high-profile way. From Tom Hanks to Boris Johnson, people who travel frequently or are in touch with travelers have been among the first to get infected.

That has shaped the political response in the U.S., as the Democratic Party, centered in globalized cities, demands an intensive response. Liberal professionals may also be more likely to be able to work while isolated at home. Republican voters are less likely to live in dense areas with high numbers of infections and so far appear less receptive to dramatic countermeasures.

Class Notes (pre-published)

This new Y54 website offers classmates the opportunity to include comments but there is so much spam on the internet that all  commentary is blocked.  If you wish to comment please send an email to cbeshedd@gmail.com and it will be posted.

Early-bird class notes from Fred Frank, class secretary.
Read them here first!
257 Park Ave S, Fl 15, New York, NY 10010-7404
ffrank@evolutionlsp.com

May – June  2020 Issue for Class of 1954

Allan Rabinowitz hosted another Class lunch at The Yale Club. It is a terrific opportunity to catch up with Classmates and voice opinions on many topical subjects. And I must say there is rarely unanimity on any subject someone brings up.

The following note was sent to me regarding the passing of Brian Ameche ‘66.  “He was a true gentleman, in the old school sense of the word”.  He “found football to be a dazzling display of ballet, weightlifting and chess”…he believed in big things, big love, big life.”  Ivy League champion and son of Heisman Trophy royalty (Brian’s dad was 1954 Heisman Trophy winner Alan Ameche, who scored the winning touchdown in overtime of the 1958 NFL Championship game, known as the NFL’s “greatest game.”  Brian remained always humble, thoughtful, soft spoken, interested and interesting.

Dan Strickler sent me a note summarizing an extraordinary trip that he and his family took in February.
As regards my own recent adventure, a family group of eight of us from two generations visited Luxembourg in mid-December to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge. My father, a Lt. Colonel at the time, fought in this battle as a combat commander with the 110th Regiment, part of Pennsylvania’s 28th Division. The Regiment was on the front lines when the battle started at 6:00 A.M. on December 16.  If fought a delaying action against the overwhelming German onslaught which had a force superiority of 7 to 1. The Regiment’s heroic resistance during the first days of the battle gave the 101st Airborne Division time to occupy Bastogne, setting the stage for the ultimate Allied victory.  A plaque honoring my father was unveiled at Consthum, Luxembourg.  Among many other activities, we saw General Patton’s grave at the Luxembourg Military Cemetery, where 5,000 American soldiers are buried. Very moving, a field of white marble crosses against a “bleak wintry sky. The “Bulge” was the largest and with 89,000 American casualties the bloodiest conflict the U.S. caught during World War II.

Sadly I report the deaths of several classmates:
William F. (Bill) Downey passed away on 12/29/2019.  As our classmate Joe Albanese wrote “Bill was a quiet, unassuming but much accomplished personification of the “old school scholar/athlete.” He was our wrestling captain, won academic awards, played on the football team, was a member (as it was then known) “Saint A’s,” did his “Cold War hitch” in the Army as an enlisted company clerk and then shared a Greenwich Village hovel and a robustly raucous beach-house on Fire Island, NY with several of us.  He was also a graduate of the Harvard Business School ) ’56 and New York University Law School. His marriage of 40 years to Jean Olekshy ended with her death in 2009.

Carleton Loucks died on January 12, 2020. Born in New Haven where he lived in the area his entire life. He was a graduate of Choate and Yale Class of ’54.  He worked in radio and advertising for many years, and was the owner/operator of CT Direct Mail before his retirement. He was very active in the New Haven arts and cultural community.  He was an avid lover of railroads and is survived by his wife of 65 years, Barbara Dunphy.

John Walter Drake passed away in early February 2020.  John graduated from Yale in ’54 and got a doctorate from California Institute of Technology.  He was a Fullbright Fellow at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel.  He was the editor of GENETICS from 1982 to 1996.  He loved scientific research.  He loved hiking, chamber music, and his family.

John Emmett Brennan III  passed away in January 2020.  He began his undergrad studies at Yale and ultimately graduated from Merrimack College and was a structural engineer for over 50 years.  He spent 10 years on assignment located on the boarder of Saudi Arabia and Iraq as a Program Manager at King Khalid Military City.  He owned a small vineyard in Braintree.  He was a delegate at the Massachusetts Democratic Convention and he taught himself several musical instruments.  He was married to Antoinette for 37 years.


Gerry Sperling  died this past February.  After Yale Gerry went on to Harvard Law ’57 and worked for years at the American Stock Exchange.  He loved tennis, opera, and his family most of all.

March – April  2020 Issue for Class of 1954

A thriller (not in Manila) but in the Yale Class of 1954 Yale Bowl.  About twenty of our classmates suffered through three quarters, on  a very cold day, while Harvard was winning and Yale’s chance to claim the Ivy co- title was in serious jeopardy.  The never say die spirit of the team pulled off a miraculous late fourth quarter win in a truly thrilling  50-43 victory!

Allan Rabinowitz hosted another lunch at the Yale Club.  There were nine members of our class in attendance.  Hopefully many more of you will be able to join Allen for the next lunch.

Last June, Ken McDonald, as a former Ernest J. King Professor of Maritime History at the Naval War College, joined two later King Professors in a “Three Kings” panel that discussed the Turner Revolution 1972-1974.  At the panel’s conclusion the Naval War College displayed a new plaque honoring all the Kings Chairs since the first, Thomas C. Mendenhall of Yale, in 1951-1952.

Family Man, Richard Hiers, was married to Martha Banks on October 2019.

Charles Workman said he continues to enjoy excellent health- mostly due to good genetics!  He’s still playing reasonably competitive tennis in Carmel.

Sadly, a few members of our class passed away since the last edition of the Yale Alumni Magazine:

Richard Ralph Dillenbeck passed away peacefully Nov. 1, 2019.  He was awarded a full scholarship to Yale and graduated Magna Cum Laude.  Dick attended Harvard Law School and was briefly an officer in the United States Air Force.  He received a Fullbright to work in Brazil and Argentina which launched his career in international corporate law.  Dick and his wife, Heather, retired together to Old Lyme.  He was an avid collector of stamps, pe-Columbian South American pottery.  He loved tinkering with his small but carefully curated collection of classic cars.  He was an active member of the Aston Martins Owner’s Club of America.

 Robert Everett Zimmermann of South Haven passed away in Nov. 2019.  Bob chose to donate his body to Western Michigan University Medical School.  His cause of death was lymphoma.  After graduating Yale in 1954 Bob married and joined Babcock & Wilcox in the Power Generation Group in Ohio.  The family moved around a bit but Bob eventually retired with B&W.  Bob then became a park manager at Palisades Park CC in Covert, a job he loved.  He was a lifelong learner and devoured books.  After the passing of his first wife Betsy, Bob was fortunate to find love again with Darrollene.  They enjoyed splitting time between South Haven and Naples, Florida.

 January-February 2020 Issue for Class of 1954

Dear Classmates:  the Yale Harvard football game this year will be at the Yale Class of 1954 Bowl.  It is newly renovated and now sporting artificial turf. The team is now 6-1 overall and 3-1 in Ivy competition. We have a very good contingent of Class members who have said they are coming to the game. Hope to see many more of you there.

Peter Shears wrote to say he’s keeping active with governing board activity on 2 charter schools.  He missed everyone at the Class Reunion but has had a successful surgery and is almost back to normal.

 It is sad to report that several classmates have passed away:

 Michael Armstrong passed away in October of this year.  He was chief counsel to the Knapp Commission in the early 70’s and credited with fighting corruption among the NYC Police Dept.  He was a tenacious prosecutor and proud member of the ACLU.  Most recently he was of counsel to McLaughlin & Stern.  The NYTimes did a wonderful write-up of his career.

Rodney Wood of Charlotte, NC., passed away at age 86. Rod majored in Chemical Engineering and received a Master’s Degree from Michigan State and a Ph.D from Northwestern. He was a National Science Foundation Fellow, and a member of the honorary societies Sigma Xi and Pi Tau Sigma. Rod began his career as an instructor at the University of Nebraska. He continued his career at Texas Instruments, Sherwin Williams and Bristol-Myers Squibb.

Willis C. Arndt, died peacefully at home in August 2019.   From very early days he was nicknamed “Wiz.” After Yale he served in the NROTC program and received a two year commission in the Navy. He joined the International Basic Economy Corporation (IBEC) founded by Nelson Rockefeller to start businesses overseas. He and his family spent years in Puerto Rico and Venezuela where he was instrumental in forming a partnership with Arbor Farms. Beginning in 2013 he wrote and published a book, Wizdom’  Memos: Thoughts, Observations, Bits of Advice on Life.”

Howard Robert Hoffman’s daughter, Judi, informed us that he passed away in July 2019.  She said her Dad was extremely proud to be a Yalie and even travelled all the way from Israel , where he had been residing since 1972, to be at the 50th reunion.

Norman E. Hurwitz passed away at the end of July 2019. Post Yale College he attended Yale Law School and practiced law in New Haven for many years. He is survived by a son and daughter and four grandchildren.

Avrum Novitch died in Sept 2019.  A physician and retired executive he worked for the US Dept of Health and later the Food and Drug Administration.  Avrum worked for many years in the private sector and later as an Adjunct Professor of Health Care Sciences at George Washington University. He devoted his working career to public service.

Cyril ‘Paul’ Pesek, Jr. passed away in September 2019.  After Yale Paul served in the U.S. Army Artillery. Paul earned an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. Paul founded and led several electronics firms including PEMCO, Moniterm Corporation, and Aurora Technology. For many years he helped build new homes working with Habitat for Humanity. He was a trustee for both Minneapolis College of Art and Design and the United Theological Seminary.  He served for many years on our Yale 1954 Class Council and for five years as our class alumni secretary.

“Pete” Cecil Coggins passed away in September 19, 2019. Pete graduated from the Harvard Medical School in 1958. He taught internal medicine and nephrology at Mass General then Beacon Hill Practice, and taught at Harvard Medical School from 1965 to 2015.  Peter loved the outdoors and his family.

Dr. Allan Lawrence Toole passed away in September 2019.  After Yale he received his Doctorate of Medicine from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1958. His professional internship, fellowship, and residency was spent at Yale University Medical Center. He devoted 35 years of work at Yale-New Haven Hospital. He also served as chief resident of surgery at the Veterans Administration Hospital in West Haven, Conn.

Norman Hurwitz passed away in July 2019.  He was a graduate of Yale College and Yale Law School and practiced law in New Haven for many years.  He was well respected and beloved by his peers and his clients.

Class Notes November-December 2019

Dear Classmate, Russ has graciously passed the baton to me for being the Class Secretary. We all owe Russ a great thank you for the splendid job he did for the last five years as our Class Secretary! The football season will soon be underway. Those who follow Ivy League football with great intensity pick Yale to be the league champions this year. With that in mind the final game of the season, will be as always, the Yale-Harvard game. This year at home in the Class of 1954 Stadium. After the game all are invited to the Smilow Field House.

John Dorian Curtin, Jr., “Jack”, passed away in May of this year. A member of the Class of ’54 after graduation he went straight to the Harvard Business School. Upon graduation, Jack became a landman for Arco in Casper, Wyoming. His Tulsa draft board quickly caught up to him, so he spent his first time in Texas as an Army clerk at Fort Sam Houston. Jack never took to Army life, but it did afford him the time to write “The Story of the Farthest Star,” a touching story about life’s mission, God, and the birth of the Child. Jack and his wife Nancy started in Wyoming and moved back to Tulsa where he began his climb through the management ranks through several companies and several states and finally landed in Boston, MA working as the chief financial officer of Cabot Corporation,  Jack continued giving to his community after retirement by serving on many corporate boards, being an active venture investor and advisor, and, most importantly, by founding or serving several important non-profit organizations.

Robert Martin passed away this July in Menlo Park, CA.  He was a member of the Class of ’54 and a proud member of the Yale Daily News.  After graduation, Robert was stationed in Germany with the US Army.  He later attended law school at Penn.  In 1959, Bob arrived in Washington DC to begin an exciting, rewarding 35-year career as a Foreign Service Officer working principally on arms control and other national security issues at the Department of State.  Returning to Washington in 1971, he met and married Joanna Woods Witzel, a fellow diplomat. Bob was of the generation for whom being a member of the Foreign Service was an unquestioned dedicated, lifetime commitment to service.  Retirement to California in the late 1990’s enhanced Bob’s opportunity for travel abroad—many trips visiting old friends and new countries.

Edward J. Tracey passed away peacefully at home on June 25th. He graduated from Yale University Class of 1954.  Ed then followed in the path of his grandfather and father by pursuing a career in medicine. He attended New York Medical College graduating in 1958. Dr. Tracey was in the USNR from 1953-1965. He was a Lt. Cdr. Active Duty aboard the U.S.S. Saratoga CVA 60 1963-1964, US Naval Hospital in Newport, RI 1964-1965 and 6th Marine Exped. Unit Dominican Rep. 1965.  He and his family settled in his hometown of Norwalk after retiring from the Navy and he began his long career at Norwalk Hospital being the 3rd generation “Doc Tracey” to roam the halls.  Ed met Ann Schenk when they were 16 and never looked back. They married in 1957 and celebrated 60 years of marriage in 2017. Ed and Ann loved spending time on various boats as long time members at Shore and Country Club. Sailing to Block Island, Bermuda or the Caribbean was where Ed was happiest.

Paul Clemens Randau passed peacefully in April of this year.  Paul began his studies at Yale University and eventually graduated from Stanford in ’55. After a stint in the Army Paul went to Stanford Medical School.  He practiced Emergency Medicine for the next 35 years.  Throughout his career he was an avid outdoorsman and marathon runner, heli-skier and hiker.

Class of 1954 Notes for the September-October,2019 issue of YAM

Dear Classmate, Russ has graciously passed the baton to me for being the Class Secretary. We all owe Russ a great thank you for the splendid job he did for the last five years as our Class Secretary! The football season will soon be underway. Those who follow Ivy League football with great intensity pick Yale to be the league champions this year. With that in mind the final game of the season, will be as always, the Yale-Harvard game. This year at home in the Class of 1954 Stadium. After the game all are invited to the Smilow Field House.

John Dorian Curtin, Jr., “Jack”, passed away in May of this year. A member of the Class of ’54 after graduation he went straight to the Harvard Business School. Upon graduation, Jack became a landman for Arco in Casper, Wyoming. His Tulsa draft board quickly caught up to him, so he spent his first time in Texas as an Army clerk at Fort Sam Houston. Jack never took to Army life, but it did afford him the time to write “The Story of the Farthest Star,” a touching story about life’s mission, God, and the birth of the Child. Jack and his wife Nancy started in Wyoming and moved back to Tulsa where he began his climb through the management ranks through several companies and several states and finally landed in Boston, MA working as the chief financial officer of Cabot Corporation,  Jack continued giving to his community after retirement by serving on many corporate boards, being an active venture investor and advisor, and, most importantly, by founding or serving several important non-profit organizations.

Robert Martin passed away this July in Menlo Park, CA.  He was a member of the Class of ’54 and a proud member of the Yale Daily News.  After graduation, Robert was stationed in Germany with the US Army.  He later attended law school at Penn.  In 1959, Bob arrived in Washington DC to begin an exciting, rewarding 35-year career as a Foreign Service Officer working principally on arms control and other national security issues at the Department of State.  Returning to Washington in 1971, he met and married Joanna Woods Witzel, a fellow diplomat. Bob was of the generation for whom being a member of the Foreign Service was an unquestioned dedicated, lifetime commitment to service.  Retirement to California in the late 1990’s enhanced Bob’s opportunity for travel abroad—many trips visiting old friends and new countries.

Edward J. Tracey passed away peacefully at home on June 25th. He graduated from Yale University Class of 1954.  Ed then followed in the path of his grandfather and father by pursuing a career in medicine. He attended New York Medical College graduating in 1958. Dr. Tracey was in the USNR from 1953-1965. He was a Lt. Cdr. Active Duty aboard the U.S.S. Saratoga CVA 60 1963-1964, US Naval Hospital in Newport, RI 1964-1965 and 6th Marine Exped. Unit Dominican Rep. 1965.  He and his family settled in his hometown of Norwalk after retiring from the Navy and he began his long career at Norwalk Hospital being the 3rd generation “Doc Tracey” to roam the halls.  Ed met Ann Schenk when they were 16 and never looked back. They married in 1957 and celebrated 60 years of marriage in 2017. Ed and Ann loved spending time on various boats as long time members at Shore and Country Club. Sailing to Block Island, Bermuda or the Caribbean was where Ed was happiest.

Paul Clemens Randau passed peacefully in April of this year.  Paul began his studies at Yale University and eventually graduated from Stanford in ’55. After a stint in the Army Paul went to Stanford Medical School.  He practiced Emergency Medicine for the next 35 years.  Throughout his career he was an avid outdoorsman and marathon runner, heli-skier and hiker.

65th Reunion Report for the July-August issue of YAM

180 classmates and family members enjoyed a great reunion weekend at Yale May 23rd through the 25th. As the first Yale class to have the privilege of using Franklin College as its reunion headquarters, we were surrounded by shiny, new buildings, architecture, landscaping and most importantly, friends and classmates. Carl Shedd did a great job in planning the three day weekend. On Thursday night the class enjoyed cocktails and dinner in the Franklin courtyard and dining room. In Friday and Saturday, there were many interesting lectures, tours and exhibits to visit and choose from. Friday evening a beautiful served dinner was enjoyed by all in the Franklin College dining room with an upbeat talk by President Peter Salovey, who joined us with his wife Marta for cocktails and dinner, followed by a talk on the papers of Benjamin Franklin. The fabulous music was provided by Bob Hardwick’s Orchestra, one of the best dance bands in the country.

On Saturday evening, I announced that six individuals would receive a YAA Class Award plaque for outstanding contributions to Yale and to the Class of 1954. The talented recipients were David Banker, Ted Armbrecht, Bob Redpath, Dan Strickler, Jerry Grinstein, and Allan Rabinowitz.

Subsequently, we announced that the class nominating committee had made the following recommendations for new Class Officers for the next five years: Fred Frank, Secretary, Dan Strickler, Treasurer, Carl Shedd, Assistant Secretary, Allan Rabinowitz, Class Agent, Jim Monde, YAA Representative. Reynolds asked for a vote and the slate was unanimously approved by those in attendance. There were no dissenting votes. We thanked Charlie Johnson for his incredible support of Yale and for fulfilling the role of Class Treasurer, and wished the next slate well, in leading the class’ future activities.

Fred Frank, who co-chaired the class gift committee with Charlie Johnson, announced that the class had raised $164 million as a record breaking class gift to Yale for the period 2014 – 2019. Apparently this figure goes way beyond anything ever achieved by any class previously for a 65th reunion.

The weather was beautiful, and the Yale campus has never looked better. There was a panel discussion Saturday afternoon, lead by Jerry Grinstein, which consisted of Allan Rabinowitz, Charlie Johnson and Dan Strickler. There were many words of wisdom for living a long and healthy life.

One of the highlights of the weekend was the meeting Saturday afternoon in Woolsey Hall, during which President Salovey updated all the alumni on Yale’s current progress and future plans, followed by a magnificent gathering of many Yale singing groups, including Whim ‘n Rhythm, Mixed Company, the Whiffenpoofs and the Yale Alley Cats, on the stage at Woolsey Hall, culminating in the singing of “Bright College Years”.

The Whiffenpoofs of 1954, 14 strong, augmented by some ringers who were recruited in recent years, also performed brilliantly at the dinner Saturday night in the Franklin College dining room. Following dinner Saturday night, we went to the Yale University Theater, where we had the pleasure of viewing a performance of six talented cabaret singers, sponsored by the Mabel Mercer Foundation in New York, introduced and arranged by Chuck Bullock. They brought us back with their wonderful renditions of many of Irving Berlin’s most famous compositions.

108 classmates attended, with 72 guests, including spouses, or those attending with family members. Many classmates feel that there should be a 70th reunion, as people are living much longer. The class is also planning a mini-reunion in New Orleans during February of 2021. Stay well!

I have enjoyed being your Class Secretary for the last five years, getting the chance to communicate with so many of you. Please continue to share your class news with Fred Frank, who took over Class of 1954 Secretarial duties as of July 1st.

Russ Reynolds

Class of 1954 Notes for May/June 2019 issue of YAM

We hope you registered for our big reunion May 23rd – 26th which Carl Shedd and his team have done a beautiful job of organizing. Many thanks to Carl!! We have a great group coming to be the first class to reunite in the gorgeous and impressive new Franklin College. We have lots of great activities planned with excellent talks, discussion groups, a top orchestra for dancing and a great cabaret evening. Do come if you’re vacillating!  Everything will be made easy for you!!

Allan Rabinowitz reported that our first class luncheon at the Yale Club in New York took place on January 14th. Nick Farnham, Fred Frank, Martin Smith, Dan Strickler and Allan attended.  Everyone found it enjoyable and a nice way to reconnect. With five people present, all with different backgrounds and life experiences, there was plenty to talk about. The plan is to have our class luncheon on the second Monday of each month. Please contact Allan at acrabinowitz@aol.com if you would like to attend.

Allan Rabinowitz wrote again the next month the he was pleased to report on our second monthly class luncheon at the NY City Yale Club on February 11. Again there were five attendees; Michael Armstrong, David Banker, Howard Brenner, Dan Strickler and Allan. They discussed football, including the super bowl, and Yale football, admission policies among the Ivy League schools, winter lifestyles, family events, classmates that they knew in common and just how they are all getting along. It was very congenial and they all enjoyed the hour and a half spent together.  Allan intends to continue to coordinate the monthly lunch as long as there is interest.

Elliot Novak told me that a health issue resulted in his moving to Israel since his older daughter, Pam (Yale 1983) moved there some years after graduating.  She is the only one of his children who is married and has three children of her own.  His oldest grandchild, Sarah, spent last summer in the USA on her own working as a camp counselor while living at 8,000 feet on the eastern slopes of the Continental Divide not far from Colorado Springs. After camp, she briefly visited a camp friend in Seattle followed by spending time in Portland, OR with his younger daughter, Nancy (who is an assistant professor at a community college in Washington state)  and his son, David, who is a male nurse.  They both live in Portland. While the distance and his health prevents him from attending the 65th Reunion of the Class of 1954, he sends his best wishes to our classmates.

Peter Grant wrote me that he and his wife are relatively well, although new skeletons for both of them would be greatly appreciated. Otherwise, they keep their orthopedic friends in business! Since retiring from the banking business he has been working with the Gates Family Stem Cell Research Center, part of University of Colorado Medical Center in East Down. He stays in touch with a number of our classmates, but travel is limited as he and his wife hobble a lot or use walkers.

Rodney D. Wood passed away on December 27th in Charlotte, NC. After Yale, Rod received a Master’s degree from Michigan State and a Ph D from Northwestern. Rod began his career as an instructor at the University of Nebraska, and he continued his career at Texas Instruments, Sherwin-Williams, and Bristol-Myers Squibb. He developed innovative solutions in areas ranging from fuel cell design to production efficiency and air quality. After retiring to Charlotte, Rod joined SCORE, the small business service organization. He created a workshop for beginning entrepreneurs in 1997 that still continues.

William J. Hickey, III passed away on January 16th. While at Yale he played baseball and hockey. He got a degree from Stamford University in 1959, and served as a 1st Lieutenant in the Air Force.

Robert “Bob” C. Busch died on February 1st in Wilmington, North Carolina. After graduation Bob served in the Field Artillery Corp.  His employment included Procter & Gamble, Diamond Shamrock, and he retired as Vice President Human Resources from Lord Corporation, a privately held company with global headquarters in MacGregor Park, Cary, North Carolina.  Before and into his retirement to Wilmington in 1997 Bob was active in civic, educational and charitable organizations and was Class Agent for many years.

Jerry W. Jones died on February 14th in Omaha, Nebraska.

We received the sad news that Allan Ryan passed away on March 2nd in Bridgehampton, NY. Allan spent his entire career in Municipal Finance at Smith Barney. He was a dedicated volunteer for and Trustee of The Boys Club of New York and The American Museum of Natural History, a lifelong artist and animal lover, whose precise work was shown in galleries from New York to Palm Beach to Nantucket, a tireless bodysurfer trained at Makapu’u Beach, enthusiastic backgammon player, expert bloody bull-maker, and premier pitcher for the Georgica Association summer softball games.

He was a loyal classmate and a great artist, with a happy smile for everyone!

Russ Reynolds, Secretary

*******

Class of 1954 Notes for March/April 2019 issue of Yale Alumni Magazine

The Class Council met in New York on November 8th, and at dinner, there were 35 in attendance. We discussed the forthcoming reunion, whether we should have a 70th reunion (yes!), starting a class lunch at the Yale Club, and plans for a 1954 mini reunion in New Orleans, in February 2021. Stay tuned for further events as we move forward!

David Banker is setting up a nominating committee to consider candidates for class officers for the ensuing five years following our 65th reunion in May. Any ideas or recommendations on this subject should be forwarded to me or to Charlie Johnson. There are a great many capable classmates and we are fortunate to have so many engaged classmates at this stage of our lives.

The Class of 1954 is in the planning stages of our next mini-reunion, which will be in late March, 2021, in New Orleans. John Franciscus, whose antecedents are deeply intertwined with the early history of New Orleans, will be the chair of this once in a lifetime event. Please plan to be in New Orleans with your wives, significant others, children, grandchildren (great grandchildren?), during the week of March 25th, 2021. Details will be coming in due course. Bourbon Street is better than ever.

Sylvia and Leonard Marx, our classmate, have generously endowed the Sylvia and Leonard Marx, Jr. Class of 1954 Professorship at the music school. The income from this fund supports professorships at the Yale School of Music. Well done Len!

Allan Rabinowitz has organized monthly class luncheons at the Yale Club in New York. You do not have to be a member of the Yale Club to attend. This is a way for us to come together in a friendly, welcoming atmosphere, stay connected and enjoy each other’s company. Please contact Allan Rabinowitz at acrabinowitz@aol.com or 212.838.8600 if you can attend.

Joseph Burnett wrote that he and his wife are in good health, living in Towson, Maryland, with a summer home in Gibson Island. Joseph is a retired Professor of Dermatology at Maryland Medical School. He and his wife made 53 research trips in 47 years, fortunately mostly as guests of his colleagues. His Yale and Harvard Medical School roommate, Peter Coggins is doing well. The Burnetts have a son, Mark, Yale ’92, who is a neurosurgeon in Austin, Texas.

Joe Grimes told me via email that he and his wife Polly have been living in Hanover, Vermont for 6 years, near the Dartmouth campus. He has formed a monthly luncheon group of 10 Yale grads.

Herbert Weil says that he was only at Yale one year. He had told NROTC that was what he wanted, then Tulane, a ten minute walk from home. He never planned to leave N.O. but his debate coach after his team won state talked him into applying to Yale and Harvard. Tulane treated him well with a Fulbright to France in 54 and a Wilson after the Navy. But more friends from Yale through the years kept in touch with him.

James Shelburne retired from cardiology in 2004. Since then he splits his time between France and Laguna Beach. James thinks we are in a very dangerous time in this country and, for that matter, in Europe as well. He says: “Our 5 year old President is testing the limits of the political infrastructure of this country. How could we possibly have done this!”

Excerpts from Dick Polich’s holiday card:

It’s time to thank all our friends who let us make their sculptures.
This year marks a change in direction for us. This year is different. We are announcing a return to the building on Route 17K in Rock Tavern.

Working there was exciting, and it was equally exciting for artists to see and approve their work in that great open, well-lit space. The move should happen in February, 2019 and then be celebrated at an open house at 17K in the spring. Stay tuned.

Andrew Spieker passed away on March 17, 2018 in Nevada.

Judy McLane, wife of Tom McLane, passed away in New Canaan in late November, and a beautiful memorial service was held at St. Mark’s church in New Canaan on December 1st. Tom’s son, Brad, a Yale graduate, gave an eloquent tribute to his wonderful mother. Among the classmates in attendance were Joel and Jean Smilow, Jim and Nancy Monde, Hugh Ravenscroft and his daughter Lael, Peter Coughlan, Debbie and Russ Reynolds, and Nancy Watson, wife of the late Charlie Watson. Ash and Madeline Gulliver and Al Atherton, new members of the Whiffenpoofs of 1954, were also in attendance.

Bob “Blaster” Bryan died on December 12th in Canada. Bob was an inspiring leader who started Quebec Labrador Foundation to minister to the needy all over Canada and beyond. He was a legendary selfless servant who piloted his own plane through thick and thin to help people who would have no idea he was coming. He recorded several “Bert and I” albums in the 1960’s and 1970’s with Marshall Dodge, featuring dry humor and images of the Maine farmer, woodsman and fisherman.

Charles Ivan Wurster, Jr. died on December 19th. Chuck was Co-Founder of Floscan Instruments and Vice President of RacerMate. The companies produced both marine and aviation fuel flow monitoring equipment (Floscan) and indoor bicycle training equipment (CompuTrainer and Velotron). Chuck said many times that one of his proudest life accomplishments was that the company could support 53 families, many of whom were recent immigrants to the U.S.

Russ Reynolds, Secretary

Class of 1954 Notes for January/February 2019 issue of YAM

Be sure to sign up for fantastic reunion in Franklin College, May 23 – 26, 2019!

 Dave Murray submitted this note: Subsequent to open-heart surgery and a cardiac ablation procedure, it seemed appropriate to compete in the US Masters Swimming Spring Nationals meet held in Indianapolis.  Nearly 2,400 swimmers participated in the meet including our youngest grandson, Nathan, who swam in the 2016 Olympic Trials, and is now in his 3rd year at Tennessee in the South East Conference.  I managed to take home gold medals in the 85-89 age group for the 500 and 1,000 yards Freestyle events and a 4th in the 200 yards Free.  Not fast times, but great fun being back in the water again.

George Spaeth says, how lucky we are to have some places we humans, and especially we men, have not yet ruined. Homo is certainly not sapiens. Our motto is Lux et Veritas. Really, needed, in the past and now. Admittedly truth is not always easy to define, or find, but the search for it has been one of our species’ finest characteristics – and many have searched, and many are still searching – Hooray! But when those with vast power not only consistently lie but don’t even believe the truth is a good thing to try for all of us who believe differently must be strong in supporting truth and those who try to live by truth.

Norm Burger submitted this note: I’m pleased there is a third generation of Burgers at Yale. My son Neil, ’85, and now Lukas, a Junior.

In the fall Tom McLane attended a wonderful celebration of Charlie Watson‘s life hosted by Nancy and their family. A number of classmates were there including Harris Ashton, Murray Buttner, John Newsome, Joel Smilow, and Chick Treadway. It was a special gathering.

William Corson Ellis passed away on August, 27th in Chicago. After graduating from Yale he received a commission as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force. He received his wings in 1955 and was assigned to Laredo Air Force Base in Texas.  He became a squadron commander and continued to fly single engine jet aircraft. By the end of his Air Force career, Bill had reached the rank of Captain. In 1957, upon returning to Chicago, he married his wife Titia and began a career in business, first in manufacturing and finance, followed by investment and British merchant banking. In 1976, Bill left the business world to return to school and enrolled in the doctorate program in counseling Psychology at Northwestern University, where he and Titia received their PhDs in 1982. For the next fourteen years, Bill and Titia each had their own private clinical practice as well as a joint family practice in the Chicago area. Bill also taught at the Lake Forest Graduate School of Management 1985-1990. They moved to Santa Fe, NM in 1990. In 2001, Bill and Titia moved to Woodstock, VT, to be closer to their daughter Robin and her family. Bill continued his love of painting, leaving behind an impressive collection of beautiful oil landscapes. He often talked about his mother, who taught her sons that there was a world to see and explore, that it was never too late to learn new things, and to always follow your dreams.

Michael R. Linburn passed away September 2nd. He had retired in 2016 to travel and spend time with family, after 25 years with Morse Asset Management, where he was a Financial Advisor and Chief Compliance Officer. He served on the Vestry of The Church of the Incarnation in New York City as Treasurer and also on the Board of Health Advocates for Older People, a non-profit organization, helping seniors to stay fit and healthy so as to remain independent.

John Anthony Nevin, known as Tony, died on September 23rd of pancreatic cancer. After completing graduate studies at Columbia University, Tony held faculty positions at Swarthmore College, Columbia University, and the University of New Hampshire. In his research, he developed the concept of behavioral momentum — the tendency for ongoing, repeated action to persist in the face of disruptions or challenges — and showed that persistence depends on rewards for that action, in much the same way as the persistence of the motion of a physical object depends on its inertial mass. As a young man, he served for two years on a Coast Guard buoy tender based in Bristol, Rhode Island and fell in love with the region. He was introduced to Martha’s Vineyard by his wife 20 years later, and they built a summer home there. When they retired from academic life the Vineyard became their year-round home.

Bill Jarrett reported that his close friend John Lynn Carr passed away on October 8th in Georgia. Bill said that he met his wife Carol while attending a “Practical Christianity” seminar, in their local church, which was a program that John developed. After graduating from Yale Divinity School in 1957, John became an ordained minister in the United Methodist Church and worked in churches in Ohio and Indiana. He and his wife Adrienne developed and then published a series of church education materials, and were recruited by Candler School of Theology, where they taught adult education from 1976 to 1998. They retired to the north Georgia mountains, where they enjoyed hosting family, friends and colleagues. John was an avid fan of the Atlanta Braves.

Russ Reynolds, Secretary

Class of 1954 Notes for November/December issue of Yale Alumni Magazine

Frank Hirsch and his wife Shirley (of seven years now) still live 23 miles out of Santa Fe, NM and are enjoying life. He is now president of the SF Symphony and able to shoot under his age from the senior tees.  Shirley is now on her second book. If it is published before the 65th reunion next year they may also make it a book tour!

Elliott Novak is living in Israel with his daughter. He will not be attending our 65th reunion next year due to distance and health. Back when he was head photographer for the Yale Daily News, he remembers covering a 50th Reunion where Col. Robert R. McCormick, who was a primary owner and publisher of the Chicago Tribune newspaper, was attending.  In those days, his camera was a big Speed Graphic press camera complete with flash bulbs.  The Colonel wore black gloves on his hands.  Elliott had to take multiple photos to make sure he got at least one good one. The Colonel made sure he did it as fast as possible with that big clumsy camera and urged Elliott “to hurry up and get my pictures taken!  Elliott doubts that he had much patience even in his younger days! That would have been in 1953 since Yale senior class typically passed down their responsibilities to Yale juniors whether you were talking about the Whiffs, the Senior Societies, Captain of the football team, etc.  The Colonel graduated in the Class of 1903!

Elliott’s most famous assignment was taking photos of Robert Frost when he was a Visiting Fellow at Pierson College and already a world famous poet.

The existing Yale Whiffenpoofs, supplemented by some serious ringers who have been recruited in recent years, convened in Islesboro, Maine in late June. The group performed several concerts for the benefit of local charities and also sailed over to North Haven, Maine, where Jonathan Bush (1953) hosted a songfest of our group plus two others. In addition, Charlie Johnson, hosted the group in Nantucket for four days in mid-September. The group meets several times a year at various locations endeavoring to keep the tradition going as well as supporting various worthwhile causes. The wives say we have improved in the past two years! Are they kidding?!

Dick Picard passed away in Phoenix on June 18th. He earned an MBA from Harvard was a pioneer and leader in the computer industry, working at GE, IBM, Smith Barney, American Express and ATMS in Arizona. He was most remembered for his annual office Halloween parties. He and his late wife Mary were married for 62 years.

Charles Greenough Watson passed away on July 26th in Vero Beach, Florida. Following Yale, he served in the U.S. Army as an Artillery Officer in the 11th Airborne Division, in Munich, Germany. In 1996, he retired as a Managing Partner of Brundage, Story & Rose, which at the time was one of the country’s oldest investment advisory firms. He was an active Yale alumnus, as an Alumni Class Agent, former class Treasurer and former class Secretary.

Russ Reynolds, Secretary

Class of 1954 Notes for September/October issue of Yale Alumni Magazine

Four of the Whiffenpoofs of 1954, supplemented by 4 ringers, with 5 wives, totaling 13, convened at Russ Reynolds’ home in Islesboro. Maine for 5 days in late June. The group consisted of Bruce Meacham, Peter Coughlan, Hugh Ravenscroft and Russ Reynolds.  Newer additions were Jim Doak, Ash Gulliver, Al Atherton, and John Burke, Director.  The group sang four concerts including a benefit at the Islesboro Community House, and also sailed to North Haven, Maine for a songfest at the home of Jonathan Bush, Whiffenpoof of 1953, his quartet, and an another a capella group from Vinalhaven, Maine. It was very difficult to tell which group excelled since they were all so good!! The Islesboro group concluded with two songs at the Sunday service of Christ Church of Dark Harbor in Islesboro.

Our 65th reunion plans are jelling nicely, thanks to Carl Shedd’s Chairmanship of the reunion which will be on Memorial Day weekend, 2019, headquartered in the beautiful new Franklin College. I recently had lunch with Carl to discuss his plans. Carl has enlisted Jim Monde, Pim Epler, Carl Loucks, and Dick Bell as members of his committee, with others expected to join shortly. If anyone is interested in helping run what will be a wonderful event in New Haven, please let Carl or me know. By the way, plan your spring around attending the reunion. The reunion will be free of charge to all classmates and guests! You won’t want to miss it. Carl is already putting together an interesting program and a fantastic directory. Please let Carl know if you have any great ideas for speakers, entertainment, recreation, good food, etc. It will be fabulous.

Fred Frank has again graciously agreed to head our Class of 1954 Reunion gift for our next reunion which will hopefully once again set a world record for giving at a 65th reunion. You will be hearing more about this from Fred, but please save a big wad for this most important reunion gift. Where would we all be today if we had not gone to Yale? We have a lot to be thankful for!!!

Joel Smilow received the KIPP Foundation’s Giving Tree Award at their National Board Dinner in New York in May. Created in 2006, this annual award honors individuals and families whose generosity has been integral to KIPP’s growth and success. This was in recognition of Joel’s investment in KIPP DC three years ago. The Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP) is a nationwide network of free open-enrollment college-preparatory schools in under-resourced communities throughout the United States. KIPP schools are usually established under state charter school laws, and KIPP is America’s largest network of charter schools.

Readers of the May/June YAM will have already noticed that amongst the favorite paintings selected by Jock Reynolds, retiring Art Gallery director of the Yale University Art Gallery, are two promised gifts by our classmate, William Bernhard and his wife Catherine G. Cahill:

Orchard Bordered by Cypresses by Vincent Van Gogh; and La Rue Lepic by the nineteen year old Pablo Picasso.

Chick Lanphier phoned recently and sounded in good spirits, probably because he lives in Hawaii. He recommends the climate there for all kinds of reasons, and loves to have visitors.

Bob Redpath wrote President Peter Salovey a letter outlining the process he used to produce his two volume bibliography of our classmates’ publications. President Salovey sent him the following response: Dear Mr. Redpath, thank you for your letter outlining the methodology you used for the special two volume set that was published for your sixtieth reunion. It is truly impressive that you performed statistical analysis on the lifetime publications of your class. I have shared your note with colleagues who may have an interest in this work. As you know, many reunion classes look for ideas for capstone projects such as this to mark their milestone. The Yale Alumni Association will let the reunion planning committees know of your efforts. I am grateful for all that you do for Yale and send best wishes from campus. With warm regards, Peter Salovey.

Murray S. Vernon, Jr. passed away June 26th in Chagrin Falls, Ohio. In October of 1954 he joined the US Air Force as a navigator and served until his honorable discharge.  Murray was an avid golfer and squash enthusiast and won numerous championships in Connecticut and New York.  He also enjoyed boating and fishing on Long Island Sound with his family. Murray was the “Fun Uncle” to many people in his life.

Sibley Towner passed away on May 23rd after a prolonged battle with Parkinson’s disease. After attending Yale Divinity School, he spent three years on the mission field teaching   at Sidon School for Boys in Sidon, Lebanon. He served as Professor of Old Testament at various Presbyterian seminaries across the United States. He spent his life as an Old Testament scholar and was popular as a preacher, teacher, speaker and writer.

Russ Reynolds, Secretary

Class of 1954 Notes for July/August issue of Yale Alumni Magazine

On Friday, April 20th, some of our classmates attended the Sterling Fellows meetings at Yale, followed by a lavish reception and dinner in the ballroom of the Yale Divinity School. There were sessions on athletics, artificial intelligence, the medical school, the state of New Haven, Yale’s future, etc. It was well attended and well executed. Classmates in attendance included Fred Frank, Allan Rabinowitz, and myself.

Bruce Alexander and Peter Salovey noted that the State of Connecticut is not in great shape financially. They wonder whether Yale can be constructive in working with various officials around the state in getting Connecticut back on the right track (a much bigger job than just dealing with New Haven!). All in all it was an excellent event with a good feeling.

Jay Greer reports that he and Ellie have been busy with dentists, doctors and whatever. “We aren’t unwell but seem to need a lot of maintenance – rather like old cars.”  Of late he’s been much caught up in the hullabaloo that followed the latest school shooting in Florida. Although he is a life-long shooter, this was really distressing, especially the pusillanimous responses from the politicians and the usual “more guns would have prevented this” nonsense from the NRA. The President wasn’t very helpful either. He was moved to write another letter to the Editor of the New York Times.  Much to his surprise, this one got printed – a first for him. Here’s a link to it: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/24/opinion/sunday/gun-control.html. He is not sure it will move anyone who counts, but it helps clarify his own thinking and is cheaper and more effective than psychotherapy.  Maybe the outpouring from a lot of the country’s youth and some moderately robust action by some larger corporations will have a beneficial effect. He certainly hopes so.

Richard Murphy reports that he and Bill Day get together for lunch periodically. Reeking with nostalgia, they regale each other with memories about their illustrious classmates and about their past relationships with members of the Senate and House of Representatives in the good old days when comity and collegiality prevailed in Congress. Both of them are in good health for octogenarians.

Leonard Marx wrote me to let me know that his wife Sylvia is attending a retirement luncheon in New Haven for Joan Panetti. Their daughter Nancy (’84) is often in New Haven since Sarah Better (their granddaughter) is a junior and Nancy is the newly elected Chairman of the Yale University Library Council. Their thought is to let Nancy work with Dean Blocker to select the new recipient for the class chair.

Don’t forget that our Class Council will meet in New York at the Links Club on Thursday, November 8th at 4:00 pm, followed by dinner, which includes spouses and dates. Official notices will be sent out. Classmates who are interested in joining the Class Council are encouraged to put their hand up, so please don’t be bashful about letting me know if you would like to join this august group. We will have our Class of 1954 Skybox fully equipped with all kinds of tempting beverages and food at the Yale / Princeton game on Saturday, November 10th. Following the game, we will once again convene at the Smilow Field House for a post game celebration and reception.

As you all know, Bob Redpath has done an incredible job in compiling an impressive list of all of the major books and publications created by our classmates over the past 60 plus years. We have sent a courtesy set to President Salovey, as well as to the Sterling Memorial Library. Many classmates have ordered copies of the summary. Thanks again Bob, for an incredible job.

Carl Shedd is heading our reunion committee for our 65th reunion, which will be in May, 2019. Please get in touch with Carl if you have any favorite foods, songs, or any great ideas for entertainment. We already have some good ideas but can use more. The good news is that we will be based in Yale’s most beautiful college, Franklin, which will be used by our class for the first time as a reunion headquarters.

Thomas Briggs died March 20th after a very brief and sudden illness. He received his Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. He researched and taught in the medical, nursing and pharmacy schools for almost thirty years. His son Thomas (’79) reported that upon retiring as a biochemistry professor at the University of Oklahoma Medical School, he took up a new “career” as a dedicated runner. He completed marathons in all fifty states and all seven continents, and was a podium finisher in his age group at Boston. He was proud of his class and he enjoyed attending reunions over the years.

Russ Reynolds, Secretary

Class of 1954 Notes for May/June issue of Yale Alumni Magazine

Blair LeRoy reported that he and Linda celebrated their 25th anniversary with a trip to London, Paris and southern France, part with “Roads Scholars” and part in a rental car for a week. A family trip to Hawaii solved his travel bug for a while. He retired 16 years ago from group practice but continues to volunteer medical care at Community Volunteers in Medicine. He and Linda play various sports to keep active. He was fortunate to register at second place in the national 85 and over clay court tennis double at Pinehurst in 2016. Now he plays for fun.

George Spaeth shared that he has recently joined the ranks of those of us who are great grandfathers. His grandson made a “Living Memoir” for him – a 20 minute video that he is thrilled to be able to pass on to his descendants and also to others. He recommends the idea!

Allan Rabinowitz attended the mini-reunion in London in October with his wife Leah, after spending 11 days in France to see Le Corbusier’s architecture.

Joel Smilow fell at his home in Connecticut in February and had to have a partial hip replacement as a result. His recovery is going well. It’s hard to keep a good man down!

David McBrayer reported that his beloved wife, Mary Helen, who gave up so much by moving so often, but enthusiastically travelled with him around the world during his career, passed away last October. in addition to her faithful responsibilities as a mother she was a volunteer in many activities including the Young Life ministry in California, Georgia, and Maryland, helped with horseback riding for the handicapped and as a third-grade art teacher in a school in Ohio, editor of an American Women’s Club update of its “Welcome to Karachi” guidebook, and, according to many wonderful notes from friends upon learning of her passing, was a true source of inspiration and enjoyment. He misses her cheerful, always interested and involved disposition, as do many good friends scattered among the places they lived and visited over the years, but he has absolute confidence she is now rejoicing with God! He has decided to move to a retirement community in Houston, a few miles from their home for the last 19 years in Katy, Texas.

Murray Buttner phoned in recently to say that he had spoken to Paul Pesek’s wife, who says Paul is in an assisted living facility. Paul is of course interested in staying in touch with us, and can be reached at the Trails of Orono, 875 Wayzata Boulevard, Wayzata, MN 55391. We all wish Paul the very best.

Tom McLane informed me that Alfred Lewis died on January 26th at Westchester Medical Center. While at Yale, he joined the ROTC. Upon graduation he served on active duty with the U.S. Army for two years and in the standby reserve until he was honorably discharged as a 1st Lieutenant in 1962. He was married to Claire Campbell Davidson of Montreal, Canada in 1959. The couple lived in Tuxedo Park, New York where he was active in civic circles. In 1984 he married Corinna (Nina) Sanford Ashley and the couple made their home in Warwick. Among his recreational passions were golf, pheasant hunting, skiing, tennis, sailing and backgammon. He was an opera buff and sports car enthusiast. Summers he enjoyed puffing on his pipe while mowing woodland trails and driving farm fields on his lawn tractor.

Jim Killam died on February 3, 2018 in Massachusetts.  After Yale, Jim enlisted in the Army and achieved the rank of Captain. He was an artillery instructor at Fort Sill in Oklahoma. Jim graduated from Boston University Law School in 1959. He joined his father’s legal practice in Melrose, MA and they founded the Law Offices of Killam and Killam. He served on several boards in Massachusetts and worked for Governor John Volpe. He served as a Judge in the Malden District Court and as a visiting justice in courts throughout eastern Massachusetts and retired after 20 years of service in 1992. His son David asked that we mention how happy he was to have been able to reconnect with so many classmates at The Game last fall. “The Judge” will be sorely missed but he had a great run and certainly was proud to be a member of the glorious Class of ’54.

Keep us posted!

Russ Reynolds, Secretary­

Class Notes March-April 2018

The Class Council met at the Links in New York in November, and there were 38 for dinner. The newest member of the Class Council is Frank Smith. Two years ago he ventured out of the quiet life in the Midwest to attend his first Yale-Harvard football game since 1958 with Murray and Carole Buttner. To his good fortune they invited Sukey Wagner, widow of Rodney Wagner, to join them. Yale lost, but that weekend started a wonderful new adventure.

In the last two years Frank and Sukey have traveled a lot and have been fortunate to get together with many classmates and spouses along the way: The Buttners, Chick Treadway, Ike and Trudy Russell, Pete and CC Coggins, Stan Meacham, Bob and Cecily Redpath, Jim Anthony, Mark Mello, Dan Strickler, Bill and Jane Hopewell and Shelby and Estie Pruett.

The Yale Harvard game climaxed his year – a thoroughly convincing Yale victory. Terrific to share it with teammates Harris Ashton, Mike Armstrong, and Jim Killam. And good to be there with Joel Smilow and Irving Jensen, who have given so much to Yale football.

Charlie Johnson received the Yale Medal. He is the fifth member of our class to do so. The Whiffenpoofs of 1954 performed in the Smilow Field House following the game. Our reception included former President Rick Levin, President Peter Salovey, and wives, Tom Beckett, the retiring Athletic Director, Coach Tony Reno and the captain of this year’s triumphant team.

I sent a copy of Bob Redpath’s Published Contributions of the Class of 1954 to President Peter Salovey, and he responded with this note: Thank you for your letter on behalf of the Class of 1954 and for the two volumes of published contributions from your class. It is remarkable what you and the members of your class have accomplished over the last 63 years. I will proudly display these volumes in my library at home.”

So far we have a had good response for orders of the Published Contributions of the Yale Class of 1954, a 1954 Class Council Project, Volumes I and II. Copies are still available.  Please send your address and a check for $65 made out to Lexington Graphics to BuQuet Glynn, Lexington Graphics, 76 Bedford Street, Lexington, MA 02420.

Carl Shedd, who has been one of the most industrious, creative and hard-working of our illustrious classmates, manages our Class of 1954 website, published directories, and has agreed to chair our 65th reunion in the spring of 2019. This may not be the last reunion. Joel Smilow has volunteered to chair our 75th! Please stay in touch with great ideas. The sky’s the limit!

Murray Buttner phoned in recently to say that he had spoken to Paul Pesek’s wife, who says Paul is in an assisted living facility. Paul is of course interested in staying in touch with us, and can be reached at The Trails of Orono, 875 Wayzata Boulevard, Wayzata, MN 55391. We all wish Paul the very best.

Russell Voisin and Jeanne spend half the year in their winter home on Dauphin Island, AL,. They enjoy extensive overseas travel following his retirement from Rand McNally in 2000.

Rod Wood let me know that his health is good, and he hopes to make the reunion in 2019.

Joseph Gromults, Jr. manages yard work, household chores, lots of reading, some travel, hobbies, and of course, doctor visits!

Bob Martin was treated for cancer of the tongue early in the year, which went well until he fell and broke his left arm in three places!

James “Buddy” Thompson sent me an article about his family’s bourbon business and how they are releasing a 45-year-old bourbon in March, with 90% of the proceeds going to the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation and 10% going to the Frazier History Museum. The article can be found here: http://www.gobourbon.com/finalreservethompsonbrother/

I was informed that Sydney Scull Souter died on June 22nd, 2015 in Charleston, SC.

Thomas V. Sawtell died on March 27th in Branford.

 James McNeely died in Maine on July 27th. He was a prominent Boston architect, noted for his historic renovation of Beacon Hill townhouses. He served in the U.S. Army in Japan before getting his masters from Yale in 1960. He began his career as the protégé of the late Paul Rudolph, head of the Yale School of Architecture, before opening his own practice in 1974. He renovated over 150 19th century homes during his career, in addition to institutions and businesses on Beacon Hill and Back Bay.

 Frank Mallory died on November 7th. He was a National Science Foundation pre-doctoral fellow at the California Institute of Technology, where he received his Ph.D. in 1958. Frank went to Bryn Mawr College as Assistant Professor of Chemistry in 1957, became Associate Professor in 1963 and Professor in 1969. Frank was the longest-serving member of the faculty in the history of Bryn Mawr. He taught courses on organic chemistry, at both the graduate and undergraduate levels.

David Cohen informed me that Burton Peck passed away in Palm Beach Gardens on November 8th. Burton served in the Air Force before starting his 35 year career at IBM. He suffered a severe case of Guillian Barre Syndrome which left him confined to a wheelchair but he continued to rise through the ranks at IBM after his illness and spearheaded IBM’s efforts to train and employ workers with disabilities.

David Harned died on November 10th. He received his Ph.D. from Yale and his B.D. from Yale Divinity School. David was ordained into the Lutheran Church in 1961. He taught at Yale, Williams College, Smith College and UVA, for 13 years until 1980.

Elmore Amerhein “Jack” Kindel, Jr., died on November 22nd. Jack was a 4th generation Cincinnati physician. Jack had many interests, including amateur magic, fine arts and sports.

Leigh Quinn reported that Owen Haydn Owens, Jr. died on December 29th in Stuart, Florida. He lived in Connecticut before moving to Stuart 24 years ago. He played hockey all four years at Yale.

Keep us posted!

Russ Reynolds, Secretary

Notes for January -February 2018 YAM

London Mini-Reunion

23 members of the Class of 1954, including spouses, two enthusiastic widows and one elegant daughter, convened in London on October 22nd for a week which ended on Friday the 27th. Organized by our hardworking classmate Ted Armbrecht, the group consisted of Ted and Calvert Armbrecht, Rita Cleary and her daughter Sharon, Charlie and Ann Johnson, Bob and Joanna Martin, Peter and Polly Millard, Peter and Naomi Rosenblatt, Russ and Debbie Reynolds, Alan and Leah Rabinowitz, Sallye Stevenson, Dan and Ellen Strickler, and Bob and Cecily Redpath. The group made the beautiful Goring hotel headquarters for six days. We enjoyed tours of Westminster Abbey, the Tower of London, the Museum of the Tudor ship Mary Rose and HMS Victory at Portsmouth Naval Base, the Churchill War Rooms, the Imperial War Museum, and a number of other interesting attractions. We had dinners at a couple of noisy pubs, a beautiful club, and at the Goring Hotel. Everyone felt the trip was fun, well organized and managed at a reasonable price. Thanks again to Ted Armbrecht and his team for putting all this together so well.

Myron Conovitz’s granddaughter, Liliane M. Lindsay ’18, spent her first two college summers abroad, first studying environmental issues and large animal management in Tanzania, and then working at a biofuel start-up in Tel Aviv during the summer of 2016.  Lily is an enthusiastic member of the Saybrook community, following in her grandfather’s footsteps in that regard, and has enjoyed the marvelous Yale support network abroad on two continents, as well as here in the U.S.  She approaches senior year with a sense of accomplishment and has treasured her time on campus, now tinged with the natural sadness derived from knowing that her Yale College experience will end in June.

Debbie and I attended the dedication ceremony of the new Franklin and Murray colleges on October 6th. Charlie Johnson made the incredible commitment of $250 million to spearhead this effort. Supported also by other lead donors, it has resulted in two of the most beautifully designed and well functioning buildings in the world of education. President Peter Salovey gave a fine talk dedicating the buildings, accompanied by comments from Robert Stern, the architect, Ed Bass, another lead donor, and the heads of the new colleges.   Among our classmates who I saw with wives were Harris Ashton, Murray Buttner, and Howard Brenner. Yale is in a much stronger position now that these gorgeous new residential colleges have been completed. They fit into the campus perfectly and look like they’ve always been there. Another milestone for our class, thanks to Charlie’s foresight, and generosity!

 Bob Redpath has done a tremendous job compiling a huge survey of the published works of 267 classmates.  Publications are listed by profession and the publication patterns between professions are compared. There are also sections devoted to publications about family history, second careers and hobbies, and Yale. This comprehensive two volume project supported by the Class Council will be placed in the Sterling Memorial Library. Interested classmates may purchase it for $49. Mail check made out to Lexington Graphics to Kim Lambertson, RSR partners, 600 Steamboat Rd., Greenwich, CT  06830-7181.  Bob’s informative commentary is available on line at Y54.org. Purchase details will also be mailed to classmates and widows shortly.

Dick Thornburgh told me that he recently celebrated his 85th Birthday at PNC Park with his beloved Pittsburgh Pirates, with his entire family in attendance, along with several Yale alumni. A thrill for everyone was a reading of a Birthday greeting from his old boss, President George H.W. Bush who said “Take it from this 93 year old – 85 is spring chicken age”.

Joel Smilow is funding a program in Palm Desert, CA, which will provide 40 annual scholarships, 20 to high school grads belonging to the Coachella Valley Boys & Girls Club, and 20 to employees or employees’ children at the two clubs he belongs to.

Mike Armstrong sadly had to drop out of the London mini-reunion trip due to some health issues but he sounds fine and reports that he is getting good care and we all hope that he will be fine very soon.

Obie Clifford’s third memorial service was held at the Dutch Reform Church in Bronxville, New York on September 22nd. In attendance were a number of our classmates, including Joel Smilow, Charlie Johnson, Howard Brenner, Alan Rabinowitz, Mike Armstrong, Harris Ashton, Hugh Ravenscroft, Peter Coughlan, Bruce Meacham, Tom McLane, Jim Monde, myself and others. Ten members of the Whiffenpoofs of 1954 (augmented slightly from neighboring classes) sang at the reception.

Kendall B. Smith died on his 84th birthday, June 4th, 2016. An avid outdoorsman, he enjoyed skiing, sailing, hiking and mountain climbing. During his time at Yale he fell in love with the woman he would live with until her death in 2012 and after returning from Korea he fell in love with San Francisco. In 2014 he remarried to his sweetheart from when he was a freshman at Yale. During his life and career as an architect he worked on some notable civic works.

Dr. Joseph “Buzz” Wierzbinski died on September 1st. Following Yale Medical School, he served as a Lt. Colonel in the U.S. Army Medical Service 43rd M*A*S*H* unit in Korea and during the Vietnam war in South Korea. He was also an assistant surgical consultant to the Surgeon General in Washington, and served in the Connecticut Army National Guard. He and his wife Jeannine lived in Madison and experienced numerous adventures during their world travels.

Clark Bridgman died on September 9th in Rhode Island. He worked in engineering and research related fields for Aerojet General and the Grumman Corporation, where he was a member of the launch team for all of the Apollo manned missions to the moon. Following his retirement from Grumman he designed and built the family home in Red Hook, NY, and moved to Wakefield, Rhode Island in 2006.

Edward L. Norton, III died on September 28th. He lived most of his life in Greenwich, Connecticut, but in later years moved to Park City, Utah. He was an All-American swimmer on Yale’s undefeated swimming team at the time. He served his country in the United States Army and worked at Pepsi Bottling Company for over 20 years.

Russ Reynolds, Secretary

Class of 1954 Notes for November/December 2017

Dick Polich’s foundry, Polich Tallix, moved four miles to Walden, NY in September, after 21 years in Rock Tavern. The new location has 70,000 square feet of production space on 32 acres of land… Plenty of room for expansion and a sculpture garden!

Elliott Novak informed me that he recently moved from Concord, MA to Israel, where his older daughter Pam (Yale class of ’83) has lived for many years. He reports that the climate there is much like northern Arizona – i.e. very hot and very dry the year round –not at all like New England where he used to sail mainly in Marblehead, MA and hike the Whites in the summer and ski in the winter mostly in northern NH on weekends and holidays.

Kinvin Wroth reports that he has been appointed Professor of Law Emeritus at Vermont Law School effective July 1, 2017. Kinvin joined the Vermont faculty on July 1, 1996, serving as Dean and then President and Dean until June 30, 2004, and continuing as Professor of Law until his retirement on June 30, 2017.  Previously, He had been a faculty member at the Dickinson School of Law, a Research Associate at the Harvard Law School, a Research Fellow at Harvard’s Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History, and a faculty member at the University of Maine School of Law, where he served as Dean from 1980 until 1990.  Kinvin and his wife, Dee, live in Sharon, Vermont.

Bill Coke was diagnosed with Parkinson’s several years ago but it is fairly benign – no shaking hands or head. He is just a little unsteady on his feet and it precludes him from traveling, which Fletch and he did extensively.  He is glad they went when they could. Since retirement, he has been busy with civic things in and around Nashville is still active at Christ Church Cathedral which is the Cathedral for the Episcopal Diocese of Tennessee.

Charlie Johnson will receive the Yale Medal in November. Presented by the AYA, the Yale Medal recognizes and honors outstanding individual service to the university. A great honor for our class! He is an active and loyal alumnus whose extraordinary devotion has transformed the physical campus, shaped academic programs in international relations, enhanced athletic experiences, and inspired class engagement. With a commitment to expanding access to Yale College, his landmark gift in 2013 enabled the construction of two new residential colleges, a momentous milestone in the university’s history. In establishing the Johnson Center for the Study of American Diplomacy in 2011 as part of Yale’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, the alumnus provided a home both for the Kissinger Archives as well as for advanced teaching and scholarship in diplomatic history. The center’s work is complemented by his support of the Brady-Johnson Program in Grand Strategy, which promotes effective leadership in a complex and globalized world. Johnson has also supported renovations of the Yale Bowl and the creation of Yale’s first all-season outdoor athletics field while serving many years on his Class Council and Reunion Gift Committees, and currently as Class Treasurer.

Donald “Obie” Clifford died on August 8th in Mount Kisco, NY. He got his MBA from Harvard Business School, and later joined McKinsey in New York, where he worked as a management consultant for 25 years. At McKinsey he coined the term “threshold companies.” He co-authored a best-selling book about midsize companies with Richard Cavanaugh: The Winning Performance: How America’s High-Growth Midsize Companies Succeed. After retiring from McKinsey in 1984, Obie spent his remaining years consulting for threshold companies and giving generously of his time and resources as a board member for many institutions, most notably The American Museum of Natural History and the Quebec Labrador Foundation.  In enumerating the crowning achievements of his life, Obie always began with the fact that he won the hand of Mary Lawrence, whom he loved with complete abandon from the age of fourteen. Without question, his second most valued achievement was overseeing the creation of The Wild Center, a nationally renowned natural history museum that he co-founded with Elizabeth Lowe in 1998. The Wild Center hosted a Free Day for local residents on August 25th, which would have been his 85th Birthday. He and his family would be grateful for tributes in his honor to go to The Wild Center in Tupper Lake, N.Y.

We hope to see you at the Harvard game on November 18th. Please send all your news, and remember, Be Positive, Be Grateful, and Be of Service!

Russ Reynolds, Secretary

Class of 1954 Notes for September/October 2017

As you all know, we are having a mini-reunion of the Class of 1954 in London October 22nd – 27th. The brief itinerary is as follows:

Sunday, October 22nd – Arrivals, Welcome Dinner

Monday, October 23rd – Private guided tour of the Tower of London and Westminster Abbey

Tuesday, October 24th – Option 1 – clipper boat ride to Greenwich – Royal Astrological Observatory, Naval Museum, Art Museum and the Cutty Sark ship, Option 2 –  coach transportation to Portsmouth to visit the Mary Rose and Mary Rose Museum, along with HMS Victory.

Wednesday, October 25th – Guided tours of the Imperial War Room and Churchill War Rooms

Thursday, October 26th – day at leisure, farewell dinner

Friday, October 27th – Departure

 A number of classmates and spouses, as well as widows have registered. We hope you are joining the group for five days of sightseeing and general camaraderie in a great setting in one of the world’s most exciting cities. We hope to see you in London! It is not too late to register. Contact me at rsr@rsrpartners.com or Ted Armbrecht at ecajr345@gmail.com to register.

Dan Swisher was kind enough to point out to me that in a previous edition of the class notes I referred to his wife with the wrong name. Dan is still married to Senta and they are great. Sorry for the error, Senta!

Mason Willrich has been researching and writing a book, Modernizing America’s Electricity Infrastructure, that will be released in September and is available for advance purchase from Amazon. The book develops a comprehensive strategy for modernizing our aging electric infrastructure end-to-end, while ensuring affordable, reliable, secure, and environmentally sustainable electricity services.

 Leonard Marx reported that he and his wife decided to buy a condo in downtown Greenwich in order to “simplify their lives”, but after they bought it and got serious about moving, decided not to, and stayed where they had been, figuring that the move might further complicate their lives! Smart people! Len and Sylvia have traveled extensively on “Silver Whisper”, and also enjoyed various trips in the Caribbean.

George Langworthy reported that he traveled to Germany for his son George Jr.’s wedding, as the bride’s home town is a small town in Bavaria. The church where they wedding took place was constructed in 1593, and the reception was held at Castle Neuburg on the Kammel, a 15th century castle.

Please pass on your news, no matter how big or small, for the Class Notes. Everyone is interested in what we are all doing.

Anneliese Meyer informed me that her husband, John W. Meader, Jr. passed away on July 26, 2016, in Illinois, after 36 years of marriage.

 Irving Jensen phoned me to say that his beloved wife Carolyn “Tigger” passed away on June 12th after a very long illness, in Sioux City, Iowa. Tigger, given her nickname for her energetic nature as a child, lived up to her moniker as an active member of her community, serving as president of the Clark Elementary School PTA, president of PEO Chapter LD, president of Portfolio Book Club, and president of Questers Antique Study Club. Tigger also was on the board of the Sioux City Art Center, Girl Scouts, was part of the Peace Project to beautify Sioux City by planting trees, an active member of the Junior League, and was instrumental in bringing the Freedom Train to Sioux City. She was a longtime member of the Okoboji Yacht Club and a champion Y class sailor. Tigger had been a longtime member of Our Saviors Lutheran Church and was currently a member of First Presbyterian Church. For her dedication to her community, Tigger was awarded an honorary doctorate from Morningside College in Sioux City in May 2011.

George Ervin Lamb died in Seattle on April 3, 2017. He attended Yale University on a four-year scholarship and upon graduation went to work for the California Division of Highways as a civil engineer. He was drafted in 1955 and served 21 months in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, teaching at Ft. Belvoir, Virginia and then serving as an Engineering Intelligence Research Specialist for the Army Map Service in Washington D.C.  George worked as a soils engineer for Brown & Root Overseas in Guatemala for 2.5 years, then for the Foundation Test Service in Washington, D.C. and then at a succession of engineering and soils firms in the Seattle area where he built a reputation for high character, deep expertise and honesty. He eventually owned and managed Cascade Geotechnical, a soils engineering outfit in Totem Lake that employed several dozen. The smoothness of countless local highways serves as quiet attestation to his work ethic and high standards.

After retiring, he continued to work as a consultant and expert witness all over the western states. He played a major role in tunnel construction for the Metro Red Line in Los Angeles in the 1990’s and worked on the upgrade of the Panama Canal. His car was easy to locate in a parking lot, due to the Canal Zone hardhat he always kept ready on the parcel shelf under the back window.

S. Lee Miller passed away in Barrington, Rhode Island on May 29th. He pursued a career in trust banking, in Florida, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, and was an active member of the Barrington Congregational Church for over 45 years, working on many committees.

George Rowland Wislar died in Georgia on May 30, 2017. George served four years in the U.S. Marine Corps, achieving the rank of Captain, and completed his MBA at Harvard Business School. George worked at Kidder Peabody in New York, then the Robinson Humphrey Company in Atlanta. He co-founded the National Data Corporation, and spent thirty years in the corporate and private sectors, implementing his leadership skills, spearheading new companies and boosting performance of long established firms. George played on the Varsity Golf team at Yale, was a member of the Marine Corps Golf Team and was a member of  Peachtree Golf Club in Atlanta for thirty years. He became a member of Augusta National Golf Club in 1971, where he served for over forty years as Chairman of the Practice Tee Committee for the Masters Tournament.

Willis Carl Bill Kellogg died on May 31st in Concord, Massachusetts. He was awarded a doctorate in Applied Physics in 1966 by Harvard University. He worked as an engineer at MITRE, Lincoln Laboratory, Raytheon, Teledyne Brown Engineering, and SenCom Engineering, as well as on the consulting side for NASA and various small engineering companies. During a two year assignment on Kwajalein, Marshall Islands, he commuted by plane every day to the island of Roi Numur, working on the TRADEX radar, which tracked test missile reentry vehicles launched from California. He was later part of the team at Raytheon that designed and tested the communications systems  for the Precision Acquisition Vehicle Entry Phased Array Warning System and Ballistic Missile Early Warning System radars on Cape Cod, in Greenland and Yorkshire.

John A. Creatura died on June 3rd in Westport. John was a graduate of Fairfield Prep, of Yale College and of the Yale School of Medicine. He served in the United States Army from 1967 to 1969, achieving the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He spent his medical career with Bridgeport Radiology Associates and retired as Chief of Nuclear Medicine at Bridgeport Hospital. 

Robert Michael Kliment died on June 3rd in New York. Born in Prague in 1933, Robert was one of several hundred children whom the humanitarian Sir Nicholas Winton brought to safety in England during the Second World War. After serving with the U.S. Army in Europe, he returned to Yale to complete his M.Arch in 1959, and upon graduation won a Fulbright Fellowship to study the history and evolution of urban spaces in Italy. He joined Mitchell/Giurgola in 1960 as the firm’s first full-time staff member, and later opened their New York office. In 1972 he founded Kliment Halsband Architects with his wife Frances.

Prominent works on which he was the principal designer include the computer science buildings at Princeton and Columbia, the renovation of the Yale Divinity School, and federal courthouses in Brooklyn, New York, and Gulfport, Mississippi.

 In addition to his practice as an architect, Robert was a member of the faculty at Columbia and the University of Pennsylvania, and was a visiting professor at Harvard, MIT, North Carolina State University, Rice, and the University of Virginia.

Class of 1954 Notes for July/August 2017 issue of YAM

May 9, 2017

Dear Classmates,

I hope everyone is aware of the fact that the Class of 1954 will have a mini-reunion in London from October 22nd through 27th this year. We will be headquartered at the beautiful Goring Hotel, which is terrific, yet not overpriced, with interesting lunches, trips and dinners planned throughout the week. Ted Armbrecht has been very busy putting together an outstanding program, all or parts of which everyone will find of interest. I hope you will make every effort to join us in this once in a lifetime experience. It should be great. By now you should have received our letter with the details. If you need more information, please contact Ted Armbrecht at ecajr345@gmail.com or me at rsr@rsrpartners.com.

The Class Council will meet in New York at the Links Club on Thursday, November 16th at 4:00 pm, followed by dinner with spouses and significant others. Lunch will also be served in the Class of 1954 Skybox, followed by a reception at the Smilow Field House following the Harvard – Yale game on Saturday, November 18th. Please plan to attend.

Here is the sad part of our notes, about some great classmates who had great lives!

Bobo Dean died on February 16th in Washington, D.C. Bobo graduated from Yale Law School in 1961 and attended Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. Bobo Dean practiced law in Washington, DC since 1965. His practice was primarily in the representation of Indian tribal governments. In 1982 he was a founding partner of the firm Hobbs, Straus, Dean & Wilder (now Hobbs, Straus, Dean & Walker). Over a legal career of over 50 years, Bobo represented Native American tribes including the Miccosukee, Seminoles, Navajo, Mohicans, Oglala Sioux and Mississippi Band of Choctaw as well as various tribes and tribal organizations in Alaska including the Bristol Bay Area Health Corporation and the Norton Sound Health Corporation. Bobo was particularly proud of the close to 50 years he spent advising the Metlakatla Indian Community in Southeast Alaska, including the advocacy he provided that ensured that the Tribe retained its full sovereign authority when the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act was enacted.

John Derby Adams died on March 8th in Suffield after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease. He graduated from the University of Connecticut School of Law in 1959. Except for several years when he served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut beginning in 1963, he was engaged in the private practice of law, first in solo practice and since 1983 partnered with his daughter at Adams & Eliason. John served as the Town Attorney for the Town of Enfield from 1967 to 1977, and in 1977 was appointed by Governor Ella Grasso as a Hearing Officer for the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities.  John was an avid fan of the Pirates, Steelers, Patriots, Whalers and UConn men and women’s basketball teams, loved to travel and take photographs, and sang with the Enfield Community Chorus, the Notarians and the Beethoven Chorus.

Charles Marshall Reagle, Jr. died in Duluth on March 13th. He served in the U.S. Army in France during the Korean War, and later earned an MBA from Harvard Business School. He spent his professional career in the advertising and marketing field, retiring on 1990 as Director of Marketing, Planning and Research for Anheuser-Busch in St. Louis, Missouri. He enjoyed his retirement in the mountains of North Carolina and on the shores of Lake Superior in Duluth.

Paul Pesek reported that Dick Harris died on March 15th.  Dick had a great passion for golf and jazz, and always enjoyed a good martini.  He loved painting and writing, authoring four books. He spent many years in the family business, B.W. Harris Mfg. Upon retiring he created a golf catalogue of unique gift items. He served on numerous boards; USGA Museum Committee, Pres. MN Golf Assoc., Outward Bound and rotary member. His only regret was he never had a hole in one!

Major General William Reed Usher died on March 28th in Arlington, VA. During his distinguished 31-year military career, General Usher served in a broad range of Air Force, Joint Staff, and command positions. He flew over 100 combat missions in the F4-C aircraft with the 12th Tactical Fighter Wing in Vietnam, earning two Distinguished Flying Crosses and the Air Medal. He served as aide to the Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force and to two Secretaries of the Air Force. In later assignments, he was Chief USAF Mission to the Republic of Turkey, and Commander, USAF Technical Training Center at Lowry AB, Denver CO. He earned an MBA at Harvard Business School in 1960, was a member of the Cosmos Club, the Chevy Chase Club, and the Royal Air Force Club, London. He was an avid traveler, skier, and cook and he had a life-long fascination with trains of all types.

General Usher had a successful career in business following his retirement from the military in 1985. He was a senior executive with the Lockheed Martin Corp. and was Chairman of the Board and CEO of Core Software Technology. In his later years, he was a consultant to senior leadership in the Pentagon and US Intelligence Community on national security matters.

Robert Sabath Katz died in March in Illinois. He was the former President and Co-Owner of Superior Tanning Company, a family owned business, and former Managing Partner of Summit Associates.

Philip Aldrich Drinker died on April 10th in New Hampshire. He earned a PhD from MIT in 1961 and set up the Division of Biomedical Engineering at the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in 1965, where his research focused on artificial organs, in particular the heart/lung machine. He served as Chief of the department from 1975 until his retirement in 1990. After retirement he worked at Hood Labs for several years, studying airway morphology using acoustics. His hobbies included woodworking, playing the French horn, ski patrolling, disking behind his lobster boat, summers on Somes Sound in Maine, and playing guitar.

John Allen Richmond died in Florida on April 11, 2017. He worked for Remington Arms before joining General American Transportation in New York, and later oversaw the company’s operation in Cleveland, Ohio. While in Cleveland, he was approached and joined the firm of Heidrick & Struggles, an executive search firm, until retiring in 1995. John moved to Amelia Island, Florida, after retirement where he enjoyed sailing and racing Tartan 10 sailboats as well as golf. He was also a licensed fix wing aircraft pilot.

Kindly contact your class Secretary at any time with news to report about yourself, your family, friends in our class, etc. We have many great classmates, all of whom love to keep in contact with each other, so please communicate!

Russ Reynolds, Secretary

Class of 1954 Notes for May/June 2017 Issue

March 10, 2017

Bill Bernhard reports that he goes to Palm Beach from time to time and gets together with the Johnsons, Bullocks and other classmates.  Palm Beach is becoming a mecca for so many of us, especially if you live in Connecticut!  Bill reports that he and his cousins recently published a beautiful book called Lots of Lehmans, about their family.  Unfortunately it is privately printed, but if you’re nice to Bill he might show you a copy of it.

For those of you who prefer a drier climate, there is always Palm Desert and environs in the California desert!  This year, at least three classmates were detected in the area, including Joel and Joan Smilow, Dan and Kitya Swisher, and Russ and Debbie Reynolds. The area is filled with interesting attractions, starting with golf, but adding World-Class museums, theaters, concerts, hiking etc.”

Peter N. Smith of Old Lyme died December 30th in Farmington.  He was a friend of Carl Loucks and a fellow member of the Madison Lawn Bowling Club with him.  Peter served in the U.S. Army in Frankfurt, Germany from 1957-1957.  He had a long career in the finance industry as an analyst and portfolio manager beginning at White Weld & Company in New York in 1957 and retired from Anchor Capital Advisors in Boston in 1998 as a senior vice president, portfolio manager.  He resided in Greenwich from 1969-1990 and then Boston from 1990 to 2008.  Peter became a summer resident of Old Lyme in 1998, and continued to spend a month each summer in Madison with his family until recently.

Dr. Anthony Ernest Stefanelli, 84, passed away on January 12, 2017 in Broward County, Florida.  He attended Yale on a football scholarship and continued his studies at Downstate College of Medicine, where he completed his medical degree in 1958.  Dr. Stefanelli held a private office for his practice of orthopedics in Bloomfield, N.J. for 40 years, from 1962 until 2002.  He held certification with The Board of Orthopedic Surgeons throughout his career and held various leadership positions at the several hospitals in New Jersey.  He was a full-time resident of New Jersey until 1986, when he became a resident of Broward County, Florida.

Christopher Forster died on January 31stTom McLane noted that Chris was a distant cousin of his through his mother’s Hamilton Fish side, and, growing up in Garrison would often tease Tom that he spent more time in Lenia, his grandmother’s summer place, than Tom did.  Chris spent his entire professional career as an insurance broker and Managing Director with Marsh & McLennan Companies. For his unwavering dedication and involvement in Yale and the Class of 1954, he was awarded the Yale Medal in 2004. He was a loyal member and former president of The Yale Club of New York City and The Phelps Association.  In lieu of flowers, contributions in his memory may be made to the Christopher A. Forster Yale College Class of 1954 Scholarship Fund, c/o Yale University.

Ricardo Arias Calderon died on February 13th.  He was Vice President of Panama under President Guillermo Endara after Manuel Noriega left office.

Robert Eells Nettleton died on February 14th at home in Clinton, CT.  He received his MBA from Northwestern University and worked as a mortgage banker at Lomas & Nettleton Co. in New Haven.  He taught Real Estate and Property Management, and was on the President’s Advisory Council for the Small Business Administration.  Robert lived in Cheshire for many years before moving to Clinton, and was active in several choral groups.

Hugo E. “Ted” Braun died on February 8th in Saginaw, Michigan.  A lifelong resident of Saginaw, he attended the University of Michigan Law School  and practiced law for 57 years at Braun Kendrick.  He was active in many civic and charitable organizations, was a Director on a number of corporate boards and received numerous awards, including an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Saginaw Valley State University.

Jane Hiers, wife of Dick Hiers for 63 years, passed away on December 1, 2016.  Jane was an alumna of Maury High School in Norfolk and Bucknell University.  In the 1950s, she worked in Washington, D.C. for the American Psychological Association, and the CIO, and later in New Haven, Connecticut as a research assistant to Professor Roland Bainton at Yale Divinity School, and as a social worker in New Haven public housing.

From Dick: Jane and I were married nearly 63 wonderful years.  The wedding was in Battell Chapel, January 30, 1954, performed by Sidney Lovett (Uncle Sid) and Professor Robert Calhoun (with whom Jane had connected when he visited Bucknell).  Luther Noss, University Organist, with whose choir I had sung, contributed marvelous hymns and anthems.  Bill Brown was my “best man” and several other classmates participated in the proceedings, including Dick Gregory, Roland Smith, Johnny Richmond, John Carr and the “two Georges” (Jacoby and Spaeth).

The wedding took place under somewhat unusual circumstances:  In order to punish Yale students appropriately for what he deemed the outrageous snowball riot that took place along Elm Street near the end of the fall semester, President Griswold decreed that no women guests were to be allowed on the camps for several weeks — which period included the date of our wedding, which necessarily involved the presence of many women guests.  Mr. Griswold then went incommunicado (probably in Bermuda).  To the rescue, came Dean Buck, who was both Branford College Master (if that title may still be mentioned), and also University Provost.  Cutting the story short, he assured us that the interdict would not apply to our guests, and all went well.  So I completed senior year, and began married life with Jane in a third floor attic apartment at 14 Lincoln Street, just two half blocks from the Lincoln Theater.

Russ Reynolds, Secretary

Class of 1954 Notes for March/April 2017 issue

Peter Millard and Polly Espy were married at St. James Church, New York City, November 19th, 2016.  Hugh Millard, ’87, is Peter’s son.

Our creative and highly intelligent classmate Wiz Arndt recently wrote a wonderful book called “Wizdom” Memos: Thoughts Observations, Bits of Advice on Life.  It is well organized, well printed, and attractively put together.  I think it is a must read for any of us who need to give good advice to friends, family or others.  The book can be purchased easily on Amazon.com by searching for “Wizdom” memos.  It’s 228 pages and only $14.95.  I suggest getting several copies to have on hand to give as the occasions arise!

Jim Shelburne writes that he is retired, wobbly, playing doubles tennis, is sickened by the political morass, but healthy enough.  He travels to Paris for 4-5 months a year and loves it.  He goes to Italy for language lessons each year in the fall while in Paris.  Replacement parts get the attention of the airport detectors.  His wife of 55 years, Jaqueline, is healthy and helps him up when he falls.  He is no fan of Hillary Clinton but dislikes Trump.

Peter Shears, Jr. writes that his major outside interest keeping him “young” is being Board of Trustees President for two schools of 700 and 525 pupils.

Joe Gromults asked me to share the following note: “I am not a frequent letter writer or complainer.  To understand the reasons for my current stance you have to have walked in my shoes going back to my youth, circumstances, family situation, and geographics.  No silver spoon background.  Depression-era industrial community.  Poverty.  Then admission to Yale (a dream come true).  Scholarship aid.  A genuine chance to improve my status and my future.  I appreciated Yale for the opportunity they were providing.  Then Medical School, post-graduate training at a major hospital, voluntary military service, and finally private practice in a great community.  I owe all this to the doors Yale opened for me.  I do not see this grateful attitude reflected in the recent Yale situations.  Nor is there any sense of character exemplified.  That bothers me… a lot.”

Berel Lang reported that he has just had a book published, Genocide: The Act as Idea, (University of Pennsylvania Press).

I received a letter from Cynthia Mariani, Recording Secretary of Yale, reporting that the Class of 1954 President’s Discretionary Fund is helping Yale improve the world through outstanding research, scholarship, education, preservation and practice. As of June 30, 2016, the market value of the fund was $4,530,423, and spendable income was $206,155.  New gifts since June 30th total $127,500.

We were recently notified that Nat Spear of New York, passed away on May 22, 2013, at his home in Manhattan. He was 82. Nat earned an M.A. from Columbia University in 1966. An art lover and collector of antiques, Nat had a great love of languages and word games, and he was an avid reader. A world traveler since a very young age, he continued going on lengthy road trips around Europe with his wife, and they visited Paris at least twice a year.

 Bill Jarrett was kind enough to send me the obituary of Kirk Rodgers, which was previously reported.  Bill and Kirk were classmates at Gilman before going to Yale.  They reconnected at our 50th reunion after a long hiatus and became close friends after that.  That’s one of the reasons we have reunions!

 James Michael Burt died on October 17th in Alabama.  He was proud to be a founding member of Beaux Arts Krewe and Chairman of Birmingham Civic Ballet  while living in Birmingham.  He resided in San Francisco, Birmingham, Palm Beach, New York and London, all the while in each place he listened to his beloved team, Auburn.

 Tom McLane informed me that Jim McClellan died on November 15th in Hilton Head after a long illness.  An avid and accomplished tennis and squash player, he was a terrific guy who, after Yale spent a couple of years in the army in Germany, worked at Citibank and Continental Can, and, since 1984, he was very active in real estate in Hilton Head.

John B. Friauf died on November 16th in Bakersfield, California.  He served in the U.S. Coast Guard from 1954 to 1957 and worked in manufacturing management positions in several states, Singapore and England.  He was a lifelong member of the Presbyterian Church wherever he lived and sang in the choir at every church he attended.  He married his high school sweetheart in 1999 after meeting her again at their 50th high school reunion.

Malcolm Richard “Dick” Specht died on December 14th in Flat Rock, North Carolina.  He worked as a research physicist at Eastman Kodak for more than 30 years and was instrumental in the development of many imaging technologies.  He also served in the Navy in both active duty and reserve service, and retired with the rank of Captain.  Malcom was active in his church, was a Boy Scout Troop Master for several years, and volunteered many hours at the St. Andrews Food Pantry in Rochester.

Leigh Quinn informed me that Thruston Ballard Morton died in Louisville, Kentucky, on January 3rd after an illness.  He was a Sterling Fellow and a member of DKE and Skull and Bones.  He served in the U.S. Army and spent 16 months in Korea.  Ballard was a partner of J.J.B. Hilliard & Son, and subsequently President and CEO of Orion Broadcasting, former owner of WAVE TV in Louisville. After Orion was sold, he became the Executive in Residence at the College of Business at the University of Louisville where he created a course in leadership that he taught to MBA students for 18 years.

Russ Reynolds, Secretary

Class of 1954 Notes for January/February 2017

The Class Council met in New York on September 26th.  Those present were Jay Greer, Dick Gilder, Allan Rabinowitz, Peter Millard, Michael Armstrong, Fred Frank, Murray Buttner, Howard Brenner, Bob Quinlan and myself.  Those who dialed in to the entire meeting included Tom McLane, Carl Shedd, Buddy Thompson, Bob Martin, Steve Kumble, Obie Clifford, Bruce Meacham, Joel Smilow, Bob Blankfein, and Wiz Arndt.  We had an almost two hour discussion of the current situation at Yale.

Fred Frank reported that his son (yes, not grandson!) Frederick graduated from Yale this June with the class of 2016.  No more tuition, until he goes to business school, hopefully the Yale School of Management.  He is working at Barclays Bank in their Investment Banking Group.

Richard Murphy reported that he and Luda traveled to Iceland (awesome!) and Switzerland (spectacular!) and thoroughly enjoyed a cruise on the Rhine River from Basel to Amsterdam with a group of alumni of various colleges and universities including Yale and Johns Hopkins (our graduate school alma mater) last July.  As always, they spent the month of March in beautiful Longboat Key, Florida.  All things considered, they are in decent health.  Life is good!

Joanna and Bob Martin passed through London on the way to a Met Tour in early June.  It included Hamburg, Hannover, The Hague, Amsterdam, and Delft.  Great art, including five Vermeers, Rembrandt, van Gogh, and a galaxy from the Dutch Golden Age.  In late July they again launched in London before joining a Yale Tour, Educated England, providing a fascinating immersion in Cambridge and Oxford, with a visit to Bletchley Park in between.  They followed with a Crystal cruise from London to Lisbon.

Joel Smilow has made a gift to The Open Door Shelter in Norwalk to support the transformation of a historic factory building in South Norwalk into a multipurpose center.  The project will include sixteen efficiency apartments, a health center, a job training program and GED and college entrance classes.  Jeannette Archer-Simons, Executive Director of The Open Door Shelter, stated “We are honored to receive this funding to support this project and as a result name the building the Smilow SoNo Life Center. We are deeply touched by Mr. Smilow’s belief in our efforts. His vision for building stronger communities through education and healthcare has benefited people nationwide. We hope this gift inspires others to support this transformative project as we finalize funding for this campaign.”

William Foerster recently moved from a large home in Nichols Hill to a smaller garden home in Muirfield Village.  Since retirement in 2010 he has continued to work daily at his antique store in Oklahoma City, which he owns with his wife Barbara and another couple, which is lots of fun.  They have won several awards.  His book about Yale, Memoirs of a Yale Man: Class of 1954, fell into oblivion but he sent copies to several classmates several years ago.  If anyone wants a copy he has many available.

John Franciscus is selling Haitian paintings, 350 pocket watches and 1,000 personal paintings online.  He established a music prize at Union Church to encourage talent to play at each Sunday service.

Allan Rabinowitz and his wife Leah just returned from 10 days in Burgundy and Paris.  Great place to visit but he is always happy to return home to New York City.

Thomas Briggs reported that in the last year and a half he’s had three falls, three fractures (one serious), and spent a total of four months in hospital and rehab.  Now he is home and on his feet again, though no longer running, unfortunately.  To stay busy he took up beekeeping.

Bob Redpath reports that we are nearing almost 100% response to the request for lists of publications, including responses from widows of classmates who have expressed their gratitude about the project.

However, there are still some classmates who have promised to submit lists but haven’t done so, despite Bob’s impassioned urgings via letters and emails.  To them, please contact Bob with your lists. This is a very exciting project and it will be enhanced if we can reach 100 % response. Please note that Bob’s new email address is  randc@sheldon59.com.

On October 15th, Buddy Thompson phoned me to say that Ballard Morton, who has been suffering from cancer for some time, is having a tough time.  Ballard wants to hear from classmates any time.

Kirk Rodgers died on October 13th in Falls, Church, Virginia.  Following jobs with the U.S. Forest Service, the Baltimore County Planning Commission, and a three-year tour of duty as a naval air intelligence officer, Rodgers joined the Organization of American States (OAS) in 1960 and in 1965 was named Chief of the Natural Resources Unit. In 1971 he became the Director of the Department of Regional Development and Environment, and in 1996 he was appointed Director of the Unit for Sustainable Development and Environment. He retired from the OAS in 1998 and continued for several years as a consultant to international organizations, including the Commission of Environmental Cooperation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). In 2004 he received a Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies for his lifetime achievements.

Please keep me posted on your news, thanks!

Class of 1954 Notes for November/December 2016 issue

I hope everyone has had a great summer and that you are gearing up for an interesting and healthy autumn.  The Class Council will meet at 4:00 pm at the Links Club in New York on Thursday, November 10th, for a couple of hours, followed by dinner with spouses.  Any classmates who are in the area who would like to attend are welcome to do so if you let me know in advance.   Any ideas, suggestions or complaints regarding our class’ activities should be forwarded to me and they will be respectfully aired!

As everyone knows, Yale has recently been going through a period of self-examination regarding its posturing towards minorities, changing the names of buildings, and discussing various issues regarding freedom of speech.  Obviously it is complicated and there are few simple answers but feel free to let me know of any thoughts you have on the subject.  The Class Council held an informal discussion on this subject on September 29th, and I will report on it in the next edition of the Class Notes.

The Whiffenpoofs of 1954 are still going strong!  Obie Clifford is kindly hosting our group for a fall gathering at his beautiful camp at Big Wolf Lake near Tupper Lake in the Adirondacks.  We will sing a benefit concert at the Wild Center in Tupper Lake, an impressive museum for natural history, which has had unparalleled success.  Clifford is the Chairman and the guiding light behind it.  We will also sing a couple of performances at retirement homes.  In the group will be Bruce Meacham, Jim Doak, Oak Thorne, Chuck Bullock, Obie Clifford, Peter Coughlan, Hugh Ravenscroft, Tom McLane, Dick Hiers, John Franciscus, Jim Monde, Ash Gulliver, John Burke and Russ Reynolds.

The group will also be performing at our annual cocktail reception following the Yale-Princeton game in the Smilow Field House on November 12th.  Please plan to attend.  Details will be forthcoming.

Bob Redpath is making great progress on his work compiling the list of class publications.  Please note that his e-mail address recently changed to randc@sheldon59.com if you need to contact him regarding the project.  Thank you Bob for taking on a mammoth project and making it work!

George Spaeth has stopped seeing patients and plans to pull back on teaching commitments next year.   He enjoys the intellectual and emotional challenge and reward.

How many classmates are still working on their dream field of endeavor or still working?

We recently were informed that Bill Laffer passed away on December 6, 2013 in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Donald A. Gray, Jr. passed away on July 9th in Branford, CT.  He was a U.S. Navy Korean Conflict Veteran and a retired President and General Counsel for the Western Connecticut Industrial Counsel, Inc., an exclusive association of manufacturers, retiring with over 30 years of service.  Tom McLane noted that Don was an avid Yale football fan, and had a droll sense of humor and dry wit.  Don raced Star Boats and Frostbite Dinghies as a member of the Milford Yacht Club.  Bob Blankfein, Don’s classmate at Hotchkiss, recalled his wonderful sense of humor and that he was a daring and competitive athlete; he was a great ski jumper and avid sprinter on the track team.

David Weltman passed away on April 4, 2016 in Massachusetts.

Robert C. Johnson died in New London on July 1st.  He enlisted in the cadet program of the Army Air Corps in 1944, with the war ending before he could commence pilot training.  After service with the headquarters squadron, 13th Air Force in the Philippines, he entered Yale.  Robert worked for Olin Corporation, then United Nuclear until 1977, when he joined Windsor Manufacturing, where he worked until his retirement in 1991.  He later served on the boards of Twin Manufacturing and Clearwater Systems corporations.

Newton L. Bowers died on September 1st in Iowa.  He received his Doctorate from the University of Minnesota in 1965.  He began his teaching career at the University if Michigan and moved to Des Moines in 1969 to work at Drake University, where he was a professor in the Actuarial Science Department for over 25 years until his retirement.

Please keep us informed of your activities and thoughts!

Class of 1954 Notes for September/October 2016 issue

Dan Swisher and Senta sold their place near Puerto Vallarta and moved back to the US a few months ago and are now busily engaged in finding a house to buy in the Palm Springs area of southern California. They thoroughly enjoyed their twelve years in Mexico but decided it was time to come home and sought out a warm climate in the desert.

Dick Gilder and his wife Lois Chiles were honored at a beautiful luncheon at the New York Historical Society on Flag Day, June 14th.  The Gilders donated a magnificent painting of American flags to the museum, The Fourth of July, 1916, by Childe Hassam, and also have assisted the New York Historical Society in numerous other ways.  Dick has also been a large supporter of the American Museum of Natural History, so naturally the street between the Historical Society and the Museum of Natural History is named Gilder Way.  A number of our classmates and wives were at the lunch, including Obie Clifford, David Banker, Howard Brenner, Bill Bernhard, and yours truly.  These great New York institutions have been lucky beneficiaries of the Gilder magic touch!

David Banker called me to say that Catherine Bernhard, Bill Bernhard’s wife, died on June 1st after a long illness.  Catherine and Bill graciously hosted a wonderful cocktail reception at the Chesterfield Hotel at our mini reunion in Palm Beach last January.  She will be greatly missed.

David L. Weltman, Esq. of Cohasset and Venice, FL, died on Monday, April 8, 2016.  Remembrances in David’s memory may be made to the Beaver Country Day School in Chestnut, Hill, MA.

Thomas Sheafe Walker died on April 30, 2016 in Danvers, MA. He went to Exeter and Yale School of Engineering.  He worked at the United Shoe Machinery Corp. in Beverly, then enlisted in the Coast Guard. Tom then worked with Northeast Engineering.  Tom’s life-long and first love was the sea. He liked nothing more than “messing about in boats.” He even sailed across the “pond” to Plymouth, England aboard Shearwater, a 41′ sloop.  Contributions in his memory may be made to the Manchester Sailing Association, P.O. Box 172, Manchester, MA 01944 and to the Manchester-Essex Conservation Trust, P.O. Box 1486, Manchester, MA 01944.
Robert G. Kleckner, Jr., died June 14th, 2016 at his home in Manhattan. Born in Reading, Pennsylvania, he was husband of Carol for over 60 years. After Yale and ROTC service in Korea for two years, he graduated from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. He pursued his career at Sullivan & Cromwell, Goldman Sachs, Johnson & Higgins, and Marsh & McLennan, while maintaining an active interest in Russian history, language and culture. He was a former member of the University Club, Edgartown Yacht Club, the Union Club, and the Mill Reef Club. In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory can be made to an animal shelter or animal rescue organization of your choice.

Class of 1954 Notes for July/August 2016 issue

Your Class Council will meet once again on Thursday, November 10th at the Links Club to create more exciting events in the spirit of the class of 1954. Let me know if you have anything to add to the agenda. The next mini reunion will be one of our top agenda items.

We also plan to have the usual gatherings before and after the Yale-Princeton game, on the following Saturday, November 12th.

Shelby Pruett reports that he is now retired, and enrolled in a fine arts program for advanced painting at St. Louis Community College. What a great way to express yourself in our developed years! Shelby, please send us some samples of your work!

George Spaeth was recently recognized by The Opthalmologist on its 2016 Power List. He was number 1 on their list of the top 100 most influential people in the world of ophthalmology!

Bob Redpath continues to do an amazing job in compiling a serious list of all of our classmates’ publications, including books and significant articles. The end result with be two bound volumes presented to the Sterling Library, summarizing all of the publications our classmates have produced in our lifetimes. The list so far is impressive. If you’ve not already done so, please send Bob your list of any publications that you are proud of. His e-mail address is redpath254@btinternet.com.

Please continue to send me any news you can about what you are doing.

Robert Sanderson Craig died on February 17th in Maine. He spent four years in the United States Marine Corps after Yale. He managed a bank trust department at HM Payson and Co. and taught at the Williams College School of Banking until he retired. Rob and his wife Nancy loved to travel, and many of their vacations were centered on outdoors activities, from trout fishing to camping.

John Daniel Meader passed away on February 18th. Jack received a professional certificate from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Management Engineering and received his J.D. from Cornell University Law School in in 1962. He was Assistant Attorney General of New York State from 1965 to 1968, worked as Corporation Counsel for GE in Schenectady, General Counsel for Glidden in Cleveland, Ohio, President and Chairman of the Board of the Applied Power Technology Company and President of Applied Energy, Inc. in Ballston Spa, NY. He was a Lt. Colonel in the United States Army Reserve and was Deputy Staff Judge Advocate in the 3rd US Army JAG Corp – US Central Command.

Charles Emerson McKenney, age 84, passed away on March 1, 2016, in Florida. He had lived in Darien, Connecticut for more than three decades, from the 1960s through the 1990s. He raised his family in Noroton and Tokeneke and they were parishioners at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church. Charles got his law degree from the University of Virginia. After serving in the Navy, he practiced patent law as a partner with Pennie & Edmonds in New York City his entire career.

Bill Carpenter reported that Lauren J. Keist died on March 6, 2016 in Quincy, Illinois.

Dr. Edward Cooper Saltzstein died on March 9th in Texas. He received his M.D. from Northwestern University Medical School. While working in Milwaukee early in his career, he performed one of the first kidney transplants in the United States. From 1977 to 2002 he was the Regional Chair of Surgery at Texas Tech University Hospital Sciences Center in El Paso. From its inception in 1994 until his retirement in January, 2016, he served as the Medical Director for the Texas Tech Physicians of El Paso Breast Care Center.

Family and Friends are Welcome to join in Celebrating the life of Donald Fay Burrill at the Bedford Center Cemetery in Bedford, New Hampshire on Saturday, May 28th. Call Barbara Burrill Moulton with questions at 603.875.5651.

Russ Reynolds, Secretary
************

A fitting tribute to Sandy Muir

DEAREST FRIENDS AND FAMILY,
This e-mail just came in today, from Charlotte Cowden, who is coordinating the ceremony for giving two new undergraduate seniors, the William K. “Sandy” Muir Leadership award for the third year. Thought you might like to read one of the latest letters that came in about Sandy from one of his students.
Enjoy!
Pauli xox

I would be honored if you posted my tribute to Professor Muir on the website. I still get teary-eyed knowing he has passed on.
You may use whatever I wrote below or I would be happy to refine what I wrote to make it more appropriate for the webpage.
Additionally, the night I found out last November – in the most random way –that Professor Muir had passed, from a mutual classmate, I posted the below message to my facebook, which I’ve copied. It came from the heart. Feel free to use any portion of that too.
“In a weekend filled with festivities, I found out in the most unexpected way that my beloved political science professor at UC Berkeley, William “Sandy” Muir passed away in February of this year. In my life, I have been blessed with many teachers who have cared for me and shepherd me through life, but no one had more indelible impact.
Professor Muir was one of the best human beings I knew; and he did not suffer fools gladly. He was also humble, eloquent, and had class. He was wheelchair bound because he contracted polio (six months before they found the vaccine). I will always remember stumbling upon him as he was downhill bound as I was uphill bound to another class and he pointedly asked how I was coming along on my thesis; when the same thing happened the next day, I knew the encounters were no coincident for he knew I was slacking and that was his gentle yet effective nudging. I remember him, when 500 students were crammed in a hall with half-desks upon which to write their final exams, wheeling down the aisle just one row from where I sat and how I immediately became encouraged and zipped through with flying colors. I will always remember him posing the question in class, whether it is better to do that which is wrong and benefit a great number of people or do that which is right and benefit little to none – an inherent struggle in politics. I took nearly all my political science classes with him; his classes were amongst the most difficult and yet most accessible of all the classes I took at Cal. He also chose the best books and the best T.A.’s.
The year I graduated from Berkeley, he also retired. I will always remember his parting words to my class at commencement: “If you ever experience a war, an illness, a bankruptcy, or a divorce, take a look at the sun, the moon, the stars, the turn of a stream, and realize you are not alone in this wild, wild world.” I know there is always a beginning and an end to things, but to have it happen to someone who is greater than humanity is such a loss. I hope that wherever he is, he can use his legs again.:
Let me know if there’s anything else I can do for Professor Muir. I want his memory to live on. I am the person I am today because of mentors like him.

Duyen Nguyen, Attorney-At-Law
From: Charlotte Cowden To: Duyen Nguyen
Subject: Re: Prof Muir

Dear Duyen,
This is such a beautiful and moving message and a real testament to Professor Muir. Thank you so much for sharing your experience with me.
Would you mind if I put part of your message, below, on the webpage for Professor Muir’s award? It is such a lovely tribute and I know that others feel the same. Of course, I understand either way.
Thank you again for reaching out.
Best regards,
Charlotte

, Duyen Nguyen wrote:
Dear Charlotte:
Thanks so much for the info. I will write to Professor Muir’s widow. His death anniversary is coming up and I wanted to pay my respects.
Professor Muir was the highlight of my experience at Cal. He retired the year I graduated. I think about him often and owe a great deal to him for all that he taught me, both inside and outside the classroom. He was the best example of humanity and no doubt inspired legions of students to be public interest minded. He was classy, eloquent and sharp. His classes were the most academically challenging and yet accessible to students like me who came from disadvantaged backgrounds. I took nearly all of his polisci classes.

Thank you for creating an award in his honor so that he will not be forgotten.
Best,
Duyen Nguyen, Attorney-At-Law

_________________________________________________________-

May-June 2016 Class of 1954 Notes

Charles Workman writes that he is enjoying good health. He still plays tennis daily. He is ranked #1 in NorCal doubles! He visited New Zealand last November – he says it is a lovely country and people – much like the USA of the 1950’s.

Jerry Cunningham wrote with an update that he and his wife downsized to a town house in Mendham, NJ almost eight years ago and are pleased with their community, even after 26″ inches of snow recently. They are well and enjoying life and family.

Once again, over 100 classmates, spouses and widows attended our mini-reunion in Palm Beach from January 18th – 20th, and everyone agreed it was another great success. Thanks to Charlie Johnson, Harris Ashton, Bill Bernhard, Howard Brenner, Chuck Bullock, Pim Epler, Jack Kindel, Buddy Thompson, Grant Beadle and Leigh Quinn, we were extremely well organized and not lacking for interesting activities, which included a tour of the Society of the Four Arts, the Flagler Museum, the Norton Museum, and beautiful dinners at Club Collette, the Everglades Club, and the Johnsons’ home, all of which were fantastic. Bill Bernhard hosted a wonderful cocktail party at the atmospheric Chesterfield Hotel bar, which was enjoyed by all.

Among those attending were the following: Armstrong, Ashton, Atherton, Beadle, Bernhard, Blankfein, Brenner, Burke, Buttner, Carpenter, Clifford, Coughlan, Creatura, Dempsey, Dickinson, Doak, Dodd, Epler, Forster, Franciscus, Glowacki, Grinstein, Head, Jacoby, Jarrett, Johnson, Katz, Kindel, Kumble, Langworthy, Martin, McDonald, McLane, McNeely, Meacham, Millard, Monde, Morton, Newsome, Norton, Oestreich, Peay, Polk, Prentiss, Rabinowitz, Ravenscroft, Reynolds, Richey, Shedd, Smith, Stanley, Strain, Strickler, Thompson, Thorne, Toohey, and Treadway.

Thanks again to our illustrious committee, and particularly to Charlie and Ann Johnson, Harris and Angela Ashton, and Bill Bernhard!

We have had a good response to our request for submissions to the “class publications” project, which is being orchestrated by Bob Redpath. Bob would like everyone to know that musical recordings should be included. Please continue to e-mail your bibliographies to klambertson@rsrpartners.com.

Charles Hurd, Jr. died December 8th in New Jersey. He began his career at the Prudential in Newark, ran a successful payroll services company in the 1970’s and finished his career in real estate.

John Donald Taylor died at his home in Rhode Island on December 22nd. He served in the Navy during the Korean War on the USS Bennington, and was a member of the Rhode Island Society of Colonial Wars. His career started in engineering and shifted to technology sales, while living in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

Tom Dee’s law partner sent in a very nice obituary for Tom, who died of pneumonia on December 23rd. After Yale and Harvard Law School, Tom joined Rosenman, Colin, Freund, Lewis & Cohen, where he began his lifelong career as a real estate attorney, representing major financial institutions and developers. Tom was one of the first lawyers to utilize the concept of a non-recourse lease, where a letter of credit or cash security deposit became the sole collateral for the tenant’s lease obligation.

Hendon Chubb died suddenly on January 3rd. He was a director and CFO of the Chubb Group of Insurance Companies, an artist, writer, psychologist, dog-lover, rug designer, honorary Girl Scout, gardener, officer of the American Cycad Society, vintner, army veteran, civil rights election monitor, and an early programmer, among other things.

Dr. Bill McEachen died on January 7th, 2016 in Kansas. He attended Yale for one year, completed his undergraduate and medical degrees at the University of Kansas, then served in the Air Force. Dr. McEachen practiced pediatric medicine in the Kansas City area for over 35 years.

Ronald Anthony Schulman died peacefully in Reno, Nevada on January 7th, in his eighty-fourth year. Survived by wife Diane, children Lisa, Seth and Tony. Member of the Trumbull Beer and Bike Race Maidenform Five. At Princeton and MIT after Yale, he settled in Brookline, MA enjoying success as a commercial printer until retiring to Reno. A well-known local expert on the benefits of composting, the garden brought him much pleasure, as did his eight grandchildren, ranging in age from 15 to 34.

S. Joseph Fortunato died in New Jersey on January 8th. After playing football for all four years at Yale, as team captain senior year, Joe earned his LLB at Harvard Law School in 1957 and joined the law firm of Pitney Hardin and Kipp (now Day Pitney) in 1958, becoming partner in 1963, specializing in labor and employment law, ending his career there as a managing partner in 2002. His son Steve noted that he had many lifelong friends from his Yale activities and had commented that he learned the most about life from Yale football.

Warren A. Ransom, Jr. died on January 8th in Mount Pleasant, SC. After graduating Yale, he served three years in Germany with the Army Air Corps, had a 16 year career with The Bank of New York, then became a real estate broker before retiring to South Carolina. Warren participated in the Norway Olympics in 1967 where he raced an International One Design sailboat. He was a ranked squash player and an avid tennis player.

C. William Berger died in West Palm Beach, Florida in early January. He and his brother Daniel attended Yale Law School and served on the Yale Law Review, later becoming partners with their father, Morris Berger, who established the Berger Law Firm in Pittsburgh in the late 1950’s. Later he moved to Florida and practiced law there.

Donald Fay Burill died on January 10th in New Hampshire. He was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1955 and was stationed at Fort Ord, in Monterey, California. Don received his Ph.D. from Cornell University and was a professor of statistics and education research at the University of Toronto, from 1976 until his retirement in 1996. He then returned to New Hampshire and was an adjunct professor at Plymouth State and St. Anselm Colleges.

Thomas Byrne Swartz passed away on January 18th in San Francisco. Tom’s service in the Navy took him to Japan, Korea and Hong Kong as a navigator, and he served as a battalion commander at the Naval Training Center in San Diego. After his Navy service, Tom attended law school at UC Berkeley. Tom joined the San Francisco firm of Bronson, Bronson & McKinnon, where he was a partner for over 20 years before entering the real estate trust business. In 1980 he founded Sierra Capital, a REIT advisory firm, and later Capital Alliance, Inc.

William Maxwell Chick died on February 12th in Ohio. After Yale he received a degree from the University of Chicago and spent his entire career in the precision metal castings industry, beginning with Alcoa and culminating with his own manufacturers’ representative agency (William Chick Co.) for almost 40 years. He was an officer of Yale Clubs and spent decades interviewing students as a member of the Yale Alumni Schools Committee.

Russ Reynolds

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March-April 2016 Notes

The Class of 1954 had a Class Council meeting at the Links Club in New York on Thursday, November 19th, followed by dinner, with about 30 council members plus 15 wives for dinner. We discussed the mini reunion coming up in January, and expect about 100 classmates, spouses and widows to attend. We also had a conference call with Bob Redpath in London, and refined the class publications project. A letter will be sent out on that subject shortly. We discussed the importance of planned giving, which Fred Frank is spearheading, and student unrest at Yale, which we feel has turned the corner favorably. We heard a report on the AYA and Charlie Johnson reported that the class treasury has a very positive balance and a great prognosis for the future.

The Yale-Harvard game on the following Saturday, although disappointing in its results, was exciting because of its broadcast on NBC Sports. The lighting at the Yale Bowl seemed to work well and Peter Salovey and his wife Marta Moret were nice enough to join us at the Smilow Field House after the game for an upbeat talk about what’s going on at Yale in general and in specifics. It was a great event and the Whiffenpoofs of 1954 also performed at the Field House before lunch, following a concert they gave at St. Andrew’s Church in Northford the night before.

All in all it was a great weekend, and we are sure that next year’s football team will put on an even better performance. We are also giving thoughts to the venue, the scenario, and activities of the class events in the future, which will stress quality over quantity and congeniality over obsession with activities!

In May, 2015 George Spaeth started on the first “leg” of several trips which will take him around the world visiting, teaching and learning from his Ex-fellows. The first – pilot – trip was to Monterrey and Mexico City and was a huge success; In June to Newport, Boston, Liverpool, York, Dundee, and London, then in July to Berlin, Warsaw, Munich and FrauenCheimsee, in November to Charleston WV, Dallas and Texas, and in 2016 to New Zealand, Hong Kong, 5 places in India and then China, and later 5 places in Brazil, two in Argentina, Santiago, Bogota, and then putting it all together into a report, and perhaps a book! He is trying promote his methods of examining the eye, but more importantly, a whole new concept of what constitutes health or disease, not based on statistical surrogates – such as mean blood pressure or mean eye pressure –but on ranges of clinically relevant findings and symptoms, such as ability to function or quality of life. He usually stay with one of his Ex-fellows and has a truly thrilling time.

Irv Jensen called from Sioux City recently and we had a nice chat. He said he would be at the Harvard-Yale game with a substantial portion of his family, including a granddaughter who is at the Yale School of Management. Irv reports that of their 13 grandchildren, two are married and a third is engaged. Irv commented that his father had insisted that he go east to Yale to college, which opened his eyes about the world as a whole. When he returned to Sioux City he was very grateful for the experience, as are his brothers.

Richard W. Murphy sent me an update. He follows a rigorous series of exercises almost daily to slow the progress of his peripheral neuropathy. He and Luda are looking forward to spending the month of March 2016 in Florida and hope to take a Rhine River cruise next summer.

Howard Robert Hoffman sent in a note that he is slowing down, (who isn’t?), and that he attended the weddings of two grandchildren recently. He now has 31 and 8/9 persons in his family.

Dr. James E. Pruett passed away on October 24th in Atlanta. James attended Yale for three years and left early to attend the Medical College of Georgia. After serving his residency in Atlanta and New Orleans, James joined the U.S. Army Medical Corps and took a position as the Assistant Chief of Otolaryngology at Beaumont Army Hospital in El Paso, until 1964, when he and his family returned to Atlanta, where he took up private practice as an ear, nose and throat doctor. He was also Chief of Otolaryngology at Decatur Hospital and Northside Hospital. James was an avid tennis player, was an accomplished piano player and enjoyed collecting and working on antique clocks.

Charles I. Lieberman, M.D. died on October 18th at his Kansas home. His parents noticed his musicality at a young age and Chuck began piano lessons at four years of age. He was somewhat of a child prodigy, became the pianist in his high school orchestra and was a percussionist who played the base drum in the Yale marching band. Dr. Lieberman was a Board Certified Anesthesiologist who joined the Anesthesia Department at Beverly Hospital in 1963. He practiced there until 1982, when he was diagnosed with a pheochromocytoma, a rare tumor of the adrenal gland. The subsequent traumatic surgery left him with chronic disabling pain that forced his early retirement from medicine.

Allan Rabinowitz informed me that Thomas J. Dee passed away on December 23rd in New York. He had two children and three grandchildren.

Russ Reynolds, Secretary

DoD’s New Marching Orders: Fail Fast

By Walter Pincus (Y’54)

Walter Pincus is a contributing senior national security columnist at The Cipher Brief. He spent forty years at The Washington Post, writing on national security-related topics from nuclear weapons to politics.  In 2002, he and a team of Post reporters won the Pulitzer Prize for national reporting. He also won an Emmy in 1981 and the 2010 Arthur Ross Award from the American Academy for Diplomacy.

OPINION — Speedy U.S. development of hypersonic missiles, a new space-based, lower orbit, sensor layer to defend against Russian or Chinese hypersonic weapons, and inclusion of nuclear hypersonic weapons in any extension with Russia of the New START [Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty]  were priorities for 2020 and 2021 as laid out by the new Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Gen. John Hyten, at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) on January 17.

Hyten called for taking risks in developing new weapons and defensive systems, while complaining that at the Pentagon “We try to study the heck out of it to get to the perfect answer before we start something.”

A week later, on January 24, also at CSIS, Defense Secretary Mark Esper echoed the same theme, saying “The department nearly doubled its long-term investment, almost $5 billion more in fiscal year 2020, for hypersonic weapons alone over the next five years. And our FY 2021 budget will be even stronger.”

Esper said a four-month, defense-wide review had led to reforms saving $5 billion in part by “divesting from legacy systems and lower-priority activities…We will use these savings to drive progress on critical technologies like artificial intelligence and hypersonic missiles.”

Hyten used North Korea’s missile program as an example of going fast in developing weapons. He pointed out that as one of the poorest countries in the world (115th economy out of 192) North Korea “developed a ballistic missile program that can threaten its neighbors and threaten the United States, and a nuclear program that can threaten its neighbors and the United States.”

“You look at Kim Jong-un,” Hyten said, “but then you look at his father and his grandfather, there are some significant differences…His grandfather launched, I think, nine; his father, I think, launched 22 during their entire tenure. Kim Jong-un has launched 67. He’s launched over a dozen in 2016, 2017, and 2019; didn’t launch anything in 2018.

“If you want to go fast in the missile business,” Hyten said, “you need to test fast, fly fast, learn fast.”

Again, Esper highlighted the same idea saying, “Across the force, we’re working to shed our risk-averse culture and establish an ecosystem where experimentation is incentivized, and innovation is rewarded.”

Hyten described the U.S. as “the leading software nation in the world,” but said Defense Department building software was “a nightmare.” America’s private software companies move fast, while Hyten said the statutory requirements that drive Pentagon acquisitions and contracting are for “an industrial-age model, not an information-age model.”

He said, “We have to allow people to take risk and delegate the responsibilities to people that are executing programs. We don’t train people how to buy things anymore. We train people how to get programs through the Pentagon and through the Congress.”

Esper again re-emphasized that point recalling while he was Army secretary, “the cycle we were trying to do in the Army, where you test, you fail; you test again, you succeed a little bit more; you test again, you succeed a lot; until you get it right. It has to be iterative. And so I think we have to work at the culture at the end of the day.”

Hyten used the cyber threat as his example saying, “As soon as you hit that day one, tomorrow you’re already out-of-date. Tomorrow you’re out-of-date. Not five years from now. Tomorrow you’re out-of-date. So how do I move fast in that structure? I think you have to, basically, go back to a threat-based view of the world, say here’s a threat.”

An engineer who has specialized in aircraft, missiles and space weaponry, Hyten said, “We were ahead in hypersonics a decade ago. We had two programs, two flights, the HTV-1

and HTV-2 [2011] under DARPA. They didn’t quite work. What did we do after they failed? We instituted multiyear studies into the failure process and then canceled the programs.”

Instead, Hyten said, “Why can’t the United States learn how to accept failure? We need to understand what failure is and learn from those failures, learn from the mistakes that we make, move quickly from those mistakes.”

When tragic accidents happen, like what happened to the U.S. space shuttles and human lives are involved, Hyten said, you have to take time, “because you can’t risk human life. But if you don’t have human life involved, you have to figure out how to go fast – how to adjust, how to – how to learn, how to launch quickly, how to move fast.”

Esper talked about the Trump National Defense Strategy “prioritizing China first and Russia second in this era of great-power competition…[and] trying to use emerging technologies to alter the landscape of power and reshape the world in their favor, and often at the expense of others.”

Hyten added another element, saying, “Everything that happens in China, every technology in China, is available for the military use. There’s not this separation like you see in the West, like the separation that you see in the United States. It’s very, very tied together.”

Both Esper and Hyten talked about the need for new cooperative efforts between the Pentagon and industry, with the Defense Secretary saying, “There are things we must do in order to work more closely with our nation’s innovators to become a better customer and to partner in more effective ways.”

Hyten discussed the new problem of defense against Russian hypersonic missiles saying, “If you can’t see it, you can’t defend against it. If you can’t see it, you can’t deter it either.” He ruled out ground-based radars saying too many would be needed on Pacific islands or along the U.S. east coast. The answer, he said, comes down to “medium-earth orbit or low-earth orbit” sensors, or what’s known as the Space Sensor Layer.”

Hyten claimed, “We’re studying the heck out of it, when actually what we need to say…Now there’s all kinds of sensors that are out there. Put the sensors on some satellites, fly them cheap, fly them fast, see what they can do, and then figure out what you need to actually go build.”

On arms control, Hyten said, “New START is a good thing…because it gives you a number [of deployed Russian warheads and delivery systems]…It also gives you insight into the Russian nuclear forces because of the verification regime that’s on the New START Treaty. Those are very, very important issues.”

But Hyten added his belief that an extension should include not just Russia’s new nuclear weapons like hypersonic cruise missiles and nuclear torpedoes, but also their tactical weapons. His reasoning, “Because [their] employment will not be tactical. That employment will be strategic. And it will be responded to in a strategic way.” He also said talks should begin with China, whose strategic nuclear arsenal although small is growing.

Discussions on extending START are underway “not just in the [Defense}] Department, but in the interagency and in the White House,” Hyten said, adding, “I won’t tell you exactly the discussions that are going on, but those are the pieces of the puzzle.”

Hyten also took time to complain about the privatized housing problem facing military families, suicide prevention, taking care of children with special needs, personnel with mental health issues and sexual assault, where he said the numbers “are going the wrong way.”

Hyten announced he was going to hire a special assistant to “look at our people and families…and we’re going to get after all these people and family programs to make sure that we are taking care of our most precious resource.”

Read more national security insights, perspectives and analysis in The Cipher Brief

Top Colleges in the Northeast for Student Outcomes

Harvard and Princeton top the regional list for this category in the WSJ/THE College Rankings

Harvard University was one of seven Ivy League schools in the top 10 colleges in the Northeast for student outcomes. Photo: Charles Krupa/Associated Press

Jan. 15, 2020 11:06 am ET

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The top 10 colleges in the Northeast for student outcomes include six that made the top 10 nationwide for the category in the Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education College Rankings.

Harvard University and Princeton University tied for the top ranking in outcomes both in the Northeast and nationally, with Yale University placing third in the region and nationwide. They are followed in the Northeast ranking by the University of Pennsylvania, Cornell University and Dartmouth College, all of which are in the top 10 nationally for outcomes.

The WSJ/THE rankings emphasize how well a college will prepare students for life after graduation. The overall ranking is based on 15 factors across four main categories: Forty percent of each school’s overall score comes from student outcomes, including measures of graduate salaries and debt burdens, 30% from the school’s academic resources, 20% from how well it engages its students and 10% from its diversity.

Explore the Full Rankings

You can filter the WSJ/THE full rankings or customize them to focus on your own priorities. JUSTIN METZ

Another Ivy League school, Brown University, also made the top 10 in the Northeast for outcomes, at No. 9. The only Ivy not to make the regional top 10 for the category, Columbia University, is No. 11 in the Northeast.

Non-Ivies in the Northeastern top 10 for outcomes are the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Amherst College and Williams College.

All 10 schools on the Northeastern list are private. The top public school for outcomes in the Northeast is the University of Pittsburgh, 32nd in the region, followed by SUNY Binghamton University at 33rd. They rank 80th and 87th, respectively, in the country for outcomes.

See the list of top 10 schools in the Northeast for outcomes below. You can also see our full rankings as well as sort the complete rankings by a variety of measures and reweight the main contributing factors to reflect what’s most important to you. And you can use our tool to help you compare any two colleges in detail side by side.

Top Colleges in the Northeast for Outcomes

Outcomes Rank: NortheastCollegeOutcomes Rank: NationalOverall Rank: National
1Harvard University11
1Princeton University15
3Yale University33
4University of Pennsylvania54
5Cornell University79
6Dartmouth College1012
7Massachusetts Institute of Technology122
8Amherst College1420
9Brown University157
10Williams College1721

Showing 1 to 10 of 10 entries

Regions are as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau. Ties are listed in order of the schools’ overall national ranking.

Source: WSJ/THE College Rankings

(See the top 10 list of Northeastern colleges, ranked by student outcomes.)

——Gerard Yates

Civilization Is History at Yale

Great art is too ‘white, straight, European and male,’ so it’ll have to give way to the latest agitprop.

By Roger Kimball Jan. 29, 2020 6:57 pm ET

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Illustration: Barbara Kelley

Yale announced last week that it will stop teaching its famous survey course, “Introduction to Art History: Renaissance to the Present.” Taught for decades by Vincent Scully one of Yale’s most celebrated professors, the course was a riveting introduction to pulse of humanism.

It is being cashiered for all the usual reasons. Its focus is too white, too European, too male, too “problematic,” as Tim Barringer, chairman of the art history department, puts it. Mr. Barringer will substitute a course that challenges such Eurocentrism and promises to be very up-to-date. Mr. Barrginer says he’ll introduce a “global” perspective. Naturally, he writes, the course will consider art in relation to “questions of gender, class and ‘race.’ ” (Why the scare quotes around “race”? Is today one of those days when race is only a social construct?) It will also ponder art’s “involvement with Western capitalism.”

Globalism, gender, class, race, capitalism. Has Mr. Barringer neglected any trendy concern? How about the Greta Thunberg gambit? On it! Art’s “relationship with climate change will be a ‘key theme,’ ” the Yale Daily News reports.

The Daily News adds that the removal of “Introduction to Art History” is “the latest response to student uneasiness over an idealized Western ‘canon’—a product of an overwhelmingly white, straight, European and male cadre of artists.”

It is also yet another sign that Yale has succumbed to a life-draining decadence. A decadent institution isn’t necessarily impoverished or licentious. Rather, it is desiccated because it has lost the life-giving pith of its purpose. To a casual observer, a decadent institution may look healthy. The buildings may be expensive, well-kept and plentiful. Tidy, well-heeled people may bustle about. But the animating élan has evaporated. A decadent institution is one that has repudiated itself.

Readers of these pages will recall many warning signs of self-repudiation from Yale. A few years ago, bowing to student pressure, it rebaptized a residential college named for John C. Calhoun. Calhoun was a congressman, senator, secretary of war and vice president, one of his generation’s most brilliant orators, and an effective defender of limited government and free trade. But he was also an avid supporter of slavery, so any other consideration had to be erased. Statues and other representations of Calhoun were removed from public view, as were stained-glass windows depicting slaves laboring in fields from the dining hall of the college formerly known for John.

Shhh! Don’t tell anyone, but many of Yale’s residential colleges are named for men who supported slavery. One whose position was very close to Calhoun’s was Samuel F.B. Morse. You probably know Morse as inventor of the telegraph and namesake of its code. He was also a staunch believer that slavery was a positive good. Apparently, Yale’s Committee to Establish Principles on Renaming—I’m not making that up—hasn’t gotten around to Samuel Morse.

Nor has it gotten around to Elihu Yale. A philanthropist whose benefactions helped found the university, Yale was also an administrator in India, where he was deeply involved in the slave trade. He made sure that ships leaving his jurisdiction for Europe carried at least 10 slaves. I am still waiting for the Committee on Renaming to tackle Elihu Yale. My own suggestion is that they rename the university for a more important early benefactor, Jeremiah Dummer, who recruited Elihu Yale as a donor.

Yale’s habit of self-repudiation targets much more than impermissible attitudes toward slavery. In 2017, Yale’s Committee on Art in Public Spaces first covered and then removed a stone decoration from an entrance to Sterling Memorial Library that depicted an American Indian and a Puritan. The Puritan was holding a musket—a gun! Susan Gibbons, of Yale’s librarian-censors, sniffed that its “presence at a major entrance to Sterling was not appropriate.” Why not? She didn’t think it necessary to say.

The Committee to Establish Principles on Renaming and the Committee on Art in Public Spaces: Yale University has been impressed by Robespierre’s Committee on Public Safety, which had a similarly censorious and even more kinetic approach to heterodox opinions.

Also last week, Yale tapped Angela Davis as its Martin Luther King Day speaker. Ms. Davis, a two-time Communist Party USA nominee for vice president, is best known for fleeing justice after being charged with the 1970 kidnapping and murder of Judge Harry Haley. (Although she had bought the gun used in the crime, she was later acquitted.) Ms. Davis wanted to destroy America: She became a Communist, she wrote, because “the only true path to liberation . . . leads toward a complete and total overthrow of the capitalist class in this country and all its manifold institutional appendages.” Obviously she is a fitting speaker for Yale.

The political philosopher James Burnham once observed that “suicide is probably more frequent than murder as the end phase of a civilization.” As Yale has been demonstrating for some years now, elite institutions are eager to take the lead.

Mr. Kimball is president and publisher of Encounter Books and editor and publisher of the New Criterion.

An Antarctic Explorer’s Mental Journey

Weekend Confidential

Endurance athlete Colin O’Brady was the first person to cross the Antarctic continent alone and unaided—thanks to an epiphany with 77 miles to go

Fifty-three days into his solo trek across Antarctica and 77 miles from his goal, Colin O’Brady was exhausted and starving. Running out of food, he had stretched out his daily rations to keep himself alive. “My ribs were sticking out, my hips were sticking out,” he recalls. “I had frostbite on my hands and cheeks.” It was Christmas Day 2018, and he could barely summon the energy to pack his bags onto the sled he pulled behind him. But then he started and, step by step, something in him shifted: “My mind came alive. I said to myself, ‘What if I don’t stop? What if I just keep going?’”

From that point, Mr. O’Brady, an explorer and endurance athlete with multiple world records to his name, pushed on for 32 hours straight to the end of his 932-mile quest. He beat his rival, British Army Capt. Lou Rudd, by two days to become the first man to complete a crossing of Antarctica alone and unassisted. But the real journey, he says, was an internal one: “Being alone in this stark white landscape, without music, without podcasts, and figuring out where that would take my mind and my soul.”

Mr. O’Brady, 34, had come to Antarctica with the hope of finding and exploring the “flow state”—a psychological term for the immersive focus of athletes who are “in the zone”—that he had experienced in short spurts in earlier endeavors. In the euphoria of his final push, “It was like I was hyper-present every single minute, like those 32 hours lasted weeks in my mind,” he says. “My senses were super heightened. I felt connected to all of the people in my life, which is very bizarre when you’re completely alone, surrounded by nothing but ice.”

By contrast, he points out, tucking into breakfast at a restaurant in Manhattan, we can also be surrounded by millions of people and feel completely alone.

I love to explore the edges of the world.

In his just-published memoir, “The Impossible First: From Fire to Ice—Crossing Antarctica Alone,” Mr. O’Brady also revisits his unlikely route to his adventurous career. In 2007, after graduating from Yale University, where he had been recruited for the swim team, he set off on a yearlong backpacking trip. On a Thai island, a freak accident changed his life. Joining in a common, though perilous, activity on Thai beaches—skipping a flaming jump rope—he got caught in the rope and suffered severe burns on his legs. A doctor at the local hospital told him he’d never walk normally again.

“I was downward-spiraling,” says Mr. O’Brady. “I’d been a lifelong athlete. I thought, ‘Who am I without that?’” His mother urged him to set a goal, so he did—completing a triathlon. Back at his childhood home in Portland, Ore., she pushed him every day to walk a few steps farther. “I look at that as a sliding-doors moment in my life,” he says. “If I had leaned into the negativity, the fear, the diagnosis, it’s really hard to say where my life would have gone. But instead this other door was opened to me.”

His rehabilitation turned into training, and in 2009, he won the Chicago triathlon. Having completed one goal, he set another and another, winning a spot on Team USA at the 2010 World Triathlon Championships. In 2016, he completed the Explorers Grand Slam, a challenge to climb the highest mountain on each of the seven continents and complete expeditions to the North and South Poles—and he did it in world-record time. The string of athletic highs happened “not in spite of the burn accident but actually because of it,” he says. “They’re a continuation of that curiosity—what more am I capable of?” He hopes that his records create a ripple effect, inspiring other people to “take on the seemingly impossible in their own lives.”

Mr. O’Brady about halfway through his trek across Antarctica, on Nov. 28, 2018. Photo: Courtesy Colin O’Brady

What drew Mr. O’Brady to Antarctica, he writes, was “the idea of the blank canvas, of life unfolding with its deep uncertainties and possibilities wrapped up together.” Growing up hiking the mountains of the Pacific Northwest, he was fascinated by stories of explorers and frustrated to be born when so much had already been explored. But trudging across the ice on his mohair-covered skis in Antarctica, he would remind himself that 99% of his steps were on ground that no one had touched before. “I love to explore the edges of the world,” he says.

His previous records were about speed, optimizing feats that others had already accomplished. There was no blueprint, though, for the Antarctic crossing. Those who had attempted it before him had given up or died. The continent posed a “giant math problem”—carry too much food and equipment and the sled would be too heavy; carry too little and he might die. His wife, Jenna Besaw, the organizer behind his exploits, packed and weighed and repacked his gear. On an early night in his trek, when his sled was too heavy and he was crying tears that froze on his face, she ran the numbers and talked him through how much more he could leave behind at a way station. They talked almost every night. “That’s my favorite part of this,” he says. “It’s not a single man’s effort. Not even close.”

If I had leaned into the negativity, the fear, it’s really hard to say where my life would have gone.

He trained with an ex-Navy SEAL, who contrived exercises such as doing planks with his hands in ice buckets and wall-sits with his feet in ice buckets while solving a Lego set. “It seemed crazy at the time,” Mr. O’Brady says, but the ability to concentrate on tying a knot properly, for instance, in the middle of a storm with frozen hands would be key to his survival.

Another crucial bit of preparation: 10-day silent meditation retreats. On the best days of his journey, the empty landscape would start to fill with vivid memories he didn’t know he had, like wandering through a lucid dream. “It was wild,” he says. “All of a sudden I could tap into these moments—for 12 hours pulling my sled, I’d go into these memory palaces. It was like, oh my god, it’s all in there. We all have that!”

On the darker days, though, he began to lose his grip on reality. Not having seen his rival, who started at the same time, since they crossed paths on the sixth day, he began to wonder if Capt. Rudd was a figment of his imagination. “Is Lou real?” he asked his wife on the satellite phone. He became obsessed, too, with the fate of Henry Worsley, an explorer who died attempting the crossing in 2016.

After Mr. O’Brady reached the finish line, a tiny post sticking out of the snow, he waited two days to congratulate Capt. Rudd.

This past Christmas, Mr. O’Brady set another world first—rowing a boat with five other people across Drake Passage, from Cape Horn to Antarctica. “Forty-foot swells, tiny little rowboat, no motor, no sails, never slept more than 60 minutes at a time,” he says, still riding the high of seeing the giant icebergs and jumping penguins as they reached the peninsula. “Anyway,” he shrugs, “that’s a whole other story.”

Write to Elizabeth Winkler at elizabeth.winkler@wsj.com

Danger to our University

          The dangers to our university are non-faculty bureaucracy and student activism.  These are clear and present dangers to the original idea of a University.  Perhaps the first purpose of a university came from Socrates who said, “Never cease from the practice and teaching of philosophy”. But he also disclaimed any involvement in politics and the struggle for power.

          Another problem is that our youth approaching the University lack discipline.  No one doubts the truism that after two years of military service the person was better for it.  High schools which have a universal job program for all for an hour in the morning produce more disciplined students.

          The non-faculty bureaucracy and student activism are pushing for dangerous developments in the university:

  1.  The ascension of narrow ideological fields of study, usually at the expense of study of the great events and ideas of world history.
  2.   The erosion of the due process of the rights of faculty and students.
  3.   Denying the special place America represents with its freedom and justice and the 1st choice of most immigrants.
  4.   Dangerous efforts to regulate permissible limits of classroom discussion.
  5.  Unwelcome ideas are condemned as is “hate speech” by some.

Every needy student activist asserts demands that require expansion of the bureaucracy. The new bureaucracy encourages and facilitates the student agitation.

Example:  The students demand that the name “Calhoun” be changed for one of Yale’s residential buildings because Mr. Calhoun owned slaves at one time. 

       Result:  Under President Salovey a board convinced a study group and agreed to change the name.

        Pres. Salovey announced the creation of a “Name Calling Committee” and a budget of $3 million dollars was included so that a proper consensus could be reached with student approval for their demands.

Opinion:  This spineless “give in” to student demands, produced new student life coordinates, more officers, more diversity deans, more sexual climate professionals, more non-faculty bureaucracy.

A weak leadership will create still another diversity and an inclusion study group to avoid elitism, to force diversity, to improve access to academic programs and alumni networks to outsiders not connected to Yale, to end legacy admission, to increase equal opportunity, and to increase economic and social mobility.

Note:  Most of the above are pet projects of the new head of Yale’s Board, C atherine Hill, who was “let go” from Vassar (President from 2006.  Debt was $172 million.  By 2015 the debt rose to $254 million).

Sometimes the new bureaucrats promote activist causes directly. At a well-known midwestern college the vice president and dean of student life (formerly the college’s special assistant to the president for diversity, equity, and inclusion) was found to have been directly involved in a student effort to libel and injure a local business on fabricated charges of racism!

Thus, this new non-faculty bureaucracy and student activism seek to change education as we knew it.  How did we get there?   Yale’s mission statement before 2016 was; “Yale has as tripartite mission:  to create, preserve, and disseminate knowledge”.  This statement is just about right.  But in 2016 President Salovey announced a new longer statement.  Here are two representative sentences:

          “Yale is committed to IMPROVING the world…. Yale educates aspiring leaders worldwide who serve all sectors of society…”

The focus on knowledge is gone, replaced by leadership, practice and world-improvement.  The shift is from inquiry and deliberation to institution of assertiveness and action.

          Universities do not exist to implement the conclusion of our social, cultural, moral or economic debates.  Maintaining that distinction between inquiry and action has always been crucial to academic freedom.  It is the totalitarian who rejects this distinction, who insists that society may regulate opinion as it regulates action.  The Gestapo or Inquisition are good examples.

          Now the ambitions of our university staff are greater:  the achievement of diversity, inclusion and equity, avoid elitism, restore regulation of the for-profit sector, regulate economic and social mobility, get rid of legacy admissions.

The dreaded Title IX has metastasized into a vast bureaucracy that oversees orientations, investigations and mandatory bystander training, amounting to a re-education which is a new part of the University’s business.  The university is changing from the teaching of philosophy and inquiry to the service of social change.

This cancer begins with the new “professional admissions” departments.  These admissions professionals are not interested in traditional academic criteria but flashier virtues such as “the need for change, activism, leadership, or overcoming adversity”.  In the old days under President Kingman Brewster it was simpler. “Welcome to the privilege of Yale.”   vs.   Now.

                                               Inquiry vs. activism                                                             Speech vs. conduct

              Process of understanding the world vs. impose our will on it.

               Authority with the faculty vs. non-faculty bureaucracies

How do we change it back to where it was?

  1.  The faculty has to wake up.
  2.   Trustees should demand detailed outlines of jobs they offer.
  3.   Alumni should become wiser in their philanthropy and limit gifts  to a year, subject to direction and results.
  4.  Enforce restrictions on charitable gifts.
  5.  Clean up admission process (intellectual virtues over activism)
  6.  Clean out the mass of activism and bureaucracy.

Those who seek to politicize the University to collapse the distinction between educational inquiry and action claim that the old university is a “shield for the privileged” and “justice is paramount”.  These activists have a morose self-loathing of the past and seek to recast our constitution and academic principals into their enlightened power.  It will FAIL.

Our newest arrivals have already voted with their feet.  Immigrants by the hundred thousand at the border are eager to learn and embrace our national traditions. Our university’s purpose was and is to teach students in methods and habits of free inquiry – in deliberation assessment of evidence and the expansion of knowledge.  Universities did NOT exist to implement the conclusion of our social, cultural, moral, or economic debates. -1-

                                                                      John Allen Franciscus

1.  This whole article quotes much and leans heavily on the Remarks of Judge Jose A. Cabranes on the occasion of the 2019 Philip Menall Award by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni.  Washington D.C.  

          Also we refer to –  Selection of Articles and Quotes 8 Oct 2019 from Catharine Hill in the Media:  Boilerplate Mag.  18 Jan 200.    New York Time 2016.  Poughkeepsie Journal. 20 July 16.

Yale Alumni Association – 2011 assembly Peter Salovey Leadership Advancing Yale’s Mission.  Belonging at Yale,  Supporting Diversity,  Equity, and inclusion on Campus.

11-21-2019

Yale, Al Sharpton and the Attacks on New York’s Jews

Disdain for the ultra-Orthodox leads the elites to tolerate hatred, which turns into violence.

By Abigail Shrier

Jan. 3, 2020 6:18 pm ET

  • My entering class at Yale Law School in 2002 had one Jew who might be called “ultra-Orthodox.” He traveled some two hours to campus each Monday from Brooklyn, N.Y., and before the weekend, as far as I knew, he headed back. On Fridays when Sabbath came in early and he needed to get home, he could be seen racing white-faced for the exit, one hand pinning a velvet yarmulke to his head, the wheels of his tagalong briefcase crying out.

Yale Law School was about as secular a place as I had ever been—an institution where God seemed not only absent but strangely irrelevant. I sympathized with his need to chase spiritual renewal somewhere else. But the open snickers of our classmates surprised me. They imitated how he raised his hand in class (palm a little too rigid and tilted slightly forward). They joked that it looked like a Nazi salute. They rolled their eyes whenever someone mentioned his name.

In an institution pledged to champion the downtrodden, contempt coalesced happily on his head. Most surprising to me was how readily and wordlessly our classmates seemed to have agreed on their target. How did they know whom to kick around? Their defense of minorities stopped at his feet. So many unspoken rules of communication arranged themselves in a target on his back.

I thought of him this week, and the week before, and for many weeks before that, as the frequency of assaults in the New York area targeting ultra-Orthodox Jews rises from alarming to commonplace. The beatings in Brooklyn; threats hurled at ultra-Orthodox Jews on all manner of public transport; the brick bludgeoning in Brooklyn’s Crown Heights neighborhood; the machete attack in Monsey, N.Y., north of the city; the shooting in a Jersey City, N.J., supermarket meant for the yeshiva upstairs filled with children.

Videos of the Brooklyn assaults seem borrowed from another time and place: of Jews attempting to mind their own business in black hats and dark suits, beaten by street thugs. The black hats and dark suits, provocation enough. The ghastly silence of the elites—or worse, intimations that the Jews themselves are responsible.

The AP tutted in a tweet that has since been removed: “The expansion of Hasidic communities around New York City has led to predictable civic sparring, but also flare-ups of what some call anti-Semitic rhetoric.” This came days after a madman charged the home of a Hasidic rabbi, hacking at Jewish heads with a machete. NBC New York tweeted from the same script: “With the expansion of Orthodox communities outside NYC has come civic sparring, and some fear the recent violence may be an outgrowth of that conflict.” Some fear . . . what exactly? That the Jews got what they deserved? That the attacks are a logical response to gentrification? Good people on both sides, is it?

This is Bill de Blasio’s New York, but it could just as easily be David Dinkins’s. And perhaps that is why we are seeing this again: the demon of hate, never exorcised, floats freely around. Our sin was to have whitewashed the Crown Heights pogrom of 1991 and lavished its instigator Al Sharpton with respectability.

After a car crash involving a Hasidic driver resulted in the death of Gavin Cato, the 7-year-old son of Guyanese immigrants, Mr. Sharpton led a three-day riot in Crown Heights. He blamed the accident on “diamond merchants,” and his followers chanted, “Kill the Jew.” They did. The Jew they killed was Yankel Rosenbaum, 29, a doctoral candidate from Australia. Nearly 200 more were injured in the melee.

The political and media elites forgave Mr. Sharpton. Democrats called no harm, no foul. The ultra-Orthodox vote Republican anyway. Mr. Sharpton rose to the Democratic debate stage in 2004 and now hosts a show on MSNBC. This year’s Democratic candidates for president have kissed his ring.

And so the ultra-Orthodox Jews find themselves sitting ducks again in a New York hostile or indifferent to their fate. Their values have never been so out of step with the city where they live. They have many children in a time when most Americans have few. Global warming doesn’t rate on their lists of top concerns. They lead traditional lives, directed toward God, and maintain traditional families. They don’t know the meaning of “genderqueer.”

They are, in other words, of increasingly little use to the Democrats in charge of the city, who now withhold law-enforcement protection. Perpetrators of anti-Semitic assaults have been quickly released on bail, or not arrested, or have had their verbal assaults deemed “not a hate crime.”

And this is what Martin Niemöller got wrong in his famous poem we can all recite from memory: “Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.” Other people don’t worry that they are next when ultra-Orthodox Jews are beaten each week—because they aren’t. There is no practical, selfish impetus to protect these Jews.

But there is a moral imperative. Because an America that allows its religious minorities to be harassed, assaulted and murdered in the streets is not a free country at all. If religious liberty means anything today, then it must be something we afford those peaceful minorities whose political views have become unfashionable, whose customs appear to be throwbacks, who remind us more of another place and time, where they were hunted and killed in unspeakable numbers. At stake isn’t merely the lives of these Jews, but the soul of a nation that once welcomed and embraced them.

Ms. Shrier is author of “Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters,” forthcoming in June.