class notes from
Russ Reynolds, our new class secretary
Read them here first!
Sandy Muir - February 26, 2015
It is my sad news to report that Sandy Muir, our Class Secretary for the
first ten years of our alumni lives, passed away on February 26th.
As an undergraduate, Sandy captured the friendship and the hearts of the
Class of 1954 very quickly. His leadership for the first ten years as
Class Secretary was outstanding. He formed the Class Council and
brought people together, fostering the spirit which has made our class
one of the greatest classes ever. Sandy’s ability to rearrange his life
to cope with the paralysis he ended up with after graduation, was an
inspiration to everybody who knew him. His leadership in teaching, in
law, and then teaching at Berkeley and subsequent generous contributions
to thousands and thousands of students, is legendary. Sandy embodied
the spirit of the Class of 1954 as well as anyone. A service
commemorating Sandy’s life will be held on Saturday, March 7th
at Newman Hall Holy Spirit Parish at 2700 Dwight Way at College Avenue,
Berkeley, California, 94704.
January-February 2015 Notes
Russell S. Reynolds, Jr., Secretary
600 Steamboat Road
Greenwich, CT 06830
Charles B. Johnson, Treasurer
The Whiffenpoof Alumni Association sponsored a reunion event in New
Haven on September 19th and 20th.
About 120 young and old Whiffs showed up, with about 60 guests.
There was some fabulous singing and rehearsing at Battell Chapel
followed by dinner at LoRicco Tower Ballroom.
A number of a capella quartets competed for the prize to
replicate the silver dollar quartet, which sang so well for several
decades in an earlier generation.
Among the attendees at the reunion were our classmates
Jim and Nancy Monde,
Obie Clifford, Bruce Meacham,
Peter Coughlan, and Russ and
Alice and Jack Rogers
continue to have a good time on the east coast of Florida in the winter
and the cool water of Penobscot Bay in the summer.
They feel lucky to have 8 grandsons and 2 granddaughters, ranging
in age from 18 to 2 years, and continue to feel younger than reality.
made it to the reunion, and is looking forward to the 65th!
His health is very good, though he hasn’t yet made it back to
golf. He is traveling, and
got in a trip to Germany last year.
Visiting his four kids and twelve grandchildren is his main
Richard W. Murphy
is aging gracefully at Leisure World of Maryland in Silver Spring.
He has decided to give up golf because his neuropathy adversely
affects his swing and putting.
After 67 years, however, he thinks it's time to retire.
In August 2014, he, Luda, Julie, and enjoyed a visit to
Newfoundland, a land of rugged beauty and friendly people.
loved Bob Redpath's
suggestion in the previous Class Notes regarding compiling a list of
classmates’ publications. It got him thinking about books,
professional journal articles and other important publications
by members of the amazing class of 1954.
He listed these
class authors: Ric Arias,
Bobo Dean, John Franciscus, George Frear, David Harned, George Jacoby,
Ballard Morton, Walt Pincus, Gaddis Smith, George Spaeth, Wally Stuhr,
Dick Thornburgh, Sib Towner, myself, and
Mason Willrich, in addition
to musical publications, by Dick Gregory (who did several Whiff arrangements) and the late Al
Loeffler, an internationally known composer. Please let him know
if there are others. (Sandy Muir
that perhaps the Class Council might draft someone to run the project,
or that the AYA or staff at the Yale Library could assist. Any
reports that he survived in the securities business for 56 years, 8
months and 15 days and is now “retired”.
He is starting a newsletter, which I strongly recommend you read
because the first two he did are absolutely terrific.
Otis’s specialty is technology and he’s been through ten
downturns in the economy quite successfully.
Let him know if you are interested at 212.888.6400.
suffered a mild stroke on June 21st.
After recovering in rehab, he is using a cane, but a preexisting
illness which affects lower extremities with pain and numbness, impacts
the pace of his recovery. He
and Ginny are planning to move to Pittsburgh to be closer to family.
Dr. Robert W. Baker, Jr.
was a 4th generation dentist in Tulsa, Oklahoma for almost 40
years. He attended Yale and
The University of Oklahoma, before obtaining his dental license from the
University of Missouri. He
served in the Army during the Korean conflict.
He passed away in February.
died on August 12th.
He was a founding member of the Duke’s Men singing group at Yale,
and served in the Army. He
earned an MS degree in Social Work from Boston University and dedicated
most of his career to the Department of Mental Health.
Doug Putnam enlisted in the Army
following Yale, and served in Germany for two years before embarking on
a career as a stock broker in Boston and Hartford.
An active Republican, he was elected State Senator for the 5th
District in 1977. Doug
passed away on August 23rd.
is with sadness that we also report the death of
Joe Pinto, whose memorial service was on September 12th
in New York. Joe worked in
investment banking and in the container leasing industry before forming
an investment partnership firm.
I received a nice letter from
Ted Hoopes with the sad news
that his roommate, Bob Todd
died in Pittsburgh on September 15th.
Bob worked for PNC Bank for 28 years before retiring.
He was on the boards of several organizations and enjoyed
wintering in Naples, Florida.
After graduating from Yale,
Vincent Campbell spent two
years as a First Lieutenant in the Field Artillery, then received an LLB
from Pennsylvania Law School.
After a short time in private practice, Vincent joined
Westinghouse Electric, eventually becoming Assistant General Counsel
before retiring in 1994 and moving to Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.
He passed away October 5th Florida.
Send in your news and stay well!
November-December 2014 Notes
Bill Hopewell alerted me to the upcoming exhibition of
Dick Polich’s contribution to the art world at the
Dorsky Museum in New Paltz, New York from August 27th –
December 14th, 2014. Local classmates may want to visit
the exhibit. Dick is still
hard at work overseeing one of the world’s leading foundries which has
produced some fabulous works of art.
Dick Gilder gathered a few of our classmates in
Dark Harbor, Islesboro, Maine in July, including David Banker,
Obie Clifford, Bill Bernhard and yours truly.
The beat goes on.
Dick and his wife Lois Chiles are scheduled to be honored by Yale for
their magnificent gift to the Sterling Library on September 5th.
The Class Council meeting will be held in New York on Thursday,
November 13th, and a report will be forthcoming on the
Council’s deliberations. I
hope everyone knows that any class member who would like to, is welcome
to attend the class council meetings.
Let your Secretary know if you have any interest.
It is my sad duty to report on the loss of several classmates:
Robertson died May 11th in Paradise Valley, AZ after
a brief battle with cancer.
He served in the USMC as a 1st Lieutenant, and enjoyed
a 27 year career as an SVP of Human Resources and the Board of Directors
at Morgan Construction Co. in Worcester, Mass. before retiring to
Arizona in 1989. He was an
avid sports fan, sang in his church choir, and listened to classical
Mulloney died at home in Pittsburgh on May 18th.
Following his years at Yale, Peter served as a Lieutenant in the
U.S. Navy and spent his entire career at U.S. Steel, retiring in 1997.
He was a founder of the Pittsburgh Marathon and former Chairman
of the Board of Trustees of La Roche College.
Edward F. Molyneux, Jr. died in Rhinebeck on May
27th of pancreatic cancer.
Edward spent 30 years on the advertising business, winning
numerous awards for his work.
After moving to Rhinebeck, NY in 1973, Edward ran his own
freelance advertising company, retiring in 1994, spending many happy
years gardening, rooting for his beloved New York Yankees and trying to
keep up with his children.
Molloy passed away on July 6th in Maine.
After being a star quarterback at Yale, he spent four years in
U.S. Navy, enjoyed a long career in life insurance and real estate
sales, and worked at LL Bean until retiring in 2006.
interest in sports continued with Little League coaching and umpiring,
and enjoyment of tennis and golf. Ed
volunteered with many local charities, including the United Way and
Sherman Magidson died in Chicago on July 7th.
Following his service in the U.S. Army, Sherman earned his JD
from Northwestern in 1959.
He had a long, distinguished career as a criminal defense attorney in
Chicago while simultaneously writing for daytime television dramas such
as The Young and the Restless and The Bold and the Beautiful at CBS.
Riley died on July 22nd in Westwood, Massachusetts.
Following his graduation from Yale,
he acquired an MBA from Boston College and spent over forty years in
banking, of which thirty-eight were with BayBanks Inc.
He loved the arts and was passionately involved as creator,
patron, and supporter. Harry appreciated the beauty of flowers and found
great joy in tending to his beautiful gardens.
Please plan to attend the various events we are invited to at
Yale this fall, especially the Yale-Princeton game on Saturday, November
15th, in our glorious skybox with a great reception lunch in
the Smilow Field House following the game at which the Whiffenpoofs of
1954 will provide some entertainment.
See you soon!
October-November 2014 Notes
Russell S. Reynolds, Jr., Secretary
Charles B. Johnson, Treasurer
Our 60th reunion was
one terrific experience for everyone involved, especially me, having
been talked into becoming your reunion Chairman by our persuasive
Chairmen of the nominating committee,
Joel Smilow and
The class expresses its deep appreciation to
Allan Ryan, for making
outstanding prints of his famous bulldog painting, which hangs in the
lobby of Mory’s, available to all our reunion attendees, and to
Carl Shedd for sharing his
priceless bulldog photo, which was framed in Lucite for all reunion
United Kingdom residents Bob
and Cecily Redpath enjoyed
their first reunion and are looking forward to the next.
Fortified by hearing aids in both ears amidst the tumult of what
might be Yale's loudest class, Bob discovered that a high proportion of
the classmates that he talked to, (Bryan,
Muir) had published books. He wonders if it might be an idea to ask
classmates to send a list of their publications to a central source to
record the literary accomplishments of the class?
John Franciscus has created
a wonderful DVD of photos of the reunion, complete with accompanying
piano music, Cole Porter, Whiffenpoofs, etc.
Those who would like a copy of the DVD should e-mail him at
many of you know, the William K.
(Sandy) Muir Jr. Leadership Award Endowment was established a few
months ago at the University of California at Berkeley.
A recent report about the endowment indicates that it was
initially supported by a significant number of people, perhaps 150, and
that the endowment supports two seniors currently at the University.
A number of classmates have contributed to the fund, which of
course should grow over the years.
For those who have not yet taken the opportunity to contribute,
online gifts can be made with a major credit card at
Any questions should be directed to Mr. Marc Levin at (510) 643-6476 or
I can’t think of anyone who is a more appropriate honoree for
such an award as Sandy, who I know is most appreciative of everyone’s
a ”high tech” entrepreneur, Paul
Pesek greatly appreciates that
Dick Glowacki recently gave a
gift to the Entrepreneurship
Initiative for funding at SOM. Dick said that “Entrepreneurs are
shaping the economy of the future”. When we graduated from Yale,
technology start-up companies were almost unknown. In addition, Dick
established a Glowacki scholarship fund for undergraduate architecture
majors as an honor to Vincent Scully, Sterling Professor Emeritus of the
History of Art Architecture.
died on October 30th in Virginia after teaching “Business and
Hospitality Law” in the Hotel School at Cornell for 25 years. Along with
his father, who also taught at Cornell, he wrote “The Law of Innkeepers:
for Hotels, Motels, Restaurants and Clubs”, which is the standard
reference text in hospitality law.
died last December. No other information is available
Dr. Hubert Allen
was a gastroenterologist in Chicago and the Mayo Clinic, who died in
Scottsdale, Arizona on January 11th.
Roger Strong’s brother in
law. I think that our class had a doctor in every medical specialty that
was another New Haven resident who died on March 10th. He was
a member of Mensa, which is an organization whose members have attained
a score at or above the 98th percentile on a standard test of
owned an engineering consulting firm in Guilford, CT where he was
involved in several boards, commissions and groups. Bob died on April 3rd
in the Yale-New Haven Hospital.
who lived in Canton, was described as a “true scholar whose intellectual
curiosity knew no bounds”, died on April 8th.
was a golf enthusiast who studied the game with an intensity
that didn’t always translate
on the course”, which could apply to most of us. Jack was an
executive at Cigna for 32 years.
was a Phi Beta Kappa at Yale who was a beloved teacher and Interim
Headmaster at St. Andrew’ School in Boca Raton, Florida for 30 years. He
was honored as the first “Master Teacher” at the school upon his
retirement. He died in Palm
Beach on April 13th.
served in the Air Force as a command pilot with the rank of Major for 22
years. He also served as Wing Executive Officer at bases in New York and
North Carolina. He died on
April 19th in North Carolina
Richard Mellon Scaife
died July 4th. He
left Yale after one eventful year and went on to graduate from the
University of Pittsburgh. He
become the owner and publisher of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, managed
several Mellon family foundations and gave financial support to many
LUX ET VERITAS
YALE CLASS OF 1954 NOTES FOR JULY 2014
(Cy) Paul Pesek, Secretary
Wayzata, MN 55391
It was terrific! We broke every record in
Reynolds, the reunion chairman, his committee, and Stacey O’Donnell
and Karen Jahn of the AYA, ran a wonderful, inspiring reunion
GIFT - We gave a record
$220 Million, which exceeds the previous Yale record for a 60th
reunion of $56 million (by the class of 1951) by a factor of 4 times!
The gift without Charlie
Johnson’s college contribution was $63 million due to
Fred Frank and his crew of
fund raisers. A special thanks to the three musketeers of
Dick Gilder, and
Joel Smilow who lead our
class to this amazing gift.
Thanks to Wiz Arndt and his
Attendance Committee and to
Murray Buttner and his
gang of YAF agents, and (possibly) to the fact that there was no charge
for the reunion, we broke the record for attendance for 60th
reunions with 183 classmates and 154 guests for a total of 337
We all gathered in the Pearson College Courtyard
under the tent on Thursday evening and heard Dr. Thomas Lynch, the
Director of the Yale Cancer Center, tell us about the remarkable work that Yale is
doing at the Center and especially at the Smilow
that has made Yale a world
leader in cancer research and
On Friday, we learned about the two
beautiful new residential colleges which are largely being funded by
Charlie Johnson’s gift. We then remembered our classmates who have
died since our last reunion. But, instead of reading all 90 of their
names, we printed a booklet that compiled all the obituaries that I
wrote for this column for the past five years..
The Reverend Ian Buckner Oliver, the Pastor at Battell Chapel,
spoke about remembrance and lead us in a moment of prayer.
We all attended a “Town Hall” Meeting
with a panel of distinguished classmates including
Jerry Grinstein, the
moderator, Dick Thornburgh,
Gaddis Smith, Walter Pincus,
and Charlie Johnson.
Each panelist made a short statement on “How did the Yale
experience affect me?” This was followed by a lively question and answer
discussion about subjects such as Yale’s Chinese venture.
The Class Dinner was very classy with
elegant table settings, formal servers, an orchestra and candles!
President Peter Salovey spoke and praised the Class of 1954 for its
amazing financial support and how we have helped Yale in many other
ways. Russ Reynolds
presented AYA awards “In Recognition of Distinguished Service to
the Yale College Class of
1954” to Bruce Meacham, Charlie
Johnson, Carl Shedd, Murray Buttner and Fred Frank. Russ also gave
me a large drawing of the Harkness Tower which I will hang in my study.
On Saturday, we toured “The Class of
1954 Environmental Science
Center”, which was built
with funds from our 54/50 Fund. After dinner, I turned over my symbol of
office ( a bundle of Yale wooden pencils) as Class Secretary to my
successor, Russell Reynolds .
I also announced that Charlie
Johnson will be the new Class Treasurer. I then presented
Reynolds with an engraved
silver Wine Cooler as a token of our appreciation for running this
magnificent reunion. The evening ended with a Cole Porter review at the
University Theater next door. A great reunion for a great class!
Shedd is assembling these events with photos and an updated Class
Directory for a CLASS OF 1954 60th
REUNION BOOK which will be sent to the entire class soon!
THE CLASS OF
1954 PRESIDENT’S DISCRETIONARY FUND
The class council, at its meeting on November 21,
2013, at the urging of Bob
Quinlan, voted to designate the $3.3 million Class 54/60 Fund that
was organized by Dick Gilder in 2004, to be added to “The Class of 1954 President’s
Discretionary Fund. This fund was started in 2004 as part of the famous
54/50 fund gift to Yale. At the time of the council meeting, the
existing Fund amounted to approximately $700,000 which means that the
Fund could amount to $4 million by June 2014. This is an endowed fund,
which means that the earnings of an estimated 5% ($200,000) a year can
be used for Yale related programs and projects as determined by the
President of Yale without requiring approval of the Corporation. The
online “Giving to Yale” website describes the President’s Fund as
President’s Fund exists to open new avenues of discovery and channeling
resources to the pursuit of novel ideas. The fund supports new courses,
technology and research. It pays for student travel abroad and their
participation in competitions, performances and community service
projects of every variety. This flexible funding also helps to launch
specialized programs and to seed campus-wide initiatives. Donors may
take part with gifts to permanently endow its activities.”
We are getting ready to celebrate our 60th
reunion on May 29 through June 1.
Russ Reynolds, the Reunion Chairman, promises that it will be one of
the greatest reunions of our class. Because of our class generosity,
Yale will absorb the reunion charges, including lodging if you stay in a
residential college. If you stay off campus, you will pay those charges,
but may get a discount. Our program speakers will include our new Yale
President, Peter Salovey. Fred
Frank is heading the Class Gift Campaign which we expect will set a
new record. Carl
Shedd is publishing another outstanding Class Reunion Book with
cartoons from the New Yorker. Because of Yale’s financial incentive, the
great program for the reunion, and
Wiz Arndt’s attendance
committee, we expect a record turnout. Make your reservations now if you
haven’t already done so.
MAKES YALE GREAT AND UNIQUE?
If you walk into the Main Lounge of the New York
Yale Club, you will see five portraits of Yale graduates who were
Presidents of the United States of America
in the last 106 years. They are:
William Howard Taft Yale 1878, Pres 1908-12,Gerald
Ford, LLB ’61, Pres 1973-76,
George H.W. Bush BA’46
Pres 1988-92, , Bill Clinton ’73
JD Law Pres 1992-2000, and
George W. Bush ‘68 BA Pres 2000-08. No other University in the world
can make that claim. (Harvard has only four Presidents). It is
significant that Yale and Harvard graduates have served as President of
for 50 out of the past 102 years! If some of the pundits are correct
about Hillary Clinton (”73 JD Law), Yale can claim a sixth President by
2016. It is clear that Yale’s unique strength is that it has provided
more world leaders than any other institution in the world.
Yale’s “Mission” Statement must include “Yale will continue to provide leaders for the United States of America and for the
HIGH IQ SOCIETY)
Langworthy was in Perth for the Australian Mensa Annual Gathering in
December, where he went to ballets, operas and ate mud bugs,”
just so he could tell me he did!” Because Mensa is an organization of
geniuses, mud bugs must be wonderful to eat!
who died in October, was
in the Strategic Air Command when SAC was our main deterrent to nuclear
war. Like many of us, he used his Korean GI bill to pay for is MBA from
HBS. He was an investment banker until he retired and then focused on
the development of innovative environmental technologies which could
“change the world”. He was very involved with St. Bernard’s school where
he prepped before Yale.
Benelli also got a Master’s degree from Harvard after the Air Force
and became the Headmaster at
Academy which he served
for 24 years, even longer than our
Rick Levin. He also taught in the International Education program at
Framingham University at various sites including Brazil, Venezuela,
Turkey, Taiwan and Bahrain. He died in December.
Gallen, who died in December, was a Phi Beta Kappa at Yale and a
graduate of Yale
School. He founded a
publishing company as well as other successful firms. He funded a
scholarship that has helped many graduate students in the Princeton
Slavic Department which Professor
Charles Townsend, his roommate at
Yale, has lead for several years. (See my notes for November with
Charles’ Czech poems).
Brainard died in December. He spent his early career in aerospace
followed by 29 years with IBM before retiring early to join his wife,
Carol, as a real estate broker in
Colorado. I remember John as a fast halfback on
our JV football team and a star on the Yale track team.
Van Buren, who lived in Newport RI
and devoted much of his life to that historic city, died last December.
He served on the Board of the Naval War College Foundation, the Newport Hospital,
With a Master’s degree in Architecture, he supported Newport’s historic buildings and sites. He was
presented with The Naval Meritorious Public Service Award for his
untiring service to his community.
CLASS OF 1954 NOTES FOR JAN –FEB 2014
Paul Pesek, Secretary
Wayzata, MN 55391
DISCUSSION ABOUT YALE
The Class Council had a special meeting about
Yale’s mission and its implementation prior to its regular November
meeting. Topics included Yale’s
Mission, Academic Focus, Admission Policies,
Ratings and several other deep thoughts. We may continue at the 60th
reunion to include every classmate who would like to share his wisdom!
INVESTMENT CLUB IN “FLY OVER” LAND
may seem remote to many of our class, but it has a strong Yale
contingent dating from some old families who were founders in the 1890s
of the great grain, flour milling, railroad and lumber businesses such
as General Mills, Pillsbury, Cargill, Northern Pacific and Weyerhauser.
been a member of an investment club in
(Twin City Investment Trust) that was started in 1960 by a bunch of
Yalies from the classes of 1951 and 1952 including
John Driscoll, Bill Hartfiel,
John Hartwell, Jim Howard, Whitney MacMillan,
Harry McNeely, Dick Slade Ted
Weyerhauser, Doug Head
and Howard McMillan. Soon afterwards, they added
Jack Taylor (‘54,), Angus
Wurtele (’56) and me.
early investments weren’t very good because we treated the fund as “play
money” and invested in some ultra risky ventures. However our careers
and lives were more successful:
Fifteen members were
CEOs of companies with more than 400 employees
Five of these
companies were “Fortune 500” companies or a private equivalent (Cargill)
One member was the
Attorney General of Minnesota
Another member was a
six term US Congressman
years, we still have occasional lavish meetings, and we have finally
made money in the stock market because our investment committee has been
totally inactive and has not met, nor has it bought or sold any stocks
since 2001! The ultimate buy and hold!
Workman is not inactive! In
fact, he plays tennis every day in Carmel,
California and he and his partner reached the
finals of the senior (over 80) Northern California
doubles championship match on October 8, 2013.
Neumeier, Tuck Craven and Jim McNeely
and wives, along with Abigail Manny, attended the inauguration of Peter Salovey and toured
the Yale campus. They found the graves of Yale Presidents including
Griswold, Brewster, and Giamatti in in the
and recommended that we tour the cemetery as part of our reunion.
The Yale University Press just
published a biography written by
Berel Lang entitled “Primo
Levi, The Matter of a Life” in its book series, “Jewish Lives”.
Another of Berel’s
books, “Ethics, Art, and
Representations of the Holocaust Essays in Honor of
Berel Lang ”
has just been published by Rowan and Littlefield, and is
available from Amazon Books. Berel is a Professor of Philosophy Emeritus at the State
University of New York at
Albany. He was a Professor of Humanities at
College for many years.
By now, you are probably aware of
Charlie Johnson’s gift of $250 million to Yale for two new
residential colleges that will provide for additional students. Each
year Yale turns down thousands of qualified applicants simply because it
does not have enough living space.
We don’t think that one of the colleges will be named
“The Yale Class of
1954 College” even though it
would nicely match “The Yale Class
of 1954 Field” (formerly known as the “Yale Bowl”).
Spaeth is not retired and is still active as the
Glaucoma Research Medical Director
of the famous Wills
which is the world leader in glaucoma research, patient care and
training. He is deeply involved with the research and providing service
to afflicted patients. The Glaucoma Service just celebrated its 50th
anniversary with a Ball honoring those who have made Wills Eye
outstanding, most particularly, George and his late wife, Ann.
As we slowly fade out of the mainstream, our
children are hitting their stride, and we take pride in their
accomplishments. Art Stock’s
daughter Catherine Y’80,
participated in the academic procession of President Salovey’s
installation, representing Connecticut College where she is a Professor of
Scales’ daughter, Lisa has become the Executive Director of the
Greater Pittsburgh First Bank, and
Lowell Kay Hansen has a son
“making the National Forest Service proud in Alaska”
I talked to
Ed Bransome at the Boston
mini reunion in June, 2011, which he gamely attended, although he was
ailing with Parkinson’s disease of which he ultimately died last
October. During his many years of medical practice, he was a professor
of medicine at Scripps Clinic & Research Foundation in
CA and Chief of Endocrinology at
the Medical College of Georgia.
Golden was a rock in the Yale offensive and defensive line
(remember, we played both ways in those days),
and he continued to be involved in football by coaching the
Conestoga (PA) High School in addition to his teaching duties for more
than 25 years. He also owned the Taco House restaurant in Center City,
Hap died in October
CLASS OF 1954 NOTES FOR NOV-DEC 2013
OUR MOTHERS WERE RIGHT – WE ARE
The controversial “The Bell Curve” is a book about
how our IQ is very important to our success at almost everything. It
notes that graduates from the top ten universities, including Yale, have
an average IQ of 130 or are in the top ½ % of the population.
It states: “Starting in the
1950s, a handful of institutions
became magnets for the very brightest of each year’s new class. In these
schools, the cognitive level of the students rose above the rest of the
large portion of the Freshman Classes of 1950 at Harvard and Yale came
from a few of America’s exclusive boarding schools; Phillips Exeter and
Phillips Andover alone contributed almost ten percent of each class.”
However, by 1960, Harvard (and Yale) had been transformed from a school
primarily for the northeastern socioeconomic elite into a school
populated by the brightest of the bright, drawn from all over the
distinction of Harvard and Yale from other schools has become greater
when you look at the scoring of the SAT- Verbal tests. Scoring above 700
is forty times more
concentrated in the freshman classes at Yale and Harvard than in the
national SAT population at large –and the national SAT population is a
already a slice off the top of the distribution.”
6OTH REUNION PLANS
A few of us attended a “Reunion Workshop” at Yale
in September where we discussed the AYA”s recommended programs and
activities for reunions. Russ Reynolds and his committee are devising
different and original activities that include provisions for canes and
walkers for our upcoming 60th
Reunion on May 29 –June 1, 2014.
Rabinowitz and his wife, Leah, traveled with14 other Yalies and
their family members to Eastern Europe with the Global Alumni Leadership Exchange.
They visited several universities in
Sweden, Poland and Belarus, to exchange “best
practices" for developing alumni loyalty and fund raising. Most of these
of these schools are relatively new and are anxious to learn how to deal
with these issues. They were overwhelmed by the story that Al told them
about our 54/50 Fund, and they may try to do something similar at their
schools. Al is making us famous all over the world!
The Yale Club of New York presented “ A
2013 football preview on September 9 with
Joel E. Smilow ’54
and Head Coach Tony Reno
discussing the upcoming season”. Joel was a play by play announcer
for WYBC of the Yale football games team while we were undergraduates,
and has been active supporter of Yale football since then.
Jeremy Spear, Y78, sent me a note that his father,
Nat Spear, passed away at his
home in Manhattan on May 22 at age
82. He is survived by his wife, Josette, three children, and four
grandchildren. Jeremy apologized for the “ brevity of this passage”. It
was one of his Father’s wishes not to bring undo attention to his life’s
work or his personal interests
of Oro Valley, Arizona,
passed away February 19, 2013. After obtaining his BS, MS, and PhD in
Geology from Yale, Ken began his teaching career at
in Lexington, VA. He spent the next 31 years of his
distinguished career at the
of William and Mary
where he founded the geology department in 1961 and taught until his
retirement in 1992. He spent his retirement years traveling
extensively with his wife, Elise, playing tennis, and was very active in
his community. He was most proud of his role in shaping the
outstanding undergraduate geology program at William and Mary and the
students he taught, mentored, and inspired throughout the years.
spent most of his life in and around
New Haven, died in August. He was the President
of Wood’s Lighting Protection Co and was active in the Middle Street
died August 2, was in Bosnia as a volunteer with UNICEF during the
Bosnian war, which he described of an “experience of considerable
meaning” He also met his wife, Azra, while a Fullbright Professor of
Psychology at Sarajevo University in 1999. In retirement, he became a
licensed clinical psychologist and treated adults like us. We could have
used him in our Class Council meetings!
obituary, surprisingly, was right next to
George Lawrence’s in the
Washington Post in the August 22, 2013 issue. Bill was a career officer
of the United States Information Agency. He was posted in USIA offices
all over the world, including Greece, Morocco, Mali,
Senegal, France, South Korea,
and the Soviet Union. He was chief of
the U.S.S.R, division and chief of the European division of Voice of
America, and headed the European Fulbright academic exchange program. In
retirement, he worked for international academic exchange programs.
YALE CLASS OF 1954 NOTES FOR SEPTEMBER
A CONVERSATION ABOUT YALE
Last November, at our annual Class Council meeting,
we entered in to a lively discussion about Yale in regard to its
mission, its academic focus, its admission policies, its “ranking” as
compared to its peers, athletics and activities versus academics and
other pertinent issues. Of course, in our wisdom acquired in our 80 year
life span, we had many brilliant thoughts and a great meeting- which
even got better with drinks and dinner!
Many of us felt that this conversation
should continue with a longer meeting that would be more than two hours.
Consequently, we are expanding the November 19 Class Council meeting at
the Knickerbocker Club in New York to a full day
with an agenda for this conversation. All members of the class are
always welcome at the Council meeting, however, we currently only have
space for 40 to 50 people, or an additional 15 to 20 classmates. If you
would like to attend and give us your deep thoughts, please let me know
by email (email@example.com) and we will try to squeeze you in. If we have
too many interested classmates, we may have to rent Yankee Stadium.
George Spaeth will be
coordinating the discussion and if you have any brilliant ideas, you may
contact him at (firstname.lastname@example.org)
We will be discussing Yale’s academic
focus, and its relationship to its major competitors. The July issue of
the Harvard Magazine (yes, they have a magazine too) has an article from
the President, Drew Faust about the technology surge at Harvard. She
notes that forty percent of the undergraduates are now STEM
concentrators (science, technology, engineering and math).
A new book by Yale graduate, Nathan
Harden, “Sex and God at Yale” (Porn, Political Correctness and a Good
Education Gone Bad”), may ignite a spirited discussion about Yale’s
mission and how this liberalism effects Yale.
Walter Pincus an honorary
doctor of laws degree in May. His citation included “Walter
the very best that
investigative journalism has
to offer. His articles have quite literally changed the world. In 1977,
he disclosed that the military was developing a neutron bomb. An uproar
ensued, and President Jimmy Carter shelved the program.”
Legal Intelligence, the oldest
law journal in the United States,
honored Dick Thornburgh with
a Lifetime Achievement Award which is given to individuals who have
helped shape the law in
and the world
I read the New York Times Social Pages every Sunday
with the hope of finding a classmate in the photos and have been
relatively successful. I spotted a photo of
Russ Reynolds, our next Class
Secretary, in the June 9 issue, standing next to television personality,
Fareed Zakaria, accepting an Award from the International House
Organization which promotes cross-cultural understanding.
Gift to Yale
and his wife, Lois Chiles, have given Yale
$20 million to restore the Nave of
Sterling Library in honor of
outgoing Yale President, Rick Levin and his wife, Jane Levin.
Dick and Lois are featured on the cover of
ELI, the Yale magazine that
chronicles the major gifts to Yale. President Levin granted Dick an
honorary doctor of humane letters degree, and called him “the most
creative of philanthropists”. Dick was the driving
force behind our 54/50 class gift of $90 million to Yale in 2004
which was use for the building of two science buildings and the
renovation of the Yale Bowl (now called the “Class of 1954 Yale Field).
He has also made significant gifts to NY Central Park, the Yale Gilder
Boat House and the Rose Center (with
Eli Rose) for Earth and Space at the
of Natural History,
along with many other notable programs. This will be added to our 60th
reunion class gift which is poised to set a new record.
Drummey ran in 20 marathons and triathlons, but after an injury,
reduced his running to only 10 miles a day! He was a Selectman for the town of Simsbury CT and a volunteer
fireman there. He was involved in estate planning at Cigna and was a
partner in the firm of Murtha Cullina Insurance Co. in the world’s
insurance capital, Hartford, CT.
Rague died in April, He was the Executive Vice President of the
Westport Bank of Connecticut and was
involved in civic activities in
McKinster died in July 2012. He was a Captain in the US Navy where
he served for 25 years and his funeral was performed aboard a US Naval
vessel from the Norfolk, VA
Mercer was a true space and nuclear scientist He was a Flight Test
Engineer who worked with the first astronauts, training and evaluating
them. He was the Principal Investigator for experiments performed during
orbits of the moon. The astronauts gave him a
flag that went to the moon in the Apollo 16 orbiting spacecraft. After
NASA, he formed a company that created complex systems that travel both
within the earth’s orbit and to distant planets.
Robotham was a banker from
who became a rancher-cowboy. He was a senior executive at the United
Bank of Denver for thirty years
while he acquired three ranches and became a true westerner. His
obituary stated that contributions to his memory should be given to the
Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust.
YALE CLASS OF 1954 NOTES FOR JULY 2013
We should all re-read our Class of 1954 graduation
Yearbook. It contains several essays about whom we were and who we might
become. It appeared that the Class of 1954 was the least
likely to succeed when this was written.
We were called the “Silent Generation” and the
essays written by classmates used phrases such as; ”We had no
ebullience, no spontaneity; We had no youth”; We did not create;” “We
did not laugh”; “We led few crusades” and it was difficult to find cause
for optimism” - but it was
added that “There
may be written a different story”
.This turned out to be the most accurate statement!
These articles also observed that Yale’s
extra-circular activities were over emphasized, and that ‘our
undergraduate years had become a gigantic heeling competition.’ It was
significant that during our four years at Yale, that the public Tap Day
was abolished, that we were becoming scholastic “Grinds”, and that
drinking had fallen off. It was speculated that “Yale is no longer a
Finishing School for the Rich”. All of this suggested that we were
“dull” boys and believed “in all work and no play”. – It seems to have
It is possible that our seriousness of
purpose is what made us productive. We were also very lucky, because one
article pointed out that 1953 was the most prosperous year in the
history of the United States until then. These
factors helped to launch our class to 60 years of “extraordinary”
We all saw Yale win the NCAA hockey championship in
April, and heard the references that the last Yale hockey team to be
selected for the NCAA tournament was in 1952. My neighbor,
McMillan (’52) was able to bring up a team photo of the Yale 1952
hockey team on his big screen TV, and I was able to identify our
Leigh Quinn, Sam Yonce,
Wally Kilrea and
Hayden Owens. We are in the big leagues
again after 61 years!
54/50 fund was highlighted in the Jan/Feb issue of this magazine. It
was about the “famous class of
1954” when “Richard
Gilder “54 suggested that
the class handle the investment of their 50threunion gift
themselves although some at Yale saw the class’s proposal as too risky,
but ’54 invested with Joseph
McNay ’56. He turned their relatively modest fund into a staggering
Townsend has been a Professor of Slavic Languages at Princeton for
36 years and must have been appreciated by eighty of
his former students who gave him a party and a
”festschrift” ( scholarly articles written in a professor’s
honor). He is now an avid limerick writer, and when he found out that I
was 50% Bohemian (Czech), he sent me some limericks in Czech and English
about Yale. He can also translate the Whiffenpoof’s Entrance song.
V devatenact set padesat
Jsme prirsi na Yale studovat
Naucii jsme se zit
A taky poradne pit.
A divky dobre milovat.
was in Nineteen fifty, old buddy
We arrived at
Yale mostly to study
learned how our lives to spend
And our stiff
elbows how to bend.
And turn the
girls into putty.
Lamb is a Professor of Political Science who helped start the
Santa Cruz campus of the University
of California that was
organized on the “Oxford
plan” as a series of residential colleges. He also taught at Annapolis as Dean for 14 years.. He has
written 45 articles and seven books of an “academic bent”, but now, has
written a novel called “Ragtime in the Rockies”.
It is about the Jazz Age coming to a small town in Colorado with a clash of cultures and
involving the Ku Klux Klan. It is available from Amazon and is a good
Murray Buttner, our class Chief of Agents, who has done an
outstanding job for several years, was honored at the Yale Alumni Funds
annual Chairman’s Awards last October “which honors some of the most
dedicated volunteers for Yale”. This was featured in the Winter issue of
ELI “a publication for Yale’s most
Pete Grant and his family fled a fierce forest fire that was ½ mile
from his cabin in Estes Park. Co. He then decided to go to England
to visit his cousins where they have not a forest fire in several
Officers- In order to prevent a war of succession like many South
American countries have
recently experienced, the
Class Council, in its wisdom, has elected ‘Vice’ Officers who will
become active in June, 2014
or upon our demise. Russ
Reynolds, in addition to his 60th reunion duties, will become the
Class Secretary and Charlie
Johnson will become Class Treasurer at the reunion.
Punceles reports that one of his Grandsons is Venezuela’s amateur golf champion
and one granddaughter in married to Maurcicio Rodos who is running for
President of Ecuador. His family is doing well, but Venezuela is not!
Hoffman announced that he now has 17 grandchildren, but did not
mention how he is planning to send them all to college!
died very suddenly of a heart attack after a game of tennis in Tucson, AZ.
I have been told that this is a very real problem for those of us over
80, so don’t chase those deep lobs in the far corner! Ken taught geology
At Washington and Lee as well as William and Mary for 30 years.
Robotham, who died in April, was well known as a Senior Executive at
the United Bank of Denver, but in real life, he was a life long rancher and
cowboy who owned three ranches in
over a period of 30 years. Originally from Connecticut, after Yale, he “whole-heartedly
embraced and lived a western way of life”
YALE CLASS OF 1954 NOTES FOR MAY 2013
OUR 80TH BIRTHDAYS
Why is our 80th Birthday such
a big deal?
Most of us have turned 80 in the last 12 months and
our 80th birthday seems to be the most significant birthday
after 50. It must be that we are celebrating the fact that we made it
this long, and, compared to 50 years ago, and the Class of 1904, it
is a big deal!
also testifies that the world has made incredible progress in just 50
years. The Yale Class of 1904 was born in 1882 and did not have a long
life expectancy. An article recently found from the
Kerang Times and Swan Hill Gazette
dated July 3, 1883 entitled “
Average Duration of Human
Life” states: “The average length of life is about 28 years” and
“Not more than one in 500 reach the age of eighty years of life”. In
extreme contrast, 63% of our class is still alive to celebrate our 80th
birthdays whereas the Yale
Class of 1904 had 288 members at
and if the statistics proved correct,
it is likely that no one in the
class lived to be 80
Send me your 80th birthday interesting
event – (Blowing out all your candles in five breaths is not
Murray celebrated his 80th birthday by competing in the 80-84 age
event in The US Masters Swimming Nationals. He placed 3rd in
an 800 m free style race and medaled in two other individual and two
Thornburgh, as former
Governor of Pennsylvania and the Attorney General of the United States,
combined his 80th birthday celebration, which was a river
boat trip for charity, with the 5th anniversary of the
Dick Thornburgh Forum for Law and
Public Policy which brings distinguished speakers to the University
of Pittsburgh Law School to discuss subjects such as “The Future of
The current Yale Whiffenpoofs,
surprised me at my 80th birthday party by emailing me a
“Happy Birthday Paul” video. My daughter, Julia, (without my knowledge),
convinced the Whiffs to do this by telling
them that I am the current Secretary of "The Extraordinary Yale
Class of 1954".
They quickly made an arrangement
of the song and performed it just before a concert in their tuxedos.
They only did this because they had heard of our amazing class and
wanted to serenade all of us. This was a tribute to our class
and it was meant for all of us 80 year olds.
was still skiing on his 80th birthday and was hiking up the
mountains in France- no more
chair lifts! He was a senior Partner of McKinsey in
and is a very active member of the Baha’i faith. He is the cofounder of
the European Baha’i Business Forum and is writing a history of the
Rich, Our Class Secretary from 2004 to 2009, died January 11, 2013,
from cancer. He had been living in a Senior Care facility in
for the past two years while he was under treatment at the
Smilow Cancer Hospital in the Yale Medical
Center. Barrie was central to starting our highly
successful tradition of mini-reunions which has strengthened our class
and brought us together. He was behind the great minis in San Francisco and Washington DC., and guided
me while I have tried to carry on his tradition of events and class
participation. Barrie was a Senior Vice
President of Citibank and most of his career was spent in exotic places
which included Beirut, Jeddah, Dubai, and the Indian sub continent. He and
his wife, Marguerite, visited and lived in more than 100 countries.
Gibbons Cornwell, MD, was a F86 jet pilot before he became a doctor
and Dean of the Dartmouth Medical
School and Medical Director of Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical
Center. Gibb retired as a
Professor of Pathology and Medicine in 1995 and died in February 2013 in Lyme, NH,
where he chaired the Lyme Foundation and developed three computer-based
animated interactive programs for Dartmouth Medical Students.
Shutt, another member of our Class Council, died in January. He was
the ninth employee of Trammel Crow, and as a Managing Partner, he was
instrumental in the amazing growth of the company that became the
world’s largest real estate developer (500 million sq ft of buildings).
He was very active in Dallas
organizations including the expansion
of the Dallas Museum of Art. Although he was in a wheelchair for his
last few years, he managed to
attend Council meetings and mini-reunions.
William Willis, PhD, who was a “towering presence” in the field of particle physics, died in
November. He was a member of
the Yale faculty and a Professor of Physics at Columbia University.
He was also a physicist at CERN, where he was involved in the
experiments that lead to the discovery of the Higgs boson particle that
occurred last year (this discovery changes the entire concept of matter
–look it up on Google). Bill made
“seminal contributions” to nuclear physics, especially in searching for
new forms of matter at Brookhaven National Laboratory. He was the author
of 357 publications. –Whew!
Lewis James, MD, a Phi
Beta Kappa who guided me through Freshman calculus class, died on
Christmas Day. Lew was the top graduate in his class at
School, and in addition to being a
distinguished pathologist and frequent lecturer at Harvard, Yale and
Tufts Medical schools, he loved Yale and attended many football games
and several of our mini-reunions. He was a regular panelist on NBC radio
and television program “Mind Your Manners” in the 1950’s and 1960’s.
James Wilhelm, PhD, our class
valedictorian, died in December. He was a
professor at Rutgers University for 43 years, an author of
more twenty books and a world renowned scholar of Ezra Pound, Dante and
medieval literature. His comment in our 25th reunion book was
“Yale has matured from a
prep-school supplement with a golf course
and the Bowl to a genuinely
international place of learning”
YALE CLASS OF 1954 NOTES FOR MARCH 2013
At our November Class Council meeting, we talked
about how Yale is “ranked” as
compared to other Colleges and Universities. We thought about Yale’s
future. Should we focus on our historical strengths or branch out into
new areas? Needless to say, Yale does very well and is certainly one of
the “Best Universities” in the world!
This year’s issue of the US News &
World Report “Best Colleges “rates hundreds of colleges and Universities
in many categories. It is primarily meant for high school students who
are deciding which schools that they should apply to.
The most important category is “Best
National Universities” where Yale is ranked Number 3 with an overall of
99 points versus Harvard at Number 1 with 100 points and
Princeton at Number 2 with 100 – points. The major factor in
this category is
“Undergraduate academic reputation” (which is an opinion poll of
professors and high school counselors). A minor category is “Alumni
Giving Rate” which apparently indicates how well the alumni liked the
school. Princeton beat everyone with 63%
participation, versus Yale (3)
and Harvard (4) with 37%.
(Those of us who have been the Chief Class Agent of the Yale Annual
Fund, suspect the validity of Princeton’s recording method.)
Yale did not do so well in the
Engineering category with a ranking of 34th, behind Stanford
(10) and Harvard (23). However, our class has given three out of the six
Science buildings added at Yale since 1992 in our effort to strengthen
Yale’s technology sector.
Not surprisingly, no credit is given
for outstanding football, hockey, singing, fraternities, publications
and good fellowship. Our Class graduation yearbook devoted most of its
articles on these functions – the world was different in 1954!
Yale’s new President,
Peter Salovey, was featured (with a photo) as a “Newsmaker” in the
November 16, 2012 issue of Science
Magazine (the ultimate technology publication which I can hardly
understand) as a “Researcher to Head Yale.” “Salovey, 54, is well known
for advancing studies of emotional intelligence.” I assume that he will
study our class because we are unemotional but very intelligent!
Smilow, and his son William, have
given a substantial gift to the University
of Pennsylvania to support Penn
Medicine's transitional research activities, naming the The Smilow
Center for Translational Research in the Raymond
and Ruth Perlman School of Medicine at the
of Pennsylvania. It
also establishes the William
Smilow Professorship in the
field of cardiovascular
medicine and the William Smilow Award for Innovation in
Clinical Excellence which helps research teams accelerate targeted
scientific discoveries for a wide range of diseases and train the next
generation of physicians –scientists. ‘While the exact gift amount
remains undisclosed, it is the largest capital gift to the University’s
$3.5 billion Making History
fundraising campaign, and among the top gifts in Penn’s Medicine
Zohn was featured in “Partners Through Giving“
from the Yale Office of Planned
Giving, for establishing his seventh charitable gift annuity toward
scholarships at the Yale School of Art. Herb opened an art gallery in
New York in1979 and he founded an organization that is
dedicated to rehabilitating New York’s
COMPOSERS, AND SUPERMAN
Heirs, who has a BA, BD, MA, and a PhD degree from Yale, is still
writing significant books. The latest is
Women’s Rights and the Bible.
A review in the Journal of Law and Religion describes it as: “Richard
Heirs successfully demonstrates that women’s role in the Old Testament
times was more powerful, and their legal rights more secure that common
wisdom would suggest. Modern advocates for women’s rights should find
this text helpful.”
Fourteen bell ringers, performed a well-publicized concert entirely
of music written or arranged by
Walt Farrier. It took place
at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in
Salem, Oregon, for a packed church, and received an
uncomfortably long standing ovation. (Walt’s words). At Yale, Walt, who
was in the Yale Band and the Yale Glee Club, was the first arranger for
the Duke's Men. He has had a career as Director of Choral Activities at Texas Lutheran
University, and then at Willamette University
Oregon, and is still singing, composing,
arranging and teaching voice.
who spent several years as a professor at Oklahoma University Health
Sciences, has made “a clean break with professional life “, and has
focused on running marathons! In fact, he has become obsessed with
marathons, and recently ran in Newport RI,
which completed his record of running in all 50 states – since he
retired! He has also run marathons in all seven continents on this
planet. He wrote “How long can I keep this up? It gets harder every
time!” My advice is –You should
consider running a marathon on
the planet Krypton, where you must have been born!
Howarth, who died in December, was a
foreign service officer in Belgium,
Burma, Hong Kong and Singapore.
He was also a counter intelligence officer during the Korean war and he
spoke fluent Mandarin, Burmese and French. Is there a “James Bond”
connection here? (He was the same age as Sean Connery). In our 50th
reunion book, he expressed his opinion that “Yale is not, and should
not, be a trade school’, but should focus on a “worldview that balances
Loving, who was a founder of the Janus Fund and a retirement
investment adviser, died last October. His 25th reunion year
book comments included, “I live in the
mountains, a half mile from our nearest neighbor”, and that he was
ranked nationally in competitive target shooting. He was one of our
class’s true “Mountain Men”.
YALE CLASS OF 1954 NOTES FOR JANUARY 2013
CLASS COUNCIL MEETING –NOVEMBER 8
As most of you may know, we have annual Class
Council Meetings in New York
the Thursday before Yale’s last football game of the season. You are all
invited to attend and enter into our deep discussions. You can find the
minutes of the meetings on our class web site. The Class Treasury is our
checking account for reunions, class mailings, this magazine and other
financial events It is financed by our class dues and income from these
events The Class Treasurer,
Irving Jensen, reported that 347 classmates (which is 54% of the 645
living members of class), gave $95 each this year to support the class
functions. The balance in the treasury on September 30, 2012 was
$162,139 after the income and expense from
mini reunion, and other events. –We are solvent!
Buttner, the Class Chief Agent, reported that 353
classmates (55% of the class) gave $223,478 to the Yale Annual Fund (YAF) this year. This money is used by Yale
for general purposes as undesignated funds and supports a wide range of
services and expenses.
FUTURE OF YALE
With Rick Levin’s retirement, our class council is
pondering the future of Yale in terms of its rankings with other Ivy
schools, its academic emphasis, its athletic programs, its admission
polices and other essential factors. We discussed these issues at our
Class Council meeting on November 8, with all 25 attendees offering
significant viewpoints. We will continue this discussion by assembling
ideas and comments from our council. I will try to consolidate and
summarize these observations in a “white paper” and send it to our non-
engineers for editing and revision. Several members suggested that we
meet again in the next few months to discuss these issues further.
We encourage all classmates to send
your ideas to me at email@example.com
or to other council members, about how you feel that Yale can be the
leading educational institution in today’s world wide society and
PRESIDENTS AT OUR RECEPTION
The current President of Yale,
Rick Levin and his wife Jane, attended our class reception in the Smilow
Center after the Princeton
Game. I told him that our class is very grateful to him for convincing
us to give Yale the $63million in our 54/50 fund in the year 2000
immediately to build the Environmental Science Center and Chemistry
Research Building, instead of waiting four years for our 50th
reunion, because our fund would have sunk by 50 % if we had kept it for
a few more months due to the “dotcom’ market crash that year. In
addition, the new President elect of Yale,
Peter Salovey, who is the
current Provost of Yale, attended with his wife, Maria Moret. Both Rick
and Peter (who was born after we graduated from Yale), praised our class
for our generosity and our support of Yale. (They did not actually call
us “Yale’s Greatest Class, but we knew it in our hearts). Also, Tony
Reno, Yale’s football coach, discussed his plans for making Yale a
greater football power. However, this is classified information that
cannot be published.
The Whiffenpoofs gave their best performance in my
memory (I think). You will really miss the action if you don’t attend
THE GAME next year. It’s worth a trip from a long distance.
Pete Shears flew in from
Ohio with his son, Doug, Yale class of 1991,
Charlie Johnson came from
San Francisco, I travel from
John Franciscus always comes from Puerto Rico.
Doctors in our class rarely retire.
Louis Cooper, who has been a professor of pediatrics at Columbia University, and the Chairman of
Pediatrics at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital for 25 years, is still on a
quest to eradicate measles, rubella and congenital rubella through the
Measles and Rubella Initiative (MRI). He was the keynote speaker this
year at the annual MRI meeting and received the Abraham Jacobi Award
American Medical Association for his work. Dr.
Jacobi is considered the founder of pediatrics in the U.S.
Lucier, who is still a professor of Music at
University, is also
running at full speed, with a new book,
Music 109: Notes on
Experimental Music, just
published by the Wesleyan University Press. In addition, the Alter Ego
ensemble, recently presented a concert of
Alvin’s works, including the premier of
Two Circles, based on the
architecture of Carlo Scarpa, at the Venice Biennale.
Brainard died suddenly in August in Parker,
Colorado. He was one of our track
and football stars at Yale, and
became a real “Rocket Scientist” while working on the Martin Marietta
Titan missile program before he joined IBM, where he spent 26 years.
Yonce, one of Yale’s stalwart hockey defensemen, died in September
from complications from surgery. Sam worked on Wall Street for 34 years
when it was a highly respectable profession without demonstrators
chanting outside the door. He was a great sportsman, belonging to at
least eight organizations devoted to camaraderie and competition.
Sig Sandzen, who died unexpectedly on July 11, was one of
the outstanding hand surgeons in the country.
He published several books including
Atlas of Acute Hand Surgeries,
Wrist and Hand Fractures, and Management of Complications of Hand and
Wrist Problems. He developed his reconstructive procedures when he
served in the US Navy during the Vietnam War. Sig was very involved in
The Nature Conservancy.
YALE CLASS OF 1954 NOTES FOR NOV-DEC 2012
ARE HANGING IN THERE
Jensen, our dedicated Class Treasurer, who keeps fit by walking 3
miles every day, informs me that our class had 645 living members on
June 30, 2012 which is 66% of our graduating class of 983. In addition,
we lost only 18 classmates in the previous 12 months. At this rate, most
of us will be collecting Social Security payments for many more years!
knows this kind of information because he duns each of us for our class
dues every year.
Those of us who started high tech companies in the
70’s, 80’s and 90’s often saw newer technologies replace our “world
changing ideas”. It is exciting
to know that a least one of our classmates is still working 70 hours a
week to change the world through technology.
Alex Wormser, the inventor of
a new coal gasification system, has been an innovator in the energy
field since he became fascinated with gas turbines on a field trip while
at Yale. After a career at GE in the gas turbine department, he started
Wormser Energy Solutions that has developed a novel dual –fluidized –bed
coal boiler for industrial use. It eliminates the oxygen previously
required by other coal gasification systems and it emits only a quarter
of the Carbon Dioxide emissions of natural gas power plants.
Pincus was interviewed on August 19 on CSPAN Q&A. He discussed his
long career at the Washington Post and his recent writings on national
security and defense issues. He has written critically of some of the
spending in the Pentagon’s defense budget, and he related his role in
the Valerie Plame investigation involving media leaks and the CIA. Walt
also worked for the Wall Street Journal, the
New Republic and Senator William Fullbright,
is a airplane devotee, and he sent me photos of some of his airplanes,
which included a 1946 Taylorcraft, a 1960 Beech Debonair, A 1967 and a
1970 Cessna Turbo 210. He started a small airline in Missouri with two DC-3s. He is also a Founder
and Trustee of Johnson County Community College which has 32,567
students in Kansas City, and is the
largest college in Kansas.
I spotted a photo of
Elihu and Susan Rose in the New York Times on July 15 who were
attending the opening of The Paris Opera Ballet at the
Center. (Looking for
classmates photos in the social section is the primary reason that I
take the Sunday Times out here in the prairie.)
Thornburgh is in the news in almost every issue of our Alumni
magazine because he is still very active in interesting activities. His
most recent speech was in June which he delivered to the International
Atomic Energy Agency concerning the Three Mile Island nuclear accident in 1979, which occurred
72 days after he became Governor of Pennsylvania. His speech discussed
emergency communications before cell phones and the internet and how it
is critical to focus on the solution and not to focus on “Emergency
Macho” designed to make the officials look good. He later met with top
Soviet emergency officials in Moscow in
1979 and warned them of the risks of nuclear reactors, but was reassured
that” Soviet reactors were so safe that they could be installed in Red
Square” –seven years before the disastrous
Williams died suddenly on July 21. Like many in our class, he joined
the McKinsey Consulting Firm in 1959 and served as the Managing Partner
of the Washington DC
office for fifteen years. He served on the Board of numerous non-profit
organizations including the Presbyterian Homes Retirement Communities,
the National Museum of Natural History, the Easton Academy
Rose, who was the Managing Partner of the Rose, Schmidt and Halsey
Law firm; a Trustee of the University of Pittsburgh Law School, and
several Foundations; a Director of many corporations, and was very
active in Pennsylvania politics, died on July 20.
Dick Thornburgh, said at his
Rose never ran for or held
statewide public office, but he was a giant in the Pennsylvania Republican Party for several
CLASS NOTES FOR SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2012
TO OLD TO
Mike Madison, the Chairman of the Association of Yale Alumni,
has sent me several letters urging me to nominate classmates for the
Board of Governors. However, the Yale Corporation’s rules state that no
one over 65 can be nominated and no one over 70 can serve on that Board,
which the AYA adheres to. I wrote to Mr. Madison and pointed out that
they are missing an important segment of Yale graduates (us) who are the
greatest donors to Yale and who represent the “Dear old Yale” that
existed before women, diversity and Vietnam. There are approximately
living Yale graduates who are 65 years old or more, which is
25% of all living Yalies, and this group has given
most of the money raised
by all classes from 1945 through 2011! Also, as I pointed out,
many of us are still working (some for money) and are active, healthy
and are all above average! Chairman Madison responded by indicating that
he would consider this situation and sent my message to the AYA
GRIPING SOMETIMES WORKS!!
Since my complaint (and possibly others) the AFNC reconsidered the age
policy and recommended that the Yale Corporation revise its rules, which
the Corporation actually did by increasing the maximum age to be
nominated from 65 to 72 years!! We still have to lobby to increase the
maximum age to 80! My thanks to Mike Madison.
ONE MINI TO THE NEXT
When this column is published, many of us have just returned from our Seattle mini-reunion which
was undoubtedly a great success. Out next class gathering is scheduled
for the Princeton game at Yale on
November 10. As usual, we will have a mini-breakfast and a maxi–lunch in
the Skybox at the game, followed by a cocktail party in the Smilow Field
Center which Rick Levin,
the President of Yale, and his wife often attend. Be alert for a notice!
“HEADS” is hot off the presses of McGraw Hill Publishing
Co. subtitled “Business Lessons from an Executive Search Pioneer”. Russ
describes the origins of his firm in 1969 and the other big three search
firms in the 1970s, and how he retired from Russell Reynolds Associates
in 1990 and started RSR Partners which recruits Directors as well as
CEOs. It is a very interesting read. Russ talks about how he and his
partners (including Tom McLane)
transformed the “headhunting’ business into a professional service with
offices all over the world. He has included several stories and
observations about leadership and tips for executives who are being
Columbia University Press has published
Mike Armstrong’s new book called
Wish That They Were Honest”.
Mike was Chief Prosecutor for the Knapp Commission in the 1970s and now
heads Mayor Bloomberg’s commission on police corruption. Mike claims
that he merely dictated his memories over the years which were turned
into this book. It includes
characters such as Frank Serpico, who was made famous by the 1973 movie,
“Serpico” who was played by Al
Pacino ”. The book also refers to real wire taps, “wired” conversations
and more. Very exciting!
is as active as ever, getting awards from Jefferson Medical College and
the Albert Schweitzer Foundation, as well as giving presentations to the
Associated Services for the Blind and Visually Disabled, the
International Glaucoma Research Foundation, Union Medical College, the
annual meeting of the Association of Research & Vision in Ophthalmology
, the American Ophthalmological Society.
Also, he was the keynote speaker at the European Glaucoma
BIRTHDAYS and ANNIVERSARIES
Most of us are celebrating our 80th birthdays this year, and
Dick Thornburgh did it big by
holding a river cruise Birthday Celebration on July 15 as a benefit for
the Dick Thornburgh Forum for Law and Public Policy.
Jack Taylor and his country music band held a rollicking 80th
celebration in June for 200 people. Let me know of your unusual 80th
birthday celebration- if it’s quirky enough, I will publish it!
The Cost of Living in 1932, when most of us were born, was
incredibly low. A New House
cost $6,515, a New Car was $610, Gasoline was $0.10 a gallon. The
average Income was $1,652 per year, and tuition to Yale was $400 per
year. We entered the world on the cheap, but our class is the most
generous in Yale history!
and his wife Ann, gathered several classmates for their 50th
Mike Armstrong (see above),
Bob Quinilan, Dan Strickler,
and Archie van Beuren
who spent the majority of his career as a Professor of Internal Medicine
at the University of Arizona after graduating from the
University of Chicago Medical School, died in May. He traveled widely
and was an avid rose gardener who was deeply involved in the Arizona
who died in February, was also a Professor ( Humanities) at
College in Holland
Michigan and a visiting professor at several
other Universities in Chicago, Japan and England. He has also been Chairman
of the Holland Human Relations Commission and several other community
service organizations. He specialized in the research of Renaissance
CLASS NOTES FOR JULY-AUGUST
You can still register for this extraordinary
gathering on Sept 11 -14 of our “Extraordinary Class” (see our website).
The reunion combines technology, art, and history, with good fellowship.
The schedule includes cocktails at the house of the Chairman of the
event Jerry Grinstein;
tours of the Boeing “Dreamliner”
airplane factory; the famous Space Needle; Dinner at the Rainer Club;
tours of the Microsoft campus and the Gates Foundation, the Chihuly (the
famous glass artist) Boat House, a boat trip and a tour of Bainbridge
Island, and the Museum of
Flight. You will have some free time to wander through the fabulous
Market in downtown Seattle or watch salmon swimming upstream
(like us). The reunion winds up with a grand dinner and a concert by the
New Whiffenpoofs (it is rumored that some new whiffs are even taking
CAREERS IN 1979
I recently re-discovered a treasure of statistics
about our careers in our 25th reunion yearbook. Law and
Finance made up 27% of our class of 983 members. The major careers in
1979 were Law (137), Banking, Finance and Brokerage (128), Education
(96), Medicine (92) and Sales (59). In 1979, very few of us had careers
in those sectors that are now frantically hiring technically trained
graduates for careers in Engineering, Electronics and Science (81), and
Manufacturing (29). For some reason, we were not inclined to work in
fields that paid badly, but helped and cared for others, such as Social
Work (2), Ministry (13) and Government Service (19). I don’t know, nor
will I speculate, on the significance of these numbers! It is unlikely
that the Yale Class of 2012 will show this same career distribution at
their 25th reunion in 2037.
I strongly recommend that everyone reread the 25th reunion yearbook
(if you still have a copy). In addition to these interesting career facts, you
should read it to see what we thought of ourselves and the world in1979.
An article by Gaddis Smith is
very nostalgic and is worth a reread alone. The book also reports that a
library search showed that 145 members of our class had published more
than 400 articles, books, plays, poems and other material that appeared
in print as of January, 1979. Egads, how many publications do we have
sent an article to me from the April 8 San Francisco Chronicle which was
entitled “Charles Johnson,
top Giants owner, keeps a low
Charlie has acquired an increasing number of shares of the investor
group that rescued the Giants from bankruptcy in 1992, and now owns the
biggest percentage of the team. The article also covered Charlie’s life,
including his Yale years playing football and waiting on tables his
freshman year as requirement of his scholarship from the Yale Club of
Montclair NJ. It noted that Charlie has great voice, and became a
Whiffenpoof three years ago when it was reorganized (see above).
HONORS AND SPEECHES
Albert Schweitzer was a role model for
George Spaeth that drove him to play the organ, encouraged his
interest in religion, and influenced him to become a physician and an
innovator in caring for patients. It is therefore fitting that George
has been awarded the
Schweitzer Leadership Award
in the Philadelphia area.
The Dick Thornburgh
Forum for Law and Public Policy sponsored ‘A Symposium on the Future of
Nuclear Power” at the
of Pittsburgh on
March 27-28. He opened the Symposium by stating
“there could be no more appropriate venue for this event than Pittsburgh, where nuclear
power was born”
–ARTIST, MUSICAL STAR, PATENT HOLDER, CIVIL WAR BUFF
Howard Shoemaker died on April 10. He was one of our 19 classmates
who were practicing architecture in 1979 (see above), and was a partner
in the architectural firm of Douglas Orr, deCossey, Winder and Assoc. of
New Haven. He worked on the
dormitories, The Child Study Center at Yale, Knights of Columbus Museum and the Mt. Ascutney
Condominiums. He was also an avid painter of water colors and one of our
Foster, who performed in
hundreds of musicals including roles in the Schenectady Light Opera
Company and other regional theater groups, died in March. He also
produced many plays and won numerous regional theater awards. His career
General Electric included engineering and
management positions in the high temperature alloy metallurgy sectors,
and was involved in several patents that remain central to core
engineering improvements in GE. He was also an avid sailor and skier.
Crowley, who was twice named the “Professional Agent of the Year” by
the National Association of Insurance agents, died on April 24. He was
the President of Hemingway-Lewis Insurance Agency and was very involved
in insurance industry activities, as well as the Council of Boy Scouts
and Cheshire Academy.
Charlie was a history and civil war buff who visited most of the battle
NOTES FOR MAY – JUNE 2012
(Cy) Paul Pesek, Secretary
If you haven’t sent your reservation to our greatly
anticipated mini reunion in Seattle that starts on September 12th
and ends with breakfast on the 16th, do so immediately,
because Jerry Grinstein is
limiting the number of guests to less than 500 people because that is
the maximum that the local fire department will allow him to fit into
his house for the welcome reception!
SCIENCE AT YALE
Science had become a major focus of the Yale
curriculum and our class has significantly been involved in this
have a photo in my den of the stainless steel monument that is stands
next to the Environmental Science Building
This monument is
dedicated to the 72 members of the
College Class of 1954 who
invested in the Yale 54/50 Fund established in1981. Presented to Yale
upon the 50th Reunion of the
Class, this fund built two landmark research facilities
The Class of 1954 Environmental Science Center(2002)
The Class of 1954 Chemistry Research
Our contribution was a major factor in Yale’s new dedication to Science
and Technology. Those of us that dragged ourselves up “Engineering Hill”
at 7:30 AM to master “Quantitative Analysis”, are cheering this
Who are the students that now trudge up the hill? The
Yale Scientific magazine is an excellent publication and is written
and published by Yale students.
While reading the masthead, I was surprised by the overwhelming
ethnic majority of those students.
It appears from their names that 50 out of 70 of the members of
the staff and contributors are from Southeast Asia and
China, and half are women!! The Editor
in Chief is Gennifer Tsoi, and the. Publishers are Chidiebere Akusobi
and Anusha Raja.
SCIENCE AND DIVERSITY: Garrison Keeler of the “Prairie Home
Companion” radio program on PBS describes the mythical town of Lake Woebegon,
Minnesota, as a place “Where the kids are all
above average”. This year I interviewed five candidates for Yale, and
have found that all of them are way above average! They
all are brilliant, all are first in their class, all very personable,
and all are highly motivated. It is highly significant that they are all
dedicated to science and want to make their contribution to the world
through science! I told them that Yale is also now emphasizing science
more than ever, and that our class has supported that effort in a big
way! I hope that some of them attend Yale which can give us some
diversity in our scientific student population.
in December, George Spaeth received a $500,000 grant from Merck to study his
new method for measuring how vision affects what people can actually do.
In the meantime, he published his 19th and 20th
books. One is Ophthalmic Surgery,
Principle and Practice,
which is now in its 4th edition and is probably the standard
text book of ophthalmic surgery around the world. The other is
Family Voices, which is a collection of poetry
and prose of five generations of his family and is available at Barnes &
Noble and at Amazon.
The Wall Street Journal issue of February 17 (page 19A) featured
Joel Smilow (with a great drawing/ photo WJS portrait) in an article
under “Donor of the Day”. It stated that Joel uses four characteristics
for his personal philanthropic philosophy which are: “Do it now,
leverage the gift, make a difference and get accountability”. Joel has
been a great influence on our class giving pattern which, along with the
54/50 program and large individual gifts, has made the
Yale Class of 1954, the class which has given
more to Yale than any other class in history!
Joel is not a fan of endowments and says “What you’ve done is transfer
wealth, but nothing much is happening” He dislike anonymous giving,
preferring instead the “if he can do that, I can do that” motivation of
a named gift. In talking to Joe, he pointed out that his naming of the
Yale football coach positioning in 1988 was the first ever endowment of
a coaching position in Yale’s history. Today there are close to 20
coaches holding endowed positions.
In that spirit, Herb Zohn has established a Scholarship Fund in his name for the
of Art, and he mentions Josef Albers and
Deane Keller as two of his outstanding teachers when he took the
OBITS: Bernard Pelly
A life long resident of Seattle, after a long career in the shipping
business, died in November.
by our 25th reunion, had been a lawyer, a Senior (?)
Parachutist with the 101st Airborne, a McKinsey consultant,
and the CEO of Technicare Corporation. Later, he was the Chairman of two
hospitals in Cleveland
and was affiliated with the famous Cleveland Clinic. I just came across
a letter from Dick from August, 2004 after our 50th reunion
about our mutual friend, Dick
Hughes, who died just a few weeks after the reunion. It is clear
that we have reunions to see old friends –perhaps for the last time.
CLASS NOTES FOR MARCH-APRIL 2012
wMas awarded the Yale Medal in November, which is the highest award
presented by the Association of Yale Alumni to honor outstanding
individual service to the University. John is the fourth member of our
class to be awarded this honor. Previous honorees of the Class of 1954
are Joel Smilow in 1993,
Dick Gilder in 2002, and
Chris Forster in 2004. John
has been very active in the Yale Club of Pittsburgh, was a member of the
AYA Board of Governors, and has been involved in several AYA initiatives
including the Yale Day of Service.
COUNCIL MINUTES AND THE CLASS CONSTITUTION
The minutes of the Class Council meeting of
November 17, 2011 have been
posted on our Class web site (www.Y54.org).
I urge you to read the minutes and the other wonderful information on
the site – your photo may be there! There are no provisions in the Class
Constitution for the nomination and qualifications of new members,
re-election of current members, nor categories of membership.
Consequently, the Council has adopted a policy for the nomination and
election of new Council members which is included in the Class minutes.
has now added a 7th name to his portfolio of medical institutions that
he has supported with major gifts. The latest, close to his home,
is the Bridgeport Connecticut Hospital
which now houses the Joel E. Smilow Heart Institute. Also, a new
Smilow Boys & Girls Club of America Clubhouse opened on December 2nd in Mecca, California.
Many members of our class have used these institutes and hospitals.
YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS
Many members of our class have sent their email
address to the AYA, but if the rest of our class would do the same, we
could send urgent and critical messages to the class immediately, if not
sooner, by email. This would speed up our communications by at least 45
days and save about $1,000 for printing, envelopes, stuffing and postage
for a general class mailing. Yale claims that it does not sell or
distribute these email addresses to loan sharks or porn sites. If you
have not yet done so, please email Stacey O’Donnell, our AYA contact, at
Stacey.firstname.lastname@example.org or phone her at 203- 432-1955. Her mailing
has published The Pretorius
Stories for his
grandchildren and the 8-12 set. Amazon and several other distributors
are offering it and have sold a thousand copies.
new book is Justice and Compassion in
Biblical Law. “Based on the author's background in
both law and religion, the book compares biblical with modern
Anglo-American jurisprudence, finds many unexpected similarities, and
points to areas where modern law fails to achieve levels of justice and
compassion found in biblical law. In short, the book is a study in
ethics and social policy."
Thornburgh wrote a very interesting article for the
Pennsylvania Lawyer magazine
Entitled “ The Challenge of Over-Criminalization”
which states that minor and unintended offenses are being incorrectly
punished. This detracts attention from serious crimes and “makes a
mockery of the United States
much vaunted commitments to justice, the rule of law and human rights’.
Larwence is still practicing Clinical Psychology in
Falls Church, VA.
We may still be able to convince him to analyze our class to determine
what really makes us tick!
Bransome has attended several of our mini-reunions although he has
had Parkinson’s Disease since 2008. He hopes that his therapy will
enable him to resume his golf game (I hope that my therapy will enable
me to quit my golf game!)
JUNE 30, 2011
JUNE 30, 2010
There were 983 Graduates in the Yale Class of 1954
died on October 31. As an architect, Tom designed and built ski
resort condominiums (that some of us may have stayed in) in
Aspen, Snowmass Village, Steamboat Springs and Telluride.
Later, in the 1990s, Tom became a wood sculptor whose works have been
shown around the world. We saw some of his beautiful Mobius design
sculptures at our 50th reunion.
who died on November 18, was a man of all seasons. He was an Air Force
pilot, a sorority cook (how did he get that job?), a San Francisco
lawyer, a hiking trail advocate, a singer who performed in rest homes
and an actor who was a fixture at the Marin County Shakespeare Co.
McAllester died on October 27. He and his twin brother Bob
McAllester were law partners
and lived on Lookout Mountain,
Tennessee. Chamberlin was a Major in the
Tennessee Air National Guard – a natural result of his membership in the
Yale Aviation Club.
Gavin died on July 16, 2011. He lived in
Annapolis MD, where he served as the (unpaid) varsity sailing coach
at the Naval Academy. He was the President of
Corporate Finance of Washington, DC and chaired the Investment Committee
of the Calvert Group of mutual funds. He solo sailed several thousand
ocean miles on his sloop
named the Antietam after
the aircraft carrier that he served on while in the Navy.
NOTES FOR JAN-FEB 2012
Last August, Rae and I were at a small dinner party
that was held at a 100 year old house that is situated on a beautiful
pond that glowed golden at sunset. It seemed like that this is that time
of our lives – in a golden late summer. It was a gathering of old
friends that included Jack Taylor
and his wife Mary. As we toasted our friendships, we realized that all
five couples had been married to their spouse for more than 50 years and
that we had all celebrated our Golden Anniversaries!
This may be normal for our class
(63% of us were married to our first wife as of our 50th
reunion), but it is rare for American society (54% of all marriages now
end in divorce). Again, our
class is goldenly blessed.
mini reunion dates have been set for September 13-16, 2012.
Jerry Grinstein, who is running the reunion, was the CEO of Western
Airlines, Delta Airlines and Burlington Northern Railroad, he has not
yet offered special discount fares for classmates traveling from New York.
Smilow Cancer Hospital
has entered into a research partnership with the Yale Medical
School and Gilead Sciences
for studying the genetic basis of cancer and developing novel targeted
therapies for patients is areas of unmet medical need.
Johnson, our class’s only billionaire*, made a $10 million
commitment to establish the Johnson Center for the Study of American
Diplomacy to be located within the Jackson Institute for Global Affairs
at Yale. This Center will focus on the Kissinger papers which Henry
Kissinger donated to Yale. Also, Forbes Magazine listed “America’s
Most Expensive ZIP codes with 94010 –Hillsborough,
CA as number four, with Charlie’s
photo as a typical resident. It’s the same photo as Forbes used in its
Epler is still sailing with “The Sailing Club of the
Chesapeake” on the Canal De Medici” in
How does that work?
Foerster, is another classmate that has failed “Retirement 101”,
is still practicing plastic
surgery in Oklahoma City with “excellent eyesight, a steady hand and
actually has retained his physical and mental abilities”. He is also in
the antiques restoration business which seems to have the same purpose
as his surgery.
Vince Pantalone, has been a
probate judge in Cecil County
MD, and is now been
appointed to the Maryland Conference of Orphans’ Court Judge. He says
that semi retirement allows him to actually enjoy being judge—is that
possible? He is also taking courses in Judiciary Training to prepare for
the next 20 years!
Reynolds is finishing a book that will be called
HEADS , the story of an
executive recruiter . The book is being published by McGraw Hill and it
is about the fascinating world of executive search as seen through his
I read Sandy Muir’s
book FREEDOM IN AMERICA,
which I announced in the last Class
Notes, and found it to be
fascinating reading. He clearly lays out what American freedom is, how
it got started, how it has
flourished and why freedom has
been a major factor in the success of this nation.
This American freedom was referred to by
Dick Thornburgh, our class’s
only Governor/US Attorney General*, in
his remarks made on September 11, 2011 at ceremonies
dedicating a memorial to the victims of September 11, 2001 who
were on Flight 93 that crashed in central Pennsylvania, thwarting the
plan to crash the plane into the
Jack Battick and his wife, Nancy just
published “The Vital Records of Dover-Foxcroft, Maine, a three volume set totaling 1,968
pages with 61,300 name entries of births, marriages and deaths from the
mid-18th century to the 1920s. The publication has been
praised because so many individuals from Maine
migrated to the rest of
because of its relevant value to a much wider audience than just current
our class’s only Major General*, was married in April after being single
for 20 years . This kind of thing is becoming an epidemic since it is
the second marriage in our class this year.
Let me know if you or any of our classmates has been married
recently. Our class could set another Yale record – of the most
marriages of Yalies that are over 78 years old!
Wallop, our class’s only U.S. Senator* who represented Wyoming from 1977 to1995, died at his ranch
near Big Horn on September 14. Major articles about Mal appeared in
every major newspaper in the country, including the New York Times, the
LA Times, and the Chicago Tribune. He was a staunch Conservative and
worked closely with President Ronald Reagan on tax reform and the
Strategic Defense Initiative. He was outspoken and not politically
correct, possibly due to his life as a cattle rancher or because his
grandfather who was an English Aristocrat who sat in the House of Lords.
* To the best of my knowledge. If there are others
in our class, let me know.
CLASS OF 1954 NOTES FOR
NOVEMBER –DECEMBER 2011
We are continuing to beat the longevity tables and had 663 members of
our class alive as of June 30, 2011 which is 67% of our or iginal class.
It must be due to clean living, stout hearts and brilliant intellects.
When I receive information and obituaries about
classmates that have died, I am constantly impressed by their lives and
their accomplishments. I then
started re-reading our 50th reunion yearbook and many of the
statements by our classmates. Almost all of these statements revealed an
amazing productive, creative life. Before it is too late, write your
memoirs which tell the world how you would like to be remembered. Your
children, grandchildren and several generations will be fascinated about
what makes you tick! There
are several books available on writing memoirs which will probably help
you. ( I am going to get one before I write my own memoir -which I will
not publish in this column (see below)! Send me a one paragraph
synopsis, and I may publish it in the Class Notes if it is not too
MINI-REUNION- SAVE THE DATE
mini-reunion has been set for mid-September 2012. Jerry
Grinstein, as Chairman, has already lined up several great events and
ised that the weather will be almost perfect.
, which used to be known for timber and fish, is now the software
capital of the world. It has many fascinating markets, buildings,
waterfront restaurants, and trips to islands and towns. Highlights
include the Seattle Art Museum with totem poles, the Space Needle,
Pioneer Square (old town), and the Olympic Sculpture Park. The class of
1952 had a mini-reunion in
two years ago and we will closely inspect their agenda.
The Whiffs may be having too much fun based on
their gathering at Harbor
Springs, Michigan last July hosted by John
Franciscus and Buddy Thompson
who have summer homes in that beautiful town. They sang at several
events and concerts and were the toast of the town (like
?). The group included whiffs Bruce
Meacham, Obie Clifford, Tom McLane, Charlie
Johnson, Nick Peay, Russ Reynolds, Hugh Ravenscroft, Peter Coughlin,
Jim Monde and Oak Thorne. In
addition, Grant Beadle showed
up at one of the parties, but they wouldn’t let him sing!
has written a series of books that includes “TWOGETHER”,
a novel about two Jewish cousins that left
in the mid 1880s to avoid conscription in the army and came to
not speaking English and struggling to make a life. They end up in
, not far from
where Dick was born and lives now. Dick has also written “
787 Superior Street
” ( A Mysteriousness”) about shenanigans at the turn of the Century
– mostly in
Morton taught at the
and Administration at the
after a serving as the CEO of Orion Broadcasting. He wrote “Gladly
Learning, Teaching and Practicing”). It is about his approach to
preparing students for the real world of business.
Wallop - Read obit in the New York Times
Marcus died on July 25. He was a Professor of Neurology at
and wrote several books as part of his extensive teaching career at
. His major interest was teaching neuroscience and neurology and he
established the neuroscience teaching program at Tufts. He also
coauthored four neuroscience textbooks. Elliot was an active member of
the American Neurological Association. He came to
in September, 2010 for the ANA annual meeting and ventured out to the
exurbs (Wayzata) to have dinner with Rae and me. He was an extremely
interesting and sociable person.
Whitmer, a member of our
Class Council, died on August 13. Marty worked for Texas Industries in
and then founded Whitmer and Associates, a business consulting firm. His
obituary in the New York Times stated that he was a skilled fly
fisherman and smoked cigars, which I remember at our Council meetings
before clubs banned cigars along with cell phones.
Harvey Andruss died on
July 14. He lived in
where he was active on city planning commissions and in state politics.
He was an executive of St. Paul Linoleum and Armcom Distributing. He and
his wife retired to
and started a gift shop in their log home.
YALE CLASS OF 1954 NOTES FOR
IS COMING UP IN 2 ½ YEARS!
It may seem early to start planning our 60th
reunion, but we want to make it a great one and will plan several
activities on our own rather than completely depend on the AYA. It
should be a celebration because so many of us will still be around–
You may remember my analysis of our longevity in my notes of May, 2010,
which indicated that 55% of our original class will be with us in 2014,
and we are doing much better than that. If you would like to be involved
in the reunion planning and activities, please let me know.
discovered distance running at age 55, competing in dozens of races,
including 37 marathons and a 50 mile ultra-marathon. For some reason,
most of these races took place in exotic places like
. At the age of 80, he ran the Ottawa Marathon (“to give his
granddaughters something to chatter about”). He claims that he is
hanging up his long distance shoes forever –probably to make the rest
of us feel less slovenly. He plans to attend our 75th
George Langworthy has
been running a technological marathon for many years. He wrote a prize
winning article for a computer magazine on Optical Storage in 1986 at
the same time that the company that I started was building high
resolution displays for SUN Microsystems engineering workstations. It
was an exciting time for all of us. He also recently
discovered that he has 18 patents issued (how could he forget?). In
addition, he started and /or owned several companies including car
rental, digital storage and real estate development companies.
was married to Sheila Decker on July 16, 2011. She knows what she is
getting into because she came to our
mini-reunion to check out our class… and she agreed to marry Tom
I only get the New York Sunday Times to see if anyone in our class
appears in the “Evening Hours” photos. This week, (July 3) Eli
Rose was photographed at the Caramoor Music Festival. I will
continue to look for the rest of you New Yorkers.
I received a clipping from the Wall
Journal entitled ‘Donor of the Day” about Dick
Gilder who gave $1million to Northfield Mount Hermon secondary
school. Dick said that his time there was “the most meaningful
experience of my life”. (Even more meaningful than 54/50?) The new
theatre will be named in honor of his actress wife, Lois C. Chiles, who
serves on the board of the Yale School of Drama.
read an article a few weeks ago that stated that the most moving
is the Korean War Veterans Memorial. Dick Polich‘s art
foundry, Polich Tallix, enlarged and cast the 17.6 foot sculptures in
stainless steel for the artist, Frank Gaylord. The sculpture
portrays American Soldiers on patrol in
. Dick’s foundry also cast the Torosaurus that stands in
front of the
. Dick still works full time at the foundry and would be pleased
to give a tour to any members of the class who are interested. See
his web site at PolichTallix.com.
granddaughter Justine Appel, is joining the Yale Class of 2015, and his
daughter, Erica graduated in the Yale Class of 1980, to give him a three
generation Yale family. Do we have any more of these
children-grandchildren families in our class? (previous generations
Sandy Muir has
a new book out in August called Freedom
“which celebrates and (hopefully) explains what makes our country
work and what causes its exceptional degree of personal freedom”.
These are basic issues in our current political and sociological
concerns. Sandy and Pauli recently visited Bob
and Cecily Redpath in
at their cottage near
. Bob has been a city planner, a social anthropologist and family
for more than a half century. He appeared at the
game last November without a British accent!
died on June 4. He served the
for fifty years as a law professor and a faculty representative to the
Big 8 and the Big 12 conferences. He was an avid fan of
football and often fished at
so he had to be a good guy.
Blakesley spent much of his retirement as a Docent at the
for British Art which he enjoyed and noted in his 50th
reunion notes “I get to spend a lot of time with third graders”. He
spent thirty years at J.C. Penney Company and even more years sailing
his thirty one foot ketch (made of solid teak) on Long Island Sound. He
Tom Cornell died
suddenly in March in
. His obituary notes that he was a grandfather of nine
YALE CLASS OF 1954 NOTES FOR
Our recent reunions and mini-reunions have been
well attended for many good reasons -They were great fun, included
splendid programs, were held in interesting locations, and were a good
way to renew old friends and meet classmates. We are planning a
in the Fall of 2012, so be alert and plan ahead!
The Class of 1954 Football Weekend min-reunions at
the season’s last home game have been a unique tradition for our class
since for 17 years. They have included Friday night dinners, Saturday
breakfasts with a speaker, the luxurious 50 yard line “Skybox”
seating and lunch, and a cocktail party at the
after the Game – often with
President Rick Levin and his wife in attendance and the Whiffenpoofs.
They have been a key to our class unity and success. A notice will be
sent out soon about the Harvard Game mini- reunion this year.
Our class continues to start new careers and
explore new paths 13 years after our “retirement” at age 65. Dick Heirs has written a comprehensive guide to the Bible and he is
completing a five year term as Chairman of the Advisory Committee for
the Journal of Law and Religion. George
Starcher, after a career as a senior partner with McKinsey in
, founded, and continues as President of the European Baha’I Business
Forum, a net work of 300 members in 45 countries. It conducts research
and publishes papers on corporate social responsibility,
entrepreneurship and ethics.
Mike Birt, (my old roommate) worked
at 3M (Minnesota Mining & Mfg Co), including assignments overseas (I
visited their magnificent apartment in
) and then retired, and has been a consultant to 3M for planning and
marketing for the last 19 years. He is still at it and has a consulting
company called E.M, Birt Enterprises Inc.
which is a full time job after 52 years –he may be the oldest living
active employee/consultant. He might be the reason that 3M continues to
be one of the best companies in the world.
Morton taught at the
and Administration at the
after a serving as the CEO of Orion Broadcasting. He wrote “Gladly
Learn” (Leadership, Learning, Teaching and Practicing”). It is about
his approach to preparing students for the real world of business.
NUCLEAR DISASTER -1979
The recent Japanese nuclear disaster was preceded
32 years ago by the Three Mile Island nuclear meltdown in
in 1979, just 72 days after Dick
Thornburgh was sworn in as Governor of that state. It was the first
serious nuclear accident in the world (creating the “China Syndrome”
panic), and Dick struggled with the uncertainties and conflicting
reports as he managed the response that avoided any deaths or resulting
injuries, which was a much better outcome than Chernobyl or Japan.
was honored on April 16 by The National Wildlife Federation for his
leadership of the Connecticut River Salmon Association, efforts to
restore the Atlantic Salmon in the
. Last year, George Spaeth
was given the Weisenfield Award by the Association of Research &
Vision in Ophthalmology for his contributions to the field of vision
research. This year, he was given the first Franceschetti Award by The
University of Geneva named after the Professor who lead the world famous
Dept of Ophthalmology there.
Clayton Stephenson, a member of the Class Council, died on April 24.
He spent his entire career at Union Carbide and retired as Chief
Financial Officer and Vice Chairman of the company. Even when we were
all sophomores at Yale, we knew that Joe would become a major corporate
executive because he looked one in his pin striped suits. After
retirement, Joe returned to Yale as an Alumni Student. He was the
principal sponsor of the Human Origins exhibit at the
. At our 50th reunion, he endowed a Professorial Chair in
died unexpectedly on March 21. He worked at United Technology
Corporation for 25 years in the Pratt & Whitney and Sikorsky
aircraft subsidiaries. He was buried with military honors due to his
service in the Navy. Larry Newman
(no relation) died on March 29. He was also in Navy and the Reserve for
24 years retiring as a Commander. He was an editor and columnist for
Dayton News and Journal Herald for 30 years.
has loaded our class web site with information about our reunions,
honors, classmates and now, a sneak preview of future Class notes! It
has dozens of photos of events and people, mostly taken by our
accomplished class photographer, Elliott
Novak. Check it out at www.y54.org
MORE RECENT CLASSMATE HONORS—AN ARCHDEACON, AN AIR/RAIL CHIEF
AND AN AMBASSADOR
The QLF (Quebec Labrador Foundation) honored The
“Venerable Archdeacon of Quebec”, Rev.
Bob (Blaster) Bryan on
October 21, 2010 with the QLF “propeller” award for his fifty years
of flying the
in his “aircraft ministry” to several remote settlements and
villages. Obie Clifford is the Chairman of the QLF Board, and an article
includes photos of both of them at the ceremony. Bob said in his note
that Russ Meyer, as Chairman
of Cessna Aircraft, provided much of the support of Bob’s Cessna 185
plane that he flew for more than 20 years. I
had earlier sent Blaster an unpublished photo of the “Venerable”
Cougars hockey team of 1953 (the Yale Junior Varsity) The Archdeacon is
seen flexing his muscles without a shirt on! I look confused with a
hockey glove on my head, and Rutger Smith, Jim Manny, Alex Blumenthal, Dwight Bartholomew,
Ben Chapman and Grant Beadle appear disinterested.
Delta Airlines, which is now the biggest airline in
the world, was reorganized, expanded
and guided through bankruptcy by Jerry
Grinstein in the years 2004 through 2007. Prior to that huge task,
he was CEO of Western Airlines in 1985-1987, CEO of Burlington Northern
Railway in 1989 -1991, and was awarded “Railroader of the
Year” in1991. In his spare time, he was a partner in a major law firm,
on the staff of four congressional committees and active in several
political campaigns. His Wikipedia page notes that “Mr.
Grinstein’s mix of almost grand-fatherly
demeanor and his down-to-earth communication approach enabled him to be
singularly able to restore the family atmosphere at Delta despite
tremendous external pressures.” (Being 75years old has its
merits!). Based on these
accomplishments, we feel that Jerry
is probably competent to run our mini-reunion in
in 2012 with the help of Bob
Martin and the AYA!
and Naomi Rosenblatt were honored
by the American Jewish Committee on November 19. Peter
was the fourth member of our class to be honored in
New York City
in October-November 2010! Peter’s public service included service as
an officer of the US Army, as an assistant district attorney of New York
County, as a member of Lyndon Johnson’s White House staff and as an
ambassador and personal representative of President Carter to the
negotiations on the future political status of the US Trust Territory of
the Pacific Islands (the Marshall and Caroline Islands captured from the
Japanese in WW II) which resulted in the creation of three new
countries. He has also served on many official and unofficial foreign
policy organizations and is an active leader of the American Jewish
Committee. In the private sector he has practiced law since graduation
and is a member of the
law firm of Heller & Rosenblatt.
Rosenblatt, is one of our class
wives who are published authors. She is also a psychotherapist who has
spoken widely to various media, church, synagogue, university and other
groups.. She is the author of two books on the Bible, Wrestling With
Angels, about the Book of Genesis, and After the Apple,
which illuminates the lives of 17 Old Testament women who, lacking any
rights, used their wiles and risked everything “to give birth, to win
their husband’s love,” and even, in the case of the infertile Sarah,
to put “another woman into her husband’s bed so that he can father a
child with her”….pretty racy stuff!
and Peter, parents of a daughter and two sons, Daniel, ‘80 and David,
’90, and grandparents of seven, must certainly be contenders for the
class record for years of marriage, given their wedding date of July 1,
Several people have responded to my inquiry about
listening to the New York Philharmonic Orchestra on Dec 7, 1941, when
they heard the announcement that the Japanese had bombed
. One was Paul Rubinstein (’55)
who was listening because his father, Arthur Rubinstein, was the soloist
at that concert.
who was a professor of chemistry at
for 40 years, died in December. He was an accomplished classical pianist
and sang with the South Hadley Chorale. In his 50th reunion
notes, he stated that if he “really had talent, he would have been a
who was the Chief, Infectious Diseases at St. Vincent’s Hospital in
, died last October. He stated in our 50th yearbook, that he
stopped seeing patients in 2000, but continued teaching full time. After
9/11, he focused on the
threat of bioterrorism and “found his career more exciting and
relevant than ever”.
died in March 2010. He was the President of Collyer Real Estate in
of West Chester PA, died
in December. He was a third generation employee of the Pennsylvania
Railroad and was a founder of the Hershey Mill Train Club.
- WHY THE CLASS OF
1954 IS SO GREAT
is widely known that the Yale Class of 1954 is exceptional and
members are all above average and that we are all smart
and good looking
(like the folks in
Garrison Keiler’s Praire Home Companion”). However, our
appears to be partially due to the year of our birth
as explained in the
book “Outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell.
He makes a strong case for
success that depends more upon
circumstances than upon raw ability.
are the products of a “demographic trough” in 1932 with the
births recorded in the
with 17 births per
1000 that followed a large surge from 1915 through
resulted in small class sizes, less competition (A. Whitney
the President of Yale, told us at our Freshman welcoming
speech that Yale had to take us because we had no competition
since there were fewer males born in the
in 1932 than in
any year since 1846!
too young for WWII; we were draft exempt during the ___________________________________________________
(which ended a month before our graduation);
we got jobs more easily; we
worked during the greatest growth
of an economy that the world had ever
seen; we grew older during
the greatest medical advances in history; and
we lived according to
traditional values before drugs. If we had been
born two years
earlier or two years later, we would have not had the
of no competition. In addition, Viagra was invented just in
Yale Harvard Mini 2009
THE MORALITY CULTIVATED BY COMMERCE
by Sandy Muir
NFL’s Williams Named Football Coach
Tom Williams, a defensive assistant for the NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars, has been named the Joel E. Smilow '54 Head Coach of Football. Williams coached at the college level for 11 years before joining the NFL. A captain on the Stanford University football
team, Williams served on the collegiate coaching staffs at Hawaii, Stanford, Washington and San Jose State before his tenure at Jacksonville. Williams is the first African American head football coach at Yale and the second ever in the Ivy League.
and weather shuts out
Photos by Elliott
The grand dedication
of the Yale Bowl
Class of 1954 Field at the Coxe Cage Nov'07
Harvard 37, Yale 6. N.Y.
(But Y'54 scored at half-time!)
Photos of dedication and game
Photos by Elliott
Novak, Carl shedd
The Washington, DC
has a record turnout - Photos
Photos by Joyce and
Elliott Novak, Carl Shedd
Mini-reunion in New Haven
Photos by Elliott Novak
San Francisco not so Mini-Reunion
A good time was had by all April 20-23
thanks to the great efforts
and planning by the reunion committee
composed of Bill Bardeen,
Charlie Johnson, Bob Martin, Sandy Muir, Ivan
Barrie Rich, Bill Stone '52, Wally Stuhr, Tom Swartz,
Westerfield '51, and Mason Willrich.
Lots of pictures -click on "photos" and be patient!
Photos by Elliott Novak, Carl
Welcome dinner at the St. Francis
Yacht Club - Photos
Friday Daytime activities - Photos
Dinner at the Pacific-Union Club - Photos
Saturday Daytime activities - Photos
Class Dinner at Carolands Chateau -
Sunday Farewell Brunch at Top of the Mark - Photos