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YAA Assembly Notes: November 2022

By Ben Liptzin

As the Class of 1966 delegate to the Yale Alumni Association I attended the recent Assembly in New Haven. It was the first in-person Assembly since before the pandemic. Other classmates who attended were our Treasurer Don Bickford, Charlie Farmer, Biff Folberth, and Tom Opladen.

On the first day I got to take 2 tours. The first was of the Schwarzman Center, which resulted from a major renovation of Commons and created many new spaces for gathering or eating. I then visited the 2 new colleges, Benjamin Franklin and Pauli Murray. They are quite attractive buildings with a fitness center, a dance studio and a theater in the basement, which are mostly for their use. That afternoon a number of awards were presented for alumni activities.

The next day started with President Salovey’s overview and then moved to a discussion of the new Jackson School for Global Affairs with Dean Jim Levinsohn. Our classmate, Waring Partridge, is a member of their Advisory Board and has been a major supporter of the School. Most impressive was having a video link to a Jackson Fellow, Paul Simons, who was attending the Climate Conference in Cairo. The Jackson School is well positioned to contribute to multidisciplinary analyses of and solutions to the impact of Climate Change. That was followed by a panel of Yale Trustees discussing the Yale Corporation and what it does to help steer the school. Next up was a Veterans Day celebration in Woolsey Hall. At lunch, Joan O’Neill, Vice President of Alumni Relations and Development, thanked all the Alumni Fund volunteers who have helped raise substantial funds for the capital campaign. There was then a discussion, with the Director of YAA, of Alumni Association activities, which have returned to more in-person events. In the evening, the new Yale Medalists were honored, followed by a reception. The highlight of the next day was an exciting victory over Princeton in football!

There was no discussion of the Washington Post article published soon after the Assembly, which was sharply critical of Yale’s mental health services for students and policies around withdrawal and reinstatement. For anyone interested the Director of Student Mental Health and the Dean of Yale College wrote a thoughtful letter in response addressing the criticisms.

Thanks for the honor of representing our Class and for the opportunity to learn about what’s going on at Yale. If anyone has any questions feel free to reach out to me directly. My email address is bliptzin2@gmail.com.