Welcome to the new website for the class of ’54. This new website offers classmates the opportunity to include comments.
A “Yale Class of 1954” Facebook listing has been established where classmates can upload comments, pictures and references to other websites of interest.
Early-bird class notes from Russ Reynolds, class secretary.
Read them here first!
600 Steamboat Road, Greenwich, Ct 06830
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 31st. Tom 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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
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.
, Duyen Nguyen wrote:
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.
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 email@example.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.
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