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YAM Notes: January/February 2022

By Gregory A. Weiss

First, let’s do some tooting of our own horns. (If we don’t who will?!) In the recent Yale Campaign Annual Report 2020-2021 our leadership in financial support to the university is apparent. Our percentage giving (45%) is the highest of all the classes of the ’60s. Only one other ‘60’s class has a percentage above 40% (‘63 at 42.4%). Our total giving ($653,469) exceeds our closest competitor in that era by roughly $300,000. Congratulations to all our hard-working volunteers who have produced this amazing result, and congratulations to all of us for this result of which we can all be proud.

Jeff Parish’s wife Rosalind Rosenberg will be giving a talk on February 9 at the NY Yale Club’s unveiling of a new portrait of Pauli Murray.  Rosalind wrote the definitive study of Murray (Jane Crow – the Life of Pauli Murray – namesake of our new college) and is an honorary member of the Class of ’66 as Gerry Rosenberg’s widow and Jeff’s wife.  There will be cocktails and dinner along with the show and, says Jeff, “we  would love to see some of our old mates from ’66.”

Many of us fondly remember evenings spent on the all-too-comfortable leather chairs in the L&B Room in Sterling Library. The goal was usually to study, but the result was often a lengthy nap. As described in a recent article in the Yale News, the room is now about to be renovated as part of a ongoing project to preserve and modernize Sterling. Featured prominently in the article is Fred Berg, who has provided the lead gift for the L&B project.

A mid-November note from Tad Tuleja seeks “to draw classmates’ attention to a podcast I started back in July and that now, at Episode 19, is about half way through. The first half leverages my personal struggle (and detente) with nationalism; the second half contains broader ruminations about Vietnam, war in general, and what we mean when we say that we “love our country.” The podcast title is Skirmishes with Patriotism. It’s on Spotify, I Heart Radio, etc. The link is skirmisheswithpatriotism.buzzsprout.com.”


Jeff Lewis has a new book, Land of Cockaigne, which he discussed at a zoom webinar in early November. It is described as a novel written as a sharp parable of American society, addressing love, purpose, discrimination, and poverty.

Whether or not you are a fan of NFL football, you will be interested to know that Fred Smith’s son, Arthur, is the first-year head coach of the Atlanta Falcons. He played in his college football at the University of North Carolina and was previously an assistant with the Tennessee Titans.

As part of a recent short trip to Santa Fe, New Mexico your Corresponding Secretary and his wife Karen visited Duke Klauck and his acclaimed spa, Ten Thousand Waves. Duke couldn’t have been a more gracious host as he gave us a tour of what is truly an impressive and amazing facility. Also terrific is his related Japanese restaurant, Izanami. Well worth a visit!

Let us end with the story of an inspired endeavor in which Bob Hemphill and his partner Leah Bissonette have become involved. In their words: About two years ago we decided, based on good advice from an old friend,to upgrade our philanthropic efforts. We had been somewhat helter-skelter in what we supported (nuclear waste management, student loan forgiveness, the La Jolla Museum of Modern Art) and the results had been unimpressive.  So We decided, based in part on the Cornell Lab of Ornithology study of bird loss in the United States, to focus on finding and supporting wildlife habitat, especially bird habitat, in the US.It has been significantly more difficult than we anticipated. Giving away money effectively is almost as hard as earning it in the first place. But a recent announcement of our first major project is evidence that you can get things done in this space if you are focused (one of the first pieces of advice) and you stay in an area you know and care about. The Santa Rita project is our first major one, and we could not be more pleased. It is also the Cornell Ornithology Lab’s first step into habitat preservation. We have gradually expanded the people and groups we are dealing with and anticipate that there should be more such announcements in the future.”