In Memoriam

Polk Laffoon
Polk Laffoon
Aug. 5, 2021
Remembrance

Terry Batty
Terry Batty
Dec. 22, 2020
Remembrance

George McGaughey
George McGaughey
Feb. 28, 2021
Remembrance

Bill Schaffer
Bill Schaffer
Jan. 16, 2021
Remembrance

Ziss Frangopoulos
Zissimos Frangopoulos
Dec. 19, 2020
Remembrance
Obituary

Coles Phinizy
Coles H. Phinizy
Oct. 13, 2020
Remembrance

Joe de Raismes
Joe de Raismes
July 9, 2020
Remembrance

Bill Lampe
Bill Lampe
May 24, 2020
Remembrance


Jamie Poindexter
May 1, 2020
Remembrance

Peter Ecklund
Peter Ecklund
Apr. 8, 2020
Remembrance

John Sherman
John Sherman
March 14, 2020
Remembrance

Francis McGovern
Francis McGovern
Feb. 14, 2020
Remembrance

John Czaja
John Czaja
Sept. 21, 2019
Remembrance

John Rothchild
John Rothchild
Dec. 27, 2019
Obituary
Remembrance

Pete Willsey
Carter C. Willsey, Jr.
Dec. 14, 2019
Remembrance

Lennie Klein
Lennie Klein
Dec. 4, 2019
Remembrance

Tip Himes
Tip Himes
Nov. 11, 2019
Obituary
Remembrance

Steve Dungan
Steve Dungan
Oct. 22, 2019
Remembrance

John Gram
John Gram
Aug. 25, 2019
Remembrance

SEE All ‘IN MEMORIAM’

Tip: Hover your cursor over the photos above to see ‘then/now.’

Nov/Dec 2021
Class Notes

By Marty Snapp

Polk Laffoon died August 5 of a heart attack while swimming in Lake Michigan near his summer home in Harbor Springs, MI. He spent his last day exactly as he would have written it: under a beautiful summer sky, enjoying his family, swimming in the lake he loved. Besides falling in love with journalism and newspapers, he fell in love with Pinky Coleman in 1971, when a mutual friend urged Pinky to travel from her home in New York City to attend a party in Cincinnati so she could meet Polk. It was love at first sight. They married in 1973 and had three children: Coleman, Brent, and Samantha.

“First, the name,” says Mike Garvan. “It was unusual, and quickly the derivative nicknames arrived that we used at Yale and beyond: Pokie, Polkus, Polka Dot. Then, the voice. It was a little high pitched and nasal but with an almost southern lilt. And the presence. Polk was tall, blond and slender, with an engaging smile and manner. Easy-going, friendly and warm. but purposeful. He was refined in a way that few of us were. He loved literature and writing, and devoted his studies… READ THE ENTIRE COLUMN HERE


Dowling and Hill

Want to watch Brian Dowling and Calvin Hill, the stars of the great 1968 Yale football team, in a one-hour conversation including their personal reminiscences and frank opinions of Yale, Yale football, the Ivy League, the 29-29 tie with Harvard in 1968, and life and sports since the ’60s? It’s an online offering at a new website called Yale Boom, created by the Class of ’69, who have generously invited us to log in. Yale Boom is open to everyone who graduated from 1967 to 1973, whom they call “Yalies who came of age during the counter-culture and the reactions to it; during psychedelia and the Nixon prohibition; The Beatles; racial unrest and anti-war fervor and Kent State; and so on – different from the Brooks-Brothers-buttoned-down group that preceded us and the ‘proto-professionals’ who succeeded us.” To watch the Hill/Dowling chat, click here.

HILL

“In sports, it’s all about how you get up when you get knocked down,” said Brian during the planning call. “Dealing with adversity is the coin of the realm.”

DOWLING


Fun Stuff


Click here to hear the great Duke Ellington play a most memorable song!


Reunion Videos


Click here for the 50th Reunion videos, or click here for the videos from our 45th Reunion.


Faculty Videos

Time to take an intellectual and spiritual trip down memory lane with three of the most extraordinary figures of our undergraduate years: the great art historian Vincent Scully, the unforgettable University Chaplain William Sloane Coffin, and Sterling Professor of Humanities Harold Bloom, who passed away on October 14. Links to lectures by all three of them are present on our Faculty Videos page.

Click here for some of Professor Scully’s most memorable lectures, including talks on Eero Saarinen, Louis Kahn, Maya Lin, and modern architecture.

Click here for some of Reverend Coffin’s most memorable sermons at New York’s historic Riverside Church, where he served for more than ten years as Senior Minister after his time at Yale.

And click here to view Professor Bloom’s lectures.

We’re still looking for videos of historian John Morton Blum and philosopher Paul Weiss. We’ll let you know as soon as we find them. Please tell us if there are any other professors you’d like us to search for. FIND MORE on our Faculty videos page.


Classmate Publications

We have news of books by classmate authors Karl Marlantes, John Mauceri, Mike Kail, Dave Richards, Jack Finnell, Bill Betsch, Joe Czarnecki and Stephen Dahl.

READ MORE


Our monthly luncheons will resume once it’s safe for them to take place. Thanks for your patience! The conversation and topics will once again be unrestrained, including lies about your golf score! For more information, please contact Dave Richards.


Walter

Classmate News

Victor Ashe

[Following the recent election] “I learned today in a phone call from Yale President Peter Salovey that I had not won the election for Yale Corporation. I congratulate Dr. Thomas and wish him well. I can easily accept losing an election even if disappointed.

“However, I cannot accept having the petition process abolished so the Corporation can become fully self-perpetuating. This decision was announced one hour after Salovey phoned me. This decision was made in secret by the full Corporation on May 18 and then withheld from Alumni during the contest. This is shameful and contrary to Lux et Veritas.

“Again, I do not fault Dr. Thomas, but the behavior of the current Corporation represents a step towards arrogance and disregard of the views of Yale alumni. The Corporation wants alumni to be happy having our two choices picked for us before we vote without any discussion of any issue. Some would argue this happens in a Banana Republic.

“It may violate the Yale Charter established by the Connecticut legislature. If not, then Alumni who want to sign petitions for a wider choice are left with no alternative but to ask the Connecticut legislature to enact legislation restoring the petition process and allowing all Yale College graduates to vote upon graduation without a 5 year waiting period. Thousands of Yale alumni live in Connecticut. The legislature may be very interested in their view. Of the current 17 Corporation Board members, only Peter Salovey lives in Connecticut, while two others live in Hong Kong and Cambridge, UK.

“The Governor and Lt. Governor are voting members of the Corporation (making 19 members) but they are not treated as Corporation members by Yale. They were not notified of the May 18 meeting or advised as to what was planned. I doubt they would have approved of Connecticut alumni (their constituents) being restricted in their voting choices for the future.

“Again, I want to thank everyone who did vote for me and encouraged me over the past 14 months. I enjoyed connecting and re connecting with so many old friends. I am energized to oppose this latest blatant attempt to diminish alumni voting rights for the Yale Corporation.”


The Controversy and the ‘Lost’ Chapter 6

The previously-unpublished Chapter 6 of Dave Richards’ book, Skulls and Keys: The Hidden History of Yale’s Secret Societies, is especially relevant today in light of the recent Yale Corporation election. Dave explains the background of the Chapter and its relevance to today’s controversy. A link to the Chapter is provided below and on the Classmate Publications page.

Classmates–

When I presented the manuscript of my 2017 book “Skulls and Keys” to my publisher, he insisted that I figure out a way to slim it down (it was still 821 pages when published). In particular, he suggested that I eliminate entirely the original Chapter 6, a history of the “Young Yale” movement in the 1870’s, which resulted in changing the identity of the holders of six seats on the Yale board, effected through the Connecticut legislature approving an amendment to Yale’s charter.

Through 1872, these six seats were held by members of the Connecticut Assembly. These Hartford politicians (added to the board over a century before as the price of the colonial government’s helping the financially struggling school down in New Haven) had no necessary connection to the college, and over time had become lax in their attendance at Yale board meetings, caring little for the duties of oversight to be discharged.

In their place were substituted by this charter amendment six Yale alumni, chosen as candidates by and voted for by the university’s alumni of the college and of all of its professional schools, in an annual election, for six-year terms. The pressure for this political and corporate reform came from graduates who were concerned that all the other trustees, called Successor Trustees after the original ten ministers on the founding board of 1701, were still, over a century and a half later, all Congregational Church ministers (Yale by that date, in 1872, was the last colonial or Ivy League college board so clerically constituted, and the church itself had been disestablished decades before).

The alumni championing this reformation became known in the newspapers and national magazines reporting this story as “Young Yale.” Its self-identified members were mostly more recent graduates; many but not all were active in the New York City business and professional community, like their leader, William Walter Phelps, after whom Phelps Gate is named. Phelps and his fellow reformers wanted men of affairs (like themselves), versed in national concerns and more particularly in corporate finance, to help guide the university in the future. They publicly demanded of the Yale administration that such individuals be elected to the Yale board, to give that guidance.

I had felt the story of their crusade for reform was worthy of inclusion, in a history of Yale’s senior societies, because alumni of those societies were elected by the larger alumni body to virtually every Alumni Fellow seat for the first several years of such elections. The candidates were nominated by the new Yale clubs, which were geographically expanding across the country, and the voting was held openly by alumni attending the annual commencements.

This missing chapter, and that history, are now relevant to the question of the best practices for Yale corporate governance, given that the current Yale Corporation has in May 2021 abruptly and without any public debate ended by corporate by-law amendment the opportunity for alumni to be nominated by petition for a candidacy for Alumni Fellow, to stand against whomsoever the Yale Alumni Association subcommittee nominates by announcement shortly before the election itself without opportunity for questioning that candidate on his or her views (which for the petition candidates are by that date pretty well known). This petition method was added to Yale’s by-laws in 1929, and now has been abruptly terminated after 83 years, during which some petition nominees were ultimately elected, but most–including our classmate Ambassador Victor Ashe–were not.

I hope the history in this previously unpublished chapter, a link to which is being posted to the class website – and is available below – is of interest to those among Yale’s now world-wide alumni interested in this issue. Here is the link to Chapter 6.

Dave Richards


Welcome, Kingman!

Kingman

Yale has a new mascot! Say hello to Handsome Dan XIX, known to his intimates as Kingman. He succeeds Handsome Dan XVIII, aka Walter, who resigned when his caregiver moved to New York. Kingman lives in New Haven with Kassandra “Kassie” Haro ’18, a Berkeley College alumna who will train, socialize and manage the pup’s public appearances. You can read much more about Kingman here, and read about how Handsome Dan XIX got his name, with a great historic photo and dog story of his famous namesake here.


Social Distancing ’67-Style

Here’s Don Metzger modeling the memorabilia prototype for our next reunion in 2022, with tongue placed firmly in cheek:
Don Metzger
“I believe that it is both attractive and utilitarian, our two design criteria, and continues our line of customized items with our Y67 escutcheon. It will be available in three sizes: S, M, and L,” he says, to which Randy Alfred inquired, “Can you get them made with an intake straw to help us make use of the open bar?”

So here’s Peter Petkas modeling an alternative souvenir of his own invention, which seems to meet Randy’s requirements:
Peter Petkas


Helpful Resources


Fighting coronavirus is a scary, lonely, depressing business, but you have a powerful tool to fight back: Yale’s most popular course, The Science of Well-Being, which the university is offering FOR FREE online. Professor Laurie Santos will guide you through a series of challenges designed to increase your own happiness and build more productive habits. You will ultimately be prepared to successfully incorporate a specific wellness activity into your life. Just click on this link to sign up.

Yale Links

’67 Corresponding Secretary YAA Directory

Yale Alumni Association Yale Alumni Magazine Yale Daily News Yale Athletics